Learning Together: A Preview of the Year Ahead


A challenge to perfect our individual growth and spiritual development is the interlocking theme for the Church’s new curriculum year, which begins in September in many areas of the Church. From Junior Sunday School to the Melchizedek Priesthood lessons, most courses provide topics that will aid discussion and communication in the family.

For instance, the Laurels and their Relief Society mothers may find much in common in their 1973–74 lessons. The Laurels will study how to meet the challenges of young womanhood, while the Relief Society members, in their spiritual living lessons, will study personal commitment. These two sets of lessons, while not correlated, deal with individual challenges.

As the Laurels study their new manual, Horizons, the Mia Maids and Beehive girls will continue the same courses they studied last year.

In addition to the challenges of personal commitment in the spiritual living lessons, the Relief Society sisters will study the growth of the Church and the history, culture, and crafts of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, and the Republic of the Philippines in their cultural refinement lessons. A filmstrip, recordings of native music, and reproductions of paintings are included in the teaching aids kit for this course.

In the social relations class, two courses will be taught simultaneously: one on compassionate service and one dealing with practical knowledge in child and youth guidance for mothers of children up to 18 years of age.

The homemaking lessons for 1973–74 will feature discussions on family health, with emphasis on nutrition.

For the Melchizedek Priesthood, a new course of study, The Savior, the Priesthood, and You, will be offered. The material is designed to help quorum members become better followers of Christ as fathers, husbands, and students, and better representatives of the priesthood in everyday living. Each lesson contains the challenge, “What would Jesus do?”

With only 35 lessons outlined for the 52-week curriculum year, the quorum leaders and instructors will have greater responsibility to explore ways in which the lesson material may have practical application in the lives of priesthood holders.

For the Aaronic Priesthood, the quorum manuals are the result of seven years of intensive planning and effort to correlate programs in welfare, missionary work, genealogy, home teaching, and family home evening.

The priests’ study course will center on lifetime missionary work, careers, education, and preparation for marriage. Teachers will study the priesthood brotherhood programs, and deacons will continue their study of the priesthood and family relations.

In this same age group, in the Aaronic Priesthood MIA, the priests (Explorers) will study a revised version of the Explorer’s manual used previously, the teachers (Venturers) will receive a supplement to last year’s manual, and the deacons (Scouts) will continue to follow the regular Scouting program.

At a younger level, children attending Primary and Junior Sunday School will study the same subjects as last year, but with different lessons. Neither auxiliary will be using new course material this year.

In other areas of the Sunday School, study changes will take place: although the 13-year-olds will continue to study material on scripture lessons in leadership, the manuals have been revised and the format has been changed. Course 19, for ages 18 through 22, has a new title, Living Truths from the Doctrine and Covenants, a revision of the former Gospel Doctrine class lessons.

Adults will continue their study of the Old Testament, following the eight-year curriculum announced last year. The 1973–74 course will focus on the books Exodus through Malachi.

The Gospel Essentials course, aimed at teaching and fellowshiping investigators and new converts, will be continued in its 12-week cycle. This course is designed so that persons may begin the class at any time and continue until they have received all 12 lessons.

In keeping with the program implemented last year throughout the Church, all seminary students will be studying the same course. This year they will study Church history.

Institute courses will remain the same as last year with one addition: a special individual study course for those students unable to attend regular institute classes.

All of these lessons teach that obedience to gospel principles brings happiness and fulfillment; they dovetail into the new family home evening manual, whose 1973–74 theme concerns law and order in the life of each Latter-day Saint.

Whatever the lesson, a wealth of information is provided to bring members of the Church to a better understanding of themselves, of others, and especially, of the gospel in action.