General Conference has always been near and dear to my heart. I love hearing from the leaders of our church speak on the things they have been inspired to share.
For those of you who may not be familiar with what I am referring to, twice a year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds a General Conference. These meetings are held the first weekends of April and October on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday there are three different sessions 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm and the Priesthood session at 6pm. Sunday there are two additional sessions at 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm. There is also a general women's session that is held the Saturday before the main sessions. We get to hear from the Presidency, General Authorities and other current leaders of the church. The thing I have always been most impressed with is that the speakers are not assigned topics or given a theme for the conference. While basic teachings are always covered themes do emerge each time. Another interesting thing is that these themes can be different depending on the person listening and what they need at that time.
I believe in personal revelation and have experienced it first hand many times in my life. When we are prepared spiritually I think that we are more open to receive those promptings. For me, conference has been a way to evaluate where I am at and also to develop an "action plan" of sorts for the next six months.
Everyone has a different approach to General Conference participation. I have always been a note taker but I have changed the way I take notes over the years. I used to do more of a lecture note style which consisted of writing fast and furious to try and catch everything each speaker was saying. Thanks to modern technology I don't have to wait for a month for the Conference issue of the Ensign (one of the official magazines the church prints) to come out. Now I can watch and read all of the talks within days and in some cases hours after they were given. Since they are now so readily available, I have turned to more of a thoughts and impressions approach. Sometimes I will write direct quotes and scripture references but mainly I write things I feel and things that come to mind as each speaker is talking.
There is definitely no right or wrong way to do this, you don't even need to take notes if that isn't your thing. What I would like to do is encourage everyone to participate in conference this coming weekend. You can find it streaming live on www.lds.org at the times listed above. It's a time to spiritually recharge and hopefully feel the peace and love that our Heavenly Father offers each and every one of us.