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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1861

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1861.” You can view other years here.

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1861:  12 Jan.:  Pastors now called District Presidents.

“Among other changes that we have been led to make, it has been deemed proper to alter to some extent the duties of the Pastors, or as they are now known, District Presidents.  Instead of the Conference Presidents making their reports and paying their monies as heretofore to the Pastors, we wish them to be sent direct to this Office.  After canvassing this matter in all its lights, we are of the opinion that this change will be attended with beneficial results.  We think it will be less expensive, as it will leave the District Presidents free to attend to the other duties of their calling in any portion of the field, without compelling them to repair at the end of every month to their stated place of business, besides freeing them from many little expenses connected at present with the making out and forwarding of the reports of the Conferences in their Districts.  The business of this office may be increased somewhat by this change, but not to so great an extent as to be too burdensome.  We desire the District Presidents tao be freed from everything that will curtail their usefulness in the ministering of the word of life to the people.  Instead of having a home in some particular place in their Districts, where they would spend a large portion of their time, it is expected that their home will be wherever their presence and instructions are most needed, caring for and penetrating every portion of their fields, and exercising ceaseless vigilance in attending to all the interests of the work of God entrusted to them and to those under their presidency.  Though they will be relieved from the business of transmitting the reports and funds of their Districts to this Office, yet we wish them, as they visit their Conferences, to have access to the books and reports, and to keep themselves informed as to their condition.”  (Editorial [George Q. Cannon, editor], MS 23(2):24-25, 12 Jan., 1861)

12 Jan.:  Leaders no longer to be supported by tithing.

“As it is now expected by the First Presidency of the Church that the Priesthood of this Mission will sustain themselves, independent of the Tithing and other Church funds, it is desirable that the expenses of the Elders should be as light as possible.  That the Tithing and other Church funds might be kept intact for the uses for which they were designed, and the Saints in these lands be cleared from the expense of bringing the Elders from and returning them to Zion, President Young counselled the raising of a Missionary Fund.  Through that fund those who have not the means to fit themselves are furnished with sufficient to carry them to their fields of labour and to pay their expenses on their return; and if their families, during their absence, should run short of means to provide for themselves, they are provided for.  This arrangement takes these expenses from the shoulders of the Saints abroad, where they have hitherto mainly rested, and places them upon the Saints at home.”  (Editorial [George Q. Cannon, editor], MS 23(2):25, 12 Jan., 1861)

2 Feb.:  We must be obedient to the Priesthood.

“The Lord requires his Saints to be obedient to his Priesthood.  If any who bear it do wrong, he attends to them.  We never saw an instance of an Elder acting dishonestly, or taking a wrong course of any kind, that did not himself suffer to a far greater extent than the obedient Saints connected with him or under his care.  He injures himself far more than he can possibly injure them.  When the Saints are obedient to the requirements of the Lord on this point, he overrules everything for their good, so that in the end they are not the losers.

The Saints, then, in all their intercourse with the Elders, should feel and act towards them as servants of the Most High God sent in their midst to benefit and bless them, and should never permit distrustful thoughts and causeless suspicions of them to have place within their bosoms.  The Priesthood is bestowed upon these men, that they may be saviours to a certain extent to their fellow-men; and they, to magnify it, have in many instances left all they hold dear on earth.  If they derogate from the dignity of it by improper conduct, they themselves are the greatest sufferers.”  (Editorial [George Q. Cannon, editor], MS 23(5):73, 2 Feb., 1861)

7 Feb.:  Members shouldn’t “go to law” with difficulties.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop said he had heard of some going to law with one another.  Wished the Brethren when they had difficulties to settle them in a proper manner and take a course to make peace, for Gentile courts did not make peace.  Those that was weak in the faith take a course to straighten and build up [and] save all that was worth saving.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 7 Feb., 1861)

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

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

7 Mar.:  Teachers’ report, Br. Brown.

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

16 Mar.:  Instructions on excommunication of members.

“There is no power bestowed upon the Priesthood that should be exercised with greater discrimination and wisdom than the power to sever offending members from the Church.  There is no doubt but this power, in the hands of hasty, inconsiderate men, has often been abused.  An excess of zeal in some instances, a desire of showing authority in others, and personal pique in others–qualities which have their origin in ignorance–have frequently promted action upon this point; and the result has been that many person shave been excommunicated from the Church, who, if wisely and mercifully dealt with, might have been brought to see the error or their ways, and repented.  True wisdom and experience will teach us that it is our duty to exercise the heavenly qualities of mercy, and to strive to save men as fathers, rather than to exercise authority over them as masters.

The Presidency here have taken this matter into consideration.  We wish, in future, when there are offending members, whose conduct is such as to demand excommunication, that instead of the Branch Presidents acting upon the cases in their Branch meetings, and cutting off the persons so offending, they will notify the President of their Conference, who can inform the District President of the existence of such cases; and before any Conference President shall take action upon such cases, he shall have the sanction of his District President.  This may seem like a slow arrangement; but we are satisfied that it will be better than to give any persons cause to say that they were dealt with in a harsh or arbitrary manner.  It secures the united counsel of all the presiding officers, with the benefit of their united experience and will bring into exercise that wisdom and spirit of kindness which should ever attend the Priesthood.  Of course this counsel is not intended to deprive the Branches of all power to express their disapprobation of wickedness, and to leaven them burdened with characters guiltyi of flagrant wrongs, without the power to act in the matter.  When such cases occur, the Branches can disfellowship the parties until further action can be taken upon them.”  (Editorial [George Q. Cannon, editor], MS 23(11):170, 16 Mar., 1861)

20 Mar.:  Negligent 70s should be disfellowshipped.


At a meeting of the General Council of Seventies, held in Seventies’ Council Hall, Great Salt Lake City, on the 2d inst., it was moved, seconded and unanimously carried that the quorums are at liberty, when presidents or members absent themselves from their quorum meetings (without reasonable excuse), to take an expression in their quorums that they disfellowship the act of negligence.

Published by order of the First Council of Seventies,

R. H. Attwood, Clerk.”

(DN 11(3):23, 20 Mar., 1861)

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

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

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

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

6 Apr.:  Nature of MP quorums.

“President Brigham Young arose and gave the following instructions:

We will readily perceive that the Quorums of the Seventies are somewhat different from other Quorums in the Church.  The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one Quorum, they are the apostles to all the world.  The High Priests’ Quorum is strictly but one quorum, though many quorums of High Priests are made to accomodate members of that quorum living in different localities.  The Seventies are definitely multiplied by Seventies.  The first Seventy was called in the winter of 1835, the winter after we returned from Missouri.  What is called Zion’s camp went to Missouri in 1834.  The next following winter the Twelve Apostles were chosen.  The Prophet Joseph also then began to organize quorums of Seventies.  He organized one quorum, then he told the brethren to call up other Elders and ordain them into the Seventies, forming another Quorum of Seventies, and then another, and then a fourth quorum, and a fifth, and a sixth, etc.  How many quorums are there now, brother Joseph?  {Brother Joseph, ’62.’}  There are now sixty-two Quorums of Seventies.

