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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1855

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1855:  5 Jan.:  Report of 27th quorum of 70’s.



Stephen H. Goddard, Thomas Bullock, William C. Staines, G. S. L. City.

Allen Weeks, Cedar Fort.

John Pyper, Nephi.

William Glover, Charles A. Harper, England.


John O. Angus, John C. Badger, Matthew Clayton, Christian Christianson, Thomas W. Ellerbeck, Joseph Goodrich, George Goddard, Leo Hawkins, John Hamer, Arza E. Hinckley, Ira Hinckley, Levi N. Kendall, Samuel Leaver, Bernard Snow, John Wardrop, G. S. L. City.

Charles A. Terry, South Cottonwood.

Royal James Cutler, West Jordan.

Eli Harvey Pierce, Box Elder.

Hathron C. Hadlock, Orren Hadlock, Weber.

Samuel Cotterell, Farmington.

John H. Ballard, Provo.

Dennison L. Harris, Cyrus Sandford, Edward Star, Springville.

George Curtis, T. C. D. Howell, Payson.

Alexander Gardner, William R. Holden, Nephi.

Elisha Hoopes, Furman Mulford, James Kippen, Fillmore.

Zachariah B. Decker, Charles Y. Webb, Parowan.

Joseph Matthews, San Bernardino.

Woodville M. Andrews, San Diego.


William Glover, Charles A. Harper, Joseph A. Young, England.

Robert Skelton, Hindostan.

James Hawkins, James Lawson, Sandwich Islands.

Thomas Morris, San Francisco.

Isaac Bullock, Elijah Warde, Fort Supply.


Norman I. Bliss, William L. Davis, Harvey Fairchild, Calvin G. Flecher, Ethan Griffith, John Johnstone, William Standing, John T. Waite.”

(“Report of the Twenty-Seventh Quorum of Seventies,” 5 Jan., 1855; MS 17(23):367, 9 Jun., 1855)

8 Jan.:  Few in San Bernardino desire rebaptism.

“We have had some addition to our number from Coal Creek, and other settlements, but few of them have as yet manifested a disposition to renew their identity with the Church by re-baptism.”  (Amasa Lyman, San Bernardino, to Brigham Young, 8 Jan., 1855; JH 8 Jan., 1855)

31 Mar.:  Priesthood from Adam to Joseph.

“In calling the attention of our readers to those important personages, who have received the Priesthood, we cannot do justice to the subject without tracing it from the beginning, and showing the power which the Priesthood has bestowed upon all who have been endowed with it.

What is a Prophet of God, a Seer, a Revelator? or who are such men as Noah, Moses, Abraham, Christ, the first Apostles, Joseph Smith, and the Apostles and Prophets of this last dispensation?  What is their relative position to God our Father in heaven, and what is due to them from the different generations of men to whom they have been sent?  These are questions which have always been of great importance to mankind, and to no portion of them more so than to the present generation.  We do not profess the ability to answer these questions in full.  To do so would require a complete knowledge of the plan of salvation in all its operations, from the time it was decided upon in the councils of heaven down to the winding up scene of the last days.  This knowledge man has attained to only in a very limited degree.

The terms Prophet, Seer, and Revelator convey such vague and indefinite ideas to the minds of some, that we will endeavour to reflect a little light upon the subject, that the Saints may the better appreciate their own position, and that of those who are over them in the Priesthood.  Then they can more plainly see the necessity of walking carefully in the path marked out for them as the only way of eternal life.

Some Prophets have been sent to urge the people to repentance, and declare the judgments or blessings which the Almighty has had in store for them, and to foretell future events as the Spirit of revelation has shown them to the vision of their minds.  Others have been sent, not only to warn and prophesy, but endowed with all the power necessary to bring to pass the events which they predicted.

From the very limited account of the Priesthood contained in the Bible, we do not learn that there was ever a time when there was not a man upon the earth who held the keys of revelation and prophecy, from Adam down to the last of the early Apostles of Jesus Christ.  Such men have performed important parts in the great plan of redemption, and have held the keys of eternal life to the generations of men in which they lived, and will continue forever to hold the important positions which they occupied, with a continual increase of power throughout eternity, unless the right to do so was forfeited by some act of disobedience while they were on the earth.

All men who have been, are now, or in time to come will be, endowed with the powers of the holy Priesthood, have received it, or will receive it, in succession from their predecessors, and the works of one and all are necessary for each other’s perfection.  Were the minds of men unveiled, so that the powerful influences which those holding the Priesthood exert upon the destinies of the world could be clearly seen, the necessity of keeping their counsels, and working righteousness, would be forced upon the understandings of men, instead of their being left, as is now the case, to act upon their free agency to choose simply between right and wrong.

Priesthood is unlimited, being ‘without beginning of days or end of years.’  It includes all the great truths and principles of the Godhead.  It circumscribes all the powers of the universe.  Every principle which tends to exaltation, increase, and dominion belongs to it.  It involves the principles on which all matter is organized throughout the dominions of the Almighty, and on which creations will continue to exist and increase forever.

When the Melchisedek Priesthood is bestowed upon man, it endows him with the power to learn practically those things which exalt the Gods, and which will fit him for their society.  The greatest blessing pertaining to this Priesthood is the power of perpetuating eternal lives, and of an infinite increase in all the vast variety of organizations which are spread out in the created worlds around us.  And thus, those who have received this power of progression have continued to succeed each other in one eternal round of increase, exaltation, and dominion.

The most perfect obedience to those who are before them, is rendered by all who receive these exalted blessings.  When a new world is ushered into existence, teeming with its millions of animated beings, all the Gods rejoice in the addition to their glory, for the bonds of the Eternal Priesthood so perfectly blend their interests together, that selfishness is unknown, and perfect harmony reigns in all the vast accumulations of worlds.  The path which leads to these exalted conditions is the one that Apostles and Prophets of former days walked in, and this Priesthood, which circumscribes all things, is the same that was bestowed upon them, and with which Joseph, Brigham, and all the other Apostles and Prophets of this our day are endowed.

