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


by J. Lynne England

"Stewardship" in LDS vocabulary is responsibility given through the Lord to act in behalf of others. It is based on the understanding that all things ultimately belong to the Lord, whether property, time, talents, families, or capacity for service within the Church organization. An individual acts in a Church calling as a trustee for the Lord, not out of personal ownership or privilege. Every position in the Church is received as a calling, a stewardship, from the Lord made through others who are responsible for the supervision of the position. Such stewardships are temporary responsibilities.

Because the stewardship of a lay leader is not a permanent calling, a member of the Church may hold a position of extensive responsibility at one time in life and one of lesser responsibility at another time. Each member given a stewardship is expected to sacrifice time and talent in the service of others, but at the completion of such callings, most report that they have personally grown and benefited. Every calling is important. As members bear one another's burdens, they build a sense of community. When all serve, all may partake of the blessings of service. The ideal attitude toward stewardship suggests that it is not the position held but how well the work is done that counts (see Magnifying One's Calling).

Faithful stewards seek a thorough understanding of their responsibilities and a knowledge of the Lord's will concerning them and their callings. A person with a stewardship reports to an immediate superior in the Church. For example, a ward Relief Society president reports to the bishop of her ward. A bishop reports to his stake president.

Stewards are accountable to and will be judged by the Lord (Luke 16:2; 19:17). To whom much is given, much is required (cf. Luke 12:48; D&C 82:3). The primary accounting is with the Lord. He knows a person's heart, intentions, and talents. The faithful and wise steward is rewarded; the unjust or slothful steward gains but little, and may even lose what he has (cf. Matt. 25:14-30; D&C 82:3, 11; 78:22).

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


Cuthbert, Derek A. "The Spirituality of Service." Ensign 20 (May 1990):12-13.

Larsen, Dean L. "Self-Accountability and Human Progress." Ensign 10 (May 1980):76-78.

Malan, Jayne B. "The Summer of the Lambs." Ensign 19 (Nov. 1989):78-79.

Nelson, Russell M. "The Five A's of Stewardship." Ensign 2 (Apr. 1972):24-25.

Pace, Glenn L. "A Thousand Times." Ensign 20 (Nov. 1990):8-9.




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Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 3, Stewardship

Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company