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MrShorty

New Church Handbook announced

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1 hour ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

 I'm guessing the reason for the separate books and websites is so the service missionaries aren't hurt by the disparities. 

*Footnote for those who don't know: these are intern-work like assignments the church gives a missionary who doesn't qualify for proselyting, you can't apply directly for them--they are sort of a consolation for those who don't meet requirements, and all missions include service and some proselyting missionaries may do more humanitarian work than some service missionaries

The bolded is the hurtful attitude.  The Lord cares about the willingness to serve to the utmost of their abilities... Even if that ability is not much.  The church's willingness to allow everyone to serve no matter how great or small is one of the ways they show they are the Lord's servants.  It is the attitude of some members that are hurtful.. belittling sacrifice because they do not have much to give.  Those members would be wise to remember the story of the widows mite.

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4 hours ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

This totally makes sense considering where the church is going.  Although what about people who don't use smartphones or the internet in the world?  Hopefully they'll have a leader who can print things off in Africa or wherever.

 

From what I understand (meaning I could be wrong) the church generally will have computers available (at least for the church leadership such as the clerks) at either the wardhouses when possible or the Stake or District buildings.  Most of them have printers there is people are very set upon getting a hardcopy but have no computer themselves.  The printing of it if one wants a hardcopy or how much of it they would print off will probably be up to each leader and the resources available.

On my visits in that part of the world they tend to be more technologically advanced than many people think...including having computers and cellphones abundantly among many in those nations.  It may not be as abundant as in the West, but they tend to have major cities with technology as we do, and many other things that some may not think they have access to.  There are poorer sections of some of the nations in Africa and other locations as well which have a lack, but in general they tend to have a lot more access to electronics and the internet than some people in the West occasionally may think.

Africa and Asia are big continents though, so it may also very well be that the nations I visit have been more advanced than some of the other poorer nations, and the situation in the areas I visited are not the same as other areas of the same continent (much like the North and South America probably, or even the US between state to state).

Edited by JohnsonJones

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Sweet! This is a good thing. Didn't bother me the other way around although there were times I wish I had access to Handbook 1 because of some questions I couldn't remember, but knew that Handbook 1.

Why? Probably because when the decision was made to have two handbooks made sense, and it was a time where there weren't as many individuals who believe they "have to" know everything otherwise the Church is holding secrets. We now live in a world where people like to complain and think having a different book only for specific leaders is somehow "evil" -- they are hiding something. Two Books, two different responsibilities.

Either way is good.

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Yikes estradling25. 😲  I didn't mean that!  I'm not belittling service missions at all.  That's why I put "sort of" I didn't know how else to phrase it.  I just hear people outside of the church assume it operates like missions in other denominations, so I wanted to be clear.  I think personally think it's wonderful when people who want to go on service missions are able to go and I'm sure they benefit from it.  Please, let me show you that my feelings are the opposite of what you think. 👱‍♀️

 The Savior's church used to have something called a stake mission which was optional, but choosing it if you didn't have to choose it was frowned upon, not by me--as you will soon see, it's what I'm inferring from the official church publications,  "Where will you go on your mission? If you are normal, and we hope you are—in fact that’s one of the requirements—you’ll want to go to some exotic place in a faraway land."--That's from Elder Tuttle 1974 , Your Mission Preparation, General Conference.  Or " I decided to stay home and serve a stake mission instead. I thought my dad would be angry, but he just said, 'Well, that’s your choice. But it’s a pretty big decision. Would you be willing to take two separate days and go off by yourself somewhere and fast and pray about this?'"--Friend to Friend July 2005, Answered Prayers.  Later we find out that his "mind and heart changed," and "I can’t imagine where my life would have gone if I had chosen to stay home."  You'd think he was choosing to not serve at all with that family's attitude towards them.  Even today's policy gives preference to proselyting.  Most of us imagine you can be excused for that for only a serious disability, but you can be excused for a wrong body mass index or a tatoo.  I honestly don't know how I feel about all this, I'm trying to sort out my own feelings, and being labeled as mean (if I read that right) doesn't really help.  It's not my place to change the church, it belongs to Christ.  Sure if it were me I'd combine the mission handbooks and do everything I could to equalize them, and I'd let the service missionaries wear their nametags all the time instead of being required to remove them.  My attitude is quite the opposite of what you're saying, it's actually quite charitable.  On the other hand, I do know this: I have a relative who is thrilled that he wasn't automatically reassigned to a service mission, he got turned down before the change and is married now.  I also read a LDSLiving story about a boy with down syndrome who refused to go on anything but a proselyting mission.  There are very rarely any church publication or media stories or firesides on young service missionaries, so why wouldn't some people turn it down and say that's not what I signed up for?  I'm all for upping the status of service missionaries.  😃 ... except that I'm getting all kinds of mixed messages about whether or not that's really appropriate since proselyting is supposed to be the priority, and clearly some people don't want it and it isn't exactly given what most people would define as equal status.  The assignments are pulled from justserve dot org and are assigned by the parents according to the young service missionary website (the letter from headquarters just gives the go-ahead) and the church outlined that they won't provide financial support for service missionaries.  This doesn't affect how I feel about people who sacrifice to serve, as you said, for some that's the best they've got, and I think that's wonderful.  It only makes me realize that if my perfectly healthy son were to say wow it looks like all service is equal to the Lord, so why not skip the fuss of a mission and choose my own path as guided by the spirit, I'd have to clarify things and that makes me cringe.

