In the Saturday Morning Session of the October 1984 General Conferece, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced that some Seventy would be extended three to five year calls to the First Quorum of the Seventy:
As you know, there are two vacancies in the Council of the Twelve Apostles, incident to the passing of Elder LeGrand Richards and Elder Mark E. Petersen. We shall take action to fill these vacancies this morning, and we shall also add to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
In the case of the Seventy, we are putting into effect the practice long generally followed and accepted in the Church with reference to other offices. Members of the First Quorum of the Seventy are General Authorities in every sense: in calling, in responsibility, in power and authority. Theirs have been permanent appointments, and those presently serving will continue so to serve. However, tenure of appointment is not important insofar as the work is concerned. Calls to serve as bishop, stake president, Regional Representative, mission president, temple president, and president of the auxiliary organizations are for a period of years. The individual is then honorably released and others are afforded the opportunity of service. After much prayerful consideration, we have called six men, mature and tested through long years of service, to become members of the First Quorum of the Seventy, to serve for periods of three to five years, just as a mission president or temple president would do, and then to be released with honor and appreciation. While they so serve, they will be General Authorities with every right, power, and authority necessary to function. They will be expected to give their full time to this work while they are in office. This procedure, we feel, will provide a constant infusion of new talent and much-widened opportunity for men of ability and faith to serve in this these offices