Seventy (LDS Church)
Seventy is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Traditionally, a church member holding this priesthood office is a "traveling minister" and an "especial witness" of Jesus Christ, charged with the mission of preaching the gospel to the entire world under the direction of the Twelve Apostles. The church teaches that the office of seventy was anciently conferred upon the seventy disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10:1-2. Multiple individuals holding the office of seventy are referred to collectively as seventies.
History of the seventy in the LDS Church
Place in church hierarchy
In practical terms, the priesthood office of seventy is one which has varied widely over the course of history. As originally envisioned by church founder, Joseph Smith, in the 1830s, the seventy were to be a body composed of several separate quorums of up to seventy members each, all of which would be led by seven presidents. These presidents, chosen from the first quorum, would appoint and direct the other quorums of seventy.
As introduced by Smith, the apostles and the seventy had authority only outside the main body of church members in Zion, and in the outlying stakes. Members in Zion and the stakes were led by the High Council of Zion (under the direction of the First Presidency) and stake high councils.
Early quorums of the seventy
Historically, the First Quorum of the Seventy came into being in 1835 when seven men were set apart as the First Seven Presidents of the Seventy.
In 1837, six of the seven presidents were released because it was discovered that they had previously been ordained high priests. Five of these men were ultimately replaced by others. The other two—Levi W. Hancock and Joseph Young—remained members of the First Seven Presidents for the rest of their lives.
As a body, the seventy in the church are considered to be equal in priesthood authority with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This presumably means that if the apostles were killed or incapacitated, the seventy could take over the function of the apostles. However, in such circumstances, the seventy would be required to act unanimously.
Structure and history of the seventy in the church
Members of additional Quorums of the Seventy (currently numbered Third through Twelfth) are called an area seventy. Members of these quorums are ordained to the priesthood office of seventy, but they are not general authorities of the church. Area seventies generally have authority only within a geographical unit of the church called an area.
By the time Joseph Smith was killed, he had already organized four incomplete quorums of seventy. By 1845, there were ten quorums of seventy. The seventies in the first quorum became the seven presidents for each of the other quorums; that is, there were 63 presidents, 7 for each of the 9 other quorums, and the seven remaining members were the presidency of the first quorum. The members of the first quorum were thus spread out across the church, making meetings of the first quorum rare.
In 1883, church president John Taylor localized the quorums of seventy. Each stake was given a quorum of seventy, and seventies in that stake would belong to that quorum. Taylor also prescribed that the senior president of the first 64 quorums could meet with the seven presidents of the first quorum and that would constitute a meeting of the first quorum. This never happened, however. This organization continued until church president Spencer W. Kimball's reorganization of the seventies in 1976.
Though the number of seventies in the church grew, the number of presidents remained at seven. By the late 1930s, the First Seven Presidents were exclusively referred to by the church as the First Council of the Seventy.
Eventually, the stake quorums of seventy were no longer numbered and in 1936 they were put under the local responsibility of stake presidents. Subsequently, in 1961, church president David O. McKay ordained those of the First Council of the Seventy who wished to be high priests.
First Quorum of the Seventy formed
In 1975, under Kimball's direction, the First Quorum of the Seventy was reconstituted. The First Quorum was composed of the former members of the First Council of the Seventy as well as new individuals selected by Kimball. The reason for the change was that the growth of the church necessitated the call of more general authorities. In 1976, the First Council of the Seventy, the First Quorum of the Seventy, and the Assistants to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were all merged into a new First Quorum of the Seventy under a seven-member Presidency of the Seventy. In 1978, some of the older members of the seventy were "retired" as the first general authorities to be given emeritus status. However, members appointed through 1981 were still granted life tenure.
Discontinuance of local quorums of seventy
In 1986, all stake quorums of the seventy were discontinued. The church encouraged local leaders to have ordained seventies meet with the local elders quorum or to ordain them as high priests.
