Meetings

Branch Guidebook, (2001), 15–19


Branches where the branch president is the only one who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood or who is a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood hold sacrament meeting and a Sunday gospel instruction meeting for members.

Branches that have an organized elders quorum hold the following meetings in addition to those mentioned in the preceding paragraph:

  1. 1.

    Priesthood meeting

  2. 2.

    Sunday meeting for women, young women, and children

  3. 3.

    Priesthood executive committee meeting

  4. 4.

    Branch council meeting

Where the number of members is sufficient and where leaders and meeting places are available, a branch can discontinue the Sunday meeting for women, young women, and children and can hold the following meetings in addition to those listed in the preceding paragraph:

  1. 1.

    Relief Society

  2. 2.

    Aaronic Priesthood (Young Men)

  3. 3.

    Primary

  4. 4.

    Sunday School

  5. 5.

    Young Women

  6. 6.

    Mutual, where young men of Aaronic Priesthood age and Young Women of the same age meet separately or together on a weekday evening or Saturday for youth activities and instruction under the direction and supervision of the branch presidency

Options for Sunday Meeting Schedules

Information for Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders on Curriculum shows options for Sunday meeting schedules.

Family Home Evening

Each family holds a family home evening in their own home at least once each week (see the Family Guidebook).

Sacrament Meeting

The branch president presides at sacrament meeting, during which worthy brethren who hold the appropriate priesthood bless and pass the sacrament. A member of the branch presidency conducts the meeting and endeavors to see that it starts on time. A sample agenda follows:

  1. 1.

    Welcome and setting of spiritual tone

  2. 2.

    Brief announcements

  3. 3.

    Opening hymn and prayer

  4. 4.

    Branch business

  5. 5.

    Sacrament hymn and administration of the sacrament

  6. 6.

    Speakers on gospel subjects based on the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day apostles and prophets

  7. 7.

    Between speakers, a congregational or branch choir number, usually a hymn from the hymnbook (optional)

  8. 8.

    Closing hymn and prayer

Once each month, usually on the first Sunday, sacrament meeting is also a fast and testimony meeting. Members are invited to come in an attitude of fasting and prayer after abstaining from food and drink for two meals if their health permits.

After the sacrament is blessed and passed, the member of the branch presidency conducting the fast and testimony meeting bears his testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel and invites other members to bear their testimonies for the remainder of the meeting. The meeting ends with a hymn and prayer. The sacrament is blessed and passed during each sacrament meeting (see “Ordinances and Blessings” in this guidebook).

Priesthood Meeting

Priesthood meeting is held before or after sacrament meeting. A member of the branch presidency conducts opening exercises. A sample agenda follows:

  1. 1.

    Welcome and setting of spiritual tone

  2. 2.

    Brief announcements and business

  3. 3.

    Opening hymn and prayer

  4. 4.

    Separation to quorums for business and instruction

  5. 5.

    Closing prayer in the quorums

Following the opening exercises, all adult men (19 and older) meet in the elders quorum meeting, presided over by the elders quorum president.

priesthood meeting

All young men (12 through 18) meet in the Aaronic Priesthood quorum meeting, which is presided over by the branch president. When meeting rooms and numbers of members are limited, Aaronic Priesthood young men may meet with the Melchizedek Priesthood brethren. However, when the number of young men is sufficient, and enough adult leadership and meeting rooms are available, the deacons, teachers, and priests meet in their separate quorums. (See the Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders’ Guidebook.)

Sunday Meeting for Women, Young Women, and Children

In small branches with too few sisters and children to organize and meet as separate auxiliaries, the Relief Society president conducts the opening exercises. The meeting may include:

  1. 1.

    Welcome and setting of spiritual tone

  2. 2.

    Brief announcements and business

  3. 3.

    An opening hymn and prayer

  4. 4.

    Hymns and children’s songs

  5. 5.

    Instruction by the Relief Society president or separation to classes

  6. 6.

    Closing prayer

When space is not available for separate opening exercises in small branches, the men, women, and children meet together for combined opening exercises conducted by the branch president.

As the branch grows, young women (ages 12 through 18) may meet with the Relief Society while children (ages 3 through 11) meet under the direction of a sister appointed by the branch president.

When Relief Society, Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School are organized in a branch, Relief Society and Young Women meet separately on Sunday during the same time as priesthood meeting. Sunday School meets after priesthood meeting. Primary is held during the same time as priesthood, Relief Society, Young Women, and Sunday School meetings. Primary opening exercises and sharing time are conducted during half of the time, and class instruction is conducted during the other half. In auxiliary meetings, members pray, sing hymns, teach, and learn the gospel using materials specified in Information for Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders on Curriculum.

Priesthood Executive Committee Meeting

The branch presidency, clerk, executive secretary, elders quorum president, branch Young Men president, and branch mission leader (when called) comprise the branch priesthood executive committee. This committee meets as often as needed to coordinate branch activities, programs, and services to ensure that they strengthen families and individuals and meet members’ needs. The branch president presides. The committee discusses and coordinates such priesthood responsibilities as home teaching, missionary work, and temple and family history work.

Branch Council Meeting

The branch presidency, clerk, executive secretary, elders quorum president, branch Young Men president, and branch mission leader (when called); presidents of the Relief Society, Young Women, Primary, and Sunday School; and the branch teacher improvement coordinator meet as the branch council. In these meetings the council seeks to strengthen individuals and families spiritually; assist them in preparing to receive temple ordinances; improve the retention of new converts; teach principles of caring for the poor; correlate branch programs, activities, and services; and solve problems in the branch. The Relief Society president discusses the needs of the women, young women, and children in the branch when Young Women and Primary presidents have not been called. The branch president invites ideas and suggestions and helps others participate fully in the discussions, decisions, and plans. He considers their suggestions carefully in making plans and giving assignments.