← Back to Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism Index

Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1867

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1867.” You can view other years here.

Search the content below for specific dates, names, and keywords using the keyboard shortcut Command + F on a Mac or Control + F on Windows.


1867:    21 Jan.:  Amasa Lyman censured.

“A meeting of the Twelve was held in the evening to examine into the subject of Amasa Lyman’s teaching false doctrine and publishing it to the world.  He had virtually done away with the blood of Christ, he having stated that the blood of Christ was not necessary for the salvation of man.  The quorum of the Twelve were horrified at the idea that one of the Twelve Apostles should teach such a doctrine.  After Amasa Lyman was interrogated upon the subject and said those had been his sentiments, Wilford Woodruff spoke first and all the quorum followed, and they spoke in very strong terms.  Wilford Woodruff said that he felt shocked at the idea that one of the Twelve Apostles should get so far into the dark as to deny the blood of Christ and say that it was not necessary for the salvation of man and teach this as a true doctrine, while it was in opposition to all the doctrines taught by every Prophet and Apostle and saint from the days of Adam until today.  The Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants teach, from beginning to end, that Christ shed his blood for the salvation of man and that there was no other name given under heaven whereby man can be saved, and I can tell Bro. Lyman that that doctrine will send him to perdition, if he continues in it, and so it will any man, and furthermore such a doctrine would send this Church and Kingdom to pieces like an earthquake.  There never was and never will be a saint on the earth that believes in that doctrine, it is the worst heresy man can preach.  When the Twelve got through speaking, Amasa Lyman wept like a child and asked forgiveness.  All the brethren went into Pres. Young’s office and conversed with him, he felt as the Twelve did upon the subject only more so and required Bro. Lyman to publish his confession and make it as public as he had his false doctrine.”  (JH 21 Jan., 1867)

22 Jan.:  Amasa Lyman censure.

“The Twelve met at the office of Pres. Young to hear Amasa Lyman’s confession which he had written and it was not satisfactory.  Pres. Young spoke very plainly upon the subject and told Bro. Lyman, that if he did not make a confession that was satisfactory, he should write upon the subject himself.  He said if it had happened in Joseph’s day, he would have cut him off the Church, and it was a question whether the Lord would justify us in retaining him in the Church or not.”  (JH 22 Jan., 1867)

27 Jan.:  Woodruff’s 2 sons to become Prophets & Apostles.

“I felt a spirit to testify to Phebe that her two Sons Wilford Leslie & Orion would become Prophets & Apostles in their day.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 27 Jan., 1867)

24 Feb.:  Request to form new ward.

“Elder Geo. A. Smith, A. Milton Musser, Elijah F. Sheets, John D. T. McAllister, Wm. Willis and Stephen Goddard met with the saints over Jordan at the house of Wm. Camp at 11 a.m.  About 25 of the brethren expressed their desires to become a separate Ward and that therefore a new Ward named Brighton was organized with Andrew W. Cooley as bishop.  (See Brigham Ward.)

The following document concerning the above is on file at the Historian’s Office Documentary History volume for 1867 page 201:


William W. Camps House

West of Jordan River, opposite Great Salt Lake City,

Sunday 11 a.m. Feb. 24th, 1867.

In answering the following petition from the settlers and those owning land west of Jordan River, not comprehended in any hitherto organization viz:

Brighton, Feb. 2nd, 1867,

President B. Young,

Dear Brother, The undersigned members of the Brigham Ward would be much pleased if you wouild appoint or cause to be appointed an officer to preside over this ward as bishop, believing that the moral and pecunary interest of the people here will be greatly benefited by such a step.  We have had no meetings and but few regulations which are so much needed to keep us in training and write us in carrying out every enterprise enaugurated for our mutual good.

Praying that the Lord will bless and prosper you in all things, we beg to remain your brethren in the Gospel,

Andrew W. Cooley John Nash

P. A. Dronboy Frederick Schoenfield

William Guage Benjamin Hiskey

George R. Jones Ludwig Walz

Chas. Howell Geo. B. Wallace

Jesse Vincent John G. Carlisle

Henry Sutton James Wood

President Brigham Young directed Elders Geo. A. Smith and A. Milton Musser to go over and organize the settlers into a ward and appoint a presiding Elder over it.  Elder E. F. Sheets, J. D. T. McAllister, Geo. Goddard, and William Willis accompanied them.  We met at the above place and date pursuant to an appointment, some 34 Elders and two sisters present; Bro. Geo. A. Smith presiding.

