I always look forward to and love General Conference. It’s one of my most favorite weekends all year. I can always trust that I will come away uplifted and renewed for another 6 months.
In his April 2020 General Conference talk, Hear Him, President Nelson talks about not only hearing, but also hearkening and heeding.
What’s the difference?
President Nelson explains, “The very first word in the Doctrine and Covenants is hearken. It means “to listen with the intent to obey.” To hearken means to “hear Him”—to hear what the Savior says and then to heed His counsel. In those two words—“Hear Him”—God gives us the pattern for success, happiness, and joy in this life. We are to hear the words of the Lord, hearken to them, and heed what He has told us!”
When we hearken, we not only listen, but we listen in a way that we are seeking to know how we can heed the counsel that we hear. We’re planning and pondering how we can take action and incorporate the things we hear into our lives.
I love this concept so much. Conference is always FILLED with invitations to act. Challenges. Promised blessings. But nearly always, these challenges and invitations require action to bring forth the promised blessings.
This year I decided to create a Conference activity worksheet around this hearken and heed concept! This printable has a spot to write the speakers name (so you can refer back to the talk at a later time.) It then has 2 boxes – “hearken” and “heed.” In the “hearken” box, you can write down the things the Spirit whispers to you as you listen. What is being said? What touches your heart? What invitations does the speaker issue? What things does (s)he challenge you to do? Next, you can move over to the “heed” box and ponder on how you can take action on what you’ve heard. What can you DO with what you’ve learned? What actions is the Spirit prompting you to take? What things does your Heavenly Father want you to DO with what you’ve heard?
General Conference Activity Ideas
Here are a few different ideas of ways you could use this General Conference activity worksheet:
- write down all your “hearken” thoughts during Conference, then come back to it at a later time to decide how you will take action on what you’ve heard,
- Give each family member their own sheet to work on, OR
- Work together as a family. Put the worksheet on a clipboard, and have someone start. When they hear something they feel prompted to “heed,” they can write it down in the box, then pass it to the next person, and so on,
- Have each person write down just the “hearken” things – challenges and invitations that are issued throughout Conference. Then bring the lists to FHE and work together to think of some ways that you can act on these invitations – individually, or as a family,
- Use this worksheet as a starting point for setting goals with the Children and Youth program. Look over what you feel prompted to do, and set a plan of action on how you will carry it out,
- These boxes are unlined, so younger kids (or anyone who prefers doodling!) can use the space to draw out what they’re hearing and how they can heed the promptings they receive.
Later in his talk, President Nelson issued a prophetic promise, “What will happen as you more intentionally hear, hearken, and heed what the Savior has said and what He is saying now through His prophets? I promise that you will be blessed with additional power to deal with temptation, struggles, and weakness.”
So make a commitment this Conference to not only hear what the speakers are saying, but to hearken – to be intentional in listening and then doing something with what you’ve heard.
I love to take notes during General Conference. I love writing down the impressions the Spirit speaks to me as I listen. And while we each tend to individually take our own notes (using a notebook, or a note-taking packet) this Hear, Hearken, Heed Conference activity is a fun – and quiet – way for us to also do something together as a family.
General Conference has the potential to be a life changing weekend. So, grab this fun printable. Simply decide how you want to use it and print out how many you need. Then, get a note-taking packet ready and get settled in for an amazing experience!