“Policies and Programs,” Ensign, July 1972, 144
Policies and Programs
The policies and programs of the Church are instituted for the purpose of helping members of the Church live harmoniously within Church procedures. Many of these official guidelines are sent to priesthood and auxiliary leaders in a newsletter called the Priesthood Bulletin (PB), from which most of the following items are quoted. Items of general interest from other sources are also included on occasion.
Collecting Autographs and Greeting General Authorities. “There is a growing tendency in the Church for members to request autographs of General Authorities who are visiting the stakes and missions. In some places there has developed a competition to see who can collect the most signatures in hymnbooks and even in books of scripture. When autograph seekers appear at the close of meetings, this becomes a distraction making it difficult for General Authorities to greet people. In addition, it gives something of the image of a celebrity to the Brethren, which may not be in keeping with the sacred callings entrusted to them. …
“General Authorities are always grateful for the opportunity to shake hands with the members of the Church. It would be more in keeping with our pattern of meetings and of worship for leaders to greet the members and shake hands with them rather than to sign autographs.”—PB
Recording Talks of General Authorities. “We call your attention to the following statement: ‘No recordings should be made of talks of the General Authorities at stake conferences and never at any time without the consent of the Brethren concerned.’
“We ask that this counsel be called to the attention of the members of the Church inasmuch as an increasing number of them appear to be bringing recording devices to stake conferences and other meetings where the General Authorities are in attendance.”—PB
Procedure in Funeral Services. “Pertaining to the conduct of funerals, we bring the following to your attention:
“A custom has developed which often eliminates music from both the beginning and the end of these services, placing it only near the middle of the program. It is requested that henceforth all funerals conducted under the auspices of officials of the Church follow the general format of the sacrament meeting with respect to music, speaking, and prayers. Music should be used at the beginning of the service prior to the opening prayer and possibly after the invocation also, as in our Sunday meetings. The closing portion of the funeral likewise should follow our customary pattern of having a final musical number immediately before the concluding prayer. Where feasible a choir could very well be used on the musical program.
“With respect to speaking, it should be kept in mind that funeral services provide an excellent opportunity for teaching the basic doctrines of the Church in a positive manner.
“It is not necessary for the bishop to lead the procession down the aisle of the chapel as the casket is brought into the building.
“Following these suggestions will help to keep our services in line with our established pattern and will avoid practices now so commonly followed elsewhere.”—PB
Purpose of the Temple Endowment Fund. “The Temple Endowment Fund enables individuals who live a long distance from the temple, or who are otherwise unable to attend, to make contributions to assist others to perform temple work. This fund is used to aid patrons who have time and are physically able to perform temple work but who need financial assistance for lunch money or transportation. This fund is important and we encourage contributions to it.
“However, some have thought that by making a contribution to the Endowment Fund their temple responsibility has been fulfilled. It was never intended that the payment of money into the Endowment Fund would satisfy the obligation Church members have to do temple work. We cannot buy exaltation. It is obtained only by compliance with all of the commandments, one of the most important of which is seeking out our kindred dead and performing their work in the temple.”—PB
Promotions that Capitalize on Church Contacts. “There are some persons, both members and nonmembers, who use Church contacts to promote projects that are of a questionable nature. Church members should be very careful in dealing with people who engage in promotional schemes that use Church units and members to develop their projects.”—PB