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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1975

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1975.” You can view other years here.

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1975:      17 Jan.:  New MP handbook.

“The 1975 Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook will be mailed in the near future to all mission, stake, and district presidents, and additional copies will be available from the Distribution Center February 1, 1975, at no cost.  This handbook supersedes the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook, 1970; Suggestions for Elders Quorum Presidencies and Group Leaders (also called Presides, Counsels, and Teaches), 1972; Priesthood Home Teaching Handbook of Instructions, 1972; Conducting a Priesthood Home Teaching Evaluation, 1970; and the Priesthood Fellowshiping Handbook, 1972.”  (“Messages . . .” No. 6, 17 Jan., 1975)

14 Mar.:  High priests to assist in reactivation.

“High priests may be called as home teachers to assist in activating elders and prospective elders.  Such home teaching assignments are to be determined by the bishop and priesthood leaders, and high priests report on these assignments to the elders quorum president.”  (“Messages . . .” No. 10, 14 Mar., 1975)

5 Apr.:  Don’t neglect to bring transgressor to trial.

“I should like to address a few words to our executive officers, particularly the bishops and stake presidents, who are the ‘common judges’ in Israel.

I will read for you the words of the prophets and the president of the Church in an earlier century.  President John Taylor is quoted as saying:

Furthermore, I have heard of some Bishops who have been seeking to cover up the iniquities of men; I tell them, in the name of God, they will have to bear them themselves, and meet that judgment; and I tell you that any man who tampers with iniquity, and if any of you waht to partake of the sins of men, or uphold them, you will have to bear them.  Do you hear it, you Bishops and you Presidents?  God will require it at your hands.  You are not placed in positions to tamper with principles of righteousness, nor to cover up the infamies and corruptions of men.  (CR Apr., 1880, p. 78.)

I read further from George Q. Cannon, who was also in the First Presidency:

The Spirit of God would undoubtedly be so grieved that it would forsake not only those who are guilty of these acts, but it would withdraw itself from those who would suffer them to be done in our midst unchecked and unrebuked; and from the President of the Church down, throughout the entire ranks of the Priesthood, there would be a loss of the Spirit of God, a withdrawal of His gifts and blessing and His power, because of their not taking the proper measures to check and to expose their iniquity.  (JD 26:139.)

Now, brethren, we could quote many others of the Brethren in this same vein.

We are concerned that too many times the interviewing leader in his personal sympathies for the transgressor, and in his love perhaps for the family of the transgressor, is inclined to waive the discipline which that transgressor demands.

Too often a transgressor is forgiven and all penalties waived when that person should have been disfellowshipped or excommunicated.  Too often a sinner is disfellowshipped when he or she should have been excommunicated.

Remember that President Taylor said you will have to carry that sin yourself.  Are you willing to do it, brethren?

Do you remember what was said by the prophet Alma?  ‘Now,’ he said, ‘repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment.’  (Al. 42:16.)

Ponder on that for a moment.  Have you realized that?  There can be no forgiveness without real and total repentance, and there can be no repentance without punishment.  This is as eternal as is the soul.

One more thought:  The president or the bishop makes the determination, and the counselors or the high council accept his determination or reject it.  But they do not vote it in, as you would many ordinary things.

Please remember these things when somebody comes before you who has broken the laws of God.

It is so easy to let our sympathies carry us out of proportion; and when a man has committed sin, he must suffer.  It’s an absolute requirement–not by the bishop–but it’s a requirement by nature and by the very part of a man.  This discipline is especially applicable to adults and married people and more especially to those who have been to the temple.  They must understand that they cannot tamper with the holy laws of God.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, 5 Apr., 1975; CR Apr., 1975, pp. 115-116)

18 Apr.:  Elders quorum presidency room.

“In furnishing elders quorum offices, the following items are authorized for purchase on a Church-participation basis: one four-drawer, letter-size filing cabinet with lock . . .; one table . . . A telephone jack and telephone are also approved, but the cost must be borne by the local unit.”  (“Messages . . .” No. 12, 18 Apr., 1975)

16 May:  Who should stand in circle to perform ordinances?

“When ordinances requiring the Melchizedek Priesthood are performed, only those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should stand in the circle.  Prior to the performing of these ordinances, parents or individuals involved should be counseled in a kindly, thoughtful manner concerning this policy so that as invitations are extended to participate, they may be extended only to those who qualify and hold the proper priesthood.

