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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1863

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1863.” You can view other years here.

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1863:    19 Feb.:  70’s Library.

“The Seventies have resuscitated their Library lately, and have chosen 12 Directors.  The Seventies Council, which meets regularly in their hall in Saturday (p.m.) afternoons under the Presidency of Joseph young, have also agreed to open their hall as a reading room, each quorum contributing a little money to send for the leading daily papers in New York, and the following magazines, etc., are at this date already sent for: . . .”  (JH 19 Feb., 1863)

1 Mar.:  Restoration of priesthood by Peter.

“How did this state of things called Mormonism originate?  We read that an angel came down and revealed himself to Joseph Smith and manifested unto him in vision the true position of the world in a religious point of view.  He was surrounded with light and glory while the heavenly messenger communicated these things unto him, after a series of visitations and communications from the Apostle Peter and others who held the authority of the holy Priesthood, not only on the earth formerly but in the heavens afterwards.  That they hold it in the heavens we know from the Scriptures.   In them there are certain principles revealed in relation to that matter that nobody could reveal unless they were acquainted with the principle of revelation.  Moses and Elias were seen with Jesus on the mount, when Peter and his brethren saw them, who said, ‘Master, it is good for us to be here, let us build three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses and one for Elias.’  Who was this Moses?  He was a man who had officiated before on the earth, had held the holy Priesthood, had been a teacher of righteousness, and who, with the Elders of Israel, had talked with God, and had received revelations from him, holding the Priesthood that administered in time and eternity.  When he got through with this world his official duties were not ended, for he appeared to Jesus, Peter, James and John upon the mount, to confer on them certain principles, authorities and Priesthood, that they might also be enabled to administer in the ordinances of salvation, and officiate as the representatives of God upon the earth.  And hence, when Joseph Smith came, those who had held the keys before came to him, so he told me and others, and revealed unto him certain things pertaining to the kingdom of God uopn the earth, and ordained him and set him apart to the ministry and Apostleship unto which he was called.  He presented himself before the world and informed the people that God had spoken, and that he had spoken to him.  He told them that the heavens had been opened and that angels clothed in light and glory had appeared to him and revealed unto him certain things.”  (John Taylor, 1 Mar., 1863; JD 10:127-128)

3 Apr.:  70s lectures closed for season.

“The Seventies closed their lectures for the season.”  (JH 3 Apr., 1863)

18 Apr.:  70 as bishopric counselor.

“On the 18th, April 1863 I was ordaind a Seventy of the 63rd Quoram and set apart as the 3rd President of that Quoram by Prest. Henry Harriman.  Bp Lunt reported to Pres Young that Bro Arthur, his second Councellor was not a High Prest, but was 3rd Pres of the 63rd Quoram of Seventies.  Pres. Young Answered He can officiate as your Councellor, however, several years afterwards Prest. Young instructed Bp Lunt to ordain me an High Priest and he ordained me to that office Dec. 25-1874.”  (Christopher J. Arthur autobiography, part I, page 19; LC Collection)

16 May:  Adulterers must be punished.

“I deeply realize the unpleasant duty you have had to perform in the case of Wm. G. Mills.  There are few here who are disappointed at the termination of his career, knowing as we all did that he was tainted with the spirit of apostacy when T. D. Brown, Gilbert Clements and J. M. Brown were cut off.  His associates in the office have defended him and exercised all faith and charity towards him, hoping he would live down the suspicions engendered by some of his actions here, but no, when accused of complicity with Gilbert Clements and that clique of apostates, he resolutely dnied to the last all knowledge of their proceedings, knowing himself guilty at the time, and I am not surprised that he lost the spirit and was overcome by the evil one and his own passions.  It was hoped that his mission would have been the means of saving him.

