Church Handbook of Instructions
For Spiritual Dummies

For details on how and when "The Church Formerly Known As Mormon" sued Jerald and Sandra Tanner over their use of "The Handbook" click here "Church Sues Tanners."


My daughter was baptized last year. We had no problem planning this ourselves.. She could really care less about going to church(one year later)--she finds primary sooooo boring.."all we do is sit, sing and agree with the teacher".. I find it interesting that I am considered inactive(I have asked "questions" that were not appropriate), and now the missionaries keep showing up to "teach" us the "basic" truths. I am a forty year-old mom that grew up in the church. If I didn't know the "basics" by now--who would?

Also, I really want to know why it is o.k. to assign my husband as a home teacher to a 22 year-old single woman? I find this most offensive of husband agrees and thinks it is weird. Shouldn't the rs visit this woman? Can't the bishop go? I agree with a previous contributor..I think they are secretly trying to re-establish polygamy to "up" the numbers..

Maybe you should open a new section of this website for "inappropriate" behavior of home and visitng teachers?

We have a couple of women in our ward that are rumored to be gay--they were seen reading poetry to each other at the local park. But since they are long-time members--everyone looks the other way..


Another Kiddy Baptism Horror Story

A neighbor girl will turn 8 in February. Her folks are semi-active but trying to get back to full activity. Parents started putting together plans for baptism on the girl's birthday.

After contacting out of town relatives and confirming that they adjusted schedules to attend, the Bishop was notified of the plans. The Bishop informed them that the birthday didn't fall on the newly designated Stake baptism day for the month. Therefore, the plans would have to be delayed for a full month. The explanation given was that because there were over 100 baptisms last year, the stake wanted to gain some control over this "unsatisfactory" situation of having to waste so much water!! A few days later, the Bishop decided he'd better tell the parents "the rest of the story." Grandparents of the young girl (parents of her biological dad) had already made arrangements locally for the girls baptism without the knowledge of her parents!! What a CROCK!!

This latest effort to gain control over the activities and efforts of ward and stake members seems to be going over the heads of about 95% of the local members. Other control efforts involve designating Family Saturday's and Family Sunday's every month to be treated just like FHE Mondays. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. - 12/13/2002 - from DanO


I really want to know(and of course-no one will tell me)if it is appropriate for my 42-year-old husband to be a home teacher to a 24-year-old single woman?? With all the weird affairs going on in the church-this seems like they are trying to set him up!!! - 10/25/2002 - anon

Yes its a common practice for someone who is a High Priest to home teach single women. Its also required for these Home Teachers to bring their companions with them. High Priest can be assigned to home teach with their wives which is pretty cool. So if this is a concern for you and your hubby I would recommend that either you request a change or request that the both of you be assigned as companions. Unless you have a power tripping High Priest Group Leader this request is as simple as making it. - 04/28/2010 - - Active Mormon Here


Torture the little children who come unto me and make them suffer, for of such is the Kingdom of Morg

11/14/2001 - anon
I never had much against my Bishop until my kid turned 8 and it was time to baptize him. Some months before, the Bishop informed us over the pulpit of a new policy from the Handbook governing baptisms of children. In summary, children of record are to be baptized on the evening of the last Saturday of the month, there will be no exceptions and no further discussion. Period.

In our ward far from Utah, the baptism of a child is a big deal. The baptism symbolizes, for the church community, the difficult but hopefully successful transmission of our beliefs to the next generation. These baptisms are a cause of great celebration, in the form of a ward party with the parents acting as the hosts. They are our best attended and most successful activities and they are a rare event.

The first child to turn 8 yrs old under the new policy was from a rather inactive family who didn't hear the announcement. They planned a pretty extravagant reception after the simple ceremony and invited many relatives, some non-members, who bought plane tickets to fly in from around the country. They were taking the baptism as an opportunity to get their own act back together in the church. About a week before the event, the Bishop called them in and cancelled it. Their child would be baptized later in the month as directed in the Handbook. This family stormed out of the church, the little girl in tears, fully believing she was on the path to hell. They have not been back to church since then and refuse to talk to home teachers, etc.

