In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(LDS Church), a general authority
is a member of certain leadership organizations who are given administrative and ecclesiastical
authority over the church. A general authority's jurisdiction is church-wide, in contrast to the responsibilities of a local authority or an area authority, which relate to a particular area, unit, or department of the church. However, not all church leaders with church-wide jurisdiction in the church are considered general authorities. The current number of general authorities as of October 2007 is 94.
... Origin of the term
The first scriptural use of the term general authority was in minutes of a meeting for the organization of the Presiding High Council
in 1834. Though the original minutes did not refer to the term general authorities, the revised minutes, which were included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants,
stated that decisions of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles "can only be called into question by the general authorities of the church in case of transgression." The use of the term general authorities at this time and in this context is generally interpreted to include the First Presidency and the Presiding High Council.
1. ^ See “General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, Ensign, Nov. 2007,
2. ^ Doctrine and Covenants, Covenant 102:32