In October 2018, President Nelson announced a change to the 3 hour block for Church. For decades and decades since 1980, members would attend Sacrament meeting, Sunday School, then Priesthood and Relief Society. Every meeting began and ended with prayer.
All of that was changed once President Nelson became prophet. Not only were our meetings reduced down to 2 hours, but we also were told to eliminate having a prayer and a hymn to begin the second hour of church. Even though the Sacrament Meeting began and ended with prayer, once the second block of church began, the teacher was to just begin teaching without having an open prayer and/or hymn. When this was announced, there was no reason given for the elimination. It wasn't due to time constraints since we gained an extra 10 minutes for that second hour.
However, the Church just announced another reversal to a previous decision made by President Nelson. Here is the headline:
Beginning immediately, Sunday School, Elders Quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women are to start with opening prayer
From the article:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is reinstating the practice of opening the second hour of Sunday meetings with a prayer, effective immediately.
It reverses a change announced in 2018, when the Church implemented a new and simplified Sunday meeting schedule. At the time, direction was given that Sunday School, elders quorum, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorum and Young Women classes would no longer open with a hymn and prayer but would continue to conclude with a closing prayer (see enclosure to the First Presidency letter dated October 6, 2018).
The announced also includes the requirements for the prayers to be given. Prayers should be brief and simple and include the pronouns, Thee, Thy, Thine, and Thou. The full article of instruction can be read here from the official Church newsroom article. Church Reinstates Opening Prayers in Sunday Second-Hour Meetings
Different from previous years, print copies of “Come, Follow Me — For Individuals and Families” will no longer be sent to units free of charge. Members will need to order and buy their own copies at store.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. They are about 4 dollars each. However, some wards might pay the bill for their ward members out of their yearly budget.
The good news is that in case members can't afford to buy a new manual, they can still use the old 2019 "Come Follow Me" manual. A notice was send to all ward and stake leaders stating that "print copies of the 2019 manuals may be used, though the dates on each outline would need to change to align with the 2023 calendar."
Basically, we will be studying the exact same scriptures and quotes from four years ago. The updated changes include a new cover and a different font with the different dates to reflect the 2023 calendar.
Here is the content outline from the 2019 manual and the new 2023 manual.
For those who still have the 2019 manual, I think it is interesting to see that on the instead of the cover the copyright dates for the 2019 Come Follow Me manual for the English version was in February 2017. The reason why I think this is interesting is that President Nelson didn't become the President until 2018. However, the Come Follow Me study program of Home Church has been used as an example of his Prophetic abilities to foresee the future even though this Come Follow Me program was well underway and completed in English while President Monson was the Prophet.