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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Official Church Growth Forum Created

One topic under discussion for a while on the LDS Church Growth blog has been the future creation of a forum to discuss the different subjects relating thereunto. If any of you who are reading my posts feel you might have an interest in joining the discussion, I would invite you to put in a request to join that forum. You can do so by clicking here.

Elder Ronald T. Halverson, Emeritus General Authority, Passes Away

I read about this yesterday when it was published, but this is the first chance I've had to blog about it. We have had yet another death of an emeritus general authority. Elder Ronald T. Halverson passed away on Friday. He was 80. He served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 1998-2006. He was an amazing servant of the Lord. To read more about this remarkable man's life, please click here. In his 8 years of service, he gave two remarkable and powerful addresses in General Conference. Click here to read those. Funeral services are being held on Wednesday.

That said, I wanted to note a couple of significant things. It seems that the Church is losing a lot of active and emeritus general authorities lately. Obviously the Lord needs these great men to be called home. Also, I wanted to share some little-known facts officially regarding emeritus General Authority Seventies.

Up until 2012, only members of the First Quorum of the Seventy were granted emeritus status. When the members of the Presiding Bishopric were released during April 2012 General Conference, they became the first non-General Authority Seventies to be granted emeritus status. Then in October 2015, for the first time in Church history, two of the brethren serving in the Second Quorum of the Seventy (Elders Koichi Aoyagi and Bruce A. Carlson) were granted emeritus status. Elder Carlson was 65 at the time, so his emeritus status was likely granted for in view of his health or for other reasons unknown. It was subsequently revealed that former living members of the Second Quorum of the Seventy had received letters from the First Presidency designating them as emeritus general authorities.

Then things changed further in April 2016, when the men who were sustained as new General Authorities were not sustained to a specific quorum. Between my work on Wikipedia and my inquiries regarding the matter, I found out that, while they will still be assigned to a specific quorum, that designation will not be made public. This was verified by the facts that, on the General Authorities Chart in the General Conference Ensigns since then, the two quorums are listed under that one group. Further proof of this is the fact that each biography of a General Authority Seventy on LDS.org now just refer to these brethren under that title.

I am sorry I failed to mention that before. It is an important and intriguing development in Church history to be sure. I hope that this explanation helps to answer any questions anyone has about what's going on there. Thanks to you all for your interest and support. More to come soon. I have a major update I'm working on about the latest apostolic statistics. I will also have an important Church Growth development to report as well. In the meantime, any comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks.