The LDS Church or informally known as the Mormon Church is considered to be the restoration of the original Church founded by Jesus Christ. Both men and women serve as missionaries and they have many missionary programmes to conduct the humanitarian services worldwide.
The LDS Church has 15 apostles and the senior most is the President of the Church. He in turn selects two of them who acts as his assistants and are known as counsellors. These three apostles form the First Presidency, the topmost governing body of the Church. The second highest body is formed by the remaining twelve who are called the Quorum of the Twelve. Both these presidencies oversee the entire Church.
The apostles are held in high regard and are recognized as the Special witnesses of Jesus Christ. Their duties include travelling and addressing large congregations, listening to thee queries of the non-members and meet up with the local leaders.
The congregation is led by a bishop and his parish is called a ward. Wards together form a stake and a stake is led by a stake president. So these Bishops and the Stake Presidents take care of the Church and they enjoy a great amount of local autonomy. These leaders are surely not salaried.
The members take care of the Church by meeting their needs and are required to contribute in specific capacities. They contribute to the local administration, teach and take part in service-oriented positions. The responsibilities are rotated. The tenure of the Bishop is five years and that of the stake presidents nine.
The Priesthood Hierarchy
The saints of the Church believe that Jesus is the leader of the Church and he has chosen a single man called the Prophet who is his spokesman on earth. When the president dies, his successor is invariably the senior most member of the Quorum of the Twelve. These fifteen apostles are called the general authorities and they exercise administrative and spiritual authorities over the church. The general authorities are full time workers and they normally receive stipends from the church funds.
At the local level, the laity and the volunteers work on a part-time basis with no stipend. They donate 10 percent of their income to the Church and members voluntarily take part in the general custodial work to facilitate the local church.
When a male fulfils the living standards of the Church, he is considered eligible for priesthood and is ordained for the post even at the age of 12. This ordination is a ceremonial service and priesthood is divided into “aaronic” for young men 12 and up and “melchizedek” for men 18 and above.