It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Last Sunday in Primary, the sharing time teacher asked the children if they knew what General Conference was.

One adorable little boy raised his hand and said, “It is a special holiday where we stay home from church and watch it on TV.”

I loved his words. ...A special holiday. So true!meme-mcconkie-words-prophets-manna-1389784-print

We all have holiday traditions. For Christmas, we always get our tree and set things up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Every night we have our advent gifts and study the life of Christ. On Christmas Eve we always see a movie and go out to dinner. Stockings always have the same goodies- I have one child who makes sure of it. Thanksgiving, Easter, even Halloween for some people. We love our traditions and it makes the day even more special and meaningful.

Well, many of us also have traditions for General Conference weekend (called GenCo at our house). Many of them may have started out of desperation when our kids were young, in order to keep them still for at least a few minutes. We have always had a buffet, and gathered in our pajamas with comfy blankets and pillows. We look forward to it every 6 months.

At Thankgiving we give thanks, and spend time with the ones we love. Christmas celebrates the birth of our Savior, and at Easter we remember and celebrate His atonement and resurrection. Our thoughts are turned to important, eternal things on these special holidays. It is the same with General Conference.

first-presidency-lds-477209-printWe are so flippin lucky! Think about it- we get to be directly instructed by a prophet and apostles of God! Twice a year! Us Mormons seriously have it good- 2 extra holidays a year, which fill us and teach us and increase our capacity and ability to love and to work our way through this life.

Like many holidays- let’s be prepared. For Thanksgiving, we plan and prep the meals with care. At Christmastime we decorate and prepare gifts.

What about General Conference?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,

“As you prepare for general conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. … There are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations.”

And from Elder Robert D Hales:

“As the time for conference arrives, we sacrifice other activities, laying aside the things of this world, to seek for the things of a better. Then we gather our families to hear the word of the Lord, as King Benjamin’s people did.”

So how can we prepare?

  1. Pray- we all have something going on in our lives right now. We all need direction. Write down what you need, and pray and ponder on it over the next week so that you are prepared to receive answers during conference.
  2. Actually watch (or listen to) conference! It’s 2 days that will fill you for 6 months or more. Set the time aside. Sacrifice the things of this world for something better.

By coming to conference with a soft and open heart, and laying aside the things of the world, we will be ready for what God would have us hear. And we will be ready to implement those teachings into our lives.

Decide now to make general conference a priority in your life. Decide to listen carefully and follow the teachings that are given. Listen to or read the talks more than once to better understand and follow the counsel. By doing these things, the gates of hell will not prevail against you, the powers of darkness will be dispersed from before you, and the heavens will shake for your good.              – Paul V Johnson, of the Seventy

What a blessing!

What a special holiday!