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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1847

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1847” You can view other years here.

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PRIESTHOOD, 1847 (January-May).

1847:    1 Jan.:  A blessing from Mother Chase.

“This morning take leave of the female family & visit sis. Sessions with Loisa & Zina [D. H. Young] very pleasantly.  Last eve we had a very interesting time to close my five day visit with the girls, for whom my love seem’d to increase with every day’s acquaintance.  To describe the scene alluded to would be beyond my pow’r–suffice it to say, the spirit of the Lord was pour’d out and we receiv’d a blessing thro’ our belov’d Mother Chase, & sis. Clarissa by the gift of tongues.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 1 Jan., 1847; IE 46(7):435, Jul., 1943)

2 Jan.:  City divided into 22 wards.

“The city is divided into 22 wards & has a Bishop over each ward.  They seem to be doing their duty better than I ever knew the Bishops to do before.  The poor are uncommonly well seen & attended to”  (Hosea Stout diary, 2 Jan., 1847)  [Compare with 14 Feb., 1849 entry from MHBY]

3 Jan.:  Rebaptism urged in Scotland by F. D. Richards.

“Started from our house this morning to attend the Glasgow conference which according to a previous appointment met in the Odd Fellows hall, Trangat, Glasgow.  E[lders]. F[ranklin]. D. & S[amuel] W. Ritchards being appointed by the American diputation conducted the business of the conf especially Bro Franklein [D. Richards] through the corse of the day we had much very interesting instruction, in the evening he spoke of law the Church had been wronged & deceved by those that latley stood at the head & that by the fountain being poluted the streams or branches had to a certen degree been foiled & that he would councle all the Presiding Elders from the different branches (& I would that ther was more of them present now) to go forth & teach the principle of rebaptism for the remission of sins that by doing their first works the Holy Spirit of Promise may again be given to them & that they may begin to serve the Lord with new life & rigor & watch & pray & keep all the commands of God that we as a people may be saved from the evils that are fast approaching in this the judgment hour of the Lord.  Some person may supose that when you go & get rebaptised that surely you have been giltey of som very great crim & wonder what it may be, but I will tell you of one lovley scean that took place one afternoon in Navoo.  Joseph & Sidney, while the latter of these two was in better standing than he now is, went down to the river Missisippi & baptised each other.  Now, says Bro Joseph you may all come the same way if plase, the door is now open  Now says Bro Ritchards, I went & was rebaptised & thought if the Prophet of God could go & obay this command who was so highly favoured of God that to say the least of it I thought it could do me no harm & I say that from that time I felt more of the Spirit & powr of the Lord than I had ever done before He also spake on some other points of doctren & principle which was truly glorious  at the cease of the meeting Elder Ghram Douglas, Pres of the Glasgow Branch, made known to the congregation that he felt glad in hearing this intelligance & that he had made up his mind to go tomorrow evening & get rebaptised & all the Saints who wished to do the same may be at the place apointed, making mention of it at 6 oclock. . . .

Monday morning the 4th, we was visited by Bro F. Ritchards before we got out of bed, he asked us how we liked the teachings last night I told him I felt as in heaven for a short time.  He also informed us that he was going to Tollcross that evening to rebaptise that little Branch. . . .

After some little preparation we started off for the place of baptisem it was in the river Clyde, some distance east of Tollcross & their Bro Ritchards went down into the water & led us in to the depth required so that he might bring us under the water & raise up again in the likness of the death & resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ  Bro Gibson was first baptised then all the different officers in turn.  Then the members men & women & the number was about 16 & I among the rest  Soon after we returned to the place of meeting to atend to the ordenance of confirmation Bro Ritchards called on myself & Bro. McFadyane to lay on hands with him to confirm & seal the spirit of promise on Bro Gibson, after which they laid hands on me for the same purpose, then we in turn to the Prsiding Elder of this little Branch then we in turns confirmed the rest of the officers & then the members, it was a time of refreshing & joy, Elder Ritchards councled me to let Bro Bell our Pres know what I had done and let him know that you can baptise him first & teach the officers & Saints to follow your example.  [A couple of pages later in the same diary, Sprowl explains that the ‘Spirit of Promise’ meant that ‘the Holy Ghost was sealed anew on my head by the laying on of hands.'”  (Andrew Sprowl diary, 3-4 Jan., 1847; LC Collection)

10 Jan.:  Emphasis on rebaptism.

“The president also addressed us on the course to be pursued for the spread of the work, on re-baptism, and many important items.”  (Carlisle Conference minutes, 10 Jan., 1847; MS 9(7):102, 1 Apr., 1847)

10 Jan.:  Can High Council meet without majority present?

“I was at home most of the day.  About sun down I went out to regulate the guard and from thence to the Council at Willard Richard’s house

At this council there were but five of the original Council present and the question arose whether they could do any business without 7 being present & then filling up the Council to Twelve and in case of there not being 7 of the original Council present whether they could fill up.  It was decided by the president that they could not and so of course nothing more could be done and then came the Question.

The councillors all give their opinions which all differed somewhat but all nearly thought that they could not act.  Some however thought otherwise.  The council called upon President Willard Richards & the rest of the 12 present to give their opinions.

President Richards said that [‘]I would ask two Questions, the first one is was Kirtland a Stake of Zion (answered it was)  In the Doctrine and Covenants a law there established a High Council for the Stake.  I have now a book that I learnt my letters from & it is as good now as then

The Second Question is this.  Is this a Stake of Zion (answer no) now here is the spelling book again (like) the Doctrine & Covenants.  I value it as high as any one else.  There are three Councils mentioned there and another which was a Travling Council.

Is this a Stake of Zion or are we not Sir, a travelling council & can not we try any case we please.

In Nauvoo there was a City council to regulate trade &c  If there was only two or three present of that Council; they went to work to fill it up (This was mentioned as a precedent)

Here if the council is not full, we can call in a dozen High Priests and if they are not to be had we could call in a dozen Elders &c. & fill up the council.  Suppose there is Eleven left.  do they go on [?] no, They fill up.  If only 8 dont they fill up & is not a law made by them valid [?] certainly.  If there is only six of the councillors present and they make a law can the six other councillors undo that law.  Suppose eleven men go to Missouri and only one left & the salvation of Israel at stake and that one goes to work and fills up the council and does the business would it not be right

There was a time when I was the only acting president of the Church present.  Suppose they had all fallen on that fatal day but me.  If I could have found eleven High Priests worthy of the station I should have ordained them before the sun set behind yonder hill.

It has been said that one of the 12 can not act here as a councillor I say I can act any where God will place me.  but if there is a place that any of the 12 can not act & you will point it out to me I will thank you. so that I can keep in my place.

Where is the room for contention in this Council.  If men are sick or necessarily detained other men can act for them.  If a man will not attend to his place but neglects it for half a dozen times & does not give a reasonable excuse cut him off and put another man in his place that will act.  That is my private feelings’

He was followed by George A. Smith who said ‘I have precisely the same views that President Richards has.  If President Harris was here by himself, he has a right to go to work and fill up the Council.  If a councillor is negligent and does not attend and I attend as a visitor, I can be appointed to act in his place.  If you will take the Twelve for a pattern I will give it to you.  If there are only 2 of them present and there is business to be done.  They go to work and do it

If the junior member of this council comes here and all the rest are absent.  Shall he stay here week after week?  no  But as President Richards said if all the rest of his councillors were killed we have a right to appoint others

The Doctrine & Covenants says there must be 7 of the council present to do business and does it not also say there must be three Presidents & if you go by that where is your three Presidents.  I attended the very first High Council in Kirtland at its organization  If you are going back to Kirtland for precedents I want to see your three presidents.  But I do not believe in having Twelve men called together for every little thing.  I say are not the Twelve all Presidents, all Apostles but you seldom hear more than one or two speak and all the rest say: Amen.  I want to know who ever heard of a Municipal High Council in Kirtland to try a few barrels of whiskey.  They had a Council to try Spiritual things and it may be that barrels of whiskey are spiritual things.

If there is only one member of the High Council present, he has a right to try cases–cut off–& make whiskey laws.  Suppose some secret plott cuts off Eleven of the Twelve Apostles & leaves only the junior member, is he to set down and cry O! I can not act because there is not 7 of us?  no he is not.

After this the council proceeded to business as usual.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 10 Jan., 1847)

15 Jan.:  No sons of Levi yet.

“In the evening, Pres. [B.] Young went to the Octagon (Dr. Richard’s office) with Wm. G. and Ute[?] Perkins, who conversed with him on the principles of adoption and the Levitical priesthood.  Pres. Young told them that no son of Levi has yet been found in these last days to minister at the altar.”  (JH 15 Jan., 1847)

16 Jan.:  Don’t refill quorums yet.

“Pres. Joseph Young asked if it were right to add other Seventies, when it was unknown where the members were.  Pres. Brigham Young decided that it was not wisdom to add to any quorum, unless it was known there were vacancies either by death or apostasy.”  (JH 16 Jan., 1847)

17 Jan.:  Joseph received apostleship from Peter.

“Pres. [Brigham] Young addressed the Assembly showing that the church had been led by Revelation just as much since the death of Joseph Smith as before and that he was as great and good a man, and as great a Prophet as ever lived upon the earth, Jesus excepted.  Joseph received his apostleship from Peter and his brethren, and the present apostles received their apostleships from Joseph the first apostle, and Oliver Cowdery the second apostle.”  (JH 17 Jan., 1847)

7 Mar.:  Cut off for failure to make restitution.

“A charge having been fully proved against sister Maria Mullis, for lying and slandering a brother, having a tendency to do him an injury, and as she would not make restitution, 

It was moved by Elder Freeman, seconded by Elder Bramall that Maria Mullis be cut off from the church.  Carried.  [Note that this took place during the Warwickshire Conference, not in a Priesthood Court.]”  (Minutes of the Warwickshire Conference, 7 Mar., 1847; MS 9(7):103, 1 Apr., 1847)

6 Apr.:  High Councilman dropped for being a Seventy.

“Today was a special conference which commenced at ten o’clock. . . .

The first Presidents of the Seventies were next unanimously recieved  Then the High Council except Samuel Russel, who was dropt because he was one of the Seventies and Phineas Richards put in his place.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 6 Apr., 1847)

Apr.:  Joseph was first called by an holy angel.