The first Quorum of Seventies, where are they?  Seven of them are here as First Presidents of the Seventies, and sixty-three of them now stand at the head of different quorums of Seventies.  Sixty-three of them have been made presidents over quorums.  It works very differently to what it does in other quorums in the Church.  That leaves the first seven men, apparently isolated, over the body of the first Seventy.  The quorum they were called to preside over have been taken and made presidents of other quorums, consequently there are only seven men now belonging to the first Quorum.  Do we say that is a fact?  No, only apparently, for, when the seven presidents over the first Quorum wish to call their quorum together (they meet in quorum meetings such as you attend frequently in the Seventies’ Hall,) they call the presidents of the various quorums together, and that is virtually their quorum.  There are now seven presidents to transact business, to guide, dictate, and direct the presidents of all the Seventies, and to call and ordain other quorums, of Seventies.  This virtually makes them the presidents of all the Seventies.  What is their true position in the kingdom of God?  They are the first seven presidents of all the Seventies.

Bro. Joseph is the senior president over the first seven presidents of the Seventies.  Bro. Orson Hyde is the senior man now in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of those first chosen into that quorum.  This calls him, by his age, to be the president of that quorum.  Now, I will go a step further for your consideration.  The oldest man–the senior member of the first Quorum will president, each in his turn, until every one of them has passed away.  The next quorum that comes into action may take the senior man for a president, but not until the first Quorum is gone.  Bro. Orson Hyde and br. Orson Pratt, sen., are the only two that are now left in the Quorum of the Twelve that br. Joseph Smith selected.  Perhaps there are a great many here who never thought of these ideas, and never head anything said about them.

I will remark a little further.  When br. Lyman Wight was ordained into the Quorum of the Twelve he was an older man that I, and yet I was the President of the Twelve.  He and others believed that he ought to be the president, but you can readc the revelation in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.  The Lord said to Joseph, I have given to you my servant Brigham to be the President of the Twelve.  Lyman could not be the President of the Twelve.  This will explain all that is now necessary on this point.

To return to the Seventies.  The first seven are now presented.  They are a body of men presiding over all the Seventies, and they are all presidents; but in all organized quorums in the kingdom of God there must be a head, or a presiding officer, as well in the first Quorum of Seventies as in others, as you can read in the revelations.”  (General Conference Minutes, 6 Apr., 1861; DN 11(6):44, 10 Apr., 1861)

7 Apr.:  Brigham’s hold threatened.

“Br. Wilford Woodruff journalizes as follows:  The presidency and Elders Orson Hyde, Geo. A. Smith, Lorenzo Snow and Wilford Woodruff of the Twelve, in the evening, met in prayer circle. . . . Before the circle adjourned Pres. Young said: ‘I want to say a few words to Bro. Orson Hyde.  At the opening of this general conference I was there one minute before the time and Bro. Hyde had opened the conference by prayer and singing, and I must say, I was mortified.  I am the president of the whole Church and it is my place to preside at a general conference.  Did you ever know me in the days of Joseph to step forward and take his place and open a general conference without he directed me to do so, Or did you know me to interfere with the rights of any man?  No, you have not.  I should have waited an hour after the time before I should have opened the conference, but Bro. Hyde opened it before the time and he has served me the same several times, and I do not wish to see it done any more.’

Elder Orson Hyde said: ‘It never entered my heart that I was doing wrong.  Several who were present, said it was 10 o’clock, and asked me to open the conference, and I only did so to open the way for you.  Bro. George asked me this noon to open the conference and I told him no; for I had heard that you were not pleased about it.’  Geo. A. Smith said: ‘I did not ask him and it did not enter into my heart, but that all was right.’

Bro. Hyde said: ‘I will think of it in the future; I do not think any one of the Twelve thought of it.’

Pres. Young: ‘No, I will ask all of you.  How would you feel if you had a work to do which God and the heavens held you responsible for; and just as you were about to step forth and do it, another man should rise up and take it out of your hands before the people, as though you were not qualified to do it, or was neglecting your duty.  You would not like it; you would feel chagrined, and so did I.  Now we can see by this, how easy it is for a man to walk into a mud hole when he thinks he is walking on solid ground.  Then let us all profit by this example and be careful that we do not interfere with the rights of others.'”  (JH 7 Apr., 1861)

10 Apr.:  Order of the Quorums/Seniority in the 12 and 70.


(April Conference of 1861. Deseret News, Apr.10, 1861)

President Young arose and gave the following instruction:

We will readily perceive that the Quorums of the Seventies are somewhat different from other Quorums in the Church.  The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is one Quorum, they are the apostles to all the world.  The High Priests’ Quorum is strictly but one quorum, though many quorums of High Priests are made to accommodate members of that quorum living in different localities.  The Seventies are definitely multiplied by Seventies.  The first Seventy was called in the winter of 1836, the winter after we returned from Missouri.  What is called Zion’s Camp went to Missouri in 1834.  The next following winter the Twelve Apostles were chosen.  The Prophet Joseph also then began to organized quorums of Seventies.  He organized one quorum, then he told the brethren to call up other Elders and ordain them into the Seventies, forming another Quorum of Seventies, and then another, and then a fourth quorum, and a fifth and a sixth, etc.  How many quorums are there now, Brother Joseph?  (Brother Joseph: -“62”)  There are now sixty two quorums of Seventies.

The first Quorum of the Seventy, where are they?  Seven of them are here as First Presidents of the Seventies, and sixty-three of them now stand at the head of different quorums of Seventies.  Sixty-three of them have been made presidents over quorums.  It works very differently to what it does in other quorums in the Church.  That leaves the first seven men, apparently isolated, over the body of the first Seventy.  The quorum they were called to preside over have been taken and made presidents of other quorums, consequently there are only seven men now belonging to the first Quorum.  Do we say that is a fact?  No, only apparently, for when the seven Presidents over the first quorum wish to call their quorum together (they meet in quorum meetings such as you attend frequently in the Seventies’ Hall) they call the presidents of the various quorums together, and that is virtually their quorum.  There are now seen presidents to transact business, to guide, dictate, and direct the presidents of all the Seventies, and to call and ordain other quorums of Seventies.  This virtually makes them the Presidents of all the Seventies.  What is their true position in the Kingdom of God?  They are the first seven presidents of all the Seventies.