The only exception to this policy is that a father, at his request, may hold his child when a name and blessing is given.”  (“Messages . . .” No. 14, 16 May, 1975)

2 Jul.:  Release from first class of Regional Representatives of the Twelve.

“July 2, 1975

Elder Robert W. Barker

9913 Hillridge Drive

Kensington, Maryland 20795

Dear Brother Barker:

Over the years, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have followed the policy of sharing, at more or less frequent intervals, the responsibility of principal offices of the Church, such as Regional Representative of the Twelve, Stake President, Mission President, Bishop, General Board Members, and others.  The chief reasons behind this policy have been the recognition that doing increases the power to do, and the desire that as many as possible be given the opportunity to receive the spiritual growth and development which come from service in positions of great responsibility.

In line with the instructions set forth in your letter of appointment as a Regional Representative of the Twelve, that the tenure of your service would be somewhat as a stake president, it has been decided that this beneficial policy of periodic releases and changes in leadership be exercised in behalf of the office of Regional Representative of the Twelve.  We therefore, extend to you, along with others who have likewise served for the past few years, an honorable release from this calling, to be effective October 1, 1975.

We are grateful, Brother Barker, for the outstanding service you have rendered as a Regional Representative for the Council of Twelve these past few years.  You have influence many lives and have fully demonstrated your devotion and loyalty to the Church, to your fellowmen, and to the Lord.  The insights you have gained in this position will enable you to render even more effective service to the Master.  With you knowledge and background you should be a strong force in urging the priesthood to magnify their callings.

We should also like to extend to Sister Barker our sincere thanks and appreciation for the manner in which she has supported and sustained you in this important calling during the many hours you have been away form home on your assignments.

When your successor is appointed, we shall suggest that he obtain from you counsel and information concerning the stakes in you regions to make certain there are no interruptions in the work.

May the Lord continue to bless and inspire you in all your callings.

Faithfully your brethren,

/s/ Spencer W. Kimball

N. Eldon Tanner

Marion G. Romney

The First Presidency”  (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Office of the First Presidency to Elder Robert W. Barker, 2 July 1975.  Photocopy from Robert W. Barker papers.)

19 Sep.:  Each ward to have high priests group.

“The following order of organization for the high priests group in each ward is directed in the new Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook, page 2:

A high priests group functions in each ward, presided over by a group leader and one or two assistants (as needed), with a secretary to assist.

The activities of the high priests are generally directed through groups rather than through the quorum.  Group leadership should be established in such a way that they can ‘sit in council’ weekly, much the same as quorum presidencies.

Group leaders should be instructed at least monthly by their quorum presidency (the stake presidency), and the entire quorum should meet periodically.”  (“Messages . . .” No. 22, 19 Sep., 1975)

3 Oct.:  Reconstitution of First Quorum of Seventy.

“Today we announce to you the appointment of four new General Authorities to assist in the carrying forth of the work of the Lord, especially in the missionary area.  Elder Gene R. Cook of Bountiful, formerly executive secretary of the First Council of the Seventy, will become a member of the First Council of the Seventy.  The First Quorum of the Seventy will be gradually organized, eventually with seventy members, the presidency of which will be made up of the seven members.  Three Brethren this day will be added to the First Quorum of the Seventy.  They are Charles A. Didier, a native of Belgium, now of Frankfurt, Germany, a seventy; William Rawsel Bradford of San Antonio, Texas, now president of the Chile Santiago Mission, a seventy; Elder George Patrick Lee of Towaoc, Colorado, and Shiprock, New Mexico, a seventy, now serving as president of the Arizona Holbrook Mission.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, 3 Oct., 1975; CR Oct., 1975, pp. 3-4)

4 Oct.:  Personal Priesthood Interviews.

“For a moment let us contemplate together what young men who hold the Aaronic Priesthood become when leaders at every level zealously apply correct principles as contained in the handbook.  Some of you already know what immense good results when a stake president asks for an Aaronic Priesthood accounting from each bishop during the monthly personal priesthood interview.  The work accelerates when the stake president, who is the chairman of the stake Aaronic Priesthood committee, asks bishops about service rendered by Aaronic Priesthood quorums and about progress in the preparation of quorum members for missionary work, temple marriage, and fatherhood.  This one event, the monthly personal priesthood interview, changes and reinforces a bishop’s concept of his foremost responsibility, the Aaronic Priesthood and the Young Women.  Of course, if the stake president fails to hold the personal priesthood interview or does not, in fact, accept the direction that the bishop’s first and foremost responsibility is the Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women, the bishop will have difficulty in fulfilling his stewardship.”  (Victor L. Brown, 4 Oct., 1975; CR Oct., 1975, p. 102)

Aaronic Priesthood Handbook.

