The handbook of instructions published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a two volume work. Handbook 2 is published on lds.org, but Handbook 1 is only given to leadership. Are members allowed to read it if they have access to it? Or are they "honour bound" not to read it unless directed or authorized by a church leader?

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    Note that there is nothing particularly secret in that handbook (that wouldn't work, seeing how often leadership changes). I think this policy is in place to avoid situations where members are like "well, that didn't go according to handbook". See, to protect local leader authority. Not an answer, since I can't source.
    – kutschkem
    Feb 24, 2015 at 7:33
  • I suppose that if you are called to a position of leadership that requires guidance from Volume 1, you will be given access to it. If not, what does it matter to you? Every organization has documentation that pertains to particular levels of leadership. It's not a matter of secrecy; it's a matter of providing guidance to those who can use it. Of course, In all leadership the most important principle is to be guided by the Spirit, and in any presidency at any level, decisions must be approved by the president and his/her counselors. Feb 24, 2015 at 7:41
  • I'm surprised at how detailed and well-cited the Wikipedia article for Handbook is. It may be of some interest.
    – Matt
    Feb 24, 2015 at 13:29
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    @Matt: Yeah I read that article. A while back I discovered that handbook 1 made the list for most wanted leaks by wikileaks. My interest in the book is calling related, but even though it is available online, I don't feel comfortable referencing it. Makes me feel like I'm doing something naughty by looking it up. I have a member of the bishopric coming over tonight, I'll ask him what the policy is.
    – ShemSeger
    Feb 24, 2015 at 16:04
  • @ShemSeger So, what did he say? Can you post it as an answer? Feb 28, 2015 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


There's nothing secret on it. Instruction handbooks are distributed to those holding a calling that requires it. Handbook 1 mainly contains instructions for bishoprics and stake presidencies, while the handbook 2 contains instructions for the rest of the organizations of the church; it just happens to be the case that there's way more people holding callings included on the volume 2 (this is why it's more available).

None of the 2 volumes is "honor bound", the only thing they contain is a bunch of instructions and guidelines for those holding a calling that requires it.

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    Having read through parts of Handbook 1 on various occasions, I can verify this answer.
    – Matt
    Mar 2, 2015 at 6:53
  • @Matt, It also just occurred to me that I work with a bishop from another stake, who I see everyday, so I went and asked him about it.
    – ShemSeger
    Mar 4, 2015 at 23:34

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