For those who aren't LDS, I would imagine it could be a little confusing and even a little strange to see an outpouring of quotes posted by those we follow on Twitter, Instagram and friends on Facebook from people like "President Thomas S. Monson" or "Elder Jeffrey R. Holland" or even, "Sister Wixom," followed by the hashtag #LDSconf.
So what IS General Conference?
Short answer: #LDSconf, or more lovingly known as General Conference, is a biannual (every April & October) giant church service for all of the members worldwide. Anyone can tune in and listen and everyone is encouraged to do so! You can tune in here on Saturday, April 2, 2016 and/or Sunday, April 3, 2016. Sessions begin at 10am MDT & 2pm MDT. They each last two hours and this is what happens in during a session of General Conference:
During General Conference, the leaders of the Church speak to us.
- They teach us of the Savior & His ministry.
- They invite us to be better members of the Church, our communities, and just better humans in general. And they often provide us with ways to help us do so.
- They tell us stories of faithful people around the world.
- They pray with us.
- They sing hymns of praise with us.
The Saturday Afternoon Session is a little bit different because Church Leaders are called, released, and most importantly sustained. To sustain a Church Leader in their calling, we commit in our hearts and by our actions to support them. We physically raise our hands to show that we are willing and have the desire to support them.
One of the sessions for the April 2016 General Conference has already happened-- it was the General Women's Meeting and it was full of inspiring words and spiritual enlightenment! You can watch it here.
General Conference is one (well technically two) of my favorite times of the year. I love to hear the stories and talks (or sermons) from the leaders of my Church. I always feel inspired to do something different, be better or do _____ more. I love the Spirit that I feel as I listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and invited choirs that come sing. I feel the love of my Savior as so many people from different countries and walks of life testify of Him.
If you haven't listened to General Conference, I invite you to do so! Join in this weekend! If you're feeling down, lost, heartbroken, generally happy, searching for answers, or anywhere in between-- I promise you that General Conference will have a message just. for. you. Especially if you want a message to be for you.
Here are a few tips for getting something out of General Conference:
- Pray beforehand. Pray specifically that there will be a message for you AND that you will recognize it.
- Have a paper & pencil (or pen, paintbrush, computer, phone notepad, etc.) ready. When the inspiration comes, you won't want to miss it or forget it! Writing it down can and will lead to more inspiration!
- Prepare questions that you would like answered! (You can even add these questions to your prayer from tip #1)
- Listen with an open heart & desire to be better.
- Believe that God will answer your questions and have the desire to act on the answers that He gives to you.
Happy General Conference week!
If you're interested in learning more about the LDS Church & faith, go here! To get a FREE copy of the Book of Mormon, go here. And again, if you want to watch General Conference, go here & join in on the #LDSconf hashtag fun!