This great chain, or succession of Priesthood, has been extended from the celestial worlds down to man in his low estate, that he may also be exalted in like manner as those who have gone before him.  The ordinances of the Priesthood have been taught to men in various periods of time, and have been as variously esteemed, profited by, or rejected.  Some have perverted them and gone down to perdition, while others, through obedience, have received the keys of the resurrection, and entered into their glory.

The labours of those who are diligent in the callings of the Priesthood, continually aincrease, that their powers may develop by being properly exercised.  Men will inherit the fruits of their labours, whether they be good or evil; therefore the wicked will be the authors of their own calamities, and the works of the righteous will be their greatest reward.

We will now show how this eternal Priesthood was handed down from the celestial kingdom to the inhabitants of this terrestrial world.  The Mosaic account of the creation states that, after the earth had been prepared, ‘there was not a man to till the ground.’  This was not the only, nor perhaps the greatest, deficiency.  There was no one to commence and carry out the order of the higher spheres.  There was no one to partake of mortality, and propagate the race of the Gods in a descending scale, that their spiritual children might become beings of tabernacle, and receive all knowledge in a school of experience.  It is evident that for this great purpose Adam and Eve were placed upon the earth, from the fact, that the first and most prominent command given them was to increase and multiply.

After Adam and Eve had partaken of the seeds of mortality, it appears from the Scriptures that the GODS held a council on the subject.  We read in Gen. iii. 22–‘And THE LORD GOD said, Behold, the man has become as one of US, to know good and evil.’

From this we learn that Adam was not only in form like unto the Gods, as previously stated, but that this knowledge of good and evil was that which would exalt him among the Gods; and then that his resemblance to the Gods might be complete, THE LORD GOD bestowed the right to exercise full power and dominion over the earth, and all its creations.

‘And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air; and over every living thing that moveth uon the earth.’–Gen. i. 28.  If THE LORD GOD has ever withdrawn from Father Adam the authority here bestowed upon him, He has not seen fit to make it known to the world.  While there is nothing to refute, the whole tenor of revelation substantiates, the supposition, that Adam has continued to bear rule over the earth, and control the destinies of his never-ending posterity.  From the time he received his commission in the Garden of Eden, he has been labouring diligently to fulfil the instructions there given him by THE LORD GOD concerning his dominions, and to bring them under subjection to his will.  This will be fully accomplished when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is the God of the whole earth.  Then will the words of the Prophet Brigham, when speaking of Adam, be fully realized–‘He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom WE have to do.’  Having now observed how Adam the first man became a God, we inquire why may not millions of his children receive the same Godlike knowledge and power?  The Apostles, Prophets, and Seers, who have lived on the earth since the days of Adam, have been a succession of intelligences, who by doing the will of the Father receive of His glory, and become the heirs of His increasing dominions.

God saw that among His numerous posterity of spirits there were some more noble than others, and therefore capable of assuming greater responsibilities, and performing more important parts in the great work of redemption.  These He fore-ordained and set apart to the work designed for them, and at the time appointed they appeared on the earth through the lineage of the Priesthood.  Having been ordained in the Spirit, and being heirs according to the flesh, they came forth prepared to enter upon the work designed, inherit the fruits thereof, and partake of the same glory and exaltation as the Father.  First among these noble sons stands the Lord Jesus Christ.  The heir by birthright of his Father’s kingdom, he has proved himself worthy of his high vocation, by nobly offering to become the sacrifice that was necessary for the redemption of his Father’s family.  Therefore on him the Father has bestowed the keys of salvation, and the powers of the resurrection, to unlock the gates of death.  On him devolved the great crowning work of redemption, and the meridian of time was appointed for the sacrifice.  This same Jesus was a man like unto other men, and attained his exaltation by suffering all things, that he might overcome them, and has ascended to power at the right hand of the Father.

Next to Jesus Christ in the scale of Godlike intelligences are his brethren–holy men who have faithfully performed the work assigned them in their Father’s kingdom, and have received the fruits of their labours as an everlasting inheritance, and thereby become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  These men move and act independent of all others, in their sphere, and are responsible to none but the Lord Jesus who sent them.

The Lord has seen fit, in these days, to raise the vail a little which obscures our vision, by revealing to us the position now occupied by some of those ancient worthies who lived on the earth previous to his coming.  In a Revelation given to the Prophet Joseph, on Celestial Marriage, the Lord, speaking of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, says, ‘And because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltations, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones; and are not Angels, but are GODS.’  All who live on the earth, and faithfully work righteousness, as did those ancient fathers, will receive like blessings of power and dominion, for God is no respecter of persons, but judges all men righteously according to their works.  Thus we have a succession of GODS from Adam down to Christ and his Apostles at least.  All men being in the image of their father Adam, even as he is in the image of his father, and possessing a similar knowledge of good and evil, when they receive the keys and powers of the same Priesthood, and by their works attain to its blessings, they will, like Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, bear rule and dominion over their own posterity, and have power to redeem, purify, and exalt them, also, to like power and glory.

What was the position of the former-day Apostles and Prophets, when they were on the earth?  This question was one of great importance to those to whom they were sent, and is so to us inasmuch as the past and the present are connected.  Their position then was the same as that of the Apostles and Prophets of this day.  These men have held, and still hold, the keys of salvation and restitution to the men of their day and generation, and it is only through their administration that the Priesthood has been again restored to the earth, and that man can now attain to eternal life.  Righteous men have been sent to teach, guide, and govern mankind, according to the laws of this Priesthood, and all who will not follow their counsels must suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

The Lord commanded Noah to preach righteousness to the antediluvians, and the event proved that obedience to this counsels was the only way of salvation to them, for they were destroyed in the flesh, and their spirits were case into prison until the day of their visitation.  The Lord called Moses to be His agent in delivering Israel from bondage, and to teach them His laws and ordinances in the wilderness, and the way to obtain salvation daily, in all their journeyings, and prepare to enjoy its blessings in their next estate.  The Lord honoured His servant then, as He always will, for he would condescend to talk with none of all that mighty host except Moses.  When the people would not listen to his counsels the Lord, in His displeasure, chastened them with afflictions until they repented and rendered obedience.

