7.3 Ward Melchizedek Priesthood Leadership
This chapter focuses on administering the elders quorum and high priests group in a way that strengthens individuals and families. Melchizedek Priesthood leaders should frequently review chapter 3, which outlines general principles of leadership. These principles include preparing spiritually, participating in councils, ministering to others, and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The bishop is the presiding high priest in the ward. He and his counselors work closely with the elders quorum president and the high priests group leader in watching over quorum and group members and their families, building strength in the quorum and group, and ensuring that the work of the priesthood is accomplished.
Although the elders quorum president and high priests group leader are directly responsible to the stake presidency, the bishop meets regularly with each of them. He asks them to report on their responsibilities, including home teaching in the quorum or group. He also counsels them and encourages them to magnify their callings.
Elders Quorum Presidency and High Priests Group Leadership
The elders quorum presidency and high priests group leadership preside over, sit in council with, and teach quorum and group members (see D&C 107:89). They direct the efforts of quorum and group members to advance the work of salvation in the ward (see chapter 5). They receive instruction from the stake presidency, assigned members of the high council, and the bishop.
Elders Quorum President and High Priests Group Leader
The elders quorum president and high priests group leader have the following responsibilities:
They serve as members of the ward priesthood executive committee and ward council. As members of this committee and council, they participate in efforts to build faith and strengthen individuals and families (see chapter 4). The high priests group leader coordinates the ward council’s efforts to encourage temple and family history work in the ward (see 5.4.3). Where there is no high priests group leader, the elders quorum president or another assigned Melchizedek Priesthood holder fills this role.
They give particular attention to the needs of new members, ensuring that each is assigned faithful home teachers. They work with the ward mission leader to ensure that each new member is taught the five missionary lessons again (see 5.2)
They teach other leaders and teachers in the quorum and group their duties, using this handbook as a resource.
In consultation with the bishop, they submit recommendations for brethren to be called to serve as counselors in the elders quorum presidency or assistants in the high priests group leadership. They also submit recommendations to the bishop for brethren to be called to serve as secretaries and instructors. In making these recommendations, they follow the guidelines in 19.1.1 and 19.1.2.
They oversee the records, reports, budget, and finances of the quorum or group. The quorum or group secretary helps with this responsibility.
Elders Quorum President and Counselors and High Priests Group Leader and Assistants
The elders quorum presidency and high priests group leadership have the following responsibilities. The elders quorum president and high priests group leader assign counselors and assistants to oversee some of these responsibilities.
They encourage quorum and group members to fulfill their priesthood duties, especially their duties as husbands and fathers. Quorum and group leaders fulfill this responsibility during quorum and group meetings and during interviews and visits with quorum and group members.
They organize and oversee home teaching.
They hold elders quorum presidency meetings or high priests group leadership meetings.
Where possible, they visit or interview quorum or group members at least once a year.
They may organize committees among quorum or group members to carry out the work of the quorum or group and to fulfill assignments given in ward council meeting.
They help prospective elders prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood (see 7.6).
With approval from the bishop, they may occasionally plan activities for the members of the quorum or group. These activities may include the families of quorum or group members and the single sisters whom quorum or group members visit as home teachers. Activities should comply with the guidelines in chapter 13 and should be coordinated with the ward council.
As assigned by the bishop, they work with parents and Young Men leaders to help 18-year-old young men prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and make a successful transition from the priests quorum to the elders quorum.
The elders quorum president assigns one of his counselors to coordinate the quorum’s efforts with the young single adult men in the ward. If the ward has a young single adult committee, this counselor serves on the committee. (See 16.3.3 and 16.3.4.)
Elders Quorum and High Priests Group Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries
With the bishop’s approval, the elders quorum president or one of his counselors calls and sets apart an elder to serve as elders quorum secretary. Likewise, the high priests group leader or one of his assistants calls and sets apart a high priest to serve as high priests group secretary.
Quorum and group secretaries have the following responsibilities:
They consult with quorum or group leaders to prepare agendas for presidency meetings or group leadership meetings. They attend these meetings, take notes, and keep track of assignments.
Each month, they compile home teaching reports for the elders quorum president and high priests group leader to give to the bishop. At least quarterly, they compile attendance information, review it with the elders quorum president or high priests group leader, and submit it to the ward clerk.
If the quorum or group plans activities that will involve expenses, secretaries help leaders prepare an annual budget and account for expenses.
With the bishop’s approval, leaders in the elders quorum and high priests group may call and set apart assistant secretaries to help with these responsibilities. Prospective elders may be called to serve as assistant secretaries.
Elders Quorum and High Priests Group Instructors
With the bishop’s approval, the elders quorum president or one of his counselors may call and set apart one or more elders to serve as elders quorum instructors. Likewise, the high priests group leader or one of his assistants may call and set apart one or more high priests to serve as high priests group instructors.
Quorum and group leaders assign instructors to teach doctrine and lead discussions during priesthood meeting. Instructors follow the principles outlined in 5.5.4.