Handbook 2:
Administering the Church

 

15.3 High Council

The stake presidency calls 12 high priests to form the stake high council (see D&C 102:1). If an elder is called to serve on the high council, he must be ordained a high priest before he is set apart.

Under the direction of the stake presidency, high councilors help oversee the work of the Church in the stake. They have advisory and administrative responsibilities as described in the following paragraphs.

 15.3.1

Represent the Stake Presidency

High councilors counsel about and sustain the stake presidency’s decisions to ordain brethren to the offices of elder and high priest. The stake president may authorize high councilors to represent him when men are ordained to the offices of elder and high priest.

High councilors also counsel about and sustain the stake presidency’s decisions to issue callings to members. For some callings, the stake presidency may authorize high councilors to represent them in issuing the callings, presenting members to be sustained, and setting members apart as indicated in chapter 19.

To assist them in overseeing the Melchizedek Priesthood, the stake presidency assigns a high councilor to represent them in each elders quorum, high priests group, ward, and branch in the stake. In this role, high councilors orient newly called high priests group leaderships and elders quorum presidencies. They also provide ongoing encouragement, support, and instruction for these leaders, including instruction based on chapters 1–7 of this handbook. They meet with these leaders regularly to learn of their needs, teach them their duties, and communicate information from the stake presidency. They periodically attend meetings of the elders quorum and high priests group, including elders quorum presidency meetings and high priests group leadership meetings. They also attend bishopric, priesthood executive committee, and ward council meetings if invited or assigned.

The stake presidency assigns high councilors to work with the stake auxiliaries and programs listed in 15.1.2 (except for Church magazines if the stake executive secretary or someone else is assigned this responsibility). When a member of the stake presidency meets with a stake auxiliary presidency, the assigned high councilor attends this meeting. High councilors also attend the stake auxiliary leadership meetings for the auxiliaries to which they are assigned.

The stake presidency assigns high councilors to help oversee missionary work and temple and family history work in the stake (see 5.1.9 and 5.4.6).

The stake presidency may assign high councilors to represent them by speaking in sacrament meetings and other settings. The stake presidency determines the frequency of these speaking assignments. It is not necessary for high councilors to speak in sacrament meeting every month.

 15.3.2

Serve on Stake Councils and Committees

All high councilors serve on the stake priesthood executive committee and the stake council.

As directed by the stake presidency, high councilors participate in stake disciplinary councils (see Handbook 1, chapter 6).

The stake presidency may assign high councilors to serve on other committees as needed. For example, high councilors who are assigned to work with elders quorums and high priests groups may meet as a Melchizedek Priesthood committee. High councilors with assignments relating to the Aaronic Priesthood may meet as an Aaronic Priesthood committee.

The high council does not meet unless a member of the stake presidency is present.