A few years ago, soon after my father-in-law passed away, my husband had some questions regarding his priesthood line of authority. In an attempt to find some answers, my husband wrote to
The First Presidency recently directed that efforts begin to officially record priesthood line of authority information for selected offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood. Priesthood line of authority will be traced for:
- Melchizedek Priesthood conferral (usually ordination to the office of elder)
- Ordination to the office of high priest
Though ordinations to the office of seventy may be included in the above priesthood lines of authority, no separate line of authority is maintained for the office of seventy. Ordained bishops and patriarchs trace their priesthood line of authority through their high priest ordination. Priesthood line of authority is not recorded for Aaronic Priesthood offices.
When ordaining others to offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood, priesthood line of authority is determined by the priesthood office you hold at the time you perform the ordination. The following example will help explain.
EXAMPLE: If you were an elder when you ordained your first son an elder, your first son will always trace his elder line of authority through your elder line of authority. If you were a high priest when you ordained your second son an elder, your second son will always trace his elder line of authority through your high priest line of authority.
Once you have your line of authority:
- Share it with your family
- Give a copy to those whom you have ordained or will ordain
- Record it in your personal history
This information cleared up some questions we had concerning which line of authority my husband was to follow. He was ordained an Elder by his father and a High Priest by mine.Because of the rapid growth of the church, the recording of a priesthood line of authority is no longer part of your church membership records. The responsibility of obtaining and recording a priesthood line of authority now solely rests on the individual. Make sure you have obtained and recorded your priesthood line of authority from the person who was authorized to bestow the priesthood on you. This is an important bit of information for you and your posterity.
Do you know your priesthood line of authority?