SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – In a stunning announcement for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Quentin L. Cook did away with the traditional three-hour block of church meetings and changed a decades-old practice.
Beginning in January 2019, members of the Church will attend Sacrament meeting for 60 minutes, have a ten minute transition to classes, and then have 50 minutes of instruction. Primary will happen weekly, and adult and youth classes will happen weekly on a rotating schedule.
Sunday School will occur on the first and third Sunday of the month.
Priesthood Quorums, Relief Society and Young Women meetings will happen on the second and third Sundays of the month.
If there is a fifth Sunday in a month, meetings will occur under the direction and inspiration of the bishop, Cook said.
The announcement ends a decades-old practice of having church meetings last three hours each Sunday.
Members of the Church on social media rejoiced at the announcement. Many were excited about the opportunity to have more time at home with their family on Sunday. Some were just excited that church meetings were shortened. For weeks, rumors of the change to “two-hour church” swirled on social media. Those rumors proved to be well-founded.
The LDS Church also announced a new, home-centered gospel study curriculum called “Come, Follow Me.” The announcement comes six months after the church changed its home and visiting teaching programs to a more broadened and less structured “ministering” program.
The announcement was made Saturday at the opening of the Church’s 188th semiannual General Conference, which will conclude Sunday afternoon. It is the latest change made to the Church made by President Russell M. Nelson, who succeeded President Thomas S. Monson, who passed away in January.