When the Church was organized, the Lord commanded the members to hold conferences regularly (see D&C 20:61). Section 44 called for the fourth conference of the Church. This conference was held on June 3, 1831, and was the first held in Kirtland, Ohio. President Spencer W. Kimball said, “The purpose of [general] conference is that we may refresh our faith, strengthen our testimonies, and learn the ways of the Lord from his duly appointed and authorized servants” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 4; or Ensign, May 1975, 4).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 100–101.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 90–91.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 44:1–3. When faithful Church members gather for conference with their leaders, the Lord pours out His Spirit upon them.
Show students the picture of the Conference Center in the student study guide (see the introduction for D&C 44). Tell students that every six months in this and other buildings, Church members gather to hear the General Authorities speak. Ask:
What do you think it would be like to attend a general conference?
Why are these talks so important to us?
Invite one or two students who would like to share experiences from a conference that had an impact on their life to do so.
Write on the board Why has the Lord commanded us to hold conferences? Write also the following references: D&C 1:14; 20:61–66; 43:8; 58:56; 72:7; 73:2; 124:144. Divide the references among the students. Have them read their verses to find answers to the question, and then invite them to write their findings on the board. Read Doctrine and Covenants 44:1–3 and discuss why the Lord wanted the Church to hold a conference. Ask: How do these teachings apply to ward, stake, and general conferences today? Share the statement by President Spencer W. Kimball from the introduction to section 44 above, and testify of its truthfulness.