By Kristen Duke
Oh, the spiritual HIGH of coming off of General Conference weekend...I LOVE it! I’ve found that most people fall into one of two camps:
- A) Super inspired and all fired up to do your best, be your best, serve, love, study, and conquer the world and your families.
- B) Discouraged that it all just feels like too much, and burdened by the “to-do” list, and feeling like you just can’t do it all so don’t try.
Well friends, I’m here for BOTH of you, and my HOPE is that if you fall into the second camp, that you will offer yourself some grace and pick just ONE thing that stuck out to you from General Conference, and find a way to implement it in your life.
If you fall into that first group, sometimes it can feel overwhelming when we come off of the high from General Conference and we aren’t quite sure how to keep that feeling of excitement for longer than a few days.
I’m here to share my thoughts with 5 tips to keep that General Conference feeling ALIVE longer, and maybe even until the next Conference.
- Listen to the talks--Ok this may seem like a “no brainer” to some, but many people don’t utilize this feature on the church app. It’s so easy to listen while you brush your teeth, go on a walk, or drive in the car. Often times we are so anxious to listen to a podcast, book on tape, or music when we do any of those activities, but what if you told yourself that you’d listen to 5 or 10 minutes of a General Conference talk BEFORE any of that? Also, with roughly 30+ talks each session, you can assign 1 or 2 a week, and even write it on a calendar so you don’t lose track.
- Highlight the text—Am I the only one out there who still has the physical copies of the church magazines mailed to my home? I LOVE laying them out on the breakfast table for my kids to read, and especially snagging the Conference Edition, and marking it all up like I do my scriptures. Just like your personal scripture study, writing impressions, highlighting key phrases, and circling scripture references are a great way to study the talks well after General Conference is over. I LOVE the ease of listening to talks while I drive or walk outside, but I am so much of a visual learner tha seeing the words, and physically highlighting them really helps them sink into my mind and heart so much more. Even if you don’t get the magazine, you can print off talks, I’ve see journals around the internet that make it easy to take notes, and even if you use your device to highlight the talks, it’s a great reference point to go back to. The NOTES options within the scripture app is phenomenal to not only highlight in various colors, but also add your own personal notes and insights that will be there when you come back to it later. Listening AND reading at the same time is also a really great way to help retain the spoken word.
- Print a design--If you’re on social media at all during General Conference, or right after, you’ve likely seen an array of artwork created from various quotes that came from the Conference. I LOVE that the creatives share this, and I’ve often found myself printing them out and hanging them on my mirror, above my desk, or any spot that will remind me of the feeling I got when I heard that talk. You can search certain quotes through the #General Conference or #GenConf hashtags, on Pinterest, or you can create something yourself! There are so many creative tools that can help you whip up a design in no time, like PicMonkey.com or Canva.com. Just pull from a few quotes that you love, and you can display them around your home like artwork.
- Look up scriptures used in favorite talks-Just like cross referencing one scripture in The Book of Mormon to the New Testament, we can do the same with the General Conference talks to the scriptures. Often times when a scripture is shared in Conference, just part of it is read, or even if it is fully shared, it’s helpful to go to that scripture and see what the context is surrounding it. This is a great way to deepen the essence of that particular talk in a more meaningful way.
- Study themes--Many times people watch General Conference with a prayer in their heart for something they need extra understanding on. Even if you don’t do that, you’ll often walk away thinking, “wow, a lot was mentioned about temples” or some other topic that leaves you pondering how you could dive deeper into that discussion. Whatever the theme you walk away with, whether an answer to your prayerful questions or discovered just from listening, search out that theme. If you have a scripture journal, write thoughts or impressions about that theme, and as you do, you will be strengthened on that topic as well.
Hopefully you can pick one or more of my suggested tips to strengthen your testimony from the most recent General Conference long after the closing prayer is uttered. You’ve got 6 months for these talks (until more are shared), with the opportunity to deepen your resolve and understanding that comes from these modern day leaders. Which will you choose?
Kristen Duke grew up in Texas and Louisiana, and now raising her family in the mountains of Colorado. As a former early morning seminary teacher, she loves teenagers, and is striving to help parents feel more hopeful in raising teens on her instagram @KristenDukeChats. With two sons on/preparing for missions and two girls at home, she’s loving mothering the BIG KIDS.