In late 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change to the Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood Sunday curriculum.
Starting this year, the “Teachings of Presidents of the Church” series will no longer be the core curriculum. Instead, quorums and auxiliaries will study primarily from the teachings of living apostles and prophets.
Specifically, the new schedule is shared on LDS.org as follows:
First Sunday Council Meeting: A presidency member or group leader leads members as they counsel together and make plans to meet local needs.
Second and Third Sundays: Members study, discuss, and apply general conference messages from the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other Church leaders.
Fourth Sunday: Members study a doctrinal topic related to the work of Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society.
Fifth Sunday: Bishoprics or branch presidencies plan the meeting.
These changes will require adjustment on the part of Church members everywhere. But here are some helpful resources to make the transition smoother.
1. First Sunday helps
LDS.org produced this helpful webpage that outlines what class members and discussion leaders should do before, during and after first-Sunday council meetings to make the most of this time.
“To Sit in Council,” an article from January 2018’s Ensign, also shares helpful training for Relief Society members and Melchizedek priesthood holders as they hold their first council meetings.
2. Second and Third Sunday helps
This webpage on LDS.org lists every address from the October 2017 General Conference and offers suggestions for study and discussion. Talks are chosen by local quorum, group or Relief Society leaders, and these leaders seek inspiration in how to approach the material. However, this resource is invaluable for teachers who are new to the curriculum.
3. Fourth Sunday helps
In the new curriculum, the fourth Sunday of every month is set aside for studying one principle, chosen by the general leadership of the Church. For the beginning of 2018, this topic is “The Sabbath Day.”
However, teaching on the same topic for six months in a row could become tiresome. This helpful resource page offers several suggested focuses for discussion about the Sabbath, giving teachers plenty of ideas for bringing variety to their lessons.
4. General helps
More details on the 2018 curriculum — not just for priesthood and Relief Society classes, but for all ages — is available here.
All teachers will also benefit from careful study of “Teaching in the Savior’s Way,” which is the teaching approach on which the new curriculum is built.