Stake 

Summary

The ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale.1 Stakes were typically large local organizations of church members; stake leaders could include a presidency, a high council, and a bishopric.2 Some revelations referred to stakes “to” or “of” Zion, indicating places where substantial congregations of church members could be found outside the central place of gathering.3 This conceptualization drew on Old Testament and Book of Mormon imagery of the tent of Zion supported by cords fastened to stakes.4 During the years of gathering in Missouri, the term stake was not used in reference to the principal Mormon community in that state, which was Zion itself.5 Kirtland, Ohio, was designated as the first stake of Zion by 1832.6 However, several stakes were later planned for upper Missouri, and one in Adam-ondi-Ahman was operational before the forced exodus in 1838.7 A revelation in January 1838 clarified that only the First Presidency could designate stakes and that such designation required members in that location to first recognize the authority of the First Presidency by a vote.8 See also “Branch,” “High Council,” and “Presidency.”

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