Head of the
"Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe
that Jesus Christ is personally the Head of the Church, leading and guiding it by
revelation (D&C 10:69; 3 Ne. 21:22)."
"All offices and callings are filled by lay leaders, as the Church
has no professional clergy. Even full-time missionaries and General Authorities are drawn
from the laity"
the Brethren: A Forgotten Art?
Latter-day Saints who publicly criticize Church Leaders forfeit
any hopes of salvation.
"Stakes are an intermediate unit of organization between Church
headquarters and the local wards. A stake ordinarily comprises between five and twelve
wards, totaling at least 3,000 members. Depending on LDS population density, a stake may
cover only a small part of one city or include many towns or cities spread over hundreds
"The ward is the basic ecclesiastical unit in The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is comparable to a Protestant congregation or a Roman
Catholic parish. Normally, its membership ranges between 300 and 600 people."
"A branch is generally the smallest organized congregation of the
Church (normally fewer than two hundred members)." Encyclopedia of
"A 'district' is an ecclesiastical unit similar in function to a
stake. Districts are found within missions in developing areas of the Church mostly
outside the United States and Canada."
Lay Participation and Leadership
"The scope of volunteer service in the Church is extensive, both in
the number of people involved and in the amount of their service." Encyclopedia
"Common consent is a fundamental principle of decision making at all
levels in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Encyclopedia
"The basic doctrines call for real discipline of self; they are
hard because wise self-discipline is hard. Among the requirements that God has laid upon
us is to pay heed to His living prophets. In our dispensation this has been described as
"following the Brethren." Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Describes how the Priesthood is organized within the Church.
"The LDS Church is characterized by two types of organizational
entities: priesthood quorums and organizations auxiliary to the priesthood."
"The Relief Society is the official adult women's organization of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is an essential part of the structure of
the Church at general, stake, and ward levels. The organization provides opportunities for
association, leadership, compassionate service, and education. Through the Relief Society,
'women of the Church are given some measure of divine authority particularly in the
direction of government and instruction in behalf of the women of the church' (J. F.
Smith, p. 5)."
"Sunday School in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is
held weekly in each local ward or branch. It lasts about an hour. Each Sunday, ward
members assemble at the meetinghouse chapel for prayer and hymn singing, following which
those twelve years and older attend age-group classes for religious instruction while
younger children attend primary."
"The Aaronic Priesthood is
the basic organization for the young men of the Church, ages twelve through eighteen. The
Young Men organization is an auxiliary to the priesthood and includes scouting and other
programs designed to help with the full development of young male members of the Church,
including spiritual, social, and physical aspects."
"The Young Women program of the Church in 1990 reached an
international membership of one million young women between the ages of twelve and
"The Primary is an organized program of religious instruction and
activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for children from eighteen
months of age until their twelfth birthdays. Its purpose is to teach children the gospel
of Jesus Christ and help them learn to live it."
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has established
educational programs throughout the United States and in some ninety other countries to
provide an effective combination of religious and secular education to its members."
the Church, Administration
"Correlation is the process of identifying the role of each part of
the Church, placing each in its proper relationship to the others, and ensuring that each
"The financial strength of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints derives primarily from the commitment of its members to the scriptural principle of tithing and other forms of voluntary
contributions and service."
A description of various Church-related publications.
Church Handbook of Instructions
A publication that provides guidance for church leaders on the policy and procedure for operating stakes, wards, and branches.
A description of Church record keeping activities.
"To aid the spiritual development of its members, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints has developed a system of counseling, rehabilitation, and,
where needed, disciplinary action"
"The administrative/leadership calling of presidency is part of the
presiding structure at all levels in virtually every unit of The Church of Jesus Christ of
and Administrative Church History
"Church organization and administration since 1830 have been the
result of the restoration of ancient priesthood authority and offices, of decisions made
by living prophets receptive to divine revelation, and of practical responses to changing
world and Church circumstances."
of the Church in New Testament Times
Latter-day Saints "believe in the same organization that
existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers,
Evangelists, and so forth Articles of Faith
In 1996, there were more members of the Church outside the United States
The First Presidency
The Quorum of the Twelve
The Presidency of the
The First Quorum of the Seventy
The Second Quorum of the Seventy
The Presiding Bishopric
Beliefs home page; Church
Organization and Priesthood Authority homepage)