Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are organized geographically and members attend worship services near their home. Each member belongs to a ward or branch. The lay leader of a ward is called a bishop. He is a member of the congregation who has been asked to serve as a volunteer in this position.

Each ward has classes and activities for different ages, including children, youth and adults. The substantial time and effort required to administer a ward and meet the needs of the members is carried out by the members themselves. Most members are asked by local leaders to contribute in specific capacities. Duties include local administrative, teaching or service-oriented positions. These responsibilities are changed from time to time, according to the needs of the congregation.

Members of a ward worship together on Sundays and hold activities during the week. A ward is a community where Mormons can develop friendships and support their fellow Church members in their efforts to worship and follow Jesus Christ. Everyone is welcome to visit ward worship services on Sundays.

Several wards make up a stake, which is similar to a Catholic diocese. The leader of a stake is called the stake president. In areas where there are fewer Church members, Latter-day Saints are organized into districts and branches in place of stakes and wards. The lay leader of a branch is called a branch president.

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.