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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1976

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1976.” You can view other years here.

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1976:  19 Mar.:  Clarification of roles of Bishop & Elders’ Pres.

“To clarify certain questions which have arisen regarding the relationship between the bishop of the ward and the elders quorum president and so that there will be maximum effectiveness in the jurisdiction of these two priesthood leaders, the following points are emphasized.


1.  The bishop presides as president of the Aaronic Priesthood.

2.  The bishop is the presiding high priest in the ward and presides over all members of the ward–men (including those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood), women, and children.

3.  The bishop is chairman of the ward welfare services committee and has overall responsibility for ward welfare services and other temporal matters.

4.  The bishop is a common judge in Israel and has the responsibility of interviewing for temple recommends and determining the worthiness of all members of the ward.  Those found in transgression may be called before a bishop’s court, which may disfellowship any member of record and may excommunicate any member except a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood who need further disciplinary action than disfellowshipment should be referred by the bishop to the stake presidency.

5.  The bishop as the presiding high priest presides over and conducts the ward priesthood executive committee meeting as chairman, where he gives direction.  He also presides over and conducts the ward correlation council meeting, where he correlates all programs for the benefit of ward members.

6.  The bishop as the presiding high priest is chairman of the ward priesthood executive committee and presides over the home teaching program of the ward.  He ensures that each family is assigned to a Melchizedek Priesthood quorum or group for home teaching purposes.  The Melchizedek Priesthood quorum, group, or unit leaders oversee home teaching and report the results of home teaching to the bishop in separate monthly personal priesthood interviews.

7.  The bishop is accountable to the stake president for ward activities.

Elders Quorum President

1.  For quorum activities, the elders quorum president is responsible directly to, and is called and released, by the stake president.

2.  The elders quorum president presides over members of his quorum and also has been given responsibility for prospective elders, a large number of whom are holders of the Aaronic Priesthood.

3.  The elders quorum president has the duty to train each quorum member and to assist the elders and prospective elders to become active and responsible.  He reports to the bishop the progress and activity of each quorum member or prospective elder.

4.  In fulfilling his responsibility to elders and prospective elders, the elders quorum president may request the bishop and other Melchizedek Priesthood leaders to assign high priests as home teachers to help reactivate elders, prospective elders, and their families.  In such cases, the high priests report these home teaching contacts to the elders quorum president.

5.  The elders quorum president is responsible, directly and through the home teachers, to see that fathers attend to their family and Church duties.  However, the elders quorum president does not preside over the families of these brethren.  For example, he has no authority to call in a husband and wife to counsel them in marital problems nor to counsel with the children of quorum members; such matters should be referred to the bishop.

6.  The elders quorum president is accountable to the stake president for quorum activities.

It is suggested that stake presidents call this letter to the attention of their respective elders quorum presidents.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 19 Mar., 1976)

19 Mar.:  Reinstatement following Church court action.

“The following statement clarifies information contained on pages 77-80 of the General Handbook of Instructions, no. 21, 1976:

No time limit should be stated or implied verbally or in writing to a member who has been disfellowshiped or excommunicated.  Reinstatement or readmission into the Church should come only upon evidence of sincere repentance, full compliance with the conditions imposed by the court, and a sufficient period of time to prove worthiness.  The First Presidency should be contacted in those cases requiring their approval before an excommunicated individual is baptized into the Church.”

(“Messages . . .” No. 31, 19 Mar., 1976)

Mar.:  Previous copies of GHI to be discarded.

“All vital items contained in previous editions of the General Handbook of Instructions and in past issues of the Priesthood Bulletin have been included in this edition of the handbook.  Therefore, all previous editions of the General Handbook of Instructions should be discarded.  Priesthood leaders should retain the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook, Aaronic Priesthood Handbook and other current handbooks of Church departments and organizations.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. ix)

Mar.:  Stake pres. to have regular PPI w/ quorum leaders.

“The stake president, or his counselors when appropriate, should–

. . . .