“Joseph was first called by an holy angel, Strange was first called by Joseph–not alike here.  Again, when the holy angel visited and ordained Joseph, Oliver was with him, that it might be as the Lord had said: ‘In the mouth of TWO or three witnesses shall every word be established.’  2 Cor. 13:1.  Who was with Strang, when he was ordained?  No person.  Not alike here.  ‘And also with Peter and James and John, whom I have sent unto you [Joseph and Oliver] by whom I have ordained you, and confirmed you to be Apostles, and especial witnesses of my name.'”  (William E. McLellin, The Ensign of Liberty of the Church of Christ, 1(2):31, Apr., 1847; Barney)

4 May:  Procedural questions and answers.

“6th,–In case a branch once organized, by default of the officers therein, neglect of their duties, shall, by the conference meeting to which it belongs, deem it wisdom to annex it to another branch, they not eing present of the members?  Is it order, and are they bound to come to the church meeting as agreed thereto by the said conference, without their vote or consent?  Has the conference power to do so?

6th,–A conference has full power to regulate, annex, or cut off any branch as it shall seem wisdom, being responsible to a higher body for any abuse of power.

7th,–In the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, section 2nd, on the duties of Priests ordaining, is that for the British Isles?  Can the Priests, or in other words, when would it be according to the rule here laid down as duty, of one in that office to ordain Priests, Teachers, and Deacons.  Page 71, 10th paragraph.

7th,–When a Priest is not in the immediate vicinity of a higher officer of the church, he may then ordain persons to a level with his own authority, being responsible for the exercise of discretion in the case.  Buit in the presence or vicinity of a higher officer of the branch, he should take counsel of his superior in the branch.”  (“Letter to Orson Spencer [MS editor] and the Reply,” letter from Elder William Hawkins, Sen., Priest William Hawkins, Jun., Elder John Lickorish, dated 4 May, 1847; MS 9(11):167-169, 1 Jun., 1847)

7 May:  John Taylor, “On Priesthood.”

“To the Editor of the Millennial Star.

Dear Brother,–Before I left in the ship America for New Orleans, I have frequently had it on my mind, from circumstances which have come under my notice during my travels in this country in company with Elder Pratt, to write an article for the STAR on the subject of Priesthood, but could not do it for the want of time; but now, that through the providence of God, we have been driven again to this shore, through unfavourable winds, and having a few moments leisure, I improve it for that purpose, hoping that it may be interesting and instructive to the Elders of this country, and also to the Saints.

As my time is limited, and I shall be necessitated to be brief, I shall commence by asking the question–What is Priesthood?  Without circumlocution, I shall as briefly answer that it is the government of God, whether on the earth or in the heavens, for it is by that power, agency, or principle that all things are governed on the earth and in the heavens, and by that power that all things are upheld and sustained.  It governs all things–it directs all things–it sustains all things–and has to do with all things that God and truth are associated with.  It is the power of God delegated to intelligences in the heavens and to men on the earth; and when we arrive in the celestial kingdom of God, we shall find the most perfect order and harmony existing, because there is the perfect pattern, the most perfect order of government carried out, and when or wherever those principles have been developed in the earth, in proportion as they have spread and been acted upon, just in that proportion have they produced blessings and salvation to the human family; and when the government of God shall be more extensively adopted, and when Jesus’s prayer, that he taught his disciples is answered, and God’s kingdom comes on the earth, and his will is done here as in heaven, then, and not till then, will universal love, peace, harmony, and union prevail.  Then the spirit of God will be poured on all flesh; then the lion will lay down with the lamb; then will the earth resume it paradisiac glory; yea, more, it will fulfil the order of its creation, and become celestial, and then will every creature in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth, be heard to sing–‘Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’

To bring about this desirable end–to restore creation to its pristine excellency and to fulfil the object of creation–to redeem, save, exalt, and glorify man–to save and redeem the dead and the living, and all that shall live according to its laws, is the design and object of the establishment of the priesthood on the earth in the last days; it is for the purpose of fulfilling what has not heretofore been done–that God’s works may be perfected–that the times of the restoration of all things may be brought about, and that, in conjunction with the eternal priesthood in the heavens (who without us, nor we without them, could not be made perfect), we may bring to pass all things which have been in the mind of God, or spoken of by the spirit of God, through the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world was.  When this shall be done, then shall be sung the following song:–

The Lord hath brought again Zion:

The Lord hath redeemed his people Israel,

According to the election of grace,

Which was brought to pass by the faith

And covenant of their fathers.

The Lord hath redeemed his people,

And Satan is bound, and time is no longer:

The Lord hath gathered all things in one:

The Lord hath brought down Zion from above:

The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath;

The earth hath travelled and brought forth her strength;

And truth is established in her bowels;

And the heavens have smiled upon her;

And she is clothed with the glory of her God:

For he stands in the midst of his people;

Glory, and honour, and power, and might,

Be ascribed to our God, for he is full of mercy,

Justice, grace, and truth, and peace,

For ever and ever, Amen.

The priesthood in the heavens are uniting with us to bring about these purposes, and as they are governed by the most perfect laws, it is necessary that we also should be governed by the same principle, that our works may agree–that there may be a reciprocity of action, and that God’s will (so far as we are concerned) may be done on the earth as it is in heaven.  It is this which we have to learn, and this which we must do to fulfil our calling, and render our works acceptable in the sight of God and of the holy angels, and also in the sight of our brethren, who are associated with us in the priesthood in the kingdom of God on the earth.

There are different callings, and offices, and stations, and authorities in the holy priesthood, but it is all the same priesthood; and there are different keys, and powers, and responsibilities, but it is the same government; and all the priesthood are agents in that government, and all are requisite for the organization of the body, the upbuilding of Zion, and the government of his kingdom; and they are dependant one upon another, and the eye cannot say to the ear I have no need of thee, nor the head to the foot I have no need of thee.  It is for every one to abide in the calling whereunto he is called, and magnify his office and priesthood, and then will he have honour of his brethren and be honoured of God and of the holy angels.

I have noticed some in my travels, those, who, like the disciples of Jesus of old, evince a great desire for power, and manifest a very anxious disposition to know who among them shall be greatest.  This is folly, for honour proceeds not from office, but by a person magnifying his office and calling.  If we have any honour proceeding from or through the priesthood, it comes from God, and we certainly should be vain to boast of a gift when we have no hand in the gift, only in receiving it.  If it comes from God, he ought to have the glory and not us, and our magnifying our callings is the only way or medium through which we can obtain honour or influence.  It is not the being an eye or ear that make these members honourable, but the seeing and hearing; and a well foot is certainly much more valuable to the body than a blind eye, a deaf ear, or a dumb mouth; and a priest, a deacon, or a teacher, who magnifies his office, is much more honourable than an elder, high priest, or an apostle who does not magnify his calling.  It is Gentilism for men to thirst after power, and empty honours, and dignity.  True honour, pertaining to the priesthood, comes from God, and a man of God does not feel a disposition to seek after power, nor to lord it over those who may be inferior to him in office.  If he does, he has not the spirit of Christ, nor of his mission.  Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The lords of the Gentiles exercise authority over each other, but it shall not be so with you; but he that is greatest among you, let him be servant of all.’  A man of God feels satisfied to fulfil his office, and when he has done it his conscience is clear; he stands approved before God, and is satisfied that he has fulfilled his calling.  If he possesses power, he exercises it for the good of his fellow-men–for the good of his brethren, the church, and the world, and he feels a disposition to bless his brethren and to do them good.  He, indeed, has authority and rule in his office–but as a father, not as a master; a father governs his house and children, but he does it as a father; he does not wish to exercise authority over his children, for he has the authority to rule, and uses it for the benefit of his children.  His family do not obey him because they fear him, but because he is their father, and they love him and know that he rules and directs for their benefit.  We love, fear, and serve God, because he loves us.  We keep his commandments because they are joyous, and tend to our benefit in time and in eternity; and we obey the counsels of the authorities of the church, because they counsel and direct for our benefit.

To point out all the different laws, powers, and authorities in the church, would be a thing impracticable; and to refer to all the different cases wherein it might be used, is not to be attempted.  God has organized a priesthood, and that priesthood bears rule in all things pertaining to the earth and the heavens; one part of it exists in the heavens, another part on the earth; they both co-operate together for the building up of Zion, the redemptin of the dead and the living, and the bringing to pass the ‘times of the restitution of all things;’ and as they are thus closely united, it is necessary that there should be a communication between the one and the other, and that those on the earth should receive instructions from those in the heavens, who are acquainted with earthly as well as heavenly things, having had the experience of both, as they once officiated in the same priesthood on the earth.  This being the case, it will be seen that it is a thing impossible to make different laws touching every case, but that it requires a living priesthood, and not a dead letter; the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life; and it is the intercourse and communication of the priesthood in heaven, that gives power, life, and efficacy to the living priesthood on the earth, and without which they would be as dead and withered branches: and if any man has life, or power, it is the power and life of the priesthood; the gift and power of God communicated through the regular channels of the priesthood, both in heaven and on earth;; and to seek it without, would be like a stream seeking to be supplied with water when its fountain was dried up; or like a branch seeking to obtain virtue when the trunk of the tree was cut off by the root: and to talk of a church without this is to talk of a thing of naught,–a dried fountain, a dead and withered tree.

The Bible is good; and Paul told Timothy to study it, that he might be a workman that need not be ashamed, and that he might be able to conduct himself aright before the living church,–the pillar and ground of truth.  The church-mark, with Paul, was the foundation, the pillar, the ground of truth, the living church, not the dead letter.  The Book of Mormon is good, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, as landmarks; but a mariner who launches into the ocean, requires a more certain criterion; he must be acquainted with heavenly bodies, and take his observations from them, in order to steer his barque aright.  Those books are good for example, precedent, and investigation, and for developing certain laws and principles; but they do not, they cannot touch every case required to be adjudicated and set in order; we require a living tree–a living fountain–living intelligence, proceeding from the living priesthood in heaven, through the living priesthood on earth.  No matter what was communicated to others, for them, it could not benefit us; and a living dog is better than a dead lion;–and from the time that Adam first received a communication from God, to the time that John, on the Isle of Patmos, received his communication, or Joseph Smith had the heavens opened to him, it always required new revelations, adapted to the peculiar circumstances in which the churches or individuals were placed.  Adam’s revelation did not instruct Noah to build his ark; nor did Noah’s revelation tell Lot to forsake Sodom; nor did either of these speak of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt.  These all had revelations for themselves, and so had Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, Joseph, and so must we, or we shall make a shipwreck.  Then, while we examine our books, and search them diligently, don’t let us put those before the priesthood, but seek to support it in all its branches, that life, and health, and salvation may flow to us through the various branches or channels.  I do not wish to be understood as despising those books, for they are good, and there are a great many useful revelations in them; and God will not deny himself, or contradict, without cause, his former revelations; and every principle of truth is eternal and cannot be changed.  But I speak of them as I would of children’s school-books, which a child studies to learn to read; but when it has learned to read, if its memory is good, it can dispense with.  But I would here remark, that we are most of us children as yet, and, therefore, require to study our books.  If there are any, however, who think themselves men, let them show it, not by vain glory or empty boast, but by virtue, meekness, purity, faith, wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge, both of earthly and heavenly things.

