Policies and Procedures

“Policies and Procedures,” New Era, Feb. 1972, 12

Policies and Procedures

Half the fun of going anywhere is the travel to and from. But there are certain precautions that ought to be taken for each kind of activity to insure the safety and well-being of all participants. And that’s what the Church’s new manual—LDS Safety Manual—is all about.

Usually the “Policies and Procedures” department contains reprints from the Priesthood Bulletin that apply to youth. This month we quote sections from the safety manual so that you’ll know how to take care of yourself, know how to plan group activities that stay within the guidelines approved by the Church, and so that you’ll know in advance the concerns your leaders have respecting your activities.

Nobody wants a good time to end in tragedy, and this superb little booklet issued by the Presiding Bishopric emphasizes the importance of being responsible about basic precautions.

Skimming through the twenty-eight pages whets one’s appetite to read more. Here are some key excerpts:

Safe Transportation

“There must be a responsible adult of at least twenty-one years of age in charge and accompanying the trip and a properly licensed driver in each vehicle. There should be a qualified relief driver in each vehicle when long trips are made.” Regulations further suggest that “all driving should be done during daylight hours, except in emergencies or when justified for special reasons.”

“Passengers must not be carried in a truck or camper except in the cab. This includes vehicles converted for passenger use, unless they are licensed as a bus and meet all requirements for buses.” There is also a paragraph that points out the difference in a car’s performance when it is being used to tow a trailer—a fact every driver should be mindful of.

“All means of travel should be thoroughly investigated and approved by the priesthood leader before the trip gets under way.”

Aquatic Safety

All surveys put water sports near the top of everyone’s favorite-things-to-do list. Some of the most common causes of water fatalities include “failure to provide adequate supervision,” “failure to hang onto boats that have capsized or swamped,” and “diving into shallow, boulder strewn, or otherwise obstructed water.”

All the familiar suggestions for safe water activity are included, but an interesting dimension is added with the suggestion that ability groups be organized so that beginning swimmers are separated from advanced swimmers.

Another suggestion made is to “station a lookout on the shore where he can see and hear everything in all areas … He should have a whistle or bell to give the buddy signals.” A buddy signal is made by sounding the bell or whistle and loudly shouting “buddies.” Swimmers respond to this by joining hands with their buddies as leaders count pairs for a safety check.


When it comes to water skiing, safety rules suggested are, “It is desirable to have a passenger-observer in the tow boat,” and “A life jacket is a must for water skiers. Skis should be in good shape and free from sharp or protruding edges.”

High Adventure

This is a section full of helpful ideas concerning precautions that every bike rider, cave explorer, and mountain hiker ought to keep in mind. For instance: “Leaders must alert their young people to the dangers of an unusual environment with proper instructions on fire safety, orienteering, and safe travel”; and “When you ride a bicycle on the highway, you become a part of vehicular traffic and must follow the regular traffic rules.” In other words, become familiar with traffic rules even if you don’t have a driver’s license.

Here are some great tips on what to do if you get lost. The tips are based on the “keep calm” theory:

1. If you are standing, sit down.

2. If you are wearing a pack, take it off.

3. If you have a sandwich or candy bar, eat it.

4. If you feel you are in serious trouble, build a fire.

The manual then goes on to give practical suggestions about what to do when your mind is clear and your panic ebbs.

Winter Recreation

Skiing, sledding, and ice skating are usually wilderness activities, and trips to participate in these sports should be made with groups of four persons or more staying together at all times. A skier’s safety code is included in the manual. Also included are important tips on how to handle thin ice, breakthroughs, and rescue in skating.

A pledge of performance is included and is a thought-provoking idea for anyone to consider. Here the participant pledges to “at all times, be a credit to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We will not tolerate rowdiness and unbecoming conduct. We will keep a constant check on all members of our party. … We will hold or attend Church services if away from home on Sunday.”

Having a wonderful time in lively activity is part of the Mormon way of life. Fitness and fun go hand in hand with our doctrine of the total development of the human being. The Church’s new safety manual was issued to insure that these activities have a happy ending, every time.

If you wish to examine more of the rules that could save your life, see your bishop or MIA leaders who have access to copies of the booklet.

If you want your own copy, send ten cents to the Church Distribution Center, 33 Richards Street, P.O. Box 11627, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.

It may be the best ten cents you ever spent.

Mormon Festival of Arts Accepting Photographic Entries

Youth of the Church are invited to enter original photographs—either black and white, colored, or 35-mm color—in the Fourth Annual Mormon Festival of Arts of Brigham Young University. The festival is designed to give “artistic expression to Mormon culture, belief, and values.”

Theme of this year’s festival is the Mormon family. Hence, youth photographers are invited to record all kinds of activities within the family: family home evenings, family celebrations, family enterprises and projects, family recreation, brother-and-sister or youth-and-parent relationships, home environment in general, and so forth.

Mounted black and white or colored photos should be eight by ten inches or larger. Slides should be suitable for showing to large audiences. Judges will seek for public showing those pictures that grab the viewer and make him feel he is part of the family or those pictures that make a viewer want to duplicate the idea in his own family.

Pictures should be sent to Gary Smith, Room B–315, Harris Fine Arts Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84601. They must arrive by February 28, 1972.

Prizes will be awarded by the New Era for the best photographs taken by youth (12 to 26 years of age) on the theme of the Mormon family. Prizes will be $100 first prize, $50 second prize, $25 third prize. Selected entries will be published in the New Era.

The Mormon Festival of Arts is an annual event at BYU where Mormon artists exhibit paintings, sculpture, and photography and where selected original musical compositions or original dramas on Mormon themes are performed. Last year’s play, “The Order is Love,” was featured in the April 1971 New Era. Exhibition dates for the festival are March 8 to April 1. Further information may be had by writing to Dr. Lorin F. Wheelwright, Dean, College of Fine Arts and Communications, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84601.

Illustrated by William Whittaker