New study guide is 'valuable little tool'

The new Sunday School "Class Member Study Guide" is a "valuable little tool," said Elder Merlin R. Lybbert of the Seventy and Sunday School general president, because it contains a brief history of the background of the revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Also endorsing the study guide, Elder Clinton L. Cutler of the Seventy and first counselor to Elder Lybbert, said, "It's great because it gives us a historical perspective, which is necessary to understand a little better how these sections came about."Included in the new 29-page booklet are reading assignments and questions pertaining to the lesson. In addition, the guide includes backgrounds for the history of Joseph Smith, Official Declarations 1 and 2, and the Articles of Faith.

For the benefit of the Gospel Doctrine teacher, the study guide is printed in the "Gospel Doctrine Teacher's Manual."

Tom Rose, manager of curriculum planning and development in the Curriculum Department, said the study guide is "an aid to getting into the scriptures. This doesn't get in the way of getting into the scriptures."

He encouraged class members to study the guide on a weekly basis, referring first to the booklet and then to the reading assignment.

Roger Petersen, a manager in curriculum planning and development, emphasized the benefit of the study guide for families. "This study guide could be an excellent thing for families to use in family home evenings. If a father will read the study guide and the related reading assignment, go to Sunday School, then go home and teach those principles in family home evening, the whole family gains understanding.

"I find that family members - especially seminary students - need to have the historical background included in the booklet. The study guide is written in such a way that young people can read it with ease and enjoy it."

Brother Petersen continued: "All that history is not new to members who have taken time to study, but it is new to new members of the Church. It will be quite exciting for them to see how the Church developed and how the Doctrine and Covenants came into being. Long histories tend to scare people a little. But this is not long history. These are the bare essentials brought down to a level that anyone can understand." - Julie A. Dockstader

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