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'A joy and a delight': An Apostle's perspective on studying the gospel at home

Nearly three months after President Russell M. Nelson announced a “new balance and connection between gospel instruction in the home and in the Church” on Oct. 6, Latter-day Saints are preparing to implement the changes.

The “home-centered and Church-supported plan” necessitates an adjustment to the Church’s Sunday meeting schedule beginning January and provides the opportunity for families and individuals to study the gospel at home in a new way.

The changes are meant to help members increase faith and spirituality and deepen conversion, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Church’s Priesthood and Family Executive Council.

Church leaders hope members will do their best to teach and learn the gospel during a year when the Church is studying the Savior's life and ministry in the New Testament during Sunday School, said Elder Cook.

He recommends Church members spend some time with “Come, Follow Me — For Individuals and Families.” If they will prayerfully look at the manual and other resources, then they will be able to see how they can use them in a way that is “best for their individual and family situation,” he said.

They should make the hour they are given for home study “a joy and a delight,” counseled Elder Cook.

Ben, Tom, Daniel and Emilia Allen play Memory at home in Renton, Wash., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.
Ben, Tom, Daniel and Emilia Allen play Memory at home in Renton, Wash., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

There is no reason families need to remain in Sunday dress, said Elder Cook. “Would it be wonderful to sing gospel hymns? Yes. Would it be wonderful to sing other music or engage in other enjoyable or uplifting activities? Yes.”

“The strongest feeling is that we should not regulate families or individuals or determine what they should do,” he said.

President Nelson promised Latter-day Saints during general conference that the inspired “organizational adjustments” — and extra time to study the gospel in the home — will “fortify our members and their families.”

In a letter dated June 29, the First Presidency announced “Come, Follow Me” resources to support personal and family scripture study.

“Living by and reading the word of God will build faith in Heavenly Father and His plan of salvation and in the Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement,” the First Presidency wrote in the letter.

Elder Cook said he hopes that Church members will make a considerable effort to implement and teach “Come, Follow Me” in their homes and receive the promised blessings.

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