The Church's Handbook 2 was recently updated to include a summary of Church changes made over the past year.
These changes to Handbook 2 include information about building a Christ-centered home, the age change for receiving the Aaronic priesthood, ministering, priesthood and the family, and ward councils.
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In addition, the summary includes information about five new sections: "Preventing and Responding to Abuse," "Two Responsible Adults (for Young Women, Aaronic Priesthood, and Primary)," and "Ministering (for Young Women)."
Preventing and Responding to Abuse
According to the summary page on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, the section on abuse states:
"In stake and ward council meetings, stake presidencies and bishoprics regularly review Church policies and guidelines on preventing and responding to abuse. They teach the key messages in “Preventing and Responding to Abuse,” an enclosure to the First Presidency letter dated March 26, 2018 (see ministeringresources.ChurchofJesusChrist.org). They invite discussion from council members. Leaders and council members should seek the guidance of the Spirit as they teach and discuss this sensitive subject.
"Council members should also watch and discuss the video Protect the Child: Responding to Child Abuse (see ministeringresources.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
"Council members then discuss this material in their presidency meetings and, as needed, with others.
"Often a report of abuse will come to a trusted teacher or adviser. Members of stake and ward councils help leaders, teachers, and members take proper steps in preventing and responding to abuse, including reporting the abuse to appropriate civil authorities."
Two Responsible Adults
There is also a new section titled "Two Responsible Adults" that applies to Young Women, Aaronic Priesthood, and Primary and states that two adults be present when teaching or when in Church settings where the youth are attending.
"When adults are teaching children or youth in Church settings, at least two responsible adults should be present. The two adults could be two men, two women, or a married couple. Where it may not be practical to have at least two adults in a classroom, leaders should consider combining classes.
"The guideline that two responsible adults be present with youth does not apply to the assignment of ministering companions. However, leaders should use wisdom and seek inspiration when assigning youth as companions to adults (see 7.4.3)."
Ministering (Young Women)
The new ministering section explains that all Mia Maids and Laurels can serve as ministering sisters with a member of the Relief Society, if they are willing to do so. It also explains that the rule of two responsible adults doesn't apply to a ministering calling, however:
"Under the direction of their bishop, leaders should use wisdom and seek inspiration when assigning youth as companions to adults (see 9.5.3).
"Adult companions should avoid situations that might be misunderstood. They should use care regarding isolated one-on-one situations so that young women have a safe and rewarding experience with ministering. Additionally, leaders should use wisdom in not assigning young women to difficult home or family situations. When youth are assigned to a companion who is not a parent, leaders should confirm that parents do not object to the assignment."
To view more updates made to the Handbook 2, visit ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Lead image from lds.org