Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Priesthood Line of Authority
 


Priesthood Line of Authority

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 30, 2008

One of the distinctive features of Mormonism is our claim that the authority to preach, bless, speak, and otherwise act in the name of God comes from an exactly traceable pathway from John the Baptist (in the case of the Aaronic priesthood) and Christ’s ordination of the apostles (in the case of the higher priesthood), the ordination of Joseph Smith by certain of those resurrected bearers of priesthood, and through an unbroken and precisely definable chain from Joseph Smith down to the rawest young deacon ordained this week in the farthest corner of the church.

That is to me to me something special, something definable and different and demonstrable, that all Mormon priesthood bearers should be humbled by yet proud of, something you all should be aware of and ready to demonstrate when asked. One of the bits of Mormon ephemera for which I have a great deal of affection is the little business card-size chart that many LDS men carry which traces their personal priesthood line of authority – the man’s own name is at the bottom, and usually within six or eight steps that ordination arrives at the Lord himself.

Do you know your own line of authority?

It used to be quite easy to trace. The church was much smaller, church membership records used to record the names of the men who had blessed, baptized, confirmed and ordained to each priesthood office, and a small group of general authorities did much of the Melchizedek priesthood ordaining throughout the church. It has gotten more difficult, but no less important, with the growth of the church, and especially with a development – or devolution – in church record keeping during the 1970s, when a decision was made to record on membership records only the dates, and not the names, associated with priesthood ordinations. The complexity of tracing a priesthood line of authority became so onerous on the staff of the Historical Department that for years they stopped providing that service, although you could still come in yourself or hire someone to sift through mountains of ward and stake records to trace an individual line.

For the past few years, and in part due to the miracles of digitization, the church, through the membership department, has again assumed the work of tracing lines of authority. The easiest way, of course, is to ask the man who ordained you to your current office – he may have the information at his fingertips. If that is not an option, you can send an email to lineofauthority@ldschurch.org with “PLA” (minus the quotation marks) in the subject line. (You could also telephone, but you’re likely to wait on hold for a very long time – if you’re reading this online, email is no doubt a far easier way to do it.) Back will come a form for you to provide as much of the following information as you can provide to assist the staff in their search:

  • Your full name, and current ward and stake
  • Your date of birth, address, and telephone number
  • Your current priesthood office, and the (approximate) date of ordination, the ward and stake where you were living then, and the name of the ordainer, if known
  • The names and approximate dates of any Melchizedek priesthood ordinations you may have performed since holding your current office (if you ordained an outgoing missionary, for instance, they may already have traced the line for that missionary; knowing of this ordination can save them the effort of retracing the same line)

Remember that you have only one valid line of authority – that of your current office (unless you are a bishop or patriarch, in which case you trace your high priest’s line). Please don’t ask that they trace multiple lines for your earlier ordinations to lesser offices – they won’t, and it’s irrelevant.

Remember, too, that your line of authority passes through the office a man held at the time he ordained you – if you were ordained an elder by an elder, and that elder later became a high priest, you still trace your authority through his ordination as an elder.

They may contact you for further information. When they have traced the line, they will mail or fax it to you (they do not email the line, at present).

I’d like to hear your thoughts about the priesthood line of authority, and especially of any occasions where knowing your own line, or someone else’s, has resulted in a story. Or anything else remotely related.



62 Comments »

  1. Awesome stuff! I have a line of authority through my father, but it will be interesting to see how accurate it is…

    I’m not sure how important a PLA is in teaching non-members (if they don’t believe the authority yet, why would they care where it came from?), but it is a great tool in teaching the children and youth about authority. It is very effective to be able to tell them that I am X number of steps away from the “original” holders.

    Comment by Graham Wing — September 30, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  2. I also got one from my father when I was ordained an Elder, but I was ordained a High Priest by our local Bishop at the time.

    Thanks, Ardis. I will do this.

    Comment by Ray — September 30, 2008 @ 9:58 am

  3. Done. (Included all the info in the body of the e-mail, to have it in one place when the form comes if they still need the form – since the original message probably will generate a standard form and not be read.)

    I will let you know how it goes.

