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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1874

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1874.” You can view other years here.

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1874:  8 Jan.:  Teachers express views on nature of calling.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Bp. Sheets said he would like to have the Teachers present express their views on the nature of their calling, and whether they are willing to do their duty in visiting the Saints, as he felt satisfied that a great lack existed among the Teachers, and he felt as though it would be better for the brethren to either do their part or stand aside and let others take their place.  And if there was not enough men in the ward, he and his Council would turn out and visit the Saints.

Remarks were made by Brs. John W. Snell, Albert Holt, Mifflin Palmer, Edward Steel, Henry Wallace, Horace Ensign, John Engstrom, Wm. Rawlins, Jos. McMurrin, J. Shelmardine, Wm. H. Piggott, Richard Chamberlain, J. W. Pike, Cr. Brockbank and Cr. J. D. T. McAllister expressive of their determination to do all they can for the rolling forth of the work.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 8 Jan., 1874)

17 Jan.:  Concerning bishops.

“But how is it with the bishops of Utah–the men who preside over the Latter-day Saints in the various settlements?  Who pays them?  Are the people whom they teach, and for whose benefit they spend so large a portion of their time charged anything for their salaries?  Not one cent.  They have no salaries.  Their food, their clothing, their houses, and their horses and carriages, if they have any, are their own, and have been obtained by their honest industry.  When they preach a good discourse, or give good counsel, or baptize, or administer to the sick, or bless little children, or teach the people how to build, how to make good farms, good orchards, good gardens, good roads, or how to have fine stock, it is at no cost to the people.  They are not taxed to pay them a good salary for their time.  If the bishops have any experience, knowledge or ability more than the people, the latter have the full benefit of their advantages without cost.  The priesthood, then, is no burden to the Latter-day Saints.  Common gratitude, without mentioning other and higher reasons, should prompt men, women, and the Juveniles to honor those who bear and magnify it.  Let every child honor his bishop or other presiding officer as a servant of God.  His hands may not be as soft, his face not so white, his clothes not so fine, his house not so nicely furnished, and his speech not so smooth as the bishops of the churches which have strayed from the gospel.  But if his hands and face be embrowned with toil, it is to his honor.  He sustains himself and family; he labors without stint for the flock which God has placed in his charge.  If his dress and surroundings are plain, they speak to his praise.  A man of very little sense can live on the earnings of other people if they furnish him money enough.  Give him a good salary and he can buy plenty of food, of clothes, of furniture, kid gloves to keep his hands smooth and live a life of ease.  One little better than an idiot, if he had money furnished him, could do that much.  But he who sustains himself, and besides spends time in teaching and helping others to sustain themselves, is a MAN in the best sense of the term, and as such is deserving of honor.  And such are the great majority of the presiding officers among the people of Utah.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 9(2):18-19, 17 Jan., 1874)

2 Feb.:  AP quorums to be filled with men of experience.

“We might think that these [AP] quorums should be filled with young men, but the kingdom of God had increased and there was evils and iniquities in the church, and it is the duty of the lesser priesthood to look after these things, and for this reason men of experience was called for that purpose.”  (Bishop Canute Petersen, 2 Feb., 1874, Sanpete Aaronic Priesthood Minutes; in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):389, Spring, 1976)