To define the power of the priesthood would be impossible, for, as stated before, it governs all things; but it does not here, neither can it at present, further than the laws of God and its authority is acknowledged.  Jesus said, all power is given me in heaven and on earth; yet he was rejected, cast out, and crucified.  Paul explains this matter.  ‘What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the Son of Man, that thou visitest him?  Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.  For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.  But now we see not yet all things put under him.‘  He was ordained to that power, but did not then possess it, only in the church, and not until his second coming, and the binding of Satan would he possess it among the nations.

There are different councils and authorities in the church, which are in some measure defined, together with some of their duties, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, but which are not generally understood, and whose powers it would be impossible to define, and which I shall not here attempt to do, but briefly to shew, in some few particulars, the relative position which they stand in to each other.

When Joseph Smith was living he was the president of all councils, and all authorities in the church; he stood as prophet, seer, and revelator, and apostle; the chief Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He stood before God as the representative of his church on the earth.  In his absence, the Twelve being next in authority, stepped in; not to deprive him of his place, which he still occupies in the heavens, but to fulfil their office and calling, and the relationship which they sustain to the church; but why did not his counsellors occupy his place?  Because they were not ordained to that authority, and they, therefore, could not act in it no more than the king’s cabinet could reign over the nation after the king’s death.  On the demise of a king, it is necessary that another should be crowned in his stead, and this must be the rightful heir.  It is not enough that he is his companion or counsellor; and here let me remark that there is a material difference between a counsellor and a president.  There are some quorums in the church, wherein so much difference does not exist, as the High Council and the Twelve, and with some few exceptions the seventies, high priests, elders, teachers, and deacons, but the bishops have their counsellors, so had Joseph, and so have some of those others.  The High Counicl, however, and Twelve, have not, farther than the whole quorums are counsellors to each other and to their president.  And in relation to the Twelve, their president became such, not on account of election or choice, but because of seniority, or age, hence when Thos. B. Marsh was in good standing he was the oldest, and consequently the presiding officer; but when he apostatized the next oldest took it, which was President Brigham Young.  He had the same priesthood before and the same authority, but was not the president or mouth-piece of the others, who are all presidents in all the world, without other ordinations, and in this respect differ from the council of Joseph, who had not.  The Twelve standing next to Joseph, on his death the charge of the church necessarily fell upon them, and President Young being their president, of course presided, and became the mouth-piece and president, not only of the Twelve but of the church.

There has been, sometimes, a little feeling manifested between the Seventies and High Priests, as to who has the greatest authority, and some of the Seventies have manifested a desire to be united with the High Priests’ quorum, thinking thereby to obtain a greater degree of Priesthood.  This is folly, for as I stated before, it is not the office but the magnifying of an office that makes a man honourable.  But in relation to their offices, they are called to move in other spheres, and fulfil other callings, rather than possessing different power and authority.  Brother Carter thought that some of the Seventies were out of their place, because they were appointed to preside over conferences, whereas they have as much right to preside, when legally appointed, as an High Priest or an Apostle.  The Seventies have the High Priesthood, and many of them have received ordinances in the Temple, qualifying them to build up the kingdom of God, if every other officer was dead or killed, and so have the High Priests.  So far, then, as authority is concerned, they both have authority, but it is the especial business of the Seventies to preach to all the world, introduce and spread the gospel; while it is the duty of the High Priests more especially to preside; yet a HIgh Priest is not precluded from travelling and preaching, and introducing the gospel (nor a Seventy from presiding).  You have your officers in the army and navy, they may be equal in authority but act in different callings.  The military officer, if at sea, while the navy is engaged in a fight with an enemy, would assist with his men to vanquish the enemy; while on the other hand the naval officer would assist the military in storming a garrison and taking possession of territory.  They are both engaged in the same cause, and are fighting for the interests of the same kingdom or government; and so it is with the High Priests and Seventies–they are both empowered to do good, and although their callings differ in some respects, they can both act legally in whatsoever sithation they are placed by authority.  And though it is the especial duty of the Seventies to preach, yet some of the High Priests are much more competent to do it than they; and although it is the especial duty of an High Priest to preside, yet a wise man, who fulfils and magnifies his calling among the Seventies, is much more competent to preside than a foolish or ignorant High Priest, who does not magnify his calling.

In relation to the presidents of churches I would also sayi a word.  It is not always wisdom to appoint the highest officer in a branch to preside.  It frequently happens that a priest or teacher is more competent to preside over a branch than an elder; and it is the privilege of the president of the conference to appoint such to preside, with the consent of the church, according to the regulations of the Doctrine and Covenants; and, if he is a man full of the Holy Ghost, he will be able to select such as are most competent.

In regard to the duties of presidents I would say a word.  While a man holds the office of president it is his duty to magnify his calling, and to preside over his district or branch, subject to the counsel and direction of those officers who are legally placed at his head.  A president of a branch presides over his branch subject to the direction and counsel of the president of his conference.  The presidents of conferences are subject to the counsel of the president of the whole church in England, Irland, Scotland, Wales, and wheresoever he has jurisdiction; and the president over this district is subject to the counsel of the Twelve or first presidency, from which no authority is exempt; and it is the duty of all officers and members to be subject to the counsel of their proper authorities as to the Lord, and in doing so they will be blessed, for to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  But if a president should fall into transgression, and begin to smite his fellow servants, and eat and drink with the drunken, let him be reported to superior officers, and let him be dealt with as the Book of Doctrine and Covenants point[s] out.  But let men be careful how they bring accusations against their presidents without just cause, lest they fall under condemnation and be found among the murmerers and complainers.  But if an officer can be sustained let him be sustained under all circumstances while he is worthy to be sustained and remains as your officer; if he cannot, let him be removed and one be appointed that you can sustain, and this will apply to all presidents.  If your presiding elder does wrong, write or speak of it to the presiding elder of your conference, asking his counsel.  If the presiding officer of your conference falls into transgression, write of it or send a messenger to the president of England, and if he falls into transgression let the presidents of conferences, or those acquainted with the circumstances, notify the Twelve, and it is the duty of all those officers to investigate such matters; but in the absence of the Twelve, any branch may withdraw their fellowship from any officer, and report him to his quorum or to the Twelve; but as I stated before, such branches must be careful how they act, for if they act unrighteously they will fall under condemnation; by asking counsel of your presiding officer you will avoid this difficulty.

In relation to the presidency in England, they fell into transgression, and it place the whole church in difficulty.  The church had been taught to be subject to their counsel, and it was right they should be; so also were all the Elders in England, whether they were English Elders or American.  They were all subject to their counsel, and it was right they should be until they were legally displaced; but men placed under them, if they are righteous men, need not do wrong, nor teach wrong principles; if they wish them to do so, they can legally refuse until they have a hearing.  If they belong to the High Priests, the Seventies, or the Elders’ quorum, they can return to their own quorums and report.  Such was the case with Elder Sirrine.  When he went to England, he was directed to act under the direction of the first presidency.  They wished him to preach Joint Stockism when he arrived, but he informed them that he came to preach the gospel, and could not engage in that.  He paid all deference to them as his presidents while there, but as he had received other instructions from the Twelve and his quorum, if he could not follow his instructions from them, he should be under the necessity of returning.  He would not interfere with them (the English presidents) but return to his own quorum and the Twelve, and report his reasons for returning.  Elders Scovil and Cain pursued the same course and did perfectly right.

I must, however, hasten to a close, as I have extended this article longer than I anticipated when I commenced.  Let presidents while they magnify their calling, and maintain their standing and dignity, be kind and courteous to the Elders over whom they preside, and not assume authority because they are called to preside over brethren of their own quorum, or in equal standing with them; for peradventure, their brethren may yet preside over them.  Let men deal with others as they would wish to be dealt with in similar circumstances; and, on the other hand, let not members of the same quorum reject the counsel of those of their own quorum who are called to preside, but esteem, honour, and sustain them in their office.  Finally brethren, let the officers be sustained in their office, and let every man magnify the calling whereunto he is called.  To define all the laws of the priesthood would be impossible, for it is living power, not a dead letter, and although these instructions may be of general use, the living priesthood must regulate its own affairs.  Let all seek the spirit of God, humble themselves before the Lord, work the work of righteousness, and study to build up the kingdom of God, and they will have his spirit to guide them into all truth.  They will add to their faith knowledge, brotherly love, kindness, charity, and be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of God and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and if we are found faithful in a few things we shall be made ruler over many things, and in due time reap our reward in the kingdoms of our God, and possess thrones and principalities, powers, rule, exaltation, and dominion in the eternal kingdoms of our God, worlds without end.  Amen.

John Taylor.

I had not time to finish this article before I left Liverpool, but completed it in Winter Quarters.

