“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Mar. 1986, 88
First Presidency Extends Loving Invitation to Inactive, Disaffected Saints
In a special statement issued just before Christmas, the First Presidency reached out in love to those who are not active in the Church. It was read in sacrament meetings throughout the Church and distributed to Church publications.
At this Christmas season we rejoice in the blessings that come of membership and activity in this Church whose head is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. In deep sincerity we express our love and gratitude for our brethren and sisters everywhere.
We are aware of some who are inactive, of others who have become critical and are prone to find fault, and of those who have been disfellowshipped or excommunicated because of serious transgressions.
To all such we reach out in love. We are anxious to forgive in the spirit of Him who said: “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (D&C 64:10.)
We encourage Church members to forgive those who may have wronged them. To those who have ceased activity and to those who have become critical, we say, “Come back. Come back and feast at the table of the Lord, and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints.”
We are confident that many have longed to return, but have felt awkward about doing so. We assure you that you will find open arms to receive you and willing hands to assist you.
This is the Christmas season when we honor the birth of the Lord who gave His life for the sins of all. We know there are many who carry heavy burdens of guilt and bitterness. To such we say, “Set them aside and give heed to the words of the Savior: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“‘Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“‘For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’” (Matt. 11:28–30.)
We plead with you. We pray for you. We invite and welcome you with love and appreciation.
The First Presidency has sent the following letter to General Authorities and stake, mission, district, ward, and branch leaders throughout the United States and Canada.
Increasing numbers of young people living outside the United States and Canada are serving full-time missions. In addition to bringing many converts into the Church, they strengthen the leadership and spirituality in their countries after their missions. Many, however, could not serve without assistance from the General Missionary Fund. Increased contributions to this fund are urgently needed.
We encourage individuals, family organizations, and priesthood quorums to send contributions to the General Missionary Fund (Finance and Records Department, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150). High priests and seventies quorums are especially invited to support the worldwide missionary effort in this way. Elders quorums also may participate. Quorum leaders are not, however, to establish quotas or assessments, but should encourage each quorum member to give as liberally as his circumstances permit.
In addition, priesthood leaders should see that quorum funds are not left idle. Funds not needed for current or planned operations, as well as surplus money in ward or quorum missionary funds, should be contributed to the General Missionary Fund. We suggest that stake presidents carefully review the financial position of priesthood quorums to determine whether contributions to the General Missionary Fund can be increased.
We appreciate your support of this important phase of our missionary program.
The following items are from the October/November 1985 Bulletin.
Postal Regulations (USA only). The United States Post Office reports that some units of the Church in the United States have violated postal regulations by placing notices without postage attached of conferences and other activities in mailboxes of members.
The law regarding this matter is stated as follows: “Matter found in private mailboxes provided for the receipt of mail matter shall be treated as subject to postage. If the person or firm responsible for improperly depositing matter in mail receptacles is known and is within the delivery area of the post office, the local postmaster shall make demand for the total postage chargeable on all pieces. The postmaster shall also inform the person or firm that the practice is a violation of the law.”
Local priesthood leaders should inform the appropriate individuals of this regulation so the Church will not be in violation of the law.
Appropriate Dress for Temple Attendance. Bishops and stake presidents are asked to remind those who attend the temple about the importance of dressing appropriately. Brethren and sisters should wear clothing that is appropriate for sacrament meeting when they go to the temple. This instruction may be emphasized during the temple recommend interview.