Why You NEED to Participate in a General Conference Challenge
I don't know about you, but I love General Conference! If you've never done a General Conference Challenge leading up to the next Conference to prepare, you really should. There is so much to be gained from really doing an in-depth study of General Conference!
What is a General Conference Challenge?
Basically, it's just taking the time to study all the talks from the previous Conference to remind yourself what was taught, find any important messages that are meant just for you, and get yourself into the "listening and learning" mode for the next Conference.
This is how it always goes...
Every six months when Conference rolls around, I vow that THIS WILL BE THE TIME... I will listen, I will take notes, I will not get distracted, I will not fall asleep!
Can you relate to that sentiment?
You love General Conference, and by the time it's over you feel so inspired, motivated, and ready to take on the world and do better! But to be honest, even if you do (or don't do) those things, it's a lot of information to take in over two days, and even though you love it so much, it's like information in a colander, and the longer time goes on, the more has slipped away.
And life happens.
You lose track of what was said.
Your motivation starts to dwindle.
Pretty soon the only thing you really remember are the quote snippets you see on Facebook.
You go back to your old habits and old ways and wait for six months to pass so you can be revved up again.
If this describes you, there is help!
No matter how much I intend to better when it comes time to watch or listen to General Conference, there are always going to be obstacles to getting out of it what I really need.
Several years ago I was invited by a group of friends to do a General Conference Challenge, and I accepted the offer. It was an amazing thing, and I've been doing it every since. My friends have kind of fallen by the wayside in terms of participating, so I've been going it alone, and it's still been good, but it's better with others.
There is a special camaraderie when you work with others that are all trying to better themselves alongside you. And it can also be motivating and inspiring to know you're not alone in your efforts.
How the Challenge works
It's really as simple as committing to study!
STEP ONE: PICK A TIME FRAME TO FINISH AND SET UP A SCHEDULE
I am choosing to do my study over the course of 60 days. That gives me roughly two days per talk, enough time to really study it, take notes, and get what I can from it. Each talk will likely not take me two whole days to get through it, but I am planning ahead for interruptions and days when I just can't get it done.
STEP TWO: THINK ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OR THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE
It's important to know what answers you're looking for before you begin. You'll likely not find an answer if you don't know the question. Heavenly Father knows what you need, but you still have to ask, and you can't ask if you haven't taken the time to really think about it.
STEP THREE: PRAY FOR INSPIRATION AND REVELATION AS YOU STUDY
This is an important step! The messages in each talk will mean something different to everyone, and what the Lord needs to tell me right now is different than what He needs to tell you. Pray to recognize the message, and be sure to listen and prepare for the answer.
Don't limit your questions to the things that you want, but be sure to ask Him to tell you what He wants you to know. The answers may surprise you!
STEP FOUR: GATHER THE RIGHT MATERIALS
The most important thing you need, obviously, is a copy of the talks. But if you really want to get the most of the General Conference Challenge, you'll need to do more than just read.
I've talked in previous posts about scripture journaling, and how important I think it is to be keeping records of what you're learning, revelation you receive, and your testimony. (If you haven't had the chance yet, you can read my post here: A Scripture Journal: What it is and why you should be keeping one) I like to keep a completely separate book that goes with my Conference Report that has nothing but the notes from that particular Conference.
STEP FIVE: GET STARTED!
Once you're ready to go, it's just a matter of starting. Your plans should have included a time of day to study, and just stick to the schedule.
I hope you'll decide to join us and participate in the challenge! You won't regret it.
Ready to join the General Conference Challenge?
Studying is always easier with other people, and if you would love to join the challenge, we'd love to have you! You'll get some handy tips to get started, as well as some inspiration and motivation along the way.