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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1857

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1857.” You can view other years here.

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PRIESTHOOD, 1857 (January-February).

1857:  7 Jan.:  Progress of Reformation in SLC.

“The reformation of this people is a matter of very great importance, and will prove very beneficial.  Reform in every department, affecting the entire people and community, is now transpiring, and will prove one of the most important movements of the age.  The Legislative Assembly convened in this city is partaking quite largely of the spirit.  May the spirit that prevails now in these valleys, expecially in this city, be imparted to the Elders abroad, and a fire be kindled that shall consume the dross of the whole earth.

The reformation is operating upon the business department of the Church to a considerable extent.  Old men are resigning their business places, and young men are filling them.  Every lazy, drowsy, sleepy officer in the kingdom is being called upon to awake or get out of the way and let some one of energy and power take his place.  In a word, 

‘The Spirit of God like a fire is burning.’

The Twelve who are now here, are holding meetings Thursday and Sunday evenings throughout the city, commencing with Ward No. I, and continuing by rotation.  Two or three missionaries are appointed to each of the twenty Wards in the city, who spend quite a portion of their time in visiting and holding meetings.  These missionaries meet the Twelve and Presidency in the Historian’s Office, every Wednesday evening, to report progress and get instructions.

Every Monday evening the Presidents of Seventies meet in their Hall.  Tuesday evenings the Bishops and lesser Priesthood meet in the Seventies’ Hall.  Wednesday evenings the missionaries as above named.  Thursday and Sunday evenings are for Ward meetings.  Friday evenings the City Council and other bodies meet; and on Saturday evening the High Priests meet in the Social Hall.  The Twelve generally attend the Quorum meetings.

One day last week all the members and officers of the Assembly, who had not been, were rebaptized in the font, and confirmed in the Endowment House.”  (S. W. Richards to the Western Standard, 7 Jan., 1857; MS 19(18):285, 2 May, 1857)

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

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


“The visions of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, in 1829, wherein John the Baptist appeared as a ministering angel, and, laying his hands on their heads, ordained them, in the name of the Messiah, to the Priesthood of Aaron, was a very clear and important vision.

And the vision which they experienced soon afterwards was no less important, viz., wherein Peter, James, and John, the Presidents of the former Apostles, came to them as ministering angels, and ordained them to the Apostleship of the Son of God.  These two last visions were the more important, because the Priesthood and Apostleship had been lost to the world for so many ages.”  (Parley P. Pratt to Editor of the Mormon, 10 Jan., 1857; MS 19(10):157, 7 Mar., 1857)

11 Jan.:  Quorums are failing to magnify their callings.

“Quorums, families, and individuals have alike failed to magnify their callings.  They have looked over the Teachers, the Bishops and High Councils, and there was no authority but the First Presidency that could settle a little family dispute; such has been the dullness of the quorums and the condition of the people generally that they seemed lifeless until the Presidency have had to bear the burdens, discharge the responsibilities and perform the labours of nearly every other Quorum and Council in the Church.

Who is there that has any part of the Priesthood, and who has received his endowments but that ought to be able to administer in his household all those things which are necessary for life and salvation?  They ought to be ready at all times to manifest their authority as men of God, and administer not only to all in their families but to perform the duties which they owe to the Church and the world also.”  (Franklin D. Richards, 11 Jan., 1857; JD 4:163)

11 Jan.:  Public vote to excommunicate John Hyde.

“There is a little matter of business that we want to lay before this congregation [in the Salt Lake Tabernacle] in regard to John Hyde, who went to the Sandwich Islands on a mission. . . .

By the consent of my brethren I shall move that John Hyde be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I will put the motion in full, that is, that he be cut off root and branch; that means pertaining to himself.  When this motion is put, I want you to vote, every one of you, either for or against, for there is no sympathy to be shown unto such a man.  Brother Wells has seconded the motion I have made.  All that are in favour that John Hyde be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that he be delivered over to Satan to be buffeted in the flesh, will raise their right hands.  (All hands were raised.)”  (Heber C. Kimball, 11 Jan., 1857; JD 4:165)

“A meeting was held in the Tabernacle at which Presidents Heber C. Kimball and Daniel H. Wells and Elder Franklin D. Richards spoke.  John Hyde, Jr., was sut off from the church for his wickedness and apostacy by the unanimous vote of a large congregation in the Tabernacle.”  (JH 11 Jan., 1857)

11 Jan.:  Brigham holds all the keys.

“Brother Brigham is my brother, and holds the keys to all the departments of the Priesthood on this earth, and when he unlocks the door it will come open.  He has a bundle of keys, and, if they were keys like these in my hand, no ten men in this congregation could carry or lift them.  He possesses the keys of all the different gifts and graces that God designs for this people.  Can you realise it?  Some do, and some do not.  It is brother Brigham that holds the keys, yes, above every other man that lives in the flesh.  When he says, ‘Brother Heber, take that key and open such or such a door,’ then I have authority to go and unlock that door, the same as he has.  If he says, ‘Brother Wells, take this key and go and unlock such a door,’ he then has the same power as brother Brigham has to unlock that door.  If he says, ‘Brother Hyde, take this key and other small keys and go to the nations of the earth and open into different nations,’ brother Hyde then has the power and authority, with his brethren of the Twelve, to open the door, preach the Gospel, build up the Church, organize it, and set it in order in every nation, kingdom, tongue, and island, so far as he has received the keys and authority.  When brother Brigham gives a Bishop a key pertaining to a Ward, that Bishop has power to open and shut, to teach, prophesy, and administer the word of life, according to his holy calling in his department.  Every man has his department as it is set off to him, and if he lives his religion he has the power of God, the power of Brigham, the power of Heber and of Daniel, yea, all the power we have in that department, when he goes and acts in our authority.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 11 Jan., 1857; JD 4:171)

  14 Jan.:  70s to report or be dropped.


All the members of the 31st Quorum of Seventies, residing in the Territory of Utah, are required to meet at the house of Robert Pixton, in the 14th Ward, G. S. L. City, on the first Sunday in February next, at 4 o’clock, p.m., or report themselves byi letter, with a recommend from their presiding officers of their standing, or they will be dropped and others taken to fill their places.  By order of 

Lysander Gee,

John Weinel,

Robt. Pixton,


(DN 6(45):360, 14 Jan., 1857)

  26 Jan.:  Quorums are beginning to trim up.

“The saints here are awakening from a drowsy stupor and lethargy to live their religion and do right.  The different quorums begin to trim up, and I expect a more faithful discharge of all duties by the priesthod and by all that are called saints.”  (Brigham Young to George A. Smith [Washington], 26 Jan., 1857; JH 26 Jan., 1857)

28 Jan.:  Time for 70s quorums to be “trimmed up.”


Dear Brethren:–

We announce to you that the time has come for you to have your Quorums trimmed up, and to know the whereabouts of all your members that can be found, and to have the places of all those not known filled with new recruits.

To this end we shall call on all the Quorums who havean organization in this city–that is, all the Quorums who have one or more Presidents and their Records, and keep up their meetings, to report themselves to the General Weekly Conference held in the Seventies’ Council Hall, that we may ascertain the number of Quorums and the number of members in each Quorum who are to be found.  We will then proceed to ascertain the number of those candidates who come qualified for ordination, according to the law and usage of the Church–which is, that every Elder who is a member of the Elders’ Quorum obtain a recommend from his President; and all officers and other individuals (except those officers of the Lesser Priesthood who are in active service and whom the Bishops are fit to retain in their present calling) who wish to join the Quorums, come recommended by the Bishops of their respective Wards, giving evidence of their fellowship, faith integrity and good moral character.

On the approval of the Council then and there assembled, the candidates thus making application, will be ordained and placed into the different Quorums.  It will be so arranged that each Quorum, including old and new members, will have an equal number as near as practicable.

We call upon all the young men and middle-aged who have a residence within the limits of this city, and extending as far north as Centreville, and south as Big Cottonwood who wish to join these Quorums to come forward as above required.

It is very probable, that after these candidates are ordained and placed in the Quorums, there will be a deficiency in numbers to make out the compliment; we shall therefore visit the brethren in the settlements and proceed to ordain other candidates, until the forty Quorums are filled up.

By order of the Council.

Joseph Young, Pres.

Robert Campbell, Clerk.”

(DN 6(47):376, 28 Jan., 1857)

31 Jan.:  Role of Home Missionaries in Reformation.

“The ‘Reformation,’ as it has been called, has begun, not a change in our religion, nor of the principles revealed from the heavens through Joseph, but a change in the practices, and an arousing of the people from habits of lethargy, and its salutary influences are already perceptible.  We have appointed two or more ‘Home Missionaries’ to each ward in this city, and drawn up a list of questions to be asked the Latter-day Saints.  Those missionaries go from house to house, and examine every individual therein separately; and, as a consequence, we have had this people examining themselves minutely; much honest confession and restitution have been made.  Many of those who are called Saints have found out that their prayers were dull and formal; that they had spoken evil of one another and of the Priesthood; that they had lied, and doubted some of the revelations given through Joseph Smith, &c., &c.

This catechism has been as a mirror to the Saints, reflecting themselves in truth.”  (Brigham Young to Orson Pratt, Editor, 31 Jan., 1857; MS 19(22):347-348, 30 May, 1857)

2 Feb.:  Importance of Aaronic Priesthood.

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

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

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

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

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

4 Feb.:  Reformation conference in Britain.


Minutes of Meetings Held at 42, Islington, Liverpool, on Wednesday and Thursday Nights, 4th and 5th February, for the Purpose of Commencing the Work of Reformation in the Church in these Lands.

Wednesday, February 4th, 7 p.m.

