Friday, April 1, 2016

How I Stay Engaged During General Conference

 Attending all three days of Salt Lake Comic Con's FanXperience last weekend was a blast for me. As I has always been the case when going to Comic Con or FanX, I had a lot of fun. And like Spencer, I will share about all the exciting things I experienced at FanX in my blog post next week.

As I'm sure you're aware, General Conference is this weekend. And as Conference approaches, I'm looking forward to hearing spiritually uplifting messages from our leaders in the Church.

The First Presidency
If you're like me, and have a fairly short attention span (or perhaps have children that do), staying focused on eight to ten hours of talks over the course of two days can be challenging, even when looking forward to hearing these messages.

For the last couple of years, on the Saturday of General Conference, I have gotten together with some of my other friends who also happen to be Mormons and geeks, and we have had a Conference Game Day.

Before you question the appropriateness of combining spiritual messages from our prophet and the apostles, hear me out.

Basically what is involved in a Conference Game Day is getting friends or family together to play games (preferably those that don't detract from the spirit of Conference) before, between, and after the Conference sessions, and then during the sessions playing Conference Bingo.

At this point, you might be asking, “What is Conference Bingo?”

Conference Bingo is much like regular Bingo, except that instead of having a card filled with numbers, each person starts with a blank Bingo card.

My blank Bingo card

Each person then fills in each space with words that they expect to hear during the session of conference. Common words, such as “the,” “a” “and,” “or,” “for” or “of” are not allowed. The words have to be related to Church or Conference themes, such as “temple” or “family” or “Savior.”

My Bingo card after I've filled words in all the boxes.
Then, while watching the session of General Conference, listen for the words you wrote on your card during the talks.

While you can play to just getting five in a row, I recommend playing blackout (i.e. every space on your card must be checked), as it is far more likely to take nearly the whole session to complete.

The winner then gets some sort of prize, such as choosing a game to play between sessions, or choosing where to go for lunch or something else similar.

I have found that I have come to look forward to these Conference Game Days, and to Conference Bingo in particular. Not only does it help me to pay closer attention to what the speakers are saying, and more likely to remember what the talk was about later, it adds an element of fun to it.

A Session of General Conference inside the Conference Center
What are some of the things that you use to help you better focus on the messages of General Conference? Is there anything you do to add some additional fun to it?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas for how to make General Conference more engaging and fun.

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