Response to Questions on Organizing Conferences & Quorums
Thanks for coming to the source for your information. Please note that the answer I write reflects my own thinking, as I have not checked this with the rest of the 70.
I do not know if your question concerns only the organization of the Quorums of 70, or if it applies to other general quorums (e.g. apostles, first presidency) or to quorums of other offices (elders, high priests, teachers, and deacons). Since your question only mentions the 70, I will assume that you are asking only about them, and I will try to clarify my answer by addressing several separate but related questions implicit in your inquiry.
1. Are inter-branch conferences legal?
This is the question that Bob Moore asked us to answer as a body of 70. Our answer, as stated in the letter that we wrote to him, is yes. It is our opinion that there is nothing in the law that prohibits individual branches from organizing themselves in a conference, and there is also precedent for the same in our history.
2. Does the group of Restoration 70 endorse the idea of inter-branch conferences?
Yes. We believe that it could be beneficial to the membership if the Restoration branches would participate in larger conferences. We have endorsed the idea of national church conferences, such as those held in other countries, but do not exclude the possibility of other, larger or smaller, conferences.
3. Could an inter-branch conference authorize the forming of a quorum of 70?
This would depend on the nature of the conference. If there were a representative conference of the whole church, there would clearly be authority to organize the 70 as a quorum. On the other hand, if a handful of congregations decided to organize as a district or even as a stake, they would not have authority to act for the whole church in this matter.
4. Do the 70 recognize the need for quorum organization?
Absolutely yes. The calls for ministry at this time are more than we can possibly handle. There are people who we believe have a call to the 70. But there can be no ordinations to the 70 without a quorum of presidents of 70 to present the call and a conference of the church to approve it.
5. Are the Seventies calling for a conference for the purpose of sanctioning the organization of a quorum of 70?
No, but if the whole body of the church were ready to come together for such a conference, we would move to endorse it in the blink of an eye. Please do not confuse our recognition of the need for quorum organization with our endorsement of the organization of inter-branch conferences. As stated in our letter, which you have correctly quoted, we believe that a representative conference of the church is an essential prerequisite for the organization of the 70 into a quorum. But the converse does not hold. That is, it is quite possible to have inter-branch conferences that could not authorize the formation of a quorum of 70. We would support even the smallest steps in this direction as being in the right direction for the church.
I hope that I clarified what was meant to your satisfaction. I also hope you know that I will always try to answer your questions as clearly and truthfully as I can.
Your brother in Christ,