The following brethren having convened–

Presidents Orson Pratt, and Ezra T. Benson; Elders James A. Little, John A. Ray, Phineas H. Young, William G. Young, Truman O. Angell, John Kay, Miles Romney, C. R. Dana, James Marsden, Matthias Cowley, Asa Calkin, George Turnbull, Thomas Williams, and E. W. Tullidge; Priests, William H. Perkes, and John Graham–

President PRATT arose, and explained the object of the meeting.  He said–

On Monday, the 26th ultimo, I received a communication from President Young, stating the position of affairs in Zion, in which we are given to understand that the Saints in Utah are stirred up to reformation, and the renewal of their covenants.  From this communication, we find that the work of reformation is progressing rapidly there.  The President has also written to us to commence the same work here in this country, and throughout the mission, and to begin here in this Office.  I have accordingly sent for brother Benson, and we have concluded to bring the brethren of the Office together, that we might pray together, repent of our slothfulness, renew our covenants, and be baptized.  I am happy to see so many others here to unite with us on this occasion.

He then opened the meeting with the following prayer–

Our Father, who art in heaven, we Thy servants have assembled together from the various fields of our labour in Thy ministry, for the purpose of humbling ourselves, and commencing anew to worship Thee, and renewing our covenants, calling upon Thy name with all our hearts, that we may receive the abundance of Thy Spirit to cause our hearts to rejoice.

O God, the Eternal Father, we pray Thee to look in mercy upon us who have named Thy name, and are most of us absent from our families, and the Presidency of Thy Church, on foreign missions.  We feel thankful that Thou hast permitted us to receive a communication from Thy servant, President Young, calling upon us to repent of our sins, and reform, and renew our faithfulness and diligence.  We feel thankful for the work of reformation going on there, and that we have received Thy word, showing us our situation before Thee.  He has pointed out the condition of the missionaries and Thy Saints.  He has represented us as being dull, and dead as pertaining to the things of Thy kingdom.

O God, the Eternal Father, inasmuch as Thy servant has thus represented our situation, and has called upon us to repent and turn away from our sins, even so we desire to comply, and for this purpose we have assembled together, that we may confess our sins–that we may renew our covenants, and be determined to keep Thy commandments–in order that our sins may be forgiven, and that we may receive the renewal of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  Give us power that we may search ourselves–that we may find out every sin that is lurking within us–that our faith may become great–that we may be filled with the Spirit, and that we may know by its teachings every duty devolving upon us.  We pray that when we have become converted, Thou wilt enable us to strengthen our brethren–to preach to them repentance–to point out their errors, and the necessity of being obedient to Thy word, that they may enjoy more of Thy Spirit; and to cut off those who will not work righteousness, and obey Thy word–that Thy Spirit may be more abundantly poured out–that the word of God may spread–that the arrows of the Almighty may reach the hearts of Thy people, and of the honest in heart–that Thy hand may be made manifest–that Thy works may be shown forth in Thy Church–that the honest in heart may see the good works of Thy people, and glorify their Father in heaven, and that thousands may come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits and obey the truth.

May Thy Spirit be poured out upon us this evening.  Remove from our minds all darkness and dullness.  Let the energy of the Holy Spirit be with us to instruct us.  May our hearts be purified and strengthened, and may we feel that Thou art with us, to bless us and to do us good.

Bless Thy servants who are appointed to preside over Thy Church in these countries.  We feel that we need Thy Spirit to enable us to instruct Thy people and give them counsel–and that we have no counsel or wisdom of our own.  We ask that we may be filled with the spirit of revelation, and that Thou wilt give us such instructions as will benefit the Saints.

Here [sic] us in these our humble breathings–be propitious to us, and bless us.  We ask these things of Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

President O. PRATT said–

You have all read President Young’s letter.  I feel that it is of the utmost importance to carry out its instructions, according to the letter and spirit.  So far as I understand, it is necessary for us to put away the evils we may have been practising–to cease from everything that is wrong–to renew our covenants, and be baptized.  I feel that I would like to hear the mind and feelings of all present on the subject.

President EZRA T. BENSON said–

I feel the necessity and importance of the reformation.  It caused my heart to rejoice very much, when I read the letter.  I jumped up and shouted, ‘Glory! hallelujah!’  Although I have tried to preach reformation wherever I have travelled, I have felt that the Saints were sleep, dull, and slothful in attending to their duties, and unless there were some excitement more than usual, not more than half the Saints would attend the prayer and sacrament meetings.  It has seemed out of the power of the presiding officers to get the people together.  I feel that this move is necessary, and I am glad that it has come.  I am determined to get a renewal of the power of God.  I believe I shall if I do my duty, and co-operate with those who are over me.  I have the best of feelings towards all my brethren and sisters, and I want to do them good.  In order to be able to do good to them I must do good to myself first.  In order to infuse the Spirit into them I must have it myself.  I am willing to comply with any suggestions the President may make.  If I have not travelled and preached enough, I am willing to try it again and do more.  If I have not climbed high enough on the tree, I am willing to climb a notch higher.  I feel as good as I know how; still there is a chance for me to feel better.  If I have had a little of the Spirit, I can still have a little more.  When an Elder has enough of the Spirit of God, the people, and the world know that he is preaching by the power of God, and that is the man that will be talked about.  When a man is preaching by the power of God, mobs may rage, but they cannot touch him.  The Devil will howl.  Then let him howl on.

If we are going to have a reformation, let us have one indeed.  Let us get heated up, that it may not be like hammering cold iron; and let the reformation be both spiritually and temporally.  I want it to take place in temporal things as wella as spiritual! and not to put the cart before the horse.

I would to God we had every Pastor and President here.  We would lock them up in a room, and keep them there three days and three nights, and would hammer and pound them until we got them into some shape.  It is the Pastors and Presidents who are asleep as well as the people.  They think themselves the biggest men in the world, if they can walk about in a first-rate suite of clothes.  Do they dig about the people, and know how the money is disbursed?  Do all the Presidents consult their Pastors about their business?  Some do, and some do not.  They buy watches, and chains, and so forth, and do as they please.  I would they were here, and then they should stay here till they got the Spirit of God into them.  I want to see this reformation become thorough, spiritually and temporally.  Let us take a position to render an account of our stewardships.

Brother Brigham knows the people are not living in the lively exercise of their duties, and we also know it.  They are dead, and we must resurrect them.  There is a great deal to be done.  A great many understand the Gospel, Priesthood, authority, &c., in theory; but talk about it practically, and you find that they are as far from it as sectarianism is from heaven.  They are stereotyped, and carry out a fixed form in their meetings just like the sectarians.  When I read the 6th chapter of Moroni, I find their meetings were controlled by the power of the Holy Ghost.  How is it among the Saints here?  Let brother Pratt or myself go into a meeting, and you would see some President get up and extol us to the highest heaven, and preach the preliminaries of a discourse for us, and take up all our time.  ‘Oh! look out! President Benson!  One of the Twelve Apostles! &c.’  I feel to cut myself loose.  I will bear it no longer.  I will have the Priesthood respected.

This letter has put fire on to fire: and, with the help of God, I am on hand to kick the scales from the eyes of the people.

I feel that God is here.  We will have a glorious time.  God help us to reform, to be spiritually minded, and to perform every duty required of us, in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Elder JAMES A. LITTLE said–

I am happy to meet with my brethren.  Brother Benson has expressed my views.  It has long appeared to me that the Elders and Saints are stereotyped.  They are bound to a certain system, and whether it is right or wrong it makes no difference.  Many have thought and acted as though these forms were all there was of ‘Mormonism.’  I have endeavoured, with my imperfections, to do the best I could; and I have tried to get more of the Spirit.  I want it, and I believe I shall get some more.  The President’s letter fired up my spirit and filled me with joy.  The Lord bless you all.  Amen.

Elder JOHN A. RAY said–

I feel thankful for the privilege of meeting with this Council.  Since I was called upon this mission, I have sought the Spirit of the Lord to guide, direct, and strengthen me.  I know that I have not been as faithful as I should have been.  I have not enjoyed as much of the Spirit as I would like.  I realize that I can do no good unless aided by it, and I am dependent on the arm of the Lord to strengthen me.  It is thus with all the Elders–they will never do any good unless the Lord employs them.  I was thankful when I read the President’s letter.  It is a privilege for us to renew our covenants.  I wish to enter into covenant with the Lord–endeavour to lay aside every sinful thing, and I pray that the kingdom of God may roll on with mighty power.  I feel that the Saints are dull, and that there is a great reformation needed before the work can go forth.  I am willing to make an effort to reform, and get more of the Spirit to aid me in the discharge of my duties.

Elders Pheneas H. Young, John Kay, C. R. Dana, Miles Romney, James Marsden, William G. Young, Truman O. Angell, Matthias Cowley, Asa Calkin, Thomas Williams, E. W. Tullidge, and George Turnbull, and Priests William Perkes, and John Graham, severally expressed their thankfulness for the privilege of renewing their covenants, and their determination to exercise renewed diligence in the performance of their duties, and contend for more of the Spirit of God than they have had heretofore.

President PRATT then arose and said–

I have rejoiced greatly in hearing you express your determinations, and desires to perform the good required of you.  I feel the need of setting out anew, and trying to be more faithful.  I have felt the importance and necessity of it for years.  I have mourned in my feelings when I have seen my own apparent coldness.  I have been habituated to reading in the Book of Mormon, Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the Bible.  When I have read in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and HIstory of Joseph, accounts of the great manifestations of the power of God in past times, and then have compared myself and the little I have had, with them, my dullness has given rise to serious apprehensions.  When I think of the little progress I have made I am ashamed of myself.  I have greatly desired that I might purify myself, and attain to the blessings recorded as having been bestowed upon the servants of God in ancient times.  I have mourned for weeks over my barrenness.  What have any of us attained to?  When I read what was done in ancient times, I oftentimes get alarmed.  We find in reading the Book of Mormon, that Nephi used to obtain the ministration of angels daily, and were [sic] blessed with revelations, visions, dreams, manifestations, and the voice of the Lord.  And in the Bible we read of Elijah, Elisha, and other Prophets who were similarly blessed.  One man of God could lead an army into the midst of their enemies by blinding them by the power of his faith.  There is not anything but what we could do if we had the faith.  We are dull, and almost dead.  We must get the Spirit.  Let us cry unto the Lord day and night to get the Holy Ghost.  I hope we may all seek diligently, and fulfil our covenants.  To be baptized will not benefit us unless we continue in diligence.

