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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints represents the Kingdom of God on earth with a “foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).  Unlike other churches, the Mormon Church does not have a professional clergy who spent years at a special school and lead a life vastly different from the members of the congregation.  Mormons have a lay clergy, which means that all the positions are filled by members of the congregation without salary. 

Later in Ephesians Paul also says, “And he [Christ] gave some apostles; some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).  The Prophet Joseph Smith, echoing that statement, said:

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.
~Article of Faith 6

The Church today has all the same offices as the ancient church.  The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the President of the Church are prophets and apostles to the whole world.  Pastors, called bishops by Mormons, are the leaders of congregations in the Mormon Church.  The following diagram shows the basic outline of the Church, but does not include every positions or officer. 


Church Offices
Area of Responsibility

The First Presidency: contains the President of the Church (called the Prophet) and two counselors

The Whole World
President of the Church is the prophet, seer and revelator to the whole world.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Twelve apostles serve under the direction of the Prophet; they are special witnesses of Christ to the world and oversee all Church affairs.

The Whole World
They are a traveling council that has authority over the whole world.  Quorum refers to a council or body of men.

Presidency of the Seventy
Quorums of the Seventy/Area Representatives: The quorums of the seventy are overseen by seven presidents and they are especially charged with missionary work and overseeing various regions of the Church.

One of more than 30 Areas
The First Quorum has world-wide authority, but the other quorums are regional and oversee specific geographic locations.  Each area contains several stakes.

Stake Presidency: A Stake President and two counselors preside in a local area over several different congregations.

A stake, which comes from the phrase “Stake of Zion,” is a geographical area containing several different Mormon congregations.

Bishopric: A Bishop (which is the same as a pastor) and two counselors preside in a congregation and assign most of the other jobs in the Church, such as Sunday School teacher

A ward is a Mormon congregation usually containing roughly 300 members.  It is the center for most Church activities.  Areas of the Church that do not have many members have branches instead.

Parents: A father and mother preside over a home.

A family is the basic unit of the Church and the center for many religious duties like prayer and scriptures study and temple attendance.

There are many other organizations and positions in the Mormon Church. In your ward, you will have many different people who help the bishop run the local Church.  Depending on how big you congregation is, you may have many different leaders.  The following shows the major organizations and leaders that every ward typically has:

  • Your Bishop
  • The Priesthood Quorums
  • The Relief Society
  • Sunday School
  • Young Men and Young Women
  • Primary
  • Seminary and Institute



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