The missionaries were teaching a divorced woman with 5 children. The family agreed to get baptized on the 8th birthday of the 4th child. Would our Bishop let this child get baptized with the rest of her family? Nope, she had to wait until the end of the month. So the rest of the family deceided to wait for her. Then I guess they deceided to wait for #5 who is only 6 years old because they never did get baptized.

Who will soon forget the first successful baptism of a child under the new policy, on HALLOWEEN NIGHT! Many children came in their costumes and the kid who got baptized wanted to go trick or treating in his white cloths as a wet angel. His strict TBM mother could not have been more embarassed by the fiasco. The baptism blended into the ward Halloween party which wasn't well executed.

And the next kid was the last of a large litter. The parents were so busy with the Holidays that they forgot the baptism and just skipped out of it, TWICE!. First in November (Thanksgiving), then again in December (week after Christmas). The Bishop was trying to get away from the big extravagant parties by planning the baptisms himself. He lined up a couple of speakers, the music, witnesses, etc., filled the font. And the family with the 8 yr old kid didn't show up. You could lay the blame for this at the feet of the family, not the Bishop. But you know what? We never had this problem before, when the family planned the event, regardless of how flakey or inactive they might have been.

A winter storm shut the city down on the last week of January and they made the poor little shit wait for yet another month. Remember the old favorite primary song: "I can't wait until I'm eight..."?

The next episode transpired some months later when two kids, both born the same month didn't want to have their baptisms together. This was no small childish selfishness. No. Older siblings of one child had committed acts of violence against members of the other family. The Bishop and the Law ended up on opposite sides of this feud and after a non-conviction at a criminal trial, a rather nasty lawsuit was settled for some tens of thousands of dollars. I think it is remarkable that both families still come to the same church at the same time. Forgiveness is one thing. But did they have to baptize their children at the same time, in the same meeting, and in the same water? Both backed out. Convient excuses were found (dad out of town). One was baptized a month later, the other two months later. The Bishop was not amused.

One mother in our ward got so hacked off that she deceided to not allow her daughter to be baptized on Saturday until she is old enough to be classified as a non-member. Then she can whiz through the missionary lessons and get baptized as a new convert any time she pleases. At age 12 or 13 if necessary. The Bishop says it won't happen. Not as long as he is around.

Finally there is the family who went back to Utah to celebrate their child's baptism with relatives there. Our local Bishop wouldn't give his permission which is technically necessary. But they found a Utah Bishop of a relative to sponcer it. And since they were from across the country (and the relative was the Scoutmaster and threatened to quit unless) they were able to get him to allow them to do it on their own terms. Of course our local Bishop does not recognize this as a valid baptism and the parents refuse to repeat the ceremony at the designated time. The 8 yr old knows that he has been baptized, he can remember it. So far all the children of the Primary also agree that he has been baptized. The Bishop tried to embarass the boy in primary while his parents weren't around to defend him by showing up unannounced and explaining to all the children why his baptism was invalid. But it backfired and the other children came to his rescue. They chanted, "Bishop's a liar. Bishop's a liar" as he retreated and the women tried to slap them back down.

What I find most remarkable is the level of hypocracy between the children of record baptisms and the new convert baptisms. The church wants to have such a tight leash on the members and how/when they baptise their children. You would think after raising the kid for 8 years that the parents might be able to plan a simple baptismal service and the church leaders could just stand by to help as needed. But new converts? All it takes is an interview with an adolescent missionary pair hyped up by all the high-pressure sales tactics and you're ready to be dunked. Anytime. Anyplace. The sooner the better before you change your mind. Convicted criminals. Illegal immigrants. Residents of the insane asylum. Pedophiles. It doesn't matter. Some of these new converts are so ill-prepared that they go inactive before the weekend rolls around and they can be confirmed in Sacrament Meeting. This creates a new statistical catagory for the ward clerk even more distinguished than the old Adult Aaronic status: BAPTIZED BUT NOT CONFIRMED!