I do not look for the Elders to enjoy very remarkable external manifestations, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and they turn to the House of Israel with the Gospel.  Notwithstanding, I am confident it is our privilege to have more of the power of God than we have had.  We all know, ourselves, wherein we can reform.  Each knows himself better than his neighbours know him.  Notwithstanding the Lord has sent me here to preside, I feel weak, and entirely unable to perform my duties without the Holy Spirit.  I feel thankful for the pfivilege of going out with brother Benson, after the hurry of the emigration is over.  I hope the Lord will pour out His Spirit, and that we may get revived.  It will be a relief to me to get freed a-while from the business of the Office.

With regard to the carrying out of the reformation, I feel to concur with the remarks of brother Benson.  There is a degree of looseness with regard to temporal things that must be remedied.  And this needs looking after under the present arrangement more than ever before.  Money contributed as tithing should be regulated by some proper system, so that Presidents and officers may not dip in without consulting other authority.  By the help of the Lord I will try to publish something in regard to this that will be beneficial, so that the tithing may be appropriated properly and economically.

In regard to re-baptism–the Saints ought to be preached to first and stirred up.  Baptism does not reform a person.  It is a testimony of renewal.  I think re-baptism throughout the Church will be the means of casting out many of the dead branches.  The tree will be trimmmed up–placed in a thriving condition–and will soon bring forth much good fruit.  Brother Behson will go forth and knock the scales from the eyes of the people, and I hope I will follow soon and help him.

I have reformed in some few things in my method of preaching, since I have been on this mission.  I have seen the importance of doing so.  Instead of long discourses, I have felt the necessity of bearing testimony.  I think those who have heard me can bear record that I have endeavoured to preach plain, simple principles, and have confined myself to the evidences of the truth of the work–the visions of Joseph, &c., without refering to all the Scriptures that could be brought to bear on the subjects.  If the Elders will bear their testimony, relate the visions of Joseph, and preach the Book of Mormon–this will do more good than long sermons.

Song–‘O, Zion, when I think on thee.’

President BENSON said–

I do not know but the brethren may think that I am very zealous.  Well, I confess that I am in the cause of the Lord.  It is as natural for me, as it is for a child to love milk.  When I get my mind bent on a thing, it is like steam in a boiler.

In order to be renewed, I motion that we fast and pray one day, at least.  I am sure it will have a good effect.  In a good many places the wheels are clogged.  The Elders and Saints indulge themselves with too much temporal food.  They must have hearty meals on Sundays, it if takes all their week’s wages.  They would feel better if they would feed light on Sunday.  They would have more of the Spirit if they would fast one day in a week, and live on spiritual food.  Almost every blessing that I have obtained out of the natural course has been by prayer and fasting.  This eating hearty meals on Sundays makes us heavy, and we feel more like taking a nap than feasting on heavenly things.

We should preach by the power of God, according to the talent that He has given us.  We have to grapple with our weakness.  When I feel that I preach by the Spirit of God, I am all right; I have nothing to mourn.  When I cannot feel the Holy Spirit, I am dissatisfied and mourn.  When I know I have the testimony of the Spirit I am satisfied–my heart is light–and my sleep sweet.

Let us go a-head, preach the principles of the Gospel–and bear testimony of the work.  The Saints are backward in attending the meetings, unless there is an especial appointment made for some one extra to be there.  They do not attend the sacrament meetings as they ought.  And many do not pay their tithing.  We have now got the instructions that will enable us to find out who are faithful, and who are not.  We shall cut the dead branches off.  I would rather have half-a-dozen faithful Saints than a hundred hypocrites.  We are called to hunt up the righteous.  If we do not do it, we will come short of the blessing.  If we do not go according to President Young’s letter we cannot get it.  The dead branches must go off, and then we will find out how many Saints we have got.

I feel to uphold brother Pratt, and not be half-hearted.  The Lord bless him! (all-Amen) and brother Little! (all-Amen).  We will have a glorious time.  We will be blessed and comforted.

We ought to reverence each other in the Priesthood.  If it were not my duty, I should not ask this of the brethren.  I ask no more of them than I am willing to do myself.  I do not ask them to be more pliable than I am.  Do I open my mouth, where brother Pratt is, without his consent?  We should pattern after Zion.  If we do not reverence the Priesthood, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved.  I wish the brethren were here that we might preach to them.

Elder P. H. YOUNG bore testimony to President Benson’s remarks, after which was sung–

‘Come, Come, ye Saints, no toil nor labour fear.’

Elder TRUMAN O. ANGELL engaged in prayer.

President PRATT said–

The plan will be for the Presidents to call together the Priesthood, and point out to the officers their duties.  When you have sufficiently preached reformation to the officers, and they have covenanted that they will keep the commandments of God, baptize them first.  Then let them take hold and preach to the Saints the necessity of coming to meetings–all that can.  I have made it a practice not to have any cooking done here on Sundays.  This needs to be instilled into the minds of the Saints.  Get them to covenant to do as they are told, then baptize them.  A question has been put in regard to those who do not pay their tithing.  We have not been cutting them off for neglecting to pay tithing, but we need not graft them in unless they agree to do so.  We have felt that it was not really wisdom to cut people off for not paying tithing.  But the time will come when it will be made a test of fellowship.  It is wisdom if they will not covenant to pay tithing, not to graft them in.  Thus they will cut themselves off.

It has been proposed that we fast and pray to-morrow, that we meet here at seven o’clock, p.m., pray, and then go to the water for baptism.

Seconded, and unanimously carried.

President BENSON closed the meeting by prayer.

Thursday, 5th February, 7 p.m.

The brethren all met according to arrangement.

Sung–‘The Spirit of God like a fire burning.’

President BENSON prayed.

Sung–‘O, Zion when I think on thee.’

Elder LITTLE exhorted the brethren to faithfulness, and especially the missionaries–to keep themselves pure, so that they might return home with upright hearts.

Sung–‘Come let us anew, our journey pursue.’

All then repaired to the place of baptism.  After an appropriate prayer at the water’s edge by President Pratt, he and President Benson baptized each other.  They then baptized the rest of the brethren.

The company then returned to 42, Islington.

Sung–‘How firm a foundation ye Saints of the Lord.’

Prayer by President PRATT.

Sung–‘Redeemer of Israel, our only delight.’

The brethren were then all confirmed, Presidents Benson and Pratt being the first.  Many rich blessings were pronounced by the spirit of prophecy, and the hearts of all present were full of joy and of the Holy Ghost.

Elder W. G. YOUNG prophesied that the work would roll on with greater rapidity and more power, after this, than ever before.

Sung–‘Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah.’

President PRATT said–

I believe a work of great magnitude is about to be accomplished in this country.  I consider it will be a great work if we get the Saints purified.  If one-third should be cut off, and the rest remain united, it will be one of the greatest works that was ever accomplished in this land.  We have all learned by experience that the more we are united, the more the Lord will bless us, whether we be few or many.  I am impressed that the time is at hand when the Lord intends to accomplish something, not only here but in Zion.  I have not ascertained what it is–but I believe that the Spirit and power, resting on the Presidency, are preparatory to something of importance.  It may be that the Lord intends this purification to prepare the Saints for entering into the Temple–in which we expect such manifestations, and blessings to be given as the Church have never had.  We know this is a day of power, and that the time cannot be far distant.  It seems as if it were near at hand.  The Lord is preparing to bring us nearer to His presence.  I do feel, and have felt, that something of importance is at hand.  With regard to the work in this land, it is bound to go a-head.  The Saints will require faith to stand up against opposition, and none but those having faith will be able to stand.  The brethren here will go forth with greater power and energy, to administer, and heal the sick.  They will have greater power than heretofore.  I say, go forth, and the power of the Lord shall be upon you–you shall feel it–and the people shall know it, even if they fight against it the next minute.

After further spirited remarks from various brethren, the Hymn–‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow’ was sung, and the meeting was dismissed with prayer by Elder JAMES A. LITTLE.”  (4 & 5 Feb., 1857; MS 19(9):129-134, 28 Feb., 1857)

4 Feb.:  70s report or be dropped as dead branches.

“34th QUORUM.

All those belonging to the 34th Quorum of Seventies, will please report themselves, by letter or otherwise, to me, in the City of Provo, Utah co., forthwith.  The Report must contain their present residence, a certificate from their Bishop of their good standing in the Church, with their genealogy, viz.: when and where born, including town, county, state or nation, fathers’ and mothers’ names, when and by whom baptized, when ordained a Seventy and by whom.

Those members that neglect to comply with the above request, and neglect to meet with the Quorum in this place will be dropped as dead branches and others more worthy grafted in.