Brother Joseph (Young) is the senior president over the first seven presidents of the Seventies.  Brother Orson Hyde is the senior man now in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of those first chosen into that Quorum.  This classes him, by his age, to be the president of that quorum.  Now, I will go a step further for your consideration.  The oldest man – the senior member of the first Quorum will preside, each in his turn, until everyone of them has passed away.  The next quorum that comes into action may take the senior man for a president, but not until the first Quorum is gone.  Brother Orson Hyde and Brother Orson Pratt, senior, are the only two that are now left in the Quorum of the Twelve that brother Joseph Smith selected.  Perhaps there are a great many here who never thought of these ideas, and never heard anything said about them.”  (Levi Edgar Young Papers, Utah State Historical Society, B12, Box 8, Fd 11, B. Young on the order of the Quorums, 10 Apr 1861)

20 Apr.:  “Lay hands suddenly upon no man.”

“When comparing the number of Elders with the other officers throughout the Conferences, we feel to say that the injunction of one of old is as applicable now as it was when first delivered–‘Lay hands suddenly upon no man.’

Many men have been called to hold the Eldership in these lands who, under existing circumstances, would have served the cause of God and their own salvation more had they been permitted to hold a lesser office, and in some instances if they had remained for a longer period without any office at all.  Men holding presiding positions cannot be too careful in bestowing Priesthood upon their brethren, for it is a power which works mightily for salvation or condemnation, according as it is wisely used or unwisely abused.”  (Editorial [George Q. Cannon, editor], MS 23(16):251, 20 Apr., 1861)

27 Apr.:  Remarks on Priesthood.

“In regard to authority that can cut a person off from the Church and Kingdom of God, there is no tribunal that can or will do so, provided that person is innocent of crime, or, if guilty, repents and is determined to forsake his sins and serve God; but if he does not repent, and action is taken upon him by a Bishop for immoral or any other wrong conduct, he is cut off so far as pertains to such conduct.  But a Bishop has no right to try and cut off a person for error in doctrine; such cases pertain to the High Priesthood, and cannot be tried and adjudicated, except by the spirit of revelation.

The Seventies are not called to be a local body, but are ordained Apostles to travel, ordain local officers, and build up and set in order the whole Kingdom of God upon the earth, wherever it is necessary, as taught in the following quotation:–

. . . . Sec. 3, PAr. 11, page 76, Book of Doc. and Cov.

A Bishop is empowered to superintend all temporal matters in his Ward.  Any brother, no matter what his calling in the church, who steals, commits adultery or any other breach of moral law, a Bishop can deal with him.–But it does not come under the province of a Bishop to correct doctrine and principles that may be advanced by the Seventies or Twelve, no matter how erroneous those doctrines may be; they should be referred to the First Presidency of the Church.  Bishops are not appointed to judge in spiritual matters.

When the brethren cherish doctrines they believe to be correct, I do not wish them to preach those doctrines in chimney corners and other bye places, but I want them to come forward and proclaim their cherished doctrines in the Tabernacle, that I may have an opportunity to correct whatever may be erroneous.

I exhort the brethren to pray, when they feel to contend about authority.”

(“Remarks on Priesthood,” by Pres. Brigham Young, Seventies’ Council Hall, April 27, 1861; DN 11(9):68, 1 May, 1861)

27 Apr.:  Seventies not called to be local body.

“The Seventies are not called to be a local body, but ared ordained Seventy Apostles to travel, ordain local officers, and build up and set in order the whole kingdom of God upon the earth, wherever it is necessary.”  (Brigham Young, Seventies Council Hall, 27 Apr., 1861; xerox)

7 May:  Brigham on Priesthood.

“What are the privileges of a Bishop?  Has he the privilege of the administration of angels?  Yes; this belongs to the lesser Priesthood.  Has he the privilege of using the Urim and Thummim?  Yes.  The breastplate of Aaron that you read of in the Scriptures was a Urim and Thummim, fixed in bows similar to the one Joseph Smith found.  Aaron wore this Urim and Thummim on his breast, and looked into it like looking on a mirror, and the information he needed was there obtained.  This earth, when it becomes purified and sanctified, or celestialized, will become like a sea of glass; and a person, by looking into it, can know things past, present, and to come; though none but celestialized beings can enjoy this privilege.  They will look into the earth, and the things they desire to know will be exhibited to them, the same as the face is seen by looking into a mirror.

The office of a Bishop belongs to the lesser Priesthood.  He is the highest officer in the Aaronic Priesthood, and has the privilege of using the Urim and Thummim–has the administration of angels, if he has faith, and lives so that he can receive and enjoy all the blessings Aaron enjoyed.  At the same time, could Aaron rise up and say, ‘I have as much power and authority as you, Moses?’  No; for Moses held the keys and authority above all the rest upon the earth.  He holds the keys of the Priesthood of Melchisedek, which is the Priesthood of the Son of God, which holds the keys of all these Priesthoods, dispensing the blessings and privileges of both Priesthoods to the people, as he did in the days of the children of Israel when he led them out of Egypt.  This Priesthood has been on the earth at various times.  Adam had it, Seth had it, Enoch had it, Noah had it, Abraham and Lot had it, and it was handed down to the days of the Prophets, long after the days of the ancients.  But the people would not receive the Prophets, but persecuted them, stoned them and thrust them out of their cities, and they had to wander in the wilderness and make dens and caves their homes.  The children of Israel never received the Melchisedek Priesthood; they went into bondage to enjoy it in part, but all its privileges and blessings they never would receive in full, until Jesus came, and then but a few of them would receive it.  This High Priesthood rules, directs, governs, and controls all the Priesthoods, because it is the highest of all.

