Policies and Procedures

Many policies and procedures of the Church relate directly to youth. You should know about them because they affect your life. These official guidelines are sent to priesthood and auxiliary leaders in a small newsletter called the Priesthood Bulletin, from which most of the following items are quoted.

When You’re Sick …

When they have been sick, some youth have wondered why someone from the priesthood did not come and ask to administer to them—anointing their heads with holy oil dedicated for the blessing of the sick and then sealing that anointing by the power of the priesthood and accompanying it with whatever blessing the giver of the blessing is inspired to give. The reason is simple. It is not the order of the priesthood for members of the Melchizedek Priesthood to “solicit opportunities to administer to the sick. Rather, they should respond to specific requests for blessings either from those who are sick or from someone who speaks in their behalf.” In other words, it is by our faith that we ask. If we do not ask, we receive no blessing. Maybe this is the same reason the Lord requires us to pray about our needs, even though he knows them before we ask—simply because it is the general order of the Lord for us to begin the process of heavenly help. Until we do our part …

Prospective Missionaries and Long Hair

Believing in the philosophy that to be forewarned is to put oneself in a frame of mind to accept happily and obediently the requirements, we relay to you the following policy:

“Many young men are disposed to wear their hair long and to let beards and sideburns grow. Those who are recommended for missions should be encouraged to keep their hair cut and their faces shaved while in the missionary home and during the time they will be serving in the field. Some few have taken offense to this request, not realizing the impression that they make on those to whom they teach the gospel. Missionaries have the obligation to represent the Church in the most favorable manner possible. They should realize that their personal appearance can be an extremely important factor in their effectiveness in this work.”

Girls’ Sports

The question of MIA sports eligibility comes up repeatedly:

“Any girl is eligible for sports participation on a ward or branch team, but if a team participates in a stake, district, mission, or regional tournament, a player who is a member of the Church should have attended a minimum of two MIA meetings and two sacrament meetings during the month preceding participation in the first tournament game. A nonmember player should have attended a minimum of two MIA meetings in the preceding month; she should be encouraged, but not required, to attend the sacrament meetings. In order to maintain eligibility, a player is to adhere to these requirements.”

Temple Endowments for Women

Latter-day Saint girls often ask, perhaps only as a rhetorical question, if they can obtain their own endowments if they marry a nonmember. Another question often asked is: What about endowments for unmarried girls? The following instructions answer both of these queries:

“A female Church member married to a nonmember is not permitted to receive a temple recommend for her endowment blessing. The same applies to a female member married to a Church member who has not received his endowment, even though the husband is willing to give his consent in writing for his wife to receive her endowment.

“Furthermore, Church leaders should not urge young unmarried female members to obtain their endowments unless they are to be married in the temple or are preparing to go on missions. An unmarried female member should be authorized to obtain her endowment only when her age and maturity justify it.”

The endowment is a most sacred and holy priesthood ordinance. No one would want to put himself or his marriage partner in a position of not understanding or of misunderstanding certain aspects concerning it.

When are a girl’s “age and maturity” sufficient to justify receiving a recommend for an endowment blessing? That’s between you and your bishop or branch president. But in general practice, recommends for endowment blessings are not given to young women in their early twenties unless needed for a temple sealing or a mission.