A. H. Scott, President.”

(DN 6(48):384, 4 Feb., 1857)

4 Feb.:  “Home missionaries” and the Reformation.

“His [Heber C. Kimball’s] teachings have been of much benefit to the saints, the Twelve who are here have gone forward with the missionaries through every ward in this city teaching the Elders and the people, meeting with the various quorums of the church, we have attended a meeting of some kind almost every evening for 3 months.  The people are rising up en mass and trying to live their religion by confessing and forsaking their sins and preparing for the waters of baptism, the spirit and power of God is manifest in Zion.”  (Wilford Woodruff to John Taylor, editor of The Mormon [New York], 4 Feb., 1857; JH 4 Feb., 1857)

5 Feb.:  When should the people not follow a Bishop?

“He [Brigham] said should the people follow a Bishop?  Yes if he is a righteous man & does right but if he teaches wrong things & does wrong the people should not follow Him.  But when this is the Case let the people thunder out the truth as it is.  Then the bishop will see it.  But unless the people Can point some better way let them follow the bishop.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 5 Feb., 1857)

7 Feb.:  Reformation/rebaptism in St. Louis.

“On Saturday 7th February, 1857, I called Elders J. H. Hart, C. Christiansen, A. L. Cunningham, J. W. Coward, I. M. Coombs, William Lewis, John Gordon and Bishop William Turner in the main hall of the church, where I presented unto them the subject of commencing first with ourselves the work of Reformation; and we counseled and prayed together and united before the Lord all day, and renewed our covenants with each other before the Lord.  At evening we dedicated with a prayer of faith a font or large water tank, which had just been finished for baptisms in the Church, and I took President Hart and first entered the font, and we baptized each other, and then I baptized the other brethren above named and laid hands on them and blessed them and they in turn blessed me and the Holy Spirit was renewed upon us all from that hour and we felt our offerings were accepted of our Heavenly Father, and we went forth with greatly increased strength among our brethren.  The same evening the High Council and bishop met in the office and I laid before them the letter from President Brigham Young and exhorted them to Reformation and newness of life, and invited them to follow our example and renew their covenants in baptism.  Most of them received the word gladly and were baptized on the following morning.”  (Erastus Snow diary, 7 Feb., 1857 [St. Louis]; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 5:447, 1962)

17 Feb.:  Wilford Woodruff on priesthood topics.

“In company with F. D. Richards I called upon President Young and asked him what I should do whare Council was asked of me either by the 70” or Bishops.  Joseph Young Said to the Quorum of seventies that when they were Called to be Bishops or Councillors that they might still retain their place as Presidents of the seventies & not be ordained High Priests.  Bishop Hunter thinks that they should Be ordained Bishops & High Priest.  What shall I do about it?  Presidet Young said if they would go their way & hold there tongue about it they might stand as they are & act as Councellors to a Bishop, but if they will not, ordain them.  I said I thought that men ought to walk in the Channel pointed out for them & not complain about it.  Presidet Young said yes let them do as they are told.

I spent the day in the office reading History & Councilling.  Elder L Snow & F. D. Richards was with me a part of the day.  I attended the Bishops meeting in the eveing.  Bishop Hunter spoke & I followed him.  I told the Bishops to impress upon the minds of the people the necessity of living their Religion after this date for if the people again Commit sin after being forgiven as they now were they would not again be forgiven but the Justice of the Law would be brought against them & they would have to pay the penalty or be cut off from the Church again.  I told them they should not boast of their authority & power or that a Seventy was greater than a High Priest or that a High Priest was greater than a seventy.  No man should boast of the power of the priesthood untill he obtained some of that power & it was manifested upon him & when that was upon him he certainly would not boast of it for the Holy spirit would teach him sens enough to know better.

It is vary seldom that I have known the power of the priesthood made manifest upon the Children of men in our [time] to a vary great Degree but in some instances it was manifest as in the Case of the prophet Joseph at the time his [house] was full of the sick & dying & his door Yard & they were Strewed along the bank of the River for 2 miles & Joseph Rose up & shook himself like an old Lyon & commenced at his own tent door & healed all the people who were not dead on both sides of the river by the power of God.  His voice was as the voice of God & the earth almost trembled under his feet as he comanded the sick to arise & be made whole.

It was also manifest with Joseph while made fast in Chains & in prision in Missouri & his wicked ungodly persecuters gathered around him & while he was made fast in chains with his Brethren yet they goaded his feelings by boasting of how many murders they had Commited & rapes upon mormon women & how they had Cut the mormons to peices.  Then they would blaspheme the name of God untill his spirit was reigned up & he rose up in the power of God in the midst of his chains & spoke as in the voice of thunder ‘Silence ye fiends of the pit.  I will not live another moment & hear such vile language from mortals.  Either you or I shall die right here or els you shall scease from boasting of such damnable deeds as you are guilty of.’  They quailed before his words like leather wilting in the flames & they bowed before him & made acknowledgements to him.  This was done by the power of God.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 17 Feb., 1857)

18 Feb.:  Seventies are dead to the spirit.

“I copy the following report from the presidency a month since:  He said that is Presidet Young that He wished the Brethren at Carson valley would come home.  President Kimball Said that I dont want to see the Presidents of the seventies in the stand untill they get more of the spirit of God for they are dead & the seventies have to receive their food through them.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 18 Feb., 1857)

18 Feb.:  Ordaining young men to be Teachers.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop gave some instruction respecting ordaining young men to be teachers.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 18 Feb., 1857)

4 Mar.:  13th Ward rebaptized.

“This day the 13th Ward was rebaptised my wife and my daughter Elizabeth Ann was baptized.”  (Hosea Stout diary, 4 Mar., 1857)

4 Mar.:  Entire ward rebaptized.

“About the time of the October conference of this year [1856], may be dated the commencing of a general reformation throughout the settlements in all the valleys of the mountains and throughout the Mormon world.  A catechism was got up and carried to every family by either bishops, teachers, or missionaries appointed in the wards for the purpose.  Many confessed who were guilty of transgression.  Others who were, or were not guilty, apostatized or left the church.  In fact, we had quite lively times during the winter and in the spring.

On the 4th of March, 1857, I went forth with my family and was rebaptized in the font erected in the twelfth ward, and confirmed in the evening of the same day.  (My family consisted of seven persons.)  All the members of the ward were rebaptized.  All the Saints in these valleys went forth and renewed their convenants by rebaptism, and the spirit was general throughout the world among all the Saints.  Missionaries were sent out for this purpose.  I will notice here that when Benjamin, my oldest son, was rebaptized he was christened Benjamin Joseph, instead of Jacob, in commemoration of being born on Joseph Smith’s birthday, December 23d.”  (“Journal of Ethan Barrows,” Journal of History 15:214, Apr., 1922)

5 Mar.:  Public confession.

[Fast Meeting]  “The Bishop [gave] some good instruction on cleanliness and living our religion.  Br. Jesse Haven spoke of some being to[o] anxious for office.  Was glad to see the feeling of the ward towards the Missionaries.  Br. Benjamin Dallow asked forgiveness for taking to[o] much drink.  The Brethern forgave him.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 5 Mar., 1857)

5 Mar.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Thursday Evening Meeting]  “Br. J. Haven addressed on the subject of the Female Relief Society which is for the Sisters to relieve their Husbands from buying tea and coffee.  The Bishop spoke on the same subject, also appointed Saturday next to baptise the Saints of the ward.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 5 Mar., 1857)

7 Mar.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Saturday]  “Names of persons baptised on the 7th and confirmed on the 8th:

[The record then lists the names of 205 members of the ward who were rebaptized beginning on 7 March, and continuing through 21 April, all part of the “Reformation,” in which most members of the Church were rebaptized.]”

(8th Ward Minutes, 7 Mar., 1857)

11 Mar.:  Public notice of excommunication.


From the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, March 1, 1857, WM. HAILSTONE, for unchristianlike conduct.

B. T. Mitchell, 

Bishop of the 15th Ward.”

(DN 7(1):8, 11 Mar., 1857)

12 Mar.:  Beginning of Reformation in Wales.

“I have desired to visit this spacious field of labour, among the first to whom I would endeavour to carry the Reformation, and to meet the presiding Elders of this mission at some convenient place, that we might have an understanding with each other about the important reformation that is required–to fast and pray, and to humble ourselves before the Lord, and to hammer and pound you, if necessary, until you can rightly repent of your past slothfulness and sins, confess them, and then go down into the waters of baptism, and renew your covenants.”  (Ezra T. Benson, 12 Mar., 1857, “Report of a Conference of the Presiding Elders of the Welsh Conferences, Assembled at ‘Udgorn Seion’ Office, Swansea, on Thursday and Friday, the 12th and 13th of March, 1857, for the Purpose of Commencing a Reformation in the Welsh Mission,” MS 19(19):290, 9 May, 1857)

22 Mar.:  Bishops must purge unrighteousness.

“We have got to purge out all ungodliness from our own souls, and we have to help others to do it also; and especially, if I may be allowed to make any distinction, it should be the business of the Bishops, because they have the oversight of the people in a Ward capacity, and they can have an eye through the Church which many of the Presidents of Quorums cannot have.”  (Franklin D. Richards, 22 Mar., 1857; JD 5:46)

29 Mar.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Sunday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop said that we had renewed our covenants [through rebaptism], now we must prove ourselves the friends of God that he may have confidence in us.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 29 Mar., 1857)

6 Apr.:  Unrighteous should be severed from your Quorums.

“If those who are heads of Quorums strictly attended to their duties, the man that does not live according to his late covenants, who violates the ordinances and laws of the house of God, would be severed from his Quorum and cut off from this Church; and if they will not do this, we will do it from this stand.  Men must quit swearing and taking the name of God in vain; they must refrain from lying, stealing, cheating, and doing that which they know they ought not to do, or they must be severed from this Church and kingdom.”  (Brigham Young, 6 Apr., 1857; JD 4:307)

“Pres B Young said that the peopel must quit thair swairing stealing & lying & have thair religen or the Pres of Corems must cut them off.”  (Elias Blackburn diary, 6 Apr., 1857)

13-15 Apr.:  Three wards rebaptized.

“Monday 13.  in the office &c.  Bro Duke baptised his Ward.

Tuse. [sic] Bro Bird baptised his Ward.

Wens 15 I baptised my Ward.”  (Elias Blackburn diary, 13-15 Apr., 1857)

16 Apr.:  Reformation/rebaptism.

[Thursday Evening Meeting]  “The Bishop cautioned the people to look after their horses and cattle & appointed Saturday next to baptise the rest of the people of the ward.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 16 Apr., 1857)

25 Apr.:  Restoration of Aaronic & Melchisedek Priesthoods


A divine Priesthood is nothing more nor less than the authority which God bestows upon intelligent beings to minister and govern in His name.  Many gifts and blessings may be bestowed upon man, under certain circumstances, without his possessing the Priesthood.  Without the Priesthood many zealous reformers have been raised up in different ages who have done much good; but they had no authority to minister Gospel ordinances, or to build up the Kingdom of God.  Indeed, men may enjoy the gift of prophecy and revelation, and still be without the authority of the Priesthood.  Such was the case with Abraham in the land of Chaldea: he might have enjoyed the lesser Priesthood or some of the appendages of the higher, but ther is no certainty even of this.  It is certain, however, that he received the higher Priesthood, under the hands of Melchisedek, after his arrival in the land of Canaan.  (See Doc. & Cov. sec. iv. par. 2.)

