As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we have the opportunity to listen to our Prophet and the Apostles speak to us twice a year at General Conference. Typically, LDS General Conference is held in April and October.
Semi-annual General Conference is made up of six sessions of meetings. The first meeting is broadcast for women. It is held the Saturday before the main General Conference and is called the General Women’s Session. There are four General Meetings that are intended for the entire church membership (and the rest of the world!) and also one General Priesthood Session that is tailored for the men.
Wow! That is a lot of meetings. What could they possibly have to talk about for so many hours? Well, that is an excellent question. The men and women leaders of the Church talk about what Heavenly Father wants us, His children, to hear. We have the remarkable opportunity to receive direct inspiration from God as we listen to the Prophet, Apostles, and other leaders speak. They receive revelation for the Church, it’s members, and the world.
What a remarkable blessing it is to know that God communicates with His people. He has not forgotten us. He will continue to guide and direct us as we listen to his Prophet’s voice.
As you prepare to watch and listen to General Conference, take some time for Family Night this week to talk to your family about the purpose of General Conference.
Ask your children the following questions:
Who is the current prophet for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
- It is Thomas Monson.
What do you know about our Prophet?
- He served in the Navy.
- He worked at a newspaper office.
- He is an Eagle Scout and a big supporter of the scouting program.
- He was ordained a prophet when he was only 34 years old.
- He enjoys reciting poems and telling stories.
Why do we need a modern day prophet?
We live in a day of tremendous opportunities, trials, and temptations. Though great help can be found in the words of past prophets, we are in need of the Lord’s continuing guidance fit to the circumstances in which we live.
Our lives are vastly different than the people’s lives during the time of Adam and Eve or Moses. They did not have technology, mass media, street drugs, or the entertainment industry! Noah did not have to worry about happening upon pornography while checking Instagram. The people in the Bible had their own set of trials and experiences that are different than our day. That is why we need modern prophets to help and guide us through our own particular time in history.
God has given us prophet’s and apostles so that we can know of His will, so they can lead the Church, and to help us (as Church members) increase our faith in Jesus Christ.
God has always loved His children. He wants us to succeed and be happy. That is why, from the beginning of time, He has placed Prophets on the Earth. It has been that way since the beginning of time. We are so lucky to have this blessing in our lives!
Can you think of a time in the scriptures when a Prophet has helped his people?
- Moses led the Jews from slavery.
- Noah tried to warn the people about the flood and he saved all of the animals from extinction.
- Captain Moroni saved his people from the Laminates during battle.
- The Brother of Jared helped build special airtight ships to keep the people safe on the ocean.
- Brigham Young lead the pioneers safely across the plains to Salt Lake City.
- Jesus healed the sick and afflicted.
There are so many times when a prophet warned the people of his time to repent or be destroyed. Throughout the scriptures, you can read stories about how much the prophets cared for the people. How they mourn for them. How they love them and try to rescue them from sin and sorrow.
What do the Modern Day Prophets tell us?
We are so lucky to have a prophet to watch out for us. He warns us about danger, just like the prophets of old. It may not come out as a loud message or earth shattering revelation, but the gentle commands and encouragement that we hear at General Conference are, in fact, revelation from God for our time. So, it is important to listen.
At the last conference session, Thomas Monson announced new temples to be built. He expressed gratitude for the blessings of the temples. He asked us to remember who we are and what God expects us to do. He told us that we are daughters and sons of God. He asked us to stand in holy places. He told us to be worthy to enter the temple. To choose faith over doubt. To have courage to choose Christ in all of the decisions we make each day–small and large.
Prophets are an important part of the Church! Let us listen to our Prophet’s voice and do what he commands.
Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice Game
Print the template with the faces of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. (You can download it at the end of this article.) Hang it on the wall or place it on a table top. You will need some sort of marker like little smile stickers or something similar. Tell your family that you are going to listen to the prophet’s voices and try to figure out who is talking.
Use the internet to play sound bites from previous conference sessions. I have the LDS Tools App or the Mormon Channel App that work great for playing conference talks. You could also go to lds.org and click the General Conference link in the “Quick Links” section.
Take turn playing a sound bite from each of the Apostles. Let your family try and figure out who is speaking. Let them place the sticker on the picture of the person the group has decided is talking.
If they don’t get it right, you can give clues and let them try again! Keep the stickers on the pictures to help whittle down the options as the game continues. Continue going through he prophets/apostles, one at a time, until each of the pictures has a smile on it and you have heard from each of the current apostles and prophet.
It is interesting to see if you can recognize who is speaking just by hearing their voice. Some are easier than others!
This activity should help you and your family learn the names of the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency. You will become more familiar with their faces and their voices. It will make listening to conference more exciting when you can recognize who is speaking.
I encourage you to take the time to watch or listen to General Conference. I hope that this lesson will help your family get excited about hearing what the Church leaders say and will help them to become familiar with their faces and voices. You will be surprised at how even young children can learn and feel the spirit when they hear the leaders of the Church speak. It brings the Spirit into your home and hearts.
Find more General Conference posts on the blog: