Policies and Announcements
May 1987

“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, May 1987, 106–8

Policies and Announcements

The following items appeared in the 1987-1 Bulletin.

Birth Certificates for Missionary Candidates. As part of the recommendation process, each missionary should obtain a certified copy of his birth certificate. If he does not already have one, he should request one from the clerk of the county where he was born or from other appropriate government agencies (such as the department of vital statistics or department of health). He should specify that he needs a certified copy. By obtaining this certificate at the time of recommendation, the candidate can save considerable time in obtaining a visa and thus avoid frustrating delays in entering the mission field if he is assigned to a mission outside his own country. The candidate should keep the certificate and, if he is assigned to a mission outside his own country, use it in applying for a passport or visa according to the instructions received from Murdock Travel.

Advancement in the Young Women. Chronological age is the standard for advancement for young women. Advancement by birthday provides opportunities for individual attention and recognition. Advancement and progress of young women should be recognized by priesthood leaders, Young Women leaders, and parents.

As a young woman enters a class, she has opportunities to form friendships with young women who are older. During her time in that class, she also has opportunities to form friendships with those who are younger as they enter the class. Such experiences encourage independence as young women interact with a changing group and discourage the tendency that some young women have to limit their association to an established group.

Standards for Youth Activities. Youth leaders are to ensure that all activities planned for young men and young women comply with Church standards. Youth leaders have a responsibility to both the youth and the Lord to see that dress standards, music, movies, videocassettes, and other entertainment are in keeping with truth and righteousness.

Activities should be planned with a purpose—to help youth experience the joy of putting gospel principles to work in their lives. Appropriate activities enable youth to interact with each other; build relationships with friends, leaders, and parents; enjoy health; serve others; and exert an influence for righteousness.

Reduction in Costs. Priesthood and auxiliary leaders should help implement the following suggestions previously given to stake, mission, district, and branch presidents and bishops concerning reduction in costs:

“We are very anxious that the cost of participation in Church activities not become unduly burdensome to our members. There is concern lest some who are not able to meet these costs may withdraw themselves from full participation in the Church. Particularly the youth programs of the Church should be so managed that all of our young people may enjoy full participation.

“Local leaders in stakes and missions are … asked to carefully review their budgets together with those things not included in the budget that require donations of time or money from our members. Determine if some reduction in these costs may be made. Some less essential activities of the Church may have to be curtailed somewhat. These may include those activities that require extensive travel or frequent contributions from members.

“It is a time of great opportunity. We are anxious that we not falter in expanding the great missionary program of the Church, and in providing the needed buildings, including temples. In order to keep up with the costs of the essential activities of the Church, it will require wise and prudent management on the part of the local priesthood leaders. …

“Our members face increasing costs in providing food, clothing, shelter, and the other necessities of life for themselves and for their families. It is a time that will require very wise and prudent budgeting on the part of local leaders so that the cost of Church membership will not be burdensome to them.” (First Presidency letter, 2 May 1978.)

Use of Church Meetings and Facilities for Commercial Purposes. There is cause for concern in the increase in the number of Church units sponsoring or permitting meetings where lecturers are paid a fee to give instruction on time management, interpersonal relationships, and so forth. (This concern does not apply to approved programs of the Church Educational System or officially approved activities.)

Church meetings, classes, and facilities are to be used solely for the purpose of worship, religious training, or programmed activities of the Church.

These meetings and facilities are not to be used to promote business ventures or investment enterprises. Commercial activities for the purpose of making profit by selling products or services or by demonstrating wares in Church classes are out of harmony with the purpose of religious meetings.

Stake presidents, bishops, and priesthood quorum and auxiliary presidents should accept, endorse, or promote only those services or activities specifically approved by the Church in official correspondence and publications.

Copying Commercial Crafts, Patterns, or Other Items. Do not copy, trace, or sell patterns, crafts, kits, or other items from commercial stores, magazines, or books without the written permission of the copyright holder. Modification of these items also infringes on the protection offered the owners of the copyright by law.

Family Home Evening Resource Book. The Family Home Evening Resource Book (PBHT5197), introduced in January 1984, is a continuing resource to help families conduct their weekly family home evenings. It also contains excellent suggestions for building a strong family and numerous ideas for family activities.

Bishoprics and Melchizedek Priesthood quorum leaders should see that a copy of the Family Home Evening Resource Book is provided for each family in the ward. Following are some suggestions for encouraging its use:

  1. See that all new convert families are taught about family home evening and the resource book at the time of their baptism, or before.

  2. Teach all less-active families the value of family home evening and provide them a copy of the book.

  3. Ask home teachers to teach their assigned families about family home evening and to encourage them to use the resource book.

  4. In priesthood quorum meetings, sacrament meetings, and other appropriate settings, encourage members to use the Family Home Evening Resource Book.

  5. Set a personal example by holding a weekly family home evening and by using the resource book.

    The following items appeared in the 1987-2 Bulletin.

    Bounce Back Audiocassette. The Bounce Back audiocassette (VVOT3436; $1.00 each) that the Church offered last year for use in public service television announcements and for member, missionary, and media purposes is available now at the Salt Lake Distribution Center. This twenty-minute audiocassette includes music, humor, and ten helpful ideas to help people cope with life’s disappointments and adversities.

    Full-time missionaries may use this audiocassette in finding activities to help build trust, generate interest, and prepare people to hear the first discussion.

    Members may use this audiocassette in finding and friendshipping activities to lead into gospel discussions, helping nonmembers understand that the gospel of Jesus Christ can provide solutions to life’s problems.

    Home teachers and visiting teachers may use this audiocassette in activation efforts.

    Stake mission presidencies and ward mission leaders may plan finding and friendshipping activities using this audiocassette.

    Referrals. The most productive referrals are to nonmembers who have expressed a willingness to have the missionaries visit them. When the nonmember has not expressed this willingness, the missionaries are rarely able to teach the gospel. Therefore, referrals should be forwarded to the missionaries only if the nonmembers have explicitly agreed to be visited. (This procedure does not change policies on friendshipping or on tracting and other types of normal missionary contacts.)

    Relief Society—A Blessing for Every Woman. The brochure Relief Society: A Blessing for Every Woman, which is available in English (PXRS4567; $.10 each), is now available in Spanish (PXRS4567SP; $.10 each) at the Salt Lake Distribution Center. The purposes of the brochure are to explain the mission of Relief Society, to build testimonies, and to strengthen the individual and families. It could be useful in teaching both members and nonmembers at special events such as missionary open houses, welcoming new members, Relief Society anniversary celebrations, teaching open houses, and other meetings where information about the work of Relief Society might be helpful.

    Music Copyright Violations. Published music protected by copyright notices other than the Church, including some hymns from the hymnbook (numbers 15, 54, 82, 124, 143, 219, 284, 296, 323, 324), must not be copied without written permission from the publisher or copyright owners (unless otherwise noted). Permission to use hymns in the hymnbook could be withdrawn, or the Church, including the ward and the stake, could face legal action if these instructions are not heeded.

    Restrictive copyright notices in the hymnbook should not be interpreted as encouragement to contact the copyright owners. The original permission obtained by the Church to place these hymns in the Church hymnbook included the agreement that these hymns would not be copied by the stakes and wards or for home use.