High priest (Latter Day Saints)

High priest (Latter Day Saints)

High priest is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek priesthood of denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the LDS Church, high priests are primarily responsible for the spiritual welfare of the members and the administration of local church units called "wards" and "stakes".

Like other priesthood offices in the LDS Church, high priests are organized into quorums. The High Priests Quorum, however, is organized at the stake level, with the president of the quorum being the stake president. In contrast, priesthood quorums for the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest are organized at the ward level. In consultation with the bishop, the stake president organizes a high priests "group" in each ward. Each group is provided with a "group leader" who typically selects two assistants and a secretary to assist him. Assignments made to the group include home teaching and assisting adult males who are not yet elders prepare to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. High priests are also responsible for temple and family history work within a ward.

In a district, there is no high priests quorum. Men holding the office of high priest join the elders quorum of the branch that they live in.

There are a number of positions in the LDS Church which may only be filled by a high priest. Among these are bishop, stake president and his counselors, member of a stake high council, and mission president. Bishops' counselors are usually high priests, but this is not required and counselors in a student ward are not ordinarily ordained high priests to fill this position. A branch president and his counselors need not be high priests. A high priest is eligible to be called as a member of the First Presidency, but this is rare in recent practice.

The first president of a high priests quorum of the church was Joseph Smith, Jr.'s younger brother Don Carlos Smith.

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