Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeHome & FamilyCan General Conference Work for Mixed-Faith Families?

Can General Conference Work for Mixed-Faith Families?

- Advertisment - Save on Great LDS Gifts

For a majority of Latter-day Saints, General Conference is a veritable feast. It’s a time of inspiration, community, and affirmation.

However, it’s important to recognize others may have different experiences. This is especially true as we consider that many of our loved ones are choosing to leave The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In these cases, General Conference can be difficult for mixed-faith families. For example, it can be lonely to participate in General Conference by yourself and feel like you have no one to share your faith with. Another example? Frank remarks about losing the promises of an eternal family from leaders can cause confusion and pain for children who have a parent who has left.

Is it possible for mixed-faith families to find a way to make General Conference work for them? I believe it is, if everyone involved is willing, has love for one another, and is open to compromise.

Respect for One Another

We need to have respect for one another. This respect includes respect for our opinions and experiences on both sides. If a partner or family member is determined to convert other to their way of thinking, it is unlikely peace will follow. Take time to communicate about how you feel about General Conference and earnestly listen. Strive to understand where your loved one is coming from and how you can meet their needs in a healthy way that honors both of your beliefs. 

Before General Conference, discuss what boundaries you’d like to set when it comes to tuning in and what compromises you can make so your family feels unified and peaceful. 

Watching Music & the Spoken Word

Music & the Spoken Word - BYUtv

Music and the Spoken Word is a long-running radio and television program produced by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. It features a combination of choral music performed by the choir and inspirational spoken messages. You can tune in every Sunday, but they have a special broadcast of it before the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. 

Because Music and the Spoken Word is designed to appeal to a broad audience, it can be a good program to watch as a mixed-faith family. Watching it together with a meal may be a tradition used to replace watching General Conference, allowing for family time together on a special weekend. Then, those who feel comfortable can continue to tune into Conference or do something else. 

Teaching Shared Principles

If family members have concerns about messaging in General Conference and don’t want to tune in (or don’t want children to watch), consider reviewing the talks together afterwards and finding principles that you share as a family. Watch these individual segments or stories as a part of family time or share in other ways that work for your family dynamic. 

Use the principles you have in common to unify and strengthen your family, even if specific doctrines or ideas aren’t shared. 

Engaging in Conference

If possible, compromise and discuss ways to engage in General Conference together. This could look like the ideas already mentioned or: 

  • Picking just one session to watch together
  • Turning off the sound during certain speakers
  • Watching favorite talks after Conference is over
  • Listening to Conference as you engage in another activity
  • Watching General Conference at a different time

The goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring people closer to God and united families. With some effort and communication, General Conference can still be a time of love and connection for mixed-faith families. 


Join the Discussion!
- Advertisment - LDS Scripture Study
Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

First Presidency Announces Change to Temple Recommend Questions

In a letter sent to church leaders on April 12, 2024, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day...

How Many Times Was the Word “Covenant” Said in General Conference?

For those tuning into the April 2024 General Conference, a theme quickly became clear—covenants and temples.  But how many times were these topics...

The Principle of the Poor Spot of Ground

The allegory of the olive trees, found in Jacob 5, features a vineyard, a servant, and a master. As the servant and...

Come Follow Me Recap – The Lord Labors with Us | 14 April 2024

Here’s your daily dose of what matters most! We want to support you in your Come, Follow Me study. That’s why our...
- Advertisment -Color Scriptures from LDS Bookstore