Every member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints poses for an iconic

Avoid politics (at church), Welcome refugees — Latter-day Saint handbook update

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Latter-day Saints should welcome refugees to their communities.
Latter-day Saints should maintain church settings free from politics and political leanings/indoctrination.

These updates, the very latest in the two-year project to update the church’s handbook of policies and instructions, was released on August 4, 2021.

REFUGEES

The update to the General Handbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released online includes a new section on refugees (38.8.35).

“As part of their responsibility to care for those in need, church members offer their time, talents and friendship to welcome refugees as members of their communities,” the section says.

Those who read it are directed to an official web page, ChurchofJesusChrist.org/refugees and two scriptures.

It also links to a revised section titled “Immigration” (38.8.20) that uses the same language to encourage a welcoming attitude toward immigrants.

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POLITICAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES

Updates to the entry on “Political and Civic Activity” (38.8.30) warn against political advocacy in church gatherings.

“Political choices and affiliations should not be the subject of any teachings or advocating in church settings,” the handbook now says. “Leaders ensure that church meetings and activities focus on the Savior and his gospel. Members should not judge one another in political matters. Faithful Latter-day Saints can belong to a variety of political parties and vote for a variety of candidates. All should feel welcome in church settings.”

The updates were made at the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who on Wednesday sent a letter announcing them to general authorities and officers of the church, mission presidents and local leaders around the world.

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