LDS General Conference is close upon us yet again, how exciting! I always enjoy fun and interactive notetaking while I listen and attend the conference. There are always SO many wise words spoken, but sometimes listening to and remembering 8+ hours worth of information is daunting. I am sure many others, like myself, need a more hands-on, creative approach to remain alert and attentive. While brainstorming for a youth activity for our 12 and 13 year old girls in the youth program, I came across the idea to create a General Conference journal. Our end product has enough pages to dedicate notes from each prophet and apostle’s talks for several years- along with plenty of room to take notes from other speakers. The journals were finished within an hour and a half, and the girls had so much fun personalizing them.
Our spiritual message, to go along with the crafting of the journals, focused on the importance of recording our promptings we receive; especially during General Conference. As quoted on the name labels I created (see below), we read these words:
“Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it. That practice enhances the likelihood of your receiving further light.” -Richard G. Scott
General Conference Journals
- Dollar store notebook (1 per person)
- Chalkboard paint, Paint trays, & paint brushes
- Chalk or Chalk Writer (1 per person)
- Laminator (with sheets) OR Packing tape
- Scissors, tape, pen & glue
- Scrapbook paper (2 sheets per person)
- General Conference tab and name label Printable –Found below– (1 per person)
Chalkboard Journal Instructions:
Lay the journals open, face down. Put some scrap paper or paper towel under the front cover to protect the pages from the paint. Follow the instructions on the bottle of chalkboard paint. Our brand required 2 thin coats of paint, with an hour drying time in between.
Since our time was limited and attention spans too short to watch paint dry, I brought along a hairdryer to speed up the process. If you have lots of time, skip this step.
General Conference journal tab instructions:
While the paint is drying, prepare the tabs. Cut out the prophet and apostle tabs from the printable. To create a firm and resilient tab, make sure you laminate them. This can be done with a real laminator and laminating sheets, or with clear packing tape. To use packing tape, simply cover the front and back of each paper with the tape and then cut around the paper and trim off any excess tape around the photos.
Glue or tape the tabs into the journals, spacing them equally down the side and allowing a few pages of writing space between each one.You can put them in order or mix them up. One girl even put all the tabs on the same spot on each page. Just glue/tape them in however you like. Leave several pages at the back of the journal for taking notes during talks given by other leaders.
Cut out the name label and quote, write your name on it, and then laminate it if desired. The inside cover of our notebooks from the dollar store had various (ugly) agendas and calendars that didn’t coincide with our journal vision. The girls decided to cover it up with some pretty scrapbook paper (sparkly in this case) and glue their name label on top of it. Adds a little more personality and fun!
Next, rub the outside (front and back) of the dried journal with chalk to “prime” it, and then wipe it off. This creates a smoother surface that won’t leave behind groves from chalk drawing.
*If you are worried about chalk rubbing off and making a mess during note taking, use a Chalk Writer instead of regular chalk. These can be purchased at the dollar store and require a wet cloth to remove it from surfaces. Mess free!
The girls were so excited to personalize the outside of their journals with chalk, and even more excited that they could wipe it off and start again. I always need a little doodle space while I take notes at Conference, and this journal fits that need perfectly! I made one right along with the girls, and I am so excited to use it.
Free Printable: General Conference Tabs and journal name label
Let me know how this project goes for you and any personalizations you added!
My hope is that these efforts will aid in receiving the guidance and strength needed during participation in General Conference; beyond this, also remembering these promptings as they are written down and recorded.
Youth Sunday School Lesson: Why is chastity important?