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High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:47 pm
by caj36
During the summer months we occasionally find that attendance is light at Stake PEC. The High Council is required to do some activities during these meetings (approve callings, accept missionary reports, etc.).

We had a discussion among the Stake Presidency whether there is a quorum requirement for any actions requiring the High Council. In other words, is it required that a minimum number of High Councilors be present to conduct any of this business?

I have searched the Handbooks and find no mention of quorum requirements except as relates to disciplinary actions. The only mention I see in the D&C relates to quorum rules for the Traveling High Council, which is the Quorum of the Twelve. Am I missing something? Is this one of the "unwritten rules?"

From a practical standpoint, we will probably require at least 6 be present to conduct business, but I'm wondering if there is any doctrinal/handbook reason for doing this.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:22 pm
by bsummie
In our stake (which I'm sure it falls under the Stake Presidents approval) they will sometimes approve callings by email.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:37 pm
by lajackson
caj36 wrote:I have searched the Handbooks and find no mention of quorum requirements except as relates to disciplinary actions.

I find no other reference in the Handbook. We work with those who attend. We also use email from time to time. We fill in with other high priests when disciplinary councils are held.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:09 am
by simonawright
I have been told that Doctrine and Covenants 107:28 applies to the High Council for conducting church business, therefore you would need 7 high councillors to form a quorum.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:22 am
by TinMan
Outside of disciplinary action, is a "quorum" really necessary for any business? I don't think so.

Other than disciplinary action, the High Council is mostly an advisory board.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:56 am
by Gary_Miller
simonawright wrote:I have been told that Doctrine and Covenants 107:28 applies to the High Council for conducting church business, therefore you would need 7 high councillors to form a quorum.

The scripture you reference is about quorums specifically the Quorum of the 12 and the 70's. The High council is not a quorum so it does not apply.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:11 pm
by TinMan
How do you interpret verse 36?

D&C 107:36
36 The standing high councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the traveling high council.


Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.597 PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS
Other special groups with administrative responsibility are also called quorums. Thus "the standing high councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum" with certain specified powers. "The high council in Zion" also is itself a quorum. (D. & C. 107:36-37.) Similarly all stake high councils could be so designated, as also ward bishoprics and the Presiding Bishopric. Indeed, when the Lord named four brethren to direct the affairs of the Nauvoo House he called the group so selected "the quorum of the Nauvoo House." (D. & C. 124:56-63, 117.) In this sense any group of priesthood bearers designated to perform a special labor could be considered a quorum.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:28 pm
by Gary_Miller
I stand corrected.

I was thinking more along the lines of a Priesthood Quorum such as the 12 or the 70.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:36 pm
by TinMan
Yeah. It is a "quorum" but not a "Quorum." That is why I don't really think you need a certain number to conduct business, other than disciplinary action.

After all, the Stake President holds the keys for making decisions for the stake. After any discussion, ratification by the high council is mostly a formality.

Re: High Council - minimum number for quorum?

Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:18 pm
by lajackson
TinMan wrote:How do you interpret verse 36?

This is evolving away from being a technical question, so I will provide my own opinion briefly. I believe the first part of verse 36 means that a stake presidency and high council have authority sufficient to minister in the stake. I have seen some wonderful and powerful things happen with the three presidents and their 12 councilors are united in matters pertaining to a stake in Zion.

I believe Elder McConkie is mostly correct, but did not live long enough to see the clarification from the First Presidency that a High Council is more than just the 12 high councilors, but also includes the associated presidents. It is not a quorum and does not function as a quorum. (The other groups most definitely are quorums and function that way.)

The high council does not meet without at least one member of the stake presidency being present. They are not a quorum and do not serve by seniority. They are advisers to the stake presidency. The scripture requires is that there be 12 of them and a presidency when a disciplinary council is held (D&C 102), but look carefully at the last part of verse 1.

As far as a "quorum" goes for sustaining members in callings, we feel the more the merrier, but the work moves forward and we followup in other ways if most of them are not at the meeting. (Besides, we prefer unanimity.)