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42 Questions


Question 23
Assistants to the Twelve

What is the Scriptural basis (Latter-day or otherwise) for the office of "Assistant to the Twelve" being called a General Authority?

Response: by Malin Jacobs

If by “scripture,” the questioner means the officially canonized four standard works of LDS scripture, the answer is there is no scriptural basis for the Assistant to the Twelve being called general authorities.  There is no need for such a scriptural basis.  The priesthood keys reside in the President of the Church, and he has the authority to add or remove auxiliary offices as needed.

In 1941 the church became large enough that it was difficult for the Twelve to keep up with everything, yet fully implementing the Seventy was not yet justified.  Therefore the office of Assistant to the Twelve was created.  The term “general, authority” simply indicates that the office is general to the church worldwide, in contrast to offices such as stake presidents and bishops, whose authority does not extend beyond their local areas.

In 1976 the President of the Church decided it was time to fully implement the office of Seventy.  The office of Assistant to the Twelve was merged into the office of Seventy, and disappeared as a separate office.