The Church has announced changes to the schedule and content of Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society meetings beginning in 2018. The new schedule provides more focus on messages from general conference and time to discuss and solve needs in the ward or branch. It also includes a special topic each month from the general leaders of the Church.
Beginning in January 2018, Come, Follow Me—For Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society Meetings will emphasize counseling together. Similar to the Come, Follow Me youth curriculum that was implemented in 2013, the materials encourage Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood leaders to follow the teaching and learning approach of Teaching in the Savior’s Way (see teaching.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Beginning in 2018, Sunday Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society meetings will follow this monthly schedule:
- First Sunday: Ward Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society leaders will lead a discussion to identify local needs and counsel together about how to meet those needs. This could include how to accomplish responsibilities such as member missionary work, convert retention, activation of less-active members, temple and family history work, and teaching the gospel. Other topics might be how to improve communication with family members, serve in the community, or mentor youth in the ward. In subsequent meetings, members follow up on impressions and actions. Rather than just discussing such issues in the ward council, now all members of the Relief Society and quorums can participate in developing solutions and accomplishing the work.
- Second and Third Sundays: The new schedule devotes two weeks a month to the discussion of messages from the most recent general conference. (Previously, conference talks were studied once a month on the fourth Sunday.) In addition to doubling the time spent on the words of the living prophets, the approach emphasizes the need to counsel together to help one another find ways to apply the messages from our leaders in our daily lives and also share with each other how we’ve been blessed from following that counsel.
- Fourth Sunday: This week will be a special topic provided by general Church leaders. The topics will be announced in the May and November issues of the Liahona and Ensign magazines.
- Fifth Sunday: The topic for the fifth Sunday is to be chosen by the bishopric and led by the bishopric or someone they assign.
The resources to support Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood meetings will be provided twice a year in the general conference issues (May and November) of the Liahona and Ensign magazines. In addition to the talks themselves, the magazines will include an 8-page insert that will provide:
- Teaching tools to help make the instruction and discussion of the talks rich and meaningful.
- Ideas to help members search, analyze, and apply the general conference messages, as well as the topics for fourth-Sunday lessons.
These new resources for adults replace the Teachings of Presidents of the Church series that has been used from 1998 to 2017.
Here is how you can access the general conference messages:
- Online at conference.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
- Online at liahona.ChurchofJesusChrist.org (November and May issues).
- In the Gospel Library mobile app.
- By subscribing to the printed editions of the Liahona (see store.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
- See ComeFollowMe.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, which includes answers to frequently asked questions.
- Church News article “Church Announces “Come, Follow Me” for Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society“
- In November, see the Liahona magazine, which will include the talks from the October general conference, plus an 8-page insert with information about how to use them.
- In January, see the Liahona magazine for more information on how to counsel together.