SALT LAKE CITY — In a move to make policies more accessible to the general membership of the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is releasing a new handbook in February.
The handbook, “General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” will be released digitally on Feb. 19, and will replace both handbooks, Handbook 1 and Handbook 2. The previous two handbooks were intended for different leaders, with Handbook 1 only being accessible to stake presidents and bishops.
The announcement, which was made Thursday by the church’s general authorities and general officers, comes after the church has made several policy changes over the last couple years, including the operating structure of several organizations within the church and the length of church service.
The new handbook is expected to provide more “flexibility” in how the church is able to update its handbook regularly. With it being open to all leaders, it will also provide more accessibility to the policies and procedures of the church.
“This new handbook is a part of the ongoing restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ that began 200 years ago,” Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in a statement. “This restoration has been and will continue to be a process of learning how to minister as Jesus would to a richly diverse world.”
Elder Christofferson added that the church hopes the new handbook will allow church leaders to use their “God-given gifts to continue to bless lives in their ministry. We know there is room in this church for everyone.”
The digital handbook, which will be available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org and on the church’s Gospel Library app on Feb. 19, will have 38 chapters, with nine chapters being updated to “reflect the new tone and approach.” The church added that 80% of the content from the previous handbooks will be included in the new handbook, but will be in a “new organizing structure.”
The church said it will update its remaining 29 chapters throughout 2020 and into 2021. Details about what is being carried over from the previous handbooks and what will be added have not been released.
A print-on-demand option for the handbook will also be available, according to the church.