J.T.”  (John Taylor, “On Priesthood,” 7 May, 1847; MS 9(21):321-326, 1 Nov., 1847)

23 May:  The authority of the three presiding quorums.

“They come to me to ask who is the President & his two councillors–for some of this people have a little Strangism and a little Rigdonism in their hearts.  I don’t know anything about 3 except those dead, but I do know about 12 men who hold the keys of this kingdom & are President & one of them by reason of age is the President of the Quorum and of the church, but I know of no 3 save those who are dead.  I never said anything about Rigdonism or Strangism; I left Bro Hyde & others who are good at it to do it.  God may govern this church by 3 men or 12 men or seventy men & the reason I never said anything about it is because I saw this in the Covenents that there was 3 quorums  in the Church who are equal & whose decisions were an end of controversey on the matter of church government in heaven & on earth.  All the 12 are alike in keys, power, might, majesty and dominion and the Seventy are equal, every one in his place, and so are all who have the fulness of the Priesthood, they are entitled to your faith & prayers and there is no middle nor higher nor lower family than those are who have the fulness of the Priesthood.  Some say I will go into Bro Taylor’s family or some a little higher into Woodruffs or Hebers or Orson Hydes.  There is no Rigdonism, Strangism & every other ism.  We are one, we are equal so far as our conduct is equal.  You are not higher nor lower in one family than another.  My mind is Brighams mind and my mind is the same as Hebers.”  (Parley P. Pratt, “Meeting, 23 May 1847, Minutes, Miscellaneous Minutes, HDC,” in Stephen F. Pratt, “Parley P. Pratt In Winter Quarters and the Trail West,” BYU Studies 24(3):385, Summer, 1984)

29 May:  Sisters Young and Whitney prophesy over Sessions.

“Patty Sessions tells how ‘Sister Young and Whitney’ laid their hands upon her head ‘and predicted many things that I shall be blessed with; that I should live to stand in a temple yet to be built’ and ‘should be great.'”  (Journal of Patty Sessions, 29 May, 1847; in Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, p. 177)

1-11 Jun.:  Outpouring of spiritual gifts among women.

“[Winter Quarters]  Tuesday June 1.  This is truly a glorious time with the mothers & daughters in Zion, altho’ thrust out from the land of our forefathers & from endearments of civiliz’d life.  This forenoon I made a cap for sis. Peirce; in the afternoon visited at sis. Miller’s, in com[pany] of Priscinda, Zina, sis. Chase, Cristene, &c.  After supper sis. Whitney, Kimball [and] Sessions came in and we had a spiritual feast in very deed.

Spent the eve. at br. Leonard’s with Priscinda, Zina & Sarah–great instruction was brought forth. . . .

Wednesday, June 2.  Spent the aftern[oon] with Lucy in com[pany] of Zina, Loisa & Emily.  E[mily] & myself spoke in the gift of tongues.  In the eve. met at Harriet’s; had a good time–Sis. Young join’d me in a song of Zion.

Thursday, June 3.  Sis. Sess[ions], Kim[ball], Whit[ney], & myself spent the eve at Sarah Ann’s [Kimball’s]–had a pow’rful time–deep things were brought forth which were not to be spoken.

Friday, June 4.  We had a very pleasant visit at br. Leonard’s.  Present: br. Joseph Y[oung] & wife, br. Sess[ions] & wife, sis. Whitney, Kimball, &c.  I blest sis. Young.

Saturday, June 5.  Fath[er] Sess[ions] leaves for the wilderness.  I attended meeting as sis. Leavitt’s.

Sunday, June 6.  Had a glorious time at sis. Young’s.  Present: sis. Whit[ney], Kim[ball], Chase, &c.  I had forgotten to mention a time of blessing at sis. K[imball]’s the day after we met at Sarah’s.  Sis. Sess[ions] & myself blest Helen [Mar Whitney].  I spoken & she interpreted.  I then blest the girls in a song, singing to each in rotation.

In the eve that we met at Harriet’s, sis. Young told me she thought [it] wisdom for me to go to the west, inasmuch as I could go so comfortably with br. Peirce.  Sis. P[eirce] had mention’d her wish for me to go with them, in his absence, but he had not yet decided whether his means would permit.

Monday, June 7.  Met at sis. Woodruff’s in the afternoon–at br. Leonard’s in the eve.  Moth[er] Butler receiv’d the gift of tongues.  Sis. Scovil present.

Tuesday, June 8.  Met at Lyman Whitney’s, stay’d in the eve, had a heavy shower of rain–went home with Loisa & Z[ina] in the mud rejoicing.

Wednesday, June 9.  Visited with Zina, Martha, L[oisa], E[mily], Lucy, Eliza, & Sarah.  After supper we had a glorious time.  Sis. Peirce came in–sis. Thompson, M. Jones & Francis.  Before we retir’d to rest, Margaret, Martha, Loisa, Susan & Lucy receiv’d the gift of tongues. 

Thursday, June 10.  In the mor[ning] met sis. Chase at Clarissa’s–blest her little daughter which was born last Tu[esday].  Told Harriet she would get the gift of interpretation in the eve.  In the aft[ernoo]n call’d at sis. Woodru[ff’s] & Priscinda’s & went to br. Moore’s where sis. Whit[ney]’s girls met, sent for Zina.  Harriet came with her.  Sis. Richards, Rhoda, Emeline, Anna, & one of sis. M[arkham]’s daughters spoke in the gift for the first time.  Took supper with S[arah] Ann [Kimball].  While there Lucy W. came in–she receiv’d the gift.  We then went into sis. K[imball]’s–Helen, Sarah Ann, Genet, Harriet S., sis. K[imball] spoke for the first time in the gift of tongues–H. Cook interpreted.

Friday, June 11.  Sent for Harriet–we commenc’d improving in the gifts–Helen got the interpretation, also sis. W.  Mary Ellen spoke in a new tongue, sis. Pack also–we had a time not to be forgotten.  In the aft. met at Clarissa’s–sis. Snow receiv’d the gift before we left Loisa’s.  We had a glorious time–Sis. Leavitt & M[argaret] Peirce spoke in the gift & I could truly say that my heart was fill’d to overflowing with gratitude to my Father in heaven.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 1-11 Jun., 1847; IE 46(9):533, Sep., 1943)

11 Jun.:  Excommunication by mass quorum of 70.

“[Mormon Battalion]  ‘The Same day,’ writes Daniel Tyler, ‘various orders were read, one relating to the case of John Allen, who had been several weeks in the guard house for deserting his post when on picket guard during the time of an expected insurrection.  He was the man already mentioned as having been excommunicated from the Church of the Saints by the mass quorum of Seventies.”  (JH 11 Jun., 1847)

13 Jun.:  Priests, Teachers, Deacons in Church Court.

“Number of officers present–1 high priest, 13 elders, 12 priests, 4 teachers, and 3 deacons. . . .

The case of Elder Tolley, of Shatterford, was then brought forward by Elder William Hawkins.  He was charged with neglect of duty and immoral conduct, the charge being supported by the testimony of Elders Hawkins, Edwards, and Lickerish, by whose evidence it was proved that he would not attend counsels, but kept company with the wicked, neither would he attend any duties belonging to the office of an Elder in Israel.  Resolved and carried that he be cut off.”  (Worcestershire Conference minutes, 13 Jun., 1847; MS 9(17):262-263, 1 Sep., 1847)

20 Jun.:  Presidents over the Seventies in Hell.

“Among others it was voted, that brother R. Currell be ordained to the office of a priest.  When we laid our hands upon him, the devil entered him and tried to prevent us from ordaining him; but the power of Jesus Christ in the holy priesthood was stronger than the devil, and after all the endeavours of the powers of darkness to prevent us, in the name of Jesus Christ we ordained brother Richard Currell to the office of a priest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

In consequence of what had taken place, many came to our meeting in the evening and paid great attention.  The secnes of the 20th of June will long be remembered by us as a day of rejoicing in the glorious manifestation of the power of God, confirming the faith of the Saints, and spreading the sound of the gospel farther than we could have done it in a long time.

On Monday, the 21st, we appeared before the mayor, and although the policemen did their best to prosecute us, on our promising to take brother Currell from the town, the mayor dismissed us.  Instead of these things doing us any harm it has done us good, and we feel to bless the name of God, to give him all the glory, and shout his praise among the people, and to preach the gospel with renewed energy among the sons of men; and pray for the time to come when the gospel shall have been preached, the devil bound, the reign of righteousness come it, and the kingdom of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ for ever and ever.

I should inform you that when the devil found he was defeated in brother C. he entered a sister, and kept coming in for several hours; as fast as one lot were expelled another lot entered: at one time we counted 27 come out of her.  When we rebuked them they would come out, but as soon returned again.  How was it they could acknowledge the power, and would damn our power,–damn our gospel, and tear and bite?  The sights were awful, but it has done us all good.

I may as well say, that some of the devils told us they were sent, some by Cain, some by Kite, Judas, Kilo, Kelo, Kalmonia, and Lucifer; some of these, they informed us, were presidents over seventies in Hell.  The last that came previous to our going to prison, told us he was Kilo, one of the presidents, and his sex counsellors.  We cast them out thirty times, and had 319 devils, from 3 to 29 coming at a time.

I shall feel obliged for any instruction you can give me on this subject.–Yours,

Thos. Smith.”  (Thomas Smith to Orson Spencer, editor; MS 9(15):232-233, 1 Aug., 1847)

4 Jul.:  Woman blesses man in women’s meeting.

“Joseph G. Hovey, a recent widower, was invited to one female meeting and given a blessing under the hands of Laura Pitkin.  He later said of it,

She laid her hands on {my} head and spoke in tongues.  Sister {Emeline B.} Harris Whitney did interpret . . . that my wife did watch over me and my little ones and her heart entwined about me and loved me. . . . She was taken from me for the trial of my faith.

[Footnote 43: “Journal of Joseph G. Hovey, 4 July 1847, p. 41.”]”

(Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, pp. 176, 298)

6 Aug.:  Rebaptism of Quorum of the Twelve.

“Referring to the re-baptism Pres. Young writes the following in his history:

At night I was rebaptized by Elder Kimball and then baptized Elders Kimball, Richards, Pratt, Woodruff, Smith, Lyman and Benson, who were confirmed at the water’s edge, to set an example to the Church, and recommended that all who desire to be Latter-day Saints should be rebaptized and reconfirmed.

George A. Smith writes:

Friday, Aug. 6. . . . Myself and the rest of the Twelve baptized and confirmed each other just after dark.”

(JH 6 Aug., 1847)

“In two days we got timber sufficient for two buildings each of us one.  But I had laboured so hard during the two days I Could hardly stand upon my feet.  I went to my waggon & flung myself upon my bed to rest.

I had not been on the bed but a short time before Br Kimball called upon me & informed me that the Twelve were going soon to the water to be baptized for the remission of their sins to set an example to the Church As they would be called upon on Sunday morning to be baptized by the Twelve those that wished.  We considerd this A duty & privlege as we come into a glorious valley to locate & build a temple & build up Zion we felt like renewing our Covenant before the Lord and each other.

