Deacon (Latter Day Saints)
||This article improperly uses one or more religious texts as primary sources without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. (December 2010)|
Deacons in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
At the age of twelve, young Latter-day Saint males are integrated into the Deacons' Quorum. Twelve-year-olds that are deemed worthy by a Bishop are given the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained to the office of Deacon. A person who holds the office of priest in the Aaronic Priesthood or a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood is able to perform the ordination of a deacon.
Deacons are organized in quorums. The Doctrine and Covenants states that a president of a Deacons Quorum can preside over twelve members. As a result, in some large wards, this means that there may be two or more Deacons Quorums. From the members of the Deacons Quorum, a president, first counselor, second counselor, and secretary are called by the bishopric and set apart to serve in their respective roles. The president and his two counselors constitute the Deacons Quorum presidency. The president of the Deacons Quorum is given priesthood keys to preside over the members of his quorum.
The duties of a deacon are to assist the teachers in taking care of the temporal needs of the Church, and "to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ". In modern practice, one of the deacons' primary duties is to pass the sacrament to the members of the congregation during sacrament meeting. Deacons also may receive fast offerings from the members on fast Sunday. A deacon may often sit beside the bishopric during sacrament meeting to act as the bishop's messenger.
As the Church in the United States and Canada sponsors troops of the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada programs, many deacons participate in these Scouting programs as well. The adult ward leaders of the Young Men Organization are frequently also leaders in the Scout troop, but the priesthood quorums and the Scouts are not otherwise connected.
An adult advisor is called to the Deacons' Quorum. Although he is an advisor, he often ends up as the de facto leader of the quorum due to the inexperience of the Deacons' Quorum presidency. Sometimes an assistant advisor is called.
After an interview with the bishop, deacons who are deemed worthy are ordained to the office of teacher at the age of fourteen, whereupon they will become members of the Teachers' Quorum.