General Instructions

“General Instructions,” Marriage and Family Relations Instructor’s Manual (2000), iii

How should the Marriage and Family Relations course be used?

This course is designed to help Church members strengthen marriages and families and find joy in their family relationships. The bishopric or branch presidency is responsible to see that the course is implemented effectively.

Because Church members have different needs and come from different family situations, the course is divided into two parts. Part A, “Strengthening Marriages,” is particularly helpful for married couples and for members who are preparing to be married. Part B, “Parents’ Responsibilities to Strengthen Families,” assists parents and grandparents in their efforts to “bring [children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Members who participate in the course should understand that they have the option to attend according to their individual needs. For example, a married couple without children may want to participate in part A but not in part B. A single parent may decide to participate only in the lessons in part B.

Ward and branch leaders may be flexible in their use of the course, according to the promptings of the Spirit and the needs of individual members. They should consider the following ideas:

  • Bishoprics and branch presidencies may schedule the course as a Sunday School class. As guided by the Spirit, leaders may invite specific members to attend.

  • High priests group leaderships, elders quorum presidencies, and Relief Society presidencies may use individual lessons for instruction on the first Sunday of each month. As appropriate, they may use the lessons for firesides and for teaching opportunities on weeknights or Saturdays.

  • Bishoprics and branch presidencies may use individual lessons in combined Melchizedek Priesthood–Relief Society meetings on fifth Sundays. They may also use the lessons in firesides for young men and women.

  • Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women advisers may use the manual as a resource for Mutual night. They may use the lessons to teach the young men and women together or in their respective organizations.

  • Individuals and couples may study the course on their own.

Who should receive the materials for the course?

Each of the ward or branch members listed below should receive one copy of the Marriage and Family Relations Instructor’s Manual and one copy of the Marriage and Family Relations Participant’s Study Guide:

  • Bishop or branch president

  • High priests group leader

  • Elders quorum president

  • Young Men president

  • Relief Society president

  • Young Women president

  • Marriage and Family Relations course instructor

Each participant in the course should receive a copy of the study guide.