We soon repaired to the water & President Brigham Young went down into the water & Baptized all his Brethren the Twelve that were with him by burying them in the water.  He also confirmed us in the Church & sealed upon us our apostleship & all the keys, powers & Blessings belonging to that office.  

Br Heber C. Kimball Baptized & Confirmed President Brigham Young.  The following are the names of those present on this occasion:  B Young  H C Kimball  O. Pratt W. Richards W. Woodruff G. A. Smith & A Lyman.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 6 Aug., 1847)

“All of the brethren of the Twelve, who were present at the camp, renewed their covenants with the Lord by re-baptism.  President Young went down into the water and baptized the following named brethren in their order, viz.: Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, and Amasa Lyman.  He then confirmed them and sealed upon them their Apostleship, and all the keys powers and blessings belonging to that office.  Elder Heber C. Kimball baptized and confirmed President Brigham Young.  This they considered a great privilege and a duty, as they had been led and preserved by the hand of God into a ‘glorious valley to locate and build up Zion.'”  (Orson Pratt diary, 6 Aug., 1847; in Contributor 12(6):204, Apr., 1891)

7/8 Aug.:  Rebaptism, reconfirmation of entire camp.

“Between 9 and 10 oclock the council met and recommended that all the camp be rebaptized and decided that Elders Tarlton Lewis, Chas Shumway, Erastus Snow, Stephen H. Goddard and Addison Everett should baptize; Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Geo. A. Smith and Amasa Lyman should confirm, and Thomas Bullock, Albert Carrington, Jesse C. Little, John G. Smith and Lieut Williams be clerks to attend to the re-baptisms, and to commence at 6 oclock in the morning.

George A. Smith writes:

Saturday, Aug. 7. . . . Baptized two persons for their health.”

(JH 7 Aug., 1847)

“[7th] During the evening in company with the Twelve I went to one of the pure streams of Cold water that runs through the City & H C Kimball baptized 55 members of the Camp for the remission of their sins who were Confirmed under the Hands of President Young O Pratt, W Woodruff, A Lyman, & G. A. Smith.  B Young was mouth in confirming the greatest number of them.

8th Sunday morning At 6 oclock the Bishops repaired with the Twelve to the streams of water for the purpose of Baptizing & Confirming the whole Camp who had not been since we came into the valley.  We felt it our privilege to be baptized & to Baptize the Camp of Israel for the remission of our sins & to renew our covenants before the Lord.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 7 & 8 Aug., 1847)

“The day following–being the Sabbath [8 Aug.]–two hundred and twenty-four of the Saints renewed their covenants before the Lord by baptism, making a total of two hundred and eighty-four,–the whole of the camp,–who had been re-baptized during the last three days.”  (Based on Orson Pratt diary, in “Life and Labors of Orson Pratt,” Contributor 12(6):205, Apr., 1891)

“George A. Smith writes:

Sunday, Aug. 8.  Cloudy and some cooler.  Baptizing in two pools near camp, 128 in one, and 92 in the other.  In the lower pool A. Everet and Stephen Goddard and Nelson Higgins baptized, and Geo. A. Smith and Albert Carrington, in Amasa Lyman’s place, confirmed.”

(JH 8 Aug., 1847)

8 Aug.:  Rebaptism for health AND remission of sins.

“Sunday, 8th–This morning I was baptized by Bishop Lewis for my health and the remission of my sins; confirmed by Wilford Woodruff unto all the blessings, privileges, authority, and keys which had before been sealed upon my head by the servants of God, by the holy anointing.  Night before last the Twelve were baptized; last evening, 55 others; and today, the greater part of the remainder of the Camp, including several who had never joined the Church before.”  (C. Edward Jacob, ed., The Record of Norton Jacob, 1949; 8 Aug., 1847)

15 Aug.:  Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James & John.

“Sunday  The Camp of Israel met as usual at 10 oclok & was addressed by President Young in an interesting manner upon an interesting subject much to our edifycation.  The following are some of the remarks made by President Young:

I am going to day to speak upon the subject of the Patriarchal Priesthood & by request of Br Crow say sumthing upon the death of his Child that was drowned the other day.  I hope to speak so as to be understood.  There is a reality in eternal things as much as in the things of time which we daily see with our eyes.  When A man has A dream or vision of eternal things it is an evidence of its truth as much as though He saw it with his own eyes in one sens of the word.  The Lord has hid from man the things that He knew before He came in the flesh that He might walk by faith & prove himself while here.  The Lord converses with men on the earth in the form of A servent & by visions & dreams &c but He never appears [to] man in the flesh in the fulness of his glory, for He is as a consuming fire & a mortal body would perish in an instant.

The Priesthood is again restored on the earth to bring back.  We do not recieve all at once but we recieve grace for grace.  When Brother Joseph received the Preisthood He did not recieve all at once, but He was A prophet Seer & Revelator before He recieved the fulness of the Priesthood & keys of the kingdom.

He first recieved the Aronick Priesthood & Keys from under the hands of John the Baptist.  He then had not power to lay on hands to confirm the Church but afterwards He recieved the Patriarchal or Melchisedick Priesthood from under the Hands of Peter James & John who were of the Twelve Apostles & were the Presidency when the other Apostles were Absent.  From those Apostles Joseph Smith recieved every key power, Blessing, & Privilege of the Highest Authority of the Melchezedick Priesthood ever committed to man on the earth which they held.

Some have had fears that we had not power to get revelations since the death of Joseph.  But I want this subject from this time forth to be forever set at rest And I want this Church to understand from this day henceforth & forever that an apostle is the Highest office & Authority that there is in the Church & kingdom of God on the earth.  From whom did Joseph recieve his authority?  From just such men as sit around me here (pointing to the Twelve Apostles that sat with him).  Peter James & John were Apostles & there was no noise about their being seers & Revelators though those gifts were among them.  Joseph Smith gave unto me & my brethren the Twselve all the Priesthood keys Power & Authority which he had And those are powers which belong to the Apostleship.

In Josephs day we had to ordain Patriarchs.  Could we ordain men to Authority greater than we held ourselves?  No.  But it is necessary to have Patri[archs] to Bless the People that they may have Blessings by the spirit of proph[ecy] & Revelation sealed upon their heads & their posterity & know what awaits their posterity.  Father Smith was the Seignor Patriarch in the Church & first Patriarch in our day & Afterwards Hiyram was seignor Patriarch for his father sealed it upon his head.  But was there Power & Authority different from all Patriarchs in the church?  No.  They were all alike in their authority in Blessing.

Elijah spoken of in the Bible that He should Come in the last days to turn the hearts of the fathers to the Children & the children to their fathers.  The fulfillment of this scripture is manifest in esstablishing the kingdom of God & Priesthood on the earth in the last days & those who hold the keys of the priesthood & sealing power have the spirit & power of Elijah & it is necessary in order to redeem our dead & save our Children.  There is much more importance attached to this than Parents are aware of.”  

(Wilford Woodruff diary, 15 Aug., 1847)

4 Sep.:  When differences arise in Quorum of the Twelve.

“. . . Brother Parley P. Pratt & J Taylor had been to England & done a good work, had returned to Winter Quarters, & ther done wrongly disorganizing the two divisions & companies that the quorum of the Twelve had spent the whole winter in organizing & which was also governed by revelation.  Br. Parley took the lead in the matter & entirely disregarded our organisations & mixed the companies all up.  Br. Young chastized him for his course & taught us principle.  Said that when we set apart one or more of the Twelve to go & do a certain piece of work they would be blessed doing that & the quorum would back up what they did.  But when one or more of the quorum interfere with the work of the majority of the quorum of the 12 plant stakes of Zion & establish a President over the stake & appoint a High Council there, has the minority of the Twelve, one or more, any right to go & interfere with those councils?  Not unless they should get corrupt & do wrong.  Then it would be the duty of any one of the quorum of the Twelve to show them their error & teach them what was right.  And should the majority of those councils get corrupt & try to lead astray the people it would then be the duty of any one of the Twelve to disannul thos councils & call upon the people to sustain him & appoint a new one.  But while the councils are trying to do right it would be the duty of the Twelve who might be with them to assist them in carrying out those views that the majority of the Twelve had established.”  (Brigham Young, in Wilford Woodruff diary, 4 Sep., 1847; quoted in Stephen F. Pratt, “Parley P. Pratt In Winter Quarters and the Trail West,” BYU Studies 24(3):385, Summer, 1984)

9 Sep.:  Duty of SL High Council.

“It is wisdom that certain officers should exist among you, to preside and attend to the various branches of business that exist, or that may arise during our absence, and we would nominate John Smith to be your President, with liberty for him to select his two councillors and we suggest the names of Charles C. Rich and John Young.  We would nominate Henry G. Sherwood, Thomas Grover, Levi Jackman, John Murdock, Daniel Spencer, Stephen Abbott, Ira Eldredge, Edson Whipple, Shadrack Roundy, John Vance, Willard Snow, and Abraham O. Smoot for a High Council, whose duty it will be to observe those principles which have been instituted in the Stakes of Zion for the Government of the Church, and to pass such laws and ordinances as shall be necessary for the peace and prosperity of the city for the time being, if such there need be, tho’ we trust few or more will be necessary; for you have had line upon line, and precept upon precept, and know what is right; and our motto is, every person do their duty.”  (“An Epistle to the Saints in G. S. L. Valley,” Brigham Young, in behalf of the Council of the 12; JH 9 Sep., 1847)

9 Sep.:  Urged to be rebaptized.

“We recommend to all Saints who arrive at the Great Salt Lake City to follow our example and be baptized for the remission of their sins, and leaving the follies of the Gentiles begin anew as it were in the service of their Heavenly Father.”  (“An Epistle to the Saints in G. S. L. Valley,” Brigham Young, in behalf of the Council of the 12; JH 9 Sep., 1847)

1 Oct.:  Spencer’s letter on priesthood.

“Ninth letter of Orson Spencer to the Rev. W. Crowel, A.M.

