“Policies and Announcements,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 79
When a bishop issues a Patriarchal Blessing Recommend (PFPA0080), he should inform the candidate of the sacred nature of this blessing and impress upon the member the necessity of being spiritually prepared to receive it. The member should be instructed to go to the patriarch in proper Sunday attire and with a prayerful attitude.
The member may fast if he or she desires but should not be required to do so by priesthood leaders. The patriarchal blessing is sacred, confidential, and personal; therefore, it will be given in private. However, family members (parents, husband, or wife) may be present when the blessing is given.
New Year’s Eve Activities, 1989
This year, New Year’s Eve falls on Sunday. In countries where it is customary to hold New Year’s Eve socials, the following suggestions may be helpful to priesthood leaders in planning such activities:
Schedule the activity on Saturday, 30 December 1989, with dancing and similar activities ending at 11:30 P.M. Participants will then be free to go home immediately thereafter and be available for regular Sunday meetings.
In place of holding ward or stake socials or dances this year, encourage families to celebrate New Year’s Eve, 1989, together. This could become a positive extended family activity as they gather after their Sunday meetings. Where an extended family gathering is not possible, several families might gather together in a home and have a joint family activity. Activities should be kept appropriate for the Sabbath day.
Hold special firesides at a reasonable hour on Sunday evening.
Activities That Are Not Approved
Three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles have been involved in an unusually high incidence of recreation-related deaths and serious injuries. For these reasons, the use of three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles is not permitted at Church-sponsored outings and recreational activities. This exclusion should be added to the list of “Activities That Are Not Approved,” Activities Committee Handbook, pages 8–9, and Young Women Handbook, p. 20.
Lessons and Recitals on Meetinghouse Organs and Pianos
Because trained organists and pianists are vital to Church worship services, meetinghouse organs and pianos may be used for recitals and paid private instruction, but only when there is no reasonable alternative, and only when such use will further the Church music program.
Certain restrictions should be followed:
The agent bishop and the stake president must approve the use of the meetinghouse for organ or piano instruction or recitals.
The ward music chairman should coordinate arrangements for approved use.
Either the teacher or the student should be a member of the unit in which the instrument is housed.
Instruction and recitals should not interfere with Church meetings and activities.
There must be no admission charge for recitals or other performances.
Relief Society Publications
A number of publications that deal with protection of women and prevention of child abuse are available at Church distribution centers. These would be helpful to families and to priesthood and Relief Society leaders.
The following are some examples: Child Abuse—Helps for Ecclesiastical Leaders (PGSC0386 N/C), Self-protection for Babysitters (PXRS0293; $.10 each), Safety Precautions for Women and Children (PXRS0497; $.10 each), Your New Baby (brochure, PXRS0329; $.10 each), Your Baby and You (filmstrip, VVOF3095; $2.50 each).