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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – Home Teaching, 1830

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood – Home Teaching, 1830.” You can view other years here.

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date?:  Bishop [Edwin] Woolley regarded the teachers as the “legs and feet” of the “Kingdom of God.”  (See Arrington, From Quaker to Latter-day Saint, p. 336)

Late 1830/early 1831:  Wm. Smith’s duties as Teacher.

“I will now return to Waterloo after Joseph and his father left, William being one of the teachers visited the Church calling on every family (as our custom is) he prayed with them and did not leave the house untill every member of the family prayed vocally that was over eight years old.”  (Lucy Mack Smith manuscript, p. 131)

1834:  25 Dec.:  Kirtland Teachers Quorum meeting.

“Dec 25th 1834

conference met acording to adjournment and appointed brother George Johnson pressident protem and A. C. Graves clerk conference opned by prayer by brother George Johnson–the conference then appinted brothers John Taylor and Benjaman Johnson to labor with Orva Cartwright for making use of tobacco, also brother Joseph Cechum was appointed to labor with broth Bates & wife also brothers G. Johnson & A. C. Graves was appointed to labor with the widow Shaw, this conference adjourned till the 31st day of Jan 1835 at 10 o clock conference closed by prayer by broth John Lowry Teachers Present

George Johnson

Joseph Cechum

John Lowry

John Taylor

Alvin C. Graves

Morgan Gardner

Benjamin Johnson”

(Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 25, 1834 – February 12, 1845; LDS Archives, MS 3428)

1835:  31 Jan.:  Kirtland Teachers Quorum meeting.

“Jan 31st 1835

the conference met acording to adjeornment and appointed brother George Johnson president protem conference opened by prayer by broth George Johnson; Brothers Morgan Gardner & George Pitkin was appointed to labor with John Poorman & Solomon Danolds on the account of a pair of stears also brothers Brothers [sic] Benj Johnson & Ecekel Peck Rockwell Family it is also agreed that MOrgan Gardner & Philo Dibble be appointed with Lorenso Chamberlain it is also agreed that brothers George Johnson & Tibets Brother Gilbert Goldsmith it is agreed that this meting be adjeorned untill the last Saterday in febuary counsel closed by prayer by brother Samuel Music  Teachers present

George Johnson

Alvin C. Graves

Cyrus Danolds

Morgan L. Gardner

John Loury

George Beele

Samuel Musick

William Weeden

Benjamin Johnson”

(Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 25, 1834 – February 12, 1845; LDS Archives, MS 3428)

25 Feb.:  Kirtland Teachers Quorum meeting.

“Feb 25th 1835

Conference met according to adjeornment and opened by prayer by Brother George Johnson president protem it is agreed that brother George Beebe report brother Porter Rockwell & wife to the Elders it is further agreed that this conference be adjeornd untill the last satterday in march conference concluded by prayer by Brother Benjaman Johnson

Teachers presant

George Johnson

Alvin C. Graves

Samuel Musick

Cyrus Danolds

Philo Dibble

George Pitkin

George Beebe

Horice Evens

John Lowry

Chapman Duncan

Benjaman Hendrick

Benjaman Johnson

William Wheden”

(Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 25, 1834 – February 12, 1845; LDS Archives, MS 3428)

29 Mar.:  Kirtland Teachers Quorum meeting.

“March 29th 1835

conference met acording to adjeornment brother George Johnson was chosen president protem conference opened by prayer by brother George Johnson broth A C Graves was appointed clerk; it was agreed that brother Cyrus Danels labor with broth Luman Gibbs for lying or extortion it is also agreed that brothers Music and Graves labor with brother James Dunn & wife; it is agreed that brother Morgan Gardner take a Deacon with him and labor with Olive Butler and it is also agreed that Brother Rawson take an other with him and see brother Lewis and know the cause why he does not attend with us it is agreed that this conference be adjeorned untill the last satterday in May this conference closed by prayer by broth Cyrus Danals

George Johnson president

A C Graves Clerk”

(Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 25, 1834 – February 12, 1845; LDS Archives, MS 3428)

30 May:  Kirtland Teachers Quorum meeting.

“May 30th 1835

Conference met according to adjeornment and opned by prayer by brother Joshua Lewis president it was put to vote and voted that brother Lewis should be our president and br Graves our Clerk and that they should be ordained by each other which was accordingly done; it was then voted that the clerk should purchace a book for the purpose of keeping the minutes of the several conference; it was then agreed that broth Stringum take broth Covy with him and labor with broth Cyrus Danoldes & wife on the account of a contradiction existing between them; it is further more agreed that broth George Johnson take a deacon with him and labor with broth Solomon Danolds & wife & Cyrus Danolds & George beeber wives to settle a quarrel existing betweeen them; it is also agreed that brothers Allen and hendricks labor with louis hendricks and broth marvins for not keeping the word of wisdom &c it is a greed that this conference be adjeornd untill the last satterday in June next.

pres Joshua Lewis John Lowry

Clerk Alvin C Graves Are Cartwright

Benj Johnson Josiah Sumner

George Pitkins Morgan L Gardner

Benj Hendricks Horace Evens

Wm Stringham Samuel Musick

George Johnson Wm Wheden”

(Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 25, 1834 – February 12, 1845; LDS Archives, MS 3428)

29 Aug.:  Kirtland Teachers Quorum meeting.

“Aug 29th 1835

Conference met acording to adjeornment and opened by prayer by president Luis after recieveing some instructions from Brother Luis it was agreed Brothers George Johnson and president Burk be appointed to labor with brother Joseph Cechum and brother Jacob Crandal to settle a difficulty existing between them on the account of the keeping of a child it was further more agreed that this conference be adjeornd untill the last satterday in September to be held at brother George Beebes conference closed by prayer by pres Luis

Members pesent [sic]

pr Joshua Luis Ezechel Peck

clerk A C Graves John Taylor

George Johnson Joseph Allen

Samuel Music

Are Cartwright

Gipson Gates

Horace Rawson

Wm Stringum

Joseph Cechum

Benj Johnson”

(Teachers Quorum Minute Book, December 25, 1834 – February 12, 1845; LDS Archives, MS 3428)

1838:  6 Jul.:  Importance of Teachers and Deacons.

“The Conference convened agreeable to adjournment, opened by singing, ‘He died the great Redeemer died.’

After which President Sidney Rigdon made a few remarks respecting the officers in the Church saying, each officer must stand in his place, and perform his duty as it is required at his hand, and in so doing, he would be willing to predict, that there would be no difficulty in the Church untill the coming of Christ, also that the foundation of the happiness of the Church rests upon the heads of the Teachers and Deacons, whose duty it is to go from house to house and see that each family in the Church is kept in order, and that the children are taught the principles of righteousness; and also that the time had come when it was required at the hands of the Deacons, Teachers, & Priests to render an account of their stewardship, the standing of the various branches to which they belonged, &c.  he also gave much good instruction to the Upper Priest-hood–He then addressed all the quorums present on the subject of speaking lightly of each other, thinking, perhaps, he had not much influence, when at the same time some one might be present who had great confidence in you, and it would soon lead to a great difficulty, because all the Officers in the Church has more influence than he may suspect, therefore, when you speak, let your words be seasoned with grace.

He then addressed the Elders, saying they were called to convert the world, and admonished them to put away ambition and go and perform the duty which is required at their hands–he compared the Elders to quarriers of stone, who merely quarried the stones and brought them to the building, where the Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, are polishers, whose duty it is to prepare them for the building.”  (Far West Record, 6 Jul., 1838)  

1840-44:  Teaching in Nauvoo.

“I was at Far West, in Caldwell county, at the time the church was there.  I went from there to Illinois, and I next went to Nauvoo.  It was about 1840 if I recollect right.  I held the position of teacher in the original church from September, 1832, until Joseph Smith’s death in 1844.  I performed the duties of teacher from the time I went to Nauvoo until 1844.  We had our bounds set off for us,–two teachers to each ward to look after the members in the ward, to see that no backbiting, or evil speaking, or iniquity was practiced, and see that all members of the church did their duties.

It was my mission to teach and instruct from the Book of Covenants, and the Book of Mormon, and the New Testament.  We went together from house to house and visited every house.  We taught them to attend to their prayers and see to it that there was no backbiting, or iniquity, or evil speaking; and if they had any hardness toward each other to inquire into it; and if there was any trouble like that, to go to work and get the parties together and have them settle it by arbitration.

It was our duty in case we found anybody with more wives than one to report them to the President of the Teachers’ Quorum.  There were twenty-four in the Teachers’ Quorum.  It was an organized quorum, and our instructions were if we found any case of that kind to report it to the President of the Teachers’ Quorum, and the president would report them to Hyrum Smith.  That was the instruction that Brother Hyrum Smith gave in the quorum.  We were not to report these alone, but any other misdemeanor that we found in our wards, and they were all reported alike to the President of the Quorum.”  (John Taylor [not President John Taylor], “Temple Lot Case,” p. 190)

50 Q:  I will ask you if you were at Far West in Caldwell County, Missouri, at the time the church was there?  A:  Yes sir I was.

51 Q:  Where did you go from there?  A:  I went out of the state.

52 Q:  Where did you go to?  A:  I am not right sure whether it was in Adams County, or in Hancock County.  I am not sure which county it was in for it was just near the line where I was.  It was five miles above Lima, and that was in Adams county eight miles below Warsaw.  That was where I stopped.

53 Q:  Warsaw, Illinois?  A:  Yes sir.

54 Q:  Well where did you go next?  A:  To Nauvoo.

55 Q:  What time did you go to Nauvoo?  A:  It was about ’40 (1840) if I mistake not.  I think it was about forty that I went there.

56 Q:  Now what position,–first I will ask you if you held any position in the re-organized church?  A:  Yes sir.  In the re-organized church did you say?

57 Q:  In the original church?  A:  Yes sir, I held the position of teacher.

58 Q:  You held the position or office of a teacher in the original church?  A:  Yes sir.

59 Q:  For how long?  A:  From September 1832 until Josephs death in 1844.

60 Q:  What did you do, if any thing, in the way of performing the duties of the office of teacher from the time you went to Nauvoo until 1844?  A:  We had our bonds set off for us,–two teachers to each Ward to look after the members in the ward, to see that no evil speaking or back-biting, or no iniquity was practiced, and to see that all members of the church did their duties.  That was our mission to teach and instruct them from the book of covenants and book of Mormon and the new testament.  I might say one word more in addition to what I have stated.  We were to go from house to house, and visit every house.

61 Q:  Well in the performance of your duty as teacher, what did you teach the people in your ward?  A:  To turn to prayers was one thing.  We taught them to attend to their prayers, and to see to it and watch that there was no iniquity or back-biting or evil speaking, and if theyhad any hardnesses towards each other to inquire into it and find out if there was any such hardness, and if there was any trouble like that to go to work and get the parties together, and have them settle it by arbitration.

