About Mormon Church Meetings

Recently a reader asked me why the Mormon meeting house near his home was so busy one particular Sunday. According to him, the church had 3-4 times the normal assembly. He was curious if something particular was going on that day. I imagine he probably wondered if the same thing was happening in Mormon meeting houses around the globe.

The answer is pretty simple- there was likely what we call a “stake conference”, which is just a meeting of 3 or more congregations, or “wards”.  These are regional conferences that happen once yearly, and they are scheduled and managed by members in any given area.

The Mormon church is organized in a simple functional structure. Under the topic “church administration” on lds.org search, you can find the following information:

Wards and Branches. Members of the Church are organized into congregations that meet together frequently for spiritual and social enrichment. Large congregations are called wards. Each ward is presided over by a bishop, assisted by two counselors. Small congregations are called branches. Each branch is presided over by a branch president, assisted by two counselors… Each ward or branch comprises a specific geographic area.

Stakes, Missions, and Districts. Most geographic areas where the Church is organized are divided into stakes. The term stake comes from the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied that the latter-day Church would be like a tent, held secure by stakes (see Isaiah 33:20; 54:2). There are usually 5 to 12 wards and branches in a stake. Each stake is presided over by a stake president, assisted by two counselors. Stake presidents report to and receive direction from the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency.

Also, there is a good break-down of the ward and stake organization on Wikipedia at the following links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_(Mormonism)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stake_(Mormonism)

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