In February 2020, the Church began updating chapters of the General Handbook. These updates include simplifications in Church structure and meetings, adjustments to some policies, and changes in some Church terminology to better describe the intent.
For example, the term disciplinary council was changed to membership council. The terms disfellowshipment and excommunication were reframed in terms of formal membership restrictions and withdrawal of membership.
30 of the General Handbook’s 38 chapters have been fully updated in English. The final eight chapters are expected to be released in English by the end of the year, with other languages to follow.
The following is a list of terms that were in the old Handbook 1 and Handbook 2 and the terms that appear in the new General Handbook.
- Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women Committee is now Youth Leadership Committee
- activation and retention is now strengthening new and returning members
- auxiliaries is now organizations
- caring for the poor and needy is now caring for those in need
- Church-service missionary is now service missionary
- compassionate service leader is now service coordinator
- disciplinary council is now membership council
- discipline is now restrictions
- disfellowshipment is now formal membership restrictions
- emergency preparedness is now temporal preparedness
- excommunication is now withdrawal of membership
- general board is now advisory council
- probation is now membership restrictions
- proselyting missionary is now teaching missionary
- Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Committee is now Stake Adult Leadership Committee
- welfare assistance is now Church assistance
Below is another list of terms that were not in the old handbooks, but that are commonly misused in the Church. The list shows the correct terms.
- Area Authority should be Area Seventy
- doctrines should be points of doctrine
- free agency should be agency
- go through the temple should be attend the temple
- I challenge you should be I invite you
- take out your endowments should be receive your endowment (singular)
For an explanation about the reasons for changes in terminology, read the article “Why some words and phrases are no longer used in the Church’s General Handbook.”