The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is restructuring its Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums, LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson announced Saturday night.
During the priesthood session of the 188th Annual General Conference, President Nelson announced the high priests group and the elders quorum will now combine into one elders quorum.
“Tonight we announce a significant restructuring of our Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to accomplish the work of the Lord more effectively,” President Nelson said. … “This adjustment will greatly enhance the capacity and ability of men who bear the priesthood to serve others.”
President Nelson also said the stake presidency will release current high priest group leaders along with elders quorum presidencies. A new elders quorum president and counselors will be called in each ward or branch. Either an elder or a high priest may serve as the quorum president or as counselor in the presidency.
Following President Nelson’s announcement, Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Ronald A. Rasband, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, further explained how the Church will transition and function in the new elders quorum.
Under the new organization, priesthood offices will remain the same — elders remain elders and high priests remain high priests.
“This is not a ‘takeover’ of elders quorums by high priests,” Elder Christofferson said. “We expect elders and high priests to work together in any combination in the quorum presidency and in quorum service.”
Elder Christofferson said these changes could be made at the earliest convenience for each ward.
Elder Rasband discussed how the change to the priesthood organization would help the ward.
“These adjustments will help elders quorums and Relief Societies harmonize their work,” said Elder Rasband. “They will also simplify the quorum’s coordination with the bishopric and ward council. And they allow the bishop to delegate more responsibilities to the elders quorum and Relief Society presidents so the bishop and his counselors can focus on their primary duties — particularly presiding over the young women, and the young men who bear the Aaronic Priesthood.”
Elder Rasband further explained the effects at the stake level.
“Stake high priests quorums will continue to function,” Elder Rasband said. “Stake presidencies will continue to serve as the presidency of the stake high priests quorum.”
Elder Rasband announced that the priesthood executive committee meeting is now discontinued in wards and stakes, adding that special ward issues will be discussed in an expanded bishopric meeting or ward council. Stake priesthood executive committee meetings will now be called “high council meetings.”
Read more about the priesthood quorum changes at lds.org.