Presidency 

Summary

An organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and other ecclesiastical organizations.1 A November 1831 revelation first described the office of 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 added to the presidency in December 1834 and stood second to JS until he was demoted in September 1837; he was dropped from the presidency in November 1837.4 Hyrum Smith later assumed Cowdery’s 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 presidency over the church in Missouri joined JS and the presidency of the entire church, based in Ohio, to form a “council of the presidency.”9 The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo had a presidency with a president and two counselors.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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