Priest (Latter Day Saints)

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 Quorum. Those who are deemed worthy and interviewed by the 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, so Priests Quorums are rarely split, even in the largest wards.

The president of the Priests Quorum is the Bishop, who holds the keys of the priesthood for this quorum. The Bishop typically calls a first assistant and a second assistant and a secretary from among the members of the quorum. The Bishop's assistants in the Priests Quorum are not the first and second counselors that serve in the bishopric. Generally, the first assistant acts as a de facto president of the quorum, but seeks approval from the Bishop in everything he does.

According to scripture, the duty of a Priest is to "preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament". [Doctrine and Covenants, sourcetext|source=The Doctrine and Covenants|book=Covenant 20|verse=46] Accordingly, Priests bless the sacrament and are permitted to perform the ordinance of baptism. They also are able to ordain Deacons, Teachers, and Priests and confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon others. Usually, a Priest will be paired with an adult male (often their father) as a Home Teacher. They perform all of these functions under the direction of the Bishop, who holds the "priesthood keys" of this office. 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 called.

As the Church in the United States and Canada sponsors troops of the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada programs, many Priests participate in these Scouting programs as well. 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.

When a Priest turns 18 years old, or graduates from high school, depending on the situation, he is integrated into the Elders Quorum. Those that are 18 years old and deemed worthy by the Bishop and Stake President will receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and become an Elder.

Priests generally spend a great amount of time preparing for their future service as a missionary. All worthy and able young men in the Church are asked to serve missions at the age of 19.

References


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