These questions, asked of the General Sunday School Board in 1959, are kinda weird and picky, until you read between the lines: I find myself asking, That’s been a problem for fifty years? or, Why couldn’t they figure that one out for themselves? or Wow; if somebody had to ask, it probably means somebody was actually doing that!
Q. Is it necessary that those who offer the opening and closing prayers in Sunday School hold the priesthood? – Yellowstone Stake.
A. No, anyone in good standing, without regard to the holding of the priesthood, may offer opening and closing prayers in Sunday School.
Q. Must a teacher of Course No. 27 [Gospel Essentials] hold the Melchizedek Priesthood? – Kalispell Branch, West Central States Mission.
A. No. The requirements listed in the handbook for a qualified teacher in Sunday School do not require membership in the priesthood.
Q. Is it permissible to show Sunday School motion pictures in the chapel during the worship service of the Sunday School? – Columbia River Stake.
A. No. Permission to use the chapel on Sunday for showing religious films, such as “As Others See Us,” has been granted only when the showing of the film would not conflict or interfere with the holding of other meetings.
Q. Is it appropriate to tell a short story prior to the commencement of the Junior Sunday School, to arrest attention? – North Tooele Stake.
A. No. it is not recommended. The time of the worship service is allocated, and there is no time for such a deviation.
Q. How can the Sunday school help make newly baptized adult members feel at home?
A. Members of the Senior Aaronic Priesthood, their wives, and newly baptized adult members of the ward are specially invited to attend the gospel Essentials Class, Courses 28 and 29. Every superintendent is advised to consult with the bishop concerning a Gospel Essentials Class in his ward. Nonmembers and adult members of mixed families are also invited.
Q. Does the Junior Sunday School coordinator have any responsibility for visiting classes during the class period?
A. Yes. She, in company with a member of the superintendency, should visit the classes regularly. They should plan to remain in one class the entire period in order to get the entire picture of the class as a whole.
Q. May officers and teachers be set apart?
A. It is the policy of the Church that all auxiliary officers (presidents, superintendents, counselors, secretaries) be set apart. The setting apart of teachers and other workers is not mandatory. if a person accepting such a call desires a special blessing to aid him in fulfilling his assignment, the bishop should feel free to give or cause to have given such a blessing. It is not necessary, however, that these brethren and sisters be formally set apart.
Q. What can we do to improve reverence in our worship service?
A. “One meaningful positive step that can be taken is to see that all meetings – including those of the auxiliary organizations – are started at the time they are scheduled to start. The gap between the scheduled start of a meeting and the actual start is often disorderly and disturbing. It cannot help but have an adverse effect upon members and friends who come to the worship service in a spirit of reverence.
Q. Should Sunday School be held for 90 minutes on fast Sunday?
A. In wards which occupy their buildings alone and where travel to the meetinghouse is not excessive, the Sunday School should be held for 90 minutes in the forenoon and fast meeting for at least 90 minutes in the afternoon. (See letter of First Presidency, Jan. 20, 1959, March edition, 1959 Handbook, Appendix B.)
Q. Is it all right to solicit subscriptions to The Instructor in the prayer meeting? – Virginia Stake.
A. It is entirely proper to mention and follow up Instructor subscriptions in the prayer meeting. it is usually far more effective to secure subscriptions of teachers by personal contact and following the suggestions of The Instructor Committee.
Q. Is it proper to solicit subscriptions to The Instructor in the worship service? – Virginia Stake.
A. It is not appropriate to solicit subscriptions in the worship service; first, because it detracts from the reverential attitude of the service; and, second, because it applies to but a few of those who are in attendance.
Q. When a small ward has a library, should it be used by all organizations, or should each organization have its own? – Boulder Ward, Garfield Stake.
A. A Sunday School library may properly operate as a ward library in order that all organizations may benefit therefrom. Each ward Sunday School, however, should have one person designated as librarian who is responsible for the library work in that Sunday School.
Q. In what respect is Course No. 25 (Parent and Youth) elective?
A. It is suggested that either Course 24 [Parent and Child] or 25 should be offered each year in every school large enough to support it. They are elective in the sense that the individual adult may choose whether to take this course or another adult course. There is a mistaken idea by some that the election is wirth the superintendent as to whether or not the course will be offered.
Q. Are class officers responsible for enlistment in the four adult classes in the Sunday School? – Alberta Stake.
A. yes. After a member of the ward superintendency has called together the class officers to divide up the potential list of all adult members of the ward among the four courses, the class officers are then responsible for the enlistment work with the persons in their groups under the direction of the teacher.
When distances are great, is it wise to hold preparation meeting every two months rather than monthly? – Washington Stake.
A. Usually not. The preparation meeting is designed as a monthly meeting for the preview of the ensuing lessons for the coming month. it would be better to divide the stake into districts with a monthly meeting in each district, having the stake board members meet with the districts on different Sundays of the month.