6 Apr.:  Stepwise organizing of the Church.

“Forty-four years have rolled over our heads since God gave commandment to a young man, a youth, to organize baptized believers into a Church, which was called the kingdom of God, not organized in its fullness, for there were not materials enough at that time to institute all the officers that were needed in that kingdom.  The kingdom needed inspired Apostles, Seventies, High Priests after the order of Melchizedec; it needed the Priesthood of Aaron–the Levitical Priesthood, which the ancient Prophet said should be restored in the latter days.  The kingdom needed all the appendages and blessings of these two Priesthoods, and there were not a sufficient number then baptized to make the organization perfect and complete; but so far as there were individuals the organization was commenced, although there were then only six menbers.  Two of these were Apostles, called of God to be Apostles; called by new revelation to be Apostles; called by the ministration of angels to be Apostles; ordained by the laying on of hands of immortal personages from the eternal worlds.  Hence, being ordained by this high authority, called by this high and holy calling, and chosen to go forth and organize the kingdom, and to preach the message of life and salvation among the children of men, they were obedient; and the other four individuals were organized in connection with them, upon the foundation that had been laid by the Lord himself, and not upon a creed that had been concocted in some council of uninspired men; not upon some articles of faith that were framed by uninspired men to guide and govern them; but what they received was by direct revelation.  Not one step was taken without obtaining a revelation in regard to the manner of proceeding in relation to the laying of this foundation.”  (Orson Pratt, 6 Apr., 1874; JD 17:26-27)

8 Apr.:  Listing of Presiding Elders and Bishops.

A published list of “Presiding Elders and Bishops of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Utah Territory and adjacent Settlements.”  Lists 20 “Presiding Bishops”, over groups of from 2 to 30 wards each.  (DN 23(10):151, 8 Apr., 1874)

22 Apr.[?]:  Opening lecture before 62nd quorum of 70.


In considering the purpose for which, as brethren, we meet this evening, I have felt constrained to recollect that we convene here as Seventies; yet not as an individual quorum only, but as, in some sense, representing that great body scattered throughout this Territory, all measurably subject to the direction and control of the President and Council of the general organization.  In thus reflecting I felt that many ideas are fairly legitimate to our circumstances, as follows:


What is their origin?  Of whom are they composed?  What are their special functions or calling?  And what should be their characteristics?


There can be no doubt but that this is an ancient order, even written history giving us traces of their existence in the Mosaic era as a group organization, of the special number seventy, in harmony with some law lost to this generation.  Even the law of numbers, as found in the sacred records, and in connection with sacred things, the number seven has been specially used, as in twice seven, three times seven and ten times seven, also in the seven days of the week, the seven years of famine, the seven churches of Asia, and the seven golden candlesticks, with numerous other instances down to the first seven Presidents of the sacred order or organization of Seventies.

On the Asiatic continent in the meridian of time, the Seventies were a recognized order; or if, through the Jewish apostacy, they had ever become extinct, in connection with the ministrations of the ‘Great Teacher’ they found a special resurrection, for we read that he appointed other Seventies also, and sent them two and two before his face, into every city and place whither he himself would come.  On this great American continent it was no doubt found that the same order and organization were necessary for the fulfilement [sic] of Divine purpose.  Then their origin must have been divine, their order no doubt eternal, and used long before the morning stars sang together, or the sons of God shouted for joy.


So far as we know they have always been organized men, dwellers in the flesh; they are not a spiritual organization; they neither belong to cherubim or seraphim, they are neither angels nor arch angels; but they have been called and gathered from men of like passions with ourselves.  They are almost, if not altogether, unique in their existence and name.  So far as we know, the organization has never been imitated in all the vagaries of the Christian world, for however unceremoniously they may have appropriated or perverted any other name, title, or special sacred characters, they have curiously never appropriated that.  It would seem almost as if by reason of some inherent virtue in sacred number it had been preserved.  The ‘sectarian Christian world’ have had bishops, presbyters, apostles, elders, teachers, deacons, gifts, tongues, in all the pomp and circumstances of ‘counterfeit presentment,’ and in many instances the name without even pretensions to counterfeit; but the seventies have been without rivalry in either Ecclesiastical or other organization of the earth.

Shakespeare has asked, ‘What’s in a name?’  Much every way, when the name is an unerring index of the thing itself, in its relationship and bearing, in its tendency and purpose, in its origin and destiny.  Men may, for secular honor, privilege and pay, have created an apostleship or presidency, but they have not been ambitious to become ‘special witnesses’ in all lands, under adverse circumstances, born of prejudice, in persecution oft, misunderstood, misrepresented, yet faithful to the holy trust, and, spite of themselves, giving history to the world, with as much unconcern as we give our children bread.  Yes, this organization belongs to man, its ranks are filled by men, and for man it has existed, and will exist, and, faithful to that special name, wherever the same work is needed, it will as certainly and unerringly be found.


