Combining Elders and High Priests

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Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Gerald » 01 Apr 2018, 04:41

I must admit that I was surprised last night to have an announcement of some importance presented in the Priesthood session. It used to be that you always got some cool announcement that you could run home and tell your wife or family about but that hadn't happened for years (though it's probably for the best). But the combining of elders and high priests is certainly an interesting change and, in my opinion, a good one. These two groups had, over the years, been looking more and more similar. Coupled with the "status" issues that accompanied becoming a high priest (or NOT becoming one), it seemed like it was time to pull all the men together. I had made reference to this a couple of times on this board. Below is one of my statements from a thread entitled "
I've served in a number of elders quorum presidencies over the course of my adulthood and I have to agree with jamison. If elders were consistently men from 18 to 45 say and high priests consistently 45 and up (or whatever age ranges you wish to use), it would make some sense. The elders would be the ones responsible for service projects (wood cutting, yard work, snow shoveling, etc.) and the older high priests would do whatever it is high priests do (don't know as I am an elder). In our ward, however, we have elders who are in their late 50s (one I believe is pushing 60) and we have high priests as young as 28 because they were called into bishoprics during their student ward days. It makes for a mish mash of types in the quorums and means that the young high priests are never asked to do anything physically rigorous when it comes to service projects and the older elders may feel compelled to participate in activities they are not suited for.

Let's add one more fact. In our ward (and I think this is church policy but I'm not sure) high priests hometeach the single sisters (young and old). One rationale would be that a 70 year old brother is less likely to develop an inappropriate relationship with a 30 year old single mother. But what if a significant number of high priests are in their 30s?

And let's not forget that status within the ward is inextricably tied up with the priesthood you possess. The idea that it is "all the same priesthood" is cold comfort for some 65 year old elder trying to fit in with a bunch of 20 something and 30 something elders still wrestling with babies or a 30 year old high priest attempting to find something in common with men in their 60s and 70s. I know their are doctrinal reasons for the separation but I sometimes wonder if some of these policies shouldn't be viewed with a more practical eye.
It's like President Nelson saw my post! :lolno: Seriously, mine is just one of many comments I have come across on this discussion board decrying the artificial separation of Elders and High Priests.

The only downside is that now I will have to listen to the inevitable enthusiastic discussions/testimonies/commentaries in my ward about how this is an important revelation and that this is irrefutable evidence that we are a Church of guided by God, etc. etc. etc. Okay, maybe it is that but it seems just as likely to me to be the result of some careful reasoning and observation by the upper echelons of the LDS Church. Dramatic announcements are not automatically revelations.

But revelation or no, its a good, sensible change.
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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Reuben » 01 Apr 2018, 05:43

This is a very good change.

When I was HPGL, I noticed that almost all of the stellar home teachers were HPs. We hit 70% every month with no begging from me - the most I ever did was thank them. I never had to worry that someone wasn't being taken care of. The HPs showed me time and again that they were on top of things when something went wrong.

The elders, on the other hand... man.

There was way more to it than home teaching. The elders' quorum's best leaders and teachers were in YM. Half the time they couldn't find an instructor. I've never felt as sorry for an administrator as I felt for our EQP. My job was so easy in comparison.

I would gladly have shouldered some of his burden if I could have. Also, it would have been great to pair up some of our best home teachers with elders that might have been great at it but lacked motivation or positive experiences. The administrative overhead of coordinating to share manpower was too high, though. It would have been just another thing on his plate.

In the present, this change will allow the Primary in our ward to solve its staffing problem.

It's all good, for so many reasons.

For my snarky position on it, I'm going to take inspiration from something Curt Sunshine said on the GC thread. The women have been doing this right for over a century, and now the men are finally catching up.
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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Joni » 01 Apr 2018, 06:51

I've always thought it was weird that the men had to be separated at all - and potentially problematic that they had to separated by 'status' - so I see this as a good thing. Not earth-shattering but good.

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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Apr 2018, 07:15

I agree it's not earth shattering Joni. I don't think it's as big a deal as they're making of it, but I also see that it is a change that some people are not going to like or agree with so from that perspective it's needs to seem like a bigger "Thus saith the Lord" kind of deal. I don't think we'll see a major exodus, but I do know some high priests who will somehow feel slighted or whatever - but for them it's about pride.
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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Minyan Man » 01 Apr 2018, 07:51

Joni wrote:
01 Apr 2018, 06:51
I've always thought it was weird that the men had to be separated at all - and potentially problematic that they had to separated by 'status' - so I see this as a good thing. Not earth-shattering but good.
Back in the day, I didn't see it as being problematic. Each office of the PH had a separate purpose. HP = temple work. 70's = missionary work.
Elders = backbone of the Ward organization. Today it seems "Every member a missionary", "Every member a family historian", "Every member
clean the chapel". There are no specialists & that's fine.

I've said in other posts, I want to be challenged in church. There is nothing worse than being bored or complacent.
I'm looking forward to the next PH meeting in my ward. I anticipate a real discussion for a change.

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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Kipper » 01 Apr 2018, 10:37

I am far less than enthusiastic about this. There seemed to be too much creative doctorin in EQ. But then maybe that why the combining. And I finally stopped hearing every othercomment begin with "when I was on my mission...". Maybe because I didn't serve and it's a repetitive reminder.
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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Roy » 01 Apr 2018, 12:03

My father is almost 70 and is still an elder. I personally felt that the segregation and the barriers that this made for friendships and socialization were isolating and marginalizing. He had a job that took him away from home roughly half the time and therefore a leadership calling would be a tough fit. My dad never complained, but I noticed.

I think it was Amateur Parent that shared how her husband was specifically prohibited from attending a HP social gathering because he was technically an elder.

I am glad that this particular division is going away.
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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by LookingHard » 02 Apr 2018, 03:53

I have been in a ward that was small enough to have a combined EQ/HP and we all liked it and kept that configuration even once the SP started nudging us to split once we were bigger. So I am kind of MEH, but on the positive side. Certainly doesn't feel like "revelation" that needs to be cannonized in the D&C.

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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 02 Apr 2018, 20:36

LookingHard wrote:
02 Apr 2018, 03:53
I have been in a ward that was small enough to have a combined EQ/HP and we all liked it and kept that configuration even once the SP started nudging us to split once we were bigger.
We've been meeting together combined on and off for a few years now. Shrinking EQ and HP quorums numbers necessitated it for us, and we enjoyed meeting together more than on our own.
Seems to me like a natural change, going with the times, etc. I understood how the HP and EQ were divided and their separate duties, but it never made sense to me that the HP were over the perspective elders. It only made sense because the HP were essentially aaronic priesthood quorums, but that's it. The perspective elders should have been under EQ. So now it is as it should have been in my opinion.
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Re: Combining Elders and High Priests

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Apr 2018, 22:52

I will not be one of the youngest group members anymore. :D

I like the change, even though we had a wonderful HPG in our ward. Each age range has things to offer the other and things to learn from the other. It also will free up at least four men to help fill other callings. That is huge in a ward of our size.
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