What ordination should a man receive to possess all the keys and powers of the Holy Priesthood that were delivered to the sons of Adam?  He should be ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ.  That office puts him in possession of every key, every power, every authority, communication, benefit, blessing, glory, and kingdom that was ever revealed to man.  That pertains to the office of an Apostle of Jesus Christ.  In the last week’s News I published a portion of a revelation, showing the authority of the First Presidency of the Church, composed at first of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams.  When this revelation was given, the two last-named brethren were Joseph Smith’s counsellors, and this First Presidency possessed the power and authority of building up the kingdom of God upon all the earth, and of setting the Church in order in its perfection.  you read in the revelation alluded to that when the Twelve were called and ordained, they possessed the same power and authority as the three First Presidents; and in reading further you find that there must needs be appendages and helps growing out of this Priesthood.  The Seventies possess the same power and authority; they hold the keys of establishing, building up, regulating, ordaining, and setting in order the kingdom of God in all its perfections upon the earth.  We have a kQuorum of High Priests, and there are a great many of them.  They are a local body–they tarry at home; but the Seventies travel and preach; so also do the High Priests, when they are called upon.  They possess precisely the same Priesthood that the Seventies and the Twelve and the First Presidency possess; but are they ordained to officiate in all the authority, powers, and keys of this Priesthood?  No, they are not.  Still they are High Priests of God; and if they magnify their Priesthood, they will receive at some time all the authority and power that it is possible for man to receive.

Suppose that Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams had been taken away or had apostatized, as one of them did soon after the revelation I have referred to was given, and there had been only Joseph Smith left of the First Presidency, would he alone have had authority to set in order the kingdom of God on the earth?  Yes.  Again: Suppose that eleven of the Twelve had been taken away by the power of the Adversary, that one Apostle has the same power that Joseph had, and could preach, baptized, and set in order the whole kingdom of God upon the earth, as much so as the Twelve, were they all together.  Again: If in the providence of God he should permit the Enemy to destroy these first two Quorums, and then destroy the Quorum of Seventy, all but one man, what is his power?  It would be to go and preach, baptize, confirm, lay on hands, ordain, set in order, build up, and establish the whole kingdom of God as it is now.  Can we go any further?  Yes; and I think you will see the reason of it, and how easy it is to be understood, and see the propriety of it.  I really believe, and it is my doctrine, that if I speak to the brethren by the power of the Spirit of my calling, the evidences are commended to those who hear, and the reasons they see in the spirit of the remarks I make.  Suppose the Enemy had power to destroy all but one of the High Priests from the face of the earth, what would that one possess in the power of his Priesthood?  He would have power and authority to go and preach, baptize, confirm, ordain, and set in order the kingdom of God in all its perfection on the earth.  Could he do this without revelation?  No.  Could the Seventies?  No.  Could the Twelve?  No.  And we ask, Could Joseph Smith or the First Presidency do this without revelation?  No; not one of them could do such a work without revelation direct from God.  I can go still further.  Whoever is ordained to the office of an Elder to a certain degree possesses the keys of the Melchisedek Priesthood; and suppose only one Elder should be left on the earth, could he go and set in order the kingdom of God?  Yes, by revelation.

How came these Apostles, these Seventies, these High Priests, and all this organization we now enjoy?  It came by revelation.  Father Cahoon, who lately died in your neighbourhood, was one of the first men ordained to the office of High Priest in this kingdom.  In the year 1831 the Prophet Joseph went to Ohio.  He left the State of New York on the last of April, if my memory serves me, and arrived in Kirtland sometime in May.  They held a General Conference, which was the first General Conference ever called or held in Ohio.  Joseph then received a revelation, and ordained High Priests.  You read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants how he received the Priesthood in the first place.  It is there stated how Joseph received the Aaronic Priesthood.  John the Baptist came to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.  When a person passes behind the vail, he can only officiate in the spirit-world; but when he is resurrected he officiates as a resurrected being, and not as a mortal being.  You read in the revelation that Joseph was ordained, as it is written.  When he received the Melchisedek Priesthood, he had another revelation.  Peter, James, and John came to him.  You can read the revelation at your leisure.  When he received this revelation in Kirtland, the Lord revealed to him that he should begin and ordain High Priests; and he then ordained quite a number, all whose names I do not now recollect; but Lyman Wight was one; Fathers Cahoon and Morley, John Murdock, Sidney Rigdon, and others were also then ordained.  These were the first that were ordained to this office in the Church.  I relate this to show you how Joseph proceeded step by step in organizing the Church.  At that time there were no Seventies nor Twelve Apostles.

Twenty-seven years ago, on the 5th of this month, in the year 1834, a company started for Kirtland to redeem the land of Zion.  Brother Heber C. Kimball and my brother Joseph were in that camp.  There had not then been ordained any Twelve Apostles, nor any Seventies, although there was a revelation pertaining to the Apostles and Seventies.  There were High Priests, but no High Priests’ Quorum.  I am relating this as a little matter of history that will no doubt be interesting to those who were not there.

After we returned from Missouri, my brother Joseph Young and myself had been singing after preaching in a meeting; and when the meeting was dismissed, brother Joseph Smith said, ‘Come, go down to my house with me.’  We went and sung to him a long time, and talked with him.  He then opened the subject of the Twelve and Seventies for the first time I ever thought of it.  He said, ‘Brethren, I am going to call out Twelve Apostles.  I think we will get together, by-and-by, and select Twelve Apostles, and select a Quorum of Seventies from those who have been up to Zion, out of the camp boys.’  In 1835, the last of January or in February, or about that time, we held our meetings from day to day, and brother Joseph called out Twelve Apostles at that time.  He had a revelation when we were singing to him.  Those who were acquainted with him knew when the Spirit of revelation was upon him, for his countenance wore an expression peculiar to himself while under that influence.  He preached by the Spirit of revelation, and taught in his council by it, and those who were acquainted with him could discover it at once, for at such times there was a peculiar clearness and transparency in his face.  He followed up that revelation until he organized the Church, and so along until the baptism of the dead was revealed.

I relate these circumstances to show you that a person who is ordained to the office of an Elder in this kingdom has the same Priesthood that the High Priests, that the Twelve Apostles, that the Seventies, and that the First Presidency hold; but all are not called to be one of the Twelve Apostles, nor are all called to be one of the First Presidency, nor to be one of the First Presidents of all the Seventies, nor to be one of the Presidents of a Quorum of Seventies, nor to preside over the High Priests’ Quorum; but every man in his order and place, possessing a portion of the same Priesthood, according to the gifts and callings to each.  Does not this clear up the subject?  {Voices: ‘It does.’}  This will explain it to you so that you can understand it.  When we find where our callings and positions are in the midst of the people of God, and every person willing to act in the discharge of his duty, there is enough for us all to do.  All persons can have all they desire to do to promote the kingdom of God on the earth; they can exercise themselves in all that God has granted to them to prove themselves worthy before God and the people.

