Worldwide leadership broadcast: New Church handbook introduced
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The Church issued a new administrative handbook during a worldwide leadership training meeting Nov. 13.
The handbook was introduced in a special training meeting originating at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, and broadcast to 95 countries in every time zone and in 22 languages during the course of the day.
Church leaders say that one of the major aims of the new handbook is to reduce the administrative workload on bishops, who put many hours of service into their Church duties in addition to managing their full-time occupations and their families.
President Thomas S. Monson has said that as the Church continues to grow and more lay leaders need to be trained, it is important to maintain the integrity of policies, procedures and programs contained in the handbook.
In relieving pressure on bishops, other lay leaders will take on additional assignments. Extra responsibilities will be passed to “ward councils.”
Key principles embodied in the handbook are simplification and flexibility where necessary in units that lack sufficient members to carry out the full Church program, while at the same time maintaining the essential doctrines and principles of the Church.
Major new doctrinally based chapters have been added at the front of the book on the eternal family and leadership and priesthood principles.
The handbook includes two volumes, one of which will be provided to hundreds of thousands of men and women who shoulder significant responsibilities in administering local Church programs and congregations. It contains the vast majority of revisions and has been posted online at lds.org, where anyone can view it. Complete video of the worldwide leadership training broadcast is available online on lds.org. (Worldwide leadership training)
The other volume of the handbook, which contains relatively few changes, will be used primarily by bishops and stake presidents. It will also be placed on the Church’s website with other resources specifically used only by these leaders.
Church leaders have emphasized that while the handbook is an essential guide in a large church with a lay ministry, it is not scripture, and that individual leaders are expected to seek inspiration and use judgment when administering their Church duties.