Teacher (Latter Day Saints)
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Teachers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In the LDS Church, teacher is the second of four offices in the Aaronic priesthood. Male members of the church who reach the age of 14 are eligible to be ordained teachers. Approval by the bishop and an interview with him or one of his counselors and is required before ordination. Prior to ordination, the proposed ordination must also be accepted by common consent by the members of the ward. With the approval of the bishop, a priest or a holder of the Melchizedek priesthood may ordain a person to the office of teacher by the laying on of hands.
As specified in the Doctrine and Covenants, a teachers quorum may not contain more than 24 members. As a result, in some larger wards there are two teacher quorums. A presidency, consisting of a president, first counselor, and second counselor, is called from members of the quorum by the bishopric and set apart to serve as the presidency of the teachers quorum. The president of the teachers quorum is given priesthood keys by the laying on of hands by the bishop to preside over the members of his quorum. A secretary to the presidency may also be called from the quorum membership. The members of the teachers 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 teacher are to assist the priests in taking care of the temporal needs of the church, and "to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ". Teachers are permitted to assist in preparing the sacrament, usher during sacrament meeting, and perform all the duties of a deacon. Teachers are also typically paired with an adult male (often their father) to perform home teaching.
As the church in the United States and Canada sponsors troops of the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada programs, many teachers 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 teachers quorum adviser may be called to assist the teachers. Sometimes an assistant adviser is also called.
- "Ordinance and Blessing Policies", Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church, 2010) § 16.
- Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:86
- "Callings in the Church", Handbook 2: Administering the Church (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church, 2010) § 19.
- Doctrine and Covenants,Section 20:59
- Hartley, William G. (1976), "Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883", BYU Studies, 16 (3)
- Hartley, William G. (Spring 1996), "From Men to Boys: LDS Aaronic Priesthood Offices, 1829–1996", Journal of Mormon History, 22 (1): 78–134
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