Episode 71: General Conference Study tips with Erin Ropelato

general conference gospel study personal revelation Sep 12, 2022


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When we are young and just beginning to learn how to recognize numbers and letters our parents and teachers introduce them to us in multiple ways. They may use visual aids, music, dance, outdoor activities, or art projects. This is so that each of us are given the opportunity to understand. When a child immerses themselves into a subject in a way that works for them they are more likely to retain the information.

“Anything that is worth teaching can be presented in many different ways. These multiple ways can make use of our multiple intelligences.”   Howard Gardner 

I recently sat down with Erin Ropelato and we spoke of this very thing. She is a, mom and business owner who started out as a kindergarten teacher. As she taught young children she applied many different learning styles to her teaching as to help her students understand. She believes this same manner of learning can be applied as we explore the doctrine and principles of the gospel and now creates teaching helps for people to learn and study gospel topics, enjoy general conference and apply what they learn to their lives.  I have detailed those eight learning styles and how to apply them to your gospel study and personal revelation. 

1. Social Learning

As you know there are people who love to be around others. They gain actual energy from social interactions. The same goes for people who are social learners. When they spend time studying and discussing topics with others where they can listen and also share their own thoughts they gain more knowledge and excitement for that topic. 

As members of the church we are able to apply this style of learning every single week in our meetings. When we attend Sunday School and Relief Society classes we are given this opportunity. Studying beforehand will help prepare us for those moments and give us ample opportunity for social learning. One could even start a study group outside of class learning. In person, a text thread, marco polo, or any other form of communication so long as we afford ourselves to learn alongside others.

2. Individual Learning

This is just the opposite of social learners. In fact, it is also how I learn best. Spending time alone in the quiet, pondering, reflecting on my personal experiences, and studying the gospel alone bring give me the best opportunity to retain what I am studying and receive personal revelation.

If this is how you get the best results from your studying you might try some of the following. Find a quiet place each day to spend even just 10 minutes where you can ponder and reflect. You might try meditation, yoga, or simply sitting in the peace before you begin your study. Whatever it is that you do, make sure that you create a space where you can truly be alone as you read, write, or sit and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

 3. Hands On Learning

The great thing about this style of learning is that it can be done anywhere with a wide variety of options. People who benefit from this will take the time to use their senses as they learn. The movement of the body enhances the learning experience.

For example, one might need to study a general conference talk to prepare for a lesson. Listening to that talk while going for a walk will help them focus on the talk itself. People will dance, hike, use their hands to build something or even simply periodically move around to help them focus on the topic. You might even consider listening to soft music or lighting a candle to help you use your senses while still focusing on the task at hand.

 4. Book Learner

Seems fairly simple to implement book learning into your life but its more than just reading. Many people who are book learners certainly do well reading but they will also write, listen to talks, create summaries, and enjoy lectures.

When watching general conference it could be beneficial to read the talks, or maybe even listen to conference with captions. One might enjoy writing down quotes from the talks they hear or reading applicable scripture passages. Others may want to listen to religious based podcasts. When you are a book learner the resources for knowledge are endless but it's important to create a plan and set goals to ensure you have adequate time to read and write.

 5. S.T.E.M. Learner

This acronym stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. People who learn with this style tend to be very logical in their thinking and methodical in their behavior. They enjoy numbers, math, organizing, and like sequential patterns.

If you find yourself relating to this there are many ways to incorporate the style into receiving revelation. As it pertains to the upcoming general conference you may want to track, count, and organize the different topics discussed. It seems simple but your mind will be tuned into each message. The focus will help you recognize the importance of each word and you will hear what you specifically need to hear for your life.

6. Music Learner

People who are music learners know that the power of music is unmatched. The ebbs and flows of the rhythm alone can induce emotion in most every person. When words are added, songs take on new meanings. Quite, loud, fast or slow, music can impact the soul.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints music is used in every chapel around the world every Sunday. It provides ample opportunity for reflection, peace, joy, gratitude and many other "fruits of the spirit." Using music as you study the gospel can help your mind understand the guidance the Savior has for you and help you truly "hear Him."

7. Nature Learner

Most, if not all, have sang the phrase "for the beauty of the Earth" and the gratitude expressed in that hymn for our life here and all that we enjoy on this vast planet. Those words ring so very true for a nature learner. This is someone who loves to be immersed in the outdoors. They love plants, animals, and all of God's creations. Being among them brings them peace and joy.

Simply by spending time outdoors can open the heart and mind to inspiration. Perhaps one might enjoy gardening while listening to a general conference talk, star gazing, hiking, or even sitting around a campfire with good friends and bearing testimony. Combining the beauties of the earth with gospel study can open the flood gates for personal revelation to freely flow.

8. Visual Learner

Visual learning always makes me think of primary at first. Pictures and colorful visual aids to help children learn scripture stories has always been a huge part of the primary organization. And rightly so because it works and children around the world learn about Jesus as depictions of him are used to teach. This same style of learning is beneficial for many adults as well.

The scriptures even teach of this. In 3 Nephi 13:22 it reads that "the light of the body is the eye." Our eyes are incredibly powerful. They consume everything around us. When a visual learner uses drawings, portraits, or displays to more fully understand the principles of the gospel they will be able to comprehend more than without. What they see is what they remember.

No matter the style of learning that best suits you, your brain, and your lifestyle all are beneficial. Adding or removing different styles as you study the gospel, listen to General Conference, or attend church can help you receive revelation. God is speaking to you and learning how you best learn and understand will help you hear Him.

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