I will again refer to the office of a Bishop.  If you will look over the revelations and search the Scriptures, you will find that the office of bishop was bestowed upon Aaron, Moses’ half-brother, for certain services he had performed, which Priesthood was to continue with Aaron’s posterity.  We have not the literal descendants of Aaron in the Church to fill the Bishopric, but the Church is mostly composed of the literal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are entitled to the Melchizedek Priesthood, that holds the keys of all the Priesthoods ever delivered to the children of men.  But we want Bishops in the Church.  Here are brethren settling in different neighbourhoods, and we learn that the office of a Bishop is to attend to the temporal affairs of the Church–to see that the poor are taken care of–to see that the brethren judiciously and wisely conduct themselves in the capacity of a community.  The President of the Church cannot attend to these temporal affairs in all the different settlements, and the Twelve Apostles are away preaching, and the Seventies are away preaching, and the High Priests are scattered here and there in their local capacity; and we want men who are literal descendants of Aaron to act in the Aaronic Priesthood, to which pertains the Bishopric; but we have not got them.  Under these circumstances, we take a High Priest and ordain him to the office of a Bishop, to which he is not entitled by lineage; but in his calling he possesses the keys and power of the holy Priesthood of the Son of God on the earth, and this qualifies him to officiate in all the lesser offices.  We take this man and set him apart to be a Bishop.  ‘What! ordain a High Priest to the lesser Priesthood?’  No; we call it ordaining a Bishop; and though we say, ‘We ordain you to be a Bishop, with our hands upon your head,’ it really and virtually means, ‘We set you apart to officiate as a Bishop in the midst of the people of God, by virtue of your holy Priesthood, which is after the order of Melchizedek, which is after the order of the Son of God.  We set you apart to officiate in this office of the Aaronic Priesthood, blessing you with all the keys and authority of the same.’  This Bishop can call two men to be his Counsellors, but it would not be so if we had a literal descendant of Aaron.  When we find such a man, and he is ordained to act or is set apart to act in his lineal Priesthood, he is to all intents and purposes a Bishop, and needs no Counsellors.  This seems to be a great curiosity.  A man who is a Priest, and cannot hold any higher office, can preside as a Bishop over a community of people where he is appointed to preside, and dictate the temporal affairs of the people of God, and that too without a Counsellor from among his brethren; but a High Priest cannot act in this office without two Counsellors.  Is not this a novel thing–a strange peculiarity?  It requires three High Priests to perform the duties, fill the office, and attend to the callings of a literal descendant of Aaron, who cannot hold a higher Priesthood.  This is the order, and what Joseph did is according to the revelation he received.

When we take a High Priest and set him apart to officiate in the office of a Priest as a Priest or as a Bishop, while he is acting in this calling do we expect him to officiate as a High Priest?  When Bishop Miller finds that the Seventies in his Ward are teaching doctrine that he does not believe in, he has nothing to do with the matter while acting in the capacity of a Bishop.  He would say, ‘I stand here as your Bishop, and I have nothing to do with the doctrines you teach.  I cannot control the higher Priesthood, while in my present calling.  I cannot officiate here as an Apostle, as a Revelator, as one who has authority to say “Thus saith the Lord” to the people concerning spiritual things.’  The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us whom they are to be decided by.  Though brother Miller, as a Bishop, should say nothing on controverted points of doctrine, yet he can meet with his brethren of the High Priesthood who may be in his neighbourhood.  Three High Priests form a Quorum; five form a Quorum; seven form a Quorum; twelve form a Quorum.  Let a Quorum of High Priests go into an upper room, and there appear before the Lord in the garments of the holy Priesthood, and offer up before the Father, in the name of Jesus, the signs of the holy Priesthood, and then ask God to give a revelation concerning that doctrine, and they have a right to receive it.  If you cannot get the information in any other way, suppose you were upon the islands of the sea, far away from the main body of the Church, you are entitled to the administration of angels who administer in the terrestrial kingdom; and they have a right to receive administrations from the celestial.  In this capacity you could ask for revelations pertaining to doctrine.

In the capacity of a Bishop, has any person a right to direct the spiritual affairs of the kingdom of God?  No.  In that capacity his right is restricted to affairs in a temporal and moral point of view.  He has a right to deal with the transgressor.  I do not care what office a transgressor bears in the Church and kingdom of God, if he should be one of the Twelve Apostles, and come into a Bishop’s neighbourhood, and purloin his neighbour’s goods, defile his neighbour’s bed, or commit any breach of the moral law, the Bishop has a right to take that man before himself and his council, and there hold him to answer for the crime he has been guilty of, and deal with him for his membership in the Church, and cut him off from the Church to all intents and purposes, to all time and eternity, if he will not make restitution and sincerely repent.  ‘What! one of the Seventies?’  Yes.  ‘One of the High Priests?’  Yes.  ‘One of the Twelve Apostles?’  Yes, anybody that happens to come into his neighbourhood and transgress the moral law.  On the other hand, can the Seventies try a Bishop?  No.  Can the High Priests try him?  No, unless they call twelve High Priests in the capacity of a High Council; and then you must have the Presidency of the Melchisedek Priesthood to preside over the council, and there you can try a Bishop.  How curiously it is all woven together to make the fabric so strong that no one man or set of men can rend it asunder!  The Lord has so effectually woven it for the salvation of the people, that it takes tremendous power to destroy it from the earth.  All this is designed to guard against evil.  A Bishop can try a man for a breach of moral conduct, but he cannot sit in judgment on controverted points of doctrine, for they are to be referred to those who hold the keys of the higher Priesthood, and their decision is the end of all strife.

In trying all matters of doctrine, to make a decision valid, it is necessary to obtain a unanimous voice, faith, and decision.  In the capacity of a Quorum, the three First Presidents must be one in their voice–the Twelve Apostles must be unanimous in their voice, to obtain a righteous decision upon any matter that may come before them, as you may read in the Doctrine and Covenants.  The Seventies may decide upon the same principle.  Whenever you see these Quorums unanimous in their declaration, you may set it down as true.  Let the Elders get together, being faithful and true; and when they agree upon any point, you may know that it is true.

I will now say a few words upon the callings of men in a neighbourhood or Ward capacity.  Some of the High Priests may be ordained to officiate in callings pertaining to the Church in Ward capacities.  Now I will ask the Bishop of this Ward if he has a right to neglect this Ward to meet with the High Priests’ Quorum in their meetings.  He has no such right–he has no right to neglect this Ward one minute for the sake of such meeting.  That is not his right and calling when his services are required here as Bishop.  There is a poor widow, a sick family, business is going at random here and there, and he has no right to believe that he has the privilege of leaving all his Ward to look out for themselves, and say, ‘If you do well, it is well; and if you do ill, I cannot help it, I am going to my Quorum meeting.’  It is his duty to devote his time, from New Year’s morning to New Year’s morning again, for the benefit of his ward.  He is placed to preside over it, and he will dictate all in his Ward.  If he sees a Seventy or a High Priest squandering his property, or if he sees any getting drunk, gambling, or loafing about, wasting their time, he has a perfect right to call them to account.

