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LDS church publishes previously restricted manual for church leaders

LDS Church publishes previously restricted manual for church leaders (Photo: KUTV)

UPDATE: The LDS church has responded and told KUTV, "This was a technical error that has been corrected." The link now directs to Handbook of Instruction 2.

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made public an instructional handbook that was previously restricted to leaders of LDS congregations.

“Church Handbook of Instructions 1” deals with sensitive church procedures, such as finances, temple activities, and church discipline.

According to instructions in Handbook 1, the publication is “solely for use by general and local Church officers to administer the affairs of the Church. It should not be duplicated or given to any other persons.”

It is unclear if the recent publication of Handbook 1 on LDS.org was inadvertent or intentional. The current web-accessible version of Handbook 1 previously required credentials and a password to access.

The LDS Church took legal action against WikiMedia in 2008 when the website published a link to copies of church clergy handbooks, including Handbook 1, that were leaked online.

The Church sparked controversy in 2015 when an update to Handbook 1 barred children of same-sex couples from baptism in the LDS faith.

In the 2015 policy change, the Church also told leaders who had access to Handbook 1 that members who are in a same-sex marriage are considered “apostates.”

2News has contacted the LDS Church Public Affairs about why the manual was released publicly. A spokesperson said they were looking into it and would respond.

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