Conference Reverence Tent

Hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand (Mosiah 2:9).

“We left off last night at the beginning of Mosiah, remember?” Dad said.

During family scripture study, everyone usually had a turn to read. Nine-year-old Elise read from the Book of Mormon very well. Braydon was six and needed just a little help. Josh sat on Dad’s lap, and Dad whispered a few words for Josh to repeat.

It was Mom’s turn first tonight. After Mom read, Elise began reading with Mosiah 2:6:

“‘And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which King Benjamin should speak unto them.’”

Elise stopped reading. She didn’t turn the page even though everyone else did. Dad looked at her as if to say, “Go on, honey.” A big smile came over Elise’s face.

“Dad, was King Benjamin kind of like a prophet?” she asked.

“Yes. We read the other night that he was a holy man who reigned over his people in righteousness.”

“Mom and Dad, do you think since tomorrow is general conference, we could pretend to be King Benjamin’s people and make a tent to listen to the prophets on TV?” Before her parents could answer, Elise was excitedly dancing around the room.

“Yeah!” Braydon said, brightening.

Josh crawled off Dad’s lap to skip with Elise.

Mom and Dad looked at each other. “Do you mean a tent made of tables and blankets and chairs?” Mom asked.

“Yes, a really big tent,” Elise said. “But there has to be a door to watch conference on TV.”

“Hmm,” Mom said. “We need to be listening to conference, not playing and making noise.”

Elise sat down.

“We could pretend it was hard to hear and we’d have to be really quiet to listen,” Braydon said.

“Just like the people trying to hear King Benjamin from the tower,” Elise added. “We promise we’ll be quiet and listen.”

“We could even call it a ‘reverence tent,’” Braydon said.

“Our conference reverence tent!” Elise beamed.

“That’s starting to sound like a fun idea,” Dad said.

“Hurray!” Josh cheered.

“Let’s get some things ready tonight,” Mom said.

After scripture study, Dad, Elise, Braydon, and Josh got busy setting up the “reverence tent.” They started with the long table that was used for big family dinners. They added the card table, some chairs, and lots of blankets, and connected it all to the couch. There was plenty of room inside for snacks and supplies for taking notes.

Most importantly, there was a big wide-open door facing the TV so the children could hear and watch general conference.

Elise, Braydon, and Josh helped color a sign that read “Reverence Tent.” “It’s to remind us to be quiet and listen, Dad,” Braydon said as they pinned it onto the blankets.

“Let’s bring in our scriptures,” Elise suggested.

“Great idea,” Braydon said.

They crawled in to look around. “Mom,” Braydon called, “come and see!”

“Wow!” Mom said as she came into the room. Mom had been busy gathering last year’s conference Ensigns, notebooks, scissors, glue sticks, pens, and crayons. She took out the General Authority charts from the old Ensigns and said that during conference Elise and Braydon could cut out and glue onto their notes the picture of the person who was speaking.

“I’ll help Braydon take notes,” Elise volunteered.

“And I’ll help Josh color a picture of the prophet,” Braydon said, smiling at Josh.

“I’m really excited about the talks,” Elise said.

“And the music,” Braydon added.

“General conference will bring a wonderful spirit into our home,” Mom said.

“This is going to be a great conference,” Dad agreed. “I know the Spirit will speak to each of us as we listen.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson

“Learn to listen, and listen to learn from Church leaders. … Words of the Lord are taught by His disciples. Wise members listen to learn from Church leaders.” 3

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  •   3.

    “Listen to Learn,” Ensign, May 1991, 23–24.

  • Illustrations by Elise Black

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