Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Create a Celebration

General Conference

One weekday morning when my youngest daughter Grace was two or three I was flipping through the channels to find a pbs show for her to watch.  As I searched for Sesame Street or Barney I passed by channel 11.  The BYU Tuesday morning devotional happened to be showing on that channel.  As I flipped past that channel Grace yelled, "Mom, Stop!  Your favorite show!  Go back!"

I laughed, realizing that the only time she saw me sit still and watch TV was twice a year during Conference.  That made General Conference my favorite show in her mind.

I was grateful that even at a very young age she was learning how important General Conference was to me.

I learned to love General Conference from my mom.

I really want my own children to develop that same love for Conference, so we try to make General Conference a special occasion.  Something to look forward to.

My kids have already started asking the questions that mean Conference is right around the corner...

"Did you buy the candy?"

"Have you made the list of words?"

"Did you buy stuff for omelets?"

"Are we having clam dip?"

"Do we have new notebooks?"

There is a feeling of anticipation building and a readying taking place.

In our family General Conference weekend is a moment we look forward to as we do  every other holiday in the year.

It is a time of celebration.

A time of traditions.

A time for gathering together.

When my children were very young the only requirement for Conference was that they sat still and listened every time the Prophet spoke.  As they grew older and older we would invite them to listen to more and more of Conference.

We have quiet games, bingo cards, special journals, and Conference contests to help them to learn to listen.

One of our favorite games includes five bowls of different kinds of candy with a gospel topic written on a piece of paper taped to each bowl.

The words include topics like temple, faith, prophet, prayer, and testimony.

Every time you hear one of the words mentioned in a talk you get to quietly walk up to the right bowl and take out one piece of candy.

My kids choose the words.

Sometimes they choose funny words like zebra.  Would you believe that someone has said that word before in a Conference talk?  It's true!  My husband chose that word in the April 2006 Conference as a joke.  Imagine his surprise when H. David Burton spoke of a tan blanket with zebras.  The room exploded in cheering.  You might have thought you were at the Super Bowl for just a second.  Everyone ran for the candy bowl.

Another Conference favorite is clam dip with potato chips.

It is a simple recipe you might like to try.

You will need:

An 8 oz carton of sour cream. A package of Cream Cheese. One can of minced clams. Lemon juice and garlic powder to taste.

Put the sour cream and cream cheese in a bowl.  Drain the juice out of the clams and then put the clams into the bowl.  Mix until smooth.  Then add the lemon juice and garlic powder to taste.  (I like a lot of lemon juice and just a smidge of garlic powder.)

What traditions do you have for Conference?

If you have a second list them here.

Oh, I can hardly wait!

Deliberate Discipleship:

Here are some places you can visit from LDS.org that will give you some ideas for great Conference traditions.  I am also including activities that you can easily print if you have young children or grandchildren.  These are some of our most favorite from past years.  Just click on the words below and they will take you to the right page.

Conference Traditions

Preparing Children for General Conference

Conference Activities for Children

Conference Squares

In case you want more ideas, every blog this week is devoted to preparing for General Conference.  Monday was Plow in Hope, Tuesday was Come With a Question, Today is focused on the celebration.  Check back on Thursday and Friday for more.