Handbook 2:
Administering the Church

 

18.3 Stake Meetings

The stake president oversees stake meetings. He presides at these meetings unless an Area Seventy or General Authority attends. His counselors may conduct stake meetings and may preside if he is absent. Stake meetings should not conflict with Sunday ward meetings.

 18.3.1

Stake Conference

Each stake holds two stake conferences during the year as scheduled by the President of the Quorum of the Twelve. In most parts of the world, the stake president presides at one stake conference and an assigned Area Seventy or General Authority presides at the other.

In some stake conferences, a satellite broadcast may be incorporated into the Sunday general session. This broadcast will include instruction by General Authorities. When a satellite broadcast is used, that conference takes the place of the stake conference at which an Area Seventy or General Authority would have presided.

When a new stake president must be called before a regularly scheduled stake conference, a special stake conference may be held.

The primary purpose of stake conference is to strengthen faith and testimony. All talks and music should be planned with this purpose in mind.

Another purpose is to conduct stake business. In one stake conference each year, a member of the stake presidency presents general, area, and stake officers to be sustained, using the Officers Sustained form. He also presents the names of stake officers who have been released so the congregation can give an expression of thanks for their service. This business is normally conducted in the first stake conference each year unless a satellite broadcast is incorporated into that conference. In that case, the business is conducted in the second stake conference.

If stake officers are called or released between stake conferences, they should be presented for a sustaining vote or an expression of thanks in the next stake conference unless this has been done in a stake general priesthood meeting (for callings indicated in the Chart of Callings on pages 159–60) or in ward sacrament meetings (as outlined in 19.3).

Brethren who have been recommended for ordination to the offices of elder and high priest are normally presented for a sustaining vote in a stake conference or a stake general priesthood meeting. Instructions are provided in Handbook 1, 16.7.1.

Each stake conference normally includes the following meetings:

  1. 1.

    A meeting of the Area Seventy or General Authority (if assigned), stake presidency, stake clerk, and stake executive secretary.

  2. 2.

    A priesthood leadership meeting attended by the Area Seventy or General Authority (if assigned) and the brethren listed in 18.3.3. This meeting may be held on either Saturday or Sunday as determined by the presiding authority.

  3. 3.

    A Saturday evening session for all members of the stake who are 18 years of age and older. Temple presidents, stake patriarchs, and full-time mission presidents or their representatives who attend should sit on the stand. Depending on local circumstances, this session may be held on Sunday if approved by the presiding authority.

  4. 4.

    A general session held on Sunday for all members and interested nonmembers. Temple presidents, stake patriarchs, and full-time mission presidents or their representatives who attend should sit on the stand. More than one Sunday general session may be held if facilities are not adequate to seat everyone in the same session. Primary children attend this session with their families, not in a separate meeting.

Instruction in all stake conference sessions is under the direction of the presiding authority. When an Area Seventy or General Authority will preside, he may invite the stake president to suggest subjects. When the stake president will preside, he and his counselors select subjects for instruction.

If necessary, conference sessions may be broadcast to other locations in the stake.

Planning and Conducting Stake Conference

The presiding officer directs all conference planning. He approves all conference participants and all musical selections well before the conference.

The stake president conducts the Sunday general session. His counselors may conduct other conference meetings.

The stake president speaks in the Sunday general session of the conference. His counselors speak in conference sessions as determined by the presiding authority.

Planning includes making arrangements for adequate seating, ushering, and parking. Stake leaders may assign priesthood quorums and groups, including prospective elders, to provide these services.

Music for Stake Conference

See 14.6.1.

 18.3.2

Stake General Priesthood Meeting

The stake presidency convenes one stake general priesthood meeting each year. All Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the stake are to attend.

The stake presidency uses these meetings to instruct and inspire priesthood holders. The presidency prayerfully selects the subjects and the speakers for these meetings.

In these meetings the stake presidency also conducts stake priesthood business, such as:

  1. 1.

