First Presidency

For other uses, see Presidency (disambiguation).

Among many churches in the Latter Day Saint movement, the First Presidency (also known as the Quorum of the Presidency of the Church) is the highest presiding or governing body. Present-day denominations of the movement led by a First Presidency include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the Community of Christ, Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

When the Church of Christ was organized on April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery led the church in their capacity as elders. Smith established the inaugural First Presidency on March 8, 1832, with the ordinations of Jesse Gause and Sidney Rigdon as his counselors. The term "first presidency," though used at least as early as 1834, did not become standard until 1838. The presidency was to exercise authority over the entire church, whereas the jurisdictions of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy were the outlying areas outside of the gathering places where the church had been organized on a more permanent basis.

After the death of Smith in 1844, First Presidencies were reorganized by Brigham Young for the LDS Church, by Rigdon for the Rigdonites (now defunct), by Joseph Smith III for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ), by James J. Strang for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), and by William Bickerton for The Church of Jesus Christ, although the latter two organizations have not had a First Presidency for much of their history.


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