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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1871

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1871.” You can view other years here.

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1871:  21 Jan.:  St. George School of the Prophets.

“January, (Saturday) 21st. [1871]  President Brigham Young preached to day at St. George to the School of the Prophets.  This is the first time he has delivered an address since his arrival, the fore part of Dec., 1870.”  (Annals of the Southern Mission, Book B, p. 130)

25 Jan.:  Bishops form co-op.

“Bishop Wm. Price, of Newton, called upon us this morning and from him we learn of the progress which is being made in that quarter by the people.  Like many other places, Newton has suffered severely from ravages of grasshoppers.  It is thought that they laid some eggs there this last Fall, but it is hoped and generally thought that they were not very numerous.  The good land of the settlement not being in one body, the settlers cannot farm and fight the grasshoppers with that success which residents of other places do who have good land in abundance in a compact body.  The people contemplate fencing several hundred acres of farming land on the north of their settlement, which they think will be good for cultivation; and the prospects for the coming season they think rather favorable.  A co-operative sheep-herd was organized at Newton this last Fall, to which the citizens of other settlements have sent their sheep, the range in that vicinity being the best in the county.

From Bishop Price we gain the gratifying intelligence that the Bishops of Utah county met on Friday afternoon last, at Provo city, as a committee to adopt measures for the formation of co-operative herds of cattle, horses and sheep.  The subject was mooted at the regular Bishops’ meeting four weeks previously, and the Bishops of each settlement were appointed a committee to take the subject under consideration.  On Friday an organization was effected by the nomination of Bishop M. Tanner, of Provo, as President of the Utah county cattle, horses and sheep Co-operative Herds, (Bishop A. O. Smoot nominating him, he himself having so many other duties to attend to that he could not accept the position of President) and Bishop W. Bringhurst, of Springville, as Vice-President.  A director was also nominated for each settlement in the county.  Brother Chipman, of American Fork, and Brother Tanner, of Payson, were proposed as Superintendents of the Herds.  They will take the general charge of the stock, of its removal, will select suitable herd grounds, hire herdsmen, and attend to all other business connected with the management and care of the stock.  It was also suggested to have a farm in connection, so as to raise the necessary feed for the stock.  Another meeting has been appointed for the first Monday in March to perfect arrangements.

It is felt that the formation of these co-operative herds will be attended with the happiest results.  There is one excellent effect, to which Bishop Price alluded, that will follow this organization, namely, the extinguishing of local jealousies between settlements on account of herd grounds.  The settling of the county has narrowed the ranges for stock, until there is but little room left for it, and it has required good management and brotherly kindness to keep down feelings of contention as to the rights of neighborhoods to particular spots for grazing purposes.  These general co-operative herds will amalgamate the interests of the people, and effectually prevent the growth of selfish and divided feelings upon the subject of stock.  On this account we hail such movements with real pleasure.  We are a united people on religious questions; let us become united in what are known as our temporal interests, and we will prosper as no people can who pull against one another and give full scope to selfishness and rivalry.

How long shall we wait in Salt Lake County before we reach such an organization of herds?  This is the empore county of the Territory, in population and wealth; and in no county is such an organization more needed than in this.  Will our Bishops take a hint from the action of their brethren elsewhere and take the necessary steps to establish co-operative herds?”  (DN 19(51):598-599, 25 Jan., 1871)

19 Mar.:  Restoration of the Priesthood.

“Thus you have the testimony of twelve men, eleven witnesses besides the one who found the plates, three of whom saw the angel of God; and all this before there was any latter-day church in existence.  There was a circumstance, however, that took place, before the organization of this Church, on the 15th day of May, 1829.  Two men, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, being exercised before the Lord in regard to the ordinance of baptism; how and in what way they should receive this ordinance acceptably before him they did not know.  They understood the mode of baptism, for in the translation of this record they found that the ancient inhabitants of Israel baptized by immersion, and that the words used in connection with it were also given.  The question arose, Who could baptize them.  The Lord had already told them that there was no true church on the earth, and that there was no authorized minister to administer baptism; and, of course, this was a question that would arise in the mind of any individuals under similar circumstances; they would naturally want to know how they could be baptized, so as to have their baptism recognized in the heavens.  They understood that they might just as well jump into the water themselves, as to be baptized by a man having no authority on him.  they did not understand how it could be done, and they therefore were troubled in their minds with regard to it, and went and humbled themselves before the Lord, who, on the 15th day of May, 1829, sent an angel to them.  This angel informed them that he was John the Baptist, who was beheaded, and who baptized their Savior, and that he held the priesthood of his fathers, the priesthood of Levi.  He laid his hands upon their heads and ordained them unto the priesthood that he himself had, which priesthood had authority to baptize for the remission of sins, but had no authority to lay hands upon the people for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  John, who baptized our Savior, himself declared:

