Policies and Programs


Personal Achievement Program for Girls in College Wards. All girls of the Church, including those enrolled in college, are enrolled in the young women’s personal achievement program through eighteen years of age. When a girl attends college away from home, she should take with her (1) her personal achievement journal, (2) the bishop’s copy of her personal achievement summary and progress record, and (3) the YWMIA interview report of her accumulated attendance and activity since her last birthday interview, which she obtains from the YWMIA secretary.

She gives the personal achievement summary and progress record to her college-ward bishop, and she gives the interview report to the YWMIA secretary of the college ward. The girl’s personal record card (buff) should not be sent by the home ward to the college ward, but should be retained in her home ward.

The college-ward bishop is responsible for checking with the girls in his ward to make sure each girl under nineteen years of age has a personal achievement journal. If a girl does not bring one from her own ward, the college ward bishop is responsible for seeing that she is interviewed and receives a journal. If a girl under nineteen years of age who is not a registered student is attending a college ward, the college ward is responsible for including her in the personal achievement program.

When a girl returns home from college before her birthday year is completed, she should take the following with her: (1) her journal, (2) the bishop’s copy of her personal achievement summary and progress record, and (3) the YWMIA interview report. She gives the record and report to the appropriate officers in her home ward.

Many girls may wish to qualify for the seven-year medallion while in college. In order to do so, a girl must attend 75 percent of all sacrament, Sunday School, and MIA meetings held, thereby qualifying her for an attendance seal on her seventh Personal Achievement Award. A girl who has received seven awards and seven seals is eligible for the seven-year medallion.

Use of Census Records. The third edition of the Records Submission Manual states: “If information pertaining to one’s ancestry cannot be found in vital or church records in the United States, the 1850 and 1860 federal census schedules may be used . … In Canada the 1851 and 1861 census schedules may be used.” (P. 40.)

In examining the many census records submitted since the start of the name tabulation program in October 1969, it has been found that in many cases no effort has been made to determine if the individual located in the census could be identified from some other acceptable single source.

The danger in this is that each person submitted from the census who can be identified in other acceptable sources might have his ordinance work duplicated. Therefore, the submission of records taken from census schedules of the United States and Canada must be limited to direct-line families.

The relationship recorded for the husband and wife on the family group record form must be a son or daughter relationship of some degree (grandson, second great-granddaughter, etc.). As before, the census should only be used when the children cannot be identified from other existing sources that meet minimum identification standards.

If some children in the direct-line family can be found in these other acceptable sources, they should be submitted on entry forms. Only the names of those children that cannot be found in other acceptable sources should be submitted on the family group record form from the United States and Canada census schedules. Census records cannot be submitted from any other country.

Members of the Church are reminded that their responsibility in genealogical research is to direct-line families. Time and money spent in gathering collateral relations or names to which no relationship can be established should not detract from efforts to extend pedigree lines and to perform the necessary ordinances.

Cola Drinks and the Word of Wisdom. “The Word of Wisdom, section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 89], remains as to terms and specifications as found in that section. There has been no official interpretation of the Word of Wisdom except that which was given by the Brethren in the very early days of the Church when it was declared that hot drinks meant tea and coffee.

“With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.”—Priesthood Bulletin