"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light..."

LDS Church Meetings

by William G. Dyer

sacrament meeting

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a meeting-going people. When the Church was organized, the instruction was given, "It is expedient that the church meet together often" (D&C 20:75). The pattern for meeting every Sunday to pray, speak, and partake of the Sacrament or "Lord's Supper" was established immediately, following the Book of Mormon norm (Moro. 6:5-6). The pattern of holding a Church conference every three months also began in 1830 (D&C 20:61-62). Since that time other meetings have been added to the Church agenda. The main meetings on Sunday are (1) Sacrament meeting; (2) Sunday school; and (3) concurrent priesthood quorum meetings for men and Relief Society for women, with children under twelve years of age simultaneously attending primary. Young women meet in their own sessions, while young men of equivalent age are in priesthood meeting.

In addition, families are expected, usually on Monday evening, to meet in their own homes in a Family Home Evening, which can include instruction from a Church-prepared manual, an activity, and refreshments. Most families also use this evening as a time to discuss family concerns and make plans for the week. Single Latter-day Saints are encouraged to participate with nearby family groups or in groups of their peers.

Besides the meetings for all members, there are special meetings related to Church callings. For example, a presidency of three plus a secretary or clerk meet regularly to oversee the many functions of a stake and its wards. Then within each ward are the bishopric, priesthood quorums, Sunday School, Relief Society, Primary, Young Women, and so forth. Each of these presidencies typically also holds a planning meeting each week. Even though there are many meetings, leaders are encouraged to spend less time in meetings and more time in service.

Most Church meetings are formally organized with hymns, prayers, sermons, lessons, and/or instructions. To involve teenagers and children, many meetings use participative methods such as discussion groups, panels, case studies, and role playing.

In all conferences—ward, stake, regional, and general—Church leaders give presentations of counsel and inspiration. Special meetings are held during the year for the priesthood (e.g., stake and general priesthood meetings), and for the women of the Church (general meeting). There are likewise seminary meetings for participating teenagers attending high school, missionary meetings for those on missions, and meetings for temple workers, scout leaders, activity directors, nursery teachers, and Sunday School workers. The Latter-day Saint culture flourishes on the principle of meeting together often in order to "be prepared in all things" (D&C 88:80).

In business and planning meetings, there is an attempt to have everyone contribute, but those with official status usually conduct the proceedings and have the most decisive influence. These meeting patterns extend worldwide and are a major part of the cohesiveness that keeps Mormons in touch, involved, acquainted, and united in the common cause of building the kingdom of God on earth.

(See Daily Living home page; Activity in the Church home page; Meetings and Conferences home page)


Allen, James B., and Glen M. Leonard. The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, 1976.

Arrington, Leonard. Great Basin Kingdom. Lincoln, Neb., 1966, pp. 28-33.

McKay, David O. Gospel Ideals, chap. 11. Salt Lake City, 1975.


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Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 3, Meetings, Major Church

Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company