Editor of the Christian Watchman, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Reverend and Dear Sir,–In close connexion with an account of the character of God, I will proceed to give you a brief and succinct description of the Priesthood.  It is feared, however, that the present subject will not be more congenial to your views than the foregoing.  Still it shall be greated according to the spirit of the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, which you ardently profess to believe.  You will admit that God is the righteous Ruler over all the moral and intelligent creatures of the universe.  His government is both temporal and spiritual.  Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without His notice.  He clothes the lilies of the field; much more doth He watch over all the varied interests of intelligent beings both in heaven and upon earth.  I shall then define priesthood to be that order of authorative intelligences by which God regulates, controls, enlightens, blesses or curses, saves or condemns all beings.  To it, under God, all things are subservient in righteousness, whether in heaven, earth, or hell.  God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is at the head of all genuine priesthood.  But as it is His will that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father, Jesus now stands accredited as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.  Subordinate priests in the same apostolic order of the Son of God are such as he has put in his church.  These are called apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers, &c.  Now, sir, by means of this order extending from Jesus the High Priest, to the lowest grade of priesthood, in conjunction with the Holy Ghost, God teaches and governs all things.  Out of the line of this order, there is no power whatever that is acknowledged and approved of God.  Magistrates, rulers, kings, potentates and principalities, if not legitimately ordained and clothed with the authority of this priestly order of the Son of God, are usurpers, and not of God–for the scriptures declare that ther is no power that is not of God.  Even the angelic order is in the line of subordination to Jesus Christ, and in the same chain of priesthood with apostles and prophets upon the earth.  The priesthood exhibits a regular gradation of knowledge and authority from Jesus the great High Priest in Heaven, to the lowest description of ordination in the church below.  Jesus said that ‘all power was given him in heaven and upon earth.’  But how did he propose to exercise all that power which was given him both among the nations of the earth and in heaven?  My answer is, that he proposed to do it through a delegation of power to the different orders of his priesthood.  We are told distinctly what the priesthood consists of, which is established on the earth, viz., apostles, prophets, evangelists, &c.  The heavenly order minister to the authorities of the earthly order.  The ruling object to be accomplished by the latter is, the work of the ministry, the perfecting of the Saints, the edifying of the body of Christ.

The first object of this priestly order is to teach all nations to become loyal and good citizens of the kingdom of God, observing all the commandments of God.  One universal commandment of God is, for all men every where to repent and be baptized, and keep all other laws of God, as they shall be dispensed from the Great High Priest through the delegated authorities.  Now if all men do not obey these commands, they are liable to be dealth with as transgressors, and punished as evil doers.  The command to obey is imperative upon all men.  Hence whatever orders of civil government–or order of domestic compact–or order of business transaction–or order of religious worship–or rule of commercial transaction may contravene the established order of priesthood, the same must bow to the requisition of the inspired priesthood of God; and God acknowledges no other power with approbation.  Now, dear sir, it is this imperative attitude of authority and power which the Almighty boldly claims, and fearlessly attempts to exercise through a chosen priesthood over all mankind, Jews and Gentiles that greatly displeases the rebellious portion of our race.  They cannot bear that this ‘man should reign over them.’  Falst notions of independence and liberty rise against an order of delegated authorities claiming inspiration and officiality from God.  The rebellious profess that they are ready to obey the Almighty God, but as for these men claiming priesthood, we will not have them to reign over us.

The abuses practised by an apostate and uncalled priesthood for the last seventeen hundred years, has wrought an honest but wofully misguided prejudice against the true priesthood.  And a large portion of mankind demand also that God shall communicate with themselves directly, without the intervention of agencies chosen from mere men like themselves.  And this captious spirit of dictation, as to the manner in which God shall teach and govern them, has been fostered in their minds by the erroneous notion that God is such a centreless, boundless Spirit of ubiquity, that he can teach and govern all worlds without the aid of other agencies.  We might as well suppose that he can see without eyes or hear without ears.  But God’s being like man, though infinitely exalted above him, and unspeakably perfected in every faculty and power, puts to shame these dark vagaries about the inutility of delegated powers.  During the whole period of the world, God has ever and invariably attempted to teach and govern mankind by means of an established priesthood consisting of men; and this priesthood has been as invariably resisted from the days of righteous Abel till now.  By this priesthood, it is the design of God to establish a Divine government upon the earth, even as it is established in the heavens.  All other forms of government have proved a complete failure in every nation and period in which the experiment has been attempted.  But the most humiliating feature in the whole history of governments is, that many have sought to ape the Divine government with an uninspired priesthood.  They have thereby made every species of religious government a stink and confusion in all the earth.  Their uninspired systems have been like a fair woman without discretion, or like jewels in a swine’s snout.  Sometimes they have united church and state, and swayed a sceptre of oppresion; at other times they have been passive and non-resistant, even to the utter extinction of thousands whose defenceless blood has crimsoned the earth.  But the time for experimenting upon false forms of government, civil or religious, has nearly gone by never to return, ‘save for a little season.’  A priesthood chosen not of men, but chosen first of God, and inspired with his wisdom, truth and power, is now called and ordained to teach all nations, and fill the earth with the knowledge of God.  By means of this order, and this order alone, the kingdoms of this world, whether temporal or spiritual, pagan or Christian, are all to be merged in one universal kingdom.  And this will be the best and greatest kingdom ever known this side of heaven.  Its constitution, laws, and method of administration will be after the model of the heavenly order.  It will embrace politics, arts, war, merchandize, science, and religion–things temporal and things spiritual.  And the energy and wisdom of Omnipotence will, like the little leaven in meal, increase and magnify in the priesthood, till the whole world is brought into happy subordination to this plan of government.  The nations of the earth will then become one family and brotherhood.  Kings and rulers, of all grades, will then be chosen of God through the priesthood, of which priesthood rulers will be a part and portion; and without being ordained to the priesthood no man ever can rule in this great kingdom.

Thus, dear sir, you perceive that I attach great importance to the priesthood, and consider it the grand instrumentality of revolutionising, and saving, and governing the whole earth.  But what harm in all this?  Do you think there is too much power invested in this chosen order of men?  Why, certainly not!  They have not chosen themselves.  Neither have they come to office by the votes of the unthinkable mass; nor by blind hereditary lineage, nor by violence and the usurper’s acts.  They have been chosen of God, who knew their spirits before the foundation of the world.  They are a royal priesthood and holy nation, for God will have no other in his priesthood.  Says Jesus to his apostles, ‘Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you.  Whom God approves men should not refuse.  Moses was a priest and lawgiver, and had to do with the temporal and spiritual affairs of his subjects.  Moses sought to unite church and state, in obedience to the command of God.  Joshua was also a priest and ruler, and united both temporal and spiritual interests in his government.  David was a priest and king, and likewise Solomon, his son.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were as much directed, by God, in their temporal concerns or movements as they were in their spiritual devotions.  Jesus Christ came to establish a temporal kingdom fully as much as a spiritual kingdom.  Both Jews and Romans suspected his designs, and charged him with the crime of treason.  They said, that he called himself a King.  Some will say, that he explicitly declared that His kingdom was not of this world.  True:  He did make this declaration.  But what does it prove?  It proves simply, that this world was not the father, author, or origin of His kingdom.  His kingdom was from heaven, and He had come here for the very important purpose of establishing it on the earth.  He called it kingdom of heaven in distinction from kingdoms that were of earthly origin.

It is strange, indeed, that the sectarian clergy should borrow the idea that His kingdom was not a temporal kingdom as well as spiritual.  It was the prayer of His heart, and the prayer that He taught His disciples, that God would establish His kingdom on earth, and cause His will to be done here as it is done in heaven.  Consequently, he organized the kingdom here after the pattern of heaven, with all proper officers, and laws suited to every temporal and spiritual occasion, and then gave commandment that all nations should yield allegiance to the laws and authorities established, and also submit themselves to the ordinances of His kingdom.  And being in possession of living teachers, even the word of inspired men, they (all mankind, if they would obey) would be thoroughly furnished to ‘every good word and work.’  In other words, they would know how to act in every calling and sphere of business, whether temporal or spiritual.  Jesus Christ did not design that his servants should fight one another, or fight and conquer mankind into allegiance to Him.  The world would act on these principles through disobediance, buit his disciples would not, because they were shown a better way to universal dominion and government.  The priesthood being an office of great responsibility, is guarded rigidly against intruders.  Man may lawfully desire this office, but he has no right to take it of himself, but he must first be called and appointe to it as Aaron was, by God, through a prophetic voice.  Neither is man required to study, and artificially qualify himself for receiving it.  God takes men as they are, and with the gift of priestly office He bestows the requisite qualifications.  The ordination of heaven put upon the head of any man, however ignorant, is a voucher for requisite qualification and blessing.  Every man is thereby thoroughly furnished for the discharge of all the duties of his respective calling.  They are not all apostles, however, neither are all prophets or pastors.  But every one has his calling of God, and in the legitimate sphere of that calling he acts as God, and in the authority of God.  Some have authority only to baptize unto repentance for remission of sins, as John the Baptist.  Such can confer no more authority than they possess in themselves.  Others have authority to bless, and whom they bless are blessed in very deed.  They have similar authority to curse, and whom they curse are cursed in very deed.  Jacob blessed his sons, and the heavens sealed and confirmed the same upon their heads.  Paul cursed Elymas, the sorcerer, with blindness, and the same curse was sealed and confirmed upon him immediately.

Elisha cursed Gehazi, his servant, and leprosy cleaved to him from that time.  Elijah shut up the windows of heaven that it rained not for the space of three years and six months by the same delegated power, and again they were opened at his voice.  He was a man of like passions with ourselves.  All men are not ordained to this power, and when they are not, they are wholly incapable of exercising it.  It is office that gives recognition and legality to a deed of conveyance and ownership.  It is divine appointment and official calling that gives efficacy to the priesthood.  But many generations have contented themselves to preach and support preachers who have no divine appointment.  The consequence is, that men have been self-appointed to the ministry and spread dissension and confusion abroad.  The knowledge of the true and living God has gradually receded from the earth, and darkness, even gross darkness, covered the people.  The ordinances that impart healing virtue and the power and light of truth, have either been changed or abolished.