After Abraham had prophesied and done a great work in Chaldea, the Almighty said unto him:–‘Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.  As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee, that through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth for ever, for I am thy God.’  (Pearl of Great Price, p. 20.)  Visions, revelations, ministry of angels, and prophecy, were enjoyed by Abraham before he received the full authority under the hands of Melchisedek to build up the Kingdom of God.

Even our illustrious Prophet, Joseph Smith, saw visions, beheld angels, was filled with the Spirit of prophecy and revelation, and translated the greater part of the Book of Mormon, before he was blessed with any Priesthood, or had authority to minister the least ordinance of the Gospel.

Joseph–the Prophet, and Oliver Cowdery, were the first ones in this last dispensation who were favoured with the Priesthood.  Joseph, in writing his history, relates this event in the following words:–

We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month, (May, 1829,) 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 hands 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; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

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; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptize me.

Accordingly we went and were baptized; I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me; after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood; afterwards he laid his hands on me, and ordained me to the same Priesthood; for so were we commanded.

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, and that I should be called the first Elder, and he the second.

It was on the 15th day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of the Messenger, and baptized.  (See ‘History of Joseph Smith,’ Supplement to Millennial Star, vol. xiv. p. 15.)

After the Aaronic Priesthood had thus been restored to the earth, baptism for the remission of sins was frequently administered to the believing penitents; but as there was no one authorized to confirm the Gift of the Holy Ghost upon them, they sought diligently after the higher Priesthood.  Joseph, the Seer, says:–

We now became anxious to have that promise realized to us, which the angel that conferred upon us the Aaronic Priesthood, had given us, viz., that provided we continued faithful, we should also have the Melchisedek Priesthood which holds the authority of the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We had for some time made this matter a subject of humble prayer, and at length we got together in the chamber of Mr. Whitmer’s house, (Fayette, Seneca County, State of New York,) in order more particularly to seek of the Lord what we now so earnestly desired; and here, to our unspeakable satisfaction, did we realize the truth of the Saviour’s promise–‘Ask, and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you;’ for we had not long been engaged in solemn and fervent prayer, when the word of the Lord came unto us in the chamber, commanding us that I should ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ; and that he also should ordain me to the same office; and then to ordain others as it should be made known unto us from time to time.  We were, however, commanded to defer this our ordination, until such times as it should be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be baptized, assembled together, when we must have their sanction to our thus proceeding to ordain each other, and have them decide by vote, whether they were willing to accept us as spiritual teachers or not; when also we were commanded to bless bread and break it with them, and to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them; afterwards proceed to ordain each other, according to commandment; then call out such men as the Spirit should dictate, and ordain them; and then attend to the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, upon all those whom we had previously baptized, doing all things in the name of the Lord.  (See Supplement Millennial Star, vol. xiv. p. 20.)

Whether the Word or Voice of the Lord, which came unto them in the chamber of Mr. Whitmer, was accompanied by an open vision, we are not informed.  This revelation, concerning their future ordination to the office of Elder, is believed to have been given in June, 1829.  About this time, or shortly after, Peter, James, and John were sent to ordain them to the office of Apostles.

In an epistle to the Saints, dated Nauvoo, Illinois, Sept. 6th, 1842, Joseph, the Prophet, writes as follows:–

And again, what do we hear?  Glad tidings from Cumorah!  Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the Prophets–the Book to be revealed.  A voice of the Lord in the wildernes of Fayette, Seneca County, (State of New York,) declaring the three Witnesses to bear record of the Book.  The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light.  The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna County, and Colesville, Broome County, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times.

And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca County, {State of New York,} and at sundry times, and in divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And the voice of Michael, the arch-angel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring, each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honours, their majesty and glory, and the power of their Priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little–giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope.  (See ‘Doctrine and Covenants,’ sec. 106, par. 20, 21.)

In a revelation of Jesus Christ, given to Joseph, the Prophet, and Oliver Cowdery, in September, 1830, the Saviour promises them that he ‘will drink of the fruit of the vine’ with them on the earth, and with the ancient prophets from Adam down.  ‘And also with Peter, James, and John, whom,’ says Jesus, ‘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; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.’  (See ‘Doctrine and Covenants,’ sec. 50, par. 2 and 3.)

The precise date and place of the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, under the hands of Peter, James, and John, are not published in the History.  It may have been in the chamber of Mr. Whitmer, or it may have been in the wilderness near the banks of the Susquehanna river.  Whether they appeared to them more than once is not stated.  Whenever or wherever this ordination to the Apostleship was conferred upon them, it is certain that it was before the organization of the Church; for they were expressly commanded, after getting the sanction of the Church, to ordain each other to the office of Elders, before proceeding to officiate in the sacred ordinance of the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  The Church was organized on the 6th of April, 1830, and on the same day the ordinations were attended to as was commanded some ten months before.  (See Supplement, Millennial Star, vol. xiv. p. 26.)

The office of an Elder is only an appendage to the Melchisedek Priesthood.  After these servants of God had proved themselves faithful in magnifying the office of Elders, the Lord, on the 4th of February, 1831, gave to the Church an additional office or appendage by commanding Elder Partridge to ‘be appointed by the voice of the Church, and ordained a Bishop.’  (See ‘Doctrine & Covenants,’ sec. lxi, par. 3.)

The Melchisedek Priesthood itself was not yet given, but only its appendages.  But, ‘On the 6th of June, 1831, the Elders from the various parts of the country where they were labouring, came in; and the Conference, before appointed, convened in Kirtland,’ (Ohio); ‘and the Lord displayed his power in a manner that could not be mistaken.  The Man of Sin was revealed, and the authority of the Melchisedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders.’  (See Supplement, Millennial Star, vol. xiv. pp. 67, 68.)

On the 24th of January, 1832, a Conference was held in the town of Amherst, Ohio, where Joseph, the Prophet, was ordained the President of the High Priesthood.  (Millennial Star vol. xiv. p. 162.)

On February 17th, 1834, a first Presidency of three, and a Standing High Council of twelve were first organized.  (‘Doctrine and Covenants,’ sec. v.)

On February 14th, 1835, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was organized, and on February the 28th, 1835, the organizations of the Seventies commenced.  (See Millennial Star, vol. xv. pp. 205 to 207.  Also, page 230.)

It will be perceived that the Lord did not restore the full authority of the Melchisedek Priesthood at once, but conferred little by little: first, the Aaronic Priesthood which is only an appendage to the Melchisedek; secondly, the office of Elder and Apostle; thirdly, the office of Bishop; fourthly, the Melchisedek Priesthood; fifthly, the President of that Priesthood; sixthly, the organization of the first Presidency of three, and standing High Council of Twelve; seventhly, the organization of the Council of the Twelve Apostles; and eighthly, the organization of the Councils of Seventies.

The revelation, called Section II, was not all revealed in 1830.  The sixteenth and seventeenth paragraphs of this section, relating to some of the higher councils of the Priesthood, were given several years after the rise of the Church.

Joseph, the Prophet, in selecting the revelations from the Manuscripts, and arranging them for publication, did not arrange them according to the order of the date in which they were given, neither did he think it necessary to publish them all in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, but left them to be published more fully in his History.  Hence, paragraphs taken from revelations of a later date, are, in a few instances, incorporated with those of an earlier date.  Indeed, at the time of compilation, the Prophet was inspired in several instances to write additional sentences and paragraphs to the earlier revelations.  In this manner the Lord did truly give ‘line upon line, here a little and there a little,’ the same as He did to a revelation that Jeremiah received, which, after being burned by the wicked king of Israel, the Lord revealed over again with great numbers of additional words.  (See Jeremiah xxxvi. 32.)

After Joseph and Oliver were ordained by John the Baptist, why were they commanded by him to ordain each other?  It was in order to show the Church the patter after which others should be ordained.  It was necessary that they should receive the Priesthood, that their baptism might be legal; but when once the authority was restored, it was equally necessary that the Church should never permit an unbaptized person to be ordained: their re-ordination after baptism being a pattern for all future ordinations.

After Peter, James, and John had ordained them to the office of Apostles, why were they commanded to re-ordain each other as Elders, by the voice and sanction of the Church?  It was to set a perfect pattern for the Church, that future ordinations might not be conferred without her sanction, where there was a regularly organized Branch.  Jesus says, ‘Neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this Church, contrary to the Church covenants, for all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the Church by the prayer of faith.’  (See ‘Doctrine and Covenants,’ sec. li. par. 4.)

In beginning a dispensation, necesity or circumstances may compel the introduction to be somewhat different in form from what would be lawful after its proper establishment.  For instance, the marriage of brothers and sisters is not considered lawful, and yet the first children of Adam, united in matrimony, were brother and sister; and such marriage, under the circumstances, was legal.

So likewise, it is unlawful for the Church to bestow the Priesthood upon an unbaptized person, but inasmuch as there were no legally baptized persons on the earth constituting the Church, God bestowed the Priesthood upon two unbaptized persons, in order to begin, the work: and after it was once begun, ordinations were commanded to be bestowed according to order.  O how perfect is everything connected with this great and last dispensation!  How unlike the workings of imposture!  Every link is perfect, and placed in the right position in the grand chain.  The wisdom of God, manifested through the young and unlearned Prophet of the nineteenth century, confounds the wisdom of man as exhibited in the popular systems of priesthcraft, though sustained by the learning of ages.  Every thing connected with the Priesthood and doctrine of the Latter-day Church, loudly proclaims the workings of a God.”  (“Restoration of the Aaronic and Melchisedek Priesthoods,” unsigned lead article [Orson Pratt, Editor], MS 19(17):257-260, 25 Apr., 1857)

“President Pratt.

