Changes reflect a continued emphasis on the work of salvation and exaltation, as well as principles of flexibility, agency and personal revelation
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published updates today, July 31, 2020, to 15 chapters of its General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes significant changes to five chapters. These follow adjustments made to the new digital handbook in February and March of this year.
To date, 16 of the book’s 38 chapters have been completely reworked, and minor changes have been made to several other chapters as part of an ongoing revision under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The organizing framework for the handbook is the work of salvation and exaltation. The chapters are designed to help leaders around the world serve with Christlike care when implementing and adapting the Church’s various programs, policies and procedures to their circumstances. The text is available to the public in English online and in the Gospel Library app. Translations into other languages will soon be underway.
The new handbook supersedes Handbook 1 (for stake presidents and bishops) and Handbook 2 (for all leaders).
Content published on July 31, 2020, features significant revisions to five chapters. The “Elders Quorum” and “Relief Society” chapters are now organized around the work of salvation and exaltation. The word count in each has been reduced by nearly half. The word count has also been significantly reduced in the new “Sunday School” and “Teaching the Gospel” chapters.
Chapter 38, “Church Policies and Guidelines,” includes eight policies that are either updated or new. These adjustments apply to entries on birth control, donating or selling sperm or eggs, fertility treatments, the occult, sex education, suicide, and surrogate motherhood. (Some other parts of this chapter were updated in February 2020.) Additionally, an entry on medical marijuana is now included in section 38.7 (titled “Medical and Health Policies”). Several of these updates now include doctrinal explanations to help people understand why the Church takes the position it does on these issues.The organizing framework for the handbook is the work of salvation and exaltation. The chapters are designed to help leaders around the world serve with Christlike care when implementing and adapting the Church’s various programs, policies and procedures to their circumstances.
As with the updates published in February and March 2020, the changes published on July 31, 2020, can be applied effectively to congregations of all sizes, which is especially useful for a global faith of more than 16 million individuals.