    Comment by Ray — September 30, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  4. When I was ordained an Elder, the person who did it was a Patriarch, not related to me. But he had these cards he gave out to those he ordained that clearly described his PLA. It was really nice to have it. And nice that it was short enough to be on a card. But now that you mention it, I think his PLA card traces his line through his Patriarch ordination instead of his HP ordination. I’ll have to check that when I get home.

    Comment by BruceC — September 30, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  5. When I have done ordinations, I have given a copy of the new PLA to the persons I have ordained with their name at the bottom, mostly my sons, but also a few other members of my ward.

    I think it is a hugely important concept that we can trace our priesthood authority back to the ultimate authority of the Savior. It should also be a humbling experience for us as well. I didn’t know about the service to provide this information for the many individuals who probably do not have it. Thanks, I will share this information.

    Comment by kevinf — September 30, 2008 @ 10:18 am

  6. Got the return e-mail. Filled out the information – for my Elder and High Priest ordinations, so I could request the current lines for my sons, as well.

    Comment by Ray — September 30, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  7. Makes me feel good — and useful — to have you jump on this so quickly, Ray. I appreciate all the other comments, too. While my father never printed up his own cards, he did carry one that was given him by the bishop who ordained him a high priest, and I always liked to look at that.

    Regardless of whether someone outside believes what the cards say or not, there’s something solid and definite and tangible about seeing the claim reduced to writing. For those of us who do believe, it’s a short pedigree that shows an individual’s place in the most important chain in this world — or out.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2008 @ 11:13 am

  8. Ah, you’ve touched on my father-in-law’s favorite discussion. We talk alot about line of authrity in the church and his question is WHICH line?
    Should your line be traced through the individual who confers the priesthood upon you as in the Aaronic Priesthood and Melchizidek priesthood, or should it change when there is a change in the office to which one is ordained. We don’t change the line of a young man when he becomes a teacher, so why do we change it when a man becomes a high priest?
    I know it seem s like a silly, worthless discussion and one that there seem to be an easy answer to. Trust me, he doesn’t see it as easy or unimportant!

    Comment by RLDDS — September 30, 2008 @ 11:37 am

  9. As a practical matter, church officials have answered the question … regardless of your father-in-law’s objections. Let’s leave it at that, eh?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  10. When my grandfather gave me my Patriarchal Blessing, he gave me his line of authority card, which had his ordination as patriarch on one side, and as high priest on the other.

    I prepared my line of authority years ago, when I was ordained a high priest. For being 150 years since the restoration of the priesthood, it’s remarkably short:

    [I] was ordained a high priest 19 April 1981 by
    *** who was ordained a high priest 6 September 1970 by
    GEORGE ELWIN WATKINS, who was ordained a high priest 11 September 1949 by
    HENRY D. MOYLE, who was ordained a high priest 10 April 1947 by
    GEORGE ALBERT SMITH, who was ordained an Apostle 8 October 1903 by
    JOSEPH F. SMITH, who was ordained an Apostle 1 July 1866 by
    BRIGHAM YOUNG, who was ordained an Apostle 14 February 1835 under the hands of the
    THREE WITNESSES, OLIVER COWDERY, DAVID WHITMER and MARTIN HARRIS,
    who were called by revelation to choose the Twelve Apostles and on 14 February 1835 were “blessed by the laying on of the hands of the Presidency,” Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, to ordain the Twelve Apostles. (History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 187-188.)
    JOSEPH SMITH, JR., and OLIVER COWDERY received the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1829 under the hands of
    PETER, JAMES and JOHN, who were ordained Apostles by the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 30, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  11. Half done, I clicked Add my comment.

    What I left out:

    The one name, besides my own, that I edited out is the other man on the list who is still living.

    Second, it is humbling to think of just nine men separating me from the Giver of the authority.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 30, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

  12. Ardis, this is awesome. I had no idea this service was available. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by m&m — September 30, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  13. Thanks for the illustration, Mark — that’s extraordinary and yet, I suspect, wonderfully typical. Those nine steps include some remarkable men in their own right.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

  14. This really is interesting. I’ve been taught about PLA since I was a deacon but never really have thought deeply about the significance. All of today’s comments have given me food for deeper thought on the subject. I am intrigued at some of the “unusual” PLAs such as BruceC’s who was ordained by a Patriarch. My father ordained me an Elder. At the time, his priesthood office was a Seventy (back at the time when they had stake Seventies quorums before they were discontinued in 1986). I find that a bit on the unique side as well.

    Ardis, thanks for the information on PLAs. I think I’ll follow Ray’s example and get my own.

    Comment by Steve C. — September 30, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

  15. m&m, I didn’t see that you had sneaked a comment in there while I was writing mine to Mark. Thanks. I’m trying not to take it for granted that everybody is as familiar with services like this as I am, when my familiarity only comes from being around them all the time. There’s PLA, and patriarch blessings, and member locator services — gotta think of what else might be useful to publicize.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2008 @ 2:07 pm

  16. If you think about it, Steve, maybe you could comment again when the PLA comes, as an indication of how long it takes. I’ve heard they put a priority on missionaries, then other living, then deceased (maybe it would interest family historians to know that you can request the line of authority for ancestors — but that’s lowest priority for the department that works on this, understandably).

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 30, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  17. Waaaay back to comment 1, I remember a teaching appointment with an investigator. It must have been the second discussion and he asked a line of questions which led to me describing the priesthood line of authority and referring to my dad’s.

    After that discussion, the elders started teaching him since he was a student about our age. It was a lovely experience to see him a year later at a regional conference, then a stake missionary with his own line of authority.

    I agree that to most investigators, the priesthood line of authority may be too much information, but to others it could be an important part of their conversion.

    Comment by Researcher — September 30, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  18. Remember that you have only one valid line of authority – that of your current office (unless you are a bishop or patriarch, in which case you trace your high priest’s line). Please don’t ask that they trace multiple lines for your earlier ordinations to lesser offices – they won’t, and it’s irrelevant.

    At recently as a month ago, they were providing a PLA for all MP offices that a person has held. It’s exactly for the reason Ray described (if you performed ordinations while an Elder, for instance).

    Comment by queuno — September 30, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

  19. As part of my attempt at writing our stake history, I have compiled a list of all the stake high council members, clerks, patriarchs, auxiliary presidencies,etc, with the dates they were called and the dates they were released.

    Several months ago, our stake clerk brought me some folders with this information for several years. Included in the folders was a list of all the priesthood ordinations by date and who performed the ordination.

    Three months ago, the clerk called to see if I had finished with the folders because he needed them back. Because, as Ardis said, in the 1970s the requirements for submitting this information to Salt Lake was changed so the person doing the ordination was not listed. Now, the stakes have been notified to send in all the information they have on file in their stake office so that the church can update their records.

    Comment by Maurine Ward — September 30, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  20. Thanks for this. I always enjoy your posts.

    Comment by Yet Another John — September 30, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

  21. 18: queuno, you and Ray are right, of course. My statement was in response to having just read about some who wanted to have the lines traced for every Aaronic as well as Melchizedek priesthood office, and in some cases even wanting to have the priesthood line for the setting apart in their current calling as, say, a Sunday School teacher or member of the activities committee, which of course goes waaay overboard.

    But the form that comes back when you write to that address asks for both elder and high priest (if high priest is applicable).

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 4:08 am

  22. I’m very relieved to hear this is available from church records again. A line of authority that the Church itself doesn’t keep track of wouldn’t really be a line of authority, just an edifying bit of personal information. In other words, if men perform ordinances in the Church, without the Church worrying over verification of the line of authority, then that line isn’t a source of authority.

    Comment by John Mansfield — October 1, 2008 @ 7:11 am

  23. Member locator services? The Church will look up a Mormon for you and let you know how to contact him?

    Comment by John Mansfield — October 1, 2008 @ 7:13 am

  24. Thanks for the information,Ardis!

    I’ll give it a try.

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 1, 2008 @ 7:17 am

  25. John, I understand what you’re saying, but think that it hasn’t been quite that bad even in the absence of a fully traced line of authority. The church on both local and central level has always recorded on membership records that Brother X was in fact ordained an elder on such-and-such a date, in such-and-such a ward. Since that information is reported by the ward itself, not by the man in question, it has always been known that the ordination was properly performed under the direction of the local authority. That’s an official recognition that Elder X has in fact been duly and regularly ordained. The PLA is only a more detailed outline of that endorsement.