Second Quorum of the Seventy formed
In 1984, some seventies were appointed to the First Quorum of the Seventy who were not to serve for life, but for terms of three to five years. In 1989, these limited-term members were separated into a new Second Quorum of the Seventy. At the same time, the general practice was instituted of releasing all members of the First Quorum at the October general conference following their 70th birthdays, or earlier in the case of serious health problems. Some flexibility on the terms of service has emerged in recent years.
Since 1989, members of the First and Second Quorums have continued as general authorities of the church. Sometimes members are called from the Second Quorum into the First Quorum.
Since the 1976 merger of First Quorum of the Seventy, seventies are the most usual candidates to become members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Since 1976, three have been called as apostles who did not serve as general authority seventies prior to their call: Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, and David A. Bednar, Nelson and Oaks were ordained apostles in 1984 under church president Kimball and Bednar in 2004 under church president Gordon B. Hinckley. Additionally, having served previously as members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, both Robert D. Hales and Gary E. Stevenson were serving as the Presiding Bishop at the time of their call to the Quorum of the Twelve.
Area seventies and additional quorums of seventy
At the church's April 1995 general conference, Hinckley announced the creation of a new leadership position known as the area authority. The area authorities were to replace the regional representatives who had served as bridge of leadership between the general authorities and the local stake and mission presidents. In 1997, it was decided that area authorities would be ordained to the office of seventy. As a result, these area authorities were renamed area authority seventies, and the church announced that these new seventies would become members of the newly created Third, Fourth, and Fifth Quorums of the Seventy. Later, the title "area authority seventy" was shortened to area seventy, which is the title currently in use.
Area seventies serve in the various geographic regions of the world called areas in which the church is governed by area presidencies. An international area presidency is typically composed of members of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, while areas in the United States and Canada are directed by a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
In 2004, the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy was divided to create the Sixth Quorum.
In May 2005, the Seventh and Eighth quorumswere created. The Fourth Quorum, which had served Mexico, Central and South America, had grown to 72 members, and was split into the Fourth and Seventh Quorums. The Eighth Quorum was created to allow better geographic organization of the Third Quorum (not because the number of members exceeded seventy). The Third Quorum previously covered all of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the western islands of the Pacific. The new Eighth Quorum serves Southern Asia, Australia, and the western islands of the Pacific. The Third Quorum continued to serve Africa, northern Asia, and Europe.
By August of 2019, with new areas having been created or existing areas consolidated with others, the Third Quorum then included area seventies in Africa and Europe, with the Fourth Quorum including those serving in the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and South America Northwest areas. The Fifth Quorum had been composed of those area seventies serving in the North America West and Utah areas, with the Sixth Quorum composed of the North America Central, North America Northeast, North America Southeast, and North America Southwest areas. The Seventh Quorum included those serving in the Brazil and South America South areas, while the Eighth Quorum was composed of area seventies serving in the Asia, Asia North, Philippines, and Pacific areas.
Subsequently, effective June 1, 2020, four new Quorums of the Seventy were created, and the geographical distribution of the now-eight quorums of area seventies were constituted in the following manner:
- Third Quorum–Africa Central, Africa South, and Africa West areas.
- Fourth Quorum–Asia and Asia North areas.
- Fifth Quorum–Brazil Area.
- Sixth Quorum–Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico areas.
- Seventh Quorum–Europe, Europe East, and Middle East/Africa North areas.
- Eighth Quorum–Philippines and Pacific areas.
- Ninth Quorum–South America Northwest and South America South areas;
- Tenth Quorum–North America Central, North America Northeast, and North America Southeast areas.
- Eleveth Quorum–North America Southwest and North America West Areas.
- Twelfth Quorum–Utah Area.
