During general conferences, we sustain General Authorities, General Authority Seventies, Area Seventies, and General Officers.
Do you know the difference between these titles and callings?
General Authority is a term for any senior leader of the Church, including the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, General Authority Seventies, and the Presiding Bishopric.
General Authority Seventies are ordained to the office of Seventy in the Melchizedek Priesthood. They are called to serve full-time under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They travel frequently to meet with, minister to, and teach local Church leaders, members, and missionaries. They have authority to serve anywhere in the world. They serve in Area Presidencies and in other headquarters’ administrative functions. They usually serve full-time until they are 70 years old and are granted emeritus status at the following October general conference.
Area Seventies are local authorities called in a specific Church geographic area. Like General Authority Seventies, Area Seventies are ordained to the office of Seventy in the Melchizedek Priesthood. However, Area Seventies are not considered General Authorities, and their authority is generally limited to the area where they serve. They live at home and serve on a Church-service basis for a designated number of years, similar to a bishop or stake president. They maintain their non-religious vocations.
General Officers of the Church consist of the Relief Society, Young Men, Young Women, Primary and Sunday School general presidencies. They oversee the administration of their organization all over the world. They travel frequently to meet with and teach local Church leaders and members. General Officers reside near Salt Lake City and serve at Church headquarters. The organization presidencies generally serve for five years. General Officers are not considered General Authorities.
To learn more about these callings, as well as the Presidency of the Seventy and Area Presidencies, read the Church News article “What Is the Difference Between a General Authority Seventy, Area Seventy and General Officer?“