The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve issued the following statement Jan. 18:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now established in more than 150 nations and political entities. Its membership presently exceeds 9,300,000. Within a short time membership outside the United States will exceed that in the United States. With this growth comes an ever increasing responsibility for the world-wide supervision of the work and the training of local leadership. This is placing greater demands upon the General Authorities of the Church."The primary call of a General Authority is his ecclesiastical responsibility. Except for family responsibilities, all others are secondary to this.
"In view of this situation the First Presidency has suggested that General Authorities withdraw from membership on the boards of directors of business corporations. This will include membership on boards of Church-owned corporations, as well as those of a public and private nature.
"So that there will not be any sudden disruption occasioned by the release of a number at one time, it is proposed that those involved will continue until the next regular annual meetings of the corporations with which they are associated, at which time they will resign or will not stand for re-election.
"We recognize that officers and boards of various corporations highly value the talents and wisdom of General Authorities presently serving. We are hopeful, however, that they will accept the need for our brethren to give their full time and energies to the work of the ministry.
"It is anticipated that there will be one exception. With reference to Church-owned corporations, most of these are now subsidiaries of Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In these circumstances this will continue as a holding company with its board comprised of representatives from the ranks of the General Authorities."