Recently, the Church released a statement about changes to the way sacrament meetings are planned. Here is everything you need to know about the story.
The announcement was made on June 15 through the Salt Lake Tribune, in which Eric Hawkins, an official spokesman for the Church, discussed new training videos that had been created. The videos feature members of the Quorum of the Twelve, female leaders from the General Auxiliaries of the Church, and Seventies; it will be distributed through Church leadership around the world.
The main purpose of the initiative was on “strengthening faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ,” Hawkins told the Salt Lake Tribune. Included in the video are recommendations on how to improve the way sacrament meetings are planned.
Most are taking note of the largest change, which increases the responsibilities of the ward council, which includes both female and male leaders. Bishoprics have generally been in charge of planning sacrament meetings. The Church is now asking Bishops “to counsel with ward councils about their proposed plans for future sacrament meetings.”
Hawkins went on to state, “The contribution of all ward council members will add spiritual insight to the plans being considered by bishoprics while bishoprics will be continue to be responsible for approval of plans.”
For many, this change is being seen as a step forward in the Church’s proactive discussion to make sure women are well-represented in Church leadership. Other changes in recent months include opening seminary and institute jobs to women with children and officially designating the General Women’s Meetings as an official session of General Conference.
The new training videos include other changes, such as striving to have sacrament meeting as the first block whenever possible, and comes as part of the Church’s greater initiative to bring holiness back to the Sabbath Day.