11. Conduct regular personal priesthood interviews with each Melchizedek Priesthood quorum president and group leader.”

(General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 2)

Mar.:  Alternate High Councilors.

“Alternate high councilors up to a maximum of six may be appointed in a stake only after authorization from the First Presidency or from a General Authority at the time of a stake conference at which he is presiding.  Once approval is given for a specified number of alternate high councilors, these positions may be maintained without further approval.

Alternate high councilors may generally be placed on the high council when vacancies occur.

Alternate high councilors may be assigned to duties performed by regular high councilors.  One (or more) could serve on a high council court only when regular members of the high council are not present.  (D&C 102.)”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 4)

Mar.:  Elders’ pres. may recommend PE’s to MP.

“In the case of prospective elders, the elders quorum president may recommend brethren to the bishop for his consideration.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 7)

Mar.:  Stake presidency to meet monthly with bishoprics.

“The stake presidency should meet monthly with all the bishoprics in a planning and training meeting.  They may review directions and policies from the General Authorities and present training materials.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 17)

Mar.:  Bishoprics should meet at least weekly.

“At least once a week the bishopric and executive secretary should meet to consider the affairs of the ward.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 20)

Mar.:  Ward Welfare Services Committee to meet weekly.

“The ward priesthood executive committee expands into the ward welfare services committee which meets weekly.  For information on the ward welfare services committee see the Welfare Services Handbook.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 21)

Mar.:  High Council talks should be once a month.

“Once a month a high councilor should be assigned by the stake president to visit the ward sacrament meeting and be the principal speaker on a doctrinal subject.  He may be accompanied on this visit by a recently returned missionary, the ward elders quorum president, a seventies president or group leaders, high priests group leader in the ward, a patriarch, or another high councilor who may also be a speaker.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 22)

Mar.:  All appointments to be by inspiration.

“Every Church officer and teacher is entitled to feel that he has been called by the spirit of inspiration.  The will of the Lord should be earnestly sought in considering all calls to Church responsibilities.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 25)

Mar.:  Stake president may set apart Pres. of 70s quorums.

[This GHI specifies that the presidents of seventies quorums are to be set apart by the Stake President.  Previous GHI specified that this was to be done by a General Authority.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 30)

Mar.:  Full-time missionaries set apart by stake president

[This GHI specifies that the stake president or a counselor is to set apart full-time missionaries.  GHI-1968 specified that this was to be done by a General Authority, or by the Stake or Mission President if authorized by the Missionary Committee.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 32)

Mar.:  Prospective seventies to be cleared by 1st Council.

“Prospecive seventies are not to be interviewed by a member of the stake presidency without the prior approval of the First Council of the Seventy.  To receive this approval from the First Council of the Seventy, the form Application and Approval for Ordination to the Office of Seventy should be submitted.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 42)

Mar.:  Seventies to be ordained by Stake President.

(General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 43)

Mar.:  Recommend to perform ordinance outside one’s ward.

“When a member of one ward is invited to serve as voice to bless a child or to baptize, confirm, or ordain someone in another ward, he must take with him from his bishop a Recommend to Perform an Ordinance or have in his possession a current, signed temple recommend.  A recommend is not required for others who participate in the ordinance.  The family of the individual receiving the ordinance should be advised of this policy beforehand so that they can be prepared with necessary recommends.

Members of the stake presidency and high council, and stake missionaries are not required to obtain such a recommend when performing these ordinances in wards within their own stake.  However, when invited to officiate outside their stake, they are required to take a recommend with them.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 44)

Mar.:  Baptism for women who have had an abortion.

“A woman who has submitted to an abortion may be baptized only upon the approval of the mission president when under the jurisdiction of a full-time mission and only upon the approval of the stake president when unde the jurisdiction of a stake mission.

In considering the request for such a baptism, the mission or stake president should be guided by the counsel in Doctrine and Covenants 58:43 and 20:37.  Moreover, as a condition to authorizing baptism, he must be certain that the applicant has sincerely repented of her sins and must be assured that she will live righteously in the future.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 45)

Mar.:  When Priests may baptize.