Man, it's really hard to word things online.  I hope I haven't offended anyone.  If you see my past posts you'll see I'm deeply supportive of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Sure there are things I don't understand because they are brought out in a confusing matter, but hopefully mentioning that is not causing discontent and strife.

 

Edited by Sort-of Young Mom
another thought

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On a less somber note, I am thrilled that the new handbook will do another thing...unify us and relieve Bishop's loads!  Were we really supposed to go to him for every question?

And... 

Funny story about the handbook, so there was a multi-ward Relief Society* activity and I found out there would be no supervision of kids moms brought, so I asked my husband to attend.  It was a good thing he did because the kids there were getting into a lot of trouble.  Well some of other women were outraged that a MAN was there, and a woman came up to us and said that his presence was traumatic to the women (because a couple of them didn't feel well dressed--no we weren't swimming--just exercising) and the handbook supposedly forbids men from showing up at Relief Society meetings/activities.  She asked us to leave, but first asked my husband to take group pictures...huh?  We were stunned!  Fortunately my husband had access to both handbooks and it wasn't in there.  Weird stuff.  I'm guessing you guys/girls have a more sane stake** culture.

I was disappointed when he got released because I missed having the handbook. 

*Women getting together from various congregations

**Multi congregations

Edited by Sort-of Young Mom
supposed to define

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Guest LiterateParakeet
9 hours ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

Weird stuff.  I'm guessing you guys/girls have a more sane stake** culture.

LOL, I agree that is pretty weird!  My story isn't as strange, but....I do the Ward Bulletin, so every Saturday, I let myself into the church (I have a key) and into the library and copy/fold the bulletin.   One day I guess I was there a little early, and there were some people there from the other ward that shares our bulding (cleaning the building, I believe.)   

The brother looked at me and said, "You know you're not supposed to be here alone."   He was smiling, to soften it, but he was serious.  I was confused.  What was he talking about?!  Nope, I never heard that.   Later, I decided he must be thinking of how we always have a priesthood holder in the building when we have Relief Society activities (which has always struck me as odd anyway....)    

I still go to the church alone and copy the bulletin on Saturdays.  I've been doing it for a few years, no one else has ever said anything to me.  

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11 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

LOL, I agree that is pretty weird!  My story isn't as strange, but....I do the Ward Bulletin, so every Saturday, I let myself into the church (I have a key) and into the library and copy/fold the bulletin.   One day I guess I was there a little early, and there were some people there from the other ward that shares our bulding (cleaning the building, I believe.)   

The brother looked at me and said, "You know you're not supposed to be here alone."   He was smiling, to soften it, but he was serious.  I was confused.  What was he talking about?!  Nope, I never heard that.   Later, I decided he must be thinking of how we always have a priesthood holder in the building when we have Relief Society activities (which has always struck me as odd anyway....)    

I still go to the church alone and copy the bulletin on Saturdays.  I've been doing it for a few years, no one else has ever said anything to me.  

Okay, I finally figured out how to quote.  If that was really recent it could be because the church released safety guidelines recommending people don't go into rooms alone--I don't remember if it specified women.   I remember reading a Deseret News story where a woman went in with the keys to practice on the piano and met a sad fate.  I still do it, and yes I'm a bit spooked out by it, I guess I'm living on the dangerous side.  As far as the priesthood holder thing, I don't know the details as that's probably in handbook 1.  I don't know how effective it is for safety (I doubt a man could've scared away cougars by virtue of his manhood when I was at girls' camp)--it's probably for blessings, the kind that people without the priesthood could do in Christ's name--I get why it may strike you as odd, but honestly it's not as odd as it used to be.  In a ReligionNews article by Jana Reiss on this she quotes a policy from her collection of old handbooks given to her by a scholar where any single woman who moved into a major city had to notify the 12 apostles for safety's sake.  Yes women could do blessings according to the church's essays, but it sure is easier having someone do it who has experience instead of doubting ourselves (is this ethical, how do I phrase this?) in an emergency.  I imagine that in the future there will be an incident with an elder and a sister alone heading off to the mother's room that will prompt a change or it's possible that might not even be in there as the new handbook is going to be shortened.  I thought for sure they'd be adding in more policies and clarifications.  Either they're omitting more rules, or the stake president is going to get all his instructions via emails/training (I doubt there's a handbook for general authorities besides the scriptures).     