Organization implies necessity, that is, in divine organization.  In it there is nothing superfluous.  The Seventies have their own special and peculiar mission: they are called to preach the gospel and to be ‘special witnesses’ to the Gentiles, following up the great preparatory labors of the Twelve Apostles, whose mission is to hold the keys to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When the doors are opened, the Seventies are called to push their way into all nations, as a travelling ministry to all mankind.  How much, then, is pertaining to and involved in such a calling let the revelations answer.  They bring to the poor the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to the ignorant the wisdom which cometh from above.  In this great work the question of authority is involved.  They are special witnesses of what shall I say?  Witnesses of the great facts of spiritual communion, that there is an unseen world, a spirit world, something beyond the sense of sight, or of hearing, yet something as perceptible and tangible as both, patent to the spiritual sense, appreciated by our spiritual perception, one of the evidences of our spiritual existence prior to as well as after the period when the fleshly organization shall have crumbled into dust.  Special  implies purpose.  When we send special ambassadors it not only implies authority, but purpose.  There is something to be done, there is a message to be delivered; and where the authority is supreme the message must have attention, it must command respect and obedience.  If disobedience exists, if there is authority to command obedience, it implies the necessity and certainty of punishment, in case of non-attention.  These principles are the natural result of the primary element.  An organization of Seventies would have no field of action except among immortals if man was but as the beasts of the field, for no communion could deliver him from his degradation; but the ability to progress indicates his origin and superiority, his intellect is subject to the influences of forces seen and unseen; his religious tendencies imply religious service, and character, while the instinct of worship points with unerring certainty, according to its development, to the necessity and certainty of a full opportunity for its most extended gratification.

Upon these great forces of man’s organization the gospel is based.  That which the Seventies are called to preach or proclaim is a systematized something which man needs, which to him is an advantage; a something which he cannot do without.  This is all involved in the calling of a Seventy.  These are the functions of this order: to be the representatives of authority, to officiate in all the necessities of that authority, to exercise that authority for a purpose, a purpose worthy of the authority, and to be the mediums, in many respects, of chastisement for disobedience to that authority; in other words the functions of the Seventies or a Seventy, belong to the Priesthood, God manifest in the flesh.


What should be the characteristics of those who are called Seventies?

They should certainly understand the principles which they are called upon to proclaim, the message which they shall deliver.  To be ignorant under such circumstances is criminal.  Ability in any other direction will not justify ignorance in this.  An ignorant ambassador is always discreditable to his government, and may be an injury to its interests.  He is liable to exceed the limits of his authority, or he may manifest an indecision in asserting the same which is destructive of respect for the authority he represents.  Now, a Seventy should be able to rightly divide the word of truth; he should show that it had ‘come to him in power and in much assurance.’  In delivering his message he should seek to do it in the best possible style.  Truth may fail of its effect from the manner of its delivery.  This may be illustrated by the anecdote related of a worthy Bishop of the English church and a celebrated actor.  The first made the inquiry, how it was that in preaching the most solemn truths he failed to produce the desired effect upon his hearers, while his friend, in the exercise of his professional duties on the stage, could swsay his audience to laughter or tears, in sympathy with his personification.  ‘Ah! my lord,’ replied the actor, ‘the difference between us is simply this–while you preach truth as though it were fiction, I represent fiction as though it were truth.’  In preaching the gospel some have aroused opposition every where, while others, by their manner and spirit, have been to their hearers as the early dew upon the grass, and many seals have been given them to their ministry.  Then the Seventies might fall into the other extreme, and think, because they have understanding and ability as above, that it is unnecessary for them to possess any other knowledge.  This is also a grievous error.  Each Seventy should be an earnest and persistent student in every field of knowledge and intelligence which can be used or be accessory to his success in the discharge of his primary calling and duty.  Then again, the error should be avoided of supposing that an earnest faith in, or knowledge of, the gospel will admit of immorality or unrighteousness.  The truth shoiuld be held in purity and righteousness of life.  The picture drawn by the Psalmist, should be, nay in fact is, a picture of a faithful Seventy: ‘Lord, who shall stand in thy holy hill?  He that is of clean hands and pure heart.’

