Policies and Procedures

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    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 call the Priesthood Bulletin, from which most of the following items are quoted.

    What about Summer Work?

    Many persons do not appreciate how much the Church is concerned about the growth and development of the whole person—even about how you are spending your summers. Hopefully your summers are productive and happy, so that when each one ends, there will be no regrets. You should know that stake presidents, bishops, and branch presidents are encouraged to make a concerted effort to assist the young people to secure summer work. The Church has suggested that home owners be asked to submit lists enumerating needs for summer work and to compile other job opportunities. Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations are ready to help also, and the youth themselves are encouraged to use ingenuity in seeking out wholesome work opportunities. The Church is aware that you cannot learn the value of work vicariously. Each person must experience work to gain value therefrom. The concern that the Church has for you and your summer work experience can be observed in the following statements and general objectives, which have been given to priesthood leaders. These objectives are:

    “a. To help provide full and part-time work for all youth which will eliminate the curse of idleness. Work experience is a necessary part of education.

    “b. To help prevent Sunday employment of our young people.

    “c. To help young people seek employment where the environment is conducive to maintain the standards of the Church. In some instances, young people have become casualties to immorality because of unfavorable environments … .

    “d. Young people should obtain employment near home.” If you leave home to work, your bishop or branch president will desire to give you special attention so that you are settled in a wholesome environment and have contact with the Church. If you are planning to leave home to work, inform your bishop now.

    The Church wants you to enjoy your summers—and to gain much from them. And if you need summer work, see your bishop or branch president, Church leaders and teachers, and bishop’s youth council representatives.

    The Handling of Personal Problems and Doctrinal Questions

    Each of us at various times in his life has personal problems or doctrinal questions that are of concern to him. We can be thankful that the Lord has established the procedure for us to receive help and inspiration: through our prayers, scriptures, parents, home teachers, and Church leaders. Sometimes, however, the problem or doctrinal question is one that we desire to take up with a General Authority. Following is the direction of the First Presidency to help us know what to do when when we desire additional counsel:

    “The increasing number of calls and letters that come to us in the general headquarters of the Church, touching upon matters which are usually intimately personal to the one making the inquiry, has persuaded us … [to note] that the members of the Church who are confronted with problems affecting their daily lives are depriving themselves of a great blessing by writing directly to the First Presidency or coming to the Church Offices for interviews with the General Authorities.

    “The Lord has so organized His Church that there is accessible to every member—man, woman and child—a spiritual advisor, and a temporal counselor as well, who knows them intimately and who knows the circumstances and conditions out of which their problems come, and who, by reason of his ordination, is entitled to an endowment from our Heavenly Father of the necessary discernment and inspiration of the Lord to enable him to give the advice which the one in trouble so much needs.

    “We refer to the Bishop or Branch President in the first instance and to the Stake or Mission President, if the Bishop or Branch President for any reason feels the need of assistance in giving his counsel.

    “We therefore urge all members who have problems or questions that are troubling them, to consult their Bishop or Branch President freely and fully and get from him the help of which they feel they stand so much in need.

    “The relationship which is so created between the Bishop or Branch President or Stake or Mission President and the member is one of the most highly confidential character. …

    “We repeat, that by failing to observe this order our wearied and discouraged members overlook the great blessings which would be theirs if they went forward as the Lord has provided. We urge the members carefully to observe the admonitions given above and consult their Bishop or Branch President in the first instance or the Stake or Mission President. If either of these, or both of them, feel the necessity of advice or counsel on any problem presented, they can in turn consult the First Presidency.

    “One final word: we urge the Saints to refrain from the discussion of mysteries and to refrain from asking about matters and principles concerning which the Lord has made no definite statement.”