62 Q:  Well what were your duties in case you found any body with more than one wife?  A:  To report them.

63 Q:  Report them to whom?  A:  To the President of the Teachers Quorum.

64 Q:  How many was there in that Quorum?  A:  There was twenty four in that quorum.  It was an organized quorum, and our instructions were if we found any case of that kind to report it to the President of the Teachers Quorum, and the President was to report them to the brother Hyrum Smith, and that was the instruction that brother Hyrum gave in the Quorum.  We were not to report these alone but any other misdeameanor that we would find in our wards, and they were all reporte alike to the President of the Quorum who in turn reported them to brother Hyrum.”

(John Taylor [Not the Church President], Temple Lot Manuscript, Book 2 Comp. Testimony, pp. 396-397)

1849:  7 Oct.:  Teachers to watch over all saints, even HP.

“Presidents Young and Kimball made some remarks on the duties of Teachers, showing their right and duty to teach, and watch over all Saints, in their several wards, High Priests not excepted.”  (7 Oct., 1849; Salt Lake General Conference Minutes; MS 12(9):134, 1 May, 1850)

1851:  15 Dec.:  Priority of ordained Teachers.

“Seeing, then, that the life, the health, the stability, the energy, and the purity of the Church are, to so great an extent, resultant from a faithful performance of the duties of these offices, but especially those of the Teacher; it is highly important that these officers should be humble, faithful men, full of the Holy Ghost and good works; men of experience in the knowledge and power of God; men who are apt to teach by their example, as well as by precept, the care-worn sons of men, how they may work out their salvation, and overcome the evils that are in the world.

The Presidents of Branches and Conferences, and particularly the American brethren, are instructed to give their attention to this subject; let good and faithful men be selected from among the Branches, men of good reputation, of exemplary conduct, such as rule well in their own houses, men of experience in the work of God, men of sound minds; if they are men of years, and are parents, so much the better, that they may teach and be honored as fathers, that their presence and their counsels may command reverence in the Church of God; and if the persons who are best adapted to the performance of these important duties are Elders, no matter, let them be set apart to the higher and more important duty of instructing the Saints.

It requires but little experience in the work, comparatively, to preach and defend the first principles of the Gospel successfully before the world; but to be an able minister to the Saints requires a man skilled in the words of life, full of faith, and the spirit of revelation.

Let no man despise this office, but let him that is wise honor the calling, and add grace unto it, that while the Gospel is preached with diligence unto the congregations of unbelievers, the Saints may get their portion of meat in due season.”  (F. D. Richards, “Epistle to the Saints Comprising the British Conferences,” MS 13(24):371, 15 Dec., 1851)

1853:  21 May:  Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons.


That respect and deference is not always paid to the lower Priesthood, amongst the Saints, that ought to be.  The Priests, the Teachers, and the Deacons, in some instances, are thought little of, whilst an Elder, a Seventy, or an Apostle, is, in comparison, esteemed above measure.  Some members seem to think that the three lowest offices of the Priesthood, and especially the two lowest, are scarcely worth the having, whilst the office of an Elder is a darling object of ambition.  It is not right to think so.  To be ambitious to do good, is good; and to be ambitious to obtain great power to do great good, is better still.  But it is not right to despise a small power, and be at the same time ambitious of obtaining a greater one, neither is such a course the sure way to obtain the greater power.  On the contrary, when we see a man treating the least power or office with disdain, whilst he is seeking after a superior power or office, or even whilst he is rendering honour to a superior power or office, we begin to think it is high time to look after the motives of that man.  His heart is not right with God.  He is seeking power not for the glory of God and the salvation of the human family, but for the aggrandizement of his own dear self.  If he obtain the power he desires, he may run amazingly well for a time, and do a great amount of apparent good, in defending the principles of truth, and convincing those who may oppose, but wherever he goes, he will, though unwittingly, imbue those under his influence, with this same ambitious and proud spirit, which will germinate and expand, and thereby cause much trouble and unhappiness to his co-workers; and much of the fruits of his ambitious zeal will most likely need ‘converting again.’  But this is not all.  His great zeal will flag, as his coveted power satiates him, and by and bye he will count the superior power he has obtained, as a light thin, whilst his still ambitious eye catches a higher eminence in the scale of authority, and then that must be obtained, though all else be sacrificed for it.  Such a man is never satisfied.

Let us look to our great Master–the Saviour–what did he say upon these matters?  He anathematized the Scribes and Pharisees because they loved ‘the upper-most rooms at feasts, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi.’  He said to his disciples–‘He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted!’

And what saith the Apostle?  When Christ ‘ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.’  What gifts did he give unto men?  He gave the fulness of the Holy Priesthood, which embraces every office and authority in the Church, from Apostles to Deacons.  What were these given for?  ‘For the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’  Can any of these offices be dispensed with, in the Church?  It is reflecting upon the wisdom of Jehovah, to ask the question.  If they could, would not an all-wise God stand chaged with incompetency of judgment, before His creatures?  And who can charge God with folly, or say unto Him, Why doest thou so?  Hear the Apostle again–‘For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the bodyk, is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?  If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; and those members of the body which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need, but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.’

Here the Church of Christ is likened unto a human body.  All the members of the human body are necessary to its perfect action, and when deprived of many it becomes lifeless.  So with the Church of Christ–every grade of office in the Holy Priesthood is essential to its perfect action.  Take away but one of the lowest offices from the Priesthood, and the Church will suffer, the ‘work of the ministry’ will not be carried on so effectively, the Saints will make slower advances towards perfection.  The Church may have life when deprived of an office of the Priesthood, but the appearance of the Church will be injured, and its working marred.  Men might think we could do without some of these offices, and they have in ages past dispensed with them, but what is the state of the earth, in consequence?  Darkness covers the face of the earth, and gross darkness envelopes the minds of the people–the blind lead the blind, and both fall together into the ditch.  And have the Saints of the present day any security of the favour of heaven, if they treat lightly any member of the Holy Priesthood?  Most assuredly they have not, and those who do so will be cut off, unless they repent and humble themselves, for God is no respecter of persons.

When the Apostles of old first appointed Deacons, they chose ‘men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom,’  Saint Paul says, ‘Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre, holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.  And let these also first be proved, then let them use the office of a Deacon, being found blameless.’  They were also required to rule ‘their children and their own houses well.’  The ancient Apostles did not lightly esteem the office of Deacon–the lowest office in the Holy Priesthood.  An office, the candidates for which require such eminent qualifications as the above, must not with impunity be disparagingly spoken of by any man, whatever his station in the Church or out.  Saint Paul assigns a reason for writing as above to Timothy–‘that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.’

But to understand more fully the honour that is due to these lower members of the Priesthood, we will look at the nature of their duties in the Church.  In the Doctrine and Covenants, sectionii., paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, the duties of the Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, are set forth plainly as follows–

An Apostle is an Elder, and it is his calling to baptize and to ordain other Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, and to administer bread and wine–the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ, and to confirm those who are baptized into the Church, by the laying on of the hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the Scriptures; and to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the Church; and to confirm the Church by the laying on of the hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost, and to take the lead of all meetings.

The Elders are to conduct the meetins as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.

The Priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the Sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties; and he may also ordain other Priests, Teachers, and Deacons.  And he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no Elder present; but when there is an Elder present, he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties.  In all these duties the Priest is to assist the Elder if occasion requires.

The Teacher’s duty is to watch over the Church always, and be with and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the Church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; and see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty; and he is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the Elder or Priest, and is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the Church, by the Deacons, if occasion requires; but neither Teachers nor Deacons have authority to baptize, administer the Sacrament, or lay on hands; they are, however, to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.

From the above we can obtain a pretty fair idea of the duties of the four offices named.  An Elder’s duties, over and above a Priest’s, are to lay on hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, to confirm the Church by the laying on of hands, or in other words to administer in all spiritual blessings, whether to children or adults.  This is a great office, and requires great wisdom and faith, especially in ministering the blessings of the Holy Ghost, that the new member who has received the baptism of water, may receive the baptism of fire and of the Holy Spirit; that little children may receive blessings in the name of Jesus Christ; that, when necessary, adults may receive blessing and strength under the Elder’s hands; that the sick and the afflicted may receive the blessings of health, strength, and soundness, through the anointing of oil and the prayer of faith; and that the meetings of the Saints may ever be under the direction of the Spirit of God.

The Elder, being higher in office than the Priest, Teacher, or Deacon, has authority to act in all the duties which pertain to these offices, but his own duties being so onerous, the lower officers cannot be dispensed with.  One of the most important duties of a Priest is, to ‘visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties.’

The Teacher’s chief duties are to ‘watch over the Church always, and be with and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the Church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; and see that the Church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty.’

The Deacon’s duty is to assist the Teacher, and it generally happens that the Deacon’s chief duties are to attend to the temporal and physical well being and comfort of the Church.

It will be understood that Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, all have authority to privately visit the members of the Church, and instruct them in all their duties.  But as the Elders and Priests are expected, when called upon, to travel, preach the Gospel, baptize, &c., the Teachers and Deacons, not being under the same responsibility to do this, are ‘appointed to watch over the Church, to be standing ministers unto the Church.’–Doc. and Cov., sec. iv., par. 22.  As the duties of the Elder are more numerous than those of the Priest, it generally occurs that the Priest has considerable time for the purpose of watching over and visiting the members of the Church, but he may not have so much time for this as the Teacher, and as the Deacon is generally charged with the care of the physical and temporal comfort of the Church, especially in their assemblies, it naturally follows that the chief burden of visiting, watching over, and teaching the Saints, lies on the Teacher.  Hence the revelation says that the Teacher is ‘to watch over the Church always, and be with and strengthen them.’

We now can see that the offices of Teacher and Deacon, the lowest in the Priesthood, are offices of very great responsibility, and of vital importance to the Church.  The Apostle says–‘They that have used the office of a Deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.’  So we believe, and we will say further–they that have used the office of a Teacher well, purchase to themselves a higher degree, and are calculated to honour any office to which they may be called in the Church.  Most young men can win over to themselveds the affections of some young woman, but a far less proportion of young men, when they assume the character of husband, can increase or even retain the affections of the young woman, which affections they so easily won.  So it is in the Church.  Most of the Priesthood can win some over to a love of and an obedience to the first principles of the Gospel, but fewer of the Priesthood are qualified to increase the love of the Saints to the Gospel, or even to retain it so warm as at first.  It is easier to conquer than to govern.  There are more conquerors than Patriarchs in the world.  The conqueror subdues by might.  The Patriarch governs by love.  And the Teachers have to act in many of the duties of a Patriarch, for they have to act as fathers to the Saints.  And we would say, as far as practicable let those who are ordained Teachers, be men of wisdom and experience, elderly men, and fathers of families, that have the love, respect, and confidence of the Saints, and that understand, better than young men, the thousand-and-one varying circumstances in which the different members of a family may be placed.  Such men will be more thoroughly qualified to appreciate the conditions of differing parties, and to reconcile the parties, and also to give a word in season, whether of council, exhortation, or reproof.