Age for ordination to Elder:

“At the age of eighteen, worthy Aaronic Priesthood bearers may be ordained to the office of elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood unless, in the bishop’s judgment, postponement to a later date is preferable because of date of school graduation, individual maturity, or peer group association.  If the ordination is postponed, the young man is either ordained an elder or transferred to the prospective elders group when he reaches nineteen years of age.”  (p. 1)

Duties of Aaronic Priesthood offices:

“1.  Duties of a deacon.

The deacon is a standing minister appointed to ‘watch over the Church’ (D&C 84:111) in the ward.  This he does by performing certain duties under proper priesthood direction.  The duties of a deacon include the following:

a.  Observe the counsel and instruction of the bishopric and of the quorum president.

b.  Pass the sacrament.

c.  ‘Warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ’ (D&C 20:59) by doing such things as–

1) Notifying members of meetings.

2) Speaking in Church meetings.

3) Performing home teaching, when necessary.

d.  Edify and be edified by the other quorum members by participating in quorum instruction.  (See D&C 107:85; 38:23.)

e.  Assist the bishop in ‘administering . . . temporal things (D&C 107:68) by doing such things as–

1) Gathering fast offerings.

2) Caring for the poor and needy.

3) Caring for the meetinghouse and grounds.

f.  Assist the teacher ‘in all his duties in the Church . . . if occasion requires.’  (D&C 20:57.)

g.  Perform the work of the quorum, such as serving on committees and assisting in fellowshiping and reactivating young men of quorum age.

h.  Serve as a messenger for the bishop in appropriate church meetings.

i.  Assist the bishopric in other ways consistent with the deacon’s authority.

2.  Duties of a teacher.

The teacher is a standing minister appointed to ‘watch over the Church’ in the ward ‘and be with and strengthen them.’  (D&C 20:53; 84:111.)  This he does by performing certain duties under proper priesthood direction.  A teacher has all of the duties of a deacon and some additional duties.  The duties of a teacher include the following:

a.  Observe the counsel and instruction of the bishopric and of the quorum president.

b.  Prepare the sacrament.

c.  ‘Warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ’ (D&C 20:59) and ‘see that the Church meet together often, and . . . that all the members do their duty’ (D&C 20:55) by doing such things as–

1) Performing home teaching.

2) Notifying members of meetings.

3) Speaking in Church meetings.

d.  ‘See that there is no iniquity in the Church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking’ (D&C 20:54) by doing such things as–

1) Being an example of moral integrity and uprightness.

2) Being a peacemaker and a calming influence.

e.  Edify and be edified by the other quorum members by participating in quorum instruction.  (See D&C 38:23.)

f.  Assist the bishop in ‘administering . . . temporal things’ (D&C 107:68) by doing such things as–

1) Caring for the poor and needy.

2) Caring for the meetinghouse and grounds.

g.  Perform the work of the quorum, such as assisting in fellowshiping and reactivating young men of quorum age, and serving on quorum committees.

h.  Usher in a reverent manner in stake conferences and ward meetings.

i.  Assist the bishopric in other ways consistent with the teacher’s authority.

3.  Duties of a priest.

A priest has all of the duties of a deacon and a teacher and some additional duties.  The priest’s duties, which are performed under proper priesthood direction, include the following:

a.  Observe the counsel and instruction of the bishop, who is the priests quorum president, and of the other bishopric members.

b.  ‘Preach, teach, expound, exhort’ (D&C 20:46) by doing such things as–

1) Speaking in Church meetings.

2) Performing home teaching.

