LDS Church Organization
Article of Faith #6 states the following belief of the Mormon Church: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”
When the Savior administered on earth, He organized His Church. After His death, those who believed in Him met together often to worship, to learn more about the gospel, to strengthen and serve one another. Today, members of the Mormon Church are also organized where they worship, learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and strengthen and serve one another. The purpose of doing so is to help all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him”.1
“Whenever the Church has been fully established on earth, the priesthood, the keys of the kingdom, and the apostolic power have been manifest. In such periods there have always been prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.”2
The organization of the Mormon Church is the construction through which Jesus Christ reveals His will. Members are able to learn about the plan of salvation, receive and perform saving ordinances, renew their covenants, develop talents and abilities, serve others, grow in love and friendship, and fill spiritual and emotional needs.
The Church is presided over by the First Presidency of the Mormon Church – that being President Gordon B. Hinckley, who is the current prophet; and his two counselors, President James Faust and President Thomas Monson. The whole Church acts under the direction of this Presidency in an assigned area.
For administrative purposes, the Church is divided into stakes and missions. (“The term ‘stake’ comes from the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied that the latter-day Church would be like a tent, held secure by stakes.”3) Most geographic areas where the Church is organized are divided into stakes. There are between five and twelve wards and branches in a stake. Each stake is presided over by a Stake President and two counselors. A mission is a unit of the Church that usually covers a larger area – much larger than a stake. Each mission is presided over by a mission president.
A ward or branch within the stake comprises a specific geographical area. Each stake is organized into congregations where they meet frequently. Wards are presided over by a bishop and two counselors, whereas branches are presided over by a branch president and two counselors. Branches are smaller congregations and are organized with as little as two member families who live in the area and where one of the members is a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder or a worthy priest in the Aaronic Priesthood.
“Within each ward or branch there are different organizations which include: high priests groups; elders quorums; the Relief Society, for women ages 18 years and older; Aaronic Priesthood quorums, for young men ages 12 through 17; the Young Women program, for young women ages 12 through 17; Primary, for children ages 18 months to 11 years; and the Sunday School, for all Church members ages 12 and older. Each of these organizations fulfills important roles in teaching the gospel, giving service, and supporting parents in their sacred duty [as parents].”4
Along with the above organizations, there are also Church maintained educational programs that include universities, colleges, schools, seminaries, and institutes of religion.
For more information about the Mormon Church please see the following websites: