The First Presidency announced this week that 117 area authorities have been called to serve in the Church's 22 geographical areas, effective Aug. 15.
The calling of area authorities was announced during general conference April 1, 1995, by President Gordon B. Hinckley. In making that announcement, President Hinckley spoke briefly of the plan to call area authorities, who are high priests and who will continue their employment, reside in their own homes and serve for approximately six years. President Hinckley said the area authorities will be closely tied to the Church's area presidencies.President Hinckley also announced that all the Church's 284 regional representatives would be honorably released, effective Aug. 15.
The calling of three area authorities to serve as counselors in area presidencies was reported in the Church News, July 1, 1995, p. 8. The area authorities called to serve in area presidencies are Hugo Angel Catron of Buenos Aires, Argentina; C. Scott Grow of Meridian, Idaho; and Carl B. Pratt of Quito, Ecuador. (See pages 7-10 for information about and photos of all 117 area authorities.)
The duties of area authorities are specifically and individually assigned, the First Presidency said. They will serve under direction of area presidencies, generally in the areas in which they reside.
The First Presidency said the area authorities will assist with leadership training duties anywhere in the area to which they are called, including mission districts, without limitation to specific stake or mission boundaries.
The work of area authorities may include, as assigned, but is not limited to, the following:
- Presiding at stake conferences.
- Reorganizing or creating stakes.
- Providing training to stake, mission and district presidents.
- Providing oversight on other tasks as assigned by the area presidency.