According to the General Handbook of Instructions , p. 5–1, “‘Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name.’ (D&C 20:70.) In conformity with this revelation, only those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should participate in the ordinance of naming and blessing children.” This instruction supersedes all previous instructions, including those found on page 151 of Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide 1, Lay Hold Upon the Word of God.
The following letter, dated 1 December 1989, and signed by the First Presidency, was sent to all priesthood leaders:
Effective immediately, all full-time Church Service workers whose assignment requires them to leave their homes will be called as full-time missionaries with an additional assignment. The accompanying guidelines will assist priesthood leaders as they recommend individuals to full-time Church service away from home.
We are pleased with the response of these worthy and faithful workers who in their later years are serving on a voluntary basis in various capacities. As they serve the Lord they grow in love for his work while providing a much-appreciated service.