According to President Mark L. Pace of the Sunday School General Presidency, “Come, Follow Me” exists to promote daily gospel study worldwide, support inspirational experiences with the word of God and improve Sunday gospel instruction to invite learner participation.
President Pace referred to President Russell M. Nelson’s General Conference closing remarks in October 2018, which encouraged members to make the Sabbath a delight in the home.
“It’s an issue of what sort of things we listen to, what sort of things we read, and that our homes are someplace where faith is safe, and the faith can continue to fill,” President Pace said.
Brother Milton Camargo, first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, shared more about the changes to the manual.
Brother Camargo said Church leadership wants to unify training and discussions of members worldwide.
“Teaching in the Savior’s Way,” an instructional manual, will be the only official teaching manual in 2024. Similarly, “Come, Follow Me” will be the sole manual for individuals and families for guided scripture study and discussion.
Brother Camargo said it will help appeal to a global audience, strengthen the home-centered approach to “Come, Follow Me” and simplify manuals to adapt more to local and individual circumstances.
Brother Ian E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, explained the importance of the unified manuals.
“It (‘Teaching in the Savior’s Way’) is the only manual that is available in the church for teacher improvement. All the other ones are in the past now, and we focus on this one. The thing I love about this is that it doesn’t just give ideas of how to teach. It teaches how the Savior taught,” Brother Newman said.
Throughout the class, the members of the presidency addressed the nature of “Come, Follow Me” and the ways members approach them. Brother Camargo said teachers should change the way they ask questions in many cases.
“It’s not ‘What have you learned this week?’ It’s not ‘What stood out to you?’ It is ‘What have you learned from the Holy Ghost?'” Brother Camargo said.
Brother Camargo also explained some of the new sections and features of the 2024 edition of “Come, Follow Me,” including the new blue scripture icon that denotes more in depth study and interactive learning activities.
Chris Yerka, a content specialist for the 2024 edition of “Come, Follow Me,” spoke about the renewed focus on home-centered learning and the ultimate goal behind the yearly manual series.
“It’s all about getting the scriptures to the heart. It’s not about the manual,” Yerka said. “Let’s let’s stop the vernacular of saying ‘Did you do “Come, Follow Me?”‘ And let’s start saying ‘Did you study your scriptures? Did you have an experience with the Lord?’ That’s what we’re going for.”
Utah resident and class participant Karen Wilson said the idea of “validating the learners” was new to her.
“I hadn’t thought about how important that is. Whether it brings new questions of maybe doubt or whether it brings some faith promoting thing that validated the individuals,” Wilson said.
The new “Come, Follow Me” manual is available on the Church’s website.