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General Authorities

The LDS church claims to be led by modern revelation via the sitting Mormon prophet. Since Joseph Smith, few Mormon prophets have given "revelation". The LDS church is a structured vertical hierarchy that employs a chain of command from the prophet, who also serves as the organization's president, down to priesthood for boys as young as 12 years old.

Quotes in this handbook are from "General Authorities", those who hold or have held offices in the top three tiers.
  • LDS Hierarchy
    LDS General Authorities
    First Presidency
    The prophet is also the president of the church. He appoints two counselors, which together comprise the First Presidency. The prophet serves for life, and upon his death is replaced by the longest serving apostle.
  • Quorum of Twelve
    Twelve apostles serve life terms, and may be appointed to the First Presidency, either upon death of the prophet, or appointed as one of his counselors. Together with the First Presidency they conduct church policy and administration.

  • Quorum of Seventy
    The Seventy serve as regional presidents throughout the world. There are two quorums: the First Quorum serve lifetime appointments. The Second Quorum serve about 5-7 years. Seven men are appointed from both quorums to the Presidency of the Seventy.


The Christian Church Diagram The Christian Church
The apostles and prophets of Biblical times teach:
  • That the office of prophet (not to be confused with the gift of prophecy) was replaced with Jesus Christ.
    Holy Bible God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
    — 1 Corinthians 12:28
  • The authority of Christ's apostles supersede all other offices, including the prophets. Christ's appointed apostles remain our apostles today.
    Holy Bible And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
    — 1 Corinthians 12:28
  • The apostles and prophets of Biblical times, with Jesus Christ as the corner stone, are the foundation of the Christian church.
    Holy Bible having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone
    — Ephesians 2:20

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