On Nov. 17, The Sons of the Utah Pioneers held its monthly meeting with keynote speaker David Marsh of the Church Curriculum Department. His topic included how the curriculum of the Church is developed, correlated, translated and disseminated throughout the world.
This process was of great interest to the assembled members. Marsh rehearsed the history of the Church Correlation and Curriculum Departments. It all began with Elder Harold B. Lee, of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, under the leadership of President David O. McKay. Somewhere around 1962 Elder Lee put forth a proposal to the Twelve that a closer scrutiny of the printed materials of the Church was needed. Thus the Correlation Department of the Church was created.
The Correlation Committee today consists of members of The First Presidency, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, leaders of the auxiliary organizations, and other general authorities. A system was begun where every publication of the Church was carefully scrutinized before it was printed and disseminated.
In the late 1960s it took 66 manuals to run a ward. These had been written and developed largely by the auxiliaries, without much scrutiny by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Translating these manuals became a difficult process. They contained many local stories and quotations from largely past general authorities. As the Church grew, it became apparent that the system needed to be streamlined.
The number of manuals was pared down to about 22, and translation of core gospel principles was interjected. Concentration on topics such as the godhead, atonement, purpose of life, etc. became the focus of all gospel teaching. Translation was pushed forward from about 50 languages to well over 100. Today, 10 key languages cover about 98 percent of the Church’s people.
But The Church is to spread the gospel to all peoples. The great push forward in this effort has come in the last 12 years. The Internet has now become a vehicle to cross all borders. With it, the fulfillment of Matthew 28:19-20 can now be seen as a real possibility, Marsh said.
This is the mission of the Curriculum and Correlation Departments. Marsh and a host of other workers are busy writing, correlating and translating the gospel manuals we all use every day. This is all done via called and set apart volunteers from across the globe.