3) Assisting in missionary work.

c.  Baptize.  (See D&C 20:46.)

d.  ‘Administer the sacrament’ (D&C 20:46) by officiating at the sacrament table and offering the sacramental prayer.

e.  ‘Visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.’  (D&C 20:47.)  one way the priest can do this is home teaching.

f.  Confer the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain to an office therein.  (See D&C 20:48.)

g.  Edify and be edified by the other quorum members by participating in quorum instruction.  (See D&C 38:23.)

h.  Assist the bishop in ‘administering . . . temporal things’ (D&C 107:68) by doing such things as–

1) Caring for the poor and needy.

2) Caring for the meetinghouse and grounds.

i.  Assist the bishopric in other ways consistent with the priest’s authority.”  (pp. 1-2)

Ages for Aaronic Priesthood offices:

“All young men who are members of record, whether or not they have been baptized or ordained, should be invited to attend all Church meetings, including priesthood meetings, and be listed on Aaronic Priesthood rolls as follows: 12- and 13-year-olds on the deacons roll; 14- and 15-year-olds on the teachers roll; 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds, except those who have been ordained elders, on the priests roll.  This procedure keeps the records of each unbaptized, unordained, or overage young man in the quorum of his age peers and provides opportunity for fellowshiping by them.”  (p. 3)

Role of Stake President:

“The stake president is responsible for the Aaronic Priesthood in the stake.  He presides as chairman of the stake Aaronic Priesthood committee and directs its activities, thus directing Aaronic Priesthood work in the stake.”  (p. 5)

Stake Aaronic Priesthood Committee:

“To assist the stake president and this counselor in Aaronic Priesthood matters, four high councilors are assigned to serve in the following positions on the stake Aaronic Priesthood committee:

Stake director of Aaronic Priesthood

Stake priests adviser

Stake teachers adviser

Stake deacons adviser.”  (p. 5)

Bishopric interviews of young men.

“Each young man twelve through eighteen years of age (except eighteen-year-olds who have been ordained elders) should be interviewed at least twice a year; where there are particular problems, interviews should be more frequent.  The counselor supervising the deacons quorum conducts one of these interviews with each deacon-age young man, and the bishop conducts the other interview.  The counselor supervising the teachers quorum conducts one of these interviews with each teacher-age young man, and the bishop conducts the other interview.  The young man’s birthday is an appropriate occasion for the bishop’s annual interview.  The bishop conducts both interviews with each priest. . . .

Only the bishop’s interview should probe into matters of individual worthiness.  General principles of interviewing and guidelines for the bishop’s discussions of morality with Aaronic Priesthood holders are found in the General Handbook of Instructions.”  (pp. 11-12)

Weekly quorum presidency meetings:

“The programs of the quorum are planned in the quorum presidency meeting, which is held weekly at a prearranged time and place.”  (p. 14)

Quorum presidency visits to quorum members:

“Quorum presidencies should personally visit the homes of young men of quorum age.  They should learn about each young man’s character and attitudes.  They can commend, encourage where needed, teach the gospel, and inspire each young man to keep the commandments and live a righteous life.  When possible, the one making the visit should be accompanied by a companion from the quorum.”  (p. 16)

Deacons and teachers not to lay on hands:

“Deacons and teachers are not authorized to baptize, officiate at the sacrament table or offer the sacramental prayers, or lay on hands.  (See D&C 20:58.)”  (p. 17)

Fathers encouraged to perform baptisms:

“Worthy fathers holding the proper priesthood should be invited and encouraged by the bishop to baptize their own children.  Otherwise, worthy priests in the Aaronic Priesthood may perform this ordinance under the direction of the bishopric.”  (p. 17)

Clothing for baptism:

“The person who performs the baptism and the individual being baptized should be appropriately dressed.  Preferably they should wear white clothing.  (See General Handbook of Instructions for specific instructions.)”  (p. 17)

(Aaronic Priesthood Handbook, 1975)

Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook.

Officers of MP:

“The following offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood are found in the stakes:

1. The elder, a standing minister with the responsibility of perfecting the Saints and laboring for the salvation of his brethren.

