Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared an important message on social media encouraging parents who may be worried about increasing gospel learning in the home.
“I wish to share a message with you parents as you consider how to implement the emphasis on home-centered, Church-supported gospel learning in your own homes,” Elder Holland wrote. “You might be wondering how, with all that you already have on your plate, can you accomplish what the Lord is asking of you?”
Elder Holland then explained why gospel learning is so important in a home setting while providing some advice.
“First, the home is where we spend most of our time—certainly more time than we spend at church (overworked bishops notwithstanding). We wouldn’t expect our physical bodies to survive long on one meal a week—even if it is a very good meal. Similarly, if a one-hour Church class, even an excellent Church class, is the main setting for our “feasting upon the word of Christ,” then we are in danger of spiritual malnourishment.
Second, the home is both classroom and lab, where learning and living the gospel are so seamlessly combined that they are almost indistinguishable. This living laboratory experience simply can’t be re-created in the classroom alone. And third, perhaps most important, the home is—or can be—an echo of heaven, a reminder of the eternal goal we came here to pursue.
Have I frightened you parents? I hope not. This emphasis on teaching, learning, and living at home is not meant to be an added burden for individuals and families. Quite the opposite, actually—we hope that by acknowledging and supporting your efforts at home, we can in some way lighten the burden you carry there. Or, better yet, perhaps we can strengthen you to ‘bear [it] with ease.'”
In the October 2018 General Conference, a major change was announced in the Church’s Sabbath day schedule, reducing the the three-hour church block to just two hours. This was done to place more emphasis on creating a “home-centered church.” You can learn more about this new approach here.