“New Marriage and Family Relations Course,” Ensign, Oct. 2000, 78–79
A new Marriage and Family Relations course to be inaugurated in the Church can be used as a separate Sunday School class, as lesson material for other auxiliaries, or as a personal study guide for married couples.
An announcement letter to priesthood leaders from President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, stated that the course is “designed to help strengthen marriages and families. This course is to be administered under the direction of the bishop or branch president.”
According to instructions in the instructor’s manual:
“Bishoprics and branch presidencies may schedule the course as a Sunday School class”;
Priesthood group and quorum leaders or Relief Society presidencies “may use individual lessons for instruction on the first Sunday of each month”;
“Bishoprics and branch presidencies may use individual lessons in combined Melchizedek Priesthood–Relief Society meetings on fifth Sundays”;
“Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women advisers may use the manual as a resource for Mutual night”;
Or “individuals and couples may study the course on their own.”
The manual notes that priesthood leaders may invite specific members to attend the course, “as guided by the Spirit.”
The course is divided into two parts. Part A, “Strengthening Marriages,” is designed to help married couples or those planning to be married. Part B, “Parents’ Responsibilities to Strengthen Families,” is for parents or grandparents as they strive to “bring [children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Members can take the individual parts of the course or use its materials according to their own needs. For example, a married couple without children might participate in or study part A; a single parent might use only the lessons in part B.
Part A is divided into eight sections with topics such as nurturing love and friendship in a marriage, responding to challenges, finding strength through faith and prayer, calling on the power of forgiveness, and managing family finances.
Part B has eight sections with topics from fulfilling the sacred roles of mother and father to teaching by example and guiding children as they make decisions.
Both the instructor’s manual and participant’s study guide contain “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and a list of other Church-produced resources. The instructor’s manual also includes some basic instructions on preparing to teach and on the responsibilities of the teacher.
The instructor’s manual (item no. 35865) and the participant’s study guide (36357) can be ordered from Church distribution centers.