Elder Orson Pratt, in Star, Vol. xii., No. 4, pages 58, 59, says, 

‘It is the duty of the Priests to visit all the Saints in the district to which they are appointed, at least once in each month, and oftener, if possible, and to teach them to avoid all backbiting, evil speaking, and the drinking of ardent spirits, and the use of every other thing that is calculated to defile or demoralize them in the least; and also impress upon their minds as much as possible the commandment which says–

And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of the Stakes that are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptisms, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents, for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or any of her Stakes that are organized.  And their children shall be baptized, for the remission of sins, when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands; and they shall also teach their children to pray and walk uprightly before the Lord.  And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  And the inhabitants of Zion, also, shall remember their labours, inasmuch as they are appointed to labour, in all faithfulness, for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord.  Now, I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them, and their children are also growing up in wickedness; they also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness.  These things ought not to be, and must be done away from among them–wherefore, let my servant Oliver Cowdery carry these sayings to the land of Zion.  And a commandment I give unto them, that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord, in the season thereof, let him be had in remembrance before the judge of my people.  These sayings are true and faithful–wherefore transgress them not, neither take therefrom.  Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, and I come quickly.  Amen.

It is the duty of the Teachers to visit all the Saints in the districts to which they are appointed, at least once in each fortnight, and let them reiterate all the foregoing teachings, and give them {the Saints} what further instruction the circumstances of the case call for.  It is the duty of the Deacons to assist the Teachers, when necessity requires it–inasmuch as the Deacons have heretofore acted in the capacity of treasurers, and administered in the temporal affairs of the Branches, it would be well to let them do so still, unless circumstances should render it wisdom to do otherwise, when an Elder, Priest, or Teacher, can act in that capacity.’

We heartily indorse [sic] the above, and we will say that in many cases the Priests and Teachers visit the Saints weekly, and much benefit is derived from it by the Church.  And, indeed, it seems that a week is quite long enough for the Teacher to be away from the Saints.  Not that they have it in their hearts to work unrighteousness, but in these old countries there are so many temptations for Saints, so many things to draw their attention from the work of God, and oftentimes so many things bearing heavily upon them, that they are apt to grow cold in their spirits, and slack in their attendance on the ordinances of the Lord.  And when the things that pertain to salvation are neglected, Saints become a prey to every wind that blows, they are unable to detect the wiles of Satan, to resist his temptations to evil, or to discern the vileness of the apostate’s tongue, and the sophistry of his fair and flattering speech.

A word upon visiting and teaching the Saints.  When the Priests and Teachers visit the Saints, that is, officially, they should as far as possible, see all the members of each family, and inquire into their several states and conditions, giving counsel and instruction as their varied circumstances may require, praying with and for them, reconciling all differences, removing all hard and unpleasant feelings, inspiring the Saints with cheerfulness, courage, and boldness, exhorting them to faithfulness in the discharge of all duties, whether public or private, expounding to them any point of doctrine which may seem a stumbling-block to them, and, in short, doing everything that the Spirit may suggest to save them from transgression and to cause them to persevere in the work of God, that they may ultimately be exalted in His presence.  In their official visits, let not the officers spend their time in frivolous, common-place conversation, about the weather, the crops, politics, trade, &c., further than the great object of visiting–the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Saints, may demand.  But let their time be occupied in their real duties.  Then will the Saints realize the benefit which they need.

The Saints should ever honour the Priesthood.  When the visiting officers enter a house, the head of that house should immediately show his respect to them by causing his family to lay aside, as far as they consistently can, any business they may be engaged in, and by assembling them together to receive those instructions the officers may be inspired to impart unto them.  When the head of a family does not do this, the officers should request him to do it.  But we trust there are few Saints who are heads of families, who would need requesting to do this.  If there be any, such persons have received from the Lord blessings they do not appreciate–even their families.

There is not always that frankness, familiarity, and confidence manifested between the visiting officers and the Saints, that ought to be manifested.  If the oficers are to benefit the Saints when the Saints are in trying circumstancesk, the officers must make themselves acquainted with those circumstances.  And in order to do this the officers should be free in asking of the matters, and the Saints free in unfolding them.  Undoubtedly this would induce many delicate disclosures, and the officers would require great prudence and much of the Holy Spirit that they might wisely investigate and righteously adjust such cases.  But what do the officers interpose in such cases for?  Merely to probe the wounds, that they may apply the balm that will heal them up, instead of their being allowed to fester and break out, in public, to the shame, confusion, and everlasting injury of all concerned.

It may be said that, by adopting the above course, facts and circumstances concerning certain members of the Church may be revealed to the Priests and Teachers which they might communicate to other members, and thus great injury and mischief be done.  Priests and Teachers might do so, but any Priest or Teacher that so far forgot the respect due to his office as to act so foolishly, would deserve to have his office taken from him, for he would thereby become not a peacemaker, but a mischief-maker–he would become an enemy to his brethren and sisters, and an enemy to his God.  No Priest or Teacher has any shadow of right to betray the confidence reposed in him by virtue of his office.  A tatler or busybody will do more harm than good in visiting the Saints.  Those who are appointed to visit, should in all cases of difference be swift to hear, slow to speak–when they do speak, the law of kindness should be on their tongues, charity, that hides a multitude of sins, and saves souls from death, should be manifest in their discourse.  Most people understand the principle on which railway car ‘buffers’ are constructed–receiving shocks but transmitting none.  The Priests and Teachers should act on this principle.  Their minds should be ready to receive all the shocks which a relation of grievances can occasion, but they should not transmit the shocks to others.

Priests and Teachers can exert a vast influence for the well-being and stability of the Church.  The higher officers lay down principles for the Saints to walk by, the Priests and Teachers show the Saints how they can develope those principles in their daily walk and conduct, and how they can apply them to advantage in the varied circumstances of life.  Is a member in the back ground, absenting himself from the assemblies of the Saints?  The Teacher seeks him, and represents the true condition he is in, and persuades him to retrace his steps, and recover his lost position.  Were there no Teacher, that soul might be lost.  Does a Saint stumble at an item of doctrine, until his mind is bewildered?  The Teacher expounds the doctrine to his understanding, and restores his mind to its proper balance.  Is a Saint overcome in a fault, and his mind darkened?  The Teacher shows him that it is his duty to acknowledge his fault, and seek forgiveness of those concerned.  Is a member or even an officer neglecting his duty?  The Teacher strives to bring him up to working order again.  Have two or more Saints fallen into contentions?  Like a father do the Teachers reprove the transgressing, pacify the excited, and reconcile the belligerent, parties.

When the Holy Priesthood in all its members, is in full and healthy operation, it is an Almighty instrument on the earth, for the ‘work of the ministry, and the perfecting of the Saints,’ yea, for the salvation of the human race.  But every member is necessary for this purpose, not one can be dispensed with, no, not one.  Those members which some may feel disposed to lightly esteem, are absolutely necessary to maintain the Church of Christ in a healthy state.  If any Saints are disposed to speak evil of dignities or powers, however humble those dignities or powers may be, let such Saints beware, or their haughty spirits will meet a fall.

The great difference between the Church of Christ and the Churches of men, lies in the potency and efficiency of the Holy Priesthood, which is given to the former.  The churches of men have Priesthoods, but they are spurious ones.  Men have turned away from themselves the power of the Holy Priesthood of the Son of God, because they sought to pervert its offices, or do away with some of them.  But now it is restored again to the earth, ought not the Saints to prize it as a long-lost, precious treasure, that could not be purchased at any price?  They ought, and if they do, they will honour the humblest individual that has it in his possession.”  (Unsigned lead article, MS 15(21):321-326, 21 May, 1853 [Samuel W. Richards was MS editor at this time])

1854:  6 Oct.:  Even Deacons should be married.

“When you have got your Bishop, he needs assistants, and he ordains Counsellors, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, and calls them to help him; and he wishes men of his own heart and hand to do this.  Says he, ‘I dare not even call a man to be a Deacon, to assist me in my calling, unless he has a family.’  It is not the business of an ignorant young man, of no experience in family matters, to inquire into the circumstances of families, and know the wants of every person.  Some may want medicine and nourishment, and to be looked after, and it is not the business of boys to do this; but select a man who has got a family to be a Deacon, whose wife can go with him, and assist him in administering to the needy in the ward.”  (Brigham Young, 6 Oct., 1854; JD 2:89)

1855:  5 Dec.:  Called as acting teacher.

“This neight I attended the lesser Priesthood Meeting according to Bishop Roundys request I was set apart to act as A teacher over the Block that I reside in at present in room of Brother Lawson he neglected to doe his duty.”  (William Knox diary, 5 Dec., 1855; LC Collection.  Note that Knox was already an Elder at the time.)

1856:  10 Jan.:  Attempt to reconcile separated couple.

“I have visited A Lawson his wife having left him I had them together and tried to reconsile them but in vain I discharged my duty as a teacher.”  (William Knox diary, 10 Jan., 1856; LC Collection)

29 Sep.:  Poor should go to the country to live.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The subject of bring[ing] poor people in to the ward was brought up by the Bishop.  He recommended that the brethren council them to go into the country and that no one bring them in the ward unless the[y] was able to support them so as not to burthen the ward with more than our share of the poor.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Sep., 1856)

2 Oct.:  Teachers given a new set of questions for people.

“It is your duty to keep clean.  I have given the Teachers a new set of questions to ask the people.  I say to them, ask the people whether they keep clean.  Do you wash your bodies once in each week, when circumstances will permit?  Do you keep your dwellings, outhouses, and dooryards clean?  The first work of the reformation with some, should be to clean away the filth about their premises.  How would some like to have President Young visit them and go through their buildings, examine their rooms, bedding, &c.?

