Handbook 2:
Administering the Church


2.4 Use of Priesthood Authority


Receiving Authority

For information about ordaining brethren to priesthood offices, see 20.7. For information about the process of calling, sustaining, and setting apart members to serve in Church callings, see chapter 19.


Delegating Authority

Priesthood leaders can delegate authority by assigning others to assist them in fulfilling a calling. For information on delegating, see 3.3.4.


Exercising Priesthood Authority Righteously

The priesthood should be used to bless the lives of others. Effective priesthood leaders preside in love and kindness. They do not try to force their will upon others. Rather, they counsel with others and try to come to a consensus through revelation. The Lord has said that the power of the priesthood cannot be used except in righteousness (see D&C 121:36). The proper use of the priesthood is by persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, sincere love, and kindness (see D&C 121:36, 41–42). If a man tries to abuse priesthood power, “the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” (D&C 121:37).


Presiding Councils

Councils provide a means for leaders to come together in unity and faith to collectively seek the Lord’s will. Councils also provide an opportunity to coordinate the work of quorums and auxiliaries. Examples of presiding councils at the local level are stake presidencies, stake councils, bishoprics, and ward councils. For information on how councils function, see 4.1.


Magnifying Priesthood Callings

Priesthood holders magnify their callings as they minister in their own homes and to other Saints and as they conscientiously fulfill assigned responsibilities. The Lord counseled, “Let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (D&C 107:99). Priesthood holders magnify their callings as they serve with diligence, teach with faith and testimony, and lift, strengthen, and nurture convictions of righteousness in the lives of those for whom they have responsibility.