A New Balance between Gospel Instruction
in the Home and in the Church
Enclosure to the First Presidency letter
dated October 6, 2018
The Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has approved a significant step in achieving a new balance between gospel instruction in the home and in the Church.
Purposes and blessings associated
with this and other recent changes include the following:
Deepening conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthening
faith in Them.
Strengthening individuals and families through home-centered, Church-supported
curriculum that contributes to joyful gospel living.
Honoring the Sabbath day, with a focus on the ordinance of the sacrament.
Helping all of Heavenly Father’s children on both sides of the veil through missionary
work and receiving
ordinances and covenants and the blessings of the temple.
Beginning in January 2019, the Sunday schedule followed throughout the Church will include a
60-minute sacrament meeting, and after a 10-minute transition, a 50-minute class period.
Schedule Beginning January 2019
60 minutes Sacrament meeting
10 minutes Transition to classes
50 minutes Classes for adults Classes for youth Primary
The 50-minute class period for youth and adults will alternate each Sunday according to
First and third Sundays: Sunday School.
Second and fourth Sundays: Priesthood quorums, Relief Society, and Young Women.
Fifth Sundays: youth and adult meetings under the direction of the bishop. The bishop
determines the subject to be taught, the teacher or teachers (usually members of the ward
or stake), and whether youth and adults, men and women, young men and young women
meet separately or combined.
Primary will be held each Sunday for 50
minutes and includes singing time and classes.
The adjusted Sunday schedule allows for, and members are encouraged to hold, home evening and
to study the gospel at home on Sunday—or at other times as individuals and families choose. A
activity night could be held on Monday or at other times. To this end, leaders should
continue to keep Monday evenings free from Church meetings and activities. However, time spent
in home evening, gospel study in the home, and activities for families
and individuals is scheduled
according to individual circumstances.
Informally, and as organized by those who so desire, young single adults, single adults, single
parents, part-member families, new members, and others can gather to enjoy
sociality and to
strengthen one another through gospel study.
A new resource, Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families, will be provided to support
gospel study at home.
Additional information is available at Sabbath.lds.org and
in the questions and answers below.
1. How will we enhance gospel learning and living at home and in our personal lives?
Church leaders encourage all to participate on the Sabbath day—and throughout the week—in
gospel study, family
councils, home evening, family history and temple work, ministering,
personal worship, and joyful family time.
Gospel study at home deepens conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and
strengthens our families. A study of the
scriptures, supported by the new resource Come, Follow
Me—For Individuals and Families, is the suggested course of gospel study at home. This rich
resource provides a variety of study options for individual and family adaptation and aligns
School and Primary curriculum with home study.
Individuals and families, however, seek inspiration as they choose to study what will best meet
their needs. They prayerfully consider options such as the Book of Mormon and other standard
works, general conference messages, Church magazines, information available on LDS.org, and
other materials suggested by general or local leaders. There is no expectation that members will
study all, or even most, of these resources at any one
2. What is the format for sacrament meetings?
Sacrament meetings last 60 minutes and are focused on deepening conversion to Heavenly Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthening faith in Them. Allowing the ordinance of the
to be the sacred center of members’ worship on the Sabbath requires careful planning,
including minimal announcements and consideration of speakers, hymns, and musical numbers.
Ward choirs may participate as local circumstances allow. Sacrament
meetings begin and end with
a hymn and prayer. A hymn also precedes the blessing of the sacrament.
Sacrament meeting will be followed by 10 minutes to transition to classes.
3. How will members know what meetings will be held and what topics
will be studied on
During the week, leaders are encouraged to invite members to worship together on Sunday. They
can send an invitation via email, text, social media, or other means, reminding members of the
meeting schedule for
the next Sunday, including topics for discussion. This reminder might be as
simple as “This week we will hold Sunday School. We will study Luke 2 and Matthew 2.”