    Member locator services — it’s not quite as routine as you guess, and it’s up to the party you want to find as to whether or not he contacts you, but yes, that’s pretty much what it amounts to. I’ll get the very latest instructions for that process and post about it in a few days.

    Thanks for all the ongoing comments, whether I have mentioned each one individually or not. Your contributions all add to the value of the discussion, either by recognizing the value of the PLA or by refining the history and purpose. Thanks.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 7:51 am

  26. Is lineage really that important? Every Mormon Fundamentalist I know can trace their priesthood lineage back to the same source as the mainstream Mormons. If lineage is significant, then why would it be less significant for all those who can trace their lineage back to Christ, who happen to be outside the mainstream church?

    Personally, I believe lineage, and the adherence to God’s laws is the key to priesthood authority.

    Comment by Brent Hartman — October 1, 2008 @ 8:42 am

  27. Because, Brent, men outside the mainstream church have no priesthood authority whatsoever. They forfeited their priesthood when they apostatized, or, in the case of men who have never actually been members of the church, were fraudulently ordained by men who had forfeited their priesthood. As Christ Himself said, “God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” — lineage is of no benefit when the current generation is rotten.

    Keepapitchinin will entertain no further comments in support of apostate groups or doctrines. Brent’s comment is left as a warning. Please see “About” in the sideblog for Keepa’s comment policy and my ruthless, dictatorial authority to make the rules.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 9:08 am

  28. One sure sign of the Apostasy is using plural pronouns (their) with singular antecedents (Every Mormon Fundamentalist).

    Comment by Mark B. — October 1, 2008 @ 9:30 am

  29. All who can support Mark B. as our resident grammar cop, please signify by the uplifted hand … any opposed? … The voting appears to be unanimous in the affirmative.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  30. Thanks for your vote, Ardis! :-)

    I always do better in elections like this one where there is only one voter and she likes me, or in elections where no opposition is expected, like sustaining votes in church.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 1, 2008 @ 9:48 am

  31. I hope this doesn’t trigger your dictatorial powers, Ardis, but I just wanted to chime in and say this is a really interesting post, and I definitely have priesthood line of authority envy. I wish I could trace my authority as Primary President to God.

    Comment by ECS — October 1, 2008 @ 11:55 am

  32. Heh, heh — that might impress the kids in sharing time!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  33. ECS, ask your bishop for his PLA since he is the one that called you. If you draw it on a poster or board, then you can draw a different colored line from the Savior to the Bishop and talk about how the Savior directs leaders to make those calls. ;)

    Comment by Allison — October 1, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  34. Mark B. (#30) Having had the opportunity to sustain you as our resident grammar cop, I have to admit that I still feel for those who are “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of [grammar rules]” Ephesians 4:14. Without the light of true grammar, honest men will err. In the interest of removing gender from their speech, these honest men have mingled the philosophies of men with true grammar. I applaud your efforts to fight grammatical apostasy everywhere. :)
    Please take this in the spirit it was meant. I’ve corrected this same problem, usually to a neice or nephew since my kids “never” make that mistake.

    Ardis, are we at the point of the thread where “we’ve said all that probably can be said” … and “any of us still reading deserve all the fun we can get.” ?

    Comment by BruceC — October 1, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  35. Maybe so, although I like ECS’s envy and Allison’s suggestion, for real. Still, I’ll leave it open and hope it doesn’t get much wilder.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  36. Ardis, would it be possible for someone other than the priesthood holder to request a PLA? I know my husband doesn’t know his, and I think it would make a cool gift.

    Comment by JennyW — October 1, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  37. You can request it, but I think they will send it only in his name — you’d have to watch the mail and snag it before he sees it if you wanted to surprise him. Or if you have access to a fax number that he doesn’t use, give them that — it would still come in his name, but you’d be the one to get it.

