New Church Handbook Is Online & Available To All. Here Are Some Of The Changes
Feb 19, 2020, 9:26 AM | Updated: 7:48 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a new handbook of instructions for leaders and members on Wednesday, when it made it available to any who want to see it on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
The church previously published two handbooks, one seen only by the leaders of congregations and those who preside over them.
The new guide, titled “General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” combines the two previous ones and also reflects the faith’s recent emphasis on ministering and home-centered gospel living and teaching while defining transgender policies for the first time.
Additionally, the book changes the name of disciplinary councils to membership councils, with their purposes — they may be necessary to help a person repent, the handbook says — and procedures explained across 65 pages in chapter 32.
In all, the digital-only handbook is about 800 pages long. It has 38 chapters, the same number included in the now-obsolete Handbook 1 and Handbook 2. However, some of the old chapters have been deleted, such as “The Perpetual Education Fund.”
New ones include “Ministering” and one on supporting individual and families that places additional large swaths of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in the handbook.
Another example of a change that reflects recent church emphases: A previous chapter called “Temples and Marriages” now is spread across three expanded chapters.
There also are additions to the section on policies related to what the handbook terms moral issues in Chapter 38. This includes direction for members on abortion, in vitro fertilization and euthanasia.