Why Record Priesthood Lines of Authority

George Q. Cannon, a member of the First Presidency in 1884, prophesied, “I believe the time will come when it will be necessary for every man to trace the line in which he has received the Priesthood that he exercises. It is therefore of great importance in our Church that records should be kept, and that every man should know whence he derives his authority–from what source, through what channel he has received the holy Priesthood, and by what right he exercises that authority and administers the ordinances thereof.

I believe this is of extreme importance, and that where there are doubts as to a man’s legitimately exercising that authority, that doubt should be removed. Every man should be careful on this point, to know where he gets his Priesthood; that it has come to him clean and undefiled, legitimately;” (18 October 1884, Journal of Discourses 26:247)