Aletter released by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 6 announces, "The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have approved new policies regarding responsibilities of those serving in elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies." The letter also states these changes should be implemented no later than January of 2019. The new responsibilities include:
The elders quorum president may be assigned by the bishop to oversee member missionary work and temple and family history work. The elders quorum president could then delegate these assignments to his counselors who would then act as the ward mission leader or the ward temple and family history leader or would supervise the ward mission leader or family history leader.
"Whether a bishop calls a ward mission leader and a ward temple and family history leader or the counselors in the elders quorum presidency fill those roles is up to the inspired direction of each bishop," the letter states.
In addition, the Relief Society presidency may follow this same organization, with the two counselors assigned to help the member missionary work and the temple and family history work "to facilitate priesthood-directed member missionary work and temple and family history work."
But the letter makes it clear that "the bishop holds the keys for the work of salvation in his ward" and he "coordinates all aspects of the work of salvation in the ward council." The letter states, "Counselors in the elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies, the ward mission leader (if called), and the ward temple and family history leader (if called) may be invited to particular ward council meetings as circumstances dictate."