General Conference is coming up in 6 days! It will be held October 1-2, and will have morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday and Sunday, along with an evening session for everyone on Saturday. More information is available here.
In preparation, we are doing a daily countdown with posts from different people explaining how they feel about General Conference, how they prepare, tips for getting the most out of it, how to deal with associated social media posts, etc.
General Conference for Kids
by Lynn Wilson
The art of motivating children to glean something out of General Conference requires preparation too. I teach them a song to help memorize the twelve apostles by name. I put up pictures so they can identify them more easily when they are speaking. The more I teach them about our leaders, the closer they feel toward them. Sometimes before Conference we talk about themes that might come up in talks. Twelve themes are taped to in a cupcake tin. Then during conference I fill each cup with a healthy snack which they get to eat when they identify a theme. This helps the kids (and parents) listen. The church’s website for General Conference “Bingo,” fill in the blank, word puzzles, and other handouts have been a great help for young ones.
By the time my kids are eight, I encourage them to join in listening to the Saturday sessions too. I have notebooks and pencils for each child. The younger ones draw pictures of what they hear while the older ones take notes. I find dressing them in Sunday clothes helps them to appreciate the sacredness of the experience even if we are staying home. We talk about the Conference talks afterwards at well—during meals, family home evening, and before bedtime prayers. As difficult as it is, the more I sincerely love the messages, the more my children’s interest is piqued.
Lynne Hilton Wilson earned her Ph.D. in Theology and American Religious History from Marquette University. Her doctoral dissertation compared Joseph Smith’s understanding of the Spirit with his contemporaries. Her master’s degree focused on New Testament studies. She attended BYU as an undergraduate and studied nursing and music. She returned to BYU has as an adjunct professor of Religion, and to teach at Education Week. She is presents regularly at the Mormon History Association, Society of Biblical Literature, and the like. She has served in the Church Education System for the past 35 years. Currently she teaches Institute. Previous Publications include: Christ’s Emancipation of New Testament Women, Nativity Narratives, Learning the Language of the Lord: A Guidebook to Personal Revelation, To Witness Easter, and articles in BYU Studies, the Interpreter, Religious Educator, and the BYU Religious Studies Center. She is co-founder of BookofMormonCentral.org. She and her husband, Elder Dow R. Wilson live in Palo Alto, California. They have seven children (all with red hair), and eight grandchildren (blond, ginger, and brown).