New Information on Church Policies
August 1975

“New Information on Church Policies,” Ensign, Aug. 1975, 94–95

New Information on Church Policies

The following messages were sent from the General Authorities and general departments of the Church to all stake and district presidents, bishops, and branch presidents. They have been selected from the regular MESSAGES newsletter as having general application and interest to Church members.

Melchizedek Priesthood Ordinances. When ordinances requiring the Melchizedek Priesthood are performed, only those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should stand in the circle. Prior to the performing of these ordinances, parents or individuals involved should be counseled in a kindly, thoughtful manner concerning this policy so that as invitations are extended to participate, they may be extended only to those who qualify and hold the proper priesthood.

The only exception to this policy is that a father, at his request, may hold his child when a name and blessing are given.

Consecutive Sunday Meeting Schedules. As a general rule, local priesthood leaders should discourage the holding of Church meetings consecutively on Sunday, such as sacrament meeting immediately following Sunday School.

If it is necessary to make an exception to this rule (1) because of energy limitation, (2) because members live in areas which involve great expense or distance to travel, or (3) because multiple units meet in a single building, local leaders may use their own discretion in making adjustments.

“Home Sunday School.” A pamphlet entitled “Home Sunday School” (stock no. PESS 0188) is now available in English at the General Church Distribution Center at a cost of twenty cents and will be available after October 1975 at distribution centers serving non-English language areas. This publication contains guidelines for holding Sunday School in those areas where there are no organized Church units or where individuals cannot attend regularly scheduled meetings because of health or economic reasons. Suggestions contained in this pamphlet should be implemented under the direction of the ward bishopric, branch presidency, or mission leadership having jurisdiction for the particular area or group of individuals involved.

Genealogical Family File. Priesthood leaders should advise all members to mark the family file space on genealogical entry forms only when the family intends to attend the temple personally to perform necessary ordinances. Family file processing is considerably more costly than temple file processing, and when family members do not follow through, the additional handling and processing cost is wasted.

Prayers in Sacrament and Priesthood Meetings. Attention is called to the following instruction which appeared in the July-August 1967 Priesthood Bulletin.

The First Presidency recommends that only those who bear the Melchizedek Priesthood or Aaronic Priesthood be invited to offer the opening and closing prayers in sacrament meetings, including fast meetings. This also applies to priesthood meetings.

Flagpoles. It is suggested that consideration be given by local units to erecting a flagpole on the sites of Church meetinghouses. This would make it possible for Church units to proudly display the national flag. The Aaronic Priesthood of the local unit might well be asked to assume the responsibility for the raising of funds for a flagpole. If a flagpole is desired, contact should be made with the Church Physical Facilities Department in order that style, size, and location may be determined.