The position of Noah and Moses in their day, is, essentially, that of every Prophet and Revelator who has lived, or will live, on the earth.  To reject their counsels is to reject the only way of salvation.  Without such men to teach the laws and ordinances of eternal life, no man can attain to a celestial glory.  The Jews and Gentiles, in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, by rejecting them, completely shut up the way of salvation to themselves and their children for many generations, not to be open again until they have paid in prison the penalty of their transgressions.

We will here leave this interesting subject for the present.  We are fully aware that we have only touched on a few of its important points, and we shall endeavour to take up in the next number of the Star these same principles, as applicable to the Prophet Joseph Smith and his history.”  (Unsigned lead article [F. D. Richards, Editor], MS 17(13):193-196, 31 Mar., 1855)

“Having shown to a limited extent the authority and power which the Priesthood gave to those who held it, from Adam down to Jesus Christ and his first Apostles, it now remains for us to connect the past with the present, and to show how and when the Prophet Joseph Smith received authority to reorganize the kingdom of God on the earth, and to appoint others to act in his stead after he was slain.

When the inhabitants of the earth had put Jesus to death, and persecuted and slain those who believed in his testimony, they entirely rejected the spirit of revelation, which is the channel of communication between man and the heavens.  For this reason their generations have been left to wander for ages in darkness, until a seed should be raised up in the midst of the earth, who would be fit subjects to receive the Priesthood, and agin gather the righteous together and prepare them to inherit the earth when the generations of the wicked are cut off.

Many noble spirits have been reserved to come forth in the time when the Lord should do His last, His great work in the days of restitution.  From among these, Joseph Smith ws chosen to re-open the channel of communication with the heavens through revelation, and to stand at the head of the dispensation of the last days.  This dispensation will complete the work of, and circumscribe, all others, that in it all things may be united in one.  In this view of the subject, every thing pertaining to the Prophet Joseph is of the deepest interest to this generation, and the importance of his position assumes a magnitude not even conceived of by a large portion of the Saints.

Some may ask, ‘Why did the Lord choose Joseph Smith, an illiterate youth, to be His agent in so great a work?’  We answer, because in his veins flowed the pure blood of the Priesthood, which had descended in a direct line through many generations, from fathers who never forfeited their right to its powers and blessings for themselves and their posterity.  For this reason he was the best man that could be found on the earth, to fulfil this important mission.  Like others who had performed similar missions before him, he was raised in comparative indigence, and had to toil for his bread.  His mind was gradually prepared, by visions and the ministrations of angels, for the work which was before him.

In due time the keys of the Aaronic and Melchisedek Priesthoods were conferred upon him by those who had held them last on the earth.  This was their privilege according to the order of succession in the Priesthood.  Brother Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood on the 15th of May, 1829, under the following circumstances, as related by brother Joseph in his history, Supplement to Star, vol. xiv. page 15.  He says, 

‘We on a certain day went into the woods to pray, and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, as we found mentioned in the translation of the plates.  While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hand upon us, he ordained us, saying unto us, “Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.” . . . He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter.

The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchisedek, which Priesthood he said should in due time be conferred on us.’

The particular circumstances under which brother Joseph was ordained to the Priesthood of Melchisedek, have not yet been published to the world; but in a revelation given to him in September, 1830, the Lord says, ‘And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be Apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry, and of the same things which I revealed unto them: unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the Gospel for the last times.’

As brother Joseph freely received from Peter, James, and John, he freely bestowed the keys of this ministry, upon those who were worthy to succeed him, that they might carry out and perfect the plans which he had received.

We have now shown the principle of continual succession in the Priesthood, how the former part of the Gospel dispensation is connected with the present, and how the present system will continue in all future time.  There will be no other foundation laid for the salvation of the children of men, than that which is laid through Joseph Smith.

In the language of brother Brigham, ‘No man or woman should be deprived of going into the presence of the Father and the Son, and enjoying an exaltation, if they would walk in the path he had pointed out.’  Thus we see that all the bright hopes of eternal life now entertained by the Saints have been derived from the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph, and that he forms one of the principal links in the great chain of our salvation.

Joseph Smith is to this generation what Noah was to the antediluvians, or Moses to the children of Israel.  He is the only channel through which mankind can receive temporal and spiritual, present and future salvation.  The Lord will forever recognize him as standing at the head of this dispensation, and all who reject the principles revealed through him will continue in darkness and go down to death.  His mission is important, and having faithfully performed it, the fruits of his labours will forever increase, and he will inherit them.

Although brother Joseph has sealed his testimony with his blood, and passed behind the vail, he still labours, in connexion with those who act in his stead on the earth, and those just men made perfect who have preceded him, to bring about the great events of these latter-days.  He will receive his exaltation like unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, sit in the councils of the GODS, and have power with his fellow-labourers to complete the great work of redemption.  Those who receive his testimony will follow him in the inheritance of eternal lives.  He and his brethren will yet sit in judgment on those who have rejected their counsels, despised their authority, persecuted the Saints, and shed the blood of the righteous.

When the Elders go forth among the nations to preach the Gospel, the Spirit constrains them to testify to the divine mission of Joseph.  Without this testimony they find that their preaching is void.  Why is it so?  Because this is the determining point, the test by which all men in this generation are to be tried.  If they will receive Joseph Smith, they will receive the Lord Jesus who sent him; if they reject him and his teachings, they reject the Gospel of salvation and all its blessings.

The primitive Apostles were not required to testify to the Jews of Moses and the Prophets, because they already believed in them, but they were required to declare that the same Jesus whom the Jews had crucified was the Messiah–the Son of God, and that he had risen from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father.  It appears to have been quite as difficult to establish that fact immediately after it occurred as it is now to establish this–that Joseph Smith was sent of God, that he was slain for the testimony of Jesus, and that, having endured all things even unto death, as did his elder Brother, he has, also, like him, overcome all things, and will be crowned in the kingdom of his Father.

A belief in the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph is just as necessary in order to attain to salvation in this day, as the simple belief in a crucified and risen Redeemer was in the days of the early Apostles.

