I’ve written about the LDS Church’s quorums of seventy before: The Twelve and Seventy: An Interview With Pres. Packer, Part 1; Organization of LDS Church, Part 2; Chart of LDS General Authorities; How Many Children do the Seventy Have?
The LDS Church posted the second part of a discussion of the roles and responsibilities of the Seventies. This is from an interview with Pres. Packer (video embedded at the end of the post).
The interview is interesting but I think that what is equally interesting is the timeline of the Seventy. I’ll highlight a few dates and points that I found particularly interesting.
1835 – First Quorum of the Seventy organized
1846 – At the time of the exodus from Nauvoo, the number of seventies quorums had increased to about 35.
1904 – Number of seventies quorums reaches 146.
1953 – Seventies quorums or units are organized in each stake.
1961 – First Council of Seventy ordained high priests.
1961 – Members of the First Council of the Seventy authorized to organize or reorganize stake presidencies and to call stake presidents on assignment. [This step is particularly important because it allowed members of the First Council of Seventy to bestow keys to Stake Presidents. Seventies were given authority to use the keys of the Apostles (which is still the case) as needed].
1974 – Stake presidents authorized to ordain seventies in stakes.
1984 – Tenure of appointment to be fewer years for some Seventy (3–5 years): “However, tenure of appointment is not important insofar as the work is concerned. … After much prayerful consideration, we have called six men, mature and tested through long years of service, to become members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, to serve for periods of three to five years. … They will be General Authorities with every right, power, and authority necessary to function” (Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 4).
1986 – Seventies quorums in stakes discontinued.
1989 – Organization of the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
1995 – Area Authorities called.
1997 – First and Second Quorum of Seventy are General Authorities.
1997 – Area Authorities are ordained Seventies; Third, Fourth, and Fifth Quorums of the Seventy organized.
2005 – Area Authority Seventy title changed to Area Seventy.
2005 – Seventh and Eighth Quorums of the Seventy organized.
2009 – Area Seventies replaced by General Authorities in all Area Presidencies.
It is interesting to watch how the organization of the Seventies has changed to provide the authority and training and overview necessary to meet the needs of a growing church.