Handbook 2:
Administering the Church


19.6 Calling, Ordaining, and Setting Apart Bishops

The stake presidency recommends brethren to be called or released as bishops. Instructions are on the Recommendation for New Bishop form. This form is available electronically in units that use Church record-keeping software. In other units it is available from the assigned administrative office.

When recommending a person to serve as bishop, the stake presidency carefully observes the principles set forth in 1 Timothy 3:2–7. It is not appropriate to solicit recommendations or to conduct surveys among ward members with respect to who might be considered for a call to serve as bishop.

Before a new bishop may be interviewed, called, ordained, or set apart, his recommendation must be approved by the First Presidency. The stake president may extend the calling after he receives written approval from the First Presidency. With this approval, the stake president may also ordain and set apart a bishop after ward members have given a sustaining vote. The approval of the First Presidency is also required before a stake president may release a bishop. The stake president may not assign these responsibilities to a counselor.

If a man who is called as bishop is not a high priest, the stake president ensures that he is ordained a high priest before ordaining him a bishop. If the man was ordained a bishop previously, he needs only to be set apart as bishop of the ward.

    After the First Presidency has approved the recommendation of a man to serve as bishop, they authorize a stake president, Area Seventy, or General Authority to ordain him and set him apart. The authorized priesthood officer:
  1. 1.

    Calls the man by his full name.

  2. 2.

    States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

  3. 3.

    Ordains the man a bishop (unless he was previously ordained).

  4. 4.

    Sets him apart to preside over the ward and to be the president of the Aaronic Priesthood and the priests quorum, emphasizing his responsibilities for the Aaronic Priesthood and for young women in the ward.

  5. 5.

    Confers on him all the keys, rights, powers, and authority of the office of bishop, referring specifically to the bishop’s duties as a common judge in Israel and as the presiding high priest in the ward.

  6. 6.

    Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.

  7. 7.

    Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.