The Church’s General Handbook revision, which began in February 2020 is now 75% complete. The latest round of updates were published Tuesday, March 31. The newest changes include four rewritten chapters and seven other chapters with added or revised sections.
The English text is available to the public online, with versions in other languages to follow in the coming months. The entire handbook is expected to be updated in English by the end of this year.
This handbook revision is being done under the supervision and direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The text is a guide for leaders around the world to better serve with consistency and Christlike care. It also helps in the process of adapting and implementing Church programs and policies to the unique needs of their congregations around the world.
According to the Church Newsroom:
The rewritten chapters align with the handbook’s organizing framework of the work of salvation and exaltation. This work includes (1) living the gospel of Jesus Christ, (2) caring for those in need, (3) inviting all to receive the gospel, and (4) uniting families for eternity. The content has also been simplified, reduced and made more adaptable for congregations of all sizes worldwide. The newly rewritten chapters are listed below.
- Chapter 6: “The Bishopric.” This chapter was previously called “Ward Leadership.” The name is changed to better reflect the content. It summarizes the bishop’s responsibilities for the work of salvation and exaltation. It also explains differences between bishops and branch presidents. It includes information about the ward executive secretary.
- Chapter 23: “Sharing the Gospel and Strengthening New and Returning Members.” This chapter focuses on loving others and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It emphasizes the responsibilities of elders quorum presidencies, Relief Society presidencies, and others for sharing the gospel and strengthening new and returning members. It also includes updated information about the callings of ward mission leader and ward missionary.
- Chapter 24: “Missionary Recommendations and Service.” This chapter includes updated guidelines on preparing and qualifying for missionary service. It also clarifies the different types of missionary service, updates policies on maximum age limits for young sister missionaries, and updates policies on setting apart senior service missionaries.
- Chapter 29: “Meetings in the Church.” This chapter includes brief overviews about each kind of meeting the Church holds. It also explains that bishops and stake presidents may authorize the streaming of meetings and holding virtual meetings when appropriate.
To read further details about the other changes and updates, CLICK HERE.