“Get Ready for a New Experience in Sunday Classes and Quorums,” New Era, Dec. 2012
Your experience in Sunday School, Young Women classes, and priesthood quorums is about to change. In January 2013, a new set of lessons called Come, Follow Me will be the main focus of your Sunday learning.
You’ll find that your teachers will ask you to participate a lot more than they have in the past. And although it may feel awkward at first to share your experiences, you’ll see what a difference it makes when you get to hear from your own peers and share your thoughts with them, discover the gospel together, and learn how to apply the doctrines and principles of the gospel.
This approach of learning together focuses on the way Christ taught. He shared real-life examples. He asked His followers questions and let them ask Him questions. He invited them to testify. And He invited them to act on the principles they learned. As they did so, they grew stronger in the gospel and were deeply converted. Just like them, as you play a larger part in your learning, you’ll be prepared to live the gospel no matter what temptations you face, and you’ll be prepared to answer questions about the Church both now and in the future.
This new learning experience will help you be ready to talk about the gospel with your friends, prepare for missionary and family service now and in the future, and deepen your testimony of the gospel. That will happen as you actively search the scriptures, share your thoughts, and accept invitations to apply what you’re learning outside of class. In class, you will also hear from the most current teachings of living prophets.
You have the opportunity and responsibility to take a major role in your learning by being an active participant rather than sitting back while the teacher does most of the talking in class. As you learn in the Lord’s way, you’ll:
Share your experiences and thoughts about the things you’re studying, both with your peers in class and also with your family at home.
Actively search the scriptures and words of the prophets throughout the lesson, talking about what you find.
Accept invitations given in class to help you live gospel principles throughout the week.
Pray and study the scriptures on your own each day.
Invite others to live the gospel through word and example.
All of your Sunday classes and quorums will focus on a specific theme each month, with lessons based around gospel questions you have. For example, in January 2013, you’ll be learning about the Godhead, focusing on questions such as:
What do we know about the nature of the Godhead?
How can I know my Heavenly Father?
Why is Jesus Christ important in my life?
What are the roles of the Holy Ghost?
Who am I, and who can I become?
In Sunday School, you’ll no longer be studying the scriptures in consecutive order (for example, the Doctrine and Covenants one year and Old Testament the next). Instead, you’ll be learning and practicing what it’s like to teach the gospel as you have the chance to share your experiences and thoughts about the monthly gospel themes. You’ll study principles of teaching and learning, and you’ll also have the chance to practice teaching others.
The monthly themes can help you focus your Mutual activities around your learning. Class and quorum presidencies are encouraged to think about the themes while planning Mutual activities. Activity ideas from the lesson outlines can be used as a starting point in that planning. You can view them at lds.org/youth/learn.
Seminary will continue to focus on a book of scripture (such as the New Testament or Book of Mormon) each year, just as it has in the past.
This year, youth in over 40 stakes worldwide have tried this new approach to Sunday learning. And they say it’s made a big difference. Hear their experiences in short videos at the websites listed.
“I have a stronger testimony because I have to gain it [on] my own. I can’t rely on the teacher’s and everybody else’s because in class we’re having a discussion about it. I’m not just listening to someone else’s testimony. I have to say, ‘You know, I want to try that. I want to gain a testimony of that.’”
“At the end of every class, … whoever has been teaching the lesson … will give us a challenge. … So throughout the week we’ll have that challenge to become better. And we’ll get texts. … every couple days just to remind us.”
“What I love most about it is the learning—it doesn’t stop at just Sunday School. You … carry on throughout the week. And your teacher gives you assignments, and you need to come prepared for the next Sunday.”
“Once you get going in the right direction, it’s so easy to get people into these lessons, because it’s just all the rest of the quorum members who really are teaching.”