Seventies who became apostles or members of the First Presidency
|Specific quorum or position as a seventy||Dates in other position(s)|
|George A. Smith||1835–39||First Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1839–68); |
First Presidency (1868–75)
|Amasa M. Lyman||1835–42||First Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1842–43; 1844–67); |
First Presidency (1843–44)
|Erastus Snow||1836–49||Second Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1849–88)|
|Wilford Woodruff||1837–38||First Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1839–89); |
President of the Church (1889–98)
|Lorenzo Snow||1840||None: was ordained a high priest the day after being ordained a seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1849–98); |
First Presidency (1873–77);
President of the Church (1898–1901)
|Jedediah M. Grant||1845–54||First Council of the Seventy||Apostle (1854–56); First Presidency (1854–56)|
|Abraham H. Cannon||1882–89||First Council of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1889–96)|
|George Q. Morris||1889–1908||Stake seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1954–62)|
|Richard L. Evans||1938–53||First Council of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1953–71)|
|Bruce R. McConkie||1946–72||First Council of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1972–85)|
|Neal A. Maxwell||1974–81||First Council of the Seventy (1974–76);
Presidency of the Seventy (1976–81)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1981–2004)|
|James E. Faust||1976–78||Presidency of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1978–95); |
First Presidency (1995–2007)
|Alvin R. Dyer||1970–1977||First Quorum of the Seventy
(only person to be ordained a seventy after being ordained an apostle)
|Apostle (1967–77); First Presidency (1968–70)|
|M. Russell Ballard||1976–85||First Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (1980–85)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1985–)|
|Robert D. Hales||1976–85||First Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1994–2017)|
|Joseph B. Wirthlin||1976–86||First Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (1986)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1986–2008)|
|Richard G. Scott||1977–88||First Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (1983–88)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1988–2015)|
|Jeffrey R. Holland||1989–94||First Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1994–)|
|Henry B. Eyring||1992–95||First Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1995–2007); |
First Presidency (2007–)
|D. Todd Christofferson||1993–2008||First Quorum of the Seventy (1993–2008);
Presidency of the Seventy (1998–2008)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2008–)|
|Neil L. Andersen||1993–2009||First Quorum of the Seventy (1993–2009);
Presidency of the Seventy (2005–09)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2009–)|
|Dieter F. Uchtdorf||1994–2004||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1994–96);
First Quorum of the Seventy (1996–2004);
Presidency of the Seventy (2002–04)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2004–08,2018–); |
First Presidency (2008–18)
|Quentin L. Cook||1996–2007||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1996–98);
First Quorum of the Seventy (1998–2007);
Presidency of the Seventy (2007)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2007–)|
|David A. Bednar||1997–2004||Area seventy; Fifth Quorum of the Seventy||Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2004–)|
|Ronald A. Rasband||2000–15||First Quorum of the Seventy (2000–15);
Presidency of the Seventy (2005–15)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2015–)|
|Dale G. Renlund||2000–15||Fifth Quorum of the Seventy (2000–09);
First Quorum of the Seventy (2009–15)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2015–)|
|Gary E. Stevenson||2008–12||First Quorum of the Seventy (2008–12)||Presiding Bishop (2012–15);|
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2015–)
|Gerrit W. Gong||2010-2018||Presidency of the Seventy (2015–2018)
First Quorum of the Seventy (2010–2018)