Dear Brother–On page 222 of the Compendium, it says that the Church was organized, Elders ordained, and hands laid on for the gift of the Holy Ghost, on the 6th of April, 1830, and that the Melchisedek Priesthood was first given June 6th, 1831.  I think from the following quotations from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants the Melchisedek Priesthood must have been restored June 6th, 1829, instead of June, 1831.  Doctrine and Covenants, page 201, par. 3–‘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 also Doctrine and Covenants, page 190, par. 3–‘And now, Oliver Cowdery, I speak unto you, and also unto David Whitmer, by the way of commandment; for, behold, I command all men everywhere to repent, and I speak unto you, even as unto Paul mine Apostle, for you are called even with that same calling with which he was called.’

Hoping you will excuse me for troubling you, I remain, your affectionate Brother in Christ,

Joseph Silver.

{As an answer to Brother Silver’s letter, we refer him to our Article on the RESTORATION OF THE AARONIC AND MELCHISEDEK PRIESTHOODS.–Ed.}”  (Joseph Silver to Orson Pratt, Editor, 27 Mar., 1857; MS 19(17):265, 25 Apr., 1857)

31 May:  The influence of a Bishop over his Ward.

“I have heard brother Brigham say that a Bishop now has more influence over his ward than Joseph had over the Church in his day.  Joseph could not so thoroughly control the people, for they were wild like bulls; but when he could not make them do what he wanted them to, he suffered them to do what they pleased.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 31 May, 1857; JD 4:330)

2 Jun.:  Hierarchy of priesthood to fix heavenly status.

“No law to bind a woman to a man here, but in the resurrection, purity will make every man & woman will be satisfied to be where they should be; and if a High priest & a good man loses a wife & she prefers an elder in the resurrection, the High priest can & will say where she should go and remain.  a man can show truth and light to any one whatever his priesthood, and do all the good he can without offence, the spirit and manner, may offend, but truth cannot.”  (Brigham Young diary, 2 Jun., 1857)

10 Jun.:  Propriety of building a storehouse.

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

17 Jun.:  Bishop blesses child, not father.

“On June 17th, 1857, Leonard Ethan was born.  When eight days old, on the 24th, he was blessed by L. W. Hardy, bishop of the ward.  The following is a copy which was reported by J. V. Long.

Leonard Ethan Barrows:   In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we take you in our arms and give a father’s blessing, and we ask God our heavenly Father to let his Spirit rest upon us at this time, that matter may be dictated to us at this time suitable for you, and that the blessings we put upon your head may be realized upon you.  We pray that the Holy Spirit may rest upon this child, that he may be preserved upon the earth until the Son of God shall come to dwell in the midst of his Saints, and that he may be filled with the Spirit of the Lord our God. . . .”  (“Journal of Ethan Barrows,” Journal of History 15:315, Jul., 1922)

12 Jul.:  Women receive no priesthood with endowments.

“Tell about loving God and His people!  If you do not love the man that leads you, you do not love that Being who confers all the blessings and privileges we enjoy.  Tell about loving God, and not love the men that lead you!  Get out with your nonsense.  Will that apply to the Elders?  Yes, and to the Seventies, the High Priests, Bishops, Teachers, and all men.  Any further?  Yes, it applies to you ladies, in your family capacity.  You have not any priesthood, only in connection with your husbands.  You suppose that you receive the priesthood when you receive your endowments; but the priesthood is on your husbands.  Can you honour God and the Priesthood, and abuse your husbands like the Devil?  How can you honour the Priesthood, except you honour the man you are connected with?  I am talking about good men: I will not in this connection say anything about bad men.  How can you honour the Priesthood, except you honour the one you are connected with?

The Father is the root, Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches.  The First Presidency is a quorum pertaining to this branch of the house of Israel, and the Twelve are connected with us; they make part of a branch.  And then the Seventies, another large branch on the same vine, and the High Priests, and Bishops, and so on, all belong to the vine.  Now, from whence did you come, sisters?  From when spring you and your children?  You spring from these main limbs and from that Priesthood.  If you did not spring out of the Priesthood, where did you come from?  Not many of you have legally sprung out of the Priesthood anywhere in the world in the latter days; but if you have a legal man, who has a legal Priesthood, you can raise heirs to the kingdom of God, and they become connected with it, without any of your washings, anointings, and sealings.  Go and read the Scriptures, and they will teach you a great many things, and it will strengthen your faith in what you hear from brother Brigham, brother Heber, and many others.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 12 Jul., 1857; JD 5:31)

12 Jul.:  Sealing of curses by the priesthood.

“I am thankful for the great and glorious principles that I have heard from brother Kimball this morning; and I can bear my testimony before angels and before my heavenly Father that every word he spoke has been by the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost.  I would like to have you tell of a time, if you can, when brother Brigham and brother Heber did not speak by the power of the Holy Ghost.  I know you cannot do it; and yet there are men who are continually whining because the First Presidency are so severe upon the workers of iniquity; but I don’t feel to take off the curses, but, by the authority and power that I have and the priesthood that has been sealed upon me, I seal those curses brother Kimball has pronounced, upon the heads of the guilty.”  (Patriarch John Young, 12 Jul., 1857; JD 5:24)

26 Jul.:  Joseph received authority from Peter.

“When Joseph was here, he was the head of the vine in the flesh; but since he stepped away, brother Brigham is head of the vine, and we are connected to it; all you men and women, and then all the Saints throughout the world are connected to that vine to which he is connected; and he has power and influence over them, because they partake of his nature and his element, and he partakes of the element that came through Joseph, and Joseph from Peter, and Peter from Jesus, and Jesus from the Father, and then it extends through all the Quorums that pertain to the house of Israel.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 26 Jul., 1857; JD 5:87)

8 Aug.:  Duties of Pastors and Presidents.

“DUTIES OF PASTORS AND PRESIDENTS.–It is the duty of a Pastor to set an example of diligence to all the officers over whom he presides.  To prune the trees of the Lord’s vineyard, trim up the branches, dig around the roots, and to see that they are all in a healthy, growing, and thriving condition, requires the utmost diligence and attention.  As a general thing, the Pastors are labouring with all their strength.  But in some few instances, too much slothfulness and negligence are manifested.

A Pastor should not only visit the Conferences under his charge as often as circumstances will admit, but he should make it convenient to visit the several Branches as often as possible; he should diligently inquire concerning the condition and welfare of each Branch, strengthen the Saints, and set in order the things which are wanting.

It is sometimes the case that a Pastor will occasionally visit the Conferences, and once in a while some of the principal Branches; he will seat himself down at ease in a Conference house, a boarding place, or among the more wealthy of the Saints, and will say to the officers, ‘Go and do this, that, and the other,’ without scarcely lifting a finger to bear a proportion of the labours: this is wrong.  A Pastor should be an example in doing, as well as in counselling to do.  He should preach to the officers, the Conferences, the Branches, and to the world: he should preach in chapels, and in the streets.  He should occasionally perform the duties of Teachers and Deacons, as well as to preside and counsel.  Let not a Pastor think too much of himself, and suppose that he can sit at ease and in luxury, because he is exalted to a high responsibility.  If he consider himself highly honoured and favoured of the Lord, let him manifest it by becoming the servant of all, and a pattern for all.  He who takes honour to himself, and trusts in his own strength, and supposes himself better than his brethren, because of his superior responsibility, will be abased and brought low; while the humble and worthy will, in due time, be exalted.  The more authority is given, the more is required, and the greater is the danger of falling through negligence and unfaithfulness in our stewardships.  Remember that you are the ministers not only of the word, but also of the Spirit, power, and life of the word.  If you are slothful, your Pastorates will become slothful; if you have lost the life and energy of your religion, those over whom you preside, will partake, in a measure, of the same deadness.  If you are full of faith, hope, and zeal, the same heavenly gifts will be diffused through the Saints.  If you are awake to your duties, your followers will be awake also.  As are the officers, so will be the members.  If any man would be praised, let his works praise him: they will speak louder than words.

These instructions are intended, not only for the Pastors, but for the Presidents of Conferences, so far as their authority and jurisdiction extend.  We fear that there are some of the Presidents who are too fond of the parlour, the sofa, and of ease.  This is not a day of repose nor of rest; but it is a day of hard labour–a day of sacrifice–a day when every faculty of the mind and body should be exerted to save men, and bring forth Zion on the earth.  Let your voices be heard, and your light shine, by day and by night, until the vineyard is pruned: then shall the Lord of the vineyard say unto His servants, ‘Rest with me in my kingdom, and rejoice in the fruits of your labours.'”  (Editorial [Orson Pratt, Editor], MS 19(32):504-505, 8 Aug., 1857)

24 Aug.:  Lyman Wight to Wilford Woodruff:  Baneemy.

“. . . while at Father Bosley’s in his sugar orchard in 1834 he thare blesses and ordained me to the office of Baneemy.  And the fishing river revelation says Baneemy whom I have appointed, and you will very well recolect at salt river I was ordained to take command of the army, and done so till it was disbanded, then I was ordained as councilor to the president of the high council and to take the census of the joining Counties, and to say who should return home and who should stay.”  (Lyman Wight to Wilford Woodruff, 24 Aug., 1857.)

24 Aug.:  Lyman Wight:  General priesthood items.

“. . . they succeeded in builing [sic] up a church of 130 members myself and family was baptized by P. P. Pratt; on the 14th of Nov 1830 in the shagreen river at Kirtland Ohio.  I was confirmed on the 18th and ordained on the 20th by O. Cowdry; my ordination was a little novel we traveled into the woods about half a mile and placed ourselves behind a large oak tree after a most solemn prayer he intended to ordain me a priest but ordained me an elder he after wards told me he done it in conformity to a vocal voice but in all these matters I confess my knowlede [sic] was very limited indeed.”  (Lyman Wight to Wilford Woodruff, 24 Aug., 1857)  

30 Aug.:  Priesthood is legitimate government of God.

“The Priesthood upon the earth is the legitimate government of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth.

