President Russell M. Nelson announced during the 188 Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a new “home-centered, and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship.”
This new balance between gospel instruction in the home and in the Church is aimed to help members foster more faith in the home
Elder Quentin L Cook announced changes to Sunday meetings being implemented in January of 2019. He announced a two hour church block, with an hour long Sacrament meeting and an alternating 50 minute block meeting between Sunday School, happening on the first and third Sundays, and Priesthood and Relief Society, happening on the Sunday School will be held on the first and third Sundays. Primary will continue to happen on a weekly basis during the 50 minute block.
“It’s a change I felt was needed for a long time. I appreciate that the church is recognizing that the most important learning is at home and is allowing us to maximize the two hour block instead of dreading a three hour one dragging on” Andrew Albrecht, Senior Communication
Elder Cook also announced a new curriculum, Come, Follow Me, For Individuals and Families that will aid members in applying the gospel in their lives that match what is taught in Sunday School and Primary.
Elder Cook said this new change will help members deepen commitment to Christ, strengthening families, honoring Sabbath and will help all of Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil through missionary work and receiving temple ordinances.
The Church piloted the Come Follow Me program in multiple parts across the world. Fernando and Nancy de Carvalho of Brazil were one of the members that tested this program. They told their leaders, “It helped us to really discuss the scriptures in our home. My wife and I had a deeper understanding about the topic studied. … It helped us… amplify our gospel knowledge, and enhance our faith and testimony.”
Kelyn Andrasko, a sophomore studying General Studies , found some humor in the reaction to the announcement.
“I think it’s funny how everyone claims to love the Church but no one liked going to the full three hours,” Andrasko said. “Two hours doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, and I mean that in the best way.”
Amanda Litster, a junior studying Elementary Education, is excited about the change.
“I think two hour church is gonna be a big change but a really good one,” Litster said. “It gives members a lot of responsibility but will help us make the gospel a bigger part of our personal lives. ”
Elder Cook said more information will follow after the Session explaining the more about the program. A letter from the First Presidency was sent to branch and ward leaders to aid them in this transition. For more information click here.