Policies and Procedures

“Policies and Procedures,” New Era, Aug. 1971, 50

Policies and Procedures

Women’s and Girls’ Dress

This statement on women’s and girls’ dress was recently approved by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve: “The Church has not attempted to indicate just how long women’s or girls’ dresses should be nor whether they should wear pant suits or other types of clothing. We have always counseled our members to be modest in their dress, maintaining such standards in connection therewith as would not be embarrassing to themselves and to their relatives, friends, and associates.

“We have advised our people that when going to the temple they should not wear slacks or mini-skirts, nor otherwise dress immodestly. We have not, however, felt it wise or necessary to give instructions on this subject relative to attendance at our church meetings, although we do feel that on such occasions they should have in mind that they are in the house of the Lord and should conduct themselves accordingly.”

When You Move Away from Home

“The First Presidency has assigned to the Social Services Department the responsibility for young people who are living away from home for employment and reasons other than school, military, or missions. This group consists of single people, male and female, ages eighteen to twenty-five.

“When a young person moves from his home ward or branch, where his permanent membership record is kept, the bishop or branch president should fill out a ‘Youth Away from Home Information Card,’” and send it to the Social Services Department. This card is then copied and sent to your new bishop or branch president. As you know, in your new town of residence it helps to have good friends in whom you can trust. This information card helps to assure that you will make contact with your new Church leaders. Hence, if you plan on a move, you can speed up the whole process—and help yourself—by informing your home ward bishop or branch president of your plans.

A Call for Girls to Serve

Throughout the Church this month and in coming months, ward bishoprics will be giving many girls an opportunity in leadership when they call a class president for each of the Beehive, Mia Maid, and Laurel classes in the ward. “In each instance the bishopric selects the girl to be president of her class; she in turn may be given the privilege of choosing her first and second counselors. The bishopric approves the selection of counselors and sets the class presidencies apart. These girls serve for an MIA year or six months, as the bishop designates. The class presidencies attend the bishop’s youth committee meetings as their class representatives and are authorized to speak for their classes at such meetings.” It might be of interest to know that recent surveys have demonstrated the importance of these offices, particularly when filled by “girls who are qualified and who will be responsible for the duties to which they are called. Enthusiastic, outstanding leadership abilities of girls in leadership positions cannot fail to be a tremendous influence in the lives of other girls.” The Brethren have said that the most successful classes have consistently been those where these girl leaders give dedicated and energetic service.

No More “Bishop for a Day” Programs

An unusual activity that many wards throughout the Church have been using is the so-called “bishop for a day” program where the youth of the ward, through youth committees and the bishopric, have been appointed to serve as bishopric and to officer the various ward organizations for a week’s time. In these capacities they plan and conduct meetings and take care of many other matters ordinarily handled by the regularly set-apart officers.

The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have recently decided that this practice should be discontinued. Even though many fine and wonderful programs have been held and have given insight to many youth about what it means to be a Church leader and officer, the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have concern about “not only the spirit of levity and irreverence that seems to be creeping into some of these programs, but also the serious questions of authority and jurisdiction that the practice raises. Although bishops who conduct these programs may not intend to actually relinquish their authority to others, the name of the program and the procedures followed necessarily imply this, thereby suggesting an erroneous principle to members of the Church and especially to the impressionable young people who participate and who may not be well grounded in correct principles and procedures.”