Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opened the faith’s 188th Semiannual General Conference by announcing a “new balance between and connection gospel instruction in the home and in the Church.” It is part of an effort “to strengthen families and individuals through a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship,” he said.
“As Latter-day Saints, we have become accustomed to thinking of ‘church’ as something that happens in our meetinghouses, supported by what happens at home,” he continued. “We need an adjustment to this pattern. It is time for home-centered church, supported by what takes place inside our branch, ward, and stake buildings.”
Immediately following President Nelson’s Saturday morning remarks, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed the global audience and provided details of the forthcoming adjustments.
“The Sunday meeting schedule will be adjusted in the following ways, beginning in January 2019,” Elder Cook said. “The Sunday Church meetings will consist of a 60-minute sacrament meeting each Sunday, focused on the Savior, the ordinance of the sacrament, and spiritual messages. After time for transition to classes, Church members will attend a 50-minute class that will alternate each Sunday. Sunday School will be held on the first and third Sundays. Priesthood quorums, Relief Society, and Young Women meetings will be held on the second and fourth Sundays. Meetings on the fifth Sunday will be under the direction of the bishop. Primary will be held each week during this same 50-minute period and will include singing time and classes.”
The Church’s current format of three consecutive hours of Sunday worship services began in 1980. Prior to that, Church meetings were held throughout the Sabbath day and during the week.
A new curriculum resource to be used by children, youth, and adults beginning January 2019, Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families, is available in print, at comefollowme.lds.org, and in the Gospel Library app in 47 languages.