After singing and prayer, bro. Smith spoke of the object of the meeting and directed the reading of the above Petition.  He then wished a list of the names of the Elders present showing their several ordinations which were taken as follows:

. . . .

Bishop Sheets then addressed the meeting on the general duties of Teachers etc.  He hoped the Saints would appreciate the benefit of being thus organized and the good that would accrue to them therefrom.  After a spirited and appropriate song composed by Elder William Willis and sung by himself and Elders Goddard and McAllister; Elder Musser made remarks on various subjects.  Bro. George A. Smith then asked for an expression of the brethren as to their wanting an organization and Bishop.  By a show of hands all said organize us.  Brother Smith exhorted the Saints to observe the instructions given them; that an organization was necessary beyond a doubt, that those who are not naturalized should become so without delay; that enemies of the Kingdom of God, living east and west, North and south were urging Congress to annex Utah to Nevada, and that the Rail Road would no doubt pass through their settlement.  He said the President had suggested the name of Elder Andrew W. Cooley to preside over the ward which he desires should be called and known as the Brighton Ward, which would comprehend all the settlers and country on the west side of Jordan River, North of the present West Jordan Ward; extending north to Salt Lake and west to the boundary line of Tooele Ward.

Bro. Cooley said he was but a short time in the Church and consequently inexperienced, but if appointed he was willing to do his best, and desired his brethren to sustain him by their faith and prayers.  The Saints with raised hands were unanimous in sustaining him as their presiding officer.  Elders Luce, Hiskey, Camp, Goddard, McAllister, Willis, and Detson made many approving and encouraging remarks, expressing gratitude to God for His numerous Blessings, and urging the people to renewed diligence.

Elder Geo. A. Smith advised Elder Cooley to attend the Bishop’s meetings in the city, to call from time to time and see the President and others, and learn from every legitimate source the nature of his calling and duties.  Bro. Smith hoped the Saints would sustain Bro. Cooley, urged them to be punctual in their meetings.  He gave much good instruction about choirs, singing, building schools, Bishops callings and duties; the importance of blessing children, fast meetings, Ward Records, registry of marriages, births, deaths, Etc.

The meeting was a good and spirited one, the singing was par excellence.

Another meeting was appointed at the same place for Sunday next at 11 a.m.  Benediction by Elder G. A. Smith.

(signed) A. Milton Musser.”

(JH 24 Feb., 1867)

3 Mar.:  Bishops exercise more authority than Joseph did.

“Since the days of Joseph the authority of the holy priesthood has increased.  Bishops who are doing their duty have more authority in their wards than Bro. Joseph had formerly in the whole Church.  The people understand the requirements made of them and carry them out understandingly and intelligently.  This is very good, but a great change still has to be made; we have much more progress to make.”  (George Q. Cannon, 3 Mar., 1867; JD 11:337)

30 Apr.:  Amasa Lyman.

“The following is copied from Elder Wilford Woodruff’s Journal of this date:

Last evening and today the President and Twelve were in council respecting the conduct of Elder Amasa M. Lyman, who in his public teachings had denied the atonement of Christ, that the blood of Christ was of no avail.  The vote was put by Pres. Young to the Twelve and it was agreed to silence him from preaching.

A. M. Lyman’s dream.  Bro. Lyman while at Parowan in April, 1867, dreamed he saw a very fine vine which was surrounded by snakes, some of the snakes bit at the vine which whithered wherever they bit it.  Finall all the snakes bit it and it soon withered and disappeared entirely.”

(JH 30 Apr., 1867)

6 May:  Amasa Lyman censure.

“The following concerning a decision rendered by the quorum of the Twelve is here inserted in the shape of a correspondence:

St. George, Washington Co., Utah

May 6, 1867.

At a meeting of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 7 1867, certain accusatory statements were read which had been made to President Brigham Young respecting the teachings of Elder Amasa M. Lyman at Beaver, Beaver County, and at other places, and the four undersigned members of the Quorum, who were going South, were authorized to investigate the charges and to take such action upon them as might become necessary.

Elder Lyman, it was said, had, at a meeting held in Beaver, March 21st, read the 35th Psalm without comment, leaving it to his hearers to make their own application of it, and, in alluding to his recent confession, and told an anecdote about the countryman and the merchant, in which the countryman said that all men would lie if pinched hard enough; the merchant queried how hard an honest man would have to be pinched to make him tell a lie; to which the countryman made answer, ‘Why pinch him till he lies.’

It was further said that the whole draft of his teachings on the occasion referred to was in vindication of his former erroneous teachings respecting the atonement of Jesus; that he was not sorry for anything that he had preached.  The only thing that seemed grievous to him was that he was not understood.

