LDS adults to get new course outlines for Sunday classes, new Sunday School president says

Published: Sunday, April 6 2014 10:05 p.m. MDT

Brother Callister has been attending youth classes and said that as young women and young men participate more, they have a deeper experience.

"It's not just an intellectual experience," he said, "it's a conversion-of-the-heart experience that's also taking place. And if it's good for them, why shouldn't it be good for the adults?"

Elder Pieper said Brother Callister is prepared to lead the next step.

"Youth curriculum was the first step," Elder Pieper said. "What we have to do is take youth curriculum to adult curriculum. We have to get all of this connected to teaching and learning in the home so that what happens on Sunday supports what happens during the week, and really this is a man raised up by the Lord" to guide that.

"The goal is that what we do at church reinforces the home; what we do at home then comes back to improve what happens at church."

Church leaders hope the new programs for church classroom settings improve teaching in members' homes, both when families gather for weekly home evenings, a church program for gospel teaching and family time, and for spontaneous teaching moments and discussions.

They also believe that improved learning and teaching and participation will make members better missionaries.

Brother Callister is the popular LDS author of "The Infinite Atonement." First published 14 years ago, both that title and an illustrated version are on Deseret Book's best-seller list.

Brother Tad Richards Callister earned an accounting degree at BYU in 1968, a law degree at UCLA in 1971 and a master's degree in tax law at New York University in 1972. He worked as a tax attorney in a family firm in Southern California until he served as president of the Canada Toronto East Mission from 2005 to 2008.

His family tree includes numerous former church leaders, including three apostles who each served for decades — his grandfather, LeGrand Richards, an apostle from 1952 to 1983; his great-grandfather, George F. Richards (1906-50); and his great-great-grandfather, Franklin D. Richards (1849-99). Franklin D. Richards was the nephew of Willard Richards (1840-54), another apostle, who was in the same room in Carthage Jail when a mob broke in and killed LDS Church founder Joseph Smith in 1844.

Brother Callister's brother, Douglas L. Callister, served as a member of the church's Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2000 to 2009.

Brother Callister's counselors in the general Sunday School presidency will be Brother John S. Tanner, 63, a former English professor and Milton expert who served as a BYU vice president, and Brother Devin G. Durrant, 53, a former NBA player and member of the BYU Athletic Hall of Fame who has worked in real estate and wrote a book with his father, George Durrant.

Brother Tanner is serving as the president of the Brazil Sao Paulo Mission. Brother Durrant is serving as president of the Texas Dallas Mission. Both will complete their missions in July.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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