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Friday, May 3, 2013

Handbook of Instructions (1940): Qualifications of Bishops

by Seattle Jon (bio)

My youngest brother recently gifted me a Handbook of Instructions from 1940 signed by first presidency members Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr. and David O. McKay. At 170 pages, the handbook is much shorter then our current versions (Handbook 1 alone is 186 pages) yet contains some interesting rulings and regulations - and language - which I'll share over time on MMM.

Qualifications of Bishops (page 3)

"A bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?" (Titus 1:7-9. See also 1 Timothy 3:2-7; Doctrine and Covenants 46:27)

The bishop should be qualified to keep accurate account of the tithes and to check over the financial accounts of the ward. He should be wise and tactful. He should be sympathetic and considerate. He should develop system and executive ability in his labors.

Since the bishop is concerned largely with temporal affairs, he should be a man of judgement, integrity and thrift. Some knowledge of accounting is very helpful to him. He should set an example in the systematic, careful handling of his own affairs.

My bishop qualifies ... how about yours?

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