While at Beaver, April 29th, and 30th these statements and charges were investigated by us, and were substantially confirmed by the evidence which came before us, and more particularly by Elder Lyman’s own explanations and statements in regard to his teachings on that occasion.  We further found that there were some in whose minds faith in the efficacy of the blood of Jesus was almost extinguished, and the most pernicious ideas were entertained by them respecting His atonement.  The development and growth of these errors we were constrained to attribute to the false teachings of Elder Lyman on the subject of the mission of Jesus.

Having fully satisfied ourselves upon these points, we have become convinced that, duty to our God, to the Truth, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the members thereof, to the holy calling which we have received, and to every consideration which can have weight with Saints of God, demand at our hands, that Elder Amasa M. Lyman be deprived of his priesthood.  Therefore,

We, the undersigned members of the Quorum of the Twelve feel to withdraw our fellowship from him, and to cut him off from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

John Taylor Wilford Woodruff

George A. Smith George Q. Cannon

Having heard a statement of the evidence and the circumstances of this case from the brethren who investigated it, and being familiar also ourselves with the unsound teachings of Elder Lyman we fully approve of and concur in the above action.

Erastus Snow Orson Hyde

Ezra T. Benson Lorenzo Snow

Orson Pratt, Sen. Charles C. Rich.”

(JH 6 May, 1867)

23 Jun.:  Joseph was told other churches had no priesthood

“Joseph was naturally inclined to be religious, and being young, and surrounded with this excietment, no wonder that he became seriously impressed with the necessity of serving the Lord.  But as the cry on every hand was, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ and ‘Lo, there!’  Said he, ‘Lord, teach me, that I may know for myself, who among these are right.’  And what was the answer?  ‘They are all out of the way; they have gone astray, and there is none that doeth good, no not one.’  When he found out that none were right, he began to inquire of the Lord what was right, and he learned for himself.  Was he aware of what was going to be done?  By no means.  He did not know what the Lord was going to do with him, althouigh He had informed him that the Christian churches were all wrong, because they had not the Holy Priesthood, and had strayed from the holy commandments of the Lord, precisely as the children of Israel did.  [NOTE THAT THIS PLACES THE PURPORTED MESSAGE AT THE TIME OF THE FIRST VISION, IN CONTRAST TO THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT MADE LATER IN THE SAME TALK] . . .

When the Lord called upon His servant Joseph, after leading him along for years until he got the plates, from a portion of which the Book of Mormon was translated, ‘By and bye,’ said he, ‘you are going to organize my church and establish my kingdom.  I am going to have a church on the earth.  All these churches you have inquired about are wrong; they have truth amongst them, but not the Priesthood.  They lack a guide to direct the affairs of the Kingdom of God on the earth–that is the keys of the priesthood of the Son of God.’  This tells the story.  We possess the Priesthood.  The Lord sent John to ordain Joseph to the Aaronic Priesthood, and when he commenced to baptize people he sent a greater power–Peter, James, and John, who ordained him to the apostleship, which is the highest office pertaining to the Kingdom of God that any man can possess on the face of the earth, for it holds the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and has power to dispense the blessings of the kingdom.”  (Brigham Young, 23 Jun., 1867; JD 12:67. 70)

11 Aug.:  Reminiscences of calling the Twelve.

“In that early day [i.e., 1830] the prophet Joseph said to me that the Lord had revealed that twelve men were to be chosen as Apostles.  A manuscript revelation to this effect, given in 1829–before the rise of this Church–was laid before me, and I read it.  [D&C 18?]  Joseph said to me, although I was young, weak, inexperienced, especially in public speaking, and ignorant of many important things which we now all understand, that I should be one of the Twelve.  It seemed to me a very great saying.  I looked upon the Twelve Apostles who lived in ancient days with a great deal of reverence–as being almost superhuman.  They were, indeed, great men–not by virtue of the flesh, nor their own natural capacities, but they were great because God called them.  When Joseph told me that I would be one of the Twelve, I knew all things were possible with God, but it seemed to me that I would have to be altogether changed to occupy such a great position in the Church and Kingdom of our God.