In Sunday School, quorums, Relief Society, and Young Women, leaders and
teachers will remind
class members of the Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families materials and associated
scriptures they might study at home. This simple reminder can be shared in writing, verbally, or
is the format for youth and adult Sunday School classes?
The 50-minute Sunday School classes for youth and adults, on the first and third Sundays, focus
on a study of the scriptures. Teaching materials are found in Come, Follow Me—For Sunday
School. This study is aligned with the Primary curriculum and the individuals and families
As needed, at the beginning of Sunday School classes, leaders from Young Women, Relief
Society, and priesthood quorums may make brief announcements.
After a brief welcome and a
reminder of the Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families home study materials for that
day and the following week, the teacher should begin the gospel instruction and discussion. Sunday
School classes will
not begin with a hymn or prayer but will conclude with prayer.
With Sunday School classes held every other week, leaders and teachers will need to adapt their
materials, which currently include lessons for each week of the year. While individuals
families continue reading at home according to the weekly schedule in Come, Follow Me—For
Individuals and Families, Sunday School leaders and teachers will need to select material from
one or more lessons in order to stay aligned with
the individuals and families resource. To avoid
confusion, Sunday School presidencies may wish to advise teachers and class members about
adjustments well in advance. More information can be found at ComeFollowMe.lds.org.
5. What is the format
for Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood quorum meetings?
The 50-minute Aaronic Priesthood quorum meetings, on the second and fourth Sundays, focus on
monthly gospel topics found in Come, Follow Me—For Aaronic Priesthood. Leaders and teachers
will continue to select the lesson outlines at ComeFollowMe.lds.org or in the printed Come, Follow
Me—For Aaronic Priesthood manual that best meet the needs of quorum members.
The 50-minute elders quorum meetings, on the second and fourth
Sundays, focus on messages
from the most recent general conference. Teaching suggestions are found in the May and
November issues of the Ensign and Liahona, at LDS.org, and in the Gospel Library app for mobile
devices. First-Sunday council meetings
will be discontinued; however, as needed, elders quorums
may use part of a quorum meeting to counsel about a specific topic.
Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders will no longer meet together but will gather in their
respective quorum meetings.
After a quorum presidency member offers a brief welcome, reminds
members of the Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families home study materials for that
day and the following week, and conducts any quorum business, the teacher should begin
gospel instruction and discussion. Quorum meetings will not begin with a hymn or prayer but will
conclude with prayer.
Occasionally, when a special need exists, Aaronic Priesthood quorums may meet together briefly
before quorum members
go to individual quorum meetings.
6. What is the format for Relief Society meetings?
The 50-minute Relief Society meetings, on the second and fourth Sundays, focus on messages
from the most recent general conference. Teaching suggestions are
found in the May and
November issues of the Ensign and Liahona, at LDS.org, and in the Gospel Library app for mobile
devices. First-Sunday council meetings will be discontinued; however, as needed, Relief Societies
may use part of a Sunday meeting
to counsel about a specific topic.
After a Relief Society presidency member offers a brief welcome, reminds members of the Come,
Follow Me—For Individuals and Families home study materials for that day and the following
week, and conducts
any other business, the teacher should begin the gospel instruction and
discussion. Relief Society meetings will not begin with an opening hymn or prayer but will
conclude with a closing prayer. Hymns may be used to enhance a lesson as appropriate.
Society sisters and young women will not meet together for opening exercises but will gather in
their respective meetings.
7. What is the format for Young Women meetings?
The 50-minute Young Women meetings, on the second and fourth
Sundays, focus on a study of
monthly gospel topics found in Come, Follow Me—For Young Women. Leaders and teachers will
continue to select the lesson outlines at ComeFollowMe.lds.org or in the printed Come, Follow
Me—For Young Women
manual that best meet the needs of class members.