The Christian sects of the day, in a spirit of characteristic covetousness, long for the blessings which the ancients enjoyed, and overlook similar blessings which are within their reach.  They look back to the early ages of the world as the only periods of marvellous events and holy men.  They almost wish that they could have lived in the good old days of Abraham, Moses, Peter, or Paul.  Could they have lived then they imagine that they would have been extremely sanctified and holy.  Such persons are too blind to see that the practice of the same principles will make men righteous now, as well as then, and that such principles are eternal and within their reach.  The righteousness of some of these people scarcely exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, for they persecute the Saints of these days for believing and practising the same principles that exalted Abraham, and for which Stephen was stoned to death.

Christians of the present day will probably admit that adultery was a heinous crime in the days of ancient Israel, when the guilty were put to death.  Whereas in these days they attach but little or no criminality to it, and some are seized with holy horror at the idea that men should be put to death for such an offence.  A plurality of wives was quite right, as they view it, in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and good old David, but is now declared to be quite ‘intolerable, infamous, and degrading,’ when at least one half of the world are reeking in licentiousness and prostitution.  Future generations will wonder why this redeeming principle is now rejected.

As with principles and practices, so it is with men and sacred records.  The Christian world admit the divine mission of former-day Prophets and Apostles, but when Joseph Smith came on a similar mission, he was rejected and slain.  The Bible, notwithstanding its many grammatical errors and apparent inconsistencies, the latter arising from the vague and absurd interpolations of men, is reverenced and believed in, as the truth it contains every should be; but when the Book of Mormon is presented, testifying of the same Jesus, and setting forth the same high and holy principles in a still more simple and perfect manner, it is denounced as a fable, an imposition, and the man who brought it forth is stigmatized as a money digger and fanatic.

Not only the Bible, but the Book of Mormon, and every other book which teaches the same principles, is good for instruction in the doctrines of salvation.  The record of the life and writings of the Prophet Joseph, not only in the theory of salvation, but in the practical application of that theory to the present condition and wants of mankind, is not equalled by any inspired record yet made known to the world.

We do not expect those who have not obeyed the Gospel and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, to believe what we say on this subject, for the most implicit faith in Joseph Smith as an inspired Apostle and Prophet, is necessary before his teachings can be believed as sacred.  We wish to impress forcibly upon the minds of the Saints, the importance of the mission of brother Joseph, and the position which he occupies to them, and also the worth of that invaluable record of his life and sufferings, which is now being published to the world, entitled HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.

But few of the Saints appreciate the great blessings which they now enjoy.  This is also a day of great events, when righteous men speak and write as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.  The doctrines and ordinances that will save men, if believed and practiced, are now continually handed out to man in a way best suited to their circumstances and wants.  Present and future salvation is what the honest in heart desire and therefore it is the Apostles, Prophets, and sacred Records of the present day which more immediately concern them.

The History of Joseph Smith, now being published, will be to present and future generations what the Bible and the Book of Mormon have been to the past, only still more abundantly.  It is a detailed account of the practical workings of the great plan of salvation, in gathering the Saints, establishing the kingdom of heaven on the earth, and other great events long since foretold by the Prophets, and which are peculiar to this dispensation.  The Saints should study this record themselves, teach their children its sacred principles and precepts, treasure up the sayings of brother Joseph as ‘household words,’ and bequeath to their posterity this rich store of sacred knowledge, not merely in books laid away on some dusty shelf, or locked up in an antiquated chest, but indelibly impressed upon their minds, and instilled in their natures, so that time, temptation, death, or eternity cannot obliterate them, and then they will prove like a well of living water springing up from the fountains of the soul unto eternal life.”  (Unsigned lead article [F. D. Richards, Editor], MS 17(14):209-212, 7 Apr., 1855)

7 Apr.:  Theological Institute to occupy 70s Hall.


Having in view the promotion of knowledge, and the extension of those principles of light and truth which we have received through the instrumentality of the holy Priesthood; and believing that the science of Theology embraces a knowledge of all intelligence, whether in heaven or on the earth, moral, scientific, literary, or religious; and being desirous of receiving and imparting such light, wisdom, and principles as have, or may come to our understanding, for the benefit of society, and the building up of the kingdom of our Lord upon the earth: Therefore, resolved, that we form a society by the name of ‘The Deseret Theological Institute,’ which shall have one president, three vice-presidents, twelve directors, two corresponding, and one home secretaries, and one treasurer, whose term of office shall be one year, and until their successors are elected.  In the first instance, they shall be elected by the congregation of the Saints in general conference assembled, and thereafter by the members of said society.

Resolved, that the presidency and directors have authority to direct, manage, and control all matters pertaining to said institute, as they shall be led by the Holy Ghost.

The following persons were unanimously voted to fill the several offices in the Institute:

President:  Brigham Young

Vice-Presidents:  Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, George A. Smith

Directors:  Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Ezra T. Benson, Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Joseph Young, Horace S. Eldredge, James W. Cummings, Samuel W. Richards, William Hyde, Jesse C. Little

Two Corresponding Secretaries:  Daniel H. Wells, Robert Lang Campbell

Home Secretary:  Thomas Bullock

Treasurer:  Hiram B. Clawson

President B. Young said that a few years ago, the Seventies started a Hall of Science, but they had not yet seen the time to build it; but we have now the privilege of forming a society to occupy it when it is built; it will be nothing more than a school-house, an academy, a seminary to teach the brethren all that is good, and then try to get more.”  (General Conference Minutes, 7 Apr., 1855; DN 5:36, 11 Apr., 1855)

7 Apr.:  Creation of Deseret Theological Institute.

“Elder BULLOCK read the report of the Treasurer of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, and also a Circular to the Presidents and Bishops of the several wards, signed by President B. Young, which were accepted.  He also read the following



Having in view the promotion of knowledge, and the extension of those principles of light and truth which we have received through the instrumentality of the holy Priesthood; and believing that the science of Theology embraces a knowledge of all intelligence, whether in heaven or on the earth, moral, scientific, literary, or religious; and being desirous of receiving and imparting such light, wisdom, and principles as have or may come to our understandingk, for the benefit of society, and the building up of the kingdom of our Lord upon the earth: Therefore, resolved, that we form a society by the name of ‘The Deseret Theological Institute,’ which shall have one President, three Vice-presidents, twelve Directors, two Corresponding and one Home Secretaries, and one Treasurer, whose term of office shall be one year, and until their successors are elected.  In the first instance, they shall be elected by the congregation of the Saints in general Conference assembled, and thereafter by the members of said society.

