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Stake Representative Role in MP Ordinations

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:24 pm
by hkcamp
I realize this may seem pedantic, but we are trying to identify practices in our units that may perhaps be "traditions of the fathers" rather than real Church policy, so please bear with me:

As per Handbook #2, a "Stake Representative" (typically a High Councilor) is present during MP Ordinations:

Handbook #2 20.7.1 wrote:1. The stake president (or someone under his direction) may ordain the person to the office of elder, or he may authorize another Melchizedek Priesthood holder to do so. Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may stand in the circle.

2. The stake president (or someone under his direction) may ordain the person to the office of high priest, or he may authorize another high priest to do so. Only high priests may stand in the circle.


This authorizing of a representative seems to be referring to the actual ordination itself, but it seems clear that this authorized representative should also be present (and not just coordinate the event and be informed when it is completed). For example, on this page regarding Recording Ordinances, instruction is given with respect to who is responsible to ensure ordinances are recorded:

"...On March 25, 2003, a notice from the Presiding Bishopric was sent regarding the importance of ensuring that ordinances are recorded promptly on the membership record. The notice stated, "When saving ordinances or priesthood ordinations are performed, the appropriate Church representative should attend and ensure that the ordinance or ordination is recorded."


In our Stake, we have traditionally provided instruction to High Councilors to not only be present (as per above) but to also stand in the circle. However, a question has come up as to whether the Stake Representative should invite himself into the circle or not. While I suspect that, in the vast majority of ordinations, the Stake Representative would be invited into the circle regardless, we are trying to determine whether there is specific language in the Handbook that requires this to be the case.

So, I've been given an assignment to assess whether or not there is Handbook language to support our current practice of instructing Stake Representatives to ensure that they stand in the circle. I cannot seem to find language beyond what's quoted above. Is there any place that indicates that the presiding official at ordinations "should" or "must" our "ought" to participate?

Re: Stake Representative Role in MP Ordinations

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:45 pm
by sbradshaw
There's no requirement that the stake representative stand in the circle, unless he's the one who's been assigned to perform the ordination. In fact, there's no requirement to have a circle at all – only the person performing the ordinance is required to stand with the prospective elder ("one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head").

Re: Stake Representative Role in MP Ordinations

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:56 pm
by russellhltn
Personally, the practice strikes me as courtesy and nothing more. In this case, the person who holds the keys to interpreting the handbook is the stake president. I'd highlight all the passages found and let him decide.

Re: Stake Representative Role in MP Ordinations

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:54 am
by hkcamp
Thank you, both, for the "gut check" to make sure we're not missing anything. Much appreciated.