Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord—I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.
1. To Nephi, seer of olden time,
A vision came from God,
Wherein the holy word sublime
Was shown an iron rod.
Hold to the rod, the iron rod;
‘Tis strong, and bright, and true.
The iron rod is the word of God;
‘Twill safely guide us through.
2. While on our journey here below,
Beneath temptation’s pow’r,
Through mists of darkness we must go,
In peril ev’ry hour.
3. And when temptation’s pow’r is nigh,
Our pathway clouded o’er,
Upon the rod we can rely,
And heaven’s aid implore.
4. And, hand o’er hand, the rod along,
Through each succeeding day,
With earnest prayer and hopeful song,
We’ll still pursue our way.
5. Afar we see the golden rest
To which the rod will guide,
Where, with the angels bright and blest,
Forever we’ll abide.
*Suitable for All Ages*
Read aloud: Since the very beginning of the world, Heavenly Father has called prophets to help us learn and grow. A prophet is a man that Heavenly Father picks to be His mouthpiece here on Earth. Prophets teach us about Jesus Christ, give us direction, and warn of us trouble. Just as in ancient times, when we had prophets such as Adam, Noah, and Nephi, we have prophets today. And they still speak the words of God!
Ask: Do you know who the prophet is today?
Show this picture of the First Presidency, and then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Point out who each member of the First Presidency and describe the roles of the counselors. Then discuss how the Twelve are called to be Special Witnesses of Christ.
Read aloud: Every six months, we are very blessed to hear from the general leaders of the Church. These words are scripture to us, and the Lord has promised if we will follow the prophets we will be blessed. However, it can be very hard to remember what the prophets said.
Ask: Does anyone remember anything from last general conference?
Read aloud: One of the best ways we can prepare for General Conference is to review what was said in the last General Conference. This shows Heavenly Father that we cherished His words and are ready for more. So today, we want to go through some things the prophets and apostles said.
Below is a short synopsis for each conference talk from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve (October 2014). Depending on time and attention span you can share the First Presidency plus some of your favorites or all of them. Point to the speaker on the pictures or hold up a picture of the speaker as you share the synopsis.
President Thomas S. Monson: Do you know President Monson gives four talks each conference. He gives an opening and closing statement, then a main talk to everyone and a talk for the Priesthood session! During his main talk to everyone in the Church, President Monson talked about following Jesus Christ on the path home back to Heavenly Father. He showed us how Jesus Christ is an example to everyone in many different ways, and how we can do our best to be like Him.
President Henry B. Eyring: President Eyring discussed the importance of revelation. Revelation is receiving answers and guidance from Heavenly Father. Sometimes, logic and reason are not enough to get us through life. We need to always be talking with and receiving answers from God.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: President Uchtdorf talked about the power of having a testimony. He compared our testimonies to light and discussed how we help our testimonies grow brighter and brighter. He also shared the many blessings that come with cultivating a testimony.
President Boyd K. Packer: The focus of President Packer’s talk was about hope in Jesus Christ. He discussed Christ’s Atonement and how we can have hope if we are willing to follow Him. President Packer also talked about how each member of the Church is important.
Elder L. Tom Perry: Elder Perry talked about peace and how Jesus Christ is the source of peace in a troubled world. He tied this principle into the idea of building eternal families. He gave counsel on how we each member of the family, including fathers, mothers, and children, can build up the family unit.
Elder Russell M. Nelson: Elder Nelson talked about the importance of prophets and how we can sustain prophets. He taught us what it means to sustain a prophet and shared personal experiences. Elder Nelson also shared the blessings that come from sustaining the prophets and why the Lord has called prophets.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks: Elder Oaks discussed how we have charity and love for those who are different from us, whether they think, look, or believe differently than we do as members of the Church. He warned against contention, supported religious freedom, and gave examples how we can live in harmony.
Elder M. Russell Ballard: Elder Ballard shared a story about a time they went white-water rafting and were told the number one rule to stay safe was to stay in the boat. He related this story to how when life gets rocky we need to “stay in the boat of the gospel.” Elder Ballard discussed some challenges we face and how we can hold on.
