Setting apart

Setting apart

Setting apart is an ordinance or ritual in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whereby a person is formally chosen and blessed to carry out a specific calling or responsibility in the church.

Once a person has accepted the responsibility of holding a calling in the church and has been accepted by the members of the church for that position, one or more Melchizedek priesthood holders "set apart" the person to serve in that calling. The priesthood holders accomplish this by giving the person a priesthood blessing by the laying on of hands. If the recipient is being set apart as a president of a priesthood quorum, including a stake president or a bishop, "priesthood keys" are also conferred upon them. [LDS Church (2006). "Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1: Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics" (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church) p. 47.]

Generally, only general authorities and local leaders of stakes, wards, missions, district, and branches may set apart a member to serve in a position. [LDS Church (2006). "Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1: Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics" (Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church) pp. 47–58.] When a person is released from serving in a calling, there is no ordinance comparable to setting apart that is used to signify the end of a person's service.

Setting apart is a distinct ordinance from priesthood ordination. A person is "ordained" to a specific priesthood office, such as apostle, elder, high priest or deacon, but a person is "set apart" to callings such as counselor in the First Presidency, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, stake president, temple president, mission president, high councilor, high priest group leader, or member of a quorum presidency or auxiliary organization presidency (such as for Relief Society or Sunday School). A bishop must be ordained to the priesthood office of bishop "and" set apart as the bishop of a specific congregation.

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