“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, July 1981, 78–79
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued this statement after learning of the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, 13 May 1981:
“We deplore the assassination attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II and offer our prayers for his full and speedy recovery. Such an occurrence is lamentable and tragic.”
The following items appeared in the May 1981 Bulletin.
Farewells and Open Houses. As stated in the General Handbook of Instructions no. 21, p. 69, “parents and other family members of missionaries, as appropriate, might be invited to sit on the stand” at missionary farewells. Bishoprics also may invite parents and other family members to participate in the services by speaking, offering prayers, or presenting 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” (p. 69).
In addition, bishoprics should make sure that the families of full-time missionaries understand that “open houses, except for family members, should not be held on the Sabbath day” (p. 69) or on Monday evenings.
Commercial Products in Relief Society. “Relief Society members should not be subjected, through the Society, to solicitation by commercial institutions or to cash solicitations in regular Relief Society meetings” (Relief Society Handbook, PERS0055, p. 3.) Relief Society has endorsed no commercial products for sale in Relief Society—not stitchery materials or kits, storage products, toys, musical products, or books.
Physical Fitness Awards Program. The physical fitness awards program, administered by the physical activities specialist, is a continuing program in which individuals or families can participate at any time. The brochure (PBAC0271) explaining the program and the Gold (PFAC0036), Silver (PFAC0047), and Bronze (PFAC0058) Certificates of Award are available at the Church distribution centers. There are some Sesquicentennial year certificates available for those who achieved the requirements during 1980. Certificates earned after 1980 will be distinguished by a different paper stock each year.
Anti-Abortion Filmstrip. The Church has issued an anti-abortion filmstrip, Very Much Alive (VVOF1420), for use with both adult and youth groups. It is likely that many of the young people now in the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Women have not seen this important and powerful filmstrip. The same is probably true of many members converted or reactivated since 1976.
Bishops may wish to have their young men and women (in the company of their parents, if possible) see and hear this presentation as part of a Sunday lesson, a fireside, a Young Women’s standards event, or some other appropriate activity.
The filmstrip could also be shown to Young Adults, Relief Society sisters, and students in seminaries and institutes.
Very Much Alive is available in seventeen languages. If this filmstrip is not available in your meetinghouse library, it is available at the Church distribution centers for $2.50 a copy. A worldwide edition (VVOF2558), suitable for use in public schools, is available for the same price.
Prenatal Care and Delivery in U.S. and Canada. Expectant mothers need to get the best prenatal and delivery care available from medically and legally qualified practitioners.
The following cautions should be observed:
1. Any person practicing medical care should have the legal sanction of the authorized government agency.
2. Births and deaths of newborns must be registered with the authorized government agency.
3. Methods and locations of prenatal care and delivery are a matter of personal choice, not a matter of Church doctrine.
4. Priesthood blessings should be given only by worthy Melchizedek priesthood holders.
5. Pregnant women should include in their diet nutritious foods such as milk, fruit, vegetables, grains, and moderate amounts of meat.
Porcelain Figure Available for Young Women. A five-inch porcelain figurine (PSYW1048) similar to the young woman depicted on the cover of My Personal Progress and on the Young Womanhood Medallion is available at the Salt Lake City Distribution Center for $12.00. This is an optional Young Women item.
Use of the Meetinghouse Library. The meetinghouse library serves not only the priesthood and auxiliary organizations, but also individuals and families (see “The Meetinghouse Library: Also a Family Resource,” Ensign, Aug. 1976., p. 29). Librarians should encourage the use of the library and make every effort to provide good service. This should hold true when members ask to use equipment outside the meetinghouse. The meetinghouse librarian, in consultation with the library board (the bishops using the building), should arrange a satisfactory checkout program for equipment and materials. Arranging for members to use equipment and materials outside the meetinghouse is even more important now with the change to the Sunday meeting schedule. One purpose of this schedule is to provide more opportunities for teaching the gospel in the home. Furthermore, meetings such as inservice and board meetings and firesides are often held in a home. The librarian should make all items of equipment and materials available on request, as scheduling permits. (However, everyone using the equipment and materials should be trained to use them safely.)
Music Helps for Families. Families may wish to use some of the additional time provided for them on Sundays by the Sunday meeting schedule to learn and sing the hymns of Zion together. Hymns and Children’s Songs (VVOT0529, $8.50), a set of six cassettes with organ accompaniment for thirty-five hymns and ten children’s songs, may be helpful to homes that do not have a piano or other accompaniment instrument or where families have little or no musical training. The set is available at the Church distribution centers. Corresponding small hymnbooks (PMBU0406, $.35) with the same thirty-five hymns and ten children’s songs, are also available.