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New Relief Society guide: Focus is Savior, covenants

The new 1990 Relief Society personal study guide is now available in Church distribution centers.

According to the Relief Society general presidency, the new study guide, which centers on the scriptural theme of remembering the Savior by making and keeping sacred covenants, can be used as an extension to Relief Society members' personal study of the scriptures.The manual is one of four personal study guides that will be rotated over a four-year period, said the general presidency. The 1991, 1992, and 1993 personal study guides will be updated versions of manuals used the past three years.

The updated study guides will not include lessons based on General Authority addresses as do current study guides. Instead, teachers will be encouraged to select addresses from recent general conference sessions. This change was made so that Relief Society members might follow President Benson's admonition that general conference addresses should "stand next to your standard works and be referred to frequently," explained Relief Society Gen. Pres. Barbara W. Winder.

Instructions for preparing and presenting these talks as lessons are found in the introduction of each study guide.

In addition, two home management lessons have been designated as personal and family preparedness lessons, but no materials are supplied in the study guide. Joy F. Evans, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, explained that "the purpose of this change is to give local units the opportunity to meet needs in principles of personal and family welfare for their particular area. It is very difficult to provide preparedness lessons that are applicable worldwide and even within countries. We are confident that this change will benefit Church members everywhere."

The Hold to the Rod series of scriptural motivation/application lessons will be continued in the study guides. Formerly designated as supplemental lessons, they are now scheduled as regular lessons.

Suggestions and helpful hints for the teacher are included at the end of each lesson. The suggestions are designed to help generate discussions.

"Discussions in our meetings will increase feelings of sisterhood and help us learn how to apply the gospel principles in our own lives," observed Joanne B. Doxey, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

"We welcome the opportunity to study in depth what the Lord has instructed us in these latter days. Our main emphasis is that all Relief Society lessons can help bring us to Christ. They can help save souls. They prepare us to participate in the mission of the Church."

The reason for rotating manuals is to free up the production, printing and translation resources in the Church to help make the Book of Mormon available to more people, explained Sister Winder. "We believe sisters everywhere will gladly make necessary adjustments when they know and understand how vitally important it is to place our latter-day scriptures in the hands of `every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.' "

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