    I agree, it would make a cool gift.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 1, 2008 @ 5:17 pm

  38. Or, JennyW, you could find his ordination certificate, contact the man who ordained him, and ask him for his line of authority (or ask him to get it from the church if he doesn’t know it). And then you can add your husband’s ordination to the end of the line.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 1, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

  39. Thanks for your support, BruceC.

    Lest people think I’m merely quibbling, you all should be aware that I agree with Richard Mitchell, the Underground Grammarian, that it was sloppy language that caused the Challenger disaster. The very future of our society is at stake!

    Comment by Mark B. — October 1, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

  40. Ardis, I sent the link to this post to my Bishop and Stake President, with a brief introduction of you, an explanation of your blog and the suggestion that they might want to make the members aware of this. I thought you might like to know that my Bishop responded and said he would check it out.

    Comment by Ray — October 2, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  41. UPDATE:

    I just received the following message in an e-mail from the PLA people.

    Thank you for the information that you provided. A copy of your complete priesthood line of authority, as well as your sons will be mailed out to the address on your membership record.

    I thought the inclusion of my boys was cool, and I will let you know whenever it arrives.

    Comment by Ray — October 8, 2008 @ 11:03 am

  42. Great! Thanks, Ray.

    So that’s one way they use to preserve confidentiality, eh? Using the address on your membership record. Cool.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 8, 2008 @ 11:06 am

  43. I got them today – for myself and for my sons.

    Two weeks is not bad from start to finish.

    Comment by Ray — October 16, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

  44. I’ll say not! Thanks for reporting back. If you have any particularly interesting experience presenting your sons’ lines to them, or anything else in relation to this, I hope you blog about it.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 16, 2008 @ 5:55 pm

  45. Interesting experience . . .

    “Hey kid, here’s your line of authority.”

    “Cool, dad.”

    Is that interesting? :)

    Comment by Ray — October 17, 2008 @ 6:10 am

  46. Fascinating. I’m going to build my next RS lesson around it. Thanks.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 17, 2008 @ 6:43 am

  47. [...] priesthood holders can get their line of authority from the Church via email. For the past few years, and in part due to the miracles of digitization, the church, through the [...]

    Pingback by High tech patriarchal blessings and lines of authority | A Soft Answer — October 22, 2008 @ 12:48 am

  48. solicito linea de autoridad

    Comment by Arturo Hernández Hernández — January 30, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

  49. Arturo,

    Basicamente, lo que dice esta pagina es que ud. puede mandar un correo electronico a lineofauthority@ldschurch.org con “PLA” como el titulo del correo electronico. Al mandar eso, despues ud. recibira en su email unas preguntas que ud. puede llenar con su informacion como su nombre y barrio/estaca, fecha de nacimiento, direccion, numero de telefono, oficio en el sacerdocio, la fecha estimada de su ordinacion, donde vivia cuando ud. fue ordenado, y el nombre de la persona que le ordeno tambien, si se acuerda.

    Comment by Jared T. — January 30, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  50. My line of authority, as it was given to me, goes via my grandfather’s ordination as a Patriarch. I do not have the line for his ordination as High Priest, which appears to be the one the Church would count. But the one I know has pleased me greatly. In my BYU ward, there was an apartment owned by a family from another state and perpetually occupied by a family of sisters and their cousins. In my years in the ward, I home taught several of these girls. Once I happened to remark on the copy of “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder” on their shelf and learned I was using the Priesthood to serve the great-granddaughters of the man through whom it entered my family: LeGrand Richards. I found it humbling and touching to realize that I was, in a sense, bringing his Priesthood back round to them. And slightly amusing to wonder if he ever sat in on the lesson.

    Comment by Nathan E. Rasmussen — March 13, 2009 @ 4:08 pm

  51. Ardis and others (well, at least the non-contentious ones!),

    I was very pleased to find this post as I was searching for some Priesthood Line of Authority information. I’ve been helping people find their priesthood lines since 2002 when I started a home-based business preparing certificates and wallet-sized cards for people. I have had some tremendous experiences in tracking people down, including one that started in Arizona and ended up being in my own stake in Tennessee! Of course, I started before the church began keeping the records again. It’s not as necessary now, but just last month I was able to help someone who had been using the wrong line for years. To me, it has the same rewards as doing genealogy. It’s very cool to be able to do them in foreign languages as well–Spanish especially. I have Portuguese and German, but I would love to get French and Italian versions if you know anyone who could help!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for your post and comments! I’ve bookmarked your blog so I can come back and read more–you’ve got some awesome stuff!