I can baptize you with water, and that is the extent of my authority, but there cometh one after me who is mightier than I, he has greater authority, he can baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; but I have the right to baptize you with water.  This was in substance what John said to the Jews in his day.  He conferred this same priesthood upon these two men, and commanded them to baptize one another, giving them a promise that that priesthood should never be taken from the earth, but should remain for ever; consequently the priesthood conferred by the angel is never again to be banished from the earth, as it has been throughout the dark ages.

They went and baptized each other, for the Lord did not permit them to organize the Church until the fullness of time had arrived.  He appointed the day by new revelation, the very day on which they should commence the organization of the Church–namely, the 6th of April, 1830; also gave a commandment on the day of its organization, how the Church should be organized, with what offices, or those necessary to constitute a true Church of God here on the earth.  Previous, however, to this organization of the Church they received higher authority than that which John the Baptist gave them.

For when they found they only had authority to baptize by water, but could not minister the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, the question arose immediately: How shall we obtain that authority?  They again prayed; they again called upon the name of the Lord, and the Lord sent messengers from heaven with a higher priesthood than that which John the Baptist held, whose names were Peter, James and John, three ancient apostles, and they conferred upon them the priesthood and Apostleship that they themselves had, which gave them authority not only to baptize, but to administer in the ordinance of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, precisely the same as the Apostles did when on the earth.”  (Orson Pratt, 19 Mar., 1871; JD 14:144-145)

8 Apr.:  Other messengers ordained Joseph to Apostleship.

“According to the Scriptures of divine truth, and the revelations that God has given, ‘no man taketh this honor unto himself, except he be called of God, as was Aaron.’  These are the words of the Apostle.  Did Joseph Smith ever arrogate to himself this right?  Never, never, never; and if God had not sent a messenger to ordain him to the Aaronic Priesthood and then other messengers to ordain him to the Apostleship, and told him to build up his kingdom on the earth, it would have remained in chaos to this day.”  (Brigham Young, 8 Apr., 1871; JD 14:96)

9 Apr.:  Baptize even the unworthy.

“In the first place, I want to say to the Elders who go forth to preach the Gospel–no matter who may apply to you for baptism, even if you have good reason to believe they are unworthy, if they require it forbid them not, but perform that duty and administer the ordinance for them; it clears the skirts of your garments, and the responsibility is upon them.”  (Brigham Young, 9 Apr., 1871; JD 14:78)

14 Apr.:  Home missionaries.

“Elder Albert Carrington presented the names of the following brethren, who were called on missions and unanimously sustained–

TO EUROPE.  Robert McQuarrie, Ogden City.

TO THE STATES.  Lucien Noble, Salt Lake City.  John Evarts, Davis Co.

HOME MISSIONARIES.–William Jeffries, Grantsville; William G. Young, Cottonwood; William Lee, Grantsville; Cyrus H. Wheelock, Mount Pleasant; Evan M. Greene, Smithfield; James A. Little, Kanab; John R. Young, Glendale; James L. Bunting, Kanab; John L. Smith, Beaver; Jonathan Crosby, Beaver; Joseph B. Nobles, Bountiful; William Martindale, Duncan.

. . . .

President Geo. A. Smith then addressed the Conference as follows–

. . . .

I have been edified in listening to the remarks of the elders who have spoken; but as the Conference has not been very large, and we shall not, at the present time, be able to entirely close our business, we think proper to adjourn from week to week until our business is completed.  I wish, however, to offer a few suggestions for the benefit of the elders who have been called to take part in the labor of preaching the gospel more directly than they have hitherto done in the various settlements.  It will be necessary that they organize themselves into convenient companies for the holding of two-days’ meetings.  Where it is practicable perhaps the Twelve would superintend this organization; but where it is not, some of the more experienced missionaries can step forward and make the necessary arrangements.  For instance, in this county, Elders Lorenzo D. Young and Milo Andrus, and perhaps some one or two others, might confer together, and appiont meetings in the different settlements–say at Mill Creek, Draper, at the Cottonwoods, West Jordan, and others; and on the occasions appointed for meetings enough of these elders, as they arrange among themselves, could meet there and devote a couple of days to preaching, giving instructions, talking upon the things of the kingdom and bearing testimony to the plan of salvation, stirring up the hearts of the brethren to faithfulness and diligence.