Many houses stink so bad, that a clean man could not live in them, nor hardly breathe in them.  Some men were raised in stink, and so were there fathers before them.  I would not attempt to bless any body in such places.  You may inquire why I talk so.  Can you talk in a better style about dirt, nastiness, and filth?  If you can, I cannot, and at the same time make people feel enough upon the subject to put away their filth and be clean.  If you want me to speak smoother, do better and keep cleaner.  Were I to talk about God, heaven, angels, or anything good, I could talk in a more refined style, but I have to talk about things as they do exist among us.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 2 Oct., 1856; JD 4:188-189)

19 Oct.:  Teachers to see that there are no idlers.

[Sunday evening meeting]  “The Bishop said that he was glad to see so many of the Bretheren & Sisters to meeting.  He wished them to live their religion, to keep themselves clean that the Holy Ghost might abide with them, and for them to get ready for baptism.  He also wished the Teachers to see that there was no idlers in the ward that they might not be spending their time [in] idleness.  He wanted all to be busy while good weather lasted, that none might suffer for want of food and fuel.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Oct., 1856)

22 Oct.:  “Teachers’ Court.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “A special meeting of the Teachers was called this evening.  Meeting opened by Bro. Hale with prayer.  The Bishop arose and stated the object of the meeting which was to inquire of the Bretheren if they had their provisions for the ensuing winter, and to wake up some of the members of this ward that had not walked in the line of their duty for a long time back.  He brought Bro. Oliver’s case before the meeting and said that he had not done his duty for the last 6 or 7 years, and that he had lied to the Teachers &c.  He wished Bro. Oliver to rise and state his feelings and wished to know his intentions for the future.  Bro. Oliver arose and said that he had formerly neglected his prayers but that he had now commenced them again.  He also stated his reason for not attending ward meetings.  He believed that Joseph was a prophet and that Brigham is his successor.  He said that he was in for the refformation and promised in the future to walk up this duties.  The Bishop said that there was an old difficulty existing between Bro. Oliver and Bro. Foster which if they would settle and shake hands and be friends he would bless them, which they did.  Also Bro. Foster & Bro. Everett had not been on good terms and he wished them to be friends and settle their difficulties which they did, shook hand[s] with each other and burried the hatchet.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 22 Oct., 1856)

29 Oct.:  Teachers to prepare people for rebaptism.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop made some remarks respecting the teachers being waked up and energetic in their duties in order to get the people of the ward ready for baptism.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Oct., 1856)

9 Nov.:  Bishops and teachers to keep people straight.

“If all the people in a Ward do right, will the Bishop chastise them?  No; but if they do not do right, the Bishop is placed under the necessity of coming forth, clothed in the armor and power of the Almighty, to put them right, and of calling upon the teachers to assist him in this work.  And when the people repent and are found to be on the right track, the Bishop lays the rod on the shelf.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 9 Nov., 1856; JD 4:85-86)

12 Nov.:  Teachers’ report.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The teachers and officers of the ward met agreeable to appointment.  Prayer by Bro. Palmer.  The minutes of the last meeting were read and excepted [sic].  The Bishop then called for the reports of the Teachers:

Bro. Foster reported Block No. 1 Tolerable.

”   Seaver     ”      ”    ”  2 Favorable.

”   Brown      ”      ”    ”  3 rather unfavorable.

”   Keyser     ”      ”    ”  4 unfavorable.

”   Wm. Carmichael ”  ”    ”  5 favorable.

”   Hill       ”      ”    ”  6 do. [ditto]

”   Daft       ”      ”    ”  7 Midling.

”   Frost      ”      ”    ”  8 mostly favorable.”

(8th Ward Minutes, 12 Nov., 1856)

19 Nov.:  “Acting Teachers.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop, Council[ors] & Teachers met agreeable to appointment.  The minutes of last meeting were read and excepted [sic].  The Bishop said Prest. John Young wished him to call the high priests of this ward together and set a teacher over them.  He appointed Bro. Edward P. Duzette and Bro. Levi Stewart to assist him.  It was motioned & carried that the Bretheren of the ward that felt to take an interest in the ward to have the privillege of meeting with the Teachers.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Nov., 1856)

26 Nov.:  Settling of disputes by Teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said he wanted the Teachers to search into the heart of Sister Haven, for she was destitute of the spirit of God and would not attend meeting, and that she had a bad spirit, and wished the Teachers to save her if possible.  Br. Martain Teasdale appeared before us and expressed his determination to do better.  Said he had not served his God here but had violated his laws, but felt to do better in the future.

The Bishop then spoke to Br. Harison Oliver about setting his house in order and bringing his wife and family to serve God and tell the truth that the Holy Ghost might dwell with them.  Br. Oliver acknowledged himself not having the spirit of God as he wanted to have but would try to be faithful and right up affairs at home.  Many encouraging remarks was given by the Bishop to the Teachers to search the ward with the Holy Ghost in their hearts and save Israel.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 26 Nov., 1856)

3 Dec.:  Did she really see angels?

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop then called for reports if there was any.  Br. Foster reported his visit to see Mother Haven.  Said that she said that Angels came and visited her.  The Bishop requested the Teachers to ask her when the Angels came that he would like to come and see them, but he said that he did not believe it but that she was deceived.  The Bishop then instructed the Teachers that when they went round again to find out if the people had provision enough to do them until harvest.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 3 Dec., 1856)

1857:  7 Jan.:  “Dropt from being a Teacher.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. William Livingston was dropt from being a Teacher for not attending to his calling.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 7 Jan., 1857)

2 Feb.:  Importance of Aaronic Priesthood.

“There is now a call made to gather up all the Elders priests Teachers & Deacons that are not esspecially ingaged as teachers with the bishops to come forward & be ordained into the seventies.  Now it does appear to me that the Lesser priesthood is necessary in the Church otherwise the Lord would not have esstablished it.  The Hand Cannot say to the feet we have no need of you no more than the feet Can say to the hand we have no need of you.  Almost all the Lesser priesthood are striveing to become ordained into the seventies while the bishops wish them to officiate in the Lesser priesthood.

The Bishops feel to complain & say the seventies take all of the Lesser priesthood which we have & ordain them seventies so by the time we get some teachers organized they are ordained to the office of seventies.  The seventies also complain that the Bishops come & take away their presiding officers & the seventies & make bishops & Councellors of them & Ordain them High priest.  So their appears to be a difference of feeling in the several Quorums.

In order to avoid this I would recommend that the Teachers Priest & Deacons all that the Bishops wish to make use of as teachers in the several Quorum remain as they are untill they have magnifyed their calling & not evry man as soon as he is ordained a teacher go & get ordained a seventy & hide himself in that mighty forest of men so that He Cannot be found.  For the Seventies are like a forest trees of all kinds from the tallest down to the shrubery & men get lost in such a forest.

Men should not despise the lesser priesthood for it is honorable & if they fully magnify that office they will have great power & many blessings.  For the Aaronic priesthood hold the keys of administering of Angels & their have been but few men even High Priest or Apostles that have enjoyed all the blessings that belongs to the Lesser priesthood.

The Let not the seventies seek to get all the Lesser priesthoods ordained into ther quorums.  If they do I do not wish them to Complain if seventies are taken out to Make Bishops councillors & teachers of them as long as near’d all the timber is in that body.  Let a man have what portion of the priesthood He may [if] He wants to keep it in lively exercise in order to save himself & family.”  (Wilford Woodruff address to meeting of Seventies; in Wilford Woodruff diary, 2 Feb., 1857)

1 Apr.:  HT to tell people to build fences.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Teachers was instructed to have the people put up their fences.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 1 Apr., 1857)

10 Jun.:  Propriety of building a storehouse.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop then stated the object of the meeting which was for the Teachers to report and then to take into consideration the propriety of building a store house to put our grain in.  The[y] reported their various Blocks which showed that the ward was in good standing with some little exception.  The blessings of the store house was then discussed by the Brethern and it was the mind of the ward that each individual take care of his own grain.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 10 Jun., 1857)

19 Jul.:  Block teaching in SLC.

“Attending to the wrd meetings and teaching the people on the block i visit.”  (Charles Walker diary, 19 Jul., 1857)

2 Nov.:  New block teaching assignment.

“Went to the preisthood meeting.  The Bishop appointed me to take charge of block No 7.  Felt good about it and went round teaching the people and attending to the meetings and felt blest in so doing.”  (Charles Walker diary, 2 Nov., 1857)

1858:  16 Mar.:  Settling of difficulties by Teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Minutes of former meeting read and accepted.  Reports was then called for.  The Teachers reported their Blocks generally in good standing.  Br. A. Scroggie reported some difficulty between Addison Everett & Archibald Campbell, which they were not able to settle.  Br. Everett prefered a charge against A. Campbell for unchristian conduct & abusing Sister Gregory’s oxen.  After invest[igat]ing the case Br. Everett failed in sustaining the charge.  The Bishop & Council considered both parties in error and that they had insulted the Teachers and not acted as men of God should act.  They asked each others forgiveness and the difficulty was settled.  The Bishop expected the Brethern to do their duties and get their flour ready to move south.”  [At this time, Johnson’s Army was approaching Salt Lake City, and the Saints undertook a mass exodus to the South, leaving behind only a few scouts who had orders to burn the city if the Army tried to occupy it.]  (8th Ward Minutes, 16 Mar., 1858)

31 Mar.:  Evacuation plans due to Johnston’s Army.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said that it was a Teachers Meeting, but as many was about to move away there was some other business that needed to be settled and that was in regard to the property that had been donated for the Army which was to be returned to those who gave it which was arranged satisfactory to the Brethern.  As it was generally understood that the citizens of Great Salt Lake City was to leave their homes and move South he wished to know how many needed assistance as there would be teams here from the South in a few days and wished them to be ready, and upon inquiry twelve families was found to need assistance.  After some instruction was given meeting dismissed by the Bishop.

