Sunday School General Presidency Discusses 2019 “Come, Follow Me” Curriculum

girl studying

Brother Tad R. Callister recently joined his counselors in the Sunday School general presidency—Brother Devin G. Durrant, first counselor, and Brother Brian K. Ashton, second counselor—to discuss with the Church News their insights on and hopes for the 2019 “Come, Follow Me” integrated curriculum and the Sunday School’s role.


A Fresh Start

Brother Durrant sees newness all around—New Year, new curriculum, new topic of study (the New Testament) as well as new opportunities to decide how one will use available time on the Sabbath and to refine new study and discussion practices in the home. He suggests, “In a way, it’s an opportunity to repent, to change, to start anew and to be more diligent in personal study as well as family study.”

Brother Ashton added: “We have an opportunity to do what President Russell M. Nelson has said, “to remodel our homes into centers of gospel learning.”

“Package Deal”

Brother Callister says he has heard the Brethren talk for some time about a change in Church meeting schedules, but something always seemed missing in the discussions: “Then the integrated curriculum [was prayerfully developed], and it's not just a reduction in time at Church but providing a means and an emphasis to teach the gospel at home that we didn’t have before. It is kind of a package deal, and here are the materials to help you use Sunday wisely.”

Brother Durrant explained, “While we’ve always had an understanding that parents are the prime teachers of their children (Deuteronomy 6:5-25; Doctrine and Covenants 68:25), now we have a resource that helps us implement and provide those learning and teaching experiences in the home.”

Brother Ashton calls 2019’s resources “a new pattern” rather than a new program: “In my mind, much of what we’ve done in the Church is just read the scriptures. The command is to feast, and this is a pattern for how to feast.” Brother Callister related, “Hopefully we’re going from just reading the scriptures to pondering them, which is a higher and holier way to invite revelation.”


More Than Just Sunday

Rather than a weekly class, Sunday School now shares a second-hour meeting slot with the priesthood quorums and other auxiliaries. Brother Durrant said he hopes members continue sharing and discussing the gospel “until we go back to Church …so that the gospel becomes a part of every day.”

Brother Callister explains: “The vision here is that Sunday is one key part, but we want our people studying the scriptures as families every single day …and [having] individual experiences to help us get into the scriptures.”

Preparation and Personal Revelation

Now more than ever, Sunday School teachers will have more discussion material than can possibly be taught in a 50-minute setting. With Sunday School classes scheduled for the first and third Sundays of the month, there could be anywhere from two to five weeks between class discussions, given calendar configurations and possible conflicts with scheduled conferences.

sunday school presidency

Brother Ashton suggested that the premise of the new curriculum is for the teacher “to start by reading the scripture block and praying to know what the Lord wants you to teach. If you need help, then go to the manual.” Brother Callister added, “if you do so, you’ll increase your personal revelation, and the rest of the material becomes a supplement to your revelation. …It’s designed to stretch teachers not to be prescriptive givers of the lesson but deliverers of personal revelation.”

Taking Responsibility To Teach Like Jesus

Teachers have received the “Teaching in the Savior’s Way” training for several years. Brother Durrant sees the new curriculum as an opportunity to apply those principles: loving those being taught, preparing by the Spirit, teaching doctrine, teaching by the Spirit, and extending invitations to class members to take responsibility for their own learning. Brother Durrant noted that combining the “Teaching in the Savior’s Way” principles with the 2019 integrated “Come, Follow Me,” study of the New Testament makes for “a marvelous example and prime opportunity to teach the doctrine [as] the Savior taught.”

Jesus with a child

Likening teachers to shepherds, Brother Ashton says a reduction of classroom instruction could result in increased time available for teachers to encourage study via online methods:,, stake websites, and Facebook or other social platforms

For families with younger children or families that feel like the new curriculum is too demanding or too much of a burden, Brother Durrant suggests, “We’ve gone to great lengths to not prescribe what should be happening in the home as far as teaching the materials. Parents should feel free to follow the Spirit and do what they feel good about as they study individually and with their children. We’re not prescribing a so-called ‘right way.’ We’re just inviting them to allow gospel learning to take place in the home as they see fit.”

Brother Callister concluded, “We can do a lot better in our classrooms and in our homes to train our children not just to learn the gospel but to teach the gospel. It’s embedded into your soul more when you have to think it through and articulate it.”