Some have thought differently from this; they have supposed that if a man was faithful to the theory of the gospel, and would talk loudly in favor of his superiors, that this would cover a multitude of sins.  But, ah! my brethren, we never so sustain our order, our superiors, or our theories as when we embody the latter into our daily life.  When our faith glistens in the eye, when it gives elasticity to our step, when we become living epistles, known and read of all men, we have personified our faith, and it has become interwoven with all the relationships of our daily life, and it enters into every fibre of our being–we have become sanctified through the Truth.  Such a man lives not unto himself.  If he is gifted with intellect, he is not ruled by it; it has become sanctified and consecrated.  If he is possessed of strong will power, it is subjugated, not destroyed, but curbed, restrained, directed; he says, ‘Not my will but thine be done.’  Obedience possesses no terrors for him, for he understands the necessity of order, he inculcates it in his family, and his life, yet in and through it all secures to himself and gives to others an individuality which knows no license, yet is faithful to law.  He is a student of the human organism in all its forms and forces, in its physiology and philosophy, comprehends that his being must have a purpose, and seeks to give it perpetuity in himself and in posterity.  Such a one adorns his race, and like a milestone on the great highway to eternity, he marks the progress which is or can be made towards the celestial city.  The moral and spiritual forces which blossom into action through such an organization, both individually and collectively, are of that class which prophecy with no uncertain sound of that time when that famous prayer, which has come down to us through the centuries, shall perforce have become obsolete–‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’  Then poetry and prophecy, the twin sisters of inspirational origin, shall have rounded their ethereal shadows into enduring substance, and where in the past their voices may have seemed fitful and capricious, in the coming time they shall find crystalization in songs of rejoicing and anthems of perennial praise.

To aid in such a glowing future our organization exists.  By virtue of law, by virtue of adaptability, by virtue of authority, such an organization must eventually succeed.  It may have its dormant seasons, times in which it may appear to be superseded; it may have thrust into its ranks those who are unworthy or without its spirit; it may have held its authority and honor far too cheap; but it shall reassert itself, its history reaching far into the mists of antiquity, shall find its richest glow in the not far distant future; and while heaven and earth minister to its coming glory, it finds itself vested with every saving process which can be circumscribed by time or eternity, by heaven or earth, by God or man.  It is in fact one of the chief levers of priesthood, by which organisms move from plane to plane, till we become as God, even the sons of God.

Where is the man who has been enrolled and counted as a Seventy, but would feel better did he consider his position, his responsibility, his destiny, his alliance with an eternal order, acting through eternal principles to secure eternal results?  Of course, much of this is equally applicable to other branches of the Priesthood, to helps and governments; yet the special characteristics remain, and with the precision which belongs to everything divine, special characteristics will have their special work; special workers will be known by their special name, not one of the least of which is to be a ‘special witness,’ or a member of the Seventies of Israel in the latter days.


(Date of lecture not listed; DN 23(12):178, 22 Apr., 1874)

20 May:  Announcement of excommunication.

“Excommunications–At a public meeting held in Cedar City, Sunday evening, April 26th, 1874, Geo. A. Hicks, of Fort Hamilton, was cut off the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for apostacy.

Henry Lunt, Bishop.

R. Palmer, Clerk.”

[Check other issues of the Deseret Daily News to see if this was a regular feature.]

(Reprint of report from 20 May; DN 23(17):257, 27 May, 1874)

28 May:  Excommunication listed.

“To Whom It May Concern.–This is to certify that George Stringam was cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by the High Council of this Stake of Zion on March 10th, 1874.