But I will pass over the first years of the organization of the Church and come down to the time when the Twelve were chosen.  It was in the year 1835.  In the preceding year a few of us, by commandment and revelation from God, went up to the State of Missouri in company with the Prophet Joseph Smith.  By the direction of Joseph I was requested to stay in Clay County for a few months, to visit the Saints scattered through those regions, to preach to and comfort them, and to lay before them the manuscript revelations, for they were not then fully acquainted with all the revelations which had been given.  After having accomplished this work, and proclaimed the gospel to many branches of the Church in the western part of Missouri, I returned again a thousand miles to the State of Ohio, preaching by the way, suffering much from the chills, and the fever and ague, while passing through those low sickly countries, wading swamps and sloughs, lying down on the prairies in the hot sun, fifteen or twenty miles from any habitation, and having a hearty shake of the ague, then a violent fever, thus wandering along for months before getting back to Kirtland, Ohio, where the Prophet lived.  In the meantime, however, I built up some few branches of the Church, and then started for the capital of the State of Ohio–the city of Columbus.  I entered the city, a stranger, on foot, and alone, not knowing that there was a Latter-day Saint within many miles, but, while passing along the crowded streets, I caught a glimpse of the countenance of a man who passed, and whirling around instantly, I went after him, and inquired of him if he knew whether there were any people called ‘Mormons’ in the city of Columbus.  Said he: ‘I am one of that people, and the only one that resides in the city.’  I looked upon this as a great marvel.  ‘How is it,’ said I, ‘that here in this great and populous city, where hundreds are passing to and fro, that I should be influenced to turn and accost the only Latter-day Saint residing here.’  I look upon it as a revelation, as a manifestation of the power of God in my behalf.  He took me to his house, and, when there, presented me with a paper published by our people in Kirtland.  In that paper I saw an advertisement, in which br. Pratt was requested to be at Kirtland on such a day and at such an hour, to attend meeting in the Temple, that he might be ready to take his departure with the Twelve who had been chosen.  The day and hour designated were right at hand; the Twelve were chosen, and were soon to start on their first mission as a Council.  I had been travelling among stangers for months, and had not seen the paper.

I saw that I had not time to reach Kirtland on foot, as I had been accustomed to travel, and consequently could not thus comply with the request; but, with a little assistance, I got into the very first stage that went out, and started post-haste for Kirtland, and landed at Willoughby, or what was then called Chagrin, three miles from Kirtland, to which I travelled on foot, reaching there on Sunday morning at the very hour appointed for the meeting, which I entered, valise in hand, not having had time to deposit it by the way.  There I met with Joseph, Oliver Cowdry, David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and others of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, besides several of the Twelve who had been chosen and ordained a short time previous.  They were meeting on that day in order to be fully organized and qualified for their first mission as a council.  And, strange to relate, it had been prophesied in that meeting, and in prior meetings, I would be there on that day.  They had predicted this, although they had not heard of me for some time, and did not know where I was.  They knew I had been in Missouri, and that I had started from there, several months before, but the Lord poured out the spirit of prophecy upon them, and they predicted I would be there at that meeting.  When they saw me walk into the meeting, many of the Saints could scarcely believe their own eyes, the prediction was fulfilled before them so perfectly.  I look at these things as miraculous manifestations of the Spirit of God.

I was ordained, and went forth with the Council of the Twelve.  We performed an extended mission through the eastern States, built up churches, and returned again to Kirtland.”  (Orson Pratt, 11 Aug., 1867; JD 12:85-87)

6 Oct.:  Peter, James and John visited Kirtland Temple.

“We have built this house [SL Tabernacle] to worship God; and now our duty is to prepare ourselves for the blessings to be obtained in the Temple by building one, and building it in purity of heart and sincerity of soul, as the Temple of Kirtland was reared in the midst of privation and poverty.  When that building was dedicated, it was visited by Peter, James and John, and by hundreds of angels, who were seen of many.”  (Heber C. Kimball, Semi-Annual General Conference, 6 Oct., 1867; DN 16(40):313, 9 Oct., 1867)

8 Oct.:  A M Lyman dropped from Quorum AND Apostleship.

“A lengthy statement was read by Elder [George Q.] Cannon, showing the reasons why br. Amasa M. Lyman was removed from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his Apostleship taken from him.  The action of the First Presidency and the members of the Twelve in this matter was laid before the Conference, and unanimously sustained by vote.  Elder Joseph F. Smith was sustained as a member of the Twelve to fill the vacancy.”  (Semi-Annual General Conference, 7 Oct., 1867; DN 16(40):314, 9 Oct., 1867)

8 Dec.:  Teachers to help bishops collect fast offerings.

“The Bishops should, through their teachers, see that every family in their wards, who is able, should donate what they would naturally consume on the fast day to the poor.”  (Brigham Young, 8 Dec., 1867; JD 12:116)