General Conference is often seen as a time of cup-filling—if you’re spiritually thirsty, you go to Conference and drink deeply from Living Water. However, it hasn’t always been that simple for me. It’s taken a lot of hard work and spiritual wrestling to discover how I can engage with Conference in a way that leads to personal revelation.
If you’re trying to deepen your communion with Christ during Conference, here are some of the things I’ve learned that might help.
1. Review the previous Conference and the things I acted on.
I’m a big believer in the principle of line upon line and milk before meat. The Lord is more likely to give us more if we’ve truly embraced what’s come before. I strive to review the most recent Conference before another one arrives. I do this by browsing the talks, studying the ones that resonate with me, and seeing how I acted on any promptings I felt.
This part of my Conference prep has to be done sensitively. If I’m not careful, I’ll beat myself up for not doing better or acting with more intention. I do my best to start early so I can give some time to the Lord to catch up. Is there anything I can do in the weeks leading up to the Conference to embrace what I’ve previously felt?
Try to find a way to review the messages that works best for you! Don’t ever feel like it’s too late or you’ve missed your chance. The Lord loves any effort you can give!
2. Come prepared with inspired questions.
Coming to Conference with questions is a simple and easy way to prepare your mind and spirit for revelation. However, I suggest spending some time pondering at least a week beforehand. If I just think of questions the day of, they’re not normally as inspired.
I try to wrestle with the Lord about what questions are most important and I try to study these topics beforehand. I want to give evidence to the Lord that I’m doing my best to learn and receive. Make a list of questions, study it over, and review it daily. Use it as a basis for your Conference review or your scripture study.
In discussing preparing questions with a friend, I learned something new! We also need to ask that we can be receptive to the message the Lord has prepared for us, not just the message we want to hear. I’ve gone to Conference so desperate for a specific answer that I wasn’t open to anything else.
Come with a humble and open heart and let the Lord surprise you! What He has to say may be completely different from what you’re expecting.
3. Engage with Conference in a meaningful way.
We can have pretty strict ideas in our mind about how we should watch General Conference. There’s a lot of pressure to watch all of the sessions live. That works for a lot of people, but everyone is different! It’s important to find a way that works for you.
Maybe studying the written talks afterwards where you take your time and cross-reference with other things is just what you need. Sitting inside a house and watching might not work, but listening as you hike or go on a drive could be perfect.
For me, I’ve found watching alone really helps me. I can be emotional if I want and I’m not distracted by others. I know I need to be well-rested and well-fed so I’m less anxious. I also try to speak kindly to myself if a certain talk isn’t catching my attention at the moment.
Prayerfully consider what will work best for you as you engage with General Conference in meaningful ways.
4. Look for invitations to act.
There’s a lot to consume at General Conference. There are hours and hours of messages! It can be overwhelming. Something that has helped me focus my vision has been listening for specific invitations to act in the messages. If someone says “I urge” or “I plead,” my ears perk up.
As I focus on the invitations given by our leaders, I have clarity in what I can do right away. Then, the Lord can help lead me to more interesting or personal invitations given by the Spirit as I show Him my effort. Here are a few examples of invitations I’ve found in past Conferences!
I invite each of us to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost to know what adjustments we need to make in our lives to be more carefully aligned with our covenants. I also plead with you not to be critical of others making this same journey. – Becky Craven, Careful versus Casual
I invite you to have the confidence to claim personal revelation for yourself, understanding what God has revealed, consistent with the scriptures and the commandments He has given through His appointed prophets and within your own purview and agency. – Dale G. Renlund, A Framework for Personal Revelation
Contention is a choice. Peacemaking is a choice. You have your agency to choose contention or reconciliation. I urge you to choose to be a peacemaker, now and always. – Russell M. Nelson, Peacemakers Needed
5. Always make time for the Lord.
If you’re like me, revelation is generally a process. I get little hints of light here and there that lead to grander feelings and promptings. I feel during Conference, but it’s not often a lightening strike. Some of my most profound communications with God have come after a serious wrestle and General Conference is just a part of that.
In many ways, it’s easy for me to make time for Conference, but it’s a lot harder to give the Lord a portion of my daily life. I get distracted. I get busy. I need to remember to always make time for the Lord. I strive to give him an intentional moment each and every day. Sometimes this is just a really heartfelt prayer that takes a few minutes. Sometimes it’s a really good gospel study that takes an hour or more. Sometimes it’s service. Sometimes it’s preparing well for the Sacrament.
Don’t beat yourself up if General Conference doesn’t act as a floodgate of revelation. Remember that it is in the quiet moments of our everyday lives that God can really connect with us. Strive to give God the time He deserves.
What other ideas do you have for receiving revelation at General Conference?