SALT LAKE CITY — LDS leaders continued to implement an emphasis on improved church teaching and learning Sunday when they released a new manual for Sunday School and other teachers and announced a new program to provide monthly teacher training.
Each congregation will begin to hold a teacher council meeting once a month during the regular, three-hour schedule of weekly Sunday meetings. Every teacher, from those instructing toddlers or teenagers to those leading discussions with women and men, will use a new manual, "Teaching in the Savior's Way."
The manual was introduced Sunday in an email from the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to local leaders and all teachers. It replaces the manual and training program "Teaching, No Greater Call," first introduced in 1978 and updated in 1999.
"As fellow teachers we can help each other succeed," said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a video posted on LDS.org. "It's with this effort in mind that we are introducing 'Teaching in the Savior's Way' and teacher council meetings in ward and branches throughout the church."
Elder Holland said teacher council meetings are not training presentations but dialogues where teachers in a single congregation counsel together and share suggestions and challenges.
All teachers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are unpaid volunteers, called out of congregations by local leaders.
The introduction to the new manual says senior church leaders intend for it to be used broadly. It will be a resource for those teaching Sunday School for teenagers and adults to those teaching toddlers and small children in the church's Primary program, women in the Relief Society organization, men in priesthood quorums and Young Women and Young Men groups.
The ward council, a group of lay leaders in each congregation, will oversee the teacher council meetings. A member of the ward Sunday School presidency is expected to lead the meetings.