Church Policies and Announcements
May 1979

“Church Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, May 1979, 109–10

Church Policies and Announcements

The following items appeared in a recent Messages to stake, mission, and district presidents and to bishops and branch presidents:

1. Cameras and Photography for Prospective Missionaries. When interviewing a prospective missionary, priesthood leaders should help him understand that if he chooses to take a camera into the mission field, he should use it sparingly so as not to detract from missionary work. He should be encouraged to be frugal in purchasing camera equipment and supplies to take into the mission field. He should also be informed that pictures are not to be taken during Church meetings.

2. Missionary Farewells for All Full-time Missionaries. Parents and other family members of missionaries, as appropriate, might be invited to sit on the stand at missionary farewells. It is also appropriate to invite parents and other family members to participate in the services by speaking, offering prayers, or presenting special musical numbers. As with every sacrament meeting, participants should be reminded that such meetings are to be planned and conducted by the bishopric and should maintain the high standards of music, sermon, spirituality, and worship requisite on such sacred occasions.

3. Missionaries Returning to Their Fields of Labor. There is an increasing trend for missionaries to return to their fields of labor after their missions. Their appearance is often quite different from the well-groomed image of a missionary; yet the Saints often treat them as though they were still missionaries, providing food and lodging at considerable inconvenience or sacrifice.

Priesthood leaders should generally counsel returned missionaries against returning to their mission fields. However, if a missionary is considering such a return visit, he should be encouraged to maintain an image consistent with Church standards as explained in the brochure The Returned Missionary (PBMP000A). If he chooses to return to his mission field for any reason, he should be counseled not to impose on the Saints or other acquaintances in the areas where he labored.