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I'm not sure if we were talking about the reduction in size of the handbook (singular) that will be coming out...but..

Well, half the handbooks could be done away with simply because half of #1 and #2 were repeating each other (literally, some paragraphs on some things were almost the same wording and all).  That could easily account for a 20% reduction I'd imagine.

There's no need to have another handbook or anything to be deleted really, just making it so that the stuff that was repeated between the two is simply rephrased and reduced in the amount of space it takes.

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On 2/3/2020 at 8:24 PM, Sort-of Young Mom said:

Funny story about the handbook, so there was a multi-ward Relief Society* activity and I found out there would be no supervision of kids moms brought, so I asked my husband to attend.  It was a good thing he did because the kids there were getting into a lot of trouble.  Well some of other women were outraged that a MAN was there, and a woman came up to us and said that his presence was traumatic to the women (because a couple of them didn't feel well dressed--no we weren't swimming--just exercising) and the handbook supposedly forbids men from showing up at Relief Society meetings/activities.  She asked us to leave, but first asked my husband to take group pictures...huh?  We were stunned!  Fortunately my husband had access to both handbooks and it wasn't in there.  Weird stuff.  I'm guessing you guys/girls have a more sane stake** culture.

That seems weird to me.  In my wards in the past, they try hard to have two priesthood holders in the building whenever the Relief Society has an activity.  I haven't noticed requests for volunteer men like that in the last couple years though.

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On 2/5/2020 at 10:58 AM, dprh said:

That seems weird to me.  In my wards in the past, they try hard to have two priesthood holders in the building whenever the Relief Society has an activity.  I haven't noticed requests for volunteer men like that in the last couple years though.

I really don't know the policy.  I've heard it's necessary for activities with women that might be more risky--like Girls' Camp, but I've never seen men show up for ordinary women's activities.  Well...we'll see the policy soon enough.  Whenever the church is united on something, that seems to move us closer to the concept of Zion (one heart, one mind)--I'm thrilled for this new handbook and the potential it has to reduce misunderstandings. I'm really curious as to how missions will be handled in the new handbook as they really affect the development and self-esteem of the growing generation of boys.

So while we are on the subject of handbooks, policy question...At least half of my Sunday meetings are mission advertisements: I live in Utah, and when there isn't a missionary coming in or going out, an RM from another ward is recruited as a guest speaker or someone is asked to give another homecoming talk even if they've been off the mission for years.  I know I seem self-sufficient, and testifying of truths probably helps strengthen me more than it helps others, but to be honest I actually need a lot of spiritual upliftment right now.    My husband isn't fond of all the mission recaps either.  When he came home from his mission the bishop told him to essentially ramble on about how cool his mission was and make it sound fun.  My husband was a rebel and talked about the atonement instead; people are suffering, people need a testimony not a commercial was his explanation.  I really wish I was in another ward, but if this is the policy on talks right now, and not some weird arrangement of my stake, then moving won't do me any good, and I'll need to accept it as the will of the Lord.  Is this happening in your wards?  I debated about starting a new thread, but I didn't want to breed widespread frustration if this is something Christ is directing to happen in his church--since this thread isn't on the main page I figure getting a little feedback from a few people is safer than sending it out to the whole world.  If this question is out of bounds, I'll back off.

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18 minutes ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

I really don't know the policy.  I've heard it's necessary for activities with women that might be more risky--like Girls' Camp, but I've never seen men show up for ordinary women's activities.  Well...we'll see the policy soon enough.  Whenever the church is united on something, that seems to move us closer to the concept of Zion (one heart, one mind)--I'm thrilled for this new handbook and the potential it has to reduce misunderstandings. I'm really curious as to how missions will be handled in the new handbook as they really affect the development and self-esteem of the growing generation of boys.

So while we are on the subject of handbooks, policy question...At least half of my Sunday meetings are mission advertisements: I live in Utah, and when there isn't a missionary coming in or going out, an RM from another ward is recruited as a guest speaker or someone is asked to give another homecoming talk even if they've been off the mission for years.  I know I seem self-sufficient, and testifying of truths probably helps strengthen me more than it helps others, but to be honest I actually need a lot of spiritual upliftment right now.    My husband isn't fond of all the mission recaps either.  When he came home from his mission the bishop told him to essentially ramble on about how cool his mission was and make it sound fun.  My husband was a rebel and talked about the atonement instead; people are suffering, people need a testimony not a commercial was his explanation.  I really wish I was in another ward, but if this is the policy on talks right now, and not some weird arrangement of my stake, then moving won't do me any good, and I'll need to accept it as the will of the Lord.  Is this happening in your wards?  I debated about starting a new thread, but I didn't want to breed widespread frustration if this is something Christ is directing to happen in his church--since this thread isn't on the main page I figure getting a little feedback from a few people is safer than sending it out to the whole world.  If this question is out of bounds, I'll back off.

