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This thread is dedicated to better understanding the role of Seventies in the Church. Here is a useful summary taken from material prepared by Elder Earl C. Tingey who was serving in the presidency of the Seventy in 2005.
In February 1835 the Prophet Joseph Smith called the first Seventies in this dispensation. In the years that followed, the calling of the Seventies developed to meet the changing needs of the growing Church. In 1975 President Spencer W. Kimball reconstituted the First Quorum of the Seventy, and the following year, the 21 men who had been called as Assistants to the Twelve were ordained Seventies and made members of the First Quorum. Ten years later, in 1986, the seventies quorums in stakes throughout the Church were discontinued, and those serving as seventies returned to elders quorums or were ordained high priests.
Three years later, in 1989, the Second Quorum of the Seventy was organized. Members of this quorum serve under a five-year call. Members of the First Quorum serve until they reach age 70, at which time they are designated as emeritus members. There may be occasional year-by-year extensions as determined by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Members of these two Quorums of the Seventy are General Authorities and are given assignments by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They serve full time and may be assigned to supervise the Church anywhere in the world.
The unique and singular calling of the Seventy is clearly established in the revelations: “It is the duty of the [Twelve] to call upon the Seventy, when they need assistance, to fill the several calls for preaching and administering the gospel, instead of any others” (D&C 107:38).
The Seventy do not receive additional priesthood keys, but with each assignment they receive from the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, they are delegated authority to accomplish the assignment given.
In 1997 the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles organized the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Quorums of the Seventy. In 2004 the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy was organized, and in April 2005 the Seventh and Eighth Quorums of the Seventy were organized. There are currently 195 members of these six quorums. Members of these quorums are faithful brethren who live throughout the world. They are called Area Seventies, thus distinguishing them from General Authority Seventies.
Area Seventies live at home and serve on a Church-service basis, much like a bishop or a stake president, for a designated number of years. They receive assignments similar to those received by General Authority Seventies, with the exception that they serve in their local areas rather than worldwide.
These six quorums are organized geographically. The Third Quorum includes Area Seventies located in Europe and Africa. The members of the Fourth Quorum live in Mexico, Central America, and the northern part of South America. The Fifth Quorum members are in the western parts of the United States and Canada, and the members of the Sixth Quorum live in the central, southern, and eastern parts of the United States and Canada and in the Caribbean. The Seventh Quorum members are located in Brazil and the southern areas of South America, and the Eighth Quorum members are located in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, and the Philippines.
The Presidency of the Seventy presides over all members of these Quorums of the Seventy. The Presidency of the Seventy consists of seven members of the First or Second Quorum of the Seventy who are called by the First Presidency and are given authority to preside over the Seventy.
(Elder Earl C. Tingey, The Quorums of the Seventy, August 2005) ↗
When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world. ~George MacDonald
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