“General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” is now complete in English after its first partial release nearly two years ago. The most recent updates were published today online and in the Gospel Library app. This handbook has been prepared under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The General Handbook is the result of unifying Handbook 1 (for stake presidents and bishops) and Handbook 2 (for all leaders) into one volume. The first chapters were published in February 2020, with subsequent updates in July and December of that year and March and August of 2021. Completion in other languages will come in 2022.
“The purpose behind this . . . revision is to help every member serve in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a more Christlike way,” said Elder Anthony D. Perkins, executive director of the Church’s Correlation Department. “In a variety of ways, we’ve tried to make this book very accessible to every member of the Church, whether they’re a new member or a longtime member, whether they live in the United States or the most far-flung place on the planet.”
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Highlights of the December 15 Update
The new content published on December 15, 2021, includes seven newly revised chapters and many other revisions. For example, chapter 14 (“Single Members”) features counsel from President M. Russell Ballard’s April 2021 general conference message, “Hope in Christ.” The content of the chapter is organized according to the work of salvation and exaltation — emphasizing that single Church members are essential to that work. Also, the chapter notes that elders quorum and Relief Society presidents are now responsible for supporting young single adults in their congregations.
Chapter 19 (“Music”) has information about using culturally diverse music styles and instruments other than a piano and organ. “Sacred music that is written or sung in culturally diverse musical styles may help unify congregations,” the text says. “Music coordinators and priesthood leaders may include a variety of appropriate musical styles that appeal to members of various backgrounds.”
Chapter 28 (“Temple Ordinances for the Deceased”) includes guidelines about names to submit for temple ordinances and names not to submit. The text explains all proxy ordinances, not just baptism for the dead, and features a policy to allow unendowed Melchizedek Priesthood holders to officiate in confirmations for the dead.
Read the full release and an overview of more revisions at Newsroom.