Friday, July 1, 2016

Spring General Conference Study Schedule

One of my June goals (well and I think May goals as well:) was to create and share a General Conference study schedule. Every year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints holds a General Conference session in the Fall and in the Spring. Leaders of the church share inspired messages over one weekend. It's truly one of my favorite times of year and I always look forward to hearing the words they have to share with us and then studying them throughout the year.

The Spring conference is held in April and I really wanted to start studying the messages right away, but life happened. Nevertheless, I've got a plan to study the talks each week until the next conference in October. 


A bit about how I created the schedule: Every week before conference, I usually fast/pray about certain things I am dealing with or questions I have with the specific hope of getting some answers/inspiration during conference. This has never failed me. I used to attempt pretty detailed notes during conference, but now I have a toddler, so I've found a system that works for me and helps me feel like I'm still walking away with something, but also not to wrapped up in notetaking for hours at a time. When a new speaker comes up, I write his/her name down on paper and then listen to the talk. As I listen, I try to write a sentence or two that stands out to me or that summarizes something that struck me as important or worth exploring further. It may summarize the talk or it may just be something that I personally took away from it. I write these one-two lines whenever I feel the need/desire--if I haven't felt the desire, I ususally write it at the end as a summary of the talk.

Then I rate the talk. Yes, I rate my talks. Hear me out--it's not about the delivery of the talk, who looked/said it best, or a judgement of the writing style or anything like that. It's a 5 star rating in regards to how well that talk answers questions or provides the insight I'm personally looking for. It's a way for me to prioritize my studying. In the past I used to just read each talk and pretty much devoted the same amount of time to studying each one, but realized more recently that I should spend more time studying the things that I felt I needed to understand and know better. 

When creating my schedule I just looked at my ratings and tried to give the 5 and 4 star talks more time to study than the others. (This was tricky because I have waited so long and have less time tan I would have if I had done this in April). Below I've outlined my schedule (and included the rating of the talk and any inspiration that I feel comfortable sharing that I wrote down at the time of the talk. 

July
Week 1: I Am a Child of God--Donal Hallstrom (4 stars)
Week 2: Where are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood--Gary Stevenson/Standing with the Leaders of the Church-Elder Rasband
Week 3: Fathers--Elder Christofferson (4 stars)/ See Yourself in the Temple--Elder Cook (4 stars)
Week 4: Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me--Elder Andersen/The Rescue, We Can Do It--Mervyn Arnold

August 
Week 1: The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness--Kevin Duncan (4 stars)
Week 2: The Sacred Place of Restoration--Jairo Mazzagardi/Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You--Elder Holland
Week 3: Choices-President Monson/A Pattern for Peace--Christopher Waddell/The Power of Godliness--Kent Richards
 Week 4: The Holy Ghost--Elder Hales/Always Remember Him--Gerrit Gong

September
Week 1: Be Thou Humble--Steven Snow (4 stars)
Week 2: He Will Palce You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home-Elder Uchtdorf (5 stars)
Week 3: Do I Believe--Bonnie Oscason (5 stars)
Week 4: Opposition in All Things--Elder Oaks (5 stars)

October
Week 1:That I Might Draw All Men Unto Me--Elder Renlund (4 stars)
Week 2: Where Two or Three are Gathered-Elder Eyring/A Child's Guiding Gift--Mary Durham
Week 3: Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins-Elder Bednar
Week 4: And there Shall be No More Death--Paul Johnson (4 stars)/Refuge from the Storm--Patrick Kearon (3.5 stars)

**Due to time I did not get around to adding the talks from Priesthood and Women's Conference--I will do that next time, though.

How do you study conference talks or other spiritual/inspirational messages?

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