Tag Archives: church handbook of instructions

Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI) Book 2 will be available online

The LDS Newsroom is reporting that after the new handbooks are released tomorrow, they will be available online:

The handbook includes two volumes, one of which will be provided to hundreds of thousands of men and women who shoulder significant responsibilities in administering local Church programs and congregations. It contains the vast majority of revisions and will be posted online Saturday at lds.org, the Church’s website for members, where anyone can view it. Complete video of the worldwide leadership training broadcast will also be posted online late Saturday evening, Mountain Time.

Apparently Book 1 will be available online for Bishops and Stake Presidents only

Meeting with Brother Adrian Ochoa

In April, the YM General Presidency was changed. Brother David L. Beck was called as the general president of the Young Men, with Brother Larry M. Gibson as first counselor and Brother Adrian Ochoa as second counselor. I had the opportunity to attend a training meeting with Brother Ochoa a few weeks ago. For the last several years there has been a Regional Youth Conference here in Southern Ontario, and Brother Ochoa came up to speak at the conference. On the first night, he held a training meeting for all those who work with young men.

The following are my notes from the meeting. These are NOT direct quotes from Brother Ochoa. The notes consist of the general sense of what he was saying, the input from others, as well as my own thoughts/interpretations. I did get the sense that the Brethren are aware of how important it is for our youth to be “connected”, and especially to be connected to each other. This applies to youth around the world, not just in North America.


  • “they” sent him here
  • There is a lot at stake
  • There is a formidable enemy. Many laugh and say he is not real
  • His #1 charge is to stop the work of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ
  • There are some difficult questions
  • Read from the CHI about the Aaronic Priesthood. It should be our #1 training tool. We should be familiar with it. It is a tremendous teaching tool, and is like scripture (came through revelation)
  • We have the best leader, Jesus Christ
  • What can I do to not only prevent YM from falling away, but to bring them back
  • What are we going to do to save our youth?
  • As leaders, we might need to “parent” them a bit
  • Get the quorums involved
  • We need to be effective teachers
  • Main agents for change
    • Love them with a Christ like understanding
    • Teach parents and leaders
    • Take responsibility
  • How much are we condescending? (talking to them at their level)
  • What are the main challenges facing our youth?
    • LDS youth feel isolated
      • Only member in school
      • Attend mutual and other activities in small group
      • Aren’t are of LDS youth around the world who share the same experience
    • LDS youth feel pressure
      • Confusion about moral choices
      • Drink, view pornography, violate law of chastity
      • Common for people my age to
        • Use illegal drugs – 50%
        • Be sexually active – 50%
        • View pornography – 50%
        • Drink alcohol – 60%
      • Pressure increases with age
        • 12-13 – 39%
        • 14-16 – 45%
        • 17-18 – 50%
  • Isolation + pressure = risk
  • Reducing the risk
    • Youth feel less pressure to sin if parents:
      • Know their friends and know what they are doing
      • Set/reinforce high moral expectations
      • Are both active
      • Hold regular family prayer and scripture study
    • 3/4 of parents expect youth to choose friends with good moral standards
    • 1/2 encourage their youth to always listen to music with clean lyrics
    • 1/3 have regular family scripture study and prayer
  • Brother Ochoa didn’t bring answers. Our own mantle will bring us the answers
  • A great leader is able to focus on the things that make a difference
  • Active youth feel less pressure to sin when they feel connected
    • To their covenants through spiritual experiences (Scouts is here to stay)
    • To one another through formal/informal experiences with each other and leaders
  • In what kind of world do today’s LDS youth live?
    • A connected world
    • Technology (iPhone, Blackberry, etc)
    • YouTube
    • Texting (texting is not dating)
    • Virtual reality
  • From interviews with LDS youth we know they want opportunities to:
    • Make new friends with LDS youth
    • Feel part of a “Zion” community (share experiences)
    • Have a safe place to meet and interact
    • Feel connect to Church leaders
  • What helps? Events
  • What youth need:
  1. Sufficient companionship time with parents and family members
  2. examples of and opportunities to feel positive emotions
  3. sense of accountability
  4. clear distinction between good and evil
  5. accurate and realistic view of themselves and of the world
  6. have adult mentors
  7. hope for the future (Moroni 7:41)
  • Make a plan of 5 things you are going to do

The rain falls on the just and unjust

I have a Pocket PC device, and I was cleaning it up yesterday, and came across a couple of notes from last November’s Stake Conference. I can’t remember what the talk was about, or who it was that was speaking, but the person had quoted from Matthew 5:44-45:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

The Saviour is telling us to be kind to those who are unkind to us. I’ve always understood the last part of verse 45 to mean that rain is a good thing. We are to do good to others, even as He allows good things to happen (rain falling on crops) to everyone. However, the person who was speaking interpreted that verse to be a negative thing, as in just as rain falls on everyone, we all face tough times.

It just got me thinking about how there are often many ways something can be interpreted, and there is rarely a right answer as to which interpretation is the correct interpretation. This then got me thinking about how we do things in the Church. I’ve read online many times where people lament correlation, and how we have no freedom to do anything. That isn’t true. Sure, the Church Handbook of Instructions gives you guidelines, but I do think you have a lot of leeway in how you implement those guidelines. The problems that arise more often than not are because people think things are “supposed to” be a certain way. When talking to these people, I always think of a line from The Simpsons. The family moved, and Bart was put in an earlier grade than he was in Springfield:

Bart: Look, lady, I’m s’posed to be in the 4th grade
Teacher: Sounds to me like someone’s got a case of the spose’das

In the Church, there seems to be a lot of people who have a case of the spose’das. I don’t know if it is correlation’s fault or not, but too many people think things are supposed to be a certain way. They are always surprised when I nicely explain to them that it may have been like that previously, but now we have more options. Just because something was done before, doesn’t mean we are “s’posed to” do that.

There are very few things that are mandated. It really is one of the beautiful things about the Church. Local leaders extend calls to other leaders, and we all work together to help the work move forward. Sometimes we use the “best practices” of others and sometimes we try new things. We keep using what works, and take a pass on the things that don’t work.

Whether rain is a good thing or a bad thing, I’m glad that I can choose for myself.