Church Organization and Priesthood

"And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls." (The Book of Mormon, Moroni 6:4-5)

Head of the Church
"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)."

Contemporary Church Organization
"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"

Follow 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 of miles." 

"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 Mormonism

"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 of Mormonism

Common Consent
"Common consent is a fundamental principle of decision making at all levels in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Encyclopedia of Mormonism

Following the Prophets
"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

Priesthood Organization
Describes how the Priesthood is organized within the Church.

Auxiliary Organizations
"The LDS Church is characterized by two types of organizational entities: priesthood quorums and organizations auxiliary to the priesthood."

Relief Society
"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
"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."

Young Men
"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."

Young Women
"The Young Women program of the Church in 1990 reached an international membership of one million young women between the ages of twelve and eighteen."

"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."



Church Education System
"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."

Correlation of 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 functions properly."

Finances of the Church
"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."

Church Publications
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.

Record Keeping
A description of Church record keeping activities.

Disciplinary Procedures
"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"

Concept of Presidency
"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 Latter-day Saints."

Organizational 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."

Organization 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

The Worldwide Church
In 1996, there were more members of the Church outside the United States than inside.

General Authorities

The First Presidency

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The Presidency of the Seventy

The First Quorum of the Seventy

The Second Quorum of the Seventy

The Presiding Bishopric

Auxiliary Presidencies

The Relief Society

The Young Women's Presidency

The Primary Presidency

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority homepage)