News Release

Church Updates Handbook Chapters on Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, Young Women and Primary

Twelve of the book’s 38 chapters have now been revised

Under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published updates today, March 25, 2020, to chapters in its General Handbook about Aaronic Priesthood quorums, Young Women and Primary (the Church’s organization for children). The chapters are available in English online and in the Gospel Library app.

General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints replaced both Handbook 1 (for stake presidents and bishops) and Handbook 2 (for all other leaders) last month. The new book (digital only, with a few exceptions for some areas) is accessible to anyone.

As was noted in February when the new handbook launched, the book will be revised regularly to help leaders around the world use Christlike care in implementing and adapting the Church’s various programs, policies and procedures to their circumstances. With today’s revisions, 12 of the handbook’s 38 chapters have been updated. The entire book will be reworked by 2021.

Content in the chapters on Aaronic Priesthood quorums, Young Women and Primary is organized around the work of salvation and exaltation (the organizing framework for the entire handbook). These three chapters can now be applied more effectively to congregations of all sizes. Some information previously presented in paragraphs is now in lists for easier reading. Word count in each chapter has been reduced by one-third to one-half.

Below is a list of changes specific to each of these three chapters.

Chapter 10: Aaronic Priesthood Quorums

Chapter 11: Young Women

  • The new Young Women theme (announced in 2019) is included.
  • Information about the new Children and Youth program (also announced in 2019) is included.
  • More emphasis is placed on encouraging class presidencies to direct the work of their class.

Chapter 12: Primary

  • Information about the new Children and Youth program is included.
  • To protect youth and children and align with Church policy, instructions clarify that youth are not to teach Primary even as substitutes.
  • Safety information, including information on restroom safety, has been added to help Primary presidencies better instruct Primary teachers and activity leaders.
  • The timing of the annual children’s sacrament meeting presentation is changed from being held during “the fourth quarter of the year” to “the last few months of the year.”

See the February 19 news release for details on updates to nine other chapters. Also see a list of frequently asked questions about the new handbook.

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