Presidency 

Summary

Organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and various groups of Latter-day Saints.1 A November 1831 revelation underscored the importance of a president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole.2 By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted the presidency of the high priesthood over the church.3 Oliver Cowdery, who had received priesthood keys along with JS, was considered a special member of the presidency until his 1838 excommunication.4 Hyrum Smith later assumed this role.5 In 1834, JS explained that leadership by presidency arose from biblical precedent, describing the apostle Peter as “the president of the council” with “two men appointed as counsellors with him.”6 Presidencies of individual stakes and priesthood quorums generally followed this same pattern of one president with two counselors.7 In March 1835, a revelation designated bishops and their counselors as presidencies of the Aaronic priesthood.8 In 1835 and 1836, the Missouri presidency of the church joined JS and the presidency of the church in Ohio to form a “council of the presidency.”9 The pattern of an appointed body of leaders was later extended to other ecclesiastical organizations, such as the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo.10 A single president presided over the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and seven presidents led the original Quorum of the Seventy.11 See also “Presidency of the High Priesthood.”

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