Policies and Announcements

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“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Oct. 1981, 75–76

Policies and Announcements

Ward Genealogical Consultants.

In a letter dated 9 July 1981 and signed by President Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, the following guidelines were given with regard to ward and branch genealogical workers:

“In order to give further encouragement to genealogical work in the wards and branches, it has been decided that the responsibility of genealogical forms examiners will be somewhat expanded. Hereafter, they will be known as Ward Genealogical Consultants.

“These consultants will work under the direction of the high priest group leaders. They need no longer review or initial the genealogical forms submitted by members of the ward. They will help members fulfill their genealogical responsibility, including help with those things necessary to complete the forms for their kindred dead and for others, in order that temple ordinance work may be performed.

“The high priest group leader may recommend to the bishop members to be called as consultants. The ward genealogical teacher may also serve as a consultant.

“This expanded responsibility of genealogical consultants gives opportunity for increased encouragement for genealogical work in the wards and branches. We ask that bishops and branch presidents give consideration to these expanded assignments at an early date.”

The following items were printed in the Bulletin, August 1981.

Sports Directors. The term sports has replaced the term athletics in the competitive sports program of the Church. Athletic directors are now sports directors at every level. The positions of Young Men and Young Women sports specialists no longer exist. Their functions have been absorbed by the sports directors.

All ward and stake sports directors are members of their respective activities committees and report to the physical activities specialist. Except for the change in position title, the region, multiregion, and area organizations remain as outlined under “Competitive Sports,” in the Activities Committee Handbook (PBAC0012), pages 1 and 2.

Yearly Calendar. Each stake and ward activities committee should prepare a master yearly calendar early enough to avoid scheduling conflicts among Church, school, and community groups. A specialist may be called to prepare this calendar. For suggestions on preparing a yearly calendar, refer to the Activities Committee Handbook (PBAC0012), page 6, and the Activities Exchange, no. 1, May 1981, page 1.

Monthly Home Teaching Messages. A letter from President Ezra Taft Benson dated 1 December 1980 stated: “We suggest that the First Presidency Message carried in the Ensign magazine be considered for use as a monthly home teaching message.” Home teachers may present a First Presidency message to their families at any appropriate time after it appears in the Ensign, as instructed by their priesthood leaders. These messages need not be presented throughout the Church in the same month as they are printed in the Ensign. They are not out of date if presented later.

Service by Young Women. The Young Women organization should help girls develop a lifetime practice of giving service. To help them develop this practice, young women may select individual, class, or group service projects under the guidance of adult leaders. For instance, a ward or class might spend time with children in a nearby hospital, or the young women might plan to carry out the celebration of a local holiday with member and nonmember neighbors. Service opportunities could help young women reach out in kindness and love to those in the family, peer group, ward, neighborhood, school, and community. After each project, the girls could share with their class what they learned and their feelings about the activity.

The following items appeared in the July 1981 Bulletin:

Replacement Copies of Church Ordinance Certificates. Church members who want to replace lost or damaged ordinance certificates should ask their present bishop or branch president for a replacement copy. Ordinance certificates are not kept at Church headquarters.

The bishop or branch president and his clerk may prepare a replacement certificate using the information on the membership record. Only the individual, or the parent of a minor child, to whom the original certificate was issued should receive a replacement certificate.

Funding for Scout Activities. The guidelines for decreasing the financial demands on Church members that accompanied the First Presidency letter of 3 April 1981 state: “Avoid charges or fees for youth activities. When necessary, these should be funded by the ward or branch budgets.” This statement does not change Church policy for funding Scouting activities. Expenses for membership registration, equipment, badges, activities, and camping are to be paid by the participating pack, troop, or post members or from funds obtained by group fund-raising projects. Scouting at the Council level should continue to be funded from the Sustaining Membership Enrollment (SME) drive. Local priesthood leaders are urged to carefully examine the cost of Scouting and ensure that such costs are not burdensome.

Letters of Appreciation to Radio and Television Stations. Members may appropriately send letters of appreciation to radio and television stations that provide free public service time to broadcast general conference, the Homefront series, and other Church programs. These letters should not be form letters, but personal expressions from the writer in his own words.

Stations are not required to provide public service time. When they do so for the Church, it is at the expense of other organizations that also want public service support.

Because only 7 percent of religious programming in the United States is provided free of charge as a public service, station managers are justifiably upset when they receive complaints from an organization they assist. Moreover, all letters to broadcasting stations are kept on file for public review and for review by the FCC when stations are relicensed. Therefore, members should not send letters of complaint to stations for broadcasting only one-hour or ninety-minute segments of general conference.

Some station managers have said they may discontinue public service broadcasting for the Church because of letters of complaint.

We have a far greater opportunity to increase coverage by showing appreciation to the stations than by criticizing them for the free service they generously provide.