That's your stake being weird, not Church wide policy.  

Aside: I be believe that they actually put in an anti-huge mission farewells/homecoming policy several years ago. 

Edited by Jane_Doe

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1 hour ago, Sort-of Young Mom said:

1. At least half of my Sunday meetings are mission advertisements: I live in Utah, and when there isn't a missionary coming in or going out, an RM from another ward is recruited as a guest speaker or someone is asked to give another homecoming talk even if they've been off the mission for years. 

2. but if this is the policy on talks right now,

1. You have a higher density of missionaries leaving and returning, so you will likely see them speaking more often. Moving inside of Utah is probably not going to solve your frequency problem. Other parts of the world delight in having soon to leave or return missionaries speak. Typically, those two groups are on spiritual 'fire', willing to speak... unlike pulling teeth with the rest of the general membership.

2. Handbook 2 18.2.2.6

Quote

The bishopric usually invites missionaries to speak in sacrament meeting just before they depart and when they return (see Handbook 1, 4.8.1 and 4.10.3). The bishopric makes it clear that this is a regular sacrament meeting and is not to be a missionary farewell or homecoming. The bishopric plans and conducts these meetings. Family members and friends of the missionary are not invited to speak. However, other departing or returning missionaries or other members may be invited to speak.

While soon to depart and return missionaries are asked to speak, they should be speaking on specific assigned topics NOT rambling on about their missions. Sacrament talks should be testifying of Christ.

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On 2/9/2020 at 5:43 PM, Sort-of Young Mom said:

So while we are on the subject of handbooks, policy question...At least half of my Sunday meetings are mission advertisements: I live in Utah, and when there isn't a missionary coming in or going out, an RM from another ward is recruited as a guest speaker or someone is asked to give another homecoming talk even if they've been off the mission for years.  I know I seem self-sufficient, and testifying of truths probably helps strengthen me more than it helps others, but to be honest I actually need a lot of spiritual upliftment right now.    My husband isn't fond of all the mission recaps either.  When he came home from his mission the bishop told him to essentially ramble on about how cool his mission was and make it sound fun.  My husband was a rebel and talked about the atonement instead; people are suffering, people need a testimony not a commercial was his explanation.  I really wish I was in another ward, but if this is the policy on talks right now, and not some weird arrangement of my stake, then moving won't do me any good, and I'll need to accept it as the will of the Lord.  Is this happening in your wards?  I debated about starting a new thread, but I didn't want to breed widespread frustration if this is something Christ is directing to happen in his church--since this thread isn't on the main page I figure getting a little feedback from a few people is safer than sending it out to the whole world.  If this question is out of bounds, I'll back off.

Our ward tradition is to have a soon-to-be missionary give a talk the Sunday before he leaves and the Sunday after he returns.  They are assigned the regular topic before the leave and they are asked to bear their testimony of their mission after they return.  The most we've ever had in our ward since I've been here (about 20 years) is 4 missionaries out at a time... we've been split so many times that we actually formed a completely new stake.  Currently, we only have 1 missionary out.  The next young man won't be turning 18 until sometime in October, I believe.

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Well, it's been out a few hours now.  

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/general-handbook

Disciplinary councils are no longer a thing.  They are not called "membership councils." Not much has changed around those otherwise.

 

There's a new section on Supporting Individuals and Families. It quotes liberally from the Proclamation on the Family, and still leaves enough room for interpretation that you can use it as ammunition against anyone you disagree with :D. 

 

There's also a new policy section on Transgender individuals. It states the priesthood leaders discourage surgical and medical transitions, which "will be cause for Church membership restrictions."  (not new). Priesthood leaders also discourage social transition, and that social transition will result in "some Church membership restrictions." The implication seems to be that it is less severe than surgical or medical transition. It explicitly states that socially transitioned individuals will have some restrictions, but other church participation is "welcomed." It does not expressly prohibit participation with the group with whom the individual identifies, nor does it expressly encourage it.  Transgender individuals may have their preferred name given in the preferred name field of their membership record, and may be referred to with their chosen pronouns. There is no indication that doing so comes with any kind of membership restriction.

 

I haven't come across much else that stood out as being different to me.  Which isn't surprising.  The earlier announcement said the process of updating everything to the new tone and editorial standards would take about two years. But most everything I've browsed looks pretty comparable to Books 1 and 2.

 

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