All young women will no longer meet together but will gather in their respective classes. After a
class presidency member offers a brief welcome, reminds members of the Come, Follow Me—For
Individuals and Families home study materials for that day and the following week, and conducts
any other business, the teacher should begin the gospel instruction and discussion. Classes will not
begin with a hymn or prayer but will conclude with
prayer. Hymns may be used to enhance a
lesson as appropriate.
Occasionally, when a special need exists, Young Women classes may meet together briefly before
class members go to individual class meetings.
8. What is the format for Primary
The 50-minute Primary meetings will be held every Sunday, following the schedule below:
Prayer, scripture or article of faith, talk (5 minutes)
Singing time: music that supports the scriptures studied in class
5 minutes Transition to classes
20 minutes Classes: lesson from Come, Follow Me—For Primary
Note: If a Primary is large enough to separate into junior and senior Primary, the schedule above
can be reversed for half of the
children and times adjusted as needed. Junior Primary may begin
with singing time while senior Primary begins with classes—or vice versa.
Singing time will focus on music that supports the scriptures that children study in their classes.
The Outline for Sharing Time will be discontinued. More information about singing time in
Primary will be found at Primary.lds.org and at ComeFollowMe.lds.org. Primary will begin with
a prayer, a scripture or article of faith, and a talk given
by a child. However, if singing time is held
after children have attended their classes, it will end rather than begin with prayer.
During class, children will focus on a study of the scriptures aligned to the Sunday School
curriculum and the
individuals and families resource. Teaching materials are found in Come,
Follow Me—For Primary. If classes are held before singing time, they begin with prayer. If they
are held after singing time, they conclude with prayer.
9. Do we hold
optional courses during church on Sunday?
Beginning in January 2019, the Gospel Principles class will be discontinued. Ward and full-time
missionaries teach individuals and families the lessons found in chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel:
Guide to Missionary Service in the home or at the meetinghouse, before and after baptism. On
Sunday, all members and friends of the Church are invited to attend Sunday School classes and
Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, Relief Society,
or Young Women classes with
other adults or youth in the ward.
Other courses, such as those for strengthening marriage and family, temple preparation, missionary
preparation, and family history, will not be held during the second hour. However,
at the bishop’s
discretion and based on local needs, these courses may be taught at other times for individuals,
families, or groups.
10. When do teachers attend teacher council meetings?
Teachers attend teacher council meetings quarterly
during the 50-minute class time. The council
meetings are held according to the following schedule:
Priesthood, Relief Society, and Young Women can attend on either a first or third Sunday,
as determined by local leaders.
teachers can attend on either a second or fourth Sunday, as determined by
Primary teachers can attend on any Sunday, as determined by the ward Primary and Sunday
School presidencies. If desired, Primary teachers may meet separately
from other teachers
to counsel about the unique needs of teaching children. More than one council may be held
during a quarter for Primary teachers so not all miss Primary classes at the same time.
11. What is the role of a teacher?
Christ is the Master Teacher. Members of the Church called and set apart to serve as teachers
receive a sacred trust and responsibility to follow His example and help God’s children build their
faith in Heavenly Father and the Savior and become
more like Them. Those called as teachers are
to teach with the power and authority of God.
The goal of every teacher is to teach the pure doctrine of the gospel. Teaching may include leading
inspired discussions; however, it also includes many
other teaching responsibilities that are not
expressed in a term like discussion leader. The sacred responsibilities of a teacher are found in
Teaching in the Savior’s Way (see ComeFollowMe.lds.org). For this reason, we invite leaders and
members to use the term teacher (and not discussion leader, facilitator, or moderator) when
referring to those who have been called and set apart to teach in the priesthood and auxiliary
organizations of the Church.
12. What is the Sunday
schedule for multiple wards or branches sharing a meetinghouse?
Stake presidents consider members’ travel time, security issues, and other local needs in
determining when Sunday meetings will be held for meetinghouses with multiple wards and
branches. Suggestions are included at “Sunday Scheduling Options” (Sabbath.lds.org), but these
suggestions—including meeting start times—should be adapted to best meet the needs of each
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