“Worthy fathers holding the proper priesthood should be encouraged to baptize their own children.  Otherwise, worthy priests in the Aaronic Priesthood or worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders may perform this ordinance.”  [Note the stronger wording of encouraging fathers to perform the ordinance, than was the case in GHI-1968.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 46)

Mar.:  Reference to “bathing caps” during baptism deleted.

[GHI-1968 allowed for bathing caps, upon doctor’s orders; GHI-1976 does not mention the subject at all.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 46)

Mar.:   Baptist should wear garments in water

“One who has received his temple endowment should wear regulation garments under his outer clothing while performing baptisms.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 46)

Mar.:  Fathers to be encouraged to confirm children.

“Bishops should invite and encourage worthy fathers holding the Melchizedek Priesthood to confirm their own children.”  [Stronger wording than GHI-1968.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 47)

Mar.:  Grounds for Church Court action.

“1. Open opposition to and deliberate disobedience to the rules and regulations of the Church.

2. Moral transgressions, which include but are not limited to–

a. Murder (grounds for mandatory excommunication).

b. Adultery.

c. Fornication.

d. Homosexuality.

e. Incest (grounds for mandatory excommunication).

f. Child molesting.

g. Advocating or practicing plural marriage.

h. Misappropriating or embezzling Church funds.

i. Intemperance.

j. Cruelty to spouse or children.

k. Unchristianlike conduct in violation of the law and order of the Church.

l. Other infractions of the moral code.

3. When a member is convicted in courts of the land of a crime involving moral turpitude, such is prima facie evidence justifying excommunication by a Church court.  Regular Church court procedures should be instituted and appropriate disposition made, but not until there has been a final judgment entered in the criminal action.

4. A request by an individual that his membership be withdrawn.  This member should be labored with in kindness and patience in an endeavor to bring him into active fellowship.  If this fails after patient effort, the regular court procedures leading to excommunication should be followed.  A letter in writing (not a form letter) should be secured from the applicant requesting the withdrawal of his membership.

5. Parents requesting that names of unbaptized children be removed from Church records.

6. Where parents request in writing that the names of their baptized minor children be removed from the records of the Church, the bishop refers the case to the First Presidency for consideration.  The referral should be in writing, stating all relevant facts, including the feelings of the children.  No action is to be taken on the parent’s request until direction has been received from the First Presidency.


Inactivity in the Church, in and of itself, is not sufficient reason to summon a member before a Church court for excommunication or disfellowshipment.  Since the purpose of the gospel is to save souls, bishops, quorum leaders, and home teachers should labor diligently and untiringly with inactive and neglectful members in an effort to reactivate them and help them receive a better understanding of the gospel.

Joining another church is not in itself grounds for excommunication or disfellowshipment.  A member who joins another church should be labored with and encouraged to return to the Church.  If court action is necessary, regular Church court procedures for excommunication should be followed.  An individual that joins an apostate group should be brought to the attention of the First Presidency.

A wife of a nonmember or of an inactive member should not be excommunicated because her husband refuses to permit her to be active.  Unless the woman involved specifically requests in writing that her name be removed from the records of the Church, satisfying the bishop that this is her firm desire, she should not be cited to appear before a bishop’s court to answer for her standing, nor should her name be removed from the records of the Church.

Young unmarried people involved in moral transgressions who manifest a sincere spirit of repentance should be given special consideration, always thinking of their future lives and the effect that unnecessary publicity may have on them.  Too severe action often defeats the ends of justice; they should have every opportunity to redeem themselves.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, pp. 71-72)

Mar.:  Transgressions by full-time missionaries.

“A missionary guilty of immoral conduct while in the mission field is to be dealt with as directed by the Missionary Committee under the direction of the First Presidency.  If the missionary committee directs the mission president to try an elder who has transgressed in the mission field, the mission president is authorized to convene an elders court consisting of the mission president and two elders who will be authorized to conduct the trial in accordance with the procedures governing a bishop’s court and with the additional authority to excommunicate.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 73)

Mar.:  High councilors don’t vote in decision.