We have mass Quorums of Seventies in most of the settlements in the Territory; and I have frequently thought, if the brethren did not improve pretty fast, the title would have to be altered a little; but as they have improved, we do not see any necessity for making the application and calling them muss Quorums.  Joseph Smith never would permit the Seventies to get together and believe themselves a separate body from the rest of the Church.  I never cared much about this, for I was not a particle afraid that they would get any power that truly does not belong to them; for, if they did, I was always satisfied that it would be blown to the four winds.  I want to inform the Seventies living in Bishop Miller’s Ward, (and what I now say applies to all the other Wards and Bishops,) if he calls on them to act as Teachers, it is their imperative duty to act as Teachers, seeking to benefit and bless the people by enlarging their understandings, that they may prove themselves before God and one another.  There is a world of intelligence to impart, and the Priesthood (in its various callings, appointments, helps, and governments,) is the means, through its ministers, of imparting it to the people.  It is not the duty of a Seventy or High Priest, who is appointed a Teacher or a Bishop, to neglect the duties of those callings to attend a Seventies’ or High Priests’ meeting.  Attend to the wishes of your Bishop, and never ask who has the most power.  The man who has the most power with God will wield it, and earth and hell cannot hinder it.  Talk about power, and ‘I want you to give me influence!’  There are but few things that offend me more than to have men come to me and say, ‘Brother Brigham, give me influence, for I am a great man in this kingdom.’  And what would he do with it?  He would take himself and all who would follow him to the Devil.  Every man who has true influence has obtained it before God through faithfulness, and in all such cases there is not the least danger but what he will have it before the Saints.  It is the man who converses with the heavens, who delights in doing so, and knows for himself that this is the kingdom of God, who has true influence.

As I said last Sabbath, the greatest proof and the least to prove that this is the kingdom of God, consists in its embracing every truth and rejecting every error, and that embraces God and heaven and all holy beings.  Who, then, has the greatest power?  Those who best do the will of God.  When a Bishop calls upon a man to officiate as an assistant to him, he does not call upon him as a Seventy or as a High Priest, but as one of his own family–as a member of his Ward.  You know what the Spirit of the Lord teaches me, to see that the widows go not hungry, that the orphans are clothed, and every able-bodied man is judiciously and profitably employed, and that every man is doing his duty,–to see that the cattle and waggons are got together when they are wanted; and it is as much the duty of the Seventies to look after these matters as it is the duty of any of their brethren.  When the Bishops say, ‘Go and drive that team, do this, or do that,’ ‘Oh yes,’ says a Seventy, ‘with all my heart.’  Bishop, we thought we would meet once a week as Seventies or High Priests; can we have your permission?’  ‘Yes; go to the school-house and sound life eternal to the people.’

Told by their President to have a muss Quorum meeting here!  No; no such power is vested in the Seventies anywhere.  No man gets power from God to raise disturbance in any Branch of the Church.  Such power is obtained from an evil source.

Now, High Priests and Apostles, go to with your might and assist your Bishops in providing for the widows and fatherless.

If Bishop Miller is not responsible for this Ward, to dictate all this Ward, who is?  He is the man that is appointed here to preside, and as a High Priest he has a right to meet with his brethren of that Quorum, and to baptize, confirm, bless children, administer to the sick, and perform all other duties pertaining to the office and calling of a High Priest.  His being a Bishop does not take away any of his Priesthood or power.

May God bless you!  Amen.”  (Brigham Young, remarks to the Mill Creek Ward, 7 May, 1861; JD 9:86-93)

12 May:  All hold a portion of the Apostleship.

“The Almighty is willing to bestow upon us every necessary gift to enable us to honour our high callings in an acceptable manner, and to qualify us to magnify the holy Apostleship that is conferred upon us.

Although you do not consider yourselves Apostles, yet there is not a soul of you that holds the Priesthood but has received a portion of the Apostleship, for you all sprang out of the Apostleship.  This Priesthood comes from the Father to the Son, from Jesus to Peter, James, and John, and from them to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and from Joseph to us; and it still continues in one unbroken chain through all the members of the body of Christ.  Now, is not that directly from our Father?  Does it not originate in the heavens?  It certainly does.”  (Heber C. Kimball, 12 May, 1861; JD 9:133-134)

15 May:  Progress of 70’s Hall of Science.

“Labourers have commenced to work around the Seventies’ Hall of Science, which we expect to erect with brick and inclose this fall preparatory to the joiners’ working therein next winter, and for completion in 1862.  It will be a delightful place, wherein the Elders of Israel can be instructed in all the branches of practical and useful arts and science, as well as theology.  I think it would be well for the Seventies and all the Elders of Israel who are abroad to improve every opportunity which may present itself of getting useful books, maps, charts, philosophical and astronomical apparatus and instruments, such as would be beneficial and necessary in a Hall of Science, connected with which there is already a library established.  I merely throw out this as a suggestion, realizing that the Elders should always have their eyes open to the growing and expanding interests of that kingdom whose beauty and glory will yet be the theme and admiration of the wise and truly great of the earth.”  (Heber C. Kimball [SLC] to Amasa M. Lyman, Charles C. Rich and George Q. Cannon [England], 15 May, 1861; MS 23(30):477, 27 Jul., 1861)

26 Jul.:  Imminent erection of 70s Hall of Science.

“The Seventies throughout the Territory and those aborad among the nations will learn with satisfaction that Prest. Brigham Young–the elected Trustee in Trust, of the Hall of Science–has now everything in a forward state for the immediate erection of that edifice.

. . . .

It is the calculation to enclose the building this season, (and it will be done if the shareholders are true to themselves) so that the joiners can work within during the winter.

. . . .

We feel assured that not only the Seventies, but all others who contribute to the erection of any such building, will have satisfaction in their labors.  The Hall of Science is greatly needed, and besides meeting the demands for proper accommodation to a vast number of the population, the edifice itself will be a credit to the city, as well as to the Seventies themselves as an organized body.”

