Structure and Organization

Global Administration

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headed by the president of the Church and two counselors, together known as the First Presidency. The First Presidency and Twelve Apostles are regarded by Latter-day Saints as prophets, receiving divine revelation and inspiration to guide the Church.
Together the Council of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles comprise the principal policy-making and administrative body of the Church. The apostles have the scriptural charge to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ throughout the world and to ensure the orderly and correct operation of the Church everywhere. At the death of the president of the Church, the senior apostle (determined by length of service as an apostle, not by age) becomes president of the Church.
Policies of the First Presidency and the Twelve are implemented mainly through other senior leaders known as Seventies. Many of the Seventies reside in different nations around the world, overseeing the growth and development of the Church.
On a day-to-day basis, the Church's congregations are managed by unsalaried leaders with a significant amount of local autonomy. The primary geographical subdivisions of the Church are wards (local congregations), stakes (comprised of several wards), and areas. At each level of administration, Church officers support and train those individuals over whom they preside.
Bishops preside over local Church congregations and are the leaders with whom rank-and-file members most frequently interact.
Stakes and wards have no paid ministry. The substantial volume of labor required to run a stake or ward effectively is carried out by the members, who are asked by their leaders to contribute in various specific capacities, such as in administrative, teaching, or service-oriented positions. Ample opportunity is given every willing member of the congregation to render service, share talents, and gain new skills.
Each member of the Church has the right to vote to uphold all officers and administrative proposals that are presented by local or general presiding authorities. Every Church member also has the right to revelation for his or her own life and particular area of Church responsibility.

Support Organizations

The Church operates an educational system, a welfare system, and a missionary program, and formulates guidelines for local auxiliary organizations called Relief Society, Sunday School, Young Men, Young Women, and Primary.
The Relief Society is one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the world. It was established in 1842 to help the sick, the poor, and others in need of compassionate service. During its weekly meetings, the organization provides instruction on a variety of topics, including theology, home and family education, compassionate service, social relations, and home management. The Relief Society also administers a literacy program in several countries.
Members of the Church 12 years of age and older attend Sunday School, which provides religious teaching for the different age groups.
Spiritual training and social and cultural activities for the youth of the Church are provided by the Young Men and the Young Women organizations, and in some nations, Scouting. Young people ages 12 through 17 meet in classes on Sundays for religious study. They also meet several times during the month for social, cultural, and recreational activities to build faith and character and to enhance health and physical fitness.
The Primary helps parents teach the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ to their children ages 3 through 11. The children meet weekly to receive religious instruction and to enjoy social interaction. Children 18 months to 3 years may attend the Primary nursery on Sundays.
The Church's programs for singles serve unmarried adults of all ages. Participants enjoy associating together in spiritual, cultural, recreational, social, and service activities.
Home teachers and visiting teachers serve as representatives of the bishop to every individual or family within the jurisdiction of the local congregation. Male priesthood holders go in pairs to each Latter-day Saint home once a month in a function known as "home teaching." They bring messages of inspiration, guidance, and good will to the family and render service as needed. They may help families solve financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges. Similarly, adult female members called "visiting teachers" are assigned in pairs to render compassionate service as they assist with temporal and spiritual needs of every woman in the Church.

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