Enough on this unpleasant subject.  Elders have thought that they can commit adultery and be forgiven, without abiding the penalty attached to the celestial law, connected with the sacred marriage covenant.  They are mistaken, every man who tries it, unless he makes a complete atonement will lost the spirit and apostatize sooner or later.  The Lord is after all those who, after making solemn covenants for time and all eternity, trifle with their sacred covenants, transgress them, dishonor themselves and their Priesthood, and think they can make all right by simple acknowledgement.  The Elders of Israel must learn that covenants made for time and eternity must be held sacred and religiously kept.  They cannot be trifled with and those who do trifle with them will have a fearful account to give either in the flesh, or afterwards when remedy is measurably beyond the reach of transgressors.  I often wish that all the saints could have listened to the private instructions given to me by Prest. Joseph Smith on this subject.  Had they heard the teachings from him that I have heard on many, many occasions when riding out together, in relation to the marriage covenant, the Elders would face death or destruction in the flesh, in preference to meeting the consequences of a wilful transgression of a covenant made for time and eternity.”  (William Clayton to George Q. Cannon, 16 May, 1863; William Clayton Letterbook, Bancroft Library; microfilm)

24 May:  High Council and Bishop’s Courts.

“As to High Council and Bishops’ Courts, we have almost forgotten that any such courts exist.  Why is this?  Because we are continually importuning the brethren to faithfully live their religion and not let a few dimes and dollars or a little mistake infringe upon the fellowship of one with another.  Perhaps a neighbor’s cow is in his garden, and he is angry with his neighbor, when, at the same time, that neighbor is as innocent as an angel.  Nine hundred and ninety-nine cases of difficulty out of a thousand arise from circumstances not worthy of notice.  There are but few persons who really design to injure each other.  I do not believe there is one man or woman in a thousand, in this community, who designs to do wrong, though there are hundreds that do wrong, and some who do a great many wrongs, but they do not design to do wrong.  They can truly say, with the Apostle Paul, ‘When I would do good evil is present with me.’  Paul had been a very wicked man; he had done all he could to destroy the Church of God, and, consequently, was given over to the buffetings of Satan, so that when he would do good the Devil had such power over him that he had to keep up a continual warfare.  Let us endeavor to do the good and leave undone the evil.”  (Brigham Young, 24 May, 1863; JD 10:175)

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

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

5 Sep.:  Teachers’ Court.

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

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

17 Sep.:  Excommunication in Sacrament Meeting.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Case was brought up by Br. J. Cartwright who briefly expressed the feelings of Br. Snow that he had no faith in the gospel, nor the authorities of the Church.  Wished to be let alone by all.  Had no desire to persecute.  Several of the Brethren spoke on the matter, but Br. Snow who was present still persisted that he did not wish to do any different from what he had been doing.  His case was deferred untill Sunday evening for the action of the meeting at that time. . . .

At a meeting on Sunday evening the 20th Sept., 1863, Br. Snow’s case was laid before the meeting.  It was moved by R. Daft and seconded by A. C. Pyper that Br. George Snow be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Carried unanimously.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 17 Sep., 1863)

15 Oct.:  Disfellowshipment of Teacher.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. W. Lancaster was reported as having trouble in his family.  No order in his house, did not observe family prayer.  Br. Lancaster being present said he had his reasons for doing just as he was doing.  The Bishop gave him untill the next meeting to take a different course, otherwise Br. Lancaster should be dropped from being a Teacher. . . .

[Teachers Meeting, 29 Oct., 1863]  The Lancaster case was brought up, and Br. Lancaster asked for more time to set his family in order.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 15 Oct., 1863)

25 Oct.:  Power to fertilize the soil.

“When God bestows upon us power to command the elements–to speak, and the soil is formed and filled with fertility–to speak, and the rain descends upon it to moisten and germinate the seed that we have planted and to nourish it until it ripens its golden fruit, then shall we possess true riches, and not until then.  When we possess this power by the irrevocable decrees of heaven, we possess wealth that cannot take the wings of the morning and leave us poor indeed.  Can we live to learn some of these things?”  (Brigham Young, 25 Oct., 1863; DN 13(17):134, 11 Nov., 1863)

26 Nov.:  Disfellowshipment of Teacher.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Br. Lancaster’s case was again presented, and there being no change for the better it was moved by the Bishop & Sec’d by R. Daft that he be dropped from acting as a Teacher.  Carried unanimously.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 26 Nov., 1863)