A Look at the New “Come Follow Me” Curriculums
During the Saturday morning session of General Conference, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints around the world were shocked and delighted to learn that Sunday meetings will be shortened from three hours to two hours, starting in January. Nursery leaders and Primary teachers, especially, must have all said a quick prayer of thanks when they heard the news! After announcing the details of the new two hour schedule, Elder Cook went on to describe a new set of curriculums that will launch in 2019; these curriculums are designed to encourage more home-centered, church-supported gospel learning. Today I would like to take a closer look at the 2019 “Come, Follow Me” curriculums to see how they will help accomplish this goal.
Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families
The Prophet has reiterated to members of the church that we “are each responsible for our individual spiritual growth” and that “parents have the primary responsibility to teach the doctrine to their children.” Now we have further resources available to us to achieve this learning in our homes.
“Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families” is a study guide for the New Testament, organised into chapter-segments and topics for each week of 2019. Each week includes prompts for recording your impressions, questions to consider during your personal studies, and ideas for family home evening. This curriculum gives guidance and structure for those who may struggle with personal scripture study, and it provides an easy-to-follow FHE schedule for those who have given up on thinking of lesson topics each week; no matter where your current gospel-study situation is at, this resource can help add to the spirit on your home.
Of course, what really sets this curriculum apart is how it coordinates with the lessons taught on Sunday—fulfilling the Prophet’s promise of church-supported learning.
Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School and Primary
Just like “Come Follow Me–For Individuals and Families” these 2019 curriculums outline weekly lessons from the New Testament; and the topics of these lessons coincide exactly with the topics presented in the home-study manual. The church has often encouraged members to prepare for Sunday lessons by reviewing the lesson or reading an assigned talk before Sunday meetings (something that I’ve remembered to do maybe twice, if ever). Now, our Sunday School lessons will be a review and extension on the topics we have been studying and pondering all week. If everyone is faithful in our personal gospel study, our Sunday School classes will take on a whole new level of involvement, as we each have something to contribute from our past week of learning.
This same principle applies to the new Primary curriculum. Whereas in the past, each age group was assigned a different manual with different weekly topics, now all children in primary will be discussing the same topics—with differing age-appropriate activities of course. No longer need the age-old question “So what did you learn in primary today?” be met with shrugs and blank stares. Children can enter primary knowing that their lesson will be a review of what they learned in family home evening or through daily family scripture study; this repetition will mean they are far more likely to remember the things they learn—and the fact that they need only sit still for 20 minutes will certainly help!
The new “Come Follow Me” integrated home and church curriculums hold enormous potential to deepen the gospel learning of both adults and children in our wards. As we each faithfully apply this gospel study in our homes, our families will be more prepared to feel the spirit and learn when we come to church on Sunday—making those two hours every bit as powerful as our three hour meetings ever were.