My Favorite First Presidency Letter so Far

by | Jan 14, 2024

3 men in suits

The 1st Presidency Letter, dated Oct 6, 2018

The 1st Presidency Letter, dated Oct 6, 2018, was a game changer.

President Nelson commissioned us all to go by the Spirit in what we study for the Gospel.

“Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families, is the *suggested* course of gospel study at home…Individuals and families, however, seek inspiration as they choose to study what will best meet their needs. They prayerfully consider options such as the Book of Mormon and other standard works, general conference messages, Church magazines, information available on LDS dot org, and other materials suggested by general or local leaders. There is no expectation that members will study all, or even most, of these resources at any one time.” (1st Presidency Letter – Oct 6, 2018)

My Experience

12 years ago, another Book of Mormon year, I was all ready to start the BOM fresh and looking forward to it, and the Spirit said unmistakably with burning in the bosom, “Study the Doctrine and Covenants this year” (individual study).  I was VERY surprised. So I did. And it was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had with scriptures. I was overcome with the Spirit many times as I read. Words took on new meaning, and my understanding was greatly multiplied.

At an important crossroads in my life, my path forward was charted for me with clarity. To this day, that D&C experience stands out in my spiritual memory.

Maybe, step outside the manufactured, cultural box of what gospel study is supposed to look and sound like. Let the Spirit inspire you.

Especially in individual study!

Suggestions for Study

You can use the “Come, Follow Me” book, go over General Conference talks, study by topic, pick a standard work to read through, or whatever feels inspired and fits you best. I invite you to pray about it and seek inspiration. That’s following the prophet.

President Nelson validated you. He also authorized study groups and for us to get together and talk to each other about the gospel. This was the exact opposite of previous council.

“Informally, and as organized by those who so desire, young single adults, single adults, single parents, part-member families, new members, and others can gather to enjoy sociality and to strengthen one another through gospel study.” (same letter)

Family Home Evening

President Nelson changed FHE to Sunday! I don’t hear anyone talk about this. But I think it was divinely inspired.

“The adjusted Sunday schedule allows for, and members are encouraged to hold, home evening and to study the gospel at home on Sunday—or at other times as individuals and families choose. A family activity night could be held on Monday or at other times. To this end, leaders should continue to keep Monday evenings free from Church meetings and activities. However, time spent in home evening, gospel study in the home, and activities for families and individuals is scheduled according to individual circumstances.”

To sum up that letter:

  • Official FHE is now Sunday.
  • FHE can be any day or time you choose with President Nelson’s blessings.
  • If you want to do a family activity, it could be Monday or any other time. It’s optional and no longer a weekly scheduled expectation.
  • People can gather independently to have gospel study and enjoy sociality.
  • Scripture study of any combination of resources is sanctioned and approved. For both the family and the individual. Prayerfully follow the Spirit’s guide.

What Ours Turned Out to Be.

For family, we follow the CFM reading schedule but don’t use the CFM guide very much. We’re having a great time with it.

For individual, I’ve been strongly impressed by the Youth – CFM class discussions, and they’re doing quite well already. Which surprised me. Usually, it takes several months for something like that to grow.

I’ve also been strongly impressed to finish the second half of the Doctrine and Covenants. So I’ll be writing about that as inspired.

May 2024 be a wonderful year for you – with fire and Spirit.

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1 Comment

  1. JW

    Thank you for sharing this and emphasizing the value of seeking and following guidance for your own spiritual study and nourishment.


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