You know it is said by the apostle, ‘It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believed.’  I have felt satisfied that the preaching of the elders was very important, not only in instructing the young and rising generation, but in keeping alive and awake all those in the church who, peradventure, through the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of richs and a hundred other causes, may suffer themselves to become slothful, thoughless and lukeward.  We see this very clearly illustrated in the revelation concerning Zion.  The Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith, speaking concerning Zion, in Book D. C., page 279, pars. 6 and 7 says:

A certain nobleman had a spot of land . . . and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

Now if they had done as they had been instructed and kept awake, perhaps by faithful preaching and diligence on the part of some of them in getting up meetings, or in some other way had taken upon themselves to build the tower and set watchmen upon it, they would have seen the enemy when afar off and would have been prepared to defend the tower and the vineyard, and to preserve the property of their lord.  I have quoted the parable, to show the importance, as I think, not only of our bishops and the presidents of stakes and branches being diligent with the aid of their teachers, but that the elders should wake up and have meetings more frequently than for some time past.  In the county of Davis, a number of elders have been selected to take part in these home missions.  We do not wish to confine any of them to the two days’ meetings; nor to labor within the limits of that county.  They should be alive, on any and every occasion that they may have opportunity, in ward meetings, or circulating round through the settlements, in preaching the gospel of peace, bearing testimony and stirring the Saints up to diligence.  It will be well for Elders Anson Call, W. B. Nobles, or some of the other elders who have been appointed, to notify the rest, and make arrangements for their meetings in the different wards–Bountiful, Kaysville, Farmington, and all those places where there are large houses; and perhaps when the season advances, get up one or two county meetings.  And if the houses are too small, hold your meetings under the shade of a grove or bowery, and have a general good time.  And the same course may be taken by the elders in other counties.

The Twelve will give advice or instruction at any time it is required, in relation to the duties of these missionaries.  It is very likely that before the close of the Conference there may be more selected; but those we have already selected, we hope will be alive and diligent in the performance of their duties, and aid the bishops and all the presiding authorities of the several wards in giving instructions, preaching the gospel of peace, and causing comfort, satisfaction and happiness to dwell freely and abundantly in the hearts of all.  We are very well aware that one of the great enjoyments of a Latter-day Saint, when he is living in the exercise of his holy religion, is in going to meeting, and in hearing the instructions of the servants of the Lord.

These missionaries should also visit and encourage the Sunday schools in all the neighborhoods where they travel.  I do not expect them to be stationary where they live, but to pass into neighboring counties, and, if necessary, and their circumstances will permit, to travel from one end of the Territory to the other.  Those who have been appointed heretofore as home missionaries need not consider that they are released from that appointment in consequence of their not being included in this one.  They should continue their labors and instructions among the Scandinavian brethren in their native tongue, as well as among the German, French, Welsh, or other branches wherever it may be necessary to have meetings in the languages of emigrants from other nations who have not had time, opportunities or facilities to learn the English language well enough to understand the general preaching and instruction.”  (General Conference Minutes, 14 Apr., 1872; DN 21(11):141, 17 Apr., 1872)

21 May:  Have the dead been brought to life?

“I am a witness here, to-day, that these sayings and promises have been fulfilled in these latter days as much as they were in the days of the Savior.  Have the dead been brought to life?  Yes, or those who, to all appearance, were dead, and this is so to my certain knowledge? [Question mark in original.]  But were they dead?  No, they were not.  What did Jesus say to his disciples and those who followed him to the grave of Lazarus, when they were mourning and bewailing, and beseeching him to say the word only and it should be done?  Jesus said, ‘He is not dead, but sleepeth.’  So it has been in these latter days.  To all appearance life and breath had departed, but they yet lived, and some who, under such circumstances, were restored by the power of God, are still living.  The eyes of the blind have been opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped; the lame have been made to leap, and foul spirits have been cast out.  Has this been the case in every instance?  Not by any means, neither was it in the days of the Savior.  They who have faith receive these blessings if they live according to the spirit of the holy Gospel.”  (Brigham Young, 21 May, 1871; JD 14:132)