Policies and Procedures

“Policies and Procedures,” New Era, Mar. 1972, 29

Policies and Procedures

Many policies and procedures of the Church relate directly to youth. You should know about them because they affect your life. These official guidelines are sent to priesthood and auxiliary leaders in a small newsletter called the Priesthood Bulletin, from which most of the following items are quoted.

Youth Conferences

About this time of the year, interested youth begin to ask about youth conferences—whether they can hold one, those who can attend, and such matters. Hence, it would be helpful for youth to know that “youth conferences may be held on a regional basis, that is, the regions supervised by Regional Representatives of the Twelve. …” The Brethren recommend “that the stake presidents in any specific region meet conjointly on these matters, that the decision to hold the youth conference should be the united action of all the stake presidents in the area.

“Where stakes and missions share common territory, it would be proper to include such missions in youth conferences, in which case mission presidents should be included with stake presidents in consultation pertaining to such conferences.

“The following precautions apply to youth conferences held in missions:

“a. Youth conferences must be self-sustaining: that is, no Church funds are to be used to finance them.

“b. No proselyting missionaries are to be involved in the conferences.

“c. Special caution is to be taken with respect to chaperonage.

“d. Local Church members, where the conferences are held, are not to be imposed upon.”

Knowing this, interested youth will know whom to contact—their stake or mission president, through their bishop or branch president; they will also note the general counsel pertaining to youth conferences in missions, which helps explain why some kinds of requests and desires of youth cannot be realized.

Patriarchal Blessings for Members of Stakes Where Patriarchal Services Are Not Available

“The members of a stake where the stake patriarch has died or become incapacitated, or is absent from the stake for an extended period may, upon proper recommendation of their bishops and the president of their stake, receive patriarchal blessings from a stake patriarch in a nearby stake to whom they have been recommended. In such cases the applicant is to go to the patriarch’s stake for the blessing; the patriarch is not to leave his own stake and go into another stake for such purpose.” It is clear that the General Authorities understand the importance of patriarchal blessings in our lives, and they have established procedures for the many types of situations in which you may find yourself. If you desire a patriarchal blessing, the first step is to discuss the matter with your bishop or branch president.

Do you really like music?

Many youth often ask how they can participate in more musical functions in the Church. One of the best ways is to get involved in your ward choir which is “the official singing group for the sacrament meeting and should sing regularly in that meeting. It serves under the direction of the bishop who is responsible to see that it is organized and maintained and that it has a regularly appointed time and place for weekly rehearsals.” The Brethren have said that “there should be a choir in every ward and branch.” The youth make up the majority of many such choirs—and have a great time singing together and enjoying one another’s company. What about you and your friends? Is the choir for you?

Sunday School on General Conference Sunday

Twice a year, someone raises the question: What about listening to general conference instead of going to Sunday School? Here is the counsel of the Brethren:

“In those areas where the proceedings of general conference are available by radio or television and where the conference conflicts with Sunday School time, Senior Sunday Schools may be closed on general conference Sunday so that members may hear the conference proceedings in their homes, or arrangements may be made for general conference to be heard or viewed in the meetinghouse as part of the Sunday School proceedings.

“In other areas, Sunday Schools should be held in their entirety on general conference Sundays.

“Junior Sunday School generally should be held in all areas, as circumstances suggest.”