    Presenting the names of brethren who have been recommended for ordination to the offices of elder and high priest and asking for a sustaining vote (see Handbook 1, 16.7.1).

  2. 2.

    Presenting the names of newly called stake officers and asking for a sustaining vote (see the Chart of Callings in chapter 19 for guidelines about who is to be presented for this vote).

 18.3.3

Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting

The stake presidency convenes a stake priesthood leadership meeting in connection with each stake conference (see 18.3.1, item 2). The presidency also convenes one other stake priesthood leadership meeting during the year, for a total of three such meetings annually. The purposes of these meetings are to teach priesthood leaders their duties, increase their abilities, and strengthen their faith.

Brethren who attend this meeting include the stake presidency; high council; stake clerk (and assistant clerks as needed); stake executive secretary; stake Young Men presidency (and secretary as needed); bishoprics; ward clerks (and assistant clerks as needed); ward executive secretaries; high priests group leaders, assistants, and secretaries; elders quorum presidencies and secretaries; ward mission leaders; and ward Young Men presidencies (and secretaries and assistant advisers as needed). The stake presidency may invite others to attend as needed.

The structure of this meeting is flexible to provide the most effective instruction possible. All brethren may remain together for the entire meeting. Or, after they have met together for stake business and general instruction, the stake presidency may have them separate into groups to counsel together and receive specific instruction in their assignments. For example:

Bishoprics and other Aaronic Priesthood leaders could meet together.

High priests group and elders quorum leaders could meet together.

The high councilor assigned to missionary work or a member of the stake presidency could meet with ward mission leaders.

The stake executive secretary usually meets with ward executive secretaries.

The stake clerk usually meets with ward clerks.

In these groups, the stake presidency may provide instruction or invite high councilors, the stake Young Men presidency, and others to assist.

 18.3.4

Stake High Priests Quorum Meeting

The stake presidency convenes a high priests quorum meeting for all high priests in the stake at least once a year. During this meeting the stake presidency conducts quorum business and instructs quorum members in their duties.

 18.3.5

Stake Presidency Meeting

The stake presidency meets regularly. The stake clerk and stake executive secretary attend; the clerk keeps a record of assignments and decisions. The stake president may invite others to attend as needed.

During this meeting, members of the stake presidency counsel together about stake matters. They plan ways to strengthen individuals and families. They evaluate wards, high priests groups, elders quorums, auxiliaries, programs, and activities. They also make plans to implement instructions from the scriptures, Church leaders, and handbooks.

During this meeting, members of the stake presidency identify members to call to Church positions. They also review bishops’ recommendations of members to serve missions and of brethren to be ordained elders or high priests.

Other agenda items for this meeting may include reporting on assignments, planning meetings, reviewing the stake calendar, and reviewing the stake budget.

 18.3.6

Stake Priesthood Executive Committee Meeting (High Council Meeting)

The stake president presides over the stake priesthood executive committee. This committee is composed of the stake presidency, high council, stake clerk, and stake executive secretary. The stake presidency may invite others to attend as needed.

This committee meets twice monthly, where feasible. The agenda may include the following items:

  1. 1.

    Receive instruction from the stake presidency on doctrine and priesthood duties.

  2. 2.

    Receive instruction pertaining to assignments with the Melchizedek Priesthood, Aaronic Priesthood, and wards.

  3. 3.

    Report on assignments to wards, elders quorums, and high priests groups. Report on stake auxiliaries as needed.

  4. 4.

    Ask high councilors to sustain the stake presidency’s decisions to ordain brethren to the offices of elder and high priest and to issue callings.

  5. 5.

    Counsel together about how to strengthen individuals and families, solve problems in the stake, and improve in areas such as leadership, home teaching, member missionary work, retention, activation, temple and family history work, welfare, and gospel instruction.

  6. 6.

    Report on other assignments.

  7. 7.

    Hear reports from returning missionaries.

  8. 8.

    Plan stake priesthood leadership meetings.

