The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be holding its 185th Semi annual General Conference on Oct. 3-4, and BYU-Idaho students are making special preparations to hear the words of the prophets. These preparations help students get the most out of conference. Elder Paul V. Johnson, of the Quorum of the Seventy, said in his October 2005 general conference talk, The Blessings of General Conference, that Church members should make general conference a high priority and listen carefully.
“I love general conference,” said Ryan Barton, a junior studying biology. “I’ve always noticed that when I prepare for it, I always have the most amazing experience. I feel as if the talks were specifically designed for me. But I’ve also noticed that when I don’t prepare and I just sit down to watch it, I don’t get much out of it.”
Students can use the time before conference to review past conference talks, especially those from the last session, said Boyd Baggett, a religion professor at BYU-I.
Baggett said it is a time for self-reflection when students can see where they need to improve in their lives. Students can see what questions they have about their personal lives, callings or family relationships and seek these answers from the Lord through his disciples.
Baggett said he encourages students to take notes, not necessarily based on what they hear, but based on what they felt.
“Spend some time in personal reflection,” Baggett said. “We get really busy, and sometimes, we forget to have time to just meditate or be alone with the Spirit. I think that would be the best thing students could do.”
Students can prepare for conference by reviewing previous conferences, according to lds.org. They can also review their past notes, thoughts or journals from the last conference.
Members of the Church are entitled to personal revelation as they listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference, according to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the of the September 2011 Liahona First Presidency Message.
“If we teach by the Spirit, and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in his April 2011 general conference talk, An Ensign to the Nations.
BYU-I students can increase their prayer and scripture study so that they might be more receptive to the spirit of revelation, Baggett said.
Church members can invite others to take part in conference as a way to prepare for and invite the Spirit into their conference experience, according to lds.org.
“I always like to do some soul searching and figure out what I need to hear,” said Sara Bloomfield, a freshman majoring in general studies. “I go in with the expectation that I’ll receive answers to my questions. It makes for a cool experience if you go in with a goal in mind or some sort of direction you feel you need.”