I am always overcome with a feeling of sadness when General Conference is over. It’s such a special family time and a time of increased spiritual nourishment. My heart is always so full, that I have a hard time letting it go and moving on to regular life again. Do you ever feel this way?
I remember back in 2013 when President Monson gave his closing remarks and said, “Conference is now over.” My sister heard these words and thought he’d said, “Conference is not over.” She was so happy until she realized what he’d really said. Since that day, I’ve often reflected on the statement, “Conference is not over.” And it’s true–Conference is never really over as we take the inspiring words that touched us and implement them into our days. It’s never really over as we re-read the talks and ponder on them again and again. It’s never really over if we have the Spirit of Conference, much like the Spirit of Christmas, before our eyes continually.
But even with knowing all of this, my days get busy, life moves on, and the strong Spirit which accompanies Conference is sometimes overlaid with other priorities. So Sunday evening I took the matter to the Lord and asked Him–“How can I make General Conference last for me? How can I soak up the words continually and really truly change and become better in the coming six months?”
He answered in the most brilliant way–bringing to my mind these words:
“General Conference is a treasure map.”
So the next morning, I devised a plan of how I will personally study the Conference messages and then a simplified family plan to do with my children so they can catch the vision as well. I made my family each a treasure map out of brown Kraft paper and I spent the day creating a Family Home Evening lesson around this theme.
That night, we gathered around our half-finished living room and learned how we could each create a treasure map and obtain the “treasure” of peace, joy, and becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ as we follow the teachings of Conference.
We watched a segment on the most amazing YouTube channel I was miraculously led to called “Learning from General Conference.” We read quotes and promises from President Monson and Elder Hales and then we devised a family plan of how we will create our treasure maps. I handed out the maps and they each colored themselves on one corner and the treasure on another. Then we watched the first “highlights” segment from the YouTube channel from the very first talk (which was about one minute long) and drew a picture of what we are going to do as a result of the talk. We plan to watch a highlights video every few days and add things to our treasure map until we’ve watched every single highlights video.
I ended with a quote I had written to hang on our fridge:
“Conference is now over…BUT–your Conference Treasure Map has just begun!”
Then I bore my testimony and witnessed a peaceful, unique feeling distill upon our home.
It was a memorable evening–and one I will never forget.