This year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will read the New Testament as part of “Come, Follow Me” — the church’s curriculum for Saints across the world.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to read scriptures more carefully, this guide might be for you. Here is what prophets and apostles have said about the potential benefits of using “Come, Follow Me,” as well as some suggested resources that can accompany “Come, Follow Me” and help you to deepen your study.
Many of these resources come from the church’s additional resources section.
What leaders have said about ‘Come, Follow Me’
“Come, Follow Me” was introduced during the October 2018 general conference.
President Russell M. Nelson spoke about the need for a home-centered and church-supported curriculum. Before Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, introduced the curriculum, President Nelson said, “Our efforts over these recent years to hallow the sabbath — to make it a delight and a personal sign to God of our love for him — will be augmented by the adjustments we will now introduce.”
Elder Cook explained how “Come, Follow Me” would work: “The new home-centered and church-supported curriculum needs to influence more powerfully family religious observance and behavior and personal religious observance and behavior.”
During the next October general conference in 2019, Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace described “Come, Follow Me” as a “proactive plan”: “Studying the scriptures with ‘Come, Follow Me’ as a guide is strengthening our conversion to Jesus Christ and his gospel. We are not simply trading one hour less in church on Sunday for one hour more of scripture study at home. Learning the gospel is a consistent effort throughout the week.”
When speaking about the stress and difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, Elder Dale G. Renlund, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “Our lives have been blessed by ministering in a ‘higher and holier way,’ the ‘Come, Follow Me’ curriculum, and home-centered, church-supported gospel learning. Many have provided compassionate help and comfort during these difficult times and continue to do so.”
Later in April 2022 general conference, President Pace gave examples of families who he said had been blessed by studying “Come, Follow Me.” He said, “A mother of a young family said: ‘We talk of Christ and rejoice in Christ in our home. To me that is the greatest blessing — that my children can grow up with these gospel conversations in the home that bring them closer to the Savior.’”
Primary General President Susan H. Porter announced new resources for parents and families for “Come, Follow Me” in October 2022. She said, “Our hope as a presidency is that all children can understand and live the covenants they make at baptism — as well as prepare for other ordinances on the Savior’s covenant path.”
New Testament videos
One resource to complement “Come, Follow Me” is the church’s series of videos depicting scenes from the New Testament on YouTube.
Under a playlist called “Bible Videos,” the church has produced several videos of well-known scenes from the New Testament such as “Jesus Heals a Woman of Faith” and “The Savior Suffers in Gethsemane.”
These scenes include actors who quote from the scriptures. There are more than a dozen videos to watch while also reading the New Testament.
Gospel Topics Essays
Some of the Gospel Topics Essays published by the church touch on topics that come up in the New Testament.
Scripture Citation Index
The Scripture Citation Index is a tool provided by Brigham Young University.
This online tool allows a person to select a book, chapter and verse of scripture, and then see where this verse was quoted in general conference. This is a quick and easy way to find general conference talks that may relate to a passage the reader wants to ponder further.
‘New Testament Stories’
“New Testament Stories” is a book (fully digitized) from the church that includes illustrations of stories in the New Testament with excerpts from scripture.
This book is great if you are reading with your family and would like to have an easy way to share the scriptures with your children.
Church News Podcast
The Church News Podcast occasionally produces episodes that are related to “Come, Follow Me.”
For example, the podcast recently published an interview with President Pace and his counselors, Brother Milton Camargo and Brother Jan E. Newman, about how the scriptures can strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Sunday School general presidency also spoke to the value and importance of “Come, Follow Me.”
The ScripturePlus app is made by Book of Mormon Central.
Included in the app “are multiple versions of the text, formatting with sub-headings, red lettering to highlight words and names of deity, author/speaker identification, questions and answers, quotations from General Authorities and reliable scholars, charts, images, and Book of Mormon Central’s signature KnoWhys,” according to the ScripturePlus website.
This app is a great way to study the scriptures with additional resources at your fingertips.
BYU Religious Studies Center
The BYU Religious Studies Center posted a list of essays written by a variety of different authors — from scholars to church leaders to educators — about the New Testament.
It’s broken up week by week, with a couple different essays available on the website for each block of scripture that is read each week. These recommended readings can add more depth to scripture study.
From the Desk
Kurt Manwaring is the editor-in-chief of From the Desk, a well-cited Latter-day Saint website that takes a faithful approach to historical issues.
He published an article complete with “Come, Follow Me” resources.
Some of his recommendations include the work of Anglican bishop and theologian N.T. Wright, who is commonly cited in general conference. He also recommend Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s new book “Our Day Star Rising.”
This can be a helpful resource for those who are looking for quick question-and-answer-type of articles, in addition to book recommendations.
Tips for studying ‘Come, Follow Me’
Studying the scriptures is a rewarding practice. Here are some tips to help you optimize your scripture reading.
- Have a time every single day that you schedule your study.
- Begin and end with a prayer.
- Keep a journal and a pen next to you.
- If you’re just starting to get back into the habit of studying, set a timer for 5-10 minutes each day for a week and study for that period of time. Gradually increase the duration of study over time.
- Pay attention to impressions and promptings.
- Ask yourself “who, what, when, where and why” while you start new chapters to help yourself keep track of what is happening.
- Research the historical context (Deseret Book’s “New Testament History, Culture, and Society” is a good resource).
- Think about how you can apply the scriptures to your life.