2. The seventy, a traveling minister with the responsibility of proclaiming the message of salvation to the world.

3. The high priest, to administer in spiritual things and to preside as his calling in the Church requires.

4. The patriarch, to give patriarchal blessings to worthy members of the Church.”  (p. 1)

Prospective Elders:

“A prospective elder is an adult male member of the Church, nineteen yiears of age or older, who does not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Prospective elders join with elders for quorum meeting instruction and all appropriate social activities and service projects.  When elders quorums are divided because of size, only elders are counted in determining quorum size.  Prospective elders are not counted in such quorum division.  Prospective elders may not serve as members of quorum presidencies or as secretaries.  They may, however, serve as assistant secretaries and as assistant committee or project chairmen (social, stake farm, etc.).  Prospective elders should not preside over elders.”  (p. 2)

Melchizedek Priesthood MIA:

“The Melchizedek Priesthood MIA program is an arm of the priesthood quorum and is designed to help serve the social and recreational needs of each single adult member of the Church.  The program is generally divided into two main groups: Young Adults are single men or women eighteen through twenty-five years of age, and Special Interests are single men or women twenty-six years of age or older.

The priesthood accountability for the social, recreational, and service activities of single male members (whose activities are designated as Young Adult or Special Interest) is part of the stewardship of the elders quorum president.”  (p. 2)

Stake Priesthood Executive Committee:

“The stake priesthood executive committee is comprised of the stake presidency and high councilors.”  (p. 4)

Jurisdiction of Elders president:

“In addition to married elders, elders quorum presidents have a special responsibility for the male Young Adults, male Special Interests, and prospective elders.”  (p. 9)

Quorum presidency visits to members:

“Quorum leaders should personally visit the homes of new quorum members.  Presidencies should become acquainted with the character, qualifications, and attitudes of all quorum members.  Quorum leaders may want to visit quorum members in their homes to gaive commendation where deserved, to bless and encourage where needed, to teach the gospel, and to inspire all to keep the commandments and live righteous lives.  Such visits should be coordinated with those of priesthood home teachers.”  (p. 11)

Assignment of HT families:

Priesthood home teachers and their companions are assigned by the Melchizedek Priesthood quorum president after consultation with the bishop.  Aaronic Priesthood youth are recommended as home teachers by their respective quorum presidents or group leaders. . . . The number of families assigned to a pair of home teachers is usually determined by the needs of the families and available priesthood holders.  Usually up to four families is appropriate.

1) Melchizedek Priesthood families

Families headed by holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood or their widows are the responsibility of their respective quorum qresident.

2) Prospective elder families

a) In addition to having responsibility for all families headed by an elder or widow of an elder, the elders quorum president is responsible for–

1) Any family headed by an unordained male member.

2) Any family headed by an Aaronic Priesthood member.

3) Unmarried adult male members who do not hold the priesthood and who are not living at home.

b) Where there is an insufficient number of elders, the high priests and seventies may be assigned to be home teachers to prospective elders.  In such cases, the high priest and seventy will report on this responsibility to the elders quorum president.

3) Other families

a) Single adult women not living with parents, or groups of single adult women, may be assigned to a Melchizedek Priesthood quorum which can best ‘watch over . . . and be with and strengthen them.’

b) A family in which the husband is a non-members should normally be assigned to the seventies quorum.  Any family in which the husband holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and the wife is a nonmenber should have a seventy assigned as one of the home teachers.”  (pp. 11-12)

HT personal priesthood interviews:

“This interview [between MP leader and HT] is held at least monthly. . . .

Between the Melchizedek Priesthood leader and the bishop.

1) The purposes of this interview are to–

a) Provide the bishop with information he needs to fulfill his stewardship of bishop and presiding high priest.

b) Provide the priesthood leader with information (except confidential matters) he needs to fulfill his responsibility of watching over and strengthening father, families, and individuals.

c) Mutually plan to meet the needs of members and their families.

2) This interview is held at least monthly, at anytime during the month except Monday evenings.”  (p. 13)

Ordinations of 70s:

“The names of prospective seventies are to be cleared by the First Council of the Seventy. . . .

Stake presidents are authorized, without approval of the First Council of the Seventy, to ordain seventies as high priests and to release a president of a seventies quorum when the individual is being called into a stake presidency, a bishopric, or to become a high councilor or alternate high councilor.  All other proposed ordination changes in the presidency of the seventies quorum must be approved by the First Council of the Seventy.”  (p. 16)

PEC should meet weekly.

