What are these youth doing differently after listening to general conference? What changes have they already seen?
Soon after the April 2016 general conference, these young men and young women committed to make a change based on something they heard from our leaders. You can read what they said in the May 2016 New Era.
It’s only been one month, but check out how sticking to their plans has already made a difference!
Be Sincere in Prayer
Summer C., 17, Hawaii, USA
Based on Elder Hallstrom’s April 2016 general conference talk, “I Am a Child of God,” my conference action plan was to improve my relationship with Heavenly Father through more sincere prayers. I wanted a stronger testimony of my divine nature, and also to help others realize their individual worth.
I set aside more time for my morning prayers. I was able to actually focus on my words. I had more time to think about what guidance I needed, who needed help, and what I was grateful for. I felt happier. I felt confident that I could face the day. (Check out “How to Rely on the Protective Power of Prayer.”)
I also began fasting once a week. Every Monday, I fasted for breakfast and lunch. This was rather difficult and required hard work and focus. Each Monday, I chose a person to fast for and kept them in my thoughts for the day. I tried to do something for that person—write them a note, visit them, invite them out, or make them a treat. I saw how my compassion increased and how my relationship with that person was strengthened. I began to realize how precious all of God’s children are and how important it is to love and be tolerant, even with our differing views. (Check out “Why Should I Fast?”)
Sometimes it’s hard to be the only Mormon at my school. But having a stronger relationship with Heavenly Father helps me be confident with who I am and the decisions I make. As Elder Hallstrom said, knowing who we are is among “the most extraordinary knowledge we can obtain.”
Hyrum J., 14, California, USA
Following general conference, my goal is to find 10 ancestors that need their temple work done and make sure that it is completed.
I went onto FamilySearch and looked through my tree for names that needed ordinances and weren’t already reserved. I thought it would be easy, but it took me quite a while. I kept searching and finally found some male ancestors. I printed their temple cards.
One Saturday, my dad and I went to the temple to do the baptisms and confirmations for five brothers. I could feel them in the temple and knew that they accepted the work I was doing for them. I have felt additional spirits around me as I focus more on family history and temple work, which gives me strength and helps me know that what I am doing is important. (Check out “Family History—a Protection.”)
Even after I complete my goal, I plan on continuing to find my ancestors and visiting the temple once a month to complete the baptisms and confirmations. My parents and siblings will help with the other ordinances. I know that as I do this, I will have extra guidance and support from ancestors on the other side of the veil. (Check out “Shining Forth in the Family.”)
Listen to the Holy Ghost
Grant H., 15, Maine, USA
After watching general conference, I set a goal to strengthen my personal relationship with the Holy Ghost through sincere prayer and to seeking ways to serve others every day. (Check out “How to Always Have the Spirit to Be with Us.”)
As I have strived to serve daily I have noticed how my awareness of others has increased. I now search out simple ways to serve rather than waiting for obvious opportunities to arise. Every morning I pray that I will be blessed with opportunities to serve. Most days I receive promptings of ways to help others at school and home. (Check out “13 Simple Service Suggestions.”)
I want to try to recognize and show more gratitude for my many blessings each day in my daily prayers. I will also continue to look beyond myself and focus on serving others. As my personal connection with the Holy Ghost strengthens, I know I will receive more promptings to better serve my fellow men, and through this service I will become an instrument for good in the hands of the Lord. (Check out “An Instrument in His Hands.”)
Johanan M., 15, Illinois, USA
Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked on my goal from general conference: to more fully understand the Atonement by being more forgiving. I remember Elder Duncan saying that to try and forgive others, we must try to understand each other and to have a broader perspective. This also means that we must try and not define others by their mistakes (see Kevin R. Duncan, “The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016).
I’ve already seen changes as I’ve tried to live the principle of forgiveness. I have learned the difference between seeking justice and seeking forgiveness. If we seek justice, we may not promote tolerance and learning about others. This can blind us from the Atonement and its purpose of allowing us to be forgiven of our own sins. (Check out “Judging Others? Stop It!”)
But as we seek to forgive one another, we learn to get along with one another, learn from each other, as well as help one another in life. From this, I have been blessed with being able to bond closely with friends from church, school, and even my family.
Have the Desire
Libby M., 15, Maine, USA
My goal from the Conference Challenge was to not be overwhelmed by all the things I need to improve and instead to focus on coming closer to God. Doing this has helped me to see myself through His eyes. He loves His children and wants them to return to Him. He will help you achieve that goal if you turn to Him in prayer and obey His commandments. (Check out “Heavenly Father Knows Me.”)
Something I am now doing to keep growing closer to God is to pray sincerely, study the words of the prophets, and strive to have the Spirit with me every day.
Read the Scriptures
Owen O., 12, Nova Scotia, Canada
In her talk, “A Child’s Guiding Gift,” Mary R. Durham, former Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency talked about putting spiritual things before our worldly desires so we can live with Heavenly Father.
To focus on spiritual things, I decided to read my scriptures in the morning instead of watching videos on my iPod, like I usually do. It was difficult to remember to read my scriptures, but my parents always reminded me. After one month, I had read from Exodus, all the way to Numbers. I will continue to put more worldly desires off and keep read my scriptures every morning. I challenge you to also take time away from worldly desires and to focus on the spiritual things that can help us go to live with Heavenly Father again. (Check out “First Things First.”)
Open Up to Promptings
Brooke R., 18, Montana, USA
Elder Hallstrom said that the world can make us forget who we are and weaken our connection with Heavenly Father. But I have life-changing decisions to make soon, so I decided to open my heart to Heavenly Father and allow Him to prompt me. (Check out “Easily Guided.”)
After a few weeks of opening up to promptings from my Heavenly Father, I've found myself feeling more relaxed. After allowing him to guide me in the right direction, without me thinking that I know what is best for me, I feel like my life has improved because I feel the Spirit more. I faced a big decision, and I feel that because I opened my heart to Him, I made the right decision and my life will be different in the best way possible because of that. (Check out “Idea List: A Major Decision.”)
Share Your Experience
You can make a difference in your life too! What changes do you want to make because of general conference? Share your experience below.