Some people ask, ‘What is Priesthood?’  I answer, ‘It is the legitimate rule of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth;’ and it is the only legitimate power that has a right to rule upon the earth; and when the will of God is done on earth as it is in the heavens, no other power will bear rule.

Then, if we look at it in this point of view, we are standing in a peculiar position; we are standing here as the representatives of God, and the only true representatives he has upon the earth; for there is not another power or government upon the earth that acknowledges God for their ruler, or head, but this: there is not another.”  (John Taylor, 30 Aug., 1857; JD 5:187)

11 Oct.:  We have counsel from Bishops, Teachers, & Pres.

“I mention these little things because they come under our observation every day.  We have counsel from our Bishops, Teachers, and Presidents.  This is the method through which we receive counsel, and we must respect the counsel that comes from all these authorities.  If we respect God and his servants, he will respect us; but if we do not respect him, he will not respect us, because we have no respect for the truth nor for God.”  (Daniel Spencer, 11 Oct., 1857; JD 6:217)

16 Oct.:  Don’t bless infants dying w/in a few hours.

“In turning from this subject to little Children President Young said when some people have little Children born at 6 & 7 months from pregnancy & they live a few hours then die they bless them name them & [.] but I dont do it for I think that such a spirit has not a fair Chance for I think that such a spirit will have a Chance of occupiying another Tabernacle and develop itself.  This is new doctrin yet it looks Consistant.  What period of Demarkation or age the spirit would take another Body we were not informed.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 16 Oct., 1857)

1 Nov.:  What is God’s priesthood?

“What is his Priesthood?  It is the rule, authority, administration, if you please, of the government of God on the earth or in the heavens; for the same Priesthood that exists upon the earth exists in the heavens, and that Priesthood holds the keys of the mysteries of the revelations of God; and the legitimate head of that Priesthood, who has communion with God, is the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator to his Church and people on the earth.

When the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven, that Priesthood will be the only legitimate ruling power under the whole heavens; for every other power and influence will be subject to it.  When the millennium which we have been speaking of is introduced, all potentates, powers, and authorities–every man, woman, and child will be in subjection to the kingdom of God; they will be under the power and dominion of the Priesthood of God: then the will of God will be done on the earth as it is done in heaven.”  (John Taylor, 1 Nov., 1857; JD 6:25)

8 Nov.:  Peter, James and John and restoration of MP.

“Do you suppose that God in person called upon Joseph Smith, our Prophet?  God called upon him; but God did not come himself and call, but he sent Peter to do it.  Do you not see?  He sent Peter and sent Moroni to Joseph, and told him that he had got the plates.  Did God come himself?  No: he sent Moroni and told him there was a record, and says he, ‘That record is matter that pertains to the Lamanites, and it tells when their fathers came out of Jerusalem, and how they came, and all about it; and, says he, ‘If you will do as I tell you, I will confer a gift upon you.’  Well, he conferred it upon him, because Joseph said he would do as he told him.  ‘I want you to go to work and take the Urim and Thummim, and translate this book, and have it published, that this nation may read it.’  Do you not see, by Joseph receiving the gift that was conferred upon him, you and I have that record?

Well, when this took place, Peter came along to him and gave power and authority, and, says he, ‘You go and baptise Oliver Cowdery, and then ordain him a Priest.’  He did it, and do you not see his works were in exercise?  Then Oliver, having authority, baptised Joseph and ordained him a Priest.  Do you not see the works, how they manifest themselves?

Well, then Peter comes along.  Why did not God come?  He sent Peter, do you not see?  Why did he not come along?  Because he has agents to attend to his business, and he sits upon his throne and is established at head-quarters, and tells this man, ‘Go and do this;’ and it is behind the vail just as it is here.  You have got to learn that.

Peter comes along with James and John and ordains Joseph to be an Apostle, and then Joseph ordains Oliver, and David Whitmer, and Martin Harris; and then they were ordered to select twelve more and ordain them.  It was done.  Do you not see works were manifest?  They received the truth, and thus you and I are here to-day; and if it had not been for the practice, you and I would not have been here, would we?”  (Heber C. Kimball, 8 Nov., 1857; JD 6:29-30.  Note that this sounds a bit different than other Kimball discourses–it was reported by Leo Hawkins.)

8 Nov.:  Farm land should be blessed and dedicated.

“Does the earth conceive?  It does, and it brings forth.  If it did not, why do you go and put your wheat into the ground?  Does it not conceive it?  But it does not conceive except you put it there.  It conceives and brings forth, and you and I live, both for food and for clothing, silks and satins.  What! satin grow?  Yes.  What produces it?  The silkworm produces it.  Does the silkworm produce except it conceives?  No, it eats of the mulberry tree.  Where does the mulberry tree come from?  It comes from the earth.  Where did the earth come from?  From its parent earths.

Well, some of you may call that foolish philosophy.  But if it is, I will throw out foolish things, that you may gather up wise things.  The earth is alive.  If it was not, it could not produce.  If you find a piece of earth that is dead, you cannot produce anything from it, except you resurrect it and restore it to life.  If that is not true philosophy, it is nothing that I have produced.  It is what every man knows, if he can only reflect.  But I thought it was a curious doctrine when that Methodist spoke of it.

How could my head produce hair, if it was dead?  Neither can the earth produce grain, if it is dead.  Now, brethren, do you not see the propriety of our blessing the earth–the earth that we inhabit and cultivate?  If you do not see the propriety of it, for heaven’s sake do not bless the sacrament again.  Do not take a bottle of oil to the prayer-circle to be blessed, when you do not believe the earth can be blessed.

If you have got half-an-acre, you can bless it, and dedicate it, and consecrate it to God, and ask him to fill it with life.  Well, then, if you can bless half-an-acre, why can you not bless a whole acre?  And if you can bless an acre, why can you not bless all this Territory?”  (Heber C. Kimball, 8 Nov., 1857; JD 6:36)

22 Nov.:  Women have not a particle of priesthood.

“Women have not a particle of Priesthood, only what they hold in connection with their husbands; neither have the men, except that which they hold in connection with those who hold the keys of the kingdom at head-quarters.  Do not step out on one side and say you have the Priesthood independent.  You have not a particle in that way.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 22 Nov., 1857; JD 6:67)

5 Dec.:  Thoughts on Church Government in Britain.

“GOVERNMENT.–Eighteen hundred and fifty-seven is fast approaching its final period, and the time is rapidly rolling round when the administrative functions of the Church in Europe will undergo a change.  In the waning of the old year, it has been the rule for the presiding Elders in these lands to be released to gather home to Zion with their flocks, or else they have received appointments to new fields of labour.  It has also oftentimes been the case that those who have not presided before have been appointed as Conference Presidents, while they who have held that office have been entrusted with the more responsible duties of the Pastoral charge.  The closing of every year, therefore, brings a momentous epoch to the Church in Europe.  Though 1858 might not see a large gathering of the Saints, it is probable that changes will be made in the ministerial organization of this mission, at least as important as any that have yet taken place.  For this reason we deem it needful to offer some general instruction to the Priesthood under our charge, and to treat upon a subject suitable to the occasion.

In the establishment of the kingdom of God, it is obvious that the first great qualification of the Priesthood is, if we may so express ourselves, the art of convincing; and the first duty of the Saints is to warn their neighbours and to preach the Gospel of Christ to the unbeliever.  But, as the kingdom grows, the art of government comes in, and its internal interests and organization become the most prominent matter for attention.  Not only is this the case with the kingdom of God, but it is also true of all earthly kingdoms.  Nations have been powerful, and have sent their glory afar to the ends of the earth, while they have travelled the path of conquest.  But kingdoms, whose glory has increased while they have conquered others, have been broken into atoms; and their greatness has departed, when they have been thrown upon the strength of their internal organization and left to their home policy.  But it is by home policy and its internal organization that the real strength of a nation is tested.  Sooner or later this test must come, and none as yet have been able to abide it.  It has been the history of empires, that while they have conquered they have flourished.  But ambition and worldly conquest will in time be sure to hear that startling command to halt–‘Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther.’  Then comes the danger of human institutions–the test of national strength.  The great kingdoms of the earth have been wrecked by their international policy and the impotence of their rulers.  The mission of conquest, then, any more than that of proselytizing, is not the greatest mission: that belongs to the government.

The organization of the Latter-day Kingdom is wonderful.  Its union is fast growing terrible to the nations, and its internal policy is the most remarkable that the history of the world affords.  Indeed the latter is startling to established customs, and it actually sets the brains of astonished lookers-on into an extraordinary whirl.  Nothing has manifested the power of endurance and vitality of the Kingdom of Saints so much as its internal and peculiar policy.  Society has had tens of thousands engaged in the work of proselytizing, and millions enlisted in the mission of conquest.  The Elders, in multiplying disciples and adding subjects to the kingdom, are, therefore doing no more than others have done.  Excepting that they are working for another master, they are in this, figuratively speaking, merely engaged in a trade in which all the sects are proficient, and travelling in a path with which every nation is more or less familiar.  But, in their government and internal policy, they are continually solving new and wonderful problems.

The time has come for the Priesthood in England to demonstrate something more than the mere fact that they are in a kingdom whose organization and general policy is superior to that of all others.  They must show that they are inspired by the same administrative power and spirit which is manifested by the authorities in Zion, and that the wisdom which the Prophet Brigham displays in his movements has flowed in streams from the Great Fountain, and has been imbibed copiously by them.  Let the Elders and every officer of the Church in these lands prove that they know how to govern in their various callings as well as they do to proselyte.  If they cannot now do this, let them hasten to cultivate the great art of government.  Let the native Priesthood in this mission prepare themselves so that, should they be called upon to bear the part of self-government in a Church capacity, they may be found equal to the task.

