College students reflect on Come, Follow Me program

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Allison McArthur
A BYU student studies the Doctrine and Covenants with her Come, Follow Me manual and other resources. Come, Follow Me completely changed church service and personal study four years ago. (Allison McArthur)

It has been almost four years since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the shift to the home-centered Come, Follow Me curriculum. The implementation of the program completely changed worship for many members of the Church.

Sunday service was shortened to two hours rather than three to allow time for personal, family and group study of Come, Follow Me. Sunday School was altered to follow the same curriculum to enhance understanding. This change, implemented by the First Presidency, was created to strengthen faith and increase conversion.

Has the program been impactful and effective for college students? In a survey of 46 college students, 47% of respondents agreed Come, Follow Me has improved their testimony.

“Come, Follow Me has helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the scriptures as a whole and has helped to facilitate more natural spiritual discussions with those around me,” linguistics major Richard Beezer said.

However, 44.5% of respondents neither agreed nor disagreed the program improved their testimony, and 9% disagreed. Students also reported the majority of them prefer Come, Follow Me to a three-hour church schedule.

Some college students surveyed said they feel the program has added more stress to their already stressful lives because Come, Follow Me encourages not only group study, but also personal study.

More students reported that they participate in individual study rather than group study. Along with Come, Follow Me, many Church leaders have also emphasized the importance of reading the Book of Mormon every day.

“Come, Follow Me has just become another thing we’re supposed to do,” neuroscience major Payton Harris said. “I can’t handle homework, personal scripture study, Come, Follow Me studying and Come, Follow Me group studying. There’s just too much.”

Many students agree with Harris that balancing Come, Follow Me along with other responsibilities is difficult. About 61% of students agreed with the statement that Come, Follow Me is hard to do as a college student.

The survey also reported 66% of the students who responded feel the religious study program has improved Sunday School material and teachings.

Since Come, Follow Me was introduced it has created a lot of changes. The program seems to have mixed responses from college students.

However, it is mostly agreed upon that students prefer the program to a three-hour church service. Approximately 79% of students agreed they would rather not go back to a longer church time.

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