Church Policies and Announcements

“Church Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Apr. 1977, 93–95

Church Policies and Announcements

The following items were published in Messages, number 12, February 11, 1977.

Buying and Selling Food Storage Items

It has come to our attention that some stakes, wards, and quorums are involved in buying and selling food, food containers, and other home storage items. We remind leaders that merchandising activities not related to exempt purposes of the Church (including purchase and sale of items such as food, storage containers, nonreligious books, etc.) are not to be conducted by stakes, wards, or quorums. (See General Handbook of Instructions, no. 21, pages 107–8.) If individuals or groups wish to form independent organizations to obtain group discounts on home storage items, they are free to do so. These organizations, however, should not be identified with the Church. (Presiding Bishopric)

Spanish and Portuguese Endowment Sessions at the Provo Temple

Priesthood leaders should inform those attending April conference who may be interested that special endowment sessions in Spanish and Portuguese will be held at the Provo Temple on March 30 and 31 and April 5 and 6, 1977, as follows:

  • March 30, Portuguese

  • March 31, Spanish

  • April 5, Portuguese

  • April 6, Spanish

Those participating in living endowments, marriages, and sealings are requested to be at the temple by 9:30 A.M., and all others desiring to attend these sessions should be at the temple by 10:30 A.M.. (Temple and Genealogy Executive Committee)

The following item is from a letter of February 2, 1977, to Regional Representatives of the Twelve, stake and mission presidents, and bishops.

Organization of Ecclesiastical and Temporal Responsibilities at Church Headquarters

Within the past few months, the First Presidency has taken several organizational steps at Church Headquarters designed to strengthen and make more efficient the priesthood direction given to the affairs of the Church. Although these changes do not affect the administration of the Church at stake, ward, and mission levels, it seems appropriate to inform mission presidents, stake presidents, and bishops of the nature of these changes in order to keep them informed and in order to share some emerging patterns that will enable more meaningful priesthood correlation at all levels of the Church.

The Lord has made it clear that the Council of the Twelve, under the direction of the First Presidency, has special responsibility for administering the ecclesiastical affairs of the Church, including responsibility to direct the functioning of the newly organized First Quorum of the Seventy (D&C 107:33–34), the third governing quorum of the Church. Under the direction of the First Presidency, the Presiding Bishopric has been given the responsibility for administering the temporal affairs of the Church. As stated by President Spencer W. Kimball at a recent meeting of all General Authorities and representatives of Church headquarters departments:

“Therefore, pursuant to scriptural instructions, the First Presidency has felt impressed to direct a more clear delineation of the basic ecclesiastical and temporal stewardships at Church headquarters in order that the Lord’s ‘system may be kept perfect.’

“We recognize that ultimately all things are spiritual with the Lord, yet an organizational distinction between the ecclesiastical and temporal can make possible a more harmonious and efficient management of the affairs of the Church. After a prayerful review of all functions performed at the headquarters level, the First Presidency has determined that, under the direction of the First Presidency, the ecclesiastical matters of the Church, including curriculum, activity programs, and Scouting, will be administered by the Twelve. The Presiding Bishopric, under the direction of the First Presidency, will administer the affairs of the Aaronic Priesthood in temporal matters as assigned by the First Presidency. All other matters will be administered by the First Presidency.”

As noted on the accompanying chart, there are now four standing executive committees of the Twelve. The Missionary Executive Committee and the Temple and Genealogy Executive Committee continue to administer their respective affairs as outlined in the Church News, June 5, 1976. One new executive committee has also been created by a division of the duties of the former Melchizedek Priesthood Executive Committee, resulting in a Priesthood Executive Committee and a Leadership Training Executive Committee. The Priesthood Executive Committee has responsibility for the curricular and activity programs of Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood quorums and the auxiliary organizations. The Leadership Training Executive Committee is now a point of contact for General Authority Area Supervisors in matters relating to general administrative items in the ecclesiastical line, which runs from General Authority Area Supervisors to Regional Representatives of the Twelve to stake presidents to bishops. This committee is also responsible for training the key priesthood officers in the ecclesiastical line in their general administrative duties. The President of the Twelve and the chairmen of the executive committees of the Twelve will serve as a coordinating body for ecclesiastical affairs.

The Presiding Bishopric, in fulfilling temporal assignments made by the First Presidency, administers the following general departments: welfare services, financial, translation and distribution, physical facilities, management data, purchasing, and membership and statistical reports. These departments report directly to the Presiding Bishopric. Their primary role is that of serving the needs of the ecclesiastical arm of the Church.

The accompanying chart is not intended to be all inclusive since it reflects the organization and management lines for many, but not all, headquarters departments. For instance, certain departments report directly to the First Presidency. Further, the chart does not include the line of supervision involving members of the First Quorum of the Seventy in their roles as Area Supervisors.

Ecclesiastical Organization Chart

At the headquarters level, all ecclesiastical affairs directed by the Council of the Twelve and all temporal affairs directed by the Presiding Bishopric will come together in their accountability to the First Presidency in the Church Planning and Coordinating Council. (First Presidency)