“Ideas for Learning and Teaching from General Conference,” Ideas for Learning and Teaching from General Conference (2020)
“Ideas for Learning and Teaching from General Conference,” Ideas for Learning and Teaching from General Conference
In the first conference of the restored Church, the Lord made remarkable promises to those who “receive” and “give heed unto” the words of His prophets. “For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6).
Since that first conference, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have looked forward to hearing the Lord’s voice through His servants. Consider how you can more fully receive and give heed to the messages you receive from the Lord’s prophets and other Church leaders in general conference.
Below are a few ideas for you to consider as you learn from general conference messages personally, with your family, and in Church classes or meetings.
Listen to the Spirit. Studying conference messages invites revelation. As you study, pay attention to thoughts and feelings from the Spirit even if they have nothing to do with the conference message. Those impressions may be the very things God wants you to know.
Ask questions and look for answers. Uncover deeper meaning in a conference message by asking questions that help you ponder what the message teaches. You might ask questions like “How does this message strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ?” or “How will it help me become a better disciple?”
Record your impressions. There are many ways to record your impressions. For example, you could keep a journal of your insights or make notes in the margins of the conference message.
Apply the message to yourself. Even the most inspiring conference message has limited value if we don’t apply it to our lives and let it guide our thoughts and decisions. What does Heavenly Father want me to do because of this message?
Look up references. To deepen your understanding of a speaker’s message, look up the scriptures and prophetic teachings referenced throughout the message and in the endnotes.
Look for … There are a lot of things you can look for as you study general conference messages. As you study, consider looking for the following:
Jesus Christ. Find testimonies of the Savior and descriptions of His life, His teachings, His Atonement, and the power He can give to those who follow Him.
Inspiring words and phrases. Mark or write down your thoughts about words and phrases that inspire you, feel important to you, or motivate you.
Principles and doctrines. Ask yourself, “What principles or doctrines were taught in this message?” Sometimes principles and doctrines are stated directly, and sometimes they are illustrated by a story or example.
Lists. Sometimes a speaker will provide a list of ideas, applications, or truths. You may also feel impressed to create your own list of things you are learning.
Invitations and blessings. Find invitations to act and the blessings that are promised. Determine how you will act on those invitations.
Create links. In Gospel Library, you can create links between conference messages, scriptures, and other content.
Organize by topic. In Gospel Library, you can organize content by topics using “Tags” and “Notebooks.” This can be useful later when you are preparing a talk or lesson.
Set a schedule. In Gospel Library, you can create a study plan that helps you track your progress of studying the messages ahead of next conference. You can also set reminders to help you accomplish your study goals.
Display a quote. Select a quote you find meaningful and post it somewhere where family members will see it. You could also share it electronically. Members of your family could take turns selecting a passage to post. You might choose to memorize the quotes as a family.
Create something. Members of your family may enjoy making something, like a drawing or bookmark, that is inspired by something taught in a conference message. Everyone could share what they made.
Review stories. Find stories in conference messages that will help your family learn gospel principles. Members of your family could take turns telling their favorite stories, or you could act them out.
Apply teachings. After studying a conference message together, discuss different ways the teachings relate to experiences your family is having. Then decide as a family what you will do to live what you have learned.
Share teachings. There are benefits to reading conference messages individually and then coming together to share insights and inspiring passages. This could be a great way to learn from each other.
Ask questions. If members of your family have questions about a gospel topic, spend time looking for answers in conference messages about that topic (see the “Topics” tab in the Gospel Library app).
Study the prophet’s messages. As a family, consider studying several messages by the President of the Church (see the “Speakers” tab in the Gospel Library app).
For specific ideas for families with young children, see “Activities for Children” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Invite preparation. You are more likely to have meaningful discussion about a conference message if members have studied the message in advance. Find ways to inform them of what will be discussed. You might even give them one or two questions to ponder to help them prepare.
Discuss in groups. Smaller group discussions get more people involved. Consider dividing members into small groups and assigning each group to read and discuss a different section of the conference message. Then you could ask each group to share a truth they learned. Or you could form new groups with people who studied different sections and let them share with each other what they learned.
Answer questions. Providing questions like these can generate meaningful discussions about a 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. It can be inspiring to hear each other talk about how a conference message touched and uplifted us. Encourage members to share meaningful passages from a conference message, and ask them to consider how they could share these quotations to bless someone they know.
Share an object lesson. If you’re looking for a creative way to discuss a conference message, invite a few members in advance to bring objects from home that they could use to teach something from the message. Ask the members to explain how those objects relate to specific parts of the message.
Prepare a lesson to teach at home. Here is one way to encourage families to learn from conference messages at home: Ask members to work in pairs to plan a home evening lesson based on a conference message. How could we make the message relevant to our families?
Share experiences. Statements and stories from conference messages can prompt members to share their own related experiences or examples from the scriptures. These examples can illustrate or reinforce the doctrine taught in the conference message.
Learn about a scripture. Most conference messages contain related scripture passages—in the message itself or in the endnotes. Members could read a scripture passage referenced in the conference message and discuss how the teachings in the message help them better understand the scripture passages.
Find an answer. Members will find deeper meaning in conference messages if you ask questions that prompt pondering or application of the gospel principles taught in them (for help, see Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 31–32). You could ask members to select a question and use the message to write an answer. Invite them to discuss their answers in small groups.
Play audio or video. One of the best ways to help members feel the spirit of a message is to play a short audio or video clip of the message.
For more ideas to teach in Relief Society and Elders Quorum, see “Learning from General Conference Messages” in the Relief Society and Elders Quorum collection found under Come, Follow Me in the Gospel Library.