The process of revising the General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues, with translations of selected material in 21 major languages soon to be released.
The new handbook was published digitally in English in February 2020, with additional releases of revised materials in March and July. So far, 16 of the book’s 38 chapters have been rewritten and published. Remaining chapters will be revised during coming months, including revisions to reduce length and simplify reading level.
Shortly after October 2020 general conference, chapter 32, “Repentance and Church Membership Councils,” and portions of section 38.6, “Policies on Moral Issues” (which supports chapter 32), will begin to be published in 21 languages (in addition to English). Additional chapters are being translated and prepared for publication in coming months, and eventually all material will be available in 35 languages.
Although the handbook is available on the Church website and in the Gospel Library app, the primary audience for the material is Church leaders. The revised handbook supersedes Handbook 1 (for stake presidents and bishops) and Handbook 2 (for all leaders) and combines all handbook information into a single publication.
The organizing framework for the new handbook is the work of salvation and exaltation, which includes four areas of focus as we come unto Christ and assist in God’s work:
Living the gospel of Jesus Christ
Caring for those in need
Inviting all to receive the gospel
Uniting families for eternity
The chapters are designed to help leaders around the world serve with Christlike care when implementing the Church’s various programs, policies, and procedures and, when necessary, adapting them to local circumstances.
Digital publication of the handbook enables updates and revisions to be made as the Church grows and as policies are adjusted. Principles of flexibility and adaptation included in the handbook help leaders and members effectively apply principles and Church programs in congregations of all sizes and throughout a diverse, global community of Saints.