Deacon (Latter Day Saints)
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Deacons in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In the LDS Church, deacon is the lowest of four offices of the Aaronic priesthood. Male members of the church may become deacons at age 12. A bishop may give approval for such members to receive the Aaronic priesthood and ordained to the office of deacon. Prior to ordination, the candidate must have an interview with the bishop or one of his counselors and the proposed ordination must be accepted by common consent by the members of the ward. With the bishop's approval, a person who holds the office of priest or a holder of the Melchizedek priesthood is able to perform the ordination of a deacon by the laying on of hands.
Deacons in a ward are organized in quorums. The Doctrine and Covenants states that a president of a deacons quorum can preside over 12 deacons. As a result, in some large wards, there may be two or more quorums of deacons. From the members of each deacons quorum, a president, first counselor, second counselor, and secretary may be called and set apart by the bishopric. The president and his two counselors constitute the deacons quorum presidency. The president of the deacons quorum is given priesthood keys by the laying on of hands by the bishop to preside over the members of his quorum. The members of the deacons quorum presidency and the secretary may not be set apart until after they have been accepted by the common consent of the members of the 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 a messenger or assistant to the bishop.
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. The adult ward leaders of the Young Men are frequently also leaders in the Scout troop, but the priesthood quorums and the Scouts are not otherwise connected.
An adult advisor may be called to assist the deacons quorum. Sometimes an assistant advisor is called.
- "Ordinance and Blessing Policies", Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church, 2010) § 16.
- Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:85
- "Callings in the Church", Handbook 2: Administering the Church (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church, 2010) § 19.
- Doctrine and Covenants, Section 20:59