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Latter-day Saint church handbook update addresses prejudice, misinformation

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake City Utah Latter-day Saint LDS Mormon temple
Posted at 10:29 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 12:29:45-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced several changes to its handbook for members Friday morning, and the updates cover topics including prejudice, misinformation, and medical marijuana.

Prejudice (New Section)

"All people are children of God. All are brothers and sisters who are part of His divine family,” the handbook says. “Prejudice is not consistent with the revealed word of God. Favor or disfavor with God depends on devotion to Him and His commandments, not on the color of a person’s skin or other attributes. The Church calls on all people to abandon attitudes and actions of prejudice toward any group or individual.”

Misinformation (New Section)
“Seek out and share only credible, reliable, and factual sources of information,” the text says. “Avoid sources that are speculative or founded on rumor.

Other new sections include guidance on church members' dress and appearance, and guidance on the topics to be addressed in some types of church council and committee meetings.

Medical Marijuana (Clarification)
The medical marijuana section, clarifies that a person should follow the “dosage and mode of administration from the physician or other authorized medical provider.” Also, “the Church does not approve of vaping marijuana unless the medical provider has authorized it based on medical necessity.” The Church continues to oppose the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Miraculous and Supernatural Healing
Latter-day Saints “are discouraged from seeking miraculous or supernatural healing from an individual or group that claims to have special methods for accessing healing power outside of prayer and properly performed priesthood blessings. These practices are often referred to as ‘energy healing.’ Other names are also used. Such promises for healing are often given in exchange for money."

Word of Wisdom
The handbook section on the Word of Wisdom has been renamed “Word of Wisdom and Healthy Practices.” In addition to noting the Church’s long-established counsel to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee, the text clarifies that “there are other harmful substances and practices that are not specified in the Word of Wisdom or by Church leaders. Members should use wisdom and prayerful judgment in making choices to promote their physical, spiritual, and emotional health.”

Click here to read the Latter-day Saint church's news release on Friday's handbook updates.