(DN 11(17):132, 26 Jun., 1861)

11 Aug.:  All receiving priesthood enter upon a Mission.

“In the P.M. Bro Brigham spoke of the building up of the Kingdom right here in Zion.  Showed that a fool could preach the Gospel but it took a smart Man to build up a city, govern a nation, and sustain them.  Showed that every man, as soon as he received the Holy Priesthood, whether the higher or lower, entered upon a Mission.  Said it took some Men to preach, some to build up Zion, and He that was at work making roads or adobies, quarrying rock, building Bridges, was fulfiling his mission just as much as him that was preaching the Gospel.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 11 Aug., 1861)

17 Aug.:  Ordinations:  Care to be observed.

“In visiting the Conferences of this Mission, and holding meetings with the Priesthood and Saints, we have been struck with the disproportion there has appeared to be, in point of numbers, between those who hold offices in the Priesthood and the members.  To judge from the numbers who have met with us in Priesthood meetings, there have been but few of the male members that have not been ordained to some office in the Melchisedek or lesser Priesthood.  As the half-yearly statistical returns from the Conferences are now coming in, we have been induced to examine those already received from some twenty Conferences, and have become convinced that the disproportion is fully as great as we had any reason to believe it would be.  We do not find the same proportion of officers in every Conference.  In some, the officers are for more numerous than in others.  This, of course, depends to some extent upon the number of Branches there are in the Conference–a large number of Branches requiring a larger number of Elders or Priests to take charge of them.  But we have taken an average of all the returns we have received, and we find that the officers are in proportion to the members as one to four, and that out of these officers the Elders are in proportion to the members as one to seven–that is every fourth person (men, women, and children,) in the Church, holds some office in the Priesthood, and every seventh person is an Elder!  After making this estimate, we cease to wonder at the number of officers we always have the privilege of seeing at the Priesthood meetings we attend.

Though we know that it is the design of our Heavenly Father now, as it was in past times, to raise up ‘a kingdom of priests and an holy nation,’ yet we do not think it wisdom to complete the first part of the design here at present, by making every one that enters into the Church, and is eligible on account of sex to hold the Priesthood, a Priest either after the order of Melchisedek or Aaron.  Some portion of this can be done hereafter, and neither the individuals nor the work of God suffer by the postponement.  It has been too frequent a practice in many Branches that have been raised up at a distance from the main body of the Church in Zion to ordain large numbers to the Priesthood, regardless of the dictates of the Spirit, the necessities of the ministry, or wants of the work, or the eligibility of the person thus ordained.  The mischievous effects of this unwise and unwarrantable course has been apparent for years to those who have had to labour among Branches of this description.  A host of men have had authority placed upon them, have been raised to positions that they, at least, have thought to be so important as to demand respect and honour, and have been left without employment in or opportunity of magnifying their offices.  Whatever other persons may have thought of their ordination, they have supposed that they were a power in the Church, and a power, too, that could not be slighted–a power that should be consulted upon any and every occasion when they might suppose consultation or counsel might be needed.  The effect of these views has been that when a presiding officer has been disposed to be energetic and to carry out measures that he would feel were for the good of the work, he has had to first convert these officers to his way of thinking, and accommodate himself to the pace they were accustomed to travelling, or he would likely find them hampering him in every movement and acting as perpetual obstacles in his pathway.  They are Elders!–important men in the kingdom!–and as such have rights; and they must be honoured, and their rights must be respected, or they will show that they cannot be passed over with impunity.  The thought of their greatness is ever present with them; they suffer under the burden of it, and so heavily does it weigh upon them that for them to stop or cease to lend their aid would be, in their opinion, the stoppage of the whole kingdom and a suspension of its progress!  Of course these remarks do not apply to all the Elders or other officers who have been ordained.  There are hundreds of humble, faithful men who are constantly striving to do all the good in their power, willing to labour in any position that may be assigned them, and work heart and hand with their Presidents or fellow-labourers.  But we have met with a class of officers, in the course of our labours, to whom these remarks do apply, and not unfrequently we have found that they were men that had the least to do, and the least disposition to do, of any of their brethren.

While upon this subject, the Presidency here wish to caution the presiding Elders upon the subject of ordination.  We wish you to be wise and exceedingly careful in the bestowal of the authority of the holy Priesthood upon your fellow-man.  Do not let your own feelings of partiality, or the persuasions or representations of others, or your own spirit, lead you to ordain a man to any office whatever; but if you ordain, do it because God dictates it through his Spirit, and to it by his power; and if this ordination be attended to in this manner, it will prove a blessing to you and to the man receiving it, if he will be faithful.  Do not ordain men merely to place the Priesthood upon them through an itching desire they may have to receive, or you to bestow, this authority.  We wish it distinctly understood that there shall be no person ordained to the Priesthood in these lands unless there is a place for him to be actively engaged in the ministry.  This counsel we expect to be binding upon the Elders until they hear further upon this subject.  Other ordinations than these can be attended to when the parties gather to Zion.  If Teachers or Deacons be needed in any of the Branches, and you have Elders or Priests who are not fully employed, use them, if they are as suitable as they ought to be, in preference to ordaining more officers.  Use the material you have, as far as you can, before proceeding to create more.  In Zion, Elders and High Priests and Seventies do not consider it in the least derogatory to their dignity to act as Teachers or in any of the lesser offices.  If an Elder, acting in the office of Teacher, magnify his calling properly, he will not find that he has a particle more power or experience than he needs.  [NOTE THE REFERENCE TO ACTING TEACHERS.]  

If you wish your Branches and Conferences to be free from difficulty, and to prosper, keep your officers well employed.  There is a proverb in the world ‘that an idle man’s brain is the Devil’s workshop.’  It is particularly applicable to an idle Priesthood, or a Priesthood that will not be employed in the duties of their calling.  If they would confine themselves to total inaction, pursuing the even tenour of their way as members of the Church merely, they would do very well; but this they rarely, if ever, do.  Not finding anything useful to the work to be employed in, they sit in judgment upon the conduct and actions of those who are actively and usefully employed, criticise their labours, and form their little cliques and parties to counteract and nullify their influence.”  (Editorial [George Q. Cannon, editor], MS 23(33):520-522, 17 Aug., 1861)

1 Sep.:  Additional task for quorums.

“Following is a Circular to the Bishops, High Priests, Seventies and Saints Generally throughout the Territory.

Brethren: As we are now prepared to rear the walls of the Seventies’ Hall of Science, the brethren in this city having cheerfully responded to our requirements we feel it a pleasure to extend the same invitation to the brethren in the various settlements throughout the Territory.

The Elders residing in this city have subscribed liberally, the greater portion of them, however, being tradesmen and laborers, very few owning farms or stock, we must consequently depend upon the country for beef, butter, cheese and other produce to supply the men employed upon the building.

