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JoshuaStonehocker

Bishop's Authority

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Hello My brother and I were having a discussion about the authority of a Bishop, and he felt strongly that a Bishop didn't have the authority to give a commandment to a member of his ward. I feel that a Bishop has the same relative authority to his ward as a Prophet to the Church, in that he has the rights to recieve inspiration for someone in his ward and issue a related commandment. However I cannot find specific doctrinal support for this. Any Help?

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Guest mormonmusic

While I think Wingnut's scripture has great power -- I've been a priesthood leader myself and I've made mistakes in asking people to do things. Sometimes by not seeking the Spirit, sometimes due to my overall weaknesses...

Also, I think Wingnut's scripture needs to be balanced by the D&C Section 121 which says we should not be giving "commandments" but acting with patience, longsuffering, etcetera -- the whole passage on priesthood leadership implies that commanding people to do things isn't the appropriate way to change behavior for the average priesthood leader.

So, I think Wingnut's scriptures are deeply applicable to prophets speaking in the name of the Lord....for a local Bishop, I'm not so sure.

Perhaps I saw so many people refuse to obey my own 'commandments' as a Priesthood leader (which were actually polite requests) within my stewardships that I've lost faith in the principle of priesthood leaders giving commandments that are considered the word of God. I came home from Church meetings a number of times having trouble believing I was one of the "Lord's Annointed" given the disrespectful behavior I've received from many of these people.

But what do I know....

Edited by mormonmusic

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The Lord has the right to give a commandment the Bishop does not. If the Lord does it through the Bishop thats great if the Bishop is doing it off his own bat its not a commandment

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I haven't heard my bishop use "commandment" so much as "invitation" "challenge" or "assignment", though I guess if he used the term, I would give him the benefit of the doubt and do whatever it is, just in case. He is really looking out for our well-being after all.

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The Bishop has certain keys that he has an obligation to exercise in order to bless the people under his stewardship, IE people in his wards boundaries.

These keys provide the Bishop with the right and duty to direct people in service of others. This can come through commandment or exhortation and invitation. That depends fully on the Spirit.

The Stake President, Elders Quorum Presidents, Teachers Quorum Presidents, and Deacons quorum President, likewise have keys as local leaders to direct and command those in their stewardships.

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