Conferring & Ordaining to the Priesthood

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“The bishop or branch president oversees the conferral of the Aaronic Priesthood and ordinations to the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest. Before a person is ordained to an office in the Aaronic Priesthood, he must be interviewed by the bishop or branch president and found worthy. Also, he must be sustained in a sacrament meeting. With the authorization of the bishop or branch president, a priest may confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon another person and ordain him to an Aaronic Priesthood office. 

The stake or mission president oversees the conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordination to the offices of elder and high priest.

To confer the priesthood or ordain a person to a priesthood office, one or more men who hold the required priesthood and who have been authorized by the presiding authority place their hands lightly on the person’s head.” (quoted directly from the Family-Guidebook on See the 3 x 5 card below for the rest of the instructions.

If the priesthood is being received for the first time then you have to give that person the priesthood. This is what we mean when we “confer” the priesthood. So a new Deacon has the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon him, then he is ordained to one of the offices within that priesthood – in this case Deacon. When the Deacon is made a Teacher he is just ordained to the office of Teacher within the Aaronic Priesthood. There is no need to confer the Aaronic Priesthood on him again, since he already has it. This same pattern is followed when the Aaronic Priesthood holder moves up to the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Melchizedek Priesthood is conferred on the one being given the Melchizedek Priesthood then they are ordained to the office of Elder within that priesthood.

Below is a 3 x 5 card you can print on heavy paper or card stock and cut out to take with you as a reference. The steps listed on the card are word for word from the Church’s website. 


Confer Priesthood 

About the Author:

Kelly is retired and living in Rexburg, Idaho, USA. He currently writes for You can find articles by Kelly on,, and as well. He has also published multiple works, including Premortal Promises, and Contributions to the Kingdom, both available on


  1. Brady May 31, 2015 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    I recently ordained my nephew as a deacon and had a question.

    What if during the ordination you forget to say the phrase “and bestow the rights, powers and authority pertaining to this office and calling in the aaronic priesthood”

    I just wonder if the prayer should be said again or of it is ok if that part was left out.

    • Kelly Merrill June 1, 2015 at 11:56 am - Reply

      Here are a couple of things to consider. First off, your Bishop should have been standing next to you. If the Bishop feels the need to make the correction, then you go with whatever he says. As the one who is ultimately responsible for the correctness of the ordination, he will answer for how it was done. Second, if the Bishop let it go, and the boy is given the priesthood, his priesthood authority is no less than that of any other who holds the same office, even if they had the words spoken. The office is still the office, and no slip of the tongue will lessen his ability to perform in that office, since his abilities are all based on his personal worthiness. So, unless someone can find something in a handbook that says otherwise, I think you should be safe. I hope this helps.

    • Rich Newton September 25, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      The phrase you mention appears no where in the Handbook. It is something that has become a custom and is not rooted in doctrine or procedure. The ordination is fine with or without the additional language.

      • Phil May 28, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

        it is definitely in the handbook

        To perform a priesthood ordination, one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood holder who performs the ordination:
        1. Calls the person by his full name.
        2. States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).
        3. Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood, unless it has already been conferred.
        4. Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers, and authority of that office. (Priesthood keys are not bestowed in conferring the priesthood or ordaining to one of these offices.)
        5. Gives words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
        6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

  2. C knowlden January 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Ordination to the office bestowed the power rights and privileges,
    Not the phrase

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