Wednesday, March 21, 2012

General Conference Traditions

I grew up in Missouri, Minnesota, and Arkansas and General Conference was a little different experience back then and out there than it is now. 

Let me take you back!  I remember ONE time while living in Northern Minnesota, that my parents drove out to Utah to attend General Conference.  They farmed all of us kids out to ward members and I got to stay with the Browns.  They were rich, lived in this super fancy cool modernized log cabin and they had a satellite dish.  So... we got to watch the Sunday morning session of General Conference.  I can still see the baby blue color of all the choir dresses.

That was a treat.  Usually we would go to the church just on Sunday morning and LISTEN to conference over a radio system while we sat in hard metal chairs in our Sunday clothes.  That was in the days of President Kimball.  I really don't have any conference memories from that era and we definitely didn't have any conference traditions, besides of coarse going to the church to listen to conference.

Back then, that was a pretty neat thing to be able to go to our local meeting house and be able to HEAR to words of our prophet.  Wow!  Have times changed!

Now I live in Utah and am blessed to be able to watch conference at home.  I don't know if it is a Utah thing or just the way things have evolved...but we have all sorts of General Conference traditions and rituals now.  These are things we kind of SAVE  up to do only during conference weekend.

First of all,  we Love General Conference at our house.  Even our youngest ones really look forward to it.  And we have a food traditions and other rituals we always do. We have to.  It is pretty much set in stone with our kids.

To help our youngest ones enjoy conference we pull out bingo cards and candy. I know some of you might be against this much entertainment or bribery for conference.  We fully support it.  With the bingo cards it keeps them listening for key words.  Although they basically don't get it, they are beginning to get it as they listen.  It works for us.  We also print off General Conference Activity packets for them as well.  It is basically a LDS based Conference color book.  Here are a few for  you to download. 

Sunbeam and Nursery age Conference Packet
Junior Primary Conference Packets/w Bingo Cards
 Senior Primary Conference Packets/w Bingo Cards
All links from {this site} Conference Ideas {Here} Sr. Primary Conference Ideas {Here}
Deseret Book Conference Packet w/Bingo Cards {Here}
LDS. org Conference Activities w/ Bingo cards {Here}

I also used the conference packets for Stake Conference last week for our youngest ones. That worked great! I wondered why I had never thought of that before! 

My older kids have journals which we encourage them to write in for conference. One, it keeps their hands busy and they listen more, and  two, they actually write in their journals.  For YW General Conference I told my girls to all grab their journal before we left.  I was amazed that all of them took 5-10 pages of notes!  Even my cute little 12 year old who has been a Beehive for one month.