Presiding Bishop (LDS Church)

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The Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is a priesthood calling with church-wide authority. The Presiding Bishop is the highest leadership position within the church's Aaronic priesthood.

Presiding Bishopric[edit]

Upon the Presiding Bishop's recommendation, the First Presidency calls two other men to assist the Presiding Bishop as his counselors; the three together compose the Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church. As well as being ordained to the Aaronic priesthood office of bishop, the members of the Presiding Bishopric are general authorities of the church. Like all other functioning bishops in the church they are ordained high priests in the Melchizedek priesthood. The Presiding Bishopric forms the governing body of the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the legal entity owning many of the church's assets and holdings in some countries around the world.

Duties[edit]

The primary duties[1] of the Presiding Bishop and his counselors are to oversee the temporal affairs (buildings, properties, commercial corporations, etc.) of the church and to oversee the bishoprics of congregations throughout the world. Along with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presiding Bishopric is a part of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes, a group that oversees and authorizes the expenditure of all tithing funds. The Presiding Bishopric is also responsible for overseeing the Aaronic priesthood of the church, although most of the work in this area is delegated to the general presidency of the Young Men Organization.

The Presiding Bishopric hold the power to join with twelve high priests of the church in convening the Common Council of the Church, the only body of the church which may discipline or remove the President of the Church or one of his counselors in the First Presidency. However, the Common Council has only been convened twice in the history of the LDS Church, and only once has it disciplined a First Presidency member, when Sidney Rigdon was excommunicated in absentia, in 1844.

History[edit]

The office of Presiding Bishop shares its origin with that of bishop. Edward Partridge was the first man ordained to the office of bishop in the early Church of Christ on February 4, 1831. This office became known as the First Bishop and later the "Presiding Bishop" to distinguish the calling from subordinate bishops who began to be called in the Nauvoo period (1839–1844). The first person to be referred to as the "Presiding Bishop" of the church was Newel K. Whitney, who was given the title in 1847 when the First Presidency was reorganized.

The current Presiding Bishop of the church is Gary E. Stevenson.

Possible other Presiding Bishop[edit]

According to Orson Pratt and John Taylor, Vinson Knight was made the Presiding Bishop, with Samuel H. Smith and Shadrach Roundy as assistants,[2] in January 19, 1841.[3] However, the LDS Church does not include Vinson Knight in its list of church Presiding Bishops but considers Knight the "third general bishop of the Church."[2]

Chronology of the Presiding Bishopric[edit]

No. Dates Presiding Bishop First Counselor Second Counselor
1 February 4, 1831 – May 27, 1840 Edward Partridge
("Bishop")
Edward Partridge Sr.gif Isaac Morley
  (June 6, 1831 – May 27, 1840)
Isaac Morley.jpg John Corrill
  (June 6, 1831 – August 1, 1837)
Titus Billings
  (August 1, 1837 – May 27, 1840)
May 27, 1840 – October 7, 1844 None sustained
October 7, 1844 – April 6, 1847 Newel K. Whitney
("First Bishop of the Church")
Newel K. Whitney.jpg George Miller
  ("Second Bishop of the Church")
  (October 7, 1844 – latter end of 1846)[4]
2 April 6, 1847 – September 23, 1850 Newel K. Whitney
("Presiding Bishop")
None
3 April 7, 1851 – October 16, 1883 Edward Hunter Edward Hunter.jpg Leonard W. Hardy
  (October 6, 1856 – October 16, 1883)
Leonard W. Hardy.jpg Jesse Carter Little
  (October 6, 1856 – Summer 1874)
Robert T. Burton
  (October 9, 1874 – October 16, 1883)
4 April 6, 1884 – December 4, 1907 William B. Preston William B. Preston.jpg Leonard W. Hardy
  (April 6, 1884 – July 31, 1884)
Robert T. Burton
  (October 5, 1884 – November 11, 1907)
John Q. Cannon
  (October 5, 1884 – September 5, 1886)
John R. Winder
  (April 8, 1887 – October 17, 1901)
Orrin P. Miller
  (October 24, 1901 – December 4, 1907)
5 December 4, 1907 – May 28, 1925 Charles W. Nibley Charles W. Nibley 1931.JPG Orrin P. Miller
  (December 4, 1907 – July 7, 1918)
David A. Smith
  (July 18, 1918 – May 28, 1925)
David A. Smith
  (December 4, 1907 – July 7, 1918)
John Wells
  (July 18, 1918 – May 28, 1925)
6 June 4, 1925 – April 6, 1938 Sylvester Q. Cannon Sylvester Q. Cannon.JPG David A. Smith David A. Smith (Mormon).jpg John Wells John Wells (Mormon).jpg
7 April 6, 1938 – April 6, 1952 LeGrand Richards LeGrand Richards 1934.JPG Marvin O. Ashton
  (April 6, 1938 – October 7, 1946)
Joseph L. Wirthlin
  (December 12, 1946 – April 6, 1952)
Joseph L. Wirthlin
  (April 6, 1938 – October 7, 1946)
Thorpe B. Isaacson
  (December 12, 1946 – April 6, 1952)
8 April 6, 1952 – September 30, 1961 Joseph L. Wirthlin Joseph L. Wirthlin.jpg Thorpe B. Isaacson Thorpe B. Isaacson2.jpg Carl W. Buehner Carl W. Buehner.jpg
9 September 30, 1961 – April 6, 1972 John H. Vandenburg John H. Vandenburg2.jpg Robert L. Simpson Robert L. Simpson (Mormon).jpg Victor L. Brown Victor L. Brown.jpg
10 April 6, 1972 – April 6, 1985 Victor L. Brown Victor L. Brown.jpg H. Burke Peterson Vaughn J Featherstone
  (April 6, 1972 – October 1, 1976)
J. Richard Clarke
  (October 1, 1976 – April 6, 1985)
11 April 6, 1985 – April 2, 1994 Robert D. Hales Henry B. Eyring
  (April 6, 1985 – October 3, 1992)
H. David Burton
  (October 3, 1992) – April 2, 1994)
Glenn L. Pace
  (April 6, 1985 – October 3, 1992)
Richard C. Edgley
  (October 3, 1992) – April 2, 1994)
12 April 2, 1994 – December 27, 1995 Merrill J. Bateman H. David Burton Richard C. Edgley
13 December 27, 1995 – March 31, 2012 H. David Burton Richard C. Edgley Keith B. McMullin
14 March 31, 2012 – Gary E. Stevenson Gérald Caussé Dean M. Davies

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McMullin, Keith B. "The Presiding Bishopric". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ensign, July 2005. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Quinn, D. Michael (December 1973), "I Have Question", Ensign: 32  |chapter= ignored (help)
  3. ^ LDS Church, Doctrine and Covenants 124:141, Doctrine and Covenants.
  4. ^ George Miller was dropped as "Second Bishop of the Church" prior to 1847 due to apostasy .