A priesthood quorum is an organized group of men or young men who hold the priesthood. “The primary purposes of quorums are to serve others, build unity and brotherhood, and instruct members in doctrines, principles, and duties” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 7.1.2). Quorums are organized for both the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods.
Apostles and Seventies are organized into quorums at the general Church level. The First Presidency is the Church’s highest governing body and presides over all the affairs of the Church. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the second-highest governing body in the Church. Apostles are called to be “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:23). Seventies serve under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and are called to “preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:25). Seventies are organized into quorums of General Authority Seventies and Area Seventies. General Authority Seventies serve throughout the world, and Area Seventies serve in their local areas.
“Each stake has one high priests quorum. The stake presidency is the presidency of that quorum. Members of that quorum are the high priests who currently serve in the following callings: the stake president and his counselors, bishops in the stake and their counselors, high councilors, and functioning patriarchs” (Handbook 2, 7.1.2).
Each ward has one or more elders quorums. An elders quorum includes all elders and prospective elders (men age 19 or older who do not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood) in the ward. It also includes high priests who are not currently serving in the callings that make up the high priests quorum.
In each ward the bishop organizes the deacons—generally young men turning 12 or 13 during the year—into a quorum of up to 12 members. He organizes the teachers—generally young men turning 14 or 15 during the year—into a quorum of up to 24 members. And he organizes the priests—generally young men turning 16 or 17 during the year—into a quorum of up to 48 members. (See Doctrine and Covenants 107:85–87.)
If quorum membership increases beyond these numbers, the bishop may divide the quorum. Before doing so, he considers the eventual size of the quorum, available leadership, and the effect on quorum members. (See Handbook 2, 8.1.2.)
Quorums are presided over by a president who is set apart to preside. The president is also given the priesthood keys necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of that calling. Quorums at the ward and stake levels generally include counselors called to support the president and to form a presidency.
“Melchizedek Priesthood,” Handbook 2, 7
“Coming unto Christ as a Quorum,” New Era, June 2014, 32–33