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New church handbook will be digital only, more accessible and flexible

The new digital-only leadership manual streamlines content from two handbooks to one, increases flexibility

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is combining its two leadership handbooks into a single, smaller, digital-only handbook that will be fully available to the public when it is released Feb. 19.
Deseret News Archives

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is combining its two leadership handbooks into a single, smaller, digital-only handbook that will be fully available to the public when it is released Feb. 19.

The new leadership manual’s title is “General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” The streamlined book will reduce content from the current leadership manuals by 20%.

Church leaders introduced the new handbook to general authorities and general officers of the church on Thursday and said it was created under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, according to a news release.

The release said the new version will be “more accessible” and more flexible, both because it can and will be updated more readily and because it allows leaders in the church’s 3,000 stakes and 30,000 congregations around the world to adapt programs, polices and procedures to their local circumstances.

Currently, the church has two leadership manuals. Handbook 1 is for stake presidents and bishops and Handbook 2 provides guidance to all others in leadership positions.

The new handbook will contain 38 chapters. The English version of the first nine chapters will be released Feb. 19 at ChurchofJesusChrist.org and the Gospel Library app. The other 29 chapters will be updated throughout this and next year.

Translation into 51 others languages is underway, the Church News reported.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helped introduce the new manual to church leaders on Thursday.

“This new handbook is a part of the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ that began 200 years ago,” he said. “This Restoration has been and will continue to be a process of learning how to minister as Jesus would to a richly diverse world. We pray this new handbook will help church leaders use their God-given gifts to continue to bless lives in their ministry. We know there is room in this church for everyone.”