Area seventy, Fifth Quorum of the Seventy (2009–10)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2018–)|
|Ulisses Soares||2005-2018||Presidency of the Seventy (2013–2018)
First Quorum of the Seventy (2005–2018)
|Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (2018–)|
Other noteworthy seventies
|Name||Dates as a general,
area, or local Seventy[a]
|Specific quorum or position as a seventy||Significance|
|Elijah Abel||1836–84||Local seventy||First black seventy|
|Ángel Abrea||1981–2003[b]||First Quorum of the Seventy (1981–2003);
Emeritus general authority (2003–)
|First resident of Latin America general authority|
|Joseph Anderson||1976–78||First Quorum of the Seventy (1976–78);
Emeritus general authority (1978–92)
|Second oldest-lived general authority in LDS Church history (102)|
|Eduardo Ayala||1990-1995||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1990-1995)||First Chilean general authority and first from western South America|
|Merrill J. Bateman||1992–94; 1995–2007[b]||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1992–94);
First Quorum of the Seventy (1995–2007);
Presidency of the Seventy (2003–07);
Emeritus general authority (2007–)
|Presiding Bishop of the church (1994–95); |
President of Brigham Young University (1996–2003)
|Samuel O. Bennion||1933–46||First Council of the Seventy|
|Gladden Bishop||c. 1837–42||Local seventy||Abandoned the church in 1842 and established his own Latter Day Saint sect after 1844|
|Helio R. Camargo||1985-1990||First Quorum of the Seventy||First Brazilian general authority|
|Clayton M. Christensen||Area Seventy; Sixth Quorum of the Seventy||Professor at Harvard Business School|
|Kim B. Clark||2007–14; 2015–||Area Seventy; Fifth Quorum of the Seventy (2007–14);
First Quorum of the Seventy (2015–)
|President of Brigham Young University–Idaho (2005–15); |
Former dean of Harvard Business School
|Massimo De Feo||2013–||Area Seventy; Third Quorum of the Seventy (2013–16)
General Authority Seventy (2016–)
|First Italian general authority.|
|Charles A. Didier||1975–2009[b]||First Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (1992–95; 2001–07);
Emeritus general authority (2009-)
|First European general authority|
|Edward Dube||2013–||First Quorum of the Seventy (2013–)||First Zimbabwean and second black African general authority|
|Paul H. Dunn||1964–89||First Council of the Seventy (1968–76);
First Quorum of the Seventy (1964–89);
Presidency of the Seventy (1976–80);
Emeritus general authority (1989–98)
|in 1991, publicly admitted to falsifying and embellishing stories of personal experiences in past sermons and books|
|John H. Groberg||1976–2005[b]||First Quorum of the Seventy (1976–2005);
Presidency of the Seventy (2004–05);
Emeritus general authority (2005–)
|2001 film The Other Side of Heaven is based on his missionary experiences in Tonga|
|Zenas H. Gurley||c. 1840–44||Local seventy||Led a group of dissenters after 1844 and in 1853 became an apostle in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints|
|James J. Hamula||2008–2017||General Authority Seventy||Most recent General Authority to be excommunicated|
|Han In Sang||1991–96||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1991–96)||First Korean general authority|
|Milton R. Hunter||1945–75||First Council of the Seventy||co-author of Ancient America and the Book of Mormon|
|Jon Huntsman, Sr.||1996–2011||Area Seventy; Fifth Quorum of the Seventy||American businessman and philanthropist|
|W. Rolfe Kerr||1996–2007[b]||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1996–97);
First Quorum of the Seventy (1997–2007);
Emeritus general authority (2007–)
|Commissioner of Church Education (2005–08)|
|Yoshihiko Kikuchi||1977–2011[b]||First Quorum of the Seventy
Emeritus general authority (2011–)
|First resident of Asia general authority|
|J. Golden Kimball||1892–1938||First Council of the Seventy||Legendary general authority wit|
|Adney Y. Komatsu||1976–93[b]||First Quorum of the Seventy (1976–93);
Emeritus general authority (1993–2011)
|First general authority of Asian descent|
|George P. Lee||1975–89||First Quorum of the Seventy||First Native American general authority; |
tenure ended due to excommunication.
