June 29, 2008

Chapter 5 (Angel Falling Softly)

Rachel quotes from Macbeth (Act V, Scene 5):

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

Hierarchal organization of the Mormon church (simplified).

The bishop (ward) presides over 200 to 500 members (a lay position). The stake president (stake) presides over dozen or so wards (a lay position). The stake high council is made up of twelve high councilors (a lay position), who represent the stake president at the ward level.

The Area Seventies (a compensated position) preside over geographical areas defined by the total population of Mormons in that region, (see here for a list). The Seventies (the term comes from Luke 10) report to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles (a compensated position).

In secular terms, think of the Quorum of Twelve as a corporate board, with the Prophet as president and CEO.

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7/01/2008 5:57 PM   
I would like to add a small clarification to your simplified description of the hierarchy of the Mormon Church.

It is my understanding that Area Seventies have regular jobs, and they are only compensated for their expenses while carrying out their church responsibilities.

Also, many of the General Authority Seventies also serve without compensation; although the Church furnishes them with living accommodations and a car if they are assigned to live in an area other than the one which they normally call home.

Thus, the lay positions in the hierarchy extend even into the upper levels of church governance.
# posted by Blogger Eugene
7/02/2008 8:36 AM   
Good point. Area Seventies, like mission presidents, occupy a transitional layer between the lay and "professional" priesthood. Sort of like the differences in compensation from single to Triple-A in minor league baseball, from avocation to vocation.