Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Drop the Division of Deaconly Duty

Drop the Division of Deaconly Duty

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 27, 2013

I don’t remember ever living in a ward with multiple quorums of deacons (maybe, in the Baby Boomer ’60s, before I was old enough to pay attention to the big boys). In any case, this announcement from the Presiding Bishop’s Office in 1953 suggests one more variant practice, along with uniforms and weird arm positions, that crept into and was rooted out of the simple dignity of the sacrament service.

Deacons to Pass Both Bread and Water

It is recommended that deacons or others passing the sacrament pass both the bread and the water. We discourage the practice of having one quorum or group pass the bread, and another quorum or group pass the water.

With the sacrament being administered in sacrament meeting, Sunday School, and Junior Sunday School, it is felt there should be ample opportunity for all to officiate in passing the sacrament without one group passing the bread and another group passing the water.



  1. I was a deacon in a two quorum ward and, looking back, there were some fairly creative assignments to be sure that everyone had one assignment every Sunday. Everyone may not have passed the Sacrament each week but everyone had something to do. It’s a reminder now that much of what we did was more about teaching us duty and responsibility than it was about getting things done.

    Comment by STW — December 27, 2013 @ 9:22 am

  2. In 1990 we moved to a new ward that had 29 deacons (12-13). They had barely enough for two teachers quorums for a short time. There were 194 children of Primary age. We lived in that ward for 22 years and the funny thing was we watched about 95% of those boys go on missions & return and marry. First we noticed by our 3rd boy that never again did they have more than 16 deacons at one time. Then we realized the primary was much smaller. By the time I worked as the Primary chorister some 19 years after we moved there the Primary was starting to increase as the empty nesters sold their big homes and down sized. We were one of the last of our group to leave. Funny how that particular area was on the up swing in size again.

    Comment by Kathleen — December 28, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

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