9 Ways to Get the Least Out of General Conference

9 ways to get the least out of general conference

It’s that time of year again, folks: conference season. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world huddle around TV sets and stereos, listening intently to the divinely inspired direction of General Authorities. Conference is a time for spiritual renewal, to receive answers to the quietest of your heart’s prayers, and to have your testimony strengthened and solidified. If being this spiritually uplifted sounds like a drag, here are some tips and tricks to avoid feeling that outpouring of the Holy Ghost.

1. Stock up on Corn Nuts and Pop Rocks

cornnutsDid you know the sinuses and cavities in your head are great at reverberating sound? Take advantage of these excellent acoustics with a Pop Rock-Corn Nut symphony. There’s no way you’ll be able to hear any of the sage advice, important apostolic counsel, or promptings of the Spirit over your orchestral crunching.

2. Get to know the speakers by using past conference talks as white noise

white noise static conferenceAllow the cadence of prophetic wisdom to lull you to sleep each night preceding conference. Not only will this allow you to learn through osmosis, it will prompt a Pavlovian response when you actually listen to conference, so you can sit back and let their counsel seep in.

3. Bring a good book

kid reading book

Lest you be tempted to actively listen to the inspired discourses each speaker has prayerfully prepared for this conference, bury your nose in some fine literature. Animal Farm, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Old Man and the Sea are all great books that have nothing to do with General Conference or increasing your faith.

Take this tip to the next level: Read the whole Twilight Series.

4. Assemble some IKEA furniture

ikea nightmare woman pushing boxesThere’s nothing less conducive to the spirit than bickering over which screw goes where and whether or not that piece in Step 6 actually came in the box.

Take this tip to the next level: Realize the instructions are for a different piece of furniture.

5. Have note-taking materials just far enough way

notepad and pencilAs you listen to General Conference, you’ll often feel prompted by the Spirit to record a certain line or idea. Be sure to keep your pen and paper just out of arm’s reach, so that when these promptings come, you’ll lack the means to act upon them.

6. Opt for a dull crayon instead of your usual fine-point pen

dull crayon
image via backyardchickens.com

If you can’t manage to stay away from your notepad, throw it back this Conference weekend with a box of dull crayons. Nothing says nostalgia like the frustration of trying to peel that paper back and execute fine lines with a blunt stick of wax. Any divine inspiration you receive is guaranteed to be illegible.

Take this tip to the next level: Use a dried out Crayola marker, washable.

7. Set ten different alarms to remind yourself to pay attention – snooze them all.

snooze button iphoneNot paying attention during General Conference can be a trying task. Make it easier on yourself by setting loud, periodic reminders to pay attention and promptly snooze each of them. There’s no way anything the speaker is saying will be heard over the resulting cacophony.

8. Been wanting to learn a new language? Try Conference in Icelandic.

icelandic text
image via wikipedia

Studies have shown that in learning a new language, like in baptism, complete immersion is the only way to go. General Conference offers the perfect opportunity to begin submerging yourself in a completely different language. Sitting in front of your TV while trying to draw meaning out of indecipherable syllables is a guaranteed way to drown out the promptings of the Spirit.

9. Break out your new table-saw for some mid-conference woodworking

table saw
image via shopsmith.com



If you’ve tried all this and you’re still having trouble beating away the spirit, consider that maybe conference is worthwhile. Don’t fight it, just submit, and once you do, visit churchofjesuschrist.org; they have some great tips on how to maximize your conference watching experience.


Gabriella is a psychology major, Westfalia-dweller, and expert bean-eater. Having spent the majority of her life living in the great Latin-American metropoles of Guatemala and Mexico, Gabriella continues to grapple with the eccentricities of suburban living.