Open Source Encyclopedia

Priest (Latter Day Saints)

Priest is a priesthood office in the Aaronic Priesthood of denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Priests in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Young men who reach the age of 16 are integrated into the Priests. This is also open to male converts 16 and over, within a few weeks of baptism; those accepted after interview by a bishop are ordained to the office of a Priest by another Priest or a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood. A Priests Quorum can have a maximum of 48 members.[1]

The president of the Priests Quorum is the Bishop, who holds the keys of the priesthood for this quorum. The bishop typically chooses a first and second assistant and a secretary from among the members of the quorum. Usually the first assistant acts as a de facto president of the quorum, but seeks approval from the bishop for everything.

According to LDS scripture, the duty of a Priest is to "preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament".[2] Accordingly, Priests bless the sacrament and are permitted to perform baptism. They can also ordain Deacons, Teachers, and Priests and confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon others. However, a Priest must receive the approval of his Bishop prior to performing the ordinance of baptism or ordaining other Deacons, Teachers, or Priests. Usually, a Priest will be paired with a man (often their father) as a Home Teacher. They perform all of these functions under the direction of the Bishop. Priests also have all the duties and authority of a Teacher and a Deacon.

The adult president of the local Young Men Organization advises the Priests Quorum. Sometimes an assistant advisor is also selected.

As the Church in North America sponsors troops of the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada programs, many Priests participate in scouting programs. The adult ward leaders of the Young Men Organization are frequently also leaders in the Scout troop, but the priesthood quorums and the Scouts are not otherwise connected.

A Priest who turns 18 years old, or graduates from high school, depending on the situation, is integrated into the Elders Quorum. Those who are 18 years old and accepted by the Bishop and Stake President receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and become an Elder.

Priests usually spend much time preparing for future service as a missionary. All suitable young men in the Church are asked to serve missions, with the option to do so at age 18 if they have graduated from high school.

Priests in the Community of Christ

In the Community of Christ, a Priest is an adult, who is a congregation-focused[3] "Minister of Presence" in the Aaronic Priesthood.[4] Their stated purpose is to "express their ministry of presence and model Jesus as Friend by being a spiritual friend to families, congregations, and community."[5][6] Each congregation should have a designated bishop or stewardship commissioner who is responsible for Aaronic ministry in that congregation. A Priest is to meet the needs of their congregation by following the annual Aaronic Ministry Plan in place for their specific congregation.[7]

Priest in The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)

The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) does not recognize Priest as a specific office.[8]