We intend, before the close of the year, to treat on several branches of government, either in the shape of editorials or as articles.  We hope attention will be specially directed to them, as they will be on financial administration and general economy.  However, we cannot defer impressing upon the minds of the presiding officers especially the following duties and facts; for they cannot be understood and appreciated too soon:–

Let all the Priesthood in the mission use every effort to place their Pastorates, Conferences, Districts, and Branches in the best possible working condition.  Let every Pastor or President who anticipates being removed or released make it a point of honour to give his field of labour into the hands of his successor in as flourishing a state as he can, and not leave it to him groaning under disease and burdens.  Let it be also understood that the resources of the Church should be husbanded and appropriated to the best purposes, and in the most economical manner!  If a Pastorate, Conference, District, or even Branch of any size, unless in very peculiar cases, finds itself involved in difficulties, or barely out of debt, at the end of the year, it is a ready conclusion that such has had bad financiers and rulers–men neither competent to govern nor to be entrusted with the means of the Saints.  Although we do not wish any to cultivate a niggardly and ungenerous spirit, let it be distinctly understood that the resources of God’s kingdom are not to be squandered on individuals, but to be used for the building up of that kingdom and the gathering of Israel.  Especially let it be understood that it is not for the Elders to buy personal favour with the funds of the Church.  We would impress on the minds of those who buy or sell favour through the means of the Church that God will not hold them guiltless.”  (Editorial [S. W. Richards, Editor], MS 19(50):776-778, 5 Dec., 1857)

“ORDER IN GOVERNMENT.–Order is said to be the first great law of nature.  It must prominently characterize all human governments and institutions, to render them efficient; but far more should it characterize the doings of those who administer in the governmental affairs of the Church and kingdom of God.  In that kingdom we have a right to expect the perfection of order, or the highest degree of perfection that exists upon the earth.  Those who bear the Priesthood of God on the earth are the administrators of His law and government.  If they see eye to eye–if their understandings are equally enlightened by the same Spirit, their administrations produce on earth the same harmony, order, and oneness that dwell in heaven.  Through this channel His kingdom may come and His will may be done on earth as in heaven.  But if those administrators do not see eye to eye–do not understand as they wish to be by others understood, confusion, disorder, contention, and finally strife and opposition are the result.  All experience goes to show that such a state of things would soon prove the overthrow of any kingdom; and as this is not the destiny of God’s kingdom, order and discipline must be observed by those who are aiding to build it up.  The order of God’s Priesthood is such that every officer can administer in the duties and functions of his calling, without infringing upon the position and calling of another.

To illustrate this, we will notice the present organization of the Church in the British Isles.  There is a President with his Counsellors over the whole; next there are Pastors over districts, Presidents over Conferences, and Presidents over Branches, each one of whom should faithfully honour his calling, by being found always discharging its duties.  When this is the case, every man can lawfully be held responsible for the work and charge committed to him; but if he is not allowed to control that work, he cannot be held responsible for it.

In our travels among the Churches, we find that this order is not observed.  We see the President of a Branch, at a Branch meeting, turned out of his place, and the President of a Conference in it.  We see the President of a Conference, at a Conference meeting, turned out of his place, and a Pastor in it; and so on through the various grades.  Instead of every man having a place, and being in that place, we find the policy adopted by some is to put themselves into another’s place, thought it be by crowding some one out.  Why this system has prevailed we are not able to divine, unless it is that some have falsely imagined they were getting to themselves a greater degree of glory by condescending to act in a lesser sphere than their calling demanded.  If there is any glory or blessing to be derived from acting in any particular calling, that glory or blessing rightfully belongs to the person filling that calling, and he should not be robbed of it by another.

We do not wish to be understood that a Pastor has no right to officiate in the calling of a President of a Conference or a Branch; for he has this right, if either of those offices should be vacant, or the incumbent unable to discharge his duties; but if he does it otherwise than from necessity, he destroys, in a degree, his own influence and power, and robs another of what justly belongs to him.  If the President of a Branch is worthy to preside over its members and interests six days in a week, why not on the seventh, when they are assembled together?  If the President of a Conference proves himself worthy, by faithfully watching over its members and interests for three or six months, why is he not worthy to preside over it when assembled in a General Conference capacity, as well as when scattered?  Who, indeed, can be so well qualified to administer counsel and instruction suited to their circumstances as he who is most acquainted with those circumstances.

The President of a Branch or Conference has undoubtedly the right to tender the presidency of any meeting in his hands, as a matter of courtesy, to a superior officer, if one be present; but that officer will seldom have occasion to accept the offer, as he is no more the President of the meeting, by so doing, than he was before, if the meeting be within the limits of his jurisdiction.  The President of a Conference does not increase a Pastor’s rights, prerogatives, or powers, by tendering to him the Presidency of a Conference meeting.  His calling is to preside over more than one Conference, and he has a right to dictate all things under his Presidency according to his own will and pleasure, that being the pleasure of his superior officer; and all lesser officers sustain a similar relationship to each other in their respective appointments.  When the natural and legitimate duties of a Pastor, President of Conference, or President of a Branch, do not afford him sufficient labour, without turning another faithful officer out of his place, he may apply to us, and we can find him enough to do where he will have no occasion for trespassing upon the rights and privileges of another.

It is an important feature in the administration of government that every officer performs the duties of his own office; and so far as he has charge or oversight of others, it is to see that they faithfully perform the duties of their respective offices, and not especially to do those duties himself.  When this order is observed, the utmost harmony exists in every department of government.  It would be obviously improper for two men to be appointed to fill two distinct offices, were either one of those men expected or required to perform the duties of both.  Every officer holding an office in the Church of God should not only understand the duties of that office, but he should understand the duties of every officer under him, otherwise he is not qualified to direct those officers in the discharge of their duties; and to direct them being a prominent duty of his own office, he is obviously unqualified for the position he occupies, the result of which is shame and dishonour to himself, and disorder and confusion in every grade of authority that has been subject to his ignorant and unwise administration.

Let every officer and man, therefore, go to and learn his duty, and every one be found standing in his lot and place, honouring and bearing the responsibilities of his calling.  Then shall the work of God prosper exceedingly in their hands, and the order of heaven established upon the earth shall bring eternal life to all that embrace it.  Every soul that will embrace that order under Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, &c., can be made perfect if they continue in it; for it was ordained of God for the ‘work of the ministry’ and the perfecting of the Saints.”  (Editorial [S. W. Richards, Editor], MS 19(50):792-794, 12 Dec., 1857)

“The Church is not an organization that will merely answer to the idea of a community of members.  There is not a faithful man of any length of standing in the Church in Utah who is not an officer–who does not hold some portion of the Priesthood.  This community of officers–this ‘kingdom of Priests,’ is divided into its various branches, and every officer enters his respective Quorum.  Every city [in Utah] has its President and High Council; every Ward has its Bishop and his assistants.  The whole is organized under one general Church Government; and the Leader holds the strings which control the entire mass and direct every interest.  This fact is more or less generally known. . . .

Every officer and member is responsible and subject to his quorum and to the proper authorities in relation to all that we have named.  The Bishops and their assistants overlook every family, to see that they are in the faith, that they are moral and just to themselves and their neighbours, that they are in order and performing their religious duties; to counsel, comfort, and take care of the poor; to develop and direct the material wealth of the community; to see that all are wise and diligent stewards, and that there exist neither squandering nor want: Carrying it higher, the Prophet directs the entire body–the members and the officers–their religion, their morals, their means, their movements, and their destiny.”  (“Government,” unsigned lead article [S. W. Richards, Editor], MS 19(51):804, 19 Dec., 1857)

13 Dec.:  Becoming an heir to the Priesthood.

“And these little boys, I want them to honour their calling.  Here are lost of them.  Have they the Priesthood on them?  Yes.  Have they all been ordained?  Not directly; but their fathers have been, and that ordination tells on their seed after them.  They are legal heirs to the Priesthood of God, without an ordination.  They receive it from their fathers; and when they were blessed, their seed was blessed in their loins, like Abraham’s; and when that seed is committed to an angelic woman, she is accountable whether she degenerates that seed or not.  It is for her to train up that child, and nourish it, and cherish it, and restore it to the Father as pure as it was when she received it.

If you have the Priesthood, you are in the same condition that I am.  These things are serious to me; they are essential to me and to this people.  After receiving the Priesthood, when a person receives his endowment, he is an heir to the Priesthood–an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ; that is, he has commenced his heirship.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 13 Dec., 1857; JD 6:125)

13 Dec.:  Mary was of the Royal Priesthood.

“The Father waited until the meridian of time–that is, till the time was half up, before he came on the earth and begat in the flesh the Son of God, who was to be our Saviour.  Was every woman qualified to raise that child?  No.  You will find that Mary was of the Royal Priesthood, which is after the order of God; and he was particular who raised that child, that it might be trained according to his dictation.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 13 Dec., 1857; JD 6:125)

13 Dec.:  Advantages to those begotten under Priesthood.

“The children of the Latter-day Saints are different from the children of the world.  We have heard to-day that those that were begotten under the order of the Priesthood were endowed with greater power, ability, and knowledge than those children born among the Gentiles.”  (Bishop Lorenzo D. Young, 13 Dec., 1857; JD 6:212)

27 Dec.:  How to dedicate our children to the Lord.

“I am preaching these things to my brethren and sisters, that they may know, if they have not dedicated and consecrated their children to the Lord, that it has to be done.  But you may inquire, ‘How shall we do it?’  You will have to do it as brother Brigham and others have done when in Nauvoo.  We had to take our children and wash and anoint them, and place the birthright and father’s blessing upon them in the house of God, and then have then sealed to us; and you will have to do just so.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 27 Dec., 1857; JD 6:190-191)