We would therefore respectfully request the cooperation of all who feel disposed to assist in the erection of this Temple of Science, which will not only beautify and adorn the Zion of God, but extend to the Elders of Israel the advantages of knowledge, and qualify them for the position they have been called upon to sustain in the advancement of truth and righteousness upon the earth.

In consequence of the multiplicity of business and the onerous duties of a temporal nature resting upon the Bishops, we have considered it advisable, instead of increasing their responsibility, to appoint the Presidents of Quorums and Mass Quorum general agents to receive subscriptions from those residing in their districts, and wish them to forward to us the means to the Seventies Council Hall, Great Salt Lake City, when it will be duly entered on record by the clerk to the credit of the respective subscribers. . . .

Joseph Young, President

H. S. Eldredge, Agent for the building.”

(JH 1 Sep., 1861)

3 Oct.:  Care of poor/Deacons to care for schoolhouse.

[Teachers Meeting]  “The Bishop arose and said he had some remarks to make touching the poor that had come in this season.  Wished them to be distributed around in such places as they would take care of themselves and earn their own living, not for people to take them in their homes that could not take care of themselves and deprive the people of being sent where they would take care of themselves.  Winter was now approaching and we had to see to all these things in due season, that the poor would not suffer.  Wished his Brethren to be awake and help to roll forth the purposes of God and be blest in all things.  Exhorted the Brethren to take care of their grain & provision.  Told the Deacons to see the School house was cleaned out, glass put in and made comfortable for winter.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 3 Oct., 1861)

7 Oct.:  Revision of seniority of the 12.

“Conference of the Church was continued at 10 a.m.  Elder John Taylor was called upon by Pres. Brigham Young to present the names of the several quorums before the conference for their acknowledgement and approval.  In presenting the names of the Twelve apostles, Elder Taylor called the name of Wilford Woodruff before his own upon which Pres. Young directed John V. Long to place Bro. John Taylor’s name above Bro. Woodruff’s, as Elder John Taylor was ordained four or five months before Elder Woodruff.  It was suggested to the President that Elders Woodruff, taylor and Richards were called by revelation at the same time and their places had been arranged from the date of their calling according to their ages, instead of their date of ordination.  Pres. Young said the calling was in accordance with the date of ordination.  He spoke of it now because the time would come when a dispute might arise about it.  According to this the quorum in 1841 should have been arranged as follows: John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Geo. A. Smith and Willard Richards.”  (JH 7 Oct., 1861)

8 Oct.:  Hierarchy of priesthood in the hereafter.

“Pst B. Young Spoke on the Order of Sealing for time & Eternity.  Said that his Remarks would not be published & for all to pay good attention & Hear Correctly.  He said that a divorce was of no use.  Could a woman be freed from a man.  Yes in 2 ways onley.  1st if a man forfeits his priesthood 2nd if the man is faithful, But the wife is Not Satisfied then if she can find a man Holding a Higher Priesthood than her husband that will take her.  He can do so without any Divorce.  The Glory of man is the woman.  The glory of a woman is her virginity.  This she should carefully preserve for her intended Lord which will Be unto her of great worth hereafter.”  (Frederick Kesler diary, No. 3, pp. 88-89, 8 Oct., 1861; quoted in Diary of Brigham Young, 1857, p. 10)

Oct.:  Seniority of 12 according to date of ordination.

“Elder John Taylor in presenting the names of the Twelve Apostles to the Conference meeting, called the name of Elder Wilford Woodruff before his own; upon which President Young directed the Clerk, I. T. Long, to place Brother Taylor’s name above Brother Woodruff’s, as Elder Taylor was ordained four or five months before Elder Woodruff.  It was suggested to the President that Elders Woodruff, Taylor and Richards were called by revelation at the same time, and their places had been arranged from the date of calling, according to age, instead of the date of ordination.  President Young said the calling was made in accordance with the date of ordination.  He spoke of it now, because the time would come, when a dispute might arise about it.”  (“History of Brigham Young Manuscript,” Oct., 1861, p. 437; xerox)

10 Nov.:  Strict obedience by hierarchy.

“Pres. Brigham Young spoke upon the union and authority in the Church.  He said he should follow his file leader; he should not go back for anybody or be governed by anything behind him.  He would say to Bros. Kimball and Wells that if they wished to be united with him, they must go with him and follow him; he should not follow them or go to them.  So with the Twelve, they must follow the presidency for the presidency would not follow them, the Seventies and High Priests must follow the Twelve and so on through every department of the Church, or else there will be an everlasting separation.  So with a man at the head of his family, if every wife and child do not follow the husband and father there will be an eternal separation, and if a man follow his wives or children instead of leading himself there will be confusion and destruction in that family.  It is no business to any one what his file leader has done; he never found a word of fault, with Bro. Joseph in his life.”  (JH 10 Nov., 1861)

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

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

1 Dec.:  AN angel gave the priesthood to Joseph & Oliver.

“When the time had come, according to the decree of the Almighty, an angel visited the earth and committed the Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and gave them instructions and a promise that they should be inspired to lay it before the people. . . .

When an Apostle, or President, Bishop, or any man holding the Priesthood officiates, he administers by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ; then that Priesthood has effect, and all the blessings that a servant of God bestows upon the children of men will take effect both in this life and in that which is to come.  If I have a blessing given to me by the holy Priesthood, or if I receive a blessing from a Patriarch, those gifts and blessings will reach into the other world; and if I am true to my covenants through this life, I can claim every blessing that has been conferred upon me, because that authority by which they were conferred is ordained of God; and it is that by which the sons of the Most High administer unto the children of men the ordinances of life and salvation; and those official acts will have their effect upon those persons beyond the grave as well as in this life.  These are the true riches; they are riches that will last to all eternity, and we have power through these blessings, conferred by the Gospel, to receive our bodies again, and to preserve our identity in eternity.  Yes, we can claim this by virtue of the holy Priesthood; but it is not so in the world.  There is not a priest in the world that has administered one of the ordinances of the Gospel since the Priesthood was taken away, because, properly speaking, there can be no ordinance of the Gospel administered without the authority of the Priesthood.  Hence I say that, from the time the Priesthood was taken from the earth until Joseph received it again from the angel of the Lord, there were not Gospel ordinances legally administered.  I admit, however, that all men will be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body, and they will be judged according to the light which was given to them.  This will be the condition of all who are not called and ordained of God, notwithstanding they may have administered what they believe to be the ordinances of the Gospel; yet their administrations will have no effect beyond the vail.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 1 Dec., 1861; JD 9:161-163)