With LDS General Conference only a month away, it's time to start preparing to be spiritually fed! Every six months, I spend the few weeks leading up to Conference writing down my questions and getting prepared to receive inspiration, as I'm sure you do as well. A few weeks ago I realized that I should be putting the same preparation in with my husband. Not only will we get the guidance that we are looking for personally, but we will find inspiration together for how we can improve our marriage and our family as a team.
Plan a Special Date Night
A few weeks before conference, sit down as a couple over dinner or dessert and talk about the needs that you see in your family and your marriage. If you have kids old enough to give input, have them sit down with you for a family meeting a few days before your date and get their input as well. Find somewhere quiet to have your discussion, maybe at the kitchen table after the kids have gone to bed, or on a picnic blanket under a tree at the local park. Don't forget to start your discussion with prayer!
Fast and Pray Together
Depending on your stake, Fast Sunday will often fall on the Sunday before General Conference. Use this time as an opportunity to fast and pray together as a couple and a family for the needs that you discussed earlier in the month. Spend that Sunday thinking about the questions you hope to have answered during conference and any other righteous desires that you might have. Also pray that your heart might be open to receiving the things that The Lord would have you learn from his prophets and apostles this conference.
Watch Conference Together
If you have the opportunity to attend a session of General Conference in person together, do it! If you live in Utah, consider spending a session on Temple Square. Find a place to sit together as a family or a couple and listen on the radio or your phone app while you enjoy the beauty of Temple Square. Most importantly, take notes and be open to inspiration that might come from any and every talk. You may be surprised by the things that touch your heart the most.
Spend Time Together Between Sessions
In between sessions, get up and spend time together as a couple or a family. Take a drive to the nearest temple or find a nature trail nearby and walk around. Make a picnic lunch and take it to a nearby park or your yard to enjoy nature and fresh air. Whatever your family thinks is appropriate for a bonding activity on Sundays, get off the couch and do it. Consider talking about the session of conference that you just listened to and what talks you thought were particularly inspiring.
Plan another Date Night
If you have kids, send them to Grandma's so that you can spend good quality time together without any distractions. Print off copies of the talks you found the most inspiration from and want to study further, or if you want to wait until the Ensign comes out, I would suggest getting two copies of the magazine so that you each can have one to mark up as you choose. Pick up takeout or make dinner together and enjoy the opportunity to spend time as a couple. Study the talks that you feel contained the direction that you were seeking. Refer back to the questions and needs that you discussed during your date night before conference.
Put Things into Practice
Create a game plan using the things that you took away from conference and the answers that you received. Decide as a couple what changes you need to make in your marriage. Discuss as a family the changes that you want to make as a group. Continue to study and pray together in search of further inspiration.
There will always be things for you to learn and apply in your life so repeat this process every conference for continued growth in your marriage relationship!