    Comment by Terrie Soberg — July 15, 2009 @ 12:42 am

  52. Ardis, since this topic just came up again, I saw your comment in 21 about people wanting a line of authority for everyone who set them apart to a calling.

    When I was a teenager back in the ’70s, I got a book of remembrance (you know, with the long horizontal pages they had back then) with pre-printed pages to be filled out. The book had spaces to fill in the line of authority for every ordinance: blessing, baptism, confirmation, patriarchal blessing, marriage, ordination, and every person who set you apart for a calling. In addition, there were pages where you were supposed to graphically trace the authority of every person who ever laid hands on you, with photographs of every person in the line. The pages were pre-printed with Jesus, Peter, James, and John, and you would go forward from there. The book came with postage stamp sized photos of every living or dead general authority and every person in a general authority’s line with ordination information printed below the photo. That way, once you got back to a general authority, you had photos and information to go the rest of the way back.

    I did a page for my grandfather who gave me my baby blessing, because I had the information, but don’t think I did the photographs for anything else, though I filled in the forms with what little information I had for other ordinances. Even at the time, I thought it was going way overboard with the lines of authority. I couldn’t even tell you who set me apart for my callings.

    I would guess the requests for obscure lines of authority may have come from people wanting to fill in forms such as this.

    Comment by Left Field — July 15, 2009 @ 7:37 am

  53. You may be right, Left Field — I recall the photo charts for line of authority, but don’t remember directly all the possible ways that information may have been displayed. I don’t suppose there would be anything wrong with someone wanting to put that together today, except that it demands a lot of nonessential work from church employees and is a novelty rather than serving the purpose that the single effective line of authority has.

    The Book of Remembrance went out just before I was old enough to start compiling one. I kinda wish I had done it anyway!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 15, 2009 @ 8:45 am

  54. I suppose the idea was that every priesthood holder would have his line of authority printed on a card and pass it out every time he ordained or set someone apart. I know I got one from my patriarch, but I’ve certainly never gotten one from anyone who set me apart for a calling. My grandfather had one made with photographs, and my mother had the original photographic negative from which the cards were made. That’s how I got the photographs I needed to depict my blessing line of authority.

    I think my father got his line from Salt Lake for when he was an elder and ordained me a deacon and teacher. By the time I was a priest and elder, my father was a high priest, and I think he got a card from the guy who ordained him. I was ordained a high priest about 8 years ago by my stake president. He said he would give me his line of authority, but he never did before I moved away. I guess I should email him and see if he can send it to me.

    The don’t do Books of Remembrance anymore? I must be a few decades out of touch. I just thought they would be in a different format since they did away with the long genealogy forms.

    Comment by Left Field — July 15, 2009 @ 9:03 am

  55. No book of remembrance, at least not as an official church program beyond the “keep your personal history” mantra. You can still get packs of printed forms from private companies, printed on letter-size paper to fit in notebooks along with the current standard pedigree charts/family group sheets, but there’s no auxiliary promoting the keeping of a formal book of remembrance anymore. I’ll bet most readers under 40 are generally unfamiliar with the concept.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — July 15, 2009 @ 9:17 am

  56. When I left on my mission, I had my Patriarchal Blessing reduced (to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2)and laminated with my Line of Authority on the back. Durable and easy to keep track of. It still fits in my scriptures. The steps are:
    [me]
    [dad]
    [stake president]
    D.G.Olson
    Matthew Cowley
    G.A. Smith
    (See #10)

    Dad had been ordained an Elder by his father, who had passed on by the time Dad was to be ordained a high priest. Dad had memorized his PLA, complete with dates, so he specifically asked that the ordination be performed by Bro. Olsen (who had ordained HIS dad) so his PLA wouldn’t change.

    Comment by Clark — July 15, 2009 @ 9:45 am

  57. Wow, that’s interesting. I guess I’d never noticed. I checked lds.org and found about an average of only one reference per year to a book of remembrance over the last twenty years, though it was mentioned as recently as February in the New Era.

