Print These Pages to Help Kids, Teens Get More from Conference
Contributed By Camille West, LDS.org Church News
- Several resources can help young people experience and enjoy conference.
Let’s face it, listening to hour after hour of conference talks, no matter how inspiring, can strain the patience of most wiggly children and easily distracted teens.
Fortunately, LDS.org provides many resources that can help parents prepare teens and children to experience and apply general conference messages in enjoyable and beneficial ways.
Getting to know you
It makes sense that the more we know about a leader, the more interested we are in what they say during conference.
Take some time before conference to help children become more familiar with leaders’ faces and names.
Knowing fun and interesting facts about leaders makes them more real and easier for children and teens to relate to.
For example, President Russell M. Nelson loves to ski and can speak Chinese, President M. Russell Ballard keeps an Oreo cookie that was given to him in a case on his desk, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook were missionary companions in England, and Elder Dale G. Renlund’s middle initial stands for Gunner, which means “brave soldier.”
The New Era has published one-page infographics on most of the Apostles. (See the Last Word feature at the end of every issue this year and watch for more to come in 2019.) See PDFs of the infographics for President Nelson and President Dallin H. Oaks.
You can also share short stories of faith from their lives that young people can relate to.
For example, Elder Neil L. Andersen gained a testimony of the power of prayer when he was young and his favorite rabbit escaped from his cage. He remembers praying and asking God to help him find his rabbit. The thought came to his mind to check a certain spot under some floorboards, and when he looked, his rabbit was there.
Leader charts like these can help children and youth match leader names with faces.
Before conference, be sure to obtain or print out the New Era magazine’s General Conference Notebook for teens.
One printed copy of the notebook was sent with the September 2018 New Era. No additional copies can be purchased through the magazine or the Distribution Center. However, you can print additional PDFs here.
Before conference, invite youth to think of personal questions they have and record them in their General Conference Notebook. Then during conference, they can be prepared to write down any of the spiritual impressions they receive as they listen.
The notebook includes several pages for taking notes with prompts for recording promised blessings, plans to act, and favorite quotes.
After conference, parents, teachers, and leaders may want to remind youth to review what they recorded in their notebook. During family councils, seminary, or Sunday School, encourage them to share how they are applying the messages and promptings in their lives.
A page from the New Era Conference Notebook helps teens recognize and act on inspiration they receive.
Children’s activity pages
Children often focus and learn more from watching or listening to general conference if they have quiet activities to keep them engaged.
The children’s downloadable Conference Notebook on LDS.org has been updated to include the new First Presidency and two new Apostles, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares. It also has space to draw or write notes.
Conference Squares consist of seven cards that encourage children to listen carefully, and when a speaker talks about one of the topics on the card, they cover that square with a square of paper or small object. See other general conference activities.
Print out the PDF of My General Conference Notes, a page of several activities children can do while listening to conference. For more printable pages, see these games and activities and coloring pages by topic.
Teens and technology
Keep in mind that tech-savvy teens may enjoy participating in general conference using their personal digital devices. LDS.org, Mormon Channel, and BYUtv all have viewing and listening options.
If teens happen to miss a session or two, let them know that text and audio of conference proceedings are available within days on LDS.org, the Mormon Channel, and the Gospel Library app. See available formats and channels.
Encourage teens to follow the prophets and apostles and other leaders on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. They may also want to follow Church Youth social media pages for general conference messages, share inspirational posts they find, or create their own messages to share.
Remember and apply
The New Era General Conference Notebook has this leader chart.