Priesthood (Latter Day Saints)

The priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints claims the authority to act in God's name. The theology of this community of faith leads this power of attorney over their founder Joseph Smith directly back to John the Baptist and the Apostles Peter, James and John. The Church ordained only men.

For male Latter-day Saints The Melchizedek Priesthood is a requirement for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Therefore, this priesthood given to each man, when he meets the required standard of moral worthiness and church activity.

Classification and offices in the priesthood

We distinguish between the Aaronic and the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The Aaronic priesthood is also called the preparatory priesthood. It is given from the age of 12 boys. The offices are in it, with increasing rank:

  • Deacon
  • Teacher
  • Priest
  • Bishop

The Melchizedek priesthood is also called the higher or presiding priesthood. It is only awarded to men over the age of 18. The offices are in:

  • High Priest
  • Seventy
  • Apostle
  • Patriarch ( special position outside the other hierarchy)

With the exception of the Apostles and some Seventies office all offices are perceived honorary indefinitely.

The English name "Elder " for an elder is used as a title and form of address for elders or high priests in the service as a full-time missionary for the Seventy Apostles, and also in German.

The organization of the priesthood

Priesthood quorums

Every priesthood holder is a member of a priesthood quorum. It is run by a priesthood holder from its own ranks. The current involvement in the college is just as necessary for the priesthood as the historical link back to Jesus Christ through the consecration chain.

The Aaronic Priesthood quorums and the elders quorums are organized at the community level, high priests quorums are organized at the stake level. Quorums of the Seventy are organized at the level of the universal Church. There are five Quorums of the Seventy and basically an apostolic college. The college is the highest of the First Presidency.

The number of members of each college, with the exception of the high priests quorum is bounded above, so that it is shared in excess of the limit in a community.

For the male members of the Church of the conferral of the priesthood is necessary in order to enter the temple are allowed.

The deacons quorum

The office of deacon is part of the Aaronic Priesthood. In a deacons quorum maximum of 12 boys aged 12 to 13 years old are organized. Tasks focused on passing the sacrament, service folder in sacrament meeting and upon request in other meetings, the gathering fast offerings and prompted emergency services for the bishop.

The Presidency of the College consists of a president and two counselors. You as a consultant, a counselor in the bishopric aside.

The teaching staff

The Office of the teacher is part of the Aaronic Priesthood. In a teaching staff of more than 24 boys ages 14 to 15 years are organized. You can perform all the duties of a deacon. In addition, they should be according to order and a Melchizedek Priesthood holder as home teachers in pastoral works - every family in the community to be visited by their home teachers, if possible on a regular basis at home. Your task in worship is to prepare the Lord's Supper. Furthermore, they are called to exhort the members of the church to pray and fulfill their duties. Theoretically, a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood take over the management of the service, if no melchisedekischer priesthood holder is present.

The Presidency of the College consists of a president and two counselors. You as a consultant, a counselor in the bishopric aside.

The priests quorum

The office of priest is part of the Aaronic Priesthood. In a college of priests than 48 young men are organized aged 16 to 18 years. You can perform all the tasks of a teacher. In addition, they have to baptize the task to administer the sacrament, and to ordain someone in the Aaronic Priesthood.

The President of the College is the bishop. He has two assistants from the ranks of priests to the side.

The elders quorum

The office of elder is an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood and the highest office, which is awarded every worthy leading man in the church. In an elders quorum a maximum of 96 men organized over 18 years. You can perform all the tasks of the Aaronic Priesthood. In addition, they have the power, the gift of the Holy Spirit ( to confirm ) to donate to bless the sick, to give a blessing of comfort and strengthen, to bless children and to carry out further blessing ordinances.

For men, this office is a necessary prerequisite to participate in the Vorverodnungen, the endowment and the temple sealing can and to be a missionary can.

The Presidency of the College consists of a president and two counselors.

The high priests quorum

The Office of the High Priest 's office in the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is not given to all worthy men, but only selected people. His authority is the authority of the elders of the same, with the difference that certain offices and callings of high priests must be filled. For this purpose, the office of bishop belongs ( church leader ). High priests are to preside mainly and conduct.

The presidency of the college consists of the stake president and his two counselors.

The Quorums of the Seventy

The office of Seventy is an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood. In the first Quorum of the Seventy men are appointed for life, who are retired in 70 years. In the second Quorum of the Seventy men are appointed to five years. These two colleges are among the General Authorities of the Church. You assume overall responsibility for functional areas worldwide and often they are appointed as Area President or their counselor. They exert their function full-time basis, so give her prior work in their appeal to.

The third to fifth Quorum of the Seventy includes the so-called Area Authorities, who are called in their home territory as a parent leader. Also, they usually serve for five years and are often called as a counselor in Area Presidencies. They exert their function in an honorary capacity.

In each Quorum of the Seventy than 70 men are organized; beyond this number also takes one pitch. Up to 7 Quorums of the Seventy are possible.

Over all the Quorums of the Seventy presided over a joint presidency of seven seventies.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The second-highest governing body in the guide system of the church is the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles meet direction of the First Presidency very important administrative tasks; they ensure that the church is properly developed anywhere in the world and growing. Your vocation is to be " special witnesses of Jesus Christ." The Latter- day Saints consider the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as prophets who receive divine revelation and inspiration to lead the Church. The members of this board are appointed for life in this office. They have the same powers and keys held as the President of the Church, but do not practice from them.

