Handbook 2:
Administering the Church

 

20.7 Conferring the Priesthood and Ordaining to an Office

The stake president oversees the conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordinations to the offices of elder and high priest. However, the bishop usually initiates recommendations for these ordinations. Instructions for recommending, interviewing, and presenting these brethren for a sustaining vote are outlined in Handbook 1, 16.7.1.

The bishop oversees the conferral of the Aaronic Priesthood and ordinations to the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest. Worthy brethren should be ordained at the following minimum ages:

Deacon: age 12

Teacher: age 14

Priest: age 16

Instructions for interviewing these brethren and presenting them for a sustaining vote are outlined in Handbook 1, 16.7.2.

 20.7.1

Instructions for Performing an Ordination

When the necessary interviews and approvals are completed:

  1. 1.

    The stake president (or someone under his direction) may ordain the person to the office of elder, or he may authorize another Melchizedek Priesthood holder to do so. Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may stand in the circle.

  2. 2.

    The stake president (or someone under his direction) may ordain the person to the office of high priest, or he may authorize another high priest to do so. Only high priests may stand in the circle.

  3. 3.

    The bishop (or someone under his direction) may ordain the person to the office of deacon, teacher, or priest. Only priests and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may act as voice or stand in the circle.

To participate in an ordination, a person must (1) be a priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder and (2) have equal or higher priesthood authority than is to be given in the ordinance. For instance, an elder should not stand in the circle when a high priest is ordained or when a man is set apart to an office that requires him to be a high priest.

To perform a priesthood ordination, one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood holder who performs the ordination:

  1. 1.

    Calls the person by his full name.

  2. 2.

    States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).

  3. 3.

    Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood, unless it has already been conferred.

  4. 4.

    Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers, and authority of that office. (Priesthood keys are not bestowed in conferring the priesthood or ordaining to one of these offices.)

  5. 5.

    Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.

  6. 6.

    Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

An ordination is an opportunity to give a blessing. Detailed counsel and instruction are normally provided when a person is taught his duties rather than during the ordination.

An ordination should not be expanded into a formal meeting. It is not necessary to have prayers, testimonies, or instruction when someone is ordained.

 20.7.2

Ordination Record and Certificate

After a Melchizedek Priesthood ordination, the stake clerk ensures that the Melchizedek Priesthood Ordination Record is complete, and he distributes it according to instructions with the form. The stake or ward clerk also prepares an ordination certificate, which the stake president signs. If another stake priesthood leader, such as a high councilor, was assigned to represent the stake president at the ordination, he also signs the certificate. A priesthood leader or clerk gives the signed certificate to the member.

After an Aaronic Priesthood ordination, the ward clerk ensures that the Aaronic Priesthood Ordination Record is complete, and he processes or distributes it according to instructions with the form. The ward clerk also prepares an ordination certificate. The bishop signs the certificate, and he or the clerk gives it to the member.

A person’s legal name, as defined by local law or custom, should be recorded on the ordination record and on the certificate.