Resolved, that the Presidency and Directors have authority to direct, manage, and control all matters pertaining to said institute, as they shall be led by the Holy Ghost.

The following persons were unanimously voted to fill the several offices in the Institute–


Brigham Young.


Heber C. Kimball, Jedediah M. Grant, George A. Smith.


Orson Hyde, Joseph Young,

Orson Pratt, Horace S. Eldredge,

Wilford Woodruff, James W. Cummings,

Ezra T. Benson, Samuel W. Richards,

Charles C. Rich, William Hyde,

Lorenzo Snow, Jesse C. Little.

Two Corresponding Secretaries.

Daniel H. Wells, Robert Lang Campbell.

Home Secretary.

Thomas Bullock.


Hiram B. Clawson.

President B. YOUNG said that a few years ago, the Seventies started a Hall of Science, but they had not yet seen the time to build it; but we have now the privilege of forming a society to occupy it when it is built; it will be nothing more than a school-house, an academy, a seminary to teach the brethren all that is good, and then try to get more.”  (7 Apr., 1855, General Conference Minutes; MS 17(33):515, 18 Aug., 1855)

7 Apr.:  Disfellowshipment from a quorum.

“President J. YOUNG showed that when the body of Seventies cut a man from the Quorums, that man must have previously cut himself off by transgression; they only sever the nominal tie, after he himself has severed the spiritual tie; and exhorted the Seventies to be pliable in the hands of their superiors.”  (7 Apr., 1855, General Conference Minutes; MS 17(33):516, 18 Aug., 1855)

8 Apr.:  Roster of Priesthood officers in Utah.

“By compiling the late report from the several Bishops, I find there are now in this Territory,

First Presidency:  3

Apostles:  7

Seventies:  2086

High Priests:  715

Elders:  994

Priests:  514

Teachers:  471

Deacons:  227″

(Thomas Bullock, Clerk, 8 Apr., 1855; General Conference Minutes; MS 17(33):517, 18 Aug., 1855)

8 Apr.:  Bishops should have been raised in the Church.

“I introduce these remarks as a preface to my discourse, because I have been pleased by the remarks of the First Presidency, especially by those of President Brigham Young, on the subject of the appointment of Bishops; he wishes to appoint those who have grown up in the Church, who have not lived a great portion of their days under the influence of sectarian traditions of their fathers, and been subject to the slavish notions of cast-iron creeds, that when they entered into this Church, they were so bound in them, they never could be unbound, and that even now in performing the duties of their callings they do not learn enough of the things of God to in every instance discriminate between the two.”  (George A. Smith, 8 Apr., 1855; JD 2:361)

16 Apr.:  Rebaptism of Danish Saints.

“Bro. Jens C. Nielsen who had crossed the Atlantic in the ship Charles Buck and who on his arrival in St. Louis had been appointed to labor among the German and Scandinavian saints as a missionary writes that on the 16th of April, 1855, Pres. W. Sounder and the Bishop of St. Louis visited the saints who had recently arrived on the same ship as Bro. Nielsen and counseled all the Danish saints, 17 in number, to renew their covenants by baptism.  The ordinance was attended to by Bro. Thos. Williams.”  (JH 31 Dec., 1855)

30 Apr.:  Rebaptism of new missionaries.

“Monday 30th.  [April.]  I met with the missionaries, and ordained five into the Seventies, and set eleven brethren apart for their different missions.  At their request I went with them to the water and re-baptized and confirmed them.”  (George A. Smith [SLC] to F. D. Richards [England], 31 May, 1855; MS 17(32):508, 11 Aug., 1855)

3 May:  Rebaptisms in India.

“Since I last wrote you, nothing of great importance has transpired, any more than many of the Saints have renewed their covenants with the Lord by baptism, to serve Him anew.”  (R. Skelton [Calcutta] to F. D. Richards [England], 3 May, 1855; MS 17(30):477, 28 Jul., 1855)

29 May:  Deseret Theological Inst. meets once a week.

“We have organized the Deseret Theological Institute, in the Social Hall, where lectures are delivered one day in every week.”  (Heber C. Kimball [SLC] to his son William [England], 29 May, 1855; MS 17(33):520, 18 Aug., 1855)

10 Jun.:  Rebaptism twice in 8 months.

“June 10th–Re-baptised by Elder Henry Stoffell.  (Witnesses–George Greacon, Faran Furrell.  Ordained by Elder Thomas Perrey.) . . .

March 5th [1856]–Re-baptised by Bishop E. Kesler in 16th Ward; Confirmed by Brother Dur, under the hands of C. G. Riser and I. McAllister, Great Salt Lake City.”  (James Starley Journal, 10 Jun., 1855 and 5 Mar., 1856; UHQ 9(3-4):174-175, Jul./Oct., 1941)

30 Jun.:  We take our priesthood to the next life.

“If they are clothed with power and authority in this life, they do not leave their Priesthood when they leave this body, hence John heard them sing, ‘Thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and hast made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign on the earth.’  We perceive that the Priesthood does not die with their bodies, the kingly authority does not cease with the mortal bodies: it is an office that continues for ever, that continues in the spirit world, as well as after the resurrection.  Those that receive their authority from heaven, will have to magnify it, and set a good example; and every person receiving an office in this Priesthood, and afterwards dying, will have to perform all the duties and exercise the functions thereof, in order that they may be useful to those spirits in an inferior state.  If they hold the Priesthood before the resurrection, do we suppose that they will sit down and have nothing to do?  No: there will be other individuals that will not hold the Priesthood, and that have not had the Gospel, and they will be sent to them, to enlighten their minds, and enable them, who will, to rise in the great scale of moral and intellectual excellence.”  (Orson Pratt, 30 Jun., 1855; JD 2:371)

13 Jul.:  Dead branches should be cut off.

“I wish to see those who profess to be saints act as saints ought to act.