John Pike, Clerk of High Council.

May 28th, 1874.”

(Reprint of report from 29 May; DN 23(18):284, 3 Jun., 1874)

3 Jun.:  Bishops’ record of ordinances.

“TO BISHOPS AND OTHERS.–For the benefit of those who desire a complete and faithful record of their families, when born, blessed, confirmed, etc., in their respective wards, and with a view of securing uniformity of information under suitable headings, a Bishop’s Record has been carefully compiled by the authority and sanction of the bishops and the leading men in Israel, and as such is recommended, hoping the bishops and brethren of wards will avail themselves of a correct record that may be handed down to posterity.

Respectfully yours,

Edwd. Hunter,

L. W. Hardy,

J. C. Little.”

(DN 23(18):279, 3 Jun., 1874)

20 Jun.:  Obedience to “the priesthood.

“Here some one may assert that he has not one word to say against a man being obedient to God, but it is this obedience to other men to which he objects.  Who is meant by this expression ‘other men?’  We reply, the holy priesthood–the servants of God.  Just as well might a man say he believes in obeying the king, but does not believe in obeying his ambassadors, or his representatives.  How can a man obey God and disobey the priesthood, who teach God’s will?  They are the channel of communication between heaven and earth; they are the mouth pieces of Jehovah, and when we hearken to them we obey Him.

Then, it may be asked, are they to whom we yield obedience of a truth the mouth pieces of God?  For if we do know that they are so, then in honoring them we honor God, in obeying their words we obey Him; or, on the other hand, in despising them we despise Him, in rejecting them we reject Him, to our own condemnation.  Jesus said to His apostles: ‘He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.’  And here we would remark, that the fact that others do not know that they to whom we yield obedience are the servants of the Most High, does not affect us.  If we have received this knowledge, then the ignorance of others is nothing to us, nor shall we be answerable therefor if we do our duty.  Inasmuch as a man has heard the voice of God, the testimony of a million that they did not hear it, is no proof to that man that God did not speak, and when we have a testimony within us, given by the Holy Spirit, that these men are God’s servants, the question, so far as we are concerned, is beyond all human controversy.  This being so, it matters not to our free agency whether we obey the words of the Lord, as they come direct from the mouth of a living apostle, or as we gather them from the record of His teachings handed down to us from generation to generation; but they who obey a living priesthood have this immense advantage, that they can receive the word of the Lord direct, as their circumstances and needs may require.”  (George Q. Cannon, JI 9(13):150-151, 20 Jun., 1874)

20 Jun.:  Form of confirmation/RESTORATION OF MP.

“You enquire as to the proper form of confirmation:

In the name of Jesus Christ, we lay our hands upon your head and confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and We say unto you in his name: receive ye the Holy Ghost, Amen.

The Elder may pronounce such blessings as the Spirit dictates.  A variation in this form of words communicating the same meaning might give rise to query and dispute.  The more simple and definite the administration the better.

Your question in regard to the time when the Melchisedec Priesthood was given: I always understood that the conference of the 6th of June, 1831, was the time that Joseph ordained some of the Elders to the higher priesthood of Melchisedic and the office of President of the High Priesthood was revealed, but did not refer to the time when he received the Apostleship, which was before the organization of the Church.  See ‘Millennial Star,’ Vol. 19, pp. 257-8-9 and 260 for further particulars.”  (George A. Smith to John A. West, 20 Jun., 1874; JH 20 Jun., 1874)

