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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1971

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1971.” You can view other years here.

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1971:  Feb.:  Abortion.

“The question is frequently raised as to the policy of the Church regarding abortions.  The following is quoted from a statement recently issued by the First Presidency on the subject of abortion and sterilization:

We have given careful consideration to the question of proposed laws on abortion and sterilization.  We are opposed to any modification, expansion, or liberalization of laws on these vital subjects.

The Church takes the view that any tampering with the fountains of life is serious, both morally and physiologically.  The Lord’s command imposed upon Latter-day Saints is to ‘multiply and replenish the earth.’  Nevertheless there may be conditions where abortion might be justified, but such conditions must be determined in each instance upon the advice of a competent, reliable physician, preferably a member of the Church, and in accordance with the civil laws pertaining thereto.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 7(1):3, Feb., 1971)

Apr.:  Worthy priests to be ordained elders at 19.

“The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have decided that hereafter worthy priests are to be ordained elders at age nineteen.  This change in policy has been adopted as a means of giving equal recognition and opportunity to all of our worthy young men whether or not they are privileged to fill missions.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 7(2):1, Apr., 1971)

Apr.:  Discontinuance of “Bishop for a day” programs.

“Some bishops through their youth committees have been featuring ‘bishop for a day’ programs where young people are appointed to serve as a bishopric and to officer the various ward organizations for a week’s time.  In these capacities they plan and conduct meetings and take care of other matters ordinarily handled by the regularly set-apart officers.

The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have decided that this practice should be discontinued.  Their concern is not only the spirit of levity and irreverence that seems to be creeping into some of these programs, but also the serious questions of authority and jurisdiction that the practice raises.  Although bishops who conduct these programs may not intend to actually relinquish their authority to others, the name of the program and the procedures followed necessarily imply this, thereby suggesting an erroneous principle to members of the Church and especially to the impressionable young people who participate and who may not be well grounded in correct principles and procedures.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 7(2):1-2, Apr., 1971)

Jun.:  Priesthood preview.

“Under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric, a Priesthood Preview program has been prepared for the eleven-year-old boy in Primary.  It is designed to help each young man to appreciate more deeply the honor and responsibility that will soon be his when he is ordained to the office of deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 7(3):5, Jun., 1971)

Aug.:  “Ordinance” of restoration of blessings.

“Excommunicated persons who have had their temple endowments and who are readmitted into the Church by baptism and confirmation must receive a restoration of their blessings by a member of the First Presidency or by a member of the Council of the Twelve as authorized by the President of the Church.  Members in such instances are to be considered as still on probation until former blessings are restored.  The ordinance of restoration of blessings pertains only to the temple blessings and Melchizedek Priesthood offices of endowed persons.  Pending the receipt of this ordinance, the members involved may partake of the sacrament and pay tithes and offerings, but they are not entitled to speak or pray in meetings nor to hold offices or teachings positions in the Church organizations.”  (“The Priesthood Bulletin,” 7(4):2, Aug., 1971)