I do hope that his latest little era of tight control of Baptismal Services will soon end. A generation of children is growing up in the church with the early realization that their eternal salvation is not as crucial as arbitrary programs of the church and the petty tyrannts who (can't) run them. I will leave it to the reader to guess which one of the little vinettes above is autobiographical and I will leave you with this redaction of an often quoted verse of scripture: Torture the little children who come unto me and make them suffer, for of such is the Kingdom of Morg.

The Church Condemns Itself in its Own Handbook!

05/31/2001 - Heavenly Fodder of the recovery bulletin board

Here is a short BYU paper I wrote:

Self-Awareness Groups

The title of this paper is actually a heading under the sub-section of Medical and Health Policies in Chapter 18 of the church's General Handbook of Instructions. The rest of this paper is taken directly from the handbook except for my comments, which are in blue brackets.

Many community resources provide effective help for members who suffer from social or emotional problems. However, some groups [the LDS Church] that purport to increase self-awareness [Who Am I? Why am I here? Where did I come from?], raise self-esteem ["you're of infinite worth"], or enhance individual agency [the ultimate freedom is a complete surrender of your will] advocate concepts and use methods that can be harmful [blind faith, revisionism, doublespeak, Authoritarianism, supremacy, delusion, fear, guilt, etc.]. Some groups falsely claim Church endorsement, charge exorbitant fees [tithes, offerings, opportunity cost of time, and your very life if necessary!], and encourage long-term commitments [how about forever?]. Some intermingle worldly concepts with gospel principles in ways that can undermine spirituality and faith [How about race issues to name one?].

These groups tend to promise quick solutions to problems that normally require time and personal effort to resolve [the Mormon recipe for happiness - fast and pray, study scriptures, attend church, take sacrament, Temple rituals, pay tithing, obey, obey, obey]. Although participants may experience temporary emotional relief or exhilaration, old problems often return, leading to added disappointment and despair.

Page 156

Church members should not participate in groups that:

1. Challenge religious and moral values [The Church constantly has a force of over 50,000 volunteers challenging the religious and moral claims of others daily] or advocate unwarranted confrontation with spouse or family members as a means of reaching one's potential [Elder Scott said on campus this semester that marriage is second in importance only to your membership in the Church. What about Christ's sword of Truth that divides the family? Those who leave family associations to adhere to the Church are the heroes of conversion stories]

2. Imitate sacred rites or ceremonies [like the masons, who stole the endowment from the ancient Mormons. The Boy Scout program needs to go according to this definition too. Now I have grounds to refuse attending my own Graduation rites at BYU]

3. Foster physical contact among participants. [Like thousands of hugs and handshakes. This may be the reason that the intimate embrace of the Five Points of Fellowship was dropped from the Temple ceremony]

4. Meet late into the evening or in the early-morning hours. [Early morning seminary, Priesthood session, executive meetings, family home evening, campfire testimony meetings, and the many other church meetings that consume time early in the morning and late in the evening]

5. Encourage open confession or disclosure of personal information normally discussed only in confidential settings. [Worthiness interviews, confessions to Priesthood Authority]

6. Cause a husband and wife to be paired with other partners. [Like home teachers and visting teachers. How about the separation of husband and wife to different classes (priesthood, relief society) and separation into male and female groups in the Temple (the veil involves a more intimate 'pairing')?

Church leaders are not to pay for, encourage participation in, or promote such groups or practices. Also, Church facilities may not be used for these activities. [Why is the Church so afraid of its own practices?]

Comment Section

There are two mis-statemtents in this secionon your site:

children of record are to be baptized on the evening of the last Saturday of the month

That may have been a Stake decision, but it is not in accordance with the handbook of the day or of today. - 07/06/2008 - Darryl


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