21 Jun.:  Peter, James & John and Melchizedek Priesthood.

“Has the angel flown through the midst of heaven and delivered the gospel to the children of men?  Yes, we believe all this.  Do we believe that the Lord sent his messengers to Joseph Smith and commanded him to refrain from joining any Christian church, and to refrain from the wickedness he saw in the churches, and finally delivered to him a message informing him that the Lord was about to establish his kingdom on the earth, and led him on step by step until he gave him the revelation concerning the plates?  Yes, this is all correct.  Did Joseph receive these revelations?  He did.  Did the heavenly messengers come to Joseph and commit to him the keys of the Aaronic priesthood?  Yes, we believe all this.  Did they commit to him the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood?  Yes.  This is all correct, we believe all this.  Did the Lord speak from the heavens through Joseph, commanding his people to gather out from the wicked before the scourges–sickness, pestilence, wars, bloodshed, and the various calamities spoken of by the prophets and apostles, should pass over the nations?  Yes, we believe the Lord has called upon the people who received the gospel to come out of Babylon, to separate themselves from the wicked and to stand in holy places preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man.  All Latter-day Saints believe all this; then I say, if we do believe it let us act up to and be true to our faith and to the knowledge that we have of God and his kingdom.  This is what is required of us.

We have passed from one thing to another and I may say from one degree of knowledge to another.  When Joseph first received the knowledge of the plates that were in the hill Cumorah he did not then receive the keys of the Aaronic priesthood, he merely received the knowledge that the plates were there and that the Lord would bring them forth, and that they contained the history of the aborigines of this country.  He received the knowledge that they were once in possession of the gospel; and from that time he went on, step by step, until he obtained the plates and the Urim and Thummim and had power to translate them.  This did not make his an apostle, it did not give to him the keys of the kingdom nor make him an elder in Israel.  He was a prophet, and had the spirit of prophecy, and had received all this before the Lord ordained him.  And when the Lord, by revelation, told him to go to Pennsylvania, he did so, and finished the translation of the Book of Mormon; and when the Lord, in another revelation, told him to come back, into New York State, and to go to old Father Whitmer’s, who lived in a place opposite Waterloo, and there stop, he did so, and had meetings and gathered up the few who believed in his testimony.  He received the Aaronic priesthood, and then he received the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood and organized the church.  He first received the power to baptize, and still did not know that he was to receive any more until the Lord told him there was more for him.  Then he received the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood, and had power to confirm after he had baptized, which he had not before.  He would have stood precisely as John the Baptist stood, had not the Lord sent his other messengers, Peter, James and John, to ordain Joseph to the Melchizedek priesthood.”  (Brigham Young, 21 Jun., 1874; DN 23(22):340, 1 Jul., 1874)

21 Jun.:  Origin of rebaptism/baptism for dead.

“We were driven from Missouri after Joseph went up there, and we came to Nauvoo, and the Twelve went to England.  While we were in England, I think, the Lord manifested to me by visions and his Spirit things that I did not then understand.  I never opened my mouth to any person concerning them until I returned to Nauvoo.  Joseph had never mentioned this, there had never been a thought of it in the church that I knew anything about at that time.  But I had this for myself, and I kept it to myself, and when I returned home and Joseph revealed these things to me, I then understood the reflections that were upon my mind while in England.  But this was not until after I had told him what I understood.   I saw that he was after something by his conversation, leading my mind along, and others, to see how we could bear this.  This was in 1841; the revelation was given in 1843, but the doctrine was revealed before this; and when I told Joseph what I understood, which was right in front of my house in the street, as he was shaking hands and leaving me, he turned round and looked me in the eye, and says he–‘Brother Brigham, are you speaking what you understand, are you in earnest?’  Says I–‘I speak just as the Spirit manifest to me.’  Says he–‘God bless you, the Lord has opened you mind,’ and he turned and went off.

