What Do the Changes Announced in General Conference Mean for Me?
Joy-filled homes. Deeper conversion to God and Jesus Christ. Children who are excited to learn and live the teachings of the Savior. Sabbath days that aren’t a burden but a real delight.
Those are just some of the amazing blessings promised by President Russell M. Nelson while talking about the new Come, Follow Me curriculum for individuals and families.
“The new home-centered, Church-supported integrated curriculum has the potential to unleash the power of families,” said President Nelson at the October 2018 general conference. “Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.”
So how do you start to unleash the power of families in your home? What do you need to know for gospel study and Sunday schedules starting in January 2019? Here are answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received.
Q: What time will my ward start on Sunday, beginning in January 2019?
A: Your bishop will let you know. All wards and stakes are invited to hold meetings before the end of the year to discuss the scheduling changes and the new curriculum.
Q: What if I am the only person in my family who is active in the Church? Or what if I’m not married and I live alone?
A: Please do not feel alone—there are many people in your same situation. The Come, Follow Me curriculum was designed to help all members of the Church, regardless of their circumstances. Ponder, pray, and study the scriptures with the help of Come, Follow Me as the Spirit directs—while you can study by yourself, you could also reach out to those around you and unite in gospel study. You can read Elder Quentin L. Cook’s recent conference talk for more information.
Q: Will hardcopy manuals be available, or will I have to find new Church materials online?
A: Every active household should receive a copy of the manual from their bishop sometime before January. You can also access the new Come, Follow Me manuals now on the Gospel Library app under “Lessons” and online at lds.org/manual/come-follow-me.
Q: I hear a lot about the new curriculum of the Church being “home-centered.” What does that mean?
A: The new curriculum is flexible and adaptive. It asks all members to prayerfully consider how, in whatever circumstances they may be, they can strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ throughout the week in their own home. While we strive to have great spiritual experiences in church on Sundays, we are also invited to actively exercise our faith in Jesus Christ every day—wherever we may be—through study, service, and fellowship.
Q: Now that church is only two hours long, what will the Primary schedule be? Will the children still be separated by age into junior and senior Primary?
A: Every Sunday, there will be a 50-minute Primary meeting, which will start 10 minutes after the end of sacrament meeting. Primary meetings will follow this schedule:
25 Minutes: Prayer, scripture or article of faith, and talk (combined, these should take about 5 minutes)
Singing time, featuring music supporting the scriptures studied in class (this fills out the rest of the group time)
5 Minutes: Breakout to classes
20 Minutes: Classes, featuring a lesson from Come, Follow Me—For Primary
If your Primary is large enough to separate into junior and senior Primary, this schedule can be reversed for half of the children.
Q: If we’re supposed to study at home after church, how long should our study session last? Is it supposed to be a third hour of church but in my home?
A: As Elder Cook said, “In the home-centered, Church-supported portion of this adjustment, there is flexibility for each individual and family to determine prayerfully how and when it will be implemented.” In other words, we are encouraged to ponder and prayerfully consider how the Come, Follow Me curriculum should be implemented in our lives. Some people may choose to dedicate time after church for study, while others may schedule another time that better suits their needs.
Q: What about classes that also used to occur during the second hour, like Gospel Principles, temple preparation, or family history? Will those still be taught?
A: Beginning in January 2019, the Gospel Principles class will be discontinued, and ward and full-time missionaries will teach the lessons found in Preach My Gospel at locations and times that are convenient. Other classes, like temple preparation, family history, and missionary preparation, can also meet outside of the two-hour Sunday meeting block. If you’re interested in any of these classes, feel free to talk to your bishop about arranging a class.
Q: Will there be opening exercises in second-hour classes?
A: In order to provide more time for gospel instruction and discussion, announcements and other business at the beginning of second-hour classes will be limited. A member of the class leadership will welcome everyone, remind the class of the Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families home study materials for that day and the following week, and conduct any other business that needs attention. Then, they’ll turn the time over to the teacher, who will begin the lesson and discussion. Classes won’t begin with a hymn or prayer, but they’ll finish with a prayer.
Q: Will there still be a nursery if my ward or branch has had one?
A: Yes. Nursery classes will continue to use Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual for class activities. Nursery leaders are encouraged to pray about the needs of their children and divide nursery into lesson time, snack time, music time, and playtime, as appropriate.
Q: Will there still be a Primary program once a year in sacrament meeting?
A: Yes. Please see Come, Follow Me—For Singing Time: 2019 for additional information regarding the Primary program.
For additional information, here are some helpful links:
- Come, Follow Me resources
- Thoughts from home-centered, church-supported curriculum pilot participants
- Elder Cook’s talk from October 2018 General Conference
- President Nelson’s opening remarks from October 2018 General Conference
- President Nelson’s talk from October 2018 General Conference