“Teachings of the Living Prophets” Designed for All Members

  • 2 March 2011

Article Highlights

  • The Church's first full-color manual is meant to serve as a resource for all members.
  • The manual emphasizes the importance of living prophets.

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The Church has released its first full-color manual, Teachings of the Living Prophets. The manual is an update to the previous version, first printed 29 years ago, which was used specifically for the seminary and institute programs. The new manual has been designed to emphasize the importance of modern prophets, describe the role of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and explain succession in the Presidency.

“It is interesting that a course titled Teachings of the Living Prophets was using a manual first printed in 1982,” said Rod Barker, manager of seminary and institute college curriculum. “The large majority of Brethren quoted in that manual are no longer living. Many of today’s students would not even recognize . . . their names.”

Whenever possible, the manual has begun to focus on what the living Brethren have said regarding the presiding quorums of the Church rather than using classic older quotes. “We believe [members] will develop a greater trust and love for these men and the role they should be playing in our lives,” Brother Barker said.

Over the years, the focus of the institute course (Religion 333) has also changed, Brother Barker said. When it was first introduced 29 years ago, the course focused heavily on doctrines associated with prophets and apostles. Now the primary focus of study deals with recent talks given by living prophets, seers, and revelators.

Initial plans are being made to regularly update the manual—first on the web and later in print—by listening and carefully studying general conference addresses by the Brethren to identify material that might either replace existing, older material, or be included as additional knowledge and information, Brother Barker said.

“I think where this manual will really appeal to the reader is in the final two chapters, [Chapters 6 and 7]” he said.

The Teachings of the Living Prophets course is designed so that students spend three-fourths of the class studying the most recent conference issue of the Liahona or Ensign. Chapters 6 and 7 discuss the importance of general conference and teach readers how to make it a priority in their lives and how to better study the talks afterward.

“We take the time to show how scripture study skills can be used to study general conference talks,” Brother Barker said.

The new manual’s design features new graphics, application questions, and suggested assignments for further learning. And, similar to Preach My Gospel, it provides space for keeping notes.

“It’s not just helpful for institute students. It’s applicable and helpful to general Church membership,” said Rob Jex, director of scripture coordination in the Church Curriculum Department. “It is intended to be an additional resource to enhance personal gospel study.”

The manual can be purchased at store.lds.org or at distribution centers throughout the United States. The manual is currently available in English and Spanish and is being translated into numerous other languages.