In the church of the living God I believe that every man and woman that will admit evil practices ought to be called up and dealt with for their fellowship, and if they will not reform, regulate their households and set them in order, they ought to be cut off from the church.  It is humbug to talk about first regulating a city, a county, or a territory; but start with a family at a time, and let the Bishop who presides see what is going on with every family, and when a family is found which will admit of God and his laws being ridiculed, cut them off from the church.–If any are found who will curse and swear, and break the law of the Sabbath, bring them up and deal with them for that; and if any are known to steal, deal with them for that act.

The church needs trimming up, and if you will search you will find in your wards certain branches which had better be cut off.  The kingdom would progress much faster, and so will you individually, than it will with those branches on, for they are only dead weights to the great wheel.”  (Jedediah M. Grant, 13 Jul., 1855, Provo Conference; DN 5(33):258, 24 Oct., 1855)

14 Jul.:  Priests, Teachers AND Deacons to visit homes.

“In the kingdom of God all must be subject to the great governing power of the holy Priesthood.  What should be done with those who are disobedient and rebel against the order of heaven?  The application is just as good when made to the members of the Church of Christ, as when used in reference to the members of the human body.  Let unruly members be severed from the body of Christ, if they repent not, and it will become more healthy; for the Lord has placed officers in the Church in order that those things may be attended to, and everything kept in order.  It belongs to the duties of the Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, to visit the houses of the Saints and to see that there is no evil of this kind existing: also to see that there are no plans or schemes in operation calculated to lead this people astray.  Is not this of the highest importance to the Saints of God?  I will leave the people to answer this question for themselves.”  (Samuel W. Richards, 14 Jul., 1855; MS 18(25):387, 21 Jun., 1856)

15 Jul.:  Chastised for not voting either way.

“[Provo] A confererence voted in favor of building a meeting house on the site which Pres. B. Young had proposed; and the appointment of Dominicus Carter and _____ Jones as counselor to the President of the Stake, James C. Snow.  A small portion of the congregation did not vote either way.  Pres. B. Young reproved them for their action and the vote was put again when only two negative votes were cast.”  (JH 15 Jul., 1855)

26 Jul.:  William Marks on “Baneemaism.”

“I am somewhat advanced in age, 64 years, but my health was never better than at present, although I can’t endure so much hardship.  My strength has been greatly increased since I have come to the present conclusion.  While under the influence of Baneemaism I lost all of my strength and former vigor.  I never went on a mission without returning home sick and finally reduced so low as to despair of ever being able to do anything more.”  (William Marks to James M. Adams, 26 Jul., 1855, typescript; Inez Smith Davis papers, P23 f61, RLDS Archives)

July:  Lyman Wight:  Benamey.

“I ask has Mr. Strang risen from an elder in the church together with a few bigots and aspiring office seekers to such almighty power as to dethrone me from those ordinations and of filling a mission of so much importance has Mr Strang assumed to himself the office of Baurak Ale and ordained a Benamey I presume not for I have no idea that he knows their mission or that their ordination as given before the foundation of the earth was laid or the morning stars sung together or the Son of God shouted for joy.  Can Mr Strang show letter evidence for his ordinations then I can most assuredly not the office of a Baurak Ale is the officer of the highest rank in the army of the strength of the Lord’s hosts and [Benamy] is an appendage there unto now if you can show that any man or men is ever to take those office from those already appointed you will show that God is a changeable being.”  (Lyman Wight to editor of the Northern Islander, July, 1855; letter in RLDS Archives)

26 Aug.:  Priesthood goes with us to the next life.

“Let a man pass the veil with the everlasting Priesthood, having magnified it to the day of his death, and you cannot get it off him; it will remain with him in the world of spirits; and when he wakes up in that world among the spirits, he has that power and that obligation on him, that if he can find a person worthy of salvation, why, as soon as he ascertains that, and he remembers what he may teach and who he may teach, he then discovers that he has got a Mission, and that Mission is to those souls who had not the privilege which we have in this world, that they may be partakers of the Gospel as well as we.”  (Parley P. Pratt, 26 Aug., 1855; JD 9:215)

8 Oct.:  General Conference meeting of AP.

“In the evening the Bishops, Priests, Teachers, Deacons, and their Counsellors met in the Tabernacle, and were instructed in matters pertaining to their duties by Presidents B. Young and Grant, and by Bishop Edward Hunter.”  (SL General Conference Minutes, 8 Oct., 1855; MS 18(5):69, 2 Feb., 1856)

8 Oct.:  Home missionaries for the Utah Territory.

“As I have observed to my brethren, and as I will now observe to you, neither in China, Siam, nor any other country in Asia, nor in any part of Europe and Africa, nor in any other place on God’s earth, is there a people who now need preaching to more than do the Latter Day Saints in this Territory, and that too by faithful elders, faithful ministers of the gospel, messengers of life and salvation.

The inhabitants of this Territory have been taught the ways of life, they have been taught the principles of the everlasting gospel and have received them; they have forsaken their former homes, the countries in which they were born, their friends and family connections, for the gospel’s sake; they are here in the midst of these mountains, and many of them will be damned, unless they awake out of their sleep, unless they refrain from their evil ways.  Many are stupid, careless, and unconcerned, their eyes are like the fool’s eye, to the ends of the earth, searching for this, that, and the other, they have become greedy, are slow to fulfill their duty, and off their watch, neglect their prayers, forget their covenants and forsake their God, and the devil has power over them.

It is of necessity then that we appoint missionaries for this Territory, to preach to them the word of God which is quick and powerful.–Some people say that they believe the gospel who never live it, they did not embrace it for the love of it, but because they knew its truth.  They will not give up their carnal, selfish, devilish dispositions and traits of charcter, and if you undertake to choke them off from these dispositions you will have to choke them to death before they will let them go; they will hang on to their evil feelings and evil deeds with greater tenacity than does the terrier dog to his prey, or antagonist; it is almost impossible to separate them from evil.”  (Brigham Young, 8 Oct., 1855; DN 5(38):297, 28 Nov., 1855)

8/15 Oct.:  Home missionaries appointed.

“Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow, Joseph Young, Zera Pulsipher, Henry Herriman, Joseph Hovey, Joseph L. Heywood, Jacob F. Hutchinson, Horace S. Eldredge, George B. Wallace, Joseph W. Johnson, Thomas D. Brown, John Lyon, Jacob Gates, and William Snow (who answered to their names), and Richard Cook, Gilbert Clements, Levi richards, Aaron F. Farr, Wm. Gibson, Thomas Grover, Joseph Bates Noble, George Woodward, Dominicus Carter, and Daniel D. Hunt, were unitedly and unanimously voted to go on missions to the Saints in Utah Territory.”  (General Conference Minutes, 8 Oct., 1855; DN 5(31):244, 10 Oct., 1855)

“In order to carry out the missions for Utah Territory, as appointed by the General Conference, Elders P. P. Pratt, W. Woodruff, G. A. Smith, Erastus Snow, Joseph Young, Lorenzo D. Young, H. S. Eldredge, and Jacob Gates met at the house of Elder P. P. Pratt, on Monday night, 15th inst., at 7 o’clock.

. . . . [Lists missionaries appointed for the various districts.]

Resolved, that all those missionaries who are appointed to their respective districts are expected to attend the conferences at the times and places as herein specified, and they are hereby instructed to appoint other quarterly conferences in the principal places, and preaching meetings throughout the fields of labor assigned them, as shall be deemed necessary.”  (DN 5(32):256, 17 Oct., 1855)

20 Oct.:  Home mission report.


Minutes of the Quarterly Conference Held at Farmington, Davis County, Oct. 20, 1855.

Saturday, 20th, Morning–The people assembled at the Boweery–present of the Twelve, P. P. Pratt, O. Pratt, and W. Woodruff; also L. D. Young, Gilbert Clements, John Cook and T. D. Brown of the Missionaries. . . .

Minutes of a Quarterly Conference held at Tooele City, Nov. 10, 1855.

The people assembled at the School house, on Saturday, Nov. 10, and conference opened by singing and prayer by Elder John Lyon.

W. Woodruff spoke a few moments and said:–

I am glad to meet you in the capacity of a quarterly conference, and to visit you in the capacity of a missionary, in connection with so many other missionaries.

. . . .”

(DN 5(42):336, 26 Dec., 1855)

21 Oct.:  Work of the Home Missionaries.

“At a council of elders, convened at Farmington, Davis county, Utah, on the 21st of October, 1855, the following resolutions were adopted:–

Resolved, that a second quarterly conference be held in Bishop Stoker’s settlement, in Davis county, commencing at 10 o’clock on Saturday the 17th day of November.

Resolved, that a third quarterly conference be held at Bishop Kay’s settlement, in Davis county, commencing at 10 o’clock on Saturday the 15th day of December.

Resolved, that a fourth quarterly conference be held at Farmington, in Davis county, commencing at 10 o’clock on Saturday the 19th day of January, 1856.

Resolved, that Joseph Young, Z. Pulsipher, Henry Herriman, H. S. Eldredge, Lorenzo D. Young, and Gilbert Clements, fill up the intervals of time between the quarterly conferences, by individual preaching in different settlements of the Fourth Missionary district.

P. P. Pratt,

Orson Pratt, Sen.,

Wilford Woodruff.”

(DN 5(34):272, 31 Oct., 1855)

23 Nov.:  Member cut off before congregation.

“Friday 23.  6 P.M.  Tried a case with Zadock Bethers.  he says that he had Rec. a relavation [sic] from God and warned all men to repent and that he said that the First President was rong and said that he wanted me to repent and that he was the only man on earth that had authority to preach the gospel.  I accordingly cut him off from the Church and cald on the congration [sic] to sanction which tha dun unamously [sic].”  (Elias Blackburn diary, 23 Nov., 1855)

7 Dec.:  No President necessary after Joseph.

“At Josephs death there was a church established with every officer except two seers and a patriarch if they had finished their work on earth organized the church and left revelations sufficient to go on with it as the disciples of Jesus did after his death.  Joseph was a true prophet.  Jesus was a true Messiah and anyone who stepped into Jesus place after his death he would have been called a false Christ and as there was to be cut seven true angels of the seven dispensations John was right enough in saying that the eighth was a false prophet and a beast  I hold what Joseph done on the earth was as sufficient for the establishment of the church as what Jesus done while he was on the earth, Jesus left a well organiset [sic] church  with legal officers each in his respective place and why because Jesus was Jesus and it needed no other and if there had been another he would have been called false Christ.  Joseph was the seventh angel and to have another after his death we certainly would be justified in calling him the eighth . . .

I shall now make a few quotations concerning right of priesthood I cannot see how you can be so deceived with the revelations in your hand  I shall quote but a few for if they do not satisfy you more would be of no use  I will quote book of D and C section third paragraph seventeen and eighteen “it is the duty of the twelve in all large branches of the church to ordain evangelical ministers as they shall be designated unto them by revelation.  The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son and rightly belongs to the literal descendents of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.  This order was instituted in the days of Adam and came down by lineage in the following manner”  this quotation goes to show plainly that the priesthood is not to be taken from one lineage and given to that of another lineage this you might have known as the Lord was so strenuous that he would have the man that brought forth the Book of Mormon be of the tribe of Joseph that was sold into Egypt that his father’s name should be Joseph and you will find by reading the whole of the above revelation that it has been one of God’s firm decrees from the foundation of the world that the holy priesthood should remain to come forth by the same lineage that each dispensation should be alike in this the last dispensation all dispensations should be brought into one and ruled by the same power of the others in their time and in their season now instead of a successor let it have been done as the Lord says book of D and C section 103rd 18th paragraph  this quotation goes to show that God intended this despensation to follow in suite with all others and very tenaciously too now Joseph finished his work which the father gave him to do therefore he needed no successor.”  (Lyman Wight to Sanford Porter, 7 Dec., 1855.  Letter in RLDS Archives, letter #16 of Lyman Wight letter book.)  

31 Dec.:  Priesthood roster of European missions.

“For general information we publish the following items from an Annual Report of the British, Scandinavian, French, Swiss, and Italian missions, of the 31st of December, 1855.

These Missions comprise 68 Conferences, and 773 Branches, in which the ministry numbers 45 Seventies, 13 High Priests, 2937 Elders, 1658 Priests, 1174 Teachers, and 741 Deacons.”  (MS 18(7):106, 16 Feb., 1856)

Priesthood holders ordained in the pre-existence.

