Latter-day Saints handbook updates policies, including on medical marijuana

In this Sept. 14, 2016, file photo, the Salt Lake Temple, is shown in Salt Lake City, Utah. | Associated Press photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published updates Friday to 15 chapters of its General Handbook, an online resource for leaders and members throughout the world. It included changes to five chapters and additional clarification about Church policies and guidelines.

The spire of the St. George Temple under the scaffolding of renovation on May 11, 2020, in St. George, Utah. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

According to a report from Cache Valley Daily, a press release stated that to date, 16 of the book’s 38 chapters have been completely reworked, and minor changes have been made to several other chapters as part of an ongoing revision under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

As part of the update, a new section about medical marijuana was added. It states the drug may be used by members when prescribed by a licensed physician and dosage instructions are followed. The use of marijuana in smoking or vaping forms is still prohibited.

A section addressing suicide was also updated, to encourage greater sensitivity in ministering to those who are considering taking their lives. Leaders are counseled to provide ecclesiastical support and to help members obtain immediate professional help as needed.

Other policies were updated to address birth control, donating or selling sperm or eggs, fertility treatments, the occult, sex education, and surrogate motherhood. Several of the updates include doctrinal explanations to help people understand the Church’s position.

Written by WILL FEELRIGHT, Cache Valley Daily.

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