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by Perry H. Cunningham
An area is the largest geographical administrative subdivision of the Church and is presided over by an area presidency, composed of three members of the quorums of the seventy.
An area presidency consists of a president and two counselors who provide spiritual guidance and administrative direction to leaders and members of the Church in their area. As members of the quorums of the Seventy, area presidencies are also called to preach the gospel, to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ, and to build up and regulate the affairs of the Church as assigned under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The specific duties of an area presidency include implementing the policies and instructions of the General Authorities presiding over them; instructing area leaders and members in the principles of the gospel; selecting and training regional representatives, stake presidencies, and mission leaders; counseling with local leaders, members, and missionaries about Church-related, personal, and spiritual problems; establishing priorities for a broad range of Church activities; supervising the work of area staff personnel; conferring with community and religious leaders on social and moral issues of common concern; and making regular reports to higher Church leaders on conditions and progress in their area.
Area presidencies in the United States and Canada live in Salt Lake City. On weekends they often travel to their assigned areas and meet with leaders and members in stake conferences and various regional and stake training meetings. They also spend several weeks a year touring missions and training missionaries and mission leaders. In addition, members of area presidencies in the United States have assignments at Church headquarters in Salt Lake City that occupy a large portion of their time during the week. Area presidencies in other parts of the world live in their assigned areas. They spend their full time directing the work of the Church in their area.
(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority home page; Priesthood Organization home page)
"Area Presidencies Called as Church Modifies Geographical Administration." Ensign 14 (Aug. 1984):75.
Hinckley, Gordon B. "The Sustaining of Church Officers." Ensign 15 (May 1985):4-6.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Area Presidency
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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