From the Church

Church announces new General Handbook updates

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

As directed by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” continues to be updated as needed. Several updates were published on August 31, 2023, and some of the adjustments are detailed below.

The Church of Jesus Christ has also published “Selections from the General Handbook.” This new publication is a condensed version of the handbook that will be available in multiple languages that do not have the full handbook. “Selections” is a compilation of the instructions from the full General Handbook that are needed most often. See more information below.

August 31 Updates to the General Handbook

Some of the updates included in the latest release are listed below.

  • Throughout the handbook, the phrases “the work of salvation and exaltation” and “the Lord’s work of salvation and exaltation” have been changed to “God’s work of salvation and exaltation” to emphasize that we are invited to help God with His work.
  • Family history centers are now called FamilySearch centers, and the Family History Library is now called the FamilySearch Library.
  • Sunday Relief Society, Young Women, Sunday School, and quorum meetings should begin with prayer (see,,,, 13.3).
  • All ward Relief Society callings are presented for sustaining in sacrament meeting (see 9.3.3 and 9.3.4).
  • Updated the guidelines for baptismal services (see 18.7.2).
  • Clarified information about who may be called as temple ordinance workers (see 25.5.2).
  • Updated instructions for issuing temple recommends and added the recommend questions (see 26.3.3).
  • Updated information about the temple endowment (see 27.2).
  • Updated information about who may attend a sealing of living children to parents (see 27.4.4).
  • Clarified information about the stake youth leadership committee (see 29.3.10).
  • Updated information about the stake bishops’ council meeting (29.3.11).
  • Updated information about photographs and video recordings of meetings (see 29.8).
  • Updated the process for creating ward and stake histories (see 33.7.1).
  • Updated meetinghouse guidelines encourage the safe and responsible use of meetinghouses in ways that welcome and serve both members and friends and help all draw closer to Christ (see 35.5).
  • Added information about interpreting ordinances and blessings for those who are deaf or hard of hearing (see 38.2.1).
  • Clarified that parents must be sealed to each other before children are sealed to them (see 38.4.2).

To read the full announcement, visit Church Newsroom.

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