In a recent notice sent to priesthood, Relief Society, Young Women, and Young Men leaders on May 11, the Church answered frequently asked questions about ministering and changes to priesthood quorums, whichare also posted on ministering.lds.org.
These questions clarify aspects of these changes not answered in the first list of frequently asked questions the Church released shortly after general conference.
Here is just a sample of the questions answered in the notice:
To what quorum do members of temple, mission, and missionary training center presidencies belong?
These brethren are members of their ward elders quorum.
Should elders quorum presidencies visit or interview quorum members once a year (see Handbook 2, 7.3.2)—in addition to holding quarterly ministering interviews?
Yes. As part of their overall responsibilities, elders quorum presidencies should interview quorum members relative to all priesthood duties—including the well-being of the priesthood holder, his spouse, and his family—at least once a year. These interviews can be held throughout the year. This discussion should not be combined with a ministering interview in which a companion is also present.
Can elders quorum and Relief Society presidents call additional counselors to help with ministering?
No. A president has two counselors. If leaders find that additional help is needed, they can counsel with their bishop about calling one or more ministering secretaries. These ministering secretaries may be assigned, for example, to schedule ministering interviews and to help prepare a quarterly report of interviews.
What is the role of ministering coordinators and supervisors?
The callings of ministering coordinator and ministering supervisor have been discontinued. Those who have been called to these positions should be released.
Who conducts ministering interviews?
Each member of elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies conducts ministering interviews. Even in a large ward, leaders will find that interviews are manageable when a few are held each week by each presidency member. Ministering interviews do not need to be long to be effective.
Can young men and young women be assigned to minister with adult companions?
Yes. The guidelines in the recent document “Preventing and Responding to Abuse” allow for ministering companionships with youth assigned as companions to adults. “Ministering” is not considered an “activity” or “class,” as referred to in those guidelines.
Leaders should use inspired judgment when assigning youth as ministering companions. Adult companions should avoid situations that might be misunderstood. They should exercise care regarding isolated one-on-one situations so that youth have a safe and rewarding experience with ministering. Additionally, wisdom should be exercised in not assigning youth to difficult home or family situations.
Should all Mia Maids and Laurels have ministering assignments?
Mia Maids and Laurels may be invited to minister. Parents and leaders counsel with each young woman, and when her circumstances are such that she can and is willing to serve, she may be given a ministering assignment. Young women serve as companions to Relief Society sisters.