I love this time of year. We just celebrated Easter. It’s springtime where I live. (I cannot say enough about how much I love spring!) And now General Conference is just around the corner. It’s a time that we cherish as a family. I’ve already started getting some of the children’s favorite snacks and we’ll be getting our sheets and blankets and tables out so the kids can make their Conference tents.
In our family, we read Mosiah 2 as part of our Conference tradition as well. [For those unfamiliar with the Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 2, the people gather at the temple to hear their prophet-king speak about Jesus Christ, the Atonement, and what it means to be followers of the Savior. Each family pitches a tent toward the temple to hear the words that are taught…hence our family’s tradition of making tents.]
I also have often used General Conference packets to help my children engage. They are getting older now so some of them choose to engage in their own way. For example, last year, one of my daughters captured favorite quotes and ideas from General Conference talks and wrote them on colorful pieces of paper which she then taped on the wall in her “tent.” (They stayed up on the wall for weeks afterward.)
Our local leaders often encourage us to go to the temple to prepare before we have conferences. So much of General Conference is about spiritual preparation. For example, many people write down and/or ponder questions or concerns they have and listen for insight that is relevant to their specific needs. Sometimes the answer comes directly during the weekend, or sometimes (as I experienced a couple of years ago), the answers unfold later upon pondering and reading the messages again).
If you are looking for ideas to prepare for General Conference, Kathryn at A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman has posted an amazing list of resources. It includes official materials as well as links to various Mormon blogs where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints talk about what they do to get the most out of General Conference. Many of the posts are from Mormon Mommy Bloggers who share ideas for making it a special time for their children. Often family traditions surround this bi-annual event, including favorite recipes. [Here’s an example of one friend’s tradition: crepes. (Recipe included!) They also do Legos while listening.] There are also activity sheet downloads for various ages (available in multiple languages). (Again, these were a favorite part of our tradition in our family while the children were younger.)
What do you do to make General Conference special? If you are a parent, how do you help your children engage? What personal and/or family traditions do you have around this time? Any special recipes?
If you have links to add to Kathryn’s list, hop on over and make a comment at her blog or share your thoughts below.