“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, May 1984, 110–11
Policies and Announcements
The First Presidency has sent the following letter to Church units throughout the United States. It is to be read in sacrament meetings.
“Once again, in an election year, we emphasize the previously stated policy of the Church of strict political neutrality, and of not endorsing political candidates or parties in elections, and of not using Church facilities for political purposes.
“The Church does not favor one political party over another. The Church has no candidates for political office; we do not undertake to tell people how to vote. The voter should study the issues and the candidates carefully and prayerfully and vote for those he believes will most nearly carry out his views of government and its role.
“It is contrary to our counsel and advice that ward, branch, or stake premises, chapels or other Church facilities be used in any way for political campaign purposes, whether it be for speech-making, distribution of literature, or class discussions. Needless to say, we are unalterably opposed to the use of our sacrament or other Church meetings for any such purposes, and those attempting to use the Church facilities to further their political ambitions are injuring their cause and doing the Church a disservice. Church directories for mailing lists should not be made available to candidates for distribution of campaign literature.
“We appeal to all candidates for public office to take notice of this instruction and to conduct their campaigns to comply strictly with this requirement pertaining to the use of Church facilities. We also call on all political candidates who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints neither to state nor imply the endorsement of their candidacy by the Church or its leaders.
“Finally, we also encourage Church members as citizens to involve themselves in supporting measures on the ballot which will strengthen the community, state, and nation—morally, economically, and culturally. We urge Latter-day Saints everywhere to be actively engaged in worthy causes to improve their communities, and to make them more wholesome places in which to live and to rear families.”
The following items are from the February 1984 Bulletin:
Sunday School and the Consolidated Meeting Schedule. Sunday School is not optional, but should be held each Sunday during the forty-minute period between sacrament meeting and priesthood and auxiliary meetings. Priesthood leaders should follow Option A or Option B as outlined in the general instructions for the Sunday meeting schedule. No pilot programs are approved, and there is no authority for eliminating Sunday School or any of the other meetings provided in the original guidelines.
Approved Curriculum. Only the approved Sunday School classes, using the annual curriculum approved by the First Presidency and the Twelve, are to be conducted during the Sunday School period.
Sunday School and Seminary. Inasmuch as seminary is intended to be a weekday experience, times for weekly home-study seminary classes should be arranged on days other than Sunday.
The following item is from the March 1984 Bulletin:
Administrative Meetings. The Church instituted the consolidated Sunday meeting schedule in 1980 primarily to reemphasize personal and family responsibility to learn, live, and teach gospel principles. This schedule, when used as intended, will permit members to spend more time in personal and family gospel study, Christian service, and home-centered activities.
Stake and ward leaders can help members use their Sunday time as intended by avoiding excessive administrative meetings and other assemblies on the Sabbath that take members from their homes and families.
Local leaders should try to schedule administrative meetings on days other than Sunday and at times that require the least travel and the least time away from home and family. If such meetings are held on Sunday, they should not conflict with the ward Sunday meetings; also, they should be scheduled at times that interfere least with personal and family study, activities, and service. In unusual circumstances, such as when distances from homes to the meetinghouse are very long, local leaders may alter the frequency of administrative meetings to avoid unreasonable demands upon members’ time and resources.
Members should continue to accept calls to Church service gratefully and should serve faithfully as the Lord has commanded (see Mosiah 2:17 and Matt. 25:34–40).
The following items are from the April 1984 Bulletin:
Teacher’s Copy of Manual. To avoid violating copyright protection and permissions agreements, teachers should not remove pictures or the duplicator masters from course manuals. They may make copies from the duplicator master by following the instructions in the manual. Teachers can remove flannel board materials (without damaging the binding) and sound sheets (records) from the manuals and keep them in an envelope with the manual.
Adult Curriculum. Members of the Gospel Doctrine classes are to use the scriptures as their text. Currently this is the Book of Mormon. Many good and worthwhile materials related to the Book of Mormon are available from various sources. Such material may be interesting and helpful for individual study. However, The Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Supplement (PCSS56M6) is the only approved manual for teachers, and the Book of Mormon is the only approved text for both teachers and class members.