Mormon Church Leadership
Doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormon Church) teaches that Jesus Christ is the head of the Mormon Church and that He makes His will known through revelation to the leaders of the Church.Since the organization of the Mormon Church in the latter-days, there has always been a designated presiding authority over the Church. This presiding authority is known as the First Presidency. It is made up of the Prophet and President of the Church, and his two counselors. The First Presidency is responsible for such things as clarifying doctrine and Church policies, introducing new programs and organization that better fits the Lord’s will, warning and teaching members, as well as other administrative tasks. They have the authority to delegate tasks to others.
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is made up of twelve men who are called to act as special witnesses of Jesus Christ (see Doctrine and Covenants 107:23). The Twelve assist the First Presidency with decisions regarding the Mormon Church and a unanimous vote of the Twelve and the First Presidency is usually needed to make any significant changes.
The Quorums of the Seventies are other worthy men called to help in the responsibilities of leading the Mormon Church. They often work under the direction of the Twelve Apostles and carry out various duties such as visiting Church members in other parts of the world, overseeing different organizations within the Church, and helping in missionary work.
A Presiding Bishopric also helps lead the Mormon Church. Their role is in leading the Aaronic, or lesser, priesthood and is focused more on temporal matters, such as building churches, the welfare of the poor, and collecting tithing.
All of the previously mentioned positions are grouped together by members and are referred to as General Authorities, or “the Brethren.” They make up most of the core leadership of the Mormon Church. As the Church grows, the Quorum of the Seventy can be enlarged to help maintain administrative affairs of the Church.
There are also Presidencies that work under the direction of these four main presiding authorities to direct other organizations within the Mormon Church. There is a General Relief Society Presidency, which leads the worldwide women’s organization of the Church; General Young Women’s Presidency, which leads the programs for the young women between the ages of 12 and 17; and the General Primary Presidency, which oversees all the organizations for children ages 3-11. All of these presidencies are made up of women.