“The [Priesthood Executive] committee should meet weekly.”  (p. 19)

Oath and covenant of priesthood:

“Brethren recommended to be ordained to the offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood should have the oath and covenant of the priesthood (D&C 84:33-44) explained to them and should agree to conform to its terms and conditions.”  (p. 20)


[The following ordinances are listed:

1.  Blessing and naming of children.

2.  Baptism.

3.  Confirmation and bestowal of the Holy Ghost.

4.  Sacrament.

5.  Conferring the Priesthood and ordaining to an office therein.

6.  Consecration of oil.

7.  Administering to the sick.

8.  Dedication of graves.

9.  Father’s blessings to children.

10. Blessings of comfort and counsel.]  (pp. 24-25)

(Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook, 1975)

Dec.:  1976-1977 “Annual Guidelines.”

“The overall objective for the Melchizedek Priesthood this year is that all Melchizedek Priesthood leaders will establish well-defined and attainable objectives in terms of–[8 categories listed, including the following]. . . .


2.  Give dignity to the position of elders quorum president and group leader which the Lord accords to these sacred callings by having these officers sit on the stand during priesthood meeting, addressing the quorum president as ‘president,’ and recognizing the group leader. . . .


Singles are authorized to hold family home evening together. . . .

Home teaching is administered by the Melchizedek Priesthood quorum and group leaders. . . .

View home teaching as a continuous function, not something to be done on a once-a-month basis. . . .


The Melchizedek Priesthood quorum leaders should have regular personal priesthood interviews to account for their stewardship to their presiding officers, the stake presidency.  These interviews should be the primary home teaching interview on the stake level.  The stake president or his counselors should conduct these interviews, especially with the elders quorum presidents. . . .

Melchizedek Priesthood leaders should have regular interviews with the bishop to make available to him any quorum helps needed.  These interviews also allow the bishop to make available to the quorum leader ward resources to help strengthen the quorum. . . .


Encourage high priests groups to make available to elders quorum presidencies effective high priests to assist in reactivating elders and prospective elders. . . .


Encourage elders quorum presidencies and Relief Society presidencies to promote appropriate activities for single adult members. . . .

Emphasize the importance of activity on the ward level in reaching and serving the needs of single adults.

Emphasize the importance of regular meetings on the ward level of all who are assigned (elders quorum counselor, Relief Society counselor, and ward representatives) to work with single adults for purposes of planning, reporting progress, and correlation. . . .

Encourage implementation of home evening groups among single adults living away from home.”

(“Annual Guidelines, 1976-1977,” PXMP0255, 12/75)

  Conducting a worthiness interview.

“The questions in the temple recommend book must be asked of every person who obtains or renews a temple recommend.  The questions on the forms for Melchizedek Priesthood ordination must be asked of every person considered for ordination in the priesthood.  Many of the same questions shoiuld be asked in other interviews in which worthiness must be determined, including interviews for–

Recommends for performing ordinances.

Recommends for baptism.

Recommends for patriarchal blessings.

Recommends for missionary service.

Ordinations in the Aaronic Priesthood.

Callings in the Church.

A careful interview is essential to determine worthiness.  The bishop should make sure the member understands the questions by–

Asking questions that are specific enough for the member to show his worthiness.

Explaining terms, if necessary.

Adjusting the questions to the understanding of the member.  (For example, when asking young people if they are morally clean, the bishop should not go into unnecessary detail; he may arouse curiosity and invite experimentation.)

The bishop should be especially thorough in interviewing prospective missionaries, those receive their own endowments, couples being married in the temple, and any others he feels prompted to interview searchingly.  He should ask specific questions and define terms whenever necessary.

The bishop should determine whether the member has been involved in any of the following that have not been confessed to the proper priesthood authority and resolved:

Pre- or extra-marital sexual intercourse.

Homosexual practices and other sexual deviations (such as incest, sodomy, bestiality).

Petting (the fondling of another’s body).


Bishops need to seek the spirit of discernment in determining worthiness.  Answers such as ‘I think so’ or ‘I believe so’ may suggest that the question was not completely understood.  Hesitation or uneasiness may suggest that a question needs to be pursued further.  Even though the member may give no outward indication that a problem exists, the Spirit may reveal that further discussion is necessary.

To give the member a full opportunity to declare his worthiness, the bishop could ask: ‘Do you know of any reason why I should not sign this recommend for you?’ ‘Is there anything else you would like to discuss?’  ‘Do you have any questions?'”  (Bishop’s Guide, 1975, p. 20)