As the people moved South and the organization of the ward broken up no record was kept until our return.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 31 Mar., 1858)

3 May:  “Teachers to look to Br. Dallow.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Ward was represented in good standing except Brothers Wilbour and Dallows familys.  The Bishop told the Teachers to look to Br. Dallow as he had been brought up for transgression several times.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 3 May, 1858)

15 May:  HT meetings held regularly.  

“Meetings have been held regular Sunday & Thursdays evening to April 10th 1858 and on Sunday until May 15th 58.  Also Teachers Meetings every fortnight to May 15th 58.  But in consequence of the press of business the Minutes have not been recorded.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 15 May, 1858)

17 Oct.:  Teachers half asleep/See after wood for poor.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop made some remarks.  Said that he believed the Teachers was half asleep and he was ashamed to see the people forgetting their God and their prayers and that many was looking after gold more than their God, and if they was not careful they would apostatise.  Bro. Woodward coincided with the remarks of the Bishop and said the Devil tried to keep the people from meeting and doing their duty.  Encouraged the Brethern to hold fast to the truthes of the gospel.  Br. Houtz made some appropriate remarks.  The Bishop wished the Teachers to see after the wood for the poor, also for the Schoolhouse.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 17 Oct., 1858)

14 Nov.:  “Teachers to attend to such cases.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “The ward was represented in good standing with the exception of a few cases.  Br. James Grundy and wife was reported weak in the faith and did not believe in going out in the mountains to defend Israel, nor in moving South.  The Bishop said that the meeting was slim and it looked as if all was not right and that some did not pray, some did not believe in the council of the authorities of the Church, and said that they was mistaken.  He wished the Teachers to attend to such cases and he considered Br. Grundy no longer fit to act as Teacher.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 14 Nov., 1858)

23 Dec.:  Teachers to get people’s membership recommends.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The ward was represented in good standing with the exception of some few cases.  The Bishop requested the Teachers to get the peoples recommend that he might know who lived in the ward, also to councel the young people to keep away from the Gentiles.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 23 Dec., 1858)

1859:  27 Jan.:  Teachers’ Court/Acting Teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The case of James Grundy and Wife was then called up.  The Brethern that had been to visit them gave in their report when it appeared that Br. & Sister Grundy had feelings against the Bishop, also did not believe in the movements of the Church for some time past.  They had been requested to attend this meeting and settle their difficulty but refused, and said they would rather it would remain.  After several of the Brethern spoke on the case and agreeing that they had an apostate spirit and had no regard for their standing in the Church it was voted that James Grundy & his wife be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for Apostacy & speaking against the authorities of the Church & of the ward.  Carried unanimously.  The Bishop then gave some instructions relative to the poor and the interests of the ward, also appointed J. D. T. McAllister to act as Teacher with E. P. Dusette also Solon Foster to act as Teacher in connexion with Thomas T. Chamberlain, after which they were voted in.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 27 Jan., 1859)

31 Jan.:  Sustaining of decision of Teachers’ Court.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “At the meeting of the ward the case of James Grundy and his wife was presented to the meeting for their sanction, if they considered the decision a just one, when the decision was sustained by a unanymous vote.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 31 Jan., 1859)

18 Feb.:  Teachers must try to save “dry branches.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said he was pleaesd with the spirit of the Teachers, considered they tried to save the people but there was some branches that was very nigh dry or dead and the Teachers must talk plain to them and try to save them.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 18 Feb., 1859)

24 Mar.:  Teachers to look after needs of the poor.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said he was pleased with the reports of the Teachers.  Liked to see the people feel well.  Wished the Brethern to see to the widows & destitute, and as there was some wavering to try to save them, also to have the people to take care of their bread stuff.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 24 Mar., 1859)

23 Jun.:  Murder in the course of home teaching.

“A Grand Jury was empanneled and Geo. W. Bradley appointed Foreman.  An indictment was found against Thomas Ivey for the murder of Isaac Alred of Fort Ephraim.  He was put upon his trial, found guilty of murder in the first degree, and sentenced to be (according to his own request) shot on the 8th day of July next.

From the evidence it appears that the difficulty originated about the herding of some sheep.  The quarrel commenced in the morning and in the evening Bro. Allred took two teachers, visited Ivey and tried to settle the matter.  Ivey took a stick of wood from the fire, which was part of a pole burnt in two, and gathered it slyly up the side of his leg until he got it onto his knee.  He then struck Allred with it twice, which caused his death, saying, ‘There you will keep out of my way now.'”  (JH 23 Jun., 1859)

25 Aug.:  Teachers to get elderly to receive Endowment.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop wished the Teachers to exhort the people to attend meeting and said that there was an opportunity for some to get their Endowment and wished for those that was advanced in years to have the preference.  Also wanted to meet once in two weeks.  The Teachers was changed to different Blocks.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 25 Aug., 1859)

1860:  11 Feb.:  She should close her boarding house.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The majority of the ward was represented in good standing.  There was some cases that need attention, particularly Sister Tufts for keeping gentile boarders and some that did not bear a good character.  The Bishop had advised her to close her Boarding House and that she could not have his fellowship if she kept such characters around her house.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 11 Feb., 1860)

20 Apr.:  Teachers to clear their garments of peoples’ blood.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said he was acquainted with the ward, said some families was not doing their duty, but we must do the best we can with such cases, and urged the teachers to clear their garments from the Blood of all people.

A vote was taken and carried to adjourn for one month.  [Meetings had been held biweekly prior to this.]”  (8th Ward Minutes, 20 Apr., 1860)

10 Aug.:  Biweekly Teachers Meetings again.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop considered the people in the ward partly asleep, thought we ought to have our meetings every two weeks and try to enliven ourselves also this people.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 10 Aug., 1860)

2 Nov.:  Teachers’ reports.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. Alma Smith reported Solomon Angel as having feelings against the Bishop, did not attend meetings nor assist in the ward.  The Bishop said he had no feelings against Br. Angel and spoke about looking after the poor.  Said he was willing to go and see Br. Angel and make things right.  Br. John Oakley said he would stand by the Bishop and help bear the burdens.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 2 Nov., 1860)

15 Nov.:  Teachers’ reports.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. Golightly said he had never saw such an opposing spirit in any man as he found in Solomon Angel, that he made assertions against the Bishop, but he could not sustain them so he asked the Bishops forgiveness and the difficulty was settled.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 15 Nov., 1860)

29 Nov.:  Home Teaching in Nauvoo.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. John Oakley spoke on the duties of a Teacher.  Said he had acted in that office in Nauvoo and visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and he received them kindly and encouraged them and their visit was very satisfactory.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Nov., 1860)

1861:  21 Feb.:  Teachers appointed to salvage Br. Brown.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Teachers reported Br. Robert Brown slack in attending his duty, did not consider him in full fellowship.  The ward was all reported and the Bishop said he was pleased with the report.  Believed it correct.  Some few did not do their duty and Br. Brown was one.  He never prayed, payed no tithing, nor anything else.  Wished the Teachers to wake him up if possible, considered him fast asleep, and he for one did not fellowship him in his course and if he did not alter his course he would be disfellowshipped.  It was full time for men to live their religion.  The Teachers reported Br. King & Br. Davis going to law.  They did not do their duty nor act as saints of God.  It was time they thought that men making their professions to cease all such things.  Br. G. Woodward spoke and thought the Teachers reported things about right.  The Bishop remarks:  suited him when mens minds was inclined to do right, try to save, if they did not it was time to trim up the tree for the health of the body.  We ought to know how to save men and save them as the Lord wanted us.  The Bishop appointed Br. Everett & Br. Golightly to accompany the Teachers of the 2nd Block & visit Br. Brown and see what he wished to do, for we had hung to him for years hoping for the best, but he still would not do his duty, and [the Bishop] did not feel like carrying dead branches so many years.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 21 Feb., 1861)

7 Mar.:  Teachers’ report, Br. Brown.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Teachers from the 2nd Block reported Br. Brown in the same state of mind as he had been some years, could not pay the tithing nor get his old difficulties out of his mind.  Would not appeal his case but still wanted to be kept in fellowship.  Br. Davis said he did not do right in taking Br. King to law and the law had not done him any good and would like the Teachers now to take it in hand.  Br. Golightly said they laboured faithfully with Br. Brown to show him his errors, thought if he was invited to our meeting we might do him good.  Br. Houtz & Woodward spoke on Br. Brown’s case, considered he had plenty of time to have turned his course if he so desired, but made frivolous excuses and we had labored and talked till we was all worh out.  The Bishop told the Teachers to notify Br. Brown to come to our next Teachers Meeting and we would talk to him and try the saving influence and see if we could prevail on him to serve his God.  If we could not we should have to disfellowship him.  Many of the rest of the Teachers spoke on the same case and desired to save if possible.  They all knew well Br. Brown’s position.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 7 Mar., 1861)

21 Mar.:  Teachers’ Court:  Br. Brown excommunicated.

[Teachers Meeting]  “[The Bishop] said he should like to hear from Br. Brown.  Br. Brown said he had come in accordance with his Brethrens desires and he wished to put away old grievances.  Considered his Brethren had laboured faithfull with him.  The Bishop said he would like to hear Br. Brown’s reasons for not attending meeting this last 2 years.  Understood he had feelings against him as a Bishop.  If he had he should like to know it.  Considered he had not done his duty for a long time.  Did not pray in his family nor attend meetings.  Br. Brown said he had hard feelings [with] the old difficulties, but he was wearing them off.  Br. Wm. Carmichael spoke on the former difficulties relating to Br. Brown and his wife.  Considered his Brethren had done their duty and laboured incesantly for his good.  Would like to see him live his religion and magnify his Priesthood like a man of God.  Br. Oakley spoke on Br. Brown’s position.  Said the Spirit in him told him Br. Brown was in the dark and still would continue to be if he did not take a fresh course.  Br. A. Everett, Br. R. Golightly, Br. R. Daft all plead with Br. Brown to watch over himself and be one with his Brethren, and not let the Devil lead him away.  Did consider the Counsell assembled their [sic] that had lived their Religion knew Br. Brown’s position better than those that had not.  Br. G. Woodward spoke on Br. Brown’s position.  He had a little to say on his salvation.  Would like to see him live his religion and put away those obstinate feelings.  Br. Brown’s difficulties began with his wife and it could not be settled and his wife got a divorce and still it was not settled.  Still he entertained hard feelings towards the Bishop for his decision.

Br. Houtz said we had spent a deal of time in the behalf of Br. Brown, month after month till we had all got tired.  Considered Br. Brown must have had plenty of time for an appeal if he desired one, but he was obstinate and would not appeal and still he would not be satisfied.  Wished to hear Br. Brown acknowledge his faults where he was wrong and prayed the Lord to help him.  The Bishop said he hoped the Spirit of the Lord would dictate him that he might be plain and pointed.  If the Brethren had plead with him as they had in Br. Brown’s behalf he

should have melted like snow.  He had been acquainted with the case from near the beginning.  He had not kept the counsell that he as a Bishop had given him but had been obstinate in his course.  Considered the woman that had left him did not claim one hundred part of what was her due, but still he Br. Brown would not give in and acknowledge his faults like a man of God.  Did consider we had been lenient with him and the former decision was right and he for one had nothing to draw back.  Wished to hear Br. Brown say he had done wrong and acknowledge his faults or otherwise he should carry him no longer, his garments was clean.  He should propose to Br. Brown to make restitution in the places where things was wrong with that woman and be rebaptized for his sins, and acknowledge his faults to his Brethren.  Br. Brown said he should not be baptized for he could not see any need of it and he left the room.  It was moved by Geo. Woodward and seconded by Jacob Houtz Br. Brown be cut off.  Carried unanimously.  The Bishop said he was thankfull for the Spirit of God in his Brethren and we had acted right.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 21 Mar., 1861)

4 Apr.:  Wished the Teachers to try and settle difficulties.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. Davis the painter having some difficulties with Br. King.  Br. King being present the Bishop said he would like to hear from him. Br. King said Br. Davis had never been to him for a settlement but had sued him before the Gentile court and they gave it in against. Br. Davis had lied before his Quorum by stating the Bishop had told him to take him before his Quorum when he had not.  Said he had neglected his meetings himself but his feelings was with his Brethren.  The Bishop arose and said Br. Davis had not acted right by persuing a course contrary to the law of this Kingdom.  Hoped he would profit by the things he had suffered.  He was old enough to know better.  Was pleased with Br. King’s remarks.  Wished the Teachers to try and settle the difficulties.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 4 Apr., 1861)

