I have just finished reading all of the Conference talks from October 2014. I had attempted to do this back in November. A new friend of mine had found a challenge online to read the conference talks in 40 days and you would end on Christmas day or right before Christmas. I was really excited! I’ve tried to read the conference talks in the past and go back and glean more from the words of the prophets and other leaders of the church but I usually forgot or was distracted and it fell to the wayside. We are counseled to “ponder the truths we have heard” by President Monson in his last talk “Until We Meet Again”. So again I was really excited to join in on this challenge and do what I know I should be doing. Though I didn’t really prepare myself very well for the challenge and I didn’t finish it.
Some time passed by and I had been sick (like 6+ weeks of being sick) and I wanted a blessing. I remember distinctly thinking I want a blessing but I don’t want to be chastised because I knew I wasn’t doing all that God wanted me to be doing. As soon as I had the thought of not wanting to be chastised, I remembered that often if we heed the words we are given from God we are blessed and strengthened. So after being chastised by my Heavenly Father in my blessing for not doing my scripture studies and drawing unto Him I got my act back together. (Side note: I can truly testify of the importance of daily scripture study!!! If we make it a habit it becomes easier but if we start to let it slide, it will completely fall away and it becomes so much harder to make it a habit again!!!) I went online and looked for ideas on how to really study the conference talks. I thought about it and decided I would highlight with a purpose. I’ve always highlighted things I’ve read in my scriptures and in the Ensign articles I read but I didn’t typically highlight with a purpose. I had 4 colors of highlighters so I came up with 4 topics or areas to look for in my studying of the conference talks.
Pink = Guidance
Green = Blessings/Promises
Purple = Move me or touches my heart
Blue = References to the Savior and His Atonement
Can I just say this really helped me to focus?! Sometimes when I do my scripture studies I start out really strong but then I kind of lose interest or focus but I want to be good so I just keep reading for the sake of reading my scriptures. Now don’t get me wrong it’s still a good thing but it’s better to be reading and actually taking something away or applying it to my life each time I am studying. And let’s face it there are some talks that just don’t really speak to us or stand out to us as amazing talks but by having my areas of focus it helped me to find things that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. I really have learned a lot! I feel so blessed having studied the words of our prophets and leaders of the church. And one thing that is cool about reading them is that they really are just like scriptures. Depending upon where we are in our life at the time of reading them they will speak to us differently. We can hear a conference talk and learn one thing but then as we go back and read it we can gain more insight! Such a blessing!
I’ve debated while I’ve been studying and making notes in my scripture study journal about sharing my thoughts and feelings. They say one way to tell if you’ve truly learned a principle is to share it. So I want to share what I’ve learned and hopefully learn from others as I do this and gain even further insights into the principles taught and shared at General Conference. General Conference is only 15 days away and I am excited as I prepare myself to be taught even more. I hope you too are excited to prepare yourself for the things God wants to teach us at this time in our life.
Have you tried studying the conference talks? What has helped you to keep the things you learned from conference fresh in your mind?