Bishop 

Summary

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office.1 JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831.2 Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri.3 Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving and managing donated, or consecrated, goods and property; overseeing the church storehouse; purchasing church lands; and serving as a “Judge in Israel.”4 A November 1831 revelation stated that a bishop was responsible for “administering all temporal things” and was to be a high priest; the revelation also provided for the appointment of other bishops in the church.5 A December 1831 revelation designated Newel K. Whitney as the bishop for Ohio.6 In September 1832, a revelation designated the office of bishop as an appendage to the high priesthood.7 But in early 1835, another revelation explained that the bishop was also the highest office in the Aaronic, or lower, order of the priesthood and that bishoprics presided over the Aaronic priesthood generally and over local priests in particular.8 The 1835 “Instruction on Priesthood” indicated that literal descendants of the biblical figure Aaron could also serve as bishops without being high priests, but there is no evidence that such appointments occurred.9 Beginning in 1839, additional bishops were called to preside over smaller geographical regions.10 See also “Bishopric” and “Storehouse.”

Links