The apostolic office has been counted as a thing out of date, and the spiritual gifts as being done away.  The religious world has been too much like King Saul. After he had been forsaken of God, and the power and Spirit of his anointing given to David, this unhappy Monarch resorted to every miserable device, (even to the aid of witches), in order to obtain knowledge and influence.  But the curse of disobedience followed him to the day of his death.  The religious sects, in like manner, have resorted to seminaries and the polish of schools–also to the theological comments of time honoured fathers, (who were as ignorant as themselves) ever learning, yet never coming to the knowledge of truth.  Bibles have been translated again and again; learned volumes have been written in explanation, and even wars have been instigated by the supposed defenders of the faith, and the earth crimsoned by human gore.  All these evils and curses have arisen from a spurious priesthood.  In view of these things, is it not time, sir, to let God resume the reins of government and once more establish a holy priesthood, which shall be after the calling of Aaron, and after the order and power of endless life.  That this may be the unfeigned choice of all who seek after God, is the continued prayer of your old friend and humble servant.”  (MS 9(19):291-294, 1 Oct., 1847)

12 Oct.:  A revelation needed to have another 1st Pres.?

“I had A question put to me by President Young what my opinion was concerning one of the Twelve Apostles being appointed as the President of the Church with his two Councellors.  I Answered that A quorum like the Twelve who had been appointed by revelation & confirmed by revelation from time to time I thought it would require A revelation to change the order of that quorum.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 12 Oct., 1847)

3 Nov.:  High Council decides on stray dogs.

“The High Counsel met in G. S. L. City according to adjournment. . . . It was also decided that every owner of a dog should secure him through the night under a penalty of a fine of from one to five dollars, and if a dog was reported as a nuisance, the bishops should decide on the case, and if the accusations was right, appoint some one to kill him.”  (JH 3 Nov., 1847)

7 Nov.:  Women blessing women.

“We found the ground cov[ered] with snow 3 inch[es] or more–had a delightful meet[ing] of the little girls.  Susan N. & Martha receiv’d the gift of tongues.  Sarah H. improv’d upon hers which she spoke in yes[terday] here for the first time–after meet[ing] Sis. Chase blest C[lara] & me.  Clara spoke in tongues & blessed us.  Praise the Lord, O my soul!”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 7 Nov., 1847; IE 47(3):152, Mar., 1944)

17 Nov.:  Orson Pratt’s objection to reorganizing 1st Pres

“Orson Pratt, alone among all the apostles, opposed the reestablishment [of the First Presidency] with constitutional arguments.  ‘There is no authority higher in decision than 7 of the 12,’ he declared, believing that a simple majority of the Twelve was ‘the President’ or supreme power in the Church.  ‘I do consider the head of this Church lays in the apostleship united together.  Paul says, “apostles are set in the Church,” not one individual. . . . The Doctrine and Covenants points out that the First Presidency with the Twelve shall do so and so and there is where I consider the highest power lies in the hands of the apostles.'”  (Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, p. 203; quoting from Miscellaneous Trustees Minutes, 17 November 1847, Brigham Young Papers)

26 Nov.:  Eliza R. Snow rebaptized.

“Thursday, November 25.  Visited Sis. Love, with Sis. Holmes, Howd, Sess[ions], Meeks, & Noble.  After supp[er] we all arose & blest her–had a good time.  For some days past the breth[ren] have been plowing and dragging with the ground cover’d with snow.  This day they commence baptizing.

Friday, November 26.  In com[pany] with Br. Noble’s fam[ily] Sis. Sess[ions], &c., I was baptiz’d by Br. Grant who administer’d to perhaps 20.  I feel this to be a great blessing from the Lord.  In the eve attended meet[ing] at Sis. Whitney’s.  Sis. Rogers receiv’d the gift of tongues.”  (Eliza R. Snow diary, 25/26 Nov., 1847; IE 47(3):152, Mar., 1944)

30 Nov.:  Decision to reorganize 1st Presidency.

“I met in Council with the Twelve & the Presidents of the seventies. . . .

The subject of Appointing three of the Twelve AS the Presidency of the Church.  Br Young said by persuing this course it would liberate the quorum of the Twelve that they might go to the Nations of the earth to preach the gospel.  Many remarks were made upon the subject & council Adjourned.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 30 Nov., 1847)

“The corollary to [Orson] Pratt’s constitutional argument [17 Nov., 1847] was his doubt that the Twelve held the authority to appoint three of their number to a position higher than they individually or collectively held.

Have the other nine the right to do that, to give such power to the three?  Have we a right to make the decision of three of the Twelve {i.e., a New First Presidency} higher than the Quorum of the Twelve or seven when the Book of Covenants say we have the Twelve?  If they have that power there is something in the dark yet.  The three men need an ordination to be appointed presidents.  Who will ordain them?  [Footnote 25: “Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve and Seventy, 30 November 1847.”]”

(Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, pp. 203, 305)

“Reestablishing the First Presidency would not only reorient the Quorum of the Twelve but also provide stability and direction for the other leading quorums and councils.  The First Council of the Seventy, the third most powerful quorum in the priesthood hierarchy, was to assist the Twelve in missionary work.  Until the Twelve functioned in that capacity, the role of the presiding Seventy was confused.  ‘When a First Presidency {is} appointed,’ argued Young, ‘it sets the Seventy at liberty to go and do their business.  Of necessity we must have a quorum to stay at home.  Of necessity we must have a quorum to preach to the nations of the earth, ordain patriarchs, bishops.  Of necessity we must have Seventy to assist.  It is of necessity we have helps, governments in the Church because one quorum cannot tend everywhere.'”  (Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve and Seventy, 30 November 1847, in Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, p. 209)

“Did the Twelve have the right to appoint a First President?  To answer this, Young relied on precedent, arguing that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had received the keys of the apostleship by revelation from the ancient apostles [Footnote 53: “Doctrine and Covenants, 27:12 and 128:21.  Young argued that Peter, James, and John were a First Presidency.  ‘Joseph said so many a time.’  Peter was the president.  Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve and Seventy, 30 November 1847.”] and, in turn, had ordained each other as apostles.  As the presiding apostle, Joseph Smith then had the right to assume the presidency.  Though the church membership elected or sustained Joseph Smith as a prophet, seer, and revelator, Young argued ‘he never was ordained to that office.’  His apostolic ordination presupposed his claim to the First Presidency.  ‘If there is an apostle in the Church all the keys are totally rested in him.’  Just as Joseph Smith had obtained the First Presidency by right of senior apostleship, so could and should it happen again.  With Oliver Cowdery ‘gone by the board’ (excommunicated in 1838) and Joseph Smith ‘gone to the grave,’ the rightful solution was once again apostolic succession.  [Footnote 54: “Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve and Seventy, 30 November 1847.  Young’s convincing argument was that an election or an appointment of any other potential candidate could not preempt what was rightfully now his by ordination.  ‘You can’t make me President because I am President you can’t give me power because I have it.’  Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve, 5 December 1847.  What he sought was the unanimous approval and support of the Quorum of the Twelve.”]

Finally, to Woodruff and Pratt’s demand that such a change must come by revelation as unmistakable as Joseph Smith’s, the answer may have come by degree.  Heber Kimball, perhaps Young’s closest supporter and confidant, told his fellow apostles that ‘since the organization of this Quorum Joseph organized in prison since then there has been a revelation from the Lord appointing Brother Brigham as President.’  [Footnote 55: “Miscellaneous Trustees Minutes, 17 November 1847.”]  But Kimball’s plea did not convince everyone, certainly not Orson Pratt.  Young knew that in Pratt’s eyes ‘Joseph is still the first President of the Church.’  [Footnote 56: “Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve, 5 December 1847.”]

A careful review of Young’s public pronouncements throughout the history of Winter Quarters reveals an unmistakable pattern, an almost conscious effort at forging links between himself and Joseph.  His well-known dream of 17 February 1846 was, significantly, about Joseph and further established Young as his spokesman.  [Footnote 57: “Joseph stepped toward me and, looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly, said ‘Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. . . . Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.'”  Journal History, 16 February, 1847]  ‘I want you all to remember my dream,’ he told the Twelve and his adopted family a few days later, ‘for it is a vision of God and was revealed through the Spirit of Joseph.’  [Footnote 58: “Diary of Hosea Stout, 28 February, 1847.”] On another occasion he claimed that he and Joseph were spiritual brothers and were both heirs to the priesthood by blood from the ancient patriarchs.  [Footnote 59: “Kelly, Journals of John D. Lee, 17 February 1847, p. 91.”]

Perhaps the most obvious connecting line drawn between the two was ‘the Word and Will of the Lord’ of the preceding January, which had been accepted as revelation by the various quorums, councils, and members at large.  Besides establishing apostolic supremacy and giving instructions for the move west, it ended with this very important linkage.

{Be} faithful in keeping all my words that I have given you, from the days of Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, from Moses to Jesus and his apostles, and from Jesus and his apostles to Joseph Smith, whom I did call upon by mine angels . . . and by mine own voice out of the heavens, to bring forth my work.

Which foundation he did lay, and was faithful; and I took him to myself.

Many have marveled because of his death; but it was needful that he should seal his testimony with his blood. . . .

Now, therefore, hearken, O ye people of my church; and ye elders listen together, you have received my kingdom.  [Footnote 60: “Doctrine and Covenants, 136:37-41.”]

In other words, despite Joseph Smith’s death, the church was still divinely recognized and the powers still operative within the Twelve and its leader.  Though no mention was made of names other than Joseph’s, the connection was not missed.  Three days later Young had said to a body of the priesthood ‘that the Church had been led by Revelation just as much since the death of Joseph Smith as before.’  [Footnote 61: “Manuscript History, 17 January 1846.”]  It was a theme he never relinquished in public or in private.  Some may have interpreted it as aspiration, but the majority apparently viewed it with comfort and reassurance.

Only after reassuring Pratt that indeed he had received visions and revelations ‘as plain as he ever told Joseph and when it comes to you, you will see just as plain,’ was the matter finally settled.  On 5 December 1847 at Orson Hyde’s home near Miller’s Hollow, the nine apostles assembled there sustained Brigham Young as president with Heber C. Kimball first counselor and Willard Richards second counselor.  [Footnote 62: “Journal History, 5 December 1847; and Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve, 5 December 1847.  The three missing apostles were Parley Pratt and John Taylor, then in Salt Lake Valley, and the wayward Lyman Wight in Texas.”]”  (Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, pp. 210-212, 308-309)

5 Dec.:  1st Presidency reorganized.

“Sunday  We rode to Br O. Hydes & spent the day & night.  We had An interesting time.  We had a good feast & went into council, & Br Brigham Young expressed his feelings Concerning the organizing of the Church & Appointing A first Presidency.  This subject lies with wait upon my mind.  I have been stired up to do this by the spirit of the Lord.  He wished all of the quorum present to express their feelings upon this subject begining at the oldest & each one of the following persons expressed their feelings in rotation:  H. C. Kimball O. Hyde, O. Pratt, W Richards W. Woodruff G A. Smith A. Lyman & E T Benson & many interesting remarks were made by the various individuals who spoke, & We were followed by President Young After which Orson Hyde moved that Brigham Young be the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints & that He nominate his two Councellors & they form the three first Presidency.  Seconded by W. Woodruff & carried unanimously.

