SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS church announced historic changes to the structure of its priesthood Saturday. The faith’s newly sustained prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, announced the high priests will be combined with elders into one unified elders quorum in each ward. The announcement was made during the evening priesthood session of the 188th Annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Tonight, we announce a significant restructuring of our Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to accomplish the work of the Lord more effectively,” he said. “In each ward, the high priests and the elders will now be combined into one elders quorum. This adjustment will greatly enhance the capacity and ability of men who bear the priesthood to serve others.”
In each stake of the church, the stake presidency will continue to preside over the stake high priests quorum. President Nelson added: “but the composition of that quorum will be based on current priesthood callings,” including high priests serving in the stake presidency, in bishoprics, in the stake presidency, on the high council, or as functioning patriarchs.
Additional details about the structure were outlined in following talks. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained stake presidency will release current high priests group leaderships and elders quorum presidencies and will call a new elders quorum president and counselors in each ward or branch, he said.
The new elders quorum presidency may include elders and high priests — and either an elder or a high priest may serve as the quorum president or as counselor in the presidency.
The modifications to the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums have been under study for “many months,” said President Nelson.
“We have felt a pressing need to improve the way we care for our members and report our contacts with them,” he said. “To do that better, we need to strengthen our priesthood quorums to give greater direction to the ministering of love and support that the Lord intends for His Saints.”
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