“After the evidence is all in and all appointed have splken, the stake president, after conferring in private with his counselors, shall give a decision.  He will not poll the high councilors to ask for their decision on the disposition of the case but will call on them only to sanction his decision by their vote.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 76)

Mar.:  Announcement of excom., disfellowshipments.

“Unless an appeal is pending, all excommunications and disfellowshipments, including those of Melchizedek Priesthood bearers, are to be announced (1) in the ward where the person lives, (2) by the bishop, and (3) in a ward priesthood meeting after the Aaronic Priesthood youth have been excused.  When excommunication or disfellowshipment is the decision of a high council court, the bishop should indicate that the announcement is being made at the direction of the stake president.  The announcement should consist only of a general statement that fellowship or membership has been withdrawn for conduct unbecoming a member of the Church, except in the cases of apostasy and the teaching of false doctrine where specific mention can be made.  No sustaining vote will be requested from the members of the priesthood.

All proceedings of a Church court, except the announcement as stated above, are strictly confidential, and this principle must be honored.

There may be some instances, such as in the cases of those excommunicated because of teaching apostate doctrines or practices, where the stake president might determine that the announcement as outlined above should also be made in a stake priesthood meeting and/or in all of the ward priesthood meetings of the stake.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 76)

Mar.:  Rebaptisms requiring approval of First Presidency.

“After the above actions are completed and permission is received, the applicant may be baptized unless he was excommunicated for one of the following reasons.

a. Advocating the teaching of, or affiliating with, apostate sects that practice plural marriage.

b. Moral transgression while serving as a full-time missionary.

c. Excommunicated while serving as a prominent Church leader such as a mission president, temple president, patriarch, a member of a stake presidency, bishop, or member of a high council, or because of improper conduct while serving in one of these callings that resulted in subsequent excommunication.

d. Incest.

e. Murder.

f. Misappropriation or embezzlement of Church funds.

In the foregoing instances, the request must be forwarded to the First Presidency, and approval for baptism will be given only after a satisfactory interview of the applicant by a member of the First Presidency or Council of the Twelve.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 79)

Mar.:  Restoration of blessings:  NOW CALLED AN ORDINANCE.

“If excommunicated persons who have had their temple endowments and who are again baptized into the Church are to receive their priesthood and temple blessings again, they must receive them by the ordinance of restoration of blessings by a member of the First Presidency or a member of the Council of the Twelve as authorized by the President of the Church.  The ordinance of restoration of blessings pertains only to the temple blessing and the Melchizedek Priesthood offices of endowed persons.  The bishopric, stake presidency, and high council or branch and mission presidency of a previously excommunicated person who has been baptized again must jointly recommend to the First Presidency that the person’s blessings be restored.

When a person applies for the restoration of blessings, the following actions are required.

. . . .

12. Sealings after baptism of an excommunicated person will be as follows:

a. An excommunicated person who remarries after having received a cancellation of a temple sealing must receive a restoration of blessings before he can be sealed again in the temple.

b. The children born to excommunicated persons are not born in the covenant.  It is necessary for these children to be sealed to their parents after blessings have been restored or after parents have been sealed to each other in the temple.

c. If a person who has been sealed to a spouse commits adultery which is the cause of a divorce, such person cannot be sealed to the one with whom the adultery occurred.”

(General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, pp. 80-81)

Mar.:  Family Home Evenings.

“To aid parents in holding a weekly family home evening with their children, Monday evening has been designated in the Church to be kept free of ward or stake activities.  In addition, the family home evening manual is written as an aid to meet the needs of every Latter-day Saint.  Members should be counseled to retain their manuals from year to year.  Some of the contents may be more useful at one time than another.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 96)

Mar.:  Softening on dispensing alcoholic beverages.

