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After 28 years, the position of regional representative in the Church is being discontinued. In its place will be a new administrative position, the Area Authority.

The change was announced by President Gordon B. Hinckley in his address at the priesthood session.President Hinckley said there were 69 regional representatives in 1967. "Today there are 284. The organization has become somewhat unwieldly."

He said more recently the First Presidency called men from the Seventy to serve in Area Presidencies.

"It is now felt desirable to tighten up the organization administered by the Area Presidencies. Accordingly, we announce the honorable release of all regional representatives effective Aug. 15 of this year. . . .

"Now we announce the call of a new local officer to be known as an Area Authority. These will be high priests chosen from among past and present experienced Church leaders. They will continue their current employment, reside in their own homes, and serve on a Church-service basis. The term of their call will be flexible, generally, for a period of approximately six years. They will be closely tied to the Area Presidencies. They will be fewer in numbers than have been the regional representatives."

He said the change was guided by the provisions in the revelation on priesthood, Section 107 of the Doctrine and Covenants.