LDS Church explains how its lay leadership works

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 21 2012 5:55 p.m. MDT

Caring for children with special needs is one of the "callings" LDS Church members can receive within their congregation.

LDS Church

Noting that "virtually every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is given an opportunity to offer service in their local congregation," the church's LDS Newsroom website has published an online guide to "Mormon Lay Ministry."

The posting includes a brief description of the LDS Church's local ecclesiastical structure, an organization that includes congregations called wards and groupings of congregations called stakes. It describes the various assignments required to make the wards and stakes work, from stake presidencies and bishoprics to priesthood and auxiliary organization functions.

"Members are invited or 'called' by the leadership of the ward or stake to serve in a specific responsibility," the posting notes. "Each call is perceived to come by inspiration of the leaders and offers the individual the right to accept or decline the service option. Most callings or assignments are accepted, sometimes with an extra measure of faith to be able to fulfill the needs of a calling that may or may not lie within one's skills or experience."

The posting also features an infographic that provides a visual explanation of how ward and stake organizations function, as well as individual interviews with church members who are serving in different callings around the world.

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