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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

The Presiding Bishop calls two other men to assist him as 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 the church's assets and holdings.

Duties

The primary duties 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 it excommunicated Sidney Rigdon in absentia in 1844.

History

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 H. David Burton. His First Counselor is Richard C. Edgley and his Second Counselor is Keith B. McMullin.

Chronology of the Presiding Bishopric

No. Dates Presiding Bishop First Counselor Second Counselor
1 February 4, 1831 –
May 27, 1840
Edward Partridge ("Bishop") Isaac Morley (June 6, 1831 – May 27, 1840) 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") George Miller ("Second Bishop of the Church")
(October 7, 1844 – latter end of 1846)[1]
2 April 6, 1847 –
September 23, 1850
Newel K. Whitney ("Presiding Bishop") None None
3 April 7, 1851 –
October 16, 1883
Edward Hunter Leonard W. Hardy (October 6, 1856 – October 16, 1883) 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 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 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 David A. Smith John Wells
7 April 6, 1938 –
April 6, 1952
LeGrand Richards 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 Thorpe B. Isaacson Carl William Buehner
9 September 30, 1961 –
April 6, 1972
John H. Vandenburg Robert L. Simpson Victor L. Brown
10 April 6, 1972 –
April 6, 1985
Victor L. Brown 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 –
H. David Burton Richard C. Edgley Keith B. McMullin

Notes

  1. George Miller was dropped as "Second Bishop of the Church" prior to 1847 due to apostasy .

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