Beginning in November, all fourth-Sunday "Teachings for Our Time" lessons will be taken from the most recent general conference issue of the Ensign and Liahona, according to a letter and instructions to priesthood leaders dated October 1, 2004.
Instructions accompanying the letter from President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, stated that the fourth-Sunday lessons will be taken from the May and November issues of these magazines.
"Stake and district presidents may choose which talks should be used, or they may assign this responsibility to bishops and branch presidents," according to the instructions. "These priesthood leaders should stress the value of having the Melchizedek Priesthood brethren and Relief Society sisters study the same talks on the same Sundays. Teachers should seek counsel from their leaders regarding any special emphasis."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve said that the curriculum change supports ongoing counsel from Church leaders on the importance of studying what is said during general conference.
"We hope this regular reference to the preceding general conference will keep the spirit of general conference and the teachings of the Brethren current in the lives of the members," said Elder Holland.
"We encourage members to bring the most recent general conference issue of the magazine with them to their Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society classes on every fourth Sunday," he said. "Ward and branch leaders should ensure that all members have access to the Church magazines."
Elder Holland cited a letter from the First Presidency sent on July 18, 2004, that stated, "Our desire is that the Church magazines be found in every Latter-day Saint home."
"In a world that competes for our time with a great deal of printed and visual material not worthy of our attention, how grateful I am for the magazines of the Church which put inspirational, attractive, ennobling material at our fingertips," Elder Holland continued. "In our magazines there is something for everyone — from the youngest to the most elderly — and the generous support of the Church makes the cost for these materials far less expensive than virtually any other magazine or resource to which we could subscribe. In our age and time, we need to have the Church magazines in every home and their teachings demonstrated in every life."
Members in the United States and Canada can subscribe to the Church magazines online at ldscatalog.com or by calling 1-800-537-5971. Outside the United States and Canada, members should contact their local distribution center or their ward or branch leaders.
Copies of general conference talks will also be available online by mid-November in 19 languages at www.lds.org under "Gospel Library." Instructors can find on page 120 of each magazine suggestions for how to teach using general conference talks. The conference issue of the Liahona will be published in 30 languages.