Interim Content

First Presidency


The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two counselors to himself; by March 1833, JS and his counselors were functioning as the presidency of the high priesthood. The term “first presidency” was occasionally used to describe the presidency of the high priesthood by 1835. In spring 1835, the “Instruction on Priesthood” indicated that the Melchizedek priesthood held the right to preside over all church offices. The instruction also stated that three presidents of the high priesthood constituted a “quorum of the presidency of the church,” though the First Presidency sometimes consisted of more than three presidents. A president was appointed over the quorum of high priests in 1836, but the office remained distinct from JS’s role as president of the high priesthood. The First Presidency appointed church leaders, organized stakes, and provided spiritual leadership for the church. It also served as the ultimate authority in matters of church discipline, finances, and administration. Revelations in 1831 and 1838 established disciplinary procedures for trying members of the First Presidency.