The First Presidency

The highest governing body of the church is the First Presidency. It consists of the President and his (usually ) two counselors or advisers. This body, usually with three members is faced with the work of the whole Church about the policies, organization and administration in all matters.

Since February 4, 2008, the First Presidency consists of the President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf Second Counselor. With Uchtdorf first heard a German on the body.

The appointment of a new President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints after a certain order. Church members consider this process as revealed by God.

When the President of the Church dies, the following occurs:

The power and the keys of the Priesthood

In the church of Jesus Christ is a distinction between the authority of the priesthood and the keys of the priesthood. Only those who have the authority of the priesthood, may exercise certain offices in the Church, and above all as a authorized representative may only perform ordinances. It is based on Joseph Smith formulated fifth article of faith:

"We believe that by prophecy and the laying on of hands of those who are in authority, must be called of God to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. "

A so authorized priesthood holders may not act as they see fit. He needs as directed by the act, holding the keys for it. The keys of the Aaronic Priesthood have held the bishops. You determine to be when, under what circumstances and by whom the ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood completed. These are essentially the Services concerning the Lord's Supper, baptism and ordinations in the Aaronic Priesthood.

The keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood have held the stake president, which delegate the part of the bishops and presidents of elders quorums. They are responsible for coordinating the care of souls and for the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Some ordinances, such as sick blessings be able to run the Melchizedek Priesthood bearer independently and without instruction.

All keys have held the apostles. Your keys of authority, however, rests until his death, to the President of the Church, which is the only one who may exercise all the powers of God keys.

It is set in the church, who reports to whom in what things are instructions and what is in each case in its sole discretion.

The ordination to a priesthood office

The transfer, to transfer someone to the priesthood and ordain him to an office in it granted the one holding the corresponding key. In a personal interview he convinced himself of the worthiness of the person concerned. Then the person is proposed in a meeting of the priesthood holders for approval and approved by the priesthood. For the Aaronic priesthood is the bishop or branch president. If it is a young person, so, if he is wearing the proper priesthood ( priests in the Aaronic Priesthood or an office in the priesthood Melchisdekischen ) put into effect the father of the young people in the sacred action by laying on of hands, usually together with other priesthood holders.

For offices in the Melchizedek priesthood, specifically elder and high priest, that is the stake president.

Seventy were proposed by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and ordained. They are confirmed by the entire church membership at a General Meeting. Acts proposed by the First Presidency, the Quorum of the first confirmed, ordained jointly by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency and then submitted to the entire membership at a General Meeting for confirmation.

In the church is taken to be sure that those who have the key to get inspiration of God, whether they are transferred to someone the priesthood and ordain him to an office in it or not. Therefore, the general conferences and community meetings also refuse rarely consent to ordinations.

The Restoration of the Priesthood

According to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints is the priesthood as it is now practiced in the Church, the restoration of the priesthood of ancient times, as it was brought to the church founder Joseph Smith gradually by heavenly messengers.

The first was on May 15, 1829 at the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania John the Baptist appeared and did Joseph Smith and his associate Oliver Cowdery the Aaronic Priesthood, which John, according to tradition, the Gospel of Luke from his father, the temple priest Zacharias, and ultimately of his ancestor Aaron had inherited.

A few weeks later - the exact date is not known - were Peter, James, and John appeared to Joseph Smith and had the Melchizedek Priesthood, which they had received from Jesus Christ personally transferred.

Other key did the Prophet in the presence of his counselor Sidney Rigdon April 3, 1836 in the temple in Kirtland, Ohio, from Moses, Elias, and Elijah get ( Elias, and Elijah are in accordance with teachings of the Church are two different people ).

The meaning of the priesthood in theology

According to the theology of the Church, the priesthood is the power of God which is given to a certain part of the people. This is by the Church is guided power. Is the priesthood lost, so too is lost the authority to act in God's name.

In contrast to other Christian communities of the enforcement actions of saints is absolutely bound thereto, that the The executive holds the necessary for office in the priesthood. Regarding the legitimacy of ordinances, therefore, the question is whether the person or the Church which he represents, this authority has the priesthood or not.

The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that the apostolic authority, finally gets his priesthood through which every priesthood holder in the " great falling away " between the 2nd and 4th century AD, had gone lost. Therefore, this authority was not to be found until the restoration by Peter, James and John in 1829 on earth. In order for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -day Saints is in contrast to the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, which are of the opinion that the apostolic authority of the bishops had been passed unbroken up to the present time ( Apostolic Succession ). Thus, they emphasized the need for priesthood authority that is directly attributed to Jesus Christ, it also stands in contrast to most Protestant churches, which are of the opinion that such an apostolic authority was not necessary or for all believers is to be found.

The importance of Latter -day Saints is attached to the correct, authorized disclosure of the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ, is evident in the so-called " Ordinierungslinie " which has every priesthood holder in writing. So the bestowed authority over those who ordained him and those who ordained this to be so up to Joseph Smith and through him to Peter, James and John, who had been elected and ordained around 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ himself, pursue leave.

From this position in terms of power of attorney gives imperative that Sacred ordinances ( sacraments ) of other churches are generally not recognized as binding before God.