-John-
> I have heard that half of all elders are inactive.  But that
> fewer than 5 percent of high priests are inactive.  Can anyone
> here confirm or deny this?

I can't confirm or deny Church-wide, of course, but around here that's 
not the case. 50% is approximately right for the elders, probably a bit 
high, but 5% is definitely too low for the high priests.

> I speculate that by the time a man is called to be a high
> priest he has proven that his interest in the gospel is not
> a temporary thing.  Elders, because they are generally much
> younger, have not lived long enough to demonstrate by their
> record that they will remain active no matter what.

Maybe in some places, but I doubt that's the case here. Of the six 
elder's quorum presidents I have had in Redmond, four have been over 40 
years old. Of the other two, one was a recent convert of about 26 years 
of age, and the other was in his early 30s and was clearly being 
fast-tracked and groomed for administrative service (he's currently in 
the bishopric). Our elder's quorum has also, until very recently, 
included a very active brother in his 50s and several very active men in 
their 40s. They had long since "demonstrated by their record" their 
activity. But we live in a very active area with lots of 
leadership-quality men, and I suspect the local leaders prefer not to 
make men high priests just because they have turned 30 or 40 or 50 or 
whatever. Just my suspicions.

I do agree with at least one thing you've said: High priests are far 
more likely to be active than elders. This is to be expected, since high 
priests are the leaders, and the leaders are usually selected from among 
the most active and faithful of the Saints (men). But that should not be 
considered a slight upon those faithful Saints of whatever age who are 
elders.

Stephen

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