Policies and Announcements
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“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, July 1982, 78–79

Policies and Announcements

The following letters, dated April 9 and April 20, 1982, respectively and signed by the First Presidency, were addressed to Church leaders.

“Contributions to the General Missionary Fund. An increasing number of young men and women living outside the United States and Canada are being called to serve full-time missions. These missionaries bring many converts into the Church and, upon returning to their homes, strengthen the leadership and spirituality in their countries.

“Many of these missionaries could not serve without partial assistance provided from the General Missionary Fund.

“Individuals, family organizations, and priesthood quorums are encouraged to send contributions to: General Missionary Fund, Financial Department, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150. Also, priesthood leaders should see that quorum funds are not left idle. Funds not needed for current or planned operations should be sent to the General Missionary Fund.

“Stake high priests quorums and seventies quorums are especially invited to support this aspect of the worldwide missionary effort. Elders quorums also may participate. In no instance should quorum presidencies establish quotas or assessments. Rather, they should encourage each quorum member to give as liberally as his circumstances permit. Any surplus funds currently in a ward or quorum missionary fund also could be transferred to the General Missionary Fund.”

“Adoption and Foster Care Placements. Some members occasionally involve themselves in illegal or improper adoption and foster care placements that result in heartache and disappointment. Nearly every case of heartache results from either intentional or inadvertent avoidance of proper legal safeguards.

“The actions of individual members often are viewed as being sanctioned by the Church. If Church members or leaders become involved in illegal child placements that violate laws of the United States or other countries, their actions may cause embarrassment to the Church and may jeopardize missionary work and other Church programs.

“The needs of the child must be a paramount concern in adoption and foster care placements. Ensuring that the child’s needs are met may require specialized professional knowledge. We remind you that the LDS Social Services is the official Church agency to assist members in matters of adoption.

“We urge members of the Church seeking to adopt children through other agencies to observe strictly all legal requirements of the country or countries involved in the adoption.”

An updated edition of the Directory of Church Organizations, Facilities, and Services for Hearing Impaired Members is now available. The 1982 edition contains 140 listings in the United States and 36 for other areas of the world. Included are listings for wards and branches for the deaf hosted by hearing wards; information on temple sessions for the deaf; missions with missionaries assigned to work with deaf investigators; visitors’ centers with captioned materials and guided tours for the deaf; information for deaf leaders and members desiring to communicate with Church headquarters; information on seminaries and institutes providing signed or interpreted instruction; and other information of value both to deaf members and to leaders working with deaf members.

Copies are available for $1.10 each from the Salt Lake Distribution Center, 1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105.

The following items appeared in the May 1982 Bulletin.

Activities Exchange: Serving Those with Special Needs. The activities committee in the Goldsboro First Ward, Kinston North Carolina Stake, became concerned about three handicapped members and arranged a program called “Our Special Group.” Each month the group holds a weekday activity, such as a luncheon, a dinner, or light refreshments followed by a dance or games. Now, thirty or more members, ranging in age from fourteen to forty, attend these activities. The bishop writes, “We appreciate our activities committee and the effort they have made to make these special people feel loved and wanted.”

School Team Players. A person who is a member of a school varsity team (high school, technical or junior college, college or university; male or female) is not eligible to participate in the same sport in the Church sports program during the same season. However, members of junior high school or junior varsity teams are eligible to participate. This rule may need to be adjusted to meet local conditions in some multiregions or areas. Any such adjustments should apply to the entire multiregion or area.

Local leaders should involve the youth who are on the school teams in the Church program as officials and coaches where possible.

Ward Genealogical Consultants. The role of genealogical-forms examiners in wards and branches has been expanded, and their title has been changed to ward genealogical consultant (see Ensign, Oct. 1981, p. 75).

The bishop is to ensure that families and individuals in the ward are instructed in the principles, responsibilities, and blessings associated with temple and genealogical work. The high priests group leader (the genealogical adviser in branches), who is the ward adviser on temple work and genealogical research, assists the bishop. The ward genealogical consultants assist the high priests group leader. They may suggest ways to stimulate interest and activity in temple work and genealogical research. Under his direction they may—

1. Help members organize their families for genealogical research and temple work.

2. Help members find the resources they need to research their ancestral lines.

3. Teach members how to complete the forms required to have temple ordinances performed for their kindred dead and others, following the standards in From You to Your Ancestors, second edition (PBGS0683), chapter 8 and appendixes C and D. (They no longer need to approve or initial the forms.)

4. Determine which families in the ward have not submitted four-generation records to the Ancestral File and offer to assist them.

5. Teach and encourage members to complete and submit additional records to the Ancestral File.

6. Teach members to compile personal and family histories.

7. Help the instructor of the basic genealogical course. (The genealogical instructor may serve as a consultant.)

8. Teach advanced classes in genealogy or genealogical workshops for those who have completed the basic course.

9. Prepare suggestions for the bishop to use in helping home teachers prepare lessons on genealogy and temple work to teach the families they visit.

1981 Index to Periodicals. The Index to Periodicals of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981 (PBLI0658, $3.00) is available from the Salt Lake City Distribution Center. This publication indexes material in the Ensign, the New Era, the Friend, the Church News, and Conference Reports. The index is valuable as a guide to the resource materials available from the Church. Each meetinghouse library should purchase at least one copy. (See the 1982 Salt Lake City Distribution Center Catalog, p. 20, for a list of the indexes available.)

Home Teaching Lessons for New Members. The booklet Home Teaching Lessons for New Members (PBHT5164, $.50 each) has been revised to include two new lessons, for a total of eight. One new lesson is on temple and genealogical work, and the other is on the mission of the Church. Home teachers should teach the lessons in this booklet to all new converts immediately after baptism. You can order supplies of this booklet from your local distribution center.