If you’re wondering what the real role of a General Authority is, I have an answer directly from one of them that just might surprise you. It was given by grandpa M. Russell Ballard at BYU on November 14, 2017.
“It is important to remember that I am a General Authority, but that does not make me an authority in general.
I worry sometimes that members expect too much from Church leaders and teachers—expecting them to be experts in subjects well beyond their duties and responsibilities. The Lord called the apostles and prophets to invite others to come unto Christ—not to obtain advanced degrees in ancient history, biblical studies, and other fields that may be useful in answering all the questions we may have about scriptures, history, and the Church. Our primary duty is to build up the Church, teach the doctrine of Christ, and help those in need of help.
Fortunately the Lord provided this counsel for those asking questions:
Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.5
If you have a question that requires an expert, please take the time to find a thoughtful and qualified expert to help you. There are many on this campus and elsewhere who have the degrees and expertise to respond and give some insight to most of these types of questions.
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