Porter's term as mission president was cut short when he was called as a general authority and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy in 1987. He was among those noted to serve for a period of five years. In April 1989, when the Second Quorum of the Seventy was created to include those designated for that specific term of service, Porter was transferred to that quorum. In April 1992, he was transferred back to the First Quorum of the Seventy, such that it was then anticipated he would then serve until approximately the age of 70, when quorum members were typically designated as emeritus general authorities. He served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy from 1992 until 2001; he was the senior member of the presidency beginning in 1996. In 2001, he was released and designated as an emeritus general authority. Porter's service as a general authority included service as executive director of the church's Missionary Department and as a member of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education. From 2002 to 2005, Porter served as president of the Salt Lake Temple.
1. Emeritus general authorities are individuals who have been released from active duties as general authorities. However, they remain general authorities of the church until their death. Except for the three identified former members of the Presiding Bishopric, all living emeritus general authorities are former members of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
2. Former members of the Presiding Bishopric.