The Church Educational System (CES) announces that all new employees who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be required to hold and be worthy to hold a current temple recommend. Church members already working at CES institutions will be invited to adopt this standard voluntarily. This aligns with the historical temple recommend standard applicable to Church employment. This adjustment is effective immediately and applies to all faculty, staff and administrative employees at each of the CES institutions.
Updating this policy reflects the unique role of CES in the Church and in the lives of its students. “The CES institutions are unique among educational institutions. Central to the effort of CES is our mission to develop disciples of Jesus Christ who are leaders in their homes, in the Church of Jesus Christ and in their communities,” said Elder Clark G. Gilbert, Church Commissioner of Education. “No institutional decision is more important to us than the selection of employees, including faculty, as it has the greatest potential to impact our students.
Read the full news release at Church Newsroom.
In the past, the requirement for CES employees has been to adhere to the CES Honor Code, according to Church News. The Honor Code requires employees to “maintain standards of conduct consistent with qualifying for temple privileges,” which includes being honest; living a chaste and virtuous life; respecting others; obeying the law; abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee; and participating regularly in Church services (for members of the Church).
An FAQ page posted to BYU’s website states contains the following question: “I thought this was the policy all along. What is the difference between the former standard that stated ‘conduct consistent with qualifying for temple privileges’ and the updated standard that states ‘hold and be worthy to hold a temple recommend’?“
The answer on the page states: “For most employees who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ, BYU anticipates this will not represent a change because they already hold and are worthy to hold temple recommends.”
In a message to BYU employees, President Kevin J Worthen said, “While some may consider this a minor adjustment from our current standard, we believe it will further align us with our mission.”
He continued, “Current employees who are members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ who voluntarily choose to accept this standard will be embracing an opportunity that President Russell M. Nelson referred to in the October 2021 general conference, ‘Everything we believe and every promise God has made to His covenant people come together in the temple. … [The Lord] is providing opportunities for each of us to bolster our spiritual foundations more effectively by centering our lives on Him and on the ordinances and covenants of His temple.’”