“Involvement by members of the Church in handling, selling, or serving of alcoholic beverages should be discouraged.  Cautious consideration should be exercised before persons so involved are called to Church positions.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 104)

Mar.:  Dedication of graves a priesthood ordinance.

“At lease one member of the bishopric should accompany the cortege to the cemetery.  A simple and earnest prayer, with blessings pronounced as the Spirit of the Lord directs, should be offered at the graveside.

If appropriate, the graveside prayer should include a dedication of the grave, a priesthood ordinance, and should be offered by one holding the Melchizedek Priesthood as designated by the bishop, after consultation with the family:  The one praying should follow the instructions set forth in the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, p. 109)

3 Apr.:  Additional copies of General Handbook.

“It has been decided to provide each stake with twelve additional copies of the recently issued General Handbook of Instructions, No. 21, so that one may be given to each member of the high council.  Copies are not being provided for alternate high councilors.  And these belong to the Church, as is indicated on the book.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, 3 Apr., 1976; CR Apr., 1976, p. 49)

3 Apr.:  Limited line authority for Regional Reps.

“We wish to announce too that in order to give improved leadership to stakes, Regional Representatives of the Twelve will be given a limited line of authority in the Church.  They will not call nor release local leaders.  They will, however, have responsibility for the training of stake presidencies in priesthood work, church programs, and leadership skills.  Hereafter they will be reporting to the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve through the General Authority Area Supervisors.  The regional representatives will be given detailed instructions on this expanded responsibility at a training session to be held Monday.  Further information on this subject will be conveyed to stake leaders through the regional representatives and through correspondence from the General Authorities.”   (Spencer W. Kimball, 3 Apr., 1976; CR Apr., 1976, p.49)

23 Apr.:  Expanded role for Regional Representatives.

“To provide improved leadership to stakes, Regional Representatives of the Twelve have been given limited line authority in the Church.  They will not call nor release local leaders, but in all areas of the world the following relationships will exist under the direction of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve.

a. Under the direction of the Area Advisor (who is a member of the Council of the Twelve), the Regional Representative will be accountable to an Area Supervisor who will work with him on the stakes assigned.

b. The Regional Representative will submit progress reports to the Area Supervisor (a General Authority) and through the Area Advisor to the Council of the Twelve on the stakes assigned.

c. The Regional Representative will hold personal priesthood interviews with stake presidencies.

d. The Regional Representative will have responsibility for the training of stake presidencies in priesthood work, Church programs, and leadership skills.

e. The Regional Representative will preside at all stake conferences where he is assigned by the President of the Council of the Twelve.

f. The Regional Representative will have the responsibility to review stake, ward, and branch boundary changes and divisions and to submit them to the Area Supervisor with his recommendations.

g. The Regional Representative will continue to conduct the annual regional meeting and other meetings necessary to give special leadership assistance where required.

h. The Regional Representative is responsible for the progress of the stakes in his region.

i. The Regional Representative is free to communicate with General Authorities assigned to conferences in his regions.

j. The Regional Representative, under the direction of the Area Supervisor, may assist the mission president to give leadership training in member districts.”

(“Messages . . .” No. 2, 23 Apr., 1976)

1 Jul.:  Priesthood line of authority.

[New material]  “If a priesthood bearer desires to trace his own line of authority, he should pursue his current office in the priesthood–not former offices.  Bishops and patriarchs should trace their line of authority as high priests.  In completing an authority line, each step should go back through the office held by the person at the time he performed the ordination.

