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by William S. Evans
A "district" is an ecclesiastical unit similar in function to a stake. Districts are found within missions in developing areas of the Church mostly outside the United States and Canada. Districts are meant to be transitional. Once membership in a district has grown to an average of 250-300 members per branch, with 10 percent or more of these members holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, the district will normally be made into a stake and the qualifying branches within the district made into wards. Insofar as possible and practical, all Church programs are made available to members living within districts.
Until recent years, there were more districts in the Church than stakes. But Church growth from 1965 to 1990 has changed that ratio. As of January 1, 1991, there were 1,784 stakes and 482 districts in the Church (457 of these districts were outside the United States and Canada).
A district is presided over by a district president, who must hold the Melchizedek Priesthood (either elder or high priest). The district president is nominated by the mission president, approved by the area presidency, called and set apart by the mission president, and sustained by a vote at district conference or district general priesthood meeting. He serves with two counselors and generally serves with a district council of twelve Melchizedek Priesthood holders.
The word "district" is also used to describe certain other Church geographical divisions. For example, a temple district is made up of a number of stakes and/or missions whose members are encouraged to perform their temple ordinances in a designated temple.
(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority home page)
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Districts
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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