16 May:  Teachers to look after the poor.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop arose and said he would like the Teachers to notice if they was any poor in the ward.  If they was we must see to them that they did not lack the necessaries of life.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 16 May, 1861)

10 Jun.:  Teachers not visiting the Bishop.

[Teachers Meeting]  “[The Bishop] said the Teachers on the Block he lived did not do their duty for they did not visit him and he wished them to bear the responsibility.  Wished the women to keep from all Gentiles polution and associate with the good and let the Evill alone.  Exorted the Teachers to feel after Br. Wilber.  He had been in the Church many years yet he was quite childish and appeared to have lost the Spirit of the Lord for his family was allways in confusion, yet we must labour for the Kingdom of God and save all we could.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 10 Jun., 1861)

5 Sep.:  Biweekly meetings.

[Teachers Meeting]  “[Br. Woodward] said it was the request of the Bishop that we held our Teachers Meeting every 2 weeks instead of four.  Adopted.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 5 Sep., 1861)

28 Nov.:  Duties of Teachers/Care for the poor.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said there were some poor that would need wood for winter, counselled some of the Teachers to go round with a team and gather wood from some of their Blocks that could not donate a load.  He also refered to the boys shooting in the ward.  Told the Teachers to see that it be stopt for peoples lives were in danger.  Thought that some of the Teachers did not visit the people as often as they should.  If Teachers would do their duty our skirts would be clear of the Blood of all men.  Told them to cheer up the Saints in every situation where it was needed, chastise when needed by the Spirit of the Lord, for there were some that had a name in the Church but never did their duty but we had to do the best we could.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 28 Nov., 1861)

1863:  19 Feb.:  Duties of Teachers/Care of the Poor.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said that if men could not act as Teachers, they should report and be liberated and it would be all right, but some men did not act & did not report and it was not right.  He wished men to be on hand and awake.  If we were not on hand were not in the line of our duty.  He considered it an honor to act as a servant of God if only a Deacon.  He wished the Brethren to enlighten the minds of the people and magnify their callings.  Spoke on the wants of the poor.  Told the Teachers to see they had wood & the necessaries of life.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Feb., 1863)

7 Jun.:  I will address the people thru Bishops & Teachers

“I will now address the Bishops, and the people through their Bishops and Teachers.”  (Brigham Young, 7 Jun., 1863; JD 10:205)

5 Sep.:  Teachers’ Court.

“Special meeting in the case of Br. & Sr. Andrews who had disagreed in their family relations.  Bishop & Council presiding. 

The case was opened by the Teachers Br. John Cartwright & Br. J. McMurrin proving that great neglect had produced the trouble that existed.  Br. Andrews had also abused his wife and neglected his religious duties.  Remarks were made by Bp. Sheets, Br. R. Daft & A. C. Pyper strongly condemning the course of Br. Andrews and pointing out to them the course to take to bring peace and happiness–other remarks were made tending to pacify after which Br. & Sr. Andrews asked each others forgiveness and made satisfaction.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 5 Sep., 1863)

1864:  19 Sep.:  Teachers specially deputized.

[Teachers Meeting]  “After the representation of the Blocks the case of Br. McOmie for continual drunkeness was brought before the council.  Teachers were specially deputized to make him a visit.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Sep., 1864)

13 Oct.:  Report of specially deputized Teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The report of the Teachers sent to Br. McOmie was received.  He promised to refrain from drinking and do better hereafter.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 13 Oct., 1864)

1866:  11 Oct.:  Teachers to get Sr. Williams to “act decent.”

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Teachers reported Sister Williams as having a very bad spirit.  She said the Church had robbed her and that when the Teachers visited her she said it always put the devil in her and if she knew when they were coming she would go out of the house.  The Teachers, James Shelmerdine and Joseph McMurrain said she fairly yelled and they had to hold her.  She said Brigham had robbed her and when she went to get it they put her in prison.

The Bishop arose and said that Sister Williams must be visited and her husband talked with, and if she wants to belong to the Church she must act decent.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 11 Oct., 1866)

1867:  23 Feb.:  Teachers to collect money for poor.

“In 1867 Bishop [Edwin] Woolley directed his ‘teachers to raise as much as they could in their respective blocks on Monday next for the support of the poor.'”  (Pace Diss., p. 258; also Thirteenth Ward Historical Record, 23 Feb., 1867)

28 Mar.:  Teachers to settle little differences themselves.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop did not want the Teachers to report any particular case except there was something very wrong, but to settle little differences themselves and not report them in the Teachers meeting.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 28 Mar., 1867)

15 Aug.:  Teachers not to be negligent.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Remarks from the Bishop, Counselors McAllister and Lawrence, on the duties of the Teachers in visiting the people, encouraging them in their labors, that no fault could be laid to the Teachers in the negligence of the people.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 15 Aug., 1867)

1868:  28 May:  Teachers to settle problems within wards.

“The bishops relied on their teachers to settle problems within their wards.  Presiding Bishop Hunter ‘urged the necessity of every bishop having good, faithful teachers to settle all difficulties that may arise.’  Hunter wanted more problems to be solved independent of the Church’s judicial system.  He maintained that when teachers helped solve problems ‘they generally remain[ed] settled, because they [were] accomplished on the principle of mutual reconciliation.'”  (Pace Diss., pp. 258-259; also Bishops Meetings, 28 May, 1868)

5 Nov.:  Teachers to settle the matter.

[Teachers Meeting]  “[Counselor J. D. T. McAllister presiding and conducting.]  Br. R. McAllister reported the Sunday School as doing very well.  Asked that a committee be appointed to settle an account between himself and Bro. M. Wilbur, as he (Br. R. McAllister) denied owing Br. M. Wilbur.  The Teachers on the Block were appointed to settle the matter.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 5 Nov., 1868)

1869:  28 Jul.:  Teachers to see that poor do not suffer.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Councillor McAllister made some remarks on the necessity of taking care of our children, and know where they are at night.  Urged the brethren to wake up and set themselves against Gentile pride and fashion.

Bp. Sheets endorsed what had been said by Br. McAllister.  We have too much pride and vanity among us as a people.  The Teachers should see that the poor did not suffer.  He felt that a time of trial was at hand when it would be known who was for God and his Kingdom, and who was not.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 28 Jul., 1869)

26 Oct.:  Teachers to question everyone on doctrine.

[Teachers Meeting]  “[Br. McAllister] wished the Teachers to see Br. Meads family, and all who have anything to say against co-operation and the measures of the Priesthood, and we will cut them off from the Church.  Wished the Teachers to get at the feelings of the people, and question them on the doctrine of the Church in every particular.  Said if we are called upon to do anything by [Presiding Bishop Edward] Hunter we should be on hand to carry it out to the very letter.

Bp. Sheets endorsed all that had been said.  Co-operation to some seemed to be a bug bear, but he was satisfied that it was only a stepping stone to greater things that will come.  Apostacy does not come in a day but it is a gradual work.  If the Teachers would do their duty, they would be able to find out the feelings of the people.  Realized they had a good deal to do, but it keeps them bright.  He wished the Teachers to stick to Br. McAllister and keep him and you will never apostatize.  Handle all men as they should be handled, and when the proper time comes cutt them off from the Church.  It is not numbers that will carry off the Kingdom. . . .

Br. E. Butterfield lately returned from a mission to England, was called to act as a Teacher.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 26 Oct., 1869)

1870:  3 Mar.:  “A better system of reaching the masses.”

“The comments of a visitor to Utah in 1870 underscored the way teachers helped impose order in an urban area.  A Mr. Reasoner came to the Mormon capital as an agent of the American Bible Society.  His aim was to provide ‘Bibles at a very low rate, and gratuitous distribution among the poor.’  Presiding Bishop Hunter introduced Reasoner at a Salt Lake bishops meeting, where the visitor made an insightful statement concerning the teachers.  His remarks are of particular interest because they represent the views of a detached observer.  According to the minutes, during ‘the few days he had been here he had learned that a better system of reaching the masses of the people existed here than in any place he ever visited, and thought that a more thorough canvass of the city might be made by the teachers of the different wards, and more effectual than by any other means.'”  (Pace Diss., pp. 259-260; also Bishops Meetings, 3 Mar., 1870)

1871:  24 Aug.:  Should have Teachers visiting as pairs.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets regretted that we had not Teachers enough at present to visit the blocks two together.  Thought we ought to have more.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 24 Aug., 1871)

1872:  25 Jul.:  Teachers to visit families at least monthly.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bishop Sheets made a few remarks and said he would like the teachers to visit each Block in the ward at least once a month, and invite the people to come to meeting.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 25 Jul., 1872)

14 Nov.:  No more important position in the Church.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Teachers reported the members of the ward in good standing. No particular fault with any.  Bp. Sheets would have been glad to have had a fuller report of the ward than the one presented.  He was sorry to see men who had been faithful many years in the Church neglecting their duties at this time.  There was no more important position in the Church than that of a good faithful Teacher, and those who are called to act should do so with the spirit and power of that calling or else resign and get out of the way.  Cr. McAllister realized that what the Bishop had said had been done in a kind fatherly way, and should be received by the brethren in the same spirit.  We should wake up and shoulder the responsibilities of the Kingdom.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 14 Nov., 1872)

23 Dec.:  Most of Teachers in city are High Priests.

“. . . between 3[00] and 400 teachers are employed in this city, most of whom hold the Melchisedec Priesthood, and yet act in the lesser priesthood.”  (George Goddard, Secretary to the Presiding Bishopric, in Salt Lake Stake, School of the Prophets, Minutes, 23 Dec., 1872; quoted in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):390, Spring, 1976)

1873:  26 Jun.:  Teachers to try again to reform Br. Hepworth.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. Jos. McMurran reported the visit made by himself & Brs. Pike & Wallace to Br. John Hepworth, who complained of ill treatment from the City, Church and Ward authorities.  He did not want any thing to do with Mormonism, had no confidence in the authorities of the Church.  Other Teachers reported their visits on special appointment but there was no action taken.  The Bishop recommended that the Teachers make another visit and see if they can make any impression on them.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 26 Jun., 1873)

7 Jul.:  Teachers to have detailed knowledge of families.

“At an 1873 teachers meeting Bishop Sheets’ counselor, Isaac Brockban, explained that the meeting’s primary objective was to ask the teachers to visit the members of the Eighth Ward in order to learn what occupation they had, how much remuneration they had received for their work, and the amount and kind of tithing which they had paid thus far in 1873.  Following Brockbank’s introduction of the subject Bishop Sheets and his other counselor, John McAllister, followed by addressing the same theme.  the inquiry began in the meeting itself with Sheets and others reporting their income and tithing paid during the year.  The following week the teachers returned to report their findings.  Although all of the desired information had not been acquired, the status of twenty-five ward members was disclosed.”  (Pace Diss., p. 258; also Eighth Ward Historical Record, 7 Jul., 1873) 

17 Oct.:  Difficulty in staffing AP quorums.

“We have many times tried to fill up these quorums by those who have not received the Melchisedeck Priesthood, but have been almost immediately called out to receive their endowments, leaving vacancies that had to be filled with High Priests, Seventies or Elders.”  (Edward Hunter to Orson Hyde, General Tithing Store, Letterbooks, 17 Oct., 1873; in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):392, Spring, 1976)

1874:  8 Jan.:  Teachers express views on nature of calling.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets said he would like to have the Teachers present express their views on the nature of their calling, and whether they are willing to do their duty in visiting the Saints, as he felt satisfied that a great lack existed among the Teachers, and he felt as though it would be better for the brethren to either do their part or stand aside and let others take their place.  And if there was not enough men in the ward, he and his Council would turn out and visit the Saints.