    The pages I used for mine back in the 70s were of course also privately published, but I’m pretty sure the church produced the two-post binders and some other materials to go in them, in addition to the standard genealogy forms.

    My deacon’s ordination certificate from 1971 was book-of-remembrance size with holes pre-punched to form a page in the book. By the time I became a teacher, the certificate had shrunk to normal letter size. That long certificate was really a bad idea. Mine is still in the book of remembrance binder, but if anyone wants to use a different format, it’s going to be impossible to include their original certificates without folding. My patriarchal blessing (late 70s) was also on a legal sized form, but it was a vertical format and didn’t have holes punched.

    The long genealogy forms were also a problem because they had to be folded to type on them and no matter where it was folded, it seemed that some entries went across the fold. Rumor had it that one could get a typewriter with an extra long carriage to hold legal sized forms sideways, but I never saw one.

    Comment by Left Field — July 15, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  58. Clark, that’s the first time I ever heard that reason given for asking for a particular man to do an ordination, but why not? It’s really cool that he had the line memorized.

    Left Field, I’ve got a couple of advertisements for long-carriage typers that I can put up as a post. I don’t recall whether I’ve ever seen one in real life, either, but I remember a certain tone of envy in the voice when someone once referred to Sister So-and-So who did have one. Those long two-post binders made great coffee table books but lousy on-the-shelf books. I suppose as long as we were using them, it did make sense to print certificates and other docs to fit them, but converting to the standard three-ring binder must have been painful for those who had invested so much time in arranging and decorating their books of remembrance in the long format. Maybe that’s one reason why they went away — the enthusiasm couldn’t survive the transition.

    And I realize now that I didn’t acknowledge Terrie, who jump started this old discussion. If you’ve read this far, Terrie, thanks for your comment. Like you, I’ve faced having to redesign my business somewhat recently, when technology and decisions at the church library have opened options other than MY services to obtain the records people need. I’m starting to feel like a whale oil salesman in the early days of electricity, or like a buggy-whip manufacturer in the early days of the automobile.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 15, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  59. la presente es para solicitar mi linea de autoridad ya que en este momento la que yo tengo parece no ser beridica y deseo que si es posible se me confirmara nuevamente ,
    fui ordenado 29 jun de 1976 en la estaca camarones ciudad de mex. y pertenesia al barrio madero agradecere su atencin a esta solicitud atentamente abel mera m.

    Comment by abel mera mendoza — August 23, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

  60. Hermano Abel,

    Gracias por su pregunta. Favor de referirse al comentario #49. Debe de mandar un correo electronico como dice el comentario. Si tiene cualquier otra pregunta, anotela aqui. Gracias.

    Comment by Jared T. — August 23, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

  61. buenas noches

    Soy miembro de la iglesia desde el 17 de junio de 1984 fui ordenado elder por el Presidente de Misiòn John B. Keeler el 25 de noviembre de 1984 en el Distrito de Nuevo Laredo tamaulipas ( Hoy Estaca Nuevo Laredo )y quisiera contar con mi lìnea de autoridad.
    Desde entonces he servido en la iglesia. El 29 de mayo de 1988 fui ordenado Sumo Sacerdote por Juan Salais Caballero en la Estaca Piedras Negras Mèxico en Piedras Negras, Coahuila. El 8 de octubre de 1989 fui presentado y el 10 de octubre apartado como primer consejero al presidente de estaca en Piedras Negras y el 22 de noviembre de 1992 fui llamado como Presidente de estaca sirviendo por un perìodo de 9 años.
    Deseo saber si existe la linea de autoridad de John B. Keeler para contar con la mìa y si es la de èl la que debo de obtener o la de la ordenaciòn de sumo sacerdote. despuès de mi relevo como presidente de estaca fui llamado como obispo de mi barrio piedras negras 4

    Comment by JESUS ARTURO ROSAS HERRERA — February 4, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

  62. Hermano Jesus,

    Gracias por su pregunta. Favor de referirse al comentario #49. Debe de mandar un correo electronico como dice el comentario. Si tiene cualquier otra pregunta, anotela aqui. Gracias.

    Comment by Jared T. — February 4, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

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