Aaronic Priesthood

The lesser of the two levels or orders of priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Aaronic Priesthood is conferred upon faithful male members of the Church beginning at age 12 and each man is ordained individually by the laying on of hands. Those who have been so ordained are said to “hold” the priesthood; the majority of Latter-day Saint men and boys are priesthood holders.

There are four offices, in the Aaronic Priesthood: deacon, teacher, priest and bishop (a bishop  also holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and leads a local congregation). Usually, deacons are ages 12 to 14, teachers ages 14 to 16 and priests ages 16 to 18. Men who join the Church after age 18 do not need to go through each step and generally begin as priests.

Those who have the Aaronic Priesthood prepare and offer the sacrament (communion) to Church members during Sunday worship services, help visit members in their homes, collect contributions for the poor and perform other service duties. The name of the Aaronic Priesthood comes from Aaron, brother of Moses, in the Old Testament.

See also: Melchizedek Priesthood, Priesthood

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.

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