Remarks were made by Brs. John W. Snell, Albert Holt, Mifflin Palmer, Edward Steel, Henry Wallace, Horace Ensign, John Engstrom, Wm. Rawlins, Jos. McMurrin, J. Shelmardine, Wm. H. Piggott, Richard Chamberlain, J. W. Pike, Cr. Brockbank and Cr. J. D. T. McAllister expressive of their determination to do all they can for the rolling forth of the work.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 8 Jan., 1874)

25 Jun.:  Teachers to encourage United Order.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The subject of the United Order was talked about and as there was no positive instructions in relation thereto, many failed to see it.  Bp. Sheets expressed himself favorable to it and hoped to be able to continue in readiness for anything that would tend to the welfare of the people, and wished the Teachers to be kind and forbearing to those who had not expressed themselves favorable to the order and treat them with kindness.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 25 Jun., 1874)

2 Oct.:  Teachers’ report/Teacher dropped from quorum.

“Special Teachers Meeting called by the Bishop.

Cr. McAllister said he was requested by Br. G. B. Wallace, Pres’t of this Stake of Zion, to have every member of the Church visited and find out their feelings about sustaining the authorities of the Church.  The Teachers reported as follows.  Br. A. Anderson was willing to sustain the authorities of the Church but not in any humbug.  Br. Joseph Braithwaite wanted to be let alone.  He had always taken liquor, and always expected to, and he would not promise to do better.  Henry Braithwaite said he acknowledged it was wrong in getting drunk, and would try and do better.  Sister Braithwaite said she believed in Mormonism and never took more liquor than done her good.  Margaret Miles said she was no Mormon.  Sister Barnes said she would just as soon have her name taken off the books.  Henry Sadler believed in the principles of the Gospel except United Order.  Andrew Anderson would give no definite answer to any question.

Br. Albert Dewey was dropped from the Teachers quorum of the ward.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 2 Oct., 1874)

7 Nov.:  God will honor and give strength to the Teachers.

“God will honor and give strength to the Teacher who will do his duty, and he will have the administration of Angels.”  (Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishops Office, Aaronic Priesthood Minutes, 1857-1877, entry for 7 Nov., 1874; in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):383, Spring, 1976)

1875:  7 Jan.:  Teachers to preach by example.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets made some remarks in relation to prayer and talked on the fast offering and exhorted the Teachers to preach by example rather than by precept.  There is a great lack of diligence in the brethren visiting their blocks.  Would like to see the ward straitened up.  Cr. McAllister endorsed the remarks of the Bishop, and regretted that there were so many that are being led away by perusing the publications of those who are opposed to us.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 7 Jan., 1875)

29 Apr.:  Mercy could not rob justice.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Sister Braithwaite was very sick, and during the time the Teachers were there Henry Braithwaite came into the house drunk.  The Teachers reported that Br. Wm. Groesback did not believe very much in Mormonism, and did not want to come to meeting.  Br. Frank Dewey thought the Bishop and Cr. McAllister was not right.  The Teachers requested him to attend the meetings and set them right.

Bp. E. F. Sheets said he had not been at the meetings for 2 or 3 times.  He thought the reports were about as they had been except two or three cases.  He thought that mercy ought not to rob justice.  He wished the Teachers to find out if the parties that had been reported wished to belong to the Church.  The responsibility was upon the Teachers until they were brought before the Bishop and Council.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Apr., 1875)

24 Jun.:  Even Bishops need home teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets did not know that he had seen a Teacher at his house for months, probably a year, and he wanted the Teachers not to miss his house.  He realized that the Teachers had an influence that was good among the people both old and young.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 24 Jun., 1875)

16 Sep.:  Teachers to endorse United Order.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets made some remarks on the duties of the Teachers, that they might prepare themselves for the principles of the United Order when they should be called upon to endorse them.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 16 Sep., 1875)

14 Oct.:  Teachers to urge avoidance of Gentile schools.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Remarks were made by Bp. Sheets and his Council on the necessity of the Teachers urging the Brethren and Sisters to refrain from sending their children to outside schools.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 14 Oct., 1875)

6 Nov.:  House is subject to the visiting Teacher.

When a teacher visits “that House is subject to him and the Teacher has the privilege to ask such questions as the Spirit of God may direct him to and no person should go as a Teacher without that spirit.”  (Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishops Office, Aaronic Priesthood Minutes, 1857-1877; cited in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):382, Spring, 1976)

1877:    24 May:  Take pains in selection of Teachers.

“The bishops should be very choice in the selection of teachers, taking the greatest pains to get the best men they could find in their wards, men that sought after God themselves and who were filled with his Spirit; at the same time they should be possessed of good judgment, and capable of giving good advice.”  (John Taylor, 24 May, 1877; DN 6 Jun., 1877; quoted in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):387, Spring, 1976)

1/8 Jul.:  Adjudication by Teachers Quorum.

“at 4. P.M. attended High Priests Meeting.  had a reference again to the feelings between Bros J Lewis & John Oakley.  the Teacher’s having decided between them & required Bro Oakley to acknowledge his fault & sign a document drawn by them.  to be read in the public meeting.  which he had signed, but did not feel quite satisfied with the matter – which was again talked over both parties stating they were willing to have peace upon which I asked them separatly as to their desires for peace & to settle the differences between them.  they both expressed their willingness when I told them in the presence of the quorum to manifest it by acknowledging their wrongs asking forgiveness & shaking hands as token of sincerity, they both did so – yet Bro O said there was another matter he wanted to talk to Bro Lewis about – Bro L said he did not Know what it could be about but he was willing to ask forgiveness and have a clean sheet – but Bro O said he would rather not be hasty but would lioke to talk with him upon which nothing further was said only to have the decision of the Teachers & the statement of Bro Oakley read at next sundays meeting Bro O. expressing his desire to have it read.” 

“Sun 8 . . . had Bro Bunting read the decision of teachers & the acknowledgment of Bro John Oakley in the case between him & Bro Jas Lewis as to the Ellsworth Estate.  whereupon I referred to the matter and asked the Saints to forgive Bro Oakley which they did by raising the hand in token.”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 1 Jul., 1877)

19 Jul.:  HT report.

[In contrast to earlier minutes, those beginning in 1877 included a Block-by-Block accounting, exemplified by this entry.]

[Teachers Meeting]  “1st Block represented by Horace Ensign said ‘I and Elbridge Tufts visited the most of our block and found most of the Saints feeling well.  We had a long interview with Bro. Anderson who promised to come to Meeting and attend family prayers.’

2nd Block represented by Chas. Tuckfield said ‘Royal Barney and I visited our sides of the Block.  We found some sickness but the Saints generally felt pretty well, no one in want.’

3rd Block represented by Wm. Hughes said ‘Robert Grant and I visited our sides of the block and found the Saints all feeling well.  Nothing special to report.’

Mifflin Palmer said ‘Aaron Jacobson and I visited our sides of the 3rd Block.  James Toms did not treat us with proper respect.  He said that he did not sss the necessity of being rebaptised and that he had forgotton more than we ever knew.  We found about half the Saints on the Block lukewarm and negligent in regard to their duties.’

4th Block represented by Edwin Frost said ‘James Shelmerdine and I visited our Block and found the Saints trying to do about right.’

5th Block represented by Edward Warren said ‘I visited the 5th Block alone and found very little love of Mormonism among most of the members of the Church on our Block.’

6th Block represented by Wm. Rawlings said ‘I had some conversation with Sister Snell who said she did not wish to belong to the Church but retained her standing and attended meeting to please her husband.  Thos. Golightly said he did not want any Mormonism in his [life?].  Said he believed the Bp. and his Counselors to be thieves and liars and the Authorities of the Church were bilks.  Jno. Davis said that he did not see the necessity of being rebaptised, thought that if a person was baptised into the Church there was no necessity of being rebaptised unless he was excommunicated.’

7th Block represented by Jno. Cartwright said ‘Richard Chamberlain and I visited our sides of the 7th Block.  We exhorted the Saints to be faithful and attend to their duties.  Nothing special to report.

8th Block represented by Moroni McAllister said ‘I visited a portion of the 8th Block and found the Saints trying to live their religion.’

Stephen Alley and Wm. Foster having renewed their covenants [by rebaptism] were sustained as acting Teachers.  Jno. Needham was appointed and sustained as an acting Teacher.

Bp. Sheets made some remarks exhorting the Teachers to dilligence in visiting their Blocks and in their endevors to reclaim those who were backsliding.  Counselor McMurrin made some interesting and instructive remarks on the duties and responsibilities devolving upon the Teachers.  Counselor Brockbank felt to endorse the remarks that had been made.  Jno. Needham was appointed to visit on the 7th Block with Bro. Borg.  The reports of the Teachers were read and showed the condition of the Ward.  Roll call 16 members present.  Adjourned until Aug. 18 at 7:30.  Prayer by C. B. Tuckfield.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 19 Jul., 1877)

18 Aug.:  HT report.

[Teachers Meeting]  “[2nd Block] Bro. Hawkins was anxious to be rebaptised and do better.  Sister Hawkins and the family felt well.  Bro. Thos. Chamberlain promised to be rebaptised.  Sister Brown was willing to renew her covenants and the general feeling on the Block was good.

3rd Block reported by Wm. Hughes said ‘Robert Grant and I visited our portion of the Block and found David Anderson feeling pretty well; he had not been rebaptised and did not seem to favor it at present.’  Bro. Palmer said ‘Aaron Jacobson and I visited the remainder of the 3rd Block.  Bro. Geo. Chambers and wife had not renewed their covenants. . . .

