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October 28, 2013

How the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Leaders and Members are Called

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ryan Best @ 5:15 am

A little background information for those who are not familiar with the church. The general body of the church is divided into Stakes and the individual congregations within the Stakes are called Wards. (Where there are not enough members it is somewhat different.) We address each other as Brother and Sister which probably seems really strange to nonmembers but it just seems endearing to me. Stakes are presided over by Stake Presidencies and Wards are presided over by Bishoprics. The leaders who preside over the church as a whole are known as The General Authorities and general Officers of the Church. They include the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and other leaders. Each of them have been called and set apart by those having priesthood authority and are sustained by the general membership of the church at the semi-annual general conferences. Procedures were put in place by Joseph Smith for the succession to the office of President when the President of the church dies. Simply put, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles assumes leadership and the President of the quorum who holds that office by seniority in the quorum becomes the next President of the church. When Joseph Smith was martyred most of the apostles were away serving missions, and there was confusion among the members until Brigham Young and other apostles returned. Since Joseph Smith there have been 15 presidents of the church; each time the President of the Quorum of the Twelve has been sustained as our new leader. For a very good talk on this subject search for “The keys that Never Rust by James E Faust” on or on
       Each stake in the church is presided over by a Stake Presidency and each ward by a Bishopric. They and all other officers and teachers in the church have been called and set apart by authority and have been sustained by the congregation which they serve. I have lived in Canada, Utah, Wisconsin, Michigan and West Virginia so I’ve had lots of opportunity to see the church in action in both large and small congregations. There have been 10 presidents of the church during my lifetime and I can’t begin to count the number of Bishops that have presided over wards that I have lived in. Each time a new Bishop has been called I’ve seen no campaigning or jockeying for position; the man recommended by the Stake Presidency and approved by the First Presidency has been called. Each ward in the church has the same organization and each officer and teacher is called by the bishopric, set apart and sustained by the congregation. I know of no other organization in the world that is so simply organized and has functioned so efficiently. I sincerely believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is not a “new” church but is a restoration of the primitive church, “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2: 20) and that it was divinely restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
            By: Nola Smith

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