‘Come, Follow Me’ during lockdown

    by Kenneth Jørgensen

    CFM Large

    During this time of social distancing and isolation, members of the Church are using online technology to find ways to study ‘Come, Follow Me’, with extended families, single adults, their Sunday School classes, and others of different faiths.

    Technology such as Zoom, FaceTime, Messenger, WhatsApp, Teams and others have been used to hold Sunday ‘Come, Follow Me’ lessons, and/or study groups during the week.

    In private-group video chats, members record testimonies and share what they’ve learned in their individual studies

    Children Study Come Follow Me

    “Members and families are encouraged to share this light with the world even under current constraints. People are learning to stay socially connected even when they have to be physically distanced. Much good is happening, and we should share these ideas and successes with each other so we can stay connected to the gospel.”

    Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy

    Members have also found inspiration from other members who share their weekly ‘Come, Follow Me’ material via blogs and YouTube.  Some of this material is oriented to adults and some to children and youth.  Some are video presentations, others include a suggested focus for each day, and some include activity suggestions for children.  There is a great variety.

    We asked authors of some of these blogs and YouTube channels to express their feelings about what the ‘Come, Follow Me’ programme has done for them.

    Phillip and Tiffany

    Phillip and Tiffany with their children
    Tiffany with her family Author of the “Saving Talents” blog

    Tiffany says:

    “A few months before Come, Follow Me was announced in General Conference, we decided to home-school our young children.  As part of our home-school curriculum, we wanted to have a small daily devotional.  Originally we thought about using the seminary manual and creating short summaries, but that was difficult to do, and we very quickly let it slide.

    Without a set schedule, we struggled to do much of anything other than reading a few verses in the Book of Mormon each night.  We felt like something was lacking in our family’s study, but we were also content with what they were learning from our few verses and each week’s Primary lesson.

    When Come, Follow Me was announced, it was like an answer to a prayer that we didn’t know we were saying.  By having a guideline to help keep us on track, the feel in our home has drastically changed.  The gospel is one of the main topics of conversation as opposed to only being brought up every once in a while.  The beauty of 'Come, Follow Me' is that it is concrete enough to give us structure but flexible enough to allow us to adapt to our family’s individual needs.

    The blessings from 'Come, Follow Me' were very obvious in our family even before the current pandemic.  We are so grateful for a living prophet of God who receives revelation for us in our day.  To quote Nephi, our Great God has and will continue to lead us through our afflictions.”

    Tara Doxey

    OnLemonLane
    Tara Doxey with her family Author of the “OnLemonLane” blog

    Tara says:

    “Merely months ago, to think that there would ever be a time, let alone in the near future, where Saint’s would be unable to gather and worship in a meeting house seemed so unlikely, and yet here we are. Without a doubt in my mind, the ‘Come, Follow Me’ program is divinely inspired.

    This program has been an answer to prayers, I didn’t know I had offered until it was implemented. Though we’ve been instructed, encouraged, and given supports to implement consistent Family Home Evenings and scripture study, I struggled to know where to begin, and this excuse became my crutch. To have a set curriculum, with a clear, weekly expectation has left me with no excuses, and for that, I am so grateful.

    There is a noticeable and distinguishable difference in our home, our conversations, and our spirituality when we put in the effort and take the time to implement this inspired, Christ-focused program. My study has been deepened. There is a noticeable shift of focus from the details of the stories to the principles and their application. My young children speak of Christ and His love for them. My 4-year-old asks gospel-centred questions, and thirsts to know more. The program is simple, and I think that’s where it’s true beauty lies.”

    Ben Wilcox

    Ben Wilcox Teaching with Power
    Ben Wilcox Author of 'Teaching with Power'

    Ben says:

    “One thing is for certain--the 'Come, Follow Me' program has changed the Church.  Never before have I seen more people more excited about the scriptures than now--and I think that's phenomenal! I love how 'Come, Follow Me' encourages members of the church to STUDY the scriptures rather than just READ them. The Lord never intended us to merely read the scriptures like we would a newspaper, a magazine, or a novel. Rather, the scriptures themselves tell us to ponder, meditate, treasure up, and feast upon them. I've seen that whatever amount of effort I put into studying the scriptures, the Lord always rewards me fourfold or more for that effort. 

    I love the 'excuse' that 'Come, Follow Me' has given me as a father to spend more time teaching the scriptures to my family. My home has increased in faith, spirit, and power as we've dug deeper into the scriptures than ever before. The more we study, the more we learn, the more we apply, the greater love and enthusiasm we gain for God's word. It's no wonder to me that the scriptures are compared to an iron rod. The 'Come, Follow Me' program will certainly help us all through our mists of darkness.”

    Debbie Olson

    Debbie Olson
    Debbie Olson and her family Author of the 'Spiritual Crusade' blog

    Debbie says:

    'I marvel at the way the Lord is leading and guiding us today. He is definitely in all the details of our lives individually and as a church. The Come, Follow Me program has come at the perfect time. In my opinion the Come, Follow Me program is the perfect tool to help us in these efforts. 

    I love the scriptures and I love the way that the Come, Follow Me program has helped the scriptures come alive for my children and helped us as a family to study and grow together! As a mother of five young children I used to get overwhelmed trying to come up with activities and discussions that were age appropriate and would keep my children’s attention. This program has changed all of that for me. It is now so easy for me to do a five minute discussion at the breakfast table or a quick five min activity at the end of the day. The best part is that it corresponds to what I’m studying on my own so when I bare my testimony it is more heartfelt and meaningful because I have already been putting my heart into it. 

    Part of having a family means that not every week looks perfect. And that’s ok. We have as many failed attempts as successful ones. But the beautiful thing about this program is how forgiving it is. There are so many discussion points and so many different ways to study it. There really is no right or wrong way. It truly is an inspired program and I am eternally grateful for it!'

    Craig Conover

    Craig Conover
    Craig Conover with his 10 children Author of the 'Spiritual Crusade' blog

    Craig says:

    'With 10 children, Come, Follow Me presented a few challenges. My wife, Kiera, immediately went to work to devise the best plan of attack. We divided up our family into two groups, young and older, and my wife and I alternate teaching each group. The younger children are taught with more fun crafts and activities, while the older children receive more in-depth teaching, journaling, and sharing time. 

    Many of my children wake up early and study the Come Follow Me chapters for that week. There is no better sight than seeing your children feasting upon the words of Christ (2 Nephi 32:3) and discussing them together as they prepare their thoughts for our next Come Follow Me meeting. Two of my girls, Ashlyn and Cessilee, wanted to take their study to a higher level and started recording their own YouTube videos discussing their favorite scriptures from each lesson. I have seen growth in my children that I have never seen before.

    Personally, my favourite thing to do is look through the assigned chapters and select a ponderize scripture. I research and ponder on that scripture all week and as I do this, I record my thoughts and commentary in an effort to make that scripture come alive for me. This also gives me some good content to share with my family when we meet together. This program has truly elevated my scripture study and made the spiritual discussions we have as a family, some of my ultimate favorite parts of my whole week. I cannot thank the Lord enough for this program and how it has brought our whole family together spiritually.'


    Additional ‘Come, Follow Me’ material from the Church can be found in multiple locations on the website, but each week we gather it in one place to make it easier for everyone, at 

    https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/come-follow-me-this-week

    This article is part of the 'Gospel Technology' series which focus on the use of technology in our gospel-oriented lives. For more articles click here.