President Young Nominated Heber C Kimball As his first counceller.  Seconded & carried unanimously.  President Young nominated Willard Richards as his second councellor.  Seconded & carried unanimously.  Many Appendages to this subject was conversed upon with much interest.  We then adjourned.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 5 Dec., 1847) 

“Others wondered why the Twelve would want to change an effective system.  If they had performed so well running affairs, why change it?  ‘If three are taken out to become a first presidency,’ complained Wilford Woodruff, ‘it seemed like severing a body in two. . . . I desire that it shoiuld continue on as it was.'”  (Minutes of a Meeting of the Twelve Apostles at Orson Hyde’s Home, 5 December 1847, Brigham Young Papers; in Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852, p. 202)

6 Dec.:  Ordain elders out of new members.

“If the Twelve were going abroad it would be well to ordain Elders out of new members that were baptized & take with them to preach & there should ownly one of the Twelve go to one place & Call seventies to their assistance.”  (Brigham Young, in Wilford Woodruff diary, 6 Dec., 1847)

16 Dec.:  I will in due time receive the fulness.

“The Ancient Prophets spoke of a Kingdom which should be set up in the last days which should roll forth and fill the whole Earth and at that time the Kingdoms of this World will become the Kingdoms of God and the time will come that there will be Kings and Priests unto God, reigning upon the Earth and I have to say to you that that Kingdom has been set up on the Earth and invested with Power and Authority to minister in that Kingdom and that Authority is nothing more nor less than the Priesthood which Priesthood has always been upon the Earth when God has had a People upon it which he has spoken to.  You may ask what is to become of all that have lived upon the Earth when God has been doing nothing upon the Earth.  Well, People never will {be} condemned for what they never do but for what they have known this is condemnation that light has come into the World and men reject that light.  My good old Grandfather lived upon the Earth when there was no light and, of course, will be judged accordingly but thank God I am a legal heir to that Priesthood of which I have been speaking and of which I have received a portion and will in due time receive the fulness provided I honor what I have received and by which Power I shall be able to bring them all up in their proper place and without which no man never did nor never will receive an exaltation in the Kingdom of God.”  (Albert Gregory [St. Louis] to his father, Elijah Gregory [Norwalk, Connecticut], 16 Dec., 1847; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:180, 1960)

18 Dec.:  HC sealed a curse on whomever killed the cow.

“The High Council of G. S. L. City met according to adjournment. . . . Nicholas Kelly and Harley Mowrey were called upon to state what they knew about Bro. Carrington’s cow being found dead at their stacks.  Each stated again what they had told Bro. Carrington that morning and said they did not know how she died.  After several remarks by the counselors, Pres. John Smith [Stake President] sealed a curse upon the person or persons who killed Carrington’s cow until they came forward and made restitution.  The curse was sanctioned unanimously by the council.  The council then adjourned.”  (JH 18 Dec., 1847)

19 Dec.:  Rebaptisms in Bradford, England.

“Opened with singing ‘the Spirit of God,’ &c., and prayer, when 5 Priests and 4 Teachers were ordained; 8 confirmed members, and many re-baptisms confirmed.”  (Bradford Conference minutes, 19 Dec., 1847; MS 10(6):92, 15 Mar., 1848)

21 Dec.:  Court of 12 and 1st Council of 70.

“We then went into council with the Presidency of the Seventies And Milo Andrews was brought up on trial for Abusing his wife turning her away & marrying another.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 21 Dec., 1847)

23 Dec.:  Duties of priesthood to families & children.

“It is the duty of all parents to train up their children in the way they should go, instructing them in every correct principle, so fast as they are capable of receiving, and setting an example worthy of imitation; for the Lord holds parents responsible for the conduct of their children, until they arrive at the years of accountability before him; and the parents will have to answer for all misdemeanors arising through their neglect.  Mothers should teach their little ones to pray as soon as they are able to talk.  Presiding Elders should be particular to instruct parents concerning their duty, and Teachers and Deacons should see that they do it.”  (General Epistle from the Council of the Twelve, 23 Dec., 1847, MS 10(6):85, 15 Mar., 1848)

23 Dec.:  Church soon to be reorganized, w/1st Presidency.

“Since the murder of President Joseph Smith, many false prophets and false teachers have arisen, and tried to deceive many, during which time we have mostly tarried with the body of the Church, or been seeking a new location, leaving those prophets and teachers to run their race undisturbed, who have died natural deaths, or committed suicides; and we now, having it in contemplation soon to re-organize the Church according to the original pattern, with a First Presidency and Patriarch, feel that it will be the privilege of the Twelve, ere long, to spread abroad among the nations, not to hinder the gathering, but to preach the gospel, and push the people, the honest in heart, together from the four quarters of the earth.”  (General Epistle from the Council of the Twelve, 23 Dec., 1847, MS 10(6):86, 15 Mar., 1848)

24 Dec.:  Church used to be governed by Lesser Priesthood.

“O. Pratt spoke at length on the policy of electing a First President.  That God had saw proper to govern the Church by the Twelve since the death of Joseph the Prophet and that he could govern it by whatever authority he saw  proper even by teachers and deacons.  There was a time when this Church was governed by the Lesser Priesthood  But now the Lord had manifested by his Spirit that it was best to appoint a First Presidency again that the organization of the Church might be perfected and the Twelve have a chance to spread abroad again to the Nations &c.  His discourse was very interresting and was recieved with brethless silence.  The Spirit rested down upon the whole congregation.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 24 Dec., 1847)

27 Dec.:  Laws enacted by S. L. High Council.

“We the High Council of the Great Salt Lake City, in the absence of any organised jurisdiction of any territory, for the peace, welfare and good order of our community, proceed to enact the following laws, for the government and regulation of the inhabitants of this city and valley for the time being, subject to the approval of the people.

1st.  Concerning Vagrants.

. . . .

2nd. Concerning disorderly or dangerous persons and disturbers of the peace.

. . . .

3rd. Concerning Adultery and Fornication.

Any person or persons convicted of the crime of Adultery or Fornication, shall be sentenced to receive a certain number of lashes on the bare back, not exceeding 39, and be fined in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, at the discretion of the judge or judges.

4th. Concerning Stealing, Robbing, Housebreaking, or maliciously causing the distruction by fire of any property.

. . . .

5th. Concerning Drunkenness, and etc.

. . . .

The above Ordinances to take effect from and after the first day of January, A.D. 1848.”

(JH 27 Dec., 1847)

27 Dec.:  Reorganization of 1st Presidency.

“Monday 27th Conference remained in session all day being addressed by Br. Brigham, H. C Kimbal & others under the influence of the power of the Holy Ghost interspersed with most Heavenly music from the Brass Band–In the a[f]ternoon Br Orson Pratt introduced the subject of the reorganising the Church by Electing a first Presidency, when after some remarks by G. A. Smith & A Lyman a motion was carried that this conference proceed to reorganise the Church with a First Presidency–& also that Brigham Young be the First President–Heber C. Kimbal & Willard Richards wer chosen by President Young for his councilers which was sanctioned by the conference–all without a dissenting voice–when the conference wa[s] adjourned to meet at the same place on the 6th day of April next, the conference was closed by all the congregation uniting to praise the Lord with loud Hosanah according to the Order of the Priesthood in manner following: Striking the right hand into the Palm of the left at the end of each word–

Hosanah! Hosanah! Hosanah!

To God and the Lamb!

Amen! Amen! and Amen!–

Repeated three times.”  (Record of Norton Jacob, 27 Dec., 1847, p. 105)

“A larger number than ever assembled this morning About 1,000 souls got into the House. . . .

The subject was discused or spoke upon by O. Pratt concerning the Appointing of the first Presidency And Patriarch over the whole Church.  Other spoke upon the subject.  It ws then moved seconded and carried universally that Brigham Young be the President over the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  President Young then Nominated Heber C. Kimball to be his first Councellor which was seconded And carried unanimously.  President Young then Nominated Wilard Richards as his second councellor which was seconded And Carried universally.  It was then moved seconded And carried universally that President John Smith be the Patriarch over the whole church.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 27 Dec., 1847)

27 Dec.:  Reorganization of 1st Pres./Hosannah Shout.

“Conference remained in session all day, being addressed by Brother Brigham, H. C. Kimball, and others, under the influence of the power of the Holy Ghost, interspersed with most heavenly music from the brass band.  In the afternoon Brother Orson Pratt introduced the subject of the reorganizing the Church by electing a First Presidency.  After some remarks by G. A. Smith and A. Lyman, a motion was carried that this conference proceed to reorganize the Church with a First Presidency, and also that Brigham Young be the First President.  Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards were chosen by President Young for his counselors, which was sanctioned by the conference–all without a dissenting voice.  The conference was adjourned to meet at the same place on the 6th day of April next.  The conference was closed by all the congregation uniting to praise the Lord with loud Hosannahs according to the order of the Priesthood in manner following, striking the right hand into the palm of the left at the end of each word.  ‘Hosannah!  Hosannah!  Hosannah!  To God and the Lamb!  Amen!  Amen!  and Amen!’–repeated three times.”  (C. Edward Jacob, ed., The Record of Norton Jacob, 1949; 27 Dec., 1847)

28 Dec.:  First Presidency unanimously appointed.

“Heard from conference.  The First Presidency are unanimously appointed to wit B. Young. H. C. Kimball and W. Richards.

The Best of feeling prevailed and the Spirit rested down on the Congregation to an uncommon degree.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 28 Dec., 1847)

2 priesthoods, restored by different angels.

“[Miller gives a brief retelling of Joseph Smith’s account of the Aaronic Priesthood restoration as given in the Times and Seasons, then . . .] Now when I speak of the Melchisedek priesthood, I wish to be understood.  And when I speak of the Aaronic, I do not wish the reader to understand that I hold its jurisdiction or authority as being over that of the greater, or Melchisedek.  They are two priesthoods and when restored to earth through Joseph, by different angels, and at different times.”  (Reuben Miller, “Truth Shall Prevail:  A Short Reply to an Article Published in the Voree Herale (Reveille) by J. C. Bennett; . . .,” Burlington, Wis.: n.p., 1847; p. 7; Barney)