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5 Ways to Help Conference Newbies

Marian Spencer

Who are you going to invite to conference?

Maybe someone from school comes to mind. You may have friends who come from an inactive family. Regardless of who you choose to reach out to, there are some things you’ll want to remember as you prepare to share conference with your nonmember friends.

Women at the conference center

1. Give Them a Basic Overview

Explaining general conference from square one doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with a basic definition:

Twice a year, members of the Church get to hear the words of modern-day prophets and apostles. In order to make the most of conference, members often come with questions, take notes, and get to know the speakers beforehand.

Next, you can tell them when and where they can view it, even if they choose to do so later on. Here are the list of dates, times, and places to watch conference this October (2016):

General women’s session: Saturday, September 24, 6:00 p.m. mountain daylight time (MDT).

General priesthood session: Saturday, October 1, 6:00 p.m. MDT.

General sessions: Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. MDT.

The Live Viewing Times and Options page on LDS.org will give you a list of options for watching, listening to, or attending general conference.

Young man reading

2. Know Your “Mormon Lingo”

You may think you know what a “quorum” is, but have you ever actually had to explain it to anyone? Brushing up on your LDS terminology beforehand will help you better explain foreign concepts to your befuddled invitee, who may wonder why everyone keeps talking about “steaks.”

Some basic “study” suggestions:

  • General Authorities
  • First Presidency
  • Ward
  • Stake
  • Covenants and ordinances
  • Priesthood and priesthood offices
  • Nephites and Lamanites
  • The Seventy

Remember: by better understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ, you’re not only improving your friends’ conference experience, but your own as well! (If your friends have questions, check out “5 Keys to Answering Tough Questions.”)

3. Explain the Role of Modern-Day Prophets

President Monson with two young boys

Why keep the blessing of modern-day prophets to ourselves? Conference is a great opportunity to share this blessing with your friends, and there are plenty of resources to help you share. This fun, simple video, for example, explains why God has called modern-day prophets and apostles.

Getting to know the General Authorities beforehand will also make conference all the more enjoyable. (Check out these other tips for “Talking about Prophets.”)

Statue of Joseph Smith

4. Talk about the Restoration and Revelation

Modern revelation is the reason we have general conference. Think about it: the General Authorities spend weeks and months praying to know exactly what God wants us to hear.

A great way to explain modern revelation to a nonmember friend is to first explain the Restoration.

You might start by saying something like this: “We believe that through the Prophet Joseph Smith, Heavenly Father and His Son restored the fulness of the gospel. We now have all of the teachings and ordinances necessary for salvation.”

From there you can explain, “Although everyone can receive personal revelation, we believe that God speaks through His prophet today.”

Two young men talking

5. Share Your Testimony

More than background information or an impressive knowledge of LDS vocabulary, your testimony is the most powerful thing you can share with your nonmember friends.

Think of your favorite general conference experiences. They don’t have to be dramatic. You don’t, for example, need to have shaken an Apostle’s hand. Instead, think of the moments when you’ve simply felt the Spirit or better understood a challenge you’ve been facing. Think of a time when you truly desired to be more Christlike and how that desire changed your behavior. By sharing your testimony of general conference with your friends and family, you are developing and strengthening it.

You might also want to listen for things during conference to share afterward. Keep a notebook handy to write down any impressions that come to you! You can share your favorite quotes on social media. (Check out “Nine Ways to Use Technology to Share Your Beliefs.”)

What has helped you share the joy of general conference with your nonmember friends?

Share your experience

What has helped you share the joy of general conference with your nonmember friends? Share your experience below.

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