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Priesthood Line of Authority

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A Priesthood Line of Authority shows who ordained an individual and who in turn ordained them and so on back to the Lord.

Thousands of ordinances are performed weekly throughout the Church. These ordinances are to be performed by priesthood holders who have been properly ordained and properly authorized by one who has the keys to authorize the ordinance under the direction of the prophet. Therefore, a priesthood authority line traces a priesthood holder's authority from the person ordaining him back to the Lord (D&C 42:11).

Definition of Line of Authority

The line of authority is traced through the office held at the time of the ordination:[1]

If a priesthood bearer desires to trace his own line of authority, he should pursue his current office in the priesthood — not former offices. Bishops and patriarchs should trace their line of authority as high priests. In completing an authority line, each step should go back through the office held by the person at the time he performed the ordination. It is not appropriate to trace the line of authority in cases of setting apart or for other ordinances.

How to request a copy of a Priesthood Line of Authority

Methods of contacting

Contact Church headquarters in one of the following ways:

  • Email: with PLA in the subject line. In return you'll receive a form to fill out and return (this is an automated reply to any message that contains "PLA" in the subject line).
  • Phone: 800-453-3860 ext 23500 then choose option 6, then option 3. After the message and tone leave a voice mail message with your fax number or mailing address. The form will be mailed to you.

Helpful information

Be prepared with as much of the following information as possible (your ward clerk MAY be able to help you with some of this information):

  1. Full name of the priesthood holder
  2. Date of birth
  3. Current ward and stake
  4. Address and Zip Code
  5. Elder ordination date
  6. Who performed the Elder ordination
  7. Ward and stake where Elder ordination was performed
  8. High Priest ordination date if applicable
  9. Who performed the High Priest ordination
  10. Ward and stake where High Priest ordination was performed
  11. Any Melchizedek Priesthood ordination performed by the priesthood holder


  1. See Ensign, August 1976, Priesthood Line of Authority.