As you make the April 2005 general conference a part of your own and your family’s life, you might consider using the following ideas for family home evening and personal study. Or you may wish to create your own questions, activities, and discussion ideas. (Page numbers refer to the beginning of the talks in the May 2005 Ensign.)
This year we celebrate the 175th anniversary of a very important event and the 200th anniversary of a prophet’s birth. What was the event and who was the prophet? (Clue: See “Our Most Distinguishing Feature,” p. 43.)
Who is the new general president of the Primary? (Clue: See p. 23.)
President Thomas S. Monson told us to stock our minds “with the things which will provide safety to our souls and enable us to return to our Father in Heaven.” What were some of the things he suggested? (Clue: Search “Constant Truths for Changing Times,” p. 19.)
In how many languages is the Book of Mormon available? (Clue: See “Opening Remarks,” p. 4.)
We are told to “stand in holy places.” Where are they? How are they made holy? (Clue: Search “Standing in Holy Places,” p. 62.)
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “A growing church, a church that is spreading across the earth in these complex times, needs constant revelation from the throne of heaven to guide it and move it forward. “With prayer and anxious seeking of the will of the Lord, we testify that direction is received, that revelation comes, and that the Lord blesses His Church as it moves on its path of destiny.” Think about who receives revelation to guide the Church, your ward or branch, and your family. You can also be guided in your own life through personal revelation.
President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “When you feel weak, discouraged, depressed, or afraid, open the Book of Mormon and read. Do not let too much time pass before reading a verse, a thought, or a chapter.” Set aside regular times when you can study the Book of Mormon as a family and by yourself.
Coleen K. Menlove, Primary General President: “Never settle for less than the privileges and blessings God offers you. The standards you keep in your dress, your language, and your behavior are outward signs of your inward commitment to follow Heavenly Father’s plan for you.” Review your habits. Is your dress modest? Is your language clean? Do you choose the right? Are you kind and honest? Make the changes you need to make.
President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency: “May we ever follow the Prince of Peace, who literally showed the way for us to follow. … His example points the way. When faced with temptation, He shunned it. When offered the world, He declined it. When asked for His life, He gave it.” For one day, try to do what the Savior would want you to do. For two days. For a week. Always. Report to your Heavenly Father in prayer each day.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Kind words not only lift our spirits in the moment they are given, but they can linger with us over the years. One day, when I was in college, a man seven years my senior congratulated me on my performance in a football game. He not only praised how well I had done in the game, but he had noticed that I had showed good sportsmanship. … I still remember the kind words spoken to me that day by Gordon B. Hinckley, who would later become President of the Church.” Today speak some kind words to someone you wouldn’t normally speak to. In your home, honor your parents with kind words.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “In my growing-up years in Germany, I attended church in many different locations and circumstances—in humble back rooms, in impressive villas, and in very functional modern chapels. All of these buildings had one important factor in common: the Spirit of God was present; the love of the Savior could be felt as we assembled as a branch or ward family.” What can you do to invite the Spirit of God into your chapel? As a family, list the things you will do next Sunday to contribute to a loving, reverent feeling at church.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Seventy: “The choice between good and evil is at the very heart of our experience on earth. In the final review of our lives, it will not really matter if we were rich or poor, if we were athletic or not, if we had friends or were often forgotten. “We can work, study, laugh and have fun, dance, sing, and enjoy many different experiences. These are a wonderful part of life, but they are not central to why we are here. The opportunity to choose good over evil is precisely why we are here.” Think about your life and how you can choose the right in each setting—while at home, school, or spending time with friends.
President James. E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “If we really want our homes to be places of holiness, we will try harder to do those things that are conducive to the Spirit of the Lord.” Discuss what actions invite the Spirit into our homes. What actions do not? Help make your home a holy place.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “There is an incredible amount of work that needs to be done. … Doors previously locked are opening to us. We need more hardworking, testimony-enriched missionaries in order to reach more of Heavenly Father’s children.” An important way to prepare to serve a mission is to live the counsel given by Church leaders. As you study general conference, make a list of things you will do to prepare.
Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency: “God knows the needs of His children, and He often works through us, prompting us to help one another.” Look around your neighborhood. Is there someone who could use your help? A kind word? An apple from your tree or a treat from your oven? Look outward.
Elder Adhemar Damiani of the Seventy: “The Lord loves each one of us. He wants us to be happy. This happiness comes by our faith in Jesus Christ, by our sincere and true repentance, by our obedience to His commandments, and by our endurance to the end.”