|Augusto A. Lim||1992–97||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1992–97)||First Filipino general authority|
|Gerald N. Lund||2002–08||Second Quorum of the Seventy||Author of The Work and the Glory novels|
|J.W. Marriott, Jr.||1997–2011||Area Seventy; Sixth Quorum of the Seventy||American hotelier and businessman|
|Hugo E. Martinez||2009–||Area Seventy (2009–14); Second Quorum of the Seventy (2014–)||First Caribbean general authority and first Puerto Rican general authority|
|Helvécio Martins||1990–2005||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1990–95)||First general authority of black African descent|
|James O. Mason||1994–2000||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1994–2000)||Acting Surgeon General of the United States from 1989 to 1990|
|A. Roger Merrill||(?–2004)||Area seventy||General President of the Sunday School (2004–09)|
|Joseph White Musser||1892–1921||Local seventy||Early leader in the Mormon fundamentalist movement after being excommunicated in 1921|
|Robert C. Oaks||2000–09||Second Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (2004–07)
|Former commander of Air Training Command and United States Air Forces in Europe|
|Warren Parrish||1835–37||First Quorum of the Seventy||Scribe for Joseph Smith; apostatized in 1837|
|Rafael E. Pino||2008–||First Quorum of the Seventy||The first Venezuelan general authority.|
|Zera Pulsipher||1838–62||First Council of the Seventy||A missionary who preached to Wilford Woodruff; |
excommunicated in 1862; rebaptized the same year
|George Reynolds||1866–1909||Local seventy (1866–90);
First Council of the Seventy (1890–1909)
|Secretary to the First Presidency; party to U.S. Supreme Court polygamy case Reynolds v. United States|
|B. H. Roberts||1877–1933||Local seventy (1877–88);
First Council of the Seventy (1888–1933)
|Prominent Mormon historian and apologist|
|Cecil O. Samuelson||1994–2011[b]||First Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (2001–03)
Emeritus general authority (2011–)
|President of Brigham Young University (2003–14)|
|Joseph W. Sitati||2004–||Area seventy (2004–09);
First Quorum of the Seventy (2009–)
|First black African general authority of the church; second general authority of black African descent|
|Edward Stevenson||1847–97||Local seventy (1847–94);
First Council of the Seventy (1894–97)
|Widely traveled Mormon missionary|
|William W. Taylor||1875–84||Local seventy (1875–80);
First Council of the Seventy (1880–84)
|Son of John Taylor; Mormon politician|
|Jose A. Teixeira||1997–||Area seventy (1997–2005);
First Quorum of the Seventy (2008–)
|First Portuguese general authority|
|Earl C. Tingey||1990–2008||First Quorum of the Seventy;
Presidency of the Seventy (1996–2008)
|Senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy (2001–08)|
|John Van Cott||1847–83||Local seventy (1847–62);
First Council of the Seventy (1862–83)
|Missionary to Scandinavia|
|Benjamin Winchester||1835–44||First Quorum of the Seventy||Editor of first independent Mormon periodical; became a Rigdonite apostle after 1844; ultimately repudiated Mormonism|
|Richard B. Wirthlin||1996–2001||Second Quorum of the Seventy (1996–2001)
||Chief strategist and pollster for Ronald Reagan|
|Kevin J Worthen||2010–||Area Seventy||President of Brigham Young University (2014–)|
|Joseph Young||1835–81||First Council of the Seventy||Senior and Presiding President of the Seventy from 1835 to 1881 (a position subsequently held by his son Seymour B. Young, grandson Levi E. Young, and great-grandson S. Dilworth Young)|
- Members called to the seventy continue to hold the priesthood office of seventy after being released from a specific quorum or position. Time as an emeritus general authority not included in this date range.
- Released, but retains general authority emeritus status.
As of 2008, the Quorums of the Seventy are organized into eight quorums with a presidency of seven. The seventy act as emissaries of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency of the church in organizing, training, proselytizing, and administering to millions of people scattered all across the globe. The seventy are the layer between local church administration and general church administration.
In general, seventies must first be at least elders in the Melchizedek priesthood, but in practice most have previously been ordained to the office of high priest. Seventies, being equal in authority, act under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as they labor in their apostolic ministry. Members of the LDS Church understand that being “equal in authority” (D&C 107:26) means they preside over the church when the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are not constituted.