And God said, these will I make rulers in my kingdoms.  Upon this principle was manifested the election, before the foundation of the world, of certain individuals to certain offices, as written in the Scriptures.

In other words, certain individuals, more intelligent than the others, were chosen by the Head, to teach, instruct, edify, improve, govern, and minister truth and salvation to others; and to hold the delegated powers or keys of government, in the several spheres of progressive being.

These were not only chosen, but set apart, by a holy ordinance in the eternal worlds, as Embassadors, Foreign Ministers, Priests, Kings, Apostles, &c., to fill the various stations in the vast empire of the Sovereign of all.

Jesus Christ, being the first Apostle thus commissioned, and the President of all the powers thus delegated, is Lord of lords, and King of kings, in the heavens and on the earth.  Hence this Priesthood is called the Priesthood after the order of the Son of God.  It holds the keys of all the true principles of government in all worlds, being without beginning of days or end of life.  It was held by Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Melchisedec, and others.  Abraham obtained this Priesthood, and an election of the same in his seed after him to all generations.  The decree went forth in an everlasting covenant, that in Abraham and his seed, all the nations and kindreds of the earth should be blessed.

Of this lineage according to the flesh were the Prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and the Jewish Apostles.  Since the covenant and election thus manifested, the keys of revelation, government and miraculous powers on earth have been held exclusively by the literal descendants of this noble and royal house.

The Gentiles could partake of a portion of the same blessings, but this could only be done through their ministry, and by adoption into the same family.

This election or covenant with the house of Israel will continue for ever.  In the great restoration of all things, this lineage will hold the keys of Priesthood, salvation and government, for all nations.  As saith the Prophet Isaiah–‘The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.’

And again–‘Ye shal be the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God: but strangers shall build your walls, and the sons of the alien shall be your ploughmen and your vine dressers.’

This Priesthood, including that of the Aaronic, holds the keys of revelation of the oracles of God to man upon the earth; the power and right to give laws and commandments to individuals, churches, rulers, nations and the world; to appoint, ordain, and establish constitutions and kingdoms; to appoint kings, presidents, governors or judges, and to ordain or anoint them to their several holy callings, also to instruct, warn, or reprove them by the word of the Lord.

It also holds the keys of [Underlined deleted in Penrose] the administration of ordinances for the remission of sins, and for the gift of the Holy Spirit [Penrose:  “Ghost” instead of “Spirit”]; to heal the sick, cast out demons, or work miracles in the name of the Lord; in fine, to bind or loose on earth and in heaven.  For the exercise of all which powers the student of Theology will find abundant precedents in the sacred Scriptures.

Men holding the keys of the Priesthood and Apostleship after the order of the Son of God, are his representatives, or embassadors, to mankind.  To receive them, to obey their instructions, to feed, clothe, or aid them, is counted the same, in the final judgment, as if all had been done to the Son of God in person.  On the other hand, to reject them, or their testimony or message, or the word of God through them, in any matter, is counted the same as if done to Jesus Christ, in his own person.  Indeed, such embassadors will be the final judges of the persons, rulers, cities or nations to whom they are sent.

Although the chosen instruments to hold the keys of this Priesthood must [Penrose:  “must” changed to “should”] be the literal lineage of Israel, yet that lineage are not all thus commissioned, nor indeed are any of the Priests merely because they are of the chosen seed.  Such an instrument must be revealed, and his ordination which he had before the world began, be renewed and confirmed upon his fleshly tabernacle, or he cannot be a Priest on earth.

One who already holds the authority, or keys of Priesthood, can reveal, by the word of the Lord, and ordain and anoint others to similar callings, and through these ordinances fill them with [Penrose: “fill them with” changed to “they will receive”] the Holy Spirit, as a qualification for their holy calling.  By this means Joshua succeeded Moses, Elisha succeeded Elijah, &c.  And by this means the great Apostle of the Father chose and ordained the Twelve Apostles of the Jews, and gave the keys or presidency of the kingdom to Peter.

There have, however, been times when, by a general martyrdom or apostacy, the keys of this power have been taken from the earth.  In such case there would be no longer visions, revelations or miraculous gifts from the Lord, manifested among men, because the Priesthood is the channel, and the ordinances are the means, through which such blessings are enjoyed by man.  In the absence of these offices and powers, darkness, ignorance, superstition, priestcraft and kingcraft, idolatry, and every species of abuse, would fill the earth, and usurp the place of the true government of the kingdom of God.

The most remarkable and long continued instance of this kind, which perhaps ever transpired in our world, commenced with the destruction of the Apostles and Saints who immediately succeeded the Lord Jesus Christ, and continued until the present century, producing in its consequences all the human butcheries, wars, oppressions, misrule, ignorance, superstitions, kingcraft, priestcraft, and misery, which have visited the world in the false name of Christianity.

On the Western Hemisphere, the Apostleship, oracles, miracles, and gifts of the Spirit, ceased from among the people in the fourth century.

The precise time of the discontinuance of these powers on the eastern continents, or in the Roman world, is not known.  Suffice it to say, the last of the Twelve Apostles predicted, in his vision on the Isle of Patmos, the reign of a certain power which should make war with the Saints, overcome them, be drunken with their blood, and bear rule over all nations.  ‘And by thy sorceries,’ said he, ‘were all nations deceived.’  If these predictions have had their fulmilment, then it is the height of inconsistency for any one to contend, that Rome or any nation has perpetuated the Priesthood, Apostleship, or Church.  This would be the same as to say, the Saints were destroyed, and yet perpetuated; all nations were deceived, and yet had the truth.”  (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1855 ed., pp. 64-69)

Joseph received High Priesthood prior to 6 April, 1830.

“He continued to receive visions, revelations, and the ministry of angels, by whom he was at length ordained to the Apostleship, or High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedec, to hold the keys of the kingdom of God, the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Thus qualified, he proceeded, on the 6th of April, A.D. 1830, to organize the Church of the Saints, which then consisted of six members.”  [Note the difference between this account and Pratt’s account in his autobiography, in which he states that the Melchizedek Priesthood was given for the first time at the June, 1831 conference.]  (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1855 ed., pp. 82-83)