LDS Church announces they will discontinue high priests groups

FILE: The LDS Church's Salt Lake City Temple.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Saturday they will discontinue high priests groups and combine elders and high priests in each congregation into one Melchizedek Priesthood quorum.

According to tweets from the LDS Church’s verified Twitter account, LDS leaders made the announcement during Saturday’s Priesthood Session of the LDS Church’s semi-annual General Conference.

“Tonight, we announce a significant restructuring of our Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to accomplish the work of the Lord more effectively,” President Russell M. Nelson stated, according to the tweets. “In each ward, the high priests and the elders will now be combined into one elders quorum.”

Further tweets state that members of elders quorums and high priests groups will be combined into one Melchizedek Priesthood quorum with one presidency.

“This quorum, increased in numbers and unity, will be designated the ‘elders quorum.’ High priests groups are discontinued,” the tweets state.

According to the LDS Church, their priesthood “…is divided into two levels or orders — the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. Elder and high priest are two of the ordained priesthood offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood.”

The LDS Church states that this move does not rescind any priesthood office a member has been previously ordained to, and elders will continue to be ordained high priests “when they are called to a stake presidency, high council, or bishopric—or at other times as determined by the stake president through prayerful consideration and inspiration.”

President Nelson said the move will strengthen priesthood quorums.

“We have felt a pressing need to improve the way we care for our members,” he said. “To do that better, we need to strengthen our priesthood quorums to give greater direction to the ministering of love and support that the Lord intends for His Saints. These adjustments are inspired of the Lord. As we implement them, we will be even more effective than we have been previously.”

Those called to stake presidencies, high councils or bishoprics will rejoin the elders quorum in their ward when their terms of service end.

A press release states the quorum adjustments will be made by local leaders “as soon as conveniently possible.”

Fox 13 News will update this story as more details emerge.