This means that the seventies have the power to do anything required to organize and administer the church, as long as they do so under the direction of the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve (D&C 107:33–34). They do not, as quorums, preside over the church by their own authority unless the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve are no longer in existence. Apart from the seven presidents of the seventy, seventies do not hold priesthood keys but are delegated the necessary keys to perform their duties. Seventies hold apostolic authority in the sense of being “especial witnesses of Christ.” and the Quorums of the Seventy may become the presiding authority over the church if the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve cease to exist.
Presidency of the Seventy
Historically, seven members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were called to serve as the Presidency of the Seventy. This precedent was broken, however, when in 2004 Robert C. Oaks of the Second Quorum of the Seventy was sustained to fill the vacancy created by Dieter F. Uchtdorf's call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The church now states that the seven presidents are drawn from General Authority Seventies.
Historically, members of the Presidency of the Seventy would often serve as heads of various church ecclesiastical departments. This practice changed in 2004, when area presidencies in the United States and Canada were dissolved; these areas were put directly under the jurisdiction of the Presidency of the Seventy. The management of these areas is currently the primary responsibility of the Presidency of the Seventy.
In April 2018, church leaders announced that, effective August 1, 2018, three-man presidencies composed of General Authority Seventies would once again oversee areas in the US and Canada. These areas will continue to be administered from church headquarters. The church indicated this will enable the Presidency of the Seventy to more fully assist the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and to fill other assignments as needed.
The Presidency of the Seventy is unique in the church in that not only are there seven members but all seven hold the priesthood "keys" of presidency. The man with the longest tenure of uninterrupted service in the presidency is called to preside over the other six as the presiding president or senior president of the seventy.
As of August 2018, the current Presidency of the Seventy and their areas of responsibilities are:
- L. Whitney Clayton, Senior President (called to the Presidency on April 5, 2008; has served as Senior President of the Seventy since October 6, 2015).)
- Patrick Kearon (called to the Presidency on August 1, 2017).
- Carl B. Cook (called to the Presidency on March 31, 2018).
- Robert C. Gay (called to the Presidency on March 31, 2018).
- Terence M. Vinson (called to the Presidency on August 1, 2018).
- Jose A. Teixeira (called to the Presidency on August 1, 2018).).
- Carlos A. Godoy (called to the Presidency on August 1, 2018).).
In April 2020, the church announced new area leadership asssignments that will be effective August 1, 2020, including the following changes to the Presidency of the Seventy: Clayton will be released as a member of the Presidency and its Senior President, with Kearon becoming Senior President, and Brent H. Nielson added to the Presidency.
First Quorum of the Seventy
The First Quorum of the Seventy are general authorities, meaning they have authority throughout the church. They usually serve until their 70th birthday or until their health fails them, at which time they are given emeritus status and released from active service as a general authority.
Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy serve under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve and the Presidency of the Seventy. They do not generally visit local units of the church, teach or give sermons in church meetings except when given specific assignment. Often, members of this quorum will accompany the Twelve on their visits to missions and stakes throughout the church. Other times, they will be sent to act in behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve to stake conferences and to provide training and support to stakes, missions, areas, and temples. As general authorities, members of the First Quorum are often asked to speak at church general conferences.
Second Quorum of the Seventy
Members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy serve in the same role to that of the First Quorum. They are general authorities, which means they have authority throughout the church and are frequently asked to speak in general conference. They are typically called to serve for approximately five to six years. Prior to October 2015, upon their release, these men ceased to be general authorities or members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. However, although no specific change in policy or practice was announced, at the church's general conference in October 2015, those released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy were designated as emeritus general authorities for the first time. One of these men, Bruce A. Carlson, is not 70 years old, having it appear the practice may continue to be related to length of service for their release and emeritus designation, rather than specifically age. Also in October 2015, some former members of the Second Quorum of Seventy who had been released in prior years, received letters from the church's First Presidency designating them as emeritus general authorities. In all cases, they retain the priesthood office of seventy.
