The teachings of living prophets and other general Church leaders provide inspired guidance as we seek to participate in the Lord’s work. On the second and fourth Sundays of each month, elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies select a conference message to discuss, based on the needs of the members and guidance from the Spirit. On occasion, the bishop or stake president may also suggest a message. In general, leaders should emphasize messages from members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. However, any message from the most recent conference may be discussed.
Leaders and teachers should find ways to encourage members to read the selected message before the meeting.
The following questions can help teachers as they plan to use a general conference message to teach.
What does the speaker want us to understand? What gospel principles is he or she teaching? How do these principles apply to our quorum or Relief Society?
What scriptures did the speaker use to support his or her message? Are there other scriptures we could read that would deepen our understanding? (You might find some in the endnotes of the message or in the Topical Guide.)
What questions could I ask that would help members ponder the message? What questions will help them see the relevance of the message in their lives, in their families, and in the Lord’s work?
What can I do to invite the Spirit into our meeting? What could I use to enhance the discussion, including stories, analogies, music, or artwork? What did the speaker use?
Did the speaker extend any invitations? How might I help members feel the desire to act on those invitations?
There are many ways to help members learn from general conference messages. Here are a few examples; you may have other ideas that will work better in your quorum or Relief Society.
Discuss in groups. Divide members into small groups, and assign each group a different section of the conference message to read and discuss. Then ask each group to share a truth they learned. Or you could form groups with people who studied different sections and let them share with each other what they learned.
Answer questions. Invite the members to answer questions like the following about the conference message: What gospel truths do we find in this message? How can we apply these truths? What invitations and promised blessings were given? What does this message teach us about the work God wants us to do?
Share quotations. Invite members to share quotations from the conference message that inspire them to fulfill their responsibilities in the work of salvation. Encourage them to consider how they could share these quotations to bless someone, including loved ones and people they minister to.
Share an object lesson. In advance, invite a few members to bring objects from home that they could use to teach about the conference message. During the meeting, ask the members to explain how those objects relate to the message.
Prepare a lesson to teach at home. Ask members to work in pairs to plan a home evening lesson based on the conference message. How could we make the message relevant to our families? How might we share this message with people we minister to?
Share experiences. Read together several statements from the conference message. Ask members to share examples from the scriptures and from their lives that illustrate or reinforce the doctrine taught in these statements.
Learn about a scripture. Invite members to read a scripture referenced in the conference message. Ask them to discuss how the teachings in the message help them better understand the scripture.
Find an answer. Ahead of time, create a few questions that can be answered using the conference message. Focus on questions that prompt deep thinking or application of gospel principles (see Teaching in the Savior’s Way , 31–32). Then allow members to select a question and find answers in the message. Invite them to discuss their answers in small groups.
Find a phrase. Invite members to search the conference message, looking for phrases that are meaningful to them. Ask them to share the phrases and what they learn from them. How do these teachings help us accomplish the Lord’s work?
Create something. Invite members to make a poster or bookmark that includes a short inspirational statement from the conference message. Give them an opportunity to share what they made.
For more ideas on how to study and teach from general conference messages, see “Ideas for Learning and Teaching from General Conference” found under General Conference in the Gospel Library.