Programs and Policies Newsletter


New York Building Site. The First Presidency has announced the recent purchase of a 25,000-square-foot building site near New York City’s Lincoln Center, to provide facilities for religious, educational, and cultural activities of the Church in that area. Fronting on Columbus Avenue, between 65th and 66th streets, and directly across the street from the Juilliard School of Music, the Church facility will be used by the Manhattan Ward, Manhattan Second Ward, and New York Stake. Included in the building complex will be a chapel, a cultural hall, classrooms, and offices for the New York Stake presidency and high council and ward bishoprics. A visitors’ center and offices for the Eastern States Mission are also contemplated on the building site.

Preservice Orientation. The preservice Church orientation program for young men going into military service is of as much importance to them as is the mission home orientation given to young men going on a full-time mission. Contact ward or stake executive secretaries for the date, time, and place of these three-hour orientation sessions.

Social Services Department. By law and by assignment from the First Presidency, all arrangements for adoption and foster care of children in which the Church may be involved have been assigned to the Social Services Department. Members who arrange for foster homes privately for Indian students are in violation of state law, tribal wishes, and the natural parents’ basic rights. Those Church officers who make private arrangements for adoption and foster homes imply the involvement of the Church, which could result in the revocation of the Church’s license to perform such services. Church social services agencies are now located in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Alberta, Canada. Other offices, including one in Oregon, will be opened in the near future. Where agencies do not exist, Church members may inquire for information through the Social Services Department, 10 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.

Films. The Church Library Coordinating Committee and the Distribution and Translation Department are making Church-produced motion picture films more readily available. When extensive use of a film is indicated, a copy of it will be distributed to each stake for permanent use within the stake. If the need for the film is less frequent, one copy will be distributed to each region. In each region, one of the meetinghouse libraries that house stake materials will be assigned to maintain films for regional distribution. Seldom-used films will be available through Church distribution centers. All films will be available through Deseret Book Company and Brigham Young University film centers.

Abortion. A recent statement from the First Presidency on the subject of abortion and sterilization reads in part: “We have given careful consideration to the question of proposed laws on abortion and sterilization. We are opposed to any modification, expansion, or liberalization of laws on these vital subjects.” The Church regards any tampering with the fountains of life as something serious, both morally and physiologically. The Lord’s command to Latter-day Saints is to “multiply and replenish the earth.” However, there may be conditions where abortion is justified, but such conditions must be determined in each instance by a competent and reliable physician—preferably a member of the Church—and in accordance with applicable civil laws.

Stake Missionary Program. Regional Representatives of the Twelve will explain the new stake missionary program at the first regional meetings held in 1971. To implement the program, the new Priesthood Missionary Handbook for Stake Missions has been published under the direction of the First Presidency for the use of stake presidencies, bishoprics, seventies, and stake missionaries. Bishops will play an increasingly important role in the new program, which brings the stake mission under full correlation and appoints the seventies group leader as the ward mission leader. The ward-centered program is designed to help seventies to assume their responsibilities more effectively and more in harmony with the principle: “Let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling … that the system may be kept perfect.” (D&C 84:109–10.) It will still be the responsibility of the stake mission presidency to organize, train, and motivate all stake missionaries, whose work is divided into three areas of activity: finding investigators, teaching investigators, and fellowshiping converts.