I’m always looking for more ways to study the Gospel, so I’m excited to share these are tried-and-true methods I have used to study Conference since I got married. (So from young wife and busy college student to busier mom with lots of littles.) I hope they help you get more out of General Conference now that the sessions are over, and it’s back to “normal life.”
These are in order from what I consider least time-consuming or prep involved to the most involved. They are all wonderful methods and might work for you at different seasons of your life.
1. Listen, listen, listen.
When my husband Joey and I were first married, we went on an epic camping trip through Utah and Colorado (we lived in Missouri, so we had long stretches of highway to enjoy together). We had just received the April 2007 Conference CDs as an Easter gift from Joey’s parents. We had just a few other CDs with us (Wicked soundtrack fans, anyone?) so we listened to a LOT of General Conference.
And I am sooo glad we did! Those talks have been a foundational part of our marriage, and we still quote them all the time a decade later.
I still use this method sometimes when I’m doing housework, but I usually have so many “Mom, Mom, MOM’s” going on that it’s no longer my main Conference study method. Joey uses this frequently during his workouts, and he listens to Conference CDs in his car. Where it’s often quiet, unlike our minivan. 🙂 It’s easy to download sessions and talks from lds.org or on the Gospel Library app!
2. As a family with stories.
The General Conference Ensign includes a Story Index listing all of the talks that contained stories in them. When our boys were toddlers, we’d read a story from Conference with them for Family Home Evening and sometimes as a bedtime story.
We didn’t get through all the talks this way, but the stories left a deep impression. Plus it’s a fun way to study conference with family members, particularly young children. We also enjoy watching videos like this one that illustrates President Uchtdorf’s story about his mother’s faith and this funny video about not judging others through our own imperfect lense.
3. By one single theme or topic
I went through a time where I had a deep desire to learn more about women’s roles in the family and in life. What was my purpose and place in the world? This was during one of my busiest stages of motherhood so far, with a husband in school and three children ages 3 and under.
I would read a paragraph at a time here and there and mark anything that talked about women, mothers, etc. This method could work for any question or topic that’s important to you. I know you can get answers from the Prophets.
4. A talk a day
Fast forward a few years after I used method number 3. I felt like I had missed so much from Conference because I didn’t make a diligent Conference study plan. Even though I was still doing my daily scripture study, I could tell there was something lacking without that regular, modern revelation in my life as well.
After the April conference this year, I decided I would read one Conference talk every day and mark quotes that were important to me. This method was simple and straightforward which was exactly what I needed in my life this year. One of my favorite talks was President Eyring’s talk, My Peace I Leave With You. It felt great to complete the goal of studying each talk from the April Conference! With that momentum, I plan on doing a deeper study for the October 2017 Conference.
5. Write down a list of questions. Color code and highlight the answers.
This method was the most time-consuming one I’ve used personally. I’ve only used it for one Conference! But it was the most meaningful one for me of all. You get out of it what you put into it, right?
Joey and I made a list of around 8-10 specific questions that we had for our family. We assigned each question a specific color. Then we highlighted any answers we found to those questions in the Conference Ensign. We would first study the talks separately. Then during our couple study we would discuss the answers we found and put them together on a Master copy.
It almost took six months, but we went through each talk in detail this way. That Ensign was a powerful resource for our family.
I think I was pregnant with our second child at the time. We had no idea the trials that were coming soon for our family with our son’s health. I believe we were inspired as a couple to study Conference in this way to fortify our marriage and family for the tough times ahead.
What is your favorite way to study General Conference? Did you have a favorite talk from this past session? Please share your ideas and thoughts with us!
To read more about some ways we try to include our children during Conference Weekend, check out this post about General Conference with Kids
So thankful for modern revelation, and for the incredible messages shared by the men and women in Conference. I’m so happy we have these great resources to be able to revisit these messages again and again. You never know when you’ll need a certain message. Talks that are not as “relevant” now may be important later, and others hit home right away! Doing some of these study methods will help me retain instructions and hope given in these talks!
Thanks for sharing these ideas!