The Presiding Bishop

Stewardship and Authority

How Chosen

Bishops are chosen by the president of the High Priesthood, (President of the Church), and must be a High Priest if not a direct descendent of Aaron. Their ordination shall be by direction of a high council or General Conference.

“Every president of the high priesthood (or presiding elder), bishop, high councilor, and high priest, is to be ordained by the direction of a high council, or General Conference.” D&C  17:17

“wherefore they, (Bishops), shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchisedec priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron, and if they be literal descendants of Aaron, they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron; for the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.” D&C 68:2c

 “And a literal descendant of Aaron, also must be designated by this presidency, and found worthy, and anointed, and ordained under the hands of this presidency, otherwise they are not legally authorized to officiate in their priesthood; but by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their anointing, if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above-named presidency.” D&C 68:2f, g

Priesthood Functions

“The bishopric is the presidency of this priesthood, (Aaronic), and holds the keys or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron.” D&C 104:8c

 “Also the duty of the president over the priesthood of Aaron, is to preside over forty-eight priests, and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the covenants. This president is to be a bishop; for this is one of the duties of this priesthood.” D&C  104:40a, b

Legislative Function

The Bishopric has no legislative function unless called as an advisor to the legislative quorums of the church.

Administrative Function

The word has been already given in agreement with revelations long since delivered to the church, that the temporalities of the church were to be under the charge and care of the Bishopric, men holding the office of bishop under a presiding head acting for the church in the gathering, caring for, and disbursing the contributions gathered from the Saints of moneys and properties under the terms of tithing, surplus, free will offerings, and consecrations.” D&C  129:8b

The office of the Presiding Bishopric, Stake Bishopric, and area Bishops are to administer all the temporal laws of tithing, consecrations, surplus, and the gathering.

And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor, ye will do it unto me, and it shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counselors, two of the elders, or high priests, such as he shall or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.” D&C  42:8c

Every man shall be made accountable unto me a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, inasmuch as is sufficient for himself and family. And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support, after this first consecration, which is a residue, to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer unto those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied, and receive according to his wants. Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council, and for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed, that my covenant people may be gathered in one, in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.” D&C  42:9b to 10c

“And again, let the bishop appoint a storehouse unto this church, and let all things, both in money and in meat, which is more than is needful for the want of this people, be kept in the hands of the bishop.”  D&C  51:4a

  “And now concerning the gathering, let the bishop and the agent make preparations for those families which have been commanded to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their inheritance.”  D&C 57:6a

 Judicial Function

The bishop is a Judge.

“Nevertheless, a high priest, that is after the order of Melchisedec, may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things, having a knowledge of them by the Spirit of truth, and also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors, upon testimony, as it shall be laid before him, according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen, or will choose among the elders of the church. THIS IS THE DUTY OF A BISHOP who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained to the high priesthood after the order of Melchisedec. Thus shall he be a judge, even a COMMON JUDGE among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a stake of Zion, or in any branch of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry,” D&C  104:32c-33a

The Presiding Bishopric with a special council of High Priests may try the First Presidency in case of transgression.

“But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counselors, except in a case where a president of the high priesthood, after the order of Melchisedec, is tried; to sit as a judge in Israel.” D&C  104:34a

  “And inasmuch as a president of the high priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the COMMON COUNCIL of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve councilors of the high priesthood; and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him.” D&C  104:37a