“Policies and Procedures,” New Era, Apr. 1971, 50
Lives there a person who has not had someone send him a chain letter encouraging him to send the letter—and his money—on to a list of other persons? In case you’ve ever wondered what to do about this recurring fad, besides throwing the letter in the nearest trash can, here’s the counsel of the Church: “From time to time, individuals originate and promote various get-rich-quick devices such as chain letters. The First Presidency strongly counsels members of the Church against participating in such activities and warns that in certain areas such activity is illegal.”
As all holders of the Aaronic Priesthood know, it is their assignment to usher at church meetings. But what they may not know is the care and concern that the General Authorities want them to give to the following items:
“1. Observe the location of available seats and escort people to these places.
“2. Keep doors closed and halls and foyers quiet while prayers are being offered and during sacrament services.
“3. Be friendly to strangers and visitors and greet them with a smile.
“4. Check chapel for tidiness, distribution of song books, ventilation, and so forth.”
As in any other priesthood assignment, a good feeling comes from a job well done.
“The question is frequently raised as to the policy of the Church regarding abortions. The following is quoted from a statement recently issued by the First Presidency on the subject of abortion and sterilization:
“We have given careful consideration to the question of proposed laws on abortion and sterilization. We are opposed to any modification, expansion, or liberalization of laws on these ‘vital subjects.’
“The Church takes the view that any tampering with the fountains of life is serious, both morally and physiologically. The Lord’s command imposed upon Latter-day Saints is to ‘multiply and replenish the earth.’ Nevertheless there may be conditions where abortion might be justified, but such conditions must be determined in each instance upon the advice of a competent, reliable physician, preferably a member of the Church, and in accordance with the civil laws pertaining thereto.”
Language Aptitude Tests—“Misinformation exists about the purpose and consequence of the Modern Language Aptitude Test required of candidates for missions.” It should be explained to missionary candidates that “the Church tries to assemble all the pertinent information it can about them. The regular Missionary Recommendation form asks for facts about their schooling, interests, skills, family, financial means, military status, church experience and activity, and moral worthiness. A physical examination form is submitted that provides such information as their medical history, immunizations, limitations, and disabilities. Now prospective missionaries are requested to take a language aptitude test, which indicates their aptitude for learning a language. There is no such thing as passing or failing this test. Nor does this test determine their assigned fields of labor to a greater extent than the other factual information obtained. After a wide range of knowledge about each candidate is considered, inspiration then guides the determination of his assignment to a specific field of labor.”
Farewells—“Since September 1966, it has been Church policy that no missionary farewells be conducted in sacrament meetings. Failure to observe this policy in some areas makes it advisable to reiterate the policy concerning the recognition of departing missionaries: (1) The bishop or branch president should invite the departing missionary to speak in sacrament meeting, not as part of a farewell program, but simply as a sacrament meeting speaker concerning whom no special notice, publicity, or fanfare is given. (2) Farewell program leaflets and newspaper notices are not to be printed. (3) Collections are not to be taken up at the door; however, members may well be encouraged to contribute to a ward or branch missionary fund from which missionaries are assisted with travel and other expenses. Individuals are free to make personal contributions directly to missionaries. (4) Bishops and branch presidents should counsel families against holding receptions or open houses for departing missionaries; accordingly, announcements in church meetings of such receptions or open houses would be out of order.”
If you know of this important policy, you won’t have hurt feelings when your good bishop or branch president counsels you against certain kinds of activities that are no longer in keeping with Church procedures.