 18.3.7

Stake Council Meeting

The stake president presides over the stake council. This council is composed of the stake presidency, high council, stake clerk, stake executive secretary, and stake Relief Society, Young Men, Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School presidents. The stake presidency may invite others to attend as needed.

The stake council meets two to four times a year as needed. The agenda may include the following items:

  1. 1.

    Receive instruction from the stake presidency on doctrine and duties.

  2. 2.

    Counsel together about how to strengthen individuals and families, solve problems in the stake, and improve in areas such as leadership, retention, activation, and gospel instruction.

  3. 3.

    Plan and report on the missionary efforts and temple and family history efforts in the stake.

  4. 4.

    Counsel together about welfare matters. Plan how to encourage members to be self-reliant. Ensure that welfare resources within the stake are made available to the wards as needed. Develop and maintain a simple written plan for the stake to respond to emergencies. Additional information is provided in “Preside over the Welfare Work of the Stake Council” in Handbook 1, 5.1.1.

  5. 5.

    Report on stake auxiliaries and on stake activities and programs as needed.

  6. 6.

    Coordinate the planning of stake programs and activities.

  7. 7.

    Review the progress of the Perpetual Education Fund program where it is approved.

 18.3.8

Meeting with Bishoprics

The stake presidency meets with bishoprics to instruct them in their duties, review Church policies, and counsel together. These meetings are held one to four times a year as needed.

The stake presidency, all bishoprics, the stake clerk, and the stake executive secretary attend this meeting. If desired, the stake president may limit the meeting to bishops only.

 18.3.9

Stake Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women Committee Meeting

The stake president assigns a counselor to preside over the stake Aaronic Priesthood–Young Women committee. Other committee members are the high councilors assigned to the stake Young Men and Young Women organizations, the stake Young Men presidency and secretary, and the stake Young Women presidency and secretary. The stake presidency may invite youth to attend the committee’s meetings as needed. The high councilor who serves as the stake activities committee chairman and others may also be invited to attend.

This committee meets as needed to plan stake-sponsored combined activities for young men and young women. Youth should be included as much as possible in planning and carrying out activities such as youth conferences, dances, devotionals, and multistake events. Youth may also participate in discussions about challenges that the youth in the stake are facing.

Stake activities should supplement ward activities, not compete with them. They are coordinated in stake council meetings. Ward leaders should be notified well in advance of the events.

 18.3.10

Stake Bishops’ Welfare Council Meeting

Information on the stake bishops’ welfare council is provided in Handbook 1, 5.3.

 18.3.11

Stake Auxiliary Leadership Meetings

The stake Relief Society, Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School presidencies each plan and conduct one stake auxiliary leadership meeting each year. If local circumstances and travel time do not place undue burdens on leaders, the stake presidency may authorize a second meeting each year. Each organization schedules its own meeting unless the stake presidency decides to combine all meetings into the same time and place.

The high councilor assigned to the organization presides over the meeting unless a member of the stake presidency attends. All ward auxiliary presidencies and secretaries are invited to attend. Other ward auxiliary leaders, teachers, and advisers, as well as bishopric members assigned to the auxiliary, may be invited to attend as needed.

The purposes of these meetings are to teach auxiliary leaders their duties, instruct them in teaching and leadership skills, and strengthen their faith. These meetings can also be used to correlate activities, give reports, and share ideas.

The structure of these meetings is flexible to provide the most effective instruction possible. Leaders from an auxiliary organization may all meet together for instruction and sharing, or they may meet in smaller groups to consider specialized functions within their organization. If all auxiliary organizations meet at the same time, they may come together for general instruction and then meet in separate groups to receive instruction from their organization leaders.

The stake Young Men presidency does not hold a stake auxiliary leadership meeting. Instead, stake and ward Young Men presidencies attend stake priesthood leadership meetings (see 18.3.3).

 18.3.12

Stake Young Single Adult Committee Meeting

See 16.3.2.

 18.3.13

Stake Single Adult Committee Meeting

See 16.1.2.