General Authority Seventies no longer identified by quorum affiliation
In 2015, the church stopped publicly differentiating between members of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, using the more generic term "General Authority Seventies."
In April 2016, eleven men were called to be General Authority Seventies. However, they were not sustained to a specific quorum.
By April 2016, biographies of all members of both quorums used only the generic designation. Though all general authority seventies still serve in one of those two quorums (First or Second), such affiliations are now no longer publicized, which constituted an official change in church practice.
Although no longer fully functioning general authorities, emeritus general authorities may be asked to be temple presidents or mission presidents. Prior to October 2015, with the exception of Eldred G. Smith (Patriarch to the Church) and three other men (who were formerly in the Presiding Bishopric) all emeritus general authorities in church history had served as members of the First Quorum of the Seventy. Although no specific change in policy or practice was announced, at the church's general conference in October 2015, those released from the Second Quorum of the Seventy were designated as emeritus general authorities for the first time. They remain general authorities until their deaths, but an emeritus general authority is not a member of a seventies quorum. John K. Carmack, the former head of the Perpetual Education Fund and W. Rolfe Kerr, a former Church Commissioner of Education, are both emeritus general authorities. Jacob de Jager served as a bishop after he was given emeritus status. In the general conference meeting in which Ezra Taft Benson was first sustained as president of the church, the emeritus general authorities were sustained. However, when Howard W. Hunter was sustained as president of the church the emeritus general authorities were not mentioned in the list of church officials that were sustained.
Area Seventies Quorums formed (Third–Twelfth Quorums)
Members of the Third through Twelfth Quorums of the Seventy are not general authorities, and generally maintain their non-religious vocations. Unlike apostles and members of the First and Second quorums, they do not relocate to Salt Lake City in order to be close to church headquarters. Members of these quorums are area seventies. As assigned, they carry out the duties typically carried out by members of the First and Second quorums of Seventy, which include reorganizing and creating stakes, training stake presidencies, presiding at stake conferences, serving in area presidencies, touring missions, and training mission presidents. They serve in their callings for approximately six to ten years. Upon their release, they cease to be area seventies and members of a quorum of the seventy, but retain the priesthood office of seventy. They live and serve in the respective areas of the church shown below.
- Third Quorum–Africa Central, Africa Southeast, and Africa West areas.
- Fourth Quorum–Asia and Asia North areas.
- Fifth Quorum–Brazil area.
- Ninth Quorum–South America Northwest and South America South areas.
- Tenth Quorum–North America Central, North America Northeast, and North America Southeast areas.
- Eleventh Quorum–North America Southwest and North America West areas.
- Twelfth Quorum–Utah area.
Members of the First and Second Quorums of Seventy receive the sealing power which authorizes them to seal husbands to wives, and children to their parents, in any of the church's temples. Members of the other quorums of seventy do not receive this as part of their calling.
- The Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:97
- The Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:25
- The Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:34
- The Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:95
- Hancock was originally one of the six who were removed, but he was reinstated when it was discovered that he in fact had not been ordained a high priest.
- The Doctrine and Covenants, Section 107:26
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Quorum of the First Presidency”, Ensign, December 2005, p. 47.
- Parrish, Alan K. (1992), "Seventy: Overview", in Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 1300–1303, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
- The then-presiding president Levi Edgar Young (1874–1963) did not.
- Spencer W. Kimball, “The Reconstitution of the First Quorum of the Seventy”, Ensign, November 1976, p. 9.
- "Stake Seventies Quorums Discontinued". Ensign: 97–98. November 1986. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Cowan 2011
- Tingey 2009
- Although Bednar was an area Seventy at the time of his call (New authorities (9 October 2004). Church News published by Deseret News Publishing Company. Last accessed 14 April 2009).