[6th Block] Sister Linch and her children were willing to be rebaptised.

7th Block reported by Louis P. Borg said Bro. Albert Dewey had faith in the Gospel, did not feel like being rebaptised, was behind in his tithing but hoped when times got better to be able to pay up.  Frank Jackson had been baptised when a child but did not want to belong to the Church.  Sister Jackson was feeling pretty well but would like to have some feelings she had against some of the brethren settled before she renewed her covenants.  Bro. Richard Chamberlain and Jno. Cartwright visited the remainder of the Block and reported all well.

8th Block reported as not being visited.

Bp. Sheets canvased the report of the various Blocks and thought we had a very good Ward but could not endorse all the statements.  Referred to the cases of many who thought they were doing well when in fact they were drifting away and were devoid of the light of the Gospel.  Said the responsibility of the membership of the Saints is placed upon the Teachers who must do their duty of they will be dropped and others appointed who will do their duty.  Said our reports must be made just as they exist.  The case of Bro. Toms was referred to.  Counselor McMurrin spoke in relation to the feeling of the people and said it was necessary that the Teachers should do their duty.  We have commenced and new era and we should try to be one.  Counselor Brockbank endorsed the feelings of the other brethren.  Bro. Shelmerdine thought that we had erred in permitting the brethren to go teaching alone.  Bro. Palmer and Jacobson preferred a charge against Bro. Jos. Toms for breaking the sabbath, neglect of duty and insulting the Teachers.  Bros. Borg, Barney, Warren and Bp. Sheets made further remarks explaining the duties of the Teachers.  Bro. Louis P. Borg asked the Council to excuse him from acting as a teacher.  Moved seconded and carried that Bro. L. P. Borg be dropped (according to his own request) as a member of the Council for insulting the Bp. and Council by withdrawing from the meeting in a passionate manner.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 18 Aug., 1877)

23 Aug.:  Duty of Presiding Bishop/HT visits weekly.

“A Bishops’ meeting was held in the Council House, Salt Lake City in the evening.  President Brigham Young said it was the duty of the Presiding Bishop to visit all other Bishops and see that they and the lesser priesthood did their duty, although this was not expected of Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter in consequence of his great age.  Members were not to be held in fellowship who neglected prayers, tithing and other duties.  Teachers should visit their districts weekly, make short visits and not change from one district to another.  At the close of the meeting President Young said to George Goddard, Thomas Taylor, Edward Brain and William Asper, ‘I want you to act as a committee in the building of the new Tabernacle.'”  (JH 23 Aug., 1877)

29 Aug.:  Teachers responsible if anything is wrong.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets requested the Teachers to endevor to attend the Bp. Meeting that they may keep themselves informed in regard to what is expected of them.  Said that President Young had thrown the responsibility of the Blocks upon the Teachers and if anything was wrong they were responsible.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Aug., 1877)

8/16 Sep.:  Teachers and the United Order.

“[8th]  Met with the Saints and spoke to them at some length, and afterward instructed the Teachers to visit all the people in the settlement and read the rules of the United Order to them and ask how many were willing to subscribe to them and to renew their covenants by baptism. . . .

“[16th]  In the evening I received a report from the Teachers showing that most of our people in this ward wish to renew their covenants by baptism.”  (Platte D. Lyman diary, 8 & 16 Sep., 1877; LC Collection)

13 Sep.:  Teachers to visit monthly, meet weekly.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Co. Brockbank said in accordance with the desire of the Twelve apostles made known to the people through an epistle the Teachers would meet every week but would be required to make a thorough visit only once a month.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 13 Sep., 1877)

14 Oct.:  Duties of Priests, Teachers; what about Deacons?

“What is the duty of the Priests?  Only to hold office?  No; it is to visit the members of the various Wards, and to see that there are no hard feelings, troubles or difficulty among the people, to anticipate the occurrence of anything of that sort, put things right and see that the ordinances of the Church are carried out.  Then the Teachers, who are helps to the Priests, whose duty it is to go among the people and talk to them on their duties–not like so many parrots, but full of the spirit of God.  And where there may be difficulties to settle, and it is not within the power of the Teachers to satisfactorily adjust them, report them to the Bishop, who sits as a common judge in Israel, and to adjudicate all such matters.  If thy brother offend thee, go and say to him, ‘Brother, you have done so and so,’ and if he will not listen to you nor ask forgiveness for the offense he has given you, take another man with you–one whom you think has influence with him, and one whom you think he will listen to–and let him talk, and if the offending person will not listen to him, report him, to be dealt with according to the order of the Church, and if he continues obdurate and stubborn, then he does not belong to us.  Let us always feel like operating together for the good of each other and for the kingdom we are identified with.”  (John Taylor, 14 Oct., 1877; JD 19:142)

1878:  10 Mar.:  Ten houses per pair.

“Today we ordained six deacons and appointed four more teachers for this ward, and redistricted our ward making four districts with two teachers in each and ten houses to be visited.”  (Platte D. Lyman diary, 10 Mar., 1878; LC Collection)

8 Dec.:  Proper order of resolving disputes.

“But then, supposing after being so waited on, your brother would not hear you, it would then be proper to wait on him again, taking with you another brother; and if he still persisted to manifest hard feelings, it would then be proper to report him to the Church, and let the matter be brought to the notice of the Teachers or the Priests, as the case might be.  If he refuse to hearken to their counsel, let a charge be preferred against him to his Bishop who, with his counselors, should hear and decide the case according to the evidence, with all long-suffering and humility and justice and prayer before God, to guide him in his decision.  And when they operate together in this way, such things will be disposed of aright.  And if either party should be dissatisfied with the decision, an appeal could be taken to a higher court–the High Council.  And when that body of men sit upon the case and render their decision in the matter, and if the brother refuse to hear them, what then?  He is cut off the Church.  ‘But (a man may say) it is a matter of dollars and cents, and if a man owe me $5,000, I cannot afford to lose it, and what recourse have I?’  Bring him up before the Church, and if he will not listen to the counsel of the Church authorities, let him be dealt with by this council.  And what will be the result?  He will be severed from the Church.  ‘And am I to lose my money?’  No, not necessarily so; he is outside of the Church, and now you can ‘pop him through’ by the law, if that be the term you use.  And this is why we take such pains in electing our representatives to our legislature.  We try to select good men in order that we may have good laws enacted, and then we try to get good Probate Judges.”  (John Taylor, 8 Dec., 1878; JD 20:104-105)

1880:    29 Apr.:  Select best men to be Teachers.

“A Bishops’ meeting was held at the Council House at 7 p.m. Bishop Edward Hunter presiding. . . . Bishops should watch over, know and control their wards, and select the best men for teachers.”  (JH 29 Apr., 1880)

20 May:  Visit at least once a month.

“At a teachers meeting held in 1880 [Bishop Elijah] Sheets instructed his teachers to visit every member of the ward ‘at least once a month and as much oftener as possible.’  To emphasize the importance of their service, Sheets told the Eighth Ward teachers that they were ‘as much on a mission as if they were sent to the nations of the earth and God required as much diligence from them.'”  (Pace Diss., p. 256; also Eighth Ward Historical Record, 20 May, 1880)

1883:  8 Mar.:  Teachers to attempt to avoid bishop’s courts.

“In 1883 [Bishop Elijah Sheets] referred to an unspecified difficulty between two parties and stated that he wanted the teachers to attempt to settle the matter causing the conflict without resorting to a bishop’s court.  Although willing to hold courts when he deemed it necessary, in this case Sheets advised the teachers ‘to be lenient toward them as they were very ignorant in the principles of the Gospel and like little children and needed more teaching than others of more experience.'”  (Pace Diss., p. 259; also Eighth Ward Historical Record, 8 Mar., 1883) 

1889:  5 Dec.:  Teachers to seek out delinquent tithepayers.

“If any members should fail to appear [for tithing settlement], a Teacher should visit them and ascertain the reason.  At the close of the settlement, the Bishop and Counselors should carefully examine the amount paid by each person, and if in their judgment there are members who have not paid a full Tithing, said members should be visited by the Teacher and an opportunity be given them to be heard, before the judgment of the Bishop and Council is entered on the Record as to the per cent of tithing paid by such person.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 5 Dec., 1889.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 3:182)

1890:    1 Mar.:  Instructions to ward teachers.

“President Charles W. Penrose defined the duties of the Priest and Teacher, and showed that where these brethren magnified their calling a good spirit prevailed among the Saints.  The house to house visitors need not always be reminded of their duties.  The best men that can be found should be sought after to attend to this, and they should enter upon their labors in accordance with the spirit thereof.  Hasty visits or frivolous talk should not characterize these ministrations.  The families of the Saints require to be fed with the bread of life, and it must needs be that the spiritual teachers be alive to their duties in every particular.”  (Report of Salt Lake Stake monthly priesthood meeting, 1 Mar., 1890; DW 40(11):366, 8 Mar., 1890)

2 Mar.:  Negligence of Bishops in ward teaching.

“[President Angus M. Cannon speaking.]  The organization of the wards should be complete and kept in thorough working order, the Priests and Teachers doing their duty to see that the Saints are instructed and that no iniquity exists.  I do not remember when I was last visited by a teacher, it is so long since.  I wish Bishops who are short of help in that line would call to their assistance some of the young men who are growing up in their midst and who are liable if not called into service in the Church to fall into evil habits.  I wish also the Bishops to see that the transgressors in their wards are dealt with, and that those who are found unworthy of a standing are severed from the Church.  I regret to see a disposition on the part of many of the Saints to barter away their possessions.  Think of the scenes through which the people have passed before being led to this land, and of the marvelous manner in which the Lord has blessed this country for the sake of his people, and then ask yourselves if they are justified in selling their heritages.  When I think of the tendency in this direction which is being manifested I am reminded of the prodigal son who plead with his father to give him his portion and, having obtained it, squandered it in riotous living, and then returned to his father, famished and naked and humbled.  Some might feel to ask now, as did the faithful son mentioned in the parable, why it is that those who have sold their possessions, engaged in riotous living, and disobeyed counsel, are still fellowshipped and sustained, as if their acts had always been worthy; but they might be answered as was the prodigal’s brother.  ‘All that I have is thine.’  The leniency shown the prodigals, would not detract from the glorious reward in store for the faithful.  Let us repress the scandals which are being circulated in our midst and purge out iniquity from our midst.  Bishops, trim up your Wards.  Presidents of quorums, labor with your members who are slack in regard to their duties, that they may be led to reform, and the blessing of God will attend you.”  (Report of Salt Lake Stake Conference, 2 Mar., 1890; DW 40(11):364, 8 Mar., 1890)