Elder Richard G. Scott: Elder Scott encouraged everyone to make building our faith our first priority. He shared how he knows negative challenges can throw us off the path, but always working on our faith can bless us and make us stronger. He focused on prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance.
Elder Robert D. Hales: Elder Hales taught about the true natures of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He emphasized that God and Jesus Christ are two separate distinct individuals. He talked about the joy that comes when we learn about God and Christ and how we can strengthen our relationships with them.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Elder Holland gave a moving talk about poverty and how we are to give back to those in need. He discussed the great need our world has for compassion and shared ways we can serve others and change our hearts to be more soft.
Elder David A. Bednar: Elder Bednar shared a wonderful story about his sons and how the older son applied all of the ointment to the younger son’s small scratches as he dutifully tried to clean it. Once he was done, the younger son went around putting bandages on everyone else. He related this story to missionary work and expressed to non-members that we are excited to share the healing and love we have from Christ.
Elder Quentin L. Cook: Elder Cook gave counsel about decision and choices. He shared multiple examples and discussed some of the challenges we face in make decisions today. Elder Cook especially focused on distractions and things that can pull us away from choosing the right.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson: Elder Christofferson talked about the power of agency and it’s role in the Plan of Salvation. A large part of his talk discussed justice and mercy and how we can understand it in relation to our choices. With the righteous use of our agency, we can rise to our full temporal and spiritual potential.
Elder Neil L. Andersen: Elder Andersen bore a powerful witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith in his talk and focused on how we can know that Joseph was a true prophet of God. He shared many personal stories from Joseph’s life and from scripture.
Ask: Did you notice any common themes in these talks? Why do you think it is important to remember what the prophets have said?
Finish by bearing your testimony and discussing ways you can review the previous conference in the upcoming weeks so you are spiritually prepared for the next conference.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Read John 14:23: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Ask: What does it mean to keep Christ’s words? How does this scripture apply to General Conference?
Read aloud: The Lord has promised great blessings to those who keep His words. Today, we have the opportunity to receive counsel from heaven every six months during General Conference. However, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often forget the words of the prophets soon after General Conference ends.
Ask: What are some things that hold us back from remembering the words spoken at General Conference?
Read aloud: In light of all of these things that hold us back, we show the Lord we cherish His words by not only remembering them, but by applying them as best we can. When we do so, we not only improve our lives, but show the Lord we are ready to receive more of His words. As the next General Conference draws closer, we have the great opportunity to prepare our hearts and minds for what will be said. In this time, one of the greatest things we can do is study the words from last General Conference and make a great commitment to follow the prophets.
Ask: What are some ways we can make the words of General Conference an integral part of our lives, no matter the time of year?
Use the short descriptions of each talk above and ask your family to listen for one that sparks their interest. You can then complete the General Conference Discussion activity below or encourage everyone to study the talks on their own time. Finish with your testimony.
General Conference Journals (Printable)
Temple Cookies or No-Bake Energy Bites
-3/4 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
1. Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly. In a separate bowl, measure flower, baking powder, and salt together; blend in. Chill at least one hour.
2. Heat over to 400 degrees. Roll dough 1/8″ thick on lightly floured board. Use a temple cookie cutter, like the one above, or a printed template, to cut out your cookies. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until cookies are a delicate golden color.
-Ground Flax Seed
-Chia Seeds (Optional)
Mix everything together until you have a moldeable consistency. Put the mixture in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes and then mold into small balls.
(Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven)
General Conference Discussion or General Conference Who’s Who
General Conference Discussion
First, review the talks of last General Conference found at the top of this lesson (for future conferences, you can read the headings of each talk found online as a good snippet.) Encourage family members to listen for one that sounds interesting or touches them. Then, have each family member go and read the talk by themselves for fifteen minutes. (For younger family members, you can read specific stories or do work from the General Conference activity section found in each month’s Ensign.)
When the time is up, come back together and discuss what you learned. Then, give everyone a sheet of paper and ask them to write at least one question down they have for the upcoming General Conference. Encourage them to keep the paper in sight and add questions as they think of them.
Help your family get to know the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve by completing this fun worksheet. Containing facts and life tidbits, your family will feel better acquainted with the brethren when General Conference comes around. You can find the free download and all of the correct answers at the link below.
(Courtesy of Let’s Get Together)