New Era’s General Conference Notebook Helps Youth Recognize, Record Spiritual Impressions
Contributed By Hannah DeTavis, LDS.org Church News staff writer
- The New Era’s General Conference Notebook helps youth recognize, record, and remember spiritual impressions.
“Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it.” —Elder Richard G. Scott
Conference is the perfect opportunity to hear and apply prophetic messages to our lives, but as 18-year-old Sefra Hodge from Arvada, Colorado, says, “When you listen to 10 to 12 hours of general conference talks in a weekend, it’s hard to remember all of your spiritual impressions. That’s why there’s power in writing it down.”
In an effort to help the youth of the Church recognize, record, and remember their revelatory experiences during general conference, the April 2018 issue of the New Era includes a supplemental General Conference Notebook filled with note-taking space and prompts for personal reflection.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once explained that “those who have ‘eyes to see, and ears to hear’ can learn eternal principles … and receive direction on how to live their lives” (“Windows of Light and Truth,” Oct. 1995 general conference).
The new booklet promotes active listening by encouraging teens to pinpoint moments they feel the Spirit during a talk.
Brigham Parker, a 15-year-old in Merrimack, New Hampshire, said, “Even though promptings that come to mind might not be directly related to the speaker’s talk, it’s a personal message from the Spirit. When we stay focused by taking notes, the Lord can connect with us and speak to our hearts through the words of His prophets.”
Some pages in the booklet feature a “fill in the blank” format for youth to stay tuned in. These blanks allow teens to identify important themes and new announcements, including the sustaining of two new Apostles.
With the notebook, youth can learn to take notes in new, engaging ways. Writing prompts can inspire youth to reflect on their testimonies and record answers they receive to questions.
These writing prompts include a number of sections:
- My Testimony of Latter-day Prophets
- My Testimony of the Savior
- Themes You Noticed
- Take Note of the Book of Mormon
Each note-taking page also includes three boxes for youth to record promised blessings, their favorite quotes, and “what [they] will do now”—a call to action.
These writing prompts are geared to help youth find a note-taking technique that works best for them.
“I tend to write my favorite quotes in the center of my notebook and then I write my own spiritual impressions on the side,” Hodge explained. “I use lots of arrows and doodles, and if the speaker says something super awesome, I’ll put a heart by it, so I know to come back and think about that passage later.”
Youth can watch out for important themes—including references to the Book of Mormon—and record their thoughts in the notebook.
As youth carefully record spiritual impressions from conference, they will follow Elder Richard G. Scott’s counsel: “Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it” (“Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” Oct. 1993 general conference).
“Find a note-taking method that works for you,” Hodge suggested. “If drawing or typing on your phone or handwriting notes with colorful highlighters helps you remember messages and promptings—do it.”
Church leaders hope that the effects of the General Conference Notebook will long outlast the first weekend in April. In the spirit of Brigham Young’s declaration, “If you love the truth you can remember it” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widstoe , 10), the notebook is designed to help youth recall and apply important messages.
“Note-taking during conference can change your life,” Parker said. “It helps you remember what the prophets and apostles say so you can apply those things on a personal level.”
“When you take notes, you learn to love conference, even after it’s over,” he added.
The new booklet can help youth remain attentive as two new Apostles are called.
Parents, teachers, and leaders may want to remind youth to review their notebook after conference and share how they personalized talks to their own lives. Whether you direct family council, seminary, youth activities, or Sunday School, you can ask youth to explain thoughts from their notebook and add additional insights in the months to follow.
Because of its pilot launch, the 2018 April issues of the New Era magazine will come with only one copy of the notebook (one notebook per subscription). At this time, no additional copies can be purchased through the magazine or the Distribution Center. However, you can print additional PDFs here.
What do you think of the new General Conference Notebook? Submit your feedback by emailing your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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