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “This Work Is Concerned with People”, Ensign, May 1995, p. 51.
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “May We Be Faithful and True”, Ensign, May 1997, p. 4.
- In some cases, an area seventy may be called as a counselor to an area president; by reverse exception, apostles Dallin H. Oaks, Jeffrey R. Holland, and L. Tom Perry all served as area presidents.
- “First Presidency Announces Creation of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy”, Ensign, July 2004, p. 74.
- “Seventh and Eighth Quorums of the Seventy Announced", Ensign, July 2005, p. 74.
- First Presidency announces the creation of 4 additional quorums of Area Seventies, Church News, 19 May 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- The creation of this area was announced through this article
- See the section below in this article as to why De Feo's current quorum affiliation is not being made public.
- LDS Church leaders release, excommunicate Elder James J. Hamula, ksl.com, 8 August 2017. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
- Helvécio Martins, who was a general authority between 1990 and 1995, was the first general authority of black African descent. Martins was of Brazilian nationality.
- "When they are ordained, members of the Seventy do receive apostolic authority to bear witness that Jesus is the Christ and to go forth in all the world as the Twelve may send them." Earl C. Tingey, "Area Authority Seventies: 'To Bear Record of My Name in All the World'", Liahona, October 2002, pp. 50–55.
- “Likewise, the Seventy, who serve under the direction of the Twelve, would become equal in authority only in the event that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve were somehow destroyed.” Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Quorum of the First Presidency", Ensign, December 2005, pp. 46–50.
- Earl C. Tingey, “The Quorums of the Seventy”, Liahona, August 2005, pp. 30–32.
- “New Area Leadership Assignments”, Ensign, August 2004, pp. 76–77.
- "Priesthood Keys", Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010, Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Church) § 2.1.1.
- Morgenegg, Ryan (12 November 2015). "Changes announced for Area Presidencies". Church News.
- Became the senior president in October 2015, following the call of Ronald A. Rasband to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
- "The Sustaining of Church Officers", General Conference address, 2008-04-05, retrieved 2008-05-06.
- 2017 Area Leadership Assignments, Ensign, August 2017, pp. 14-15. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- , Mormon Newsroom, 31 March 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- Church Adds Area Presidencies for U. S. and Canada, Announces Other 2018 Assignments, churchofjesuschrist.org, 5 April 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- In an unusual move, President Dallin H. Oaks led the Church in sustaining these changes during the April 2018 General Conference, 4 months before they would go into effect, marking perhaps the first time this occurred in Church history. That can be verified here).
- See the Church’s new 2020 leadership assignments around the world, Church News, 16 April 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- "Releases Announced at October 2015 General Conference", Newsroom, LDS Church
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Sustaining of Church Officers", 2 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- "Solemn Assembly and Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, May 1986, p. 73.
- “The Solemn Assembly Sustaining of Church Officers,” Ensign, Nov 1994, p. 4.
- Turley, Richard E., Jr. (2005), "The Calling of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy in 1835", Joseph Smith and the Doctrinal Restoration: the 34th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, ISBN 1-59038-489-X, OCLC 60589119.
- Cowan, Richard O. (2011), "The Seventies' Role in Worldwide Church Administration", in Whittaker, David J.; Garr, Arnold K. (eds.), A Firm Foundation: Church Organization and Administration, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, pp. 573–593, ISBN 978-0-8425-2785-9
- Porter, L. Aldin (Aug 2000), "A History of the Latter-day Seventy", Ensign: 15
- Tingey, Earl C. (Sep 2009), "The Saga of Revelation: The Unfolding Role of the Seventy", Liahona: 18–24
- Young, S. Dilworth (Dec 1975), "Keeping Pace With Church Programs and Emphases", Ensign: 58–59
- The Twelve and the Seventy, Part One: Revelation and the Role of the Seventy, The Twelve and the Seventy Series, churchofjesuschrist.org