It is not appropriate to trace the line of authority in cases of setting apart nor for other ordinances.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, Supplement Number 1, 1 Jul., 1976; p. 1)

1 Jul.:  Informing spouse or parents of court proceedings.

[New material]  “Confessions to Church authorities and the convening of Church courts are highly confidential.  However, the husband or wife of a person called before a Church court has a special interest in the proceedings and their outcome, as do the parents of young single persons so involved.  When court proceedings appear likely, local authorities should determine from the person involved whether the parents or spouse are aware of the situation, and, if not, the person should be encouraged to explain to them whaat is happening.  If the person does not wish to make the explanation directly, his permission should be sought for the presiding local authority to make the explanation.  Communication of the nature of the charge is not necessary but may be advisable.  Special circumstances may dictate that informing the parents or spouse would be unwise.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, Supplement Number 1, 1 Jul., 1976; p. 5)

1 Jul.:  Members involved in church court action.

[New material]  “Presiding officers of Church courts are to include a statement in the court minutes identifying members living outside their jurisdiction who seemingly are guilty of transgression.  The statement is to include the full names and addresses of these members and is to state whether their priesthood leaders have been contacted.  The presiding officers of Church courts should contact the priesthood leaders of such members so proper action can be taken.  However, if such contact is impossible, the presiding officers are to notify the Confidential Section of the Office of the Presiding Bishopric.  The Confidential Section then can notify the priesthood leaders of such members.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, Supplement Number 1, 1 Jul., 1976; p. 5)

1 Jul.:  Readmission of excommunicated person.

“[Pages 79-80.  Under present title ‘READMISSION OF EXCOMMUNICATED PERSON’ insert note on page 80 after first complete paragraph indicating that this material replaces that paragraph.]  Excommunicated persons who have had their temple endowment and who are again baptized into the Church may receive a restoration of blessings as indicated in the following paragraphs.  Pending the restoration of their blessings, the persons involved may participate in any Church activity permissible for a new, unendowed convert who holds no priesthood.”  

1 Jul.:  Statement on abortion.

[New material]  “To reaffirm the policy of the Church concerning abortion, the First Presidency is publishing the following official statement on this subject.

The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to, be a party to, or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or health of the woman is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by forcible rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the victim.  Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local bishop or branch president and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.

Abortion is one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day, when we are witnessing the frightening evidence of permissiveness leading to sexual immorality.

Members of the Church guilty of being parties to the sin of abortion are subject to the disciplinary action of the councils of the Church as circumstances warrant.  In dealing with this serious matter, it would be well to keep in mind the word of the Lord stated in the 59th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 6, ‘Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.’

As far as has been revealed, the sin of abortion is one for which a person may repent and gain forgiveness.”

(General Handbook of Instructions, 1976, #21, Supplement Number 1, 1 Jul., 1976; p. 6)

1 Oct.:  Ass’ts. to 12 dissolved into 1st Quorum of 70.

“Today we shall present four additional members of the First Quorum of the Seventy to you for your votes.

In 1941, five high priests were called to assist the Twelve Apostles in their heavy work, and to fill a role similar to that envisioned by the revelations for the First Quorum of the Seventy.  The scope and demands of the work at that time did not justify the reconstitution of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  In the intervening years, additional Assistants to the Twelve have been added and today we have twenty-one.

Commencing a year ago, brethren other than the First Council of the Seventy were called into the First Quorum of the Seventy, and at present there are fourteen in that quorum, including the First Council.

Since the functions and responsibilities of the Assistants to the Twelve and the Seventy are similar, and since the accelerated, worldwide growth of the Church requires a consolidation of its administrative functions at the general level, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, with the concurrence of the Assistants to the Twelve and the First Quorum of the Seventy, have felt inspired to call all of the Assistants to the Twelve into the First Quorum of the Seventy, to call four new members into that quorum and to restructure the First Council of the Seventy.

You will see that these changes, which are reflected in the list of General Authorities to be read by President Tanner, bring to thirty-nine the total number in the First Quorum of the Seventy, thus providing a quorum to do business.

With this move, the three governing quorums of the Church defined by the revelations,–the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the First Quorum of the Seventy,–have been set in their places as revealed by the Lord.  This will make it possible to handle efficiently the present heavy workload and to prepare for the increasing expansion and acceleration of the work, anticipating the day when the Lord will return to take direct charge of His church and kingdom.”  (Spencer W. Kimball, 1 Oct., 1976; CR Oct., 1976, p. 10)