About this time came a revelation concerning baptism for the dead.  I know that in my traveling and preaching, many a time, I have stopped by beautiful streams of clear, pure water, and have said to myself–‘How delightful it would be to me to go into this to be baptized for the remission of my sins.’  When I got home Joseph told me it was my privilege.  At this time came a revelation that the Saints could be baptized and re-baptized when they chose, and then that we could be baptized for our dead friends, but at first it was not revealed that a record should be kept of those who were baptized; but when he received an additional revelation to that effect, than a record was kept.  Hundreds and thousands, I suppose, were baptized before any record was kept at all, and they were baptized over, and a record kept of the baptisms and the names of the administrator, those who acted for the dead, and of the dead, and of the witnesses.  You can read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants the letter that Joseph wrote when he was away from home in regard to having witnesses at these baptisms.  I relate this to show you that the Lord did not reveal everything at once; but I need not dwell on this any longer.”  (Brigham Young, 21 Jun., 1874; DN 23(22):340, 1 Jul., 1874)

23 Jun.:  Change in BY’s chronology of Priest. restoration

“He [Joseph Smith] received the Aaronic Priesthood, and then he received the keys of the Melchisedek Priesthood, and organized the Church.  He first received the power to baptise, and still did not know that he was to receive any more until the Lord told him there was more for him.  Then he received the keys of the Melchisedek Priesthood, and had power to confirm after he had baptized, which he had not before.  He would have stood precisely as John the Baptist stood, had not the Lord sent his other messengers, Peter, James and John, to ordain Joseph to the Melchisedek Priesthood.  Then, after some of the brethren had been out preaching, he had a revelation that they should to up to the Ohio.”  (Brigham Young, 23 Jun., 1874; JD 18:240)

23 Jun.:  Origin of rebaptism?

“About this time came a revelation concerning baptism for the dead.  I know that in my traveling and preaching, many a time, I have stopped by beautiful streams of clear, pure water, and have said to myself, ‘How delightful it would be to me to go into this, to be baptized for the remission of my sins.’  When I got home Joseph told me it was my privilege.  At this time came a revelation, that the Saints could be baptized and re-baptized when they chose, and then that we could be baptized for our dear friends, but at first it was not revealed that a record should be kept of those who were baptized; but when he received an additional revelation to that effect, then a record was kept.  Hundreds and thousands, I suppose, were baptized before any record was kept at all, and they were baptized over, and a record kept of the baptisms and the names of the administrator, those who acted for the dead, and of the dead, and of the witnesses.  You can read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, the letter that Joseph wrote when he was away from home in regard to having witnesses at these baptisms.  I relate this to show you that the Lord did not reveal everything at once; but I need not dwell on this any longer.”  (Brigham Young, 23 Jun., 1874; JD 18:241)

29 Jun.:  1 meeting in Tabernacle, to accommodate SS.

“As a great Sunday School Jubilee was in course of preparation the First Presidency issued the following notice:

With a view to accommodate the Sunday Schools in this City, after this date there will be only one meeting held in the New Tabernacle each Sunday, at 2 p.m., till further notice.

Brigham Young, George A. Smith, Daniel H. Wells

Salt Lake City, June 29th.”

(Deseret Evening News, 29 Jun., 1874; JH 29 Jun., 1874)

19 Jul.:  Wm. Clayton’s critique of Order of Enoch.

“Bro. Marion, I have hesitated to write to you for over a week, for the reason that I do not like to write discouragingly in regard to the ‘New Order’, and I cannot write in reference to that and many other subjects, with that confidence and enthusiasm, which many indulge in.  I never oppose any measure started by the authorities, for in that neither I nor any member of the Church can be justified.  Opposition and division is the work of the enemy, and I trust never to be found on that side in any degree.  My course in regard to the ‘New Order’, has been the same as it was when the principle of adoption was started in Nauvoo, and when the ‘Reformation’ was started in 1857.  I wait and watch and say little.  I will not oppose my brethren in any thing.

Having said so much you will naturally ask where and how I stand in regard to the matter, and I am about to try and explain the best I can in few words.

First.  The ‘Order of Enock,’ which is the Patriarchal Order, or ‘Order of Heaven,’ cannot be established only on the principle of every one entering into it, from the highest to the lowest, from the head to the foot.  The authorities will lead out, will set the example, whenever that order is established to endure permantly [sic].  I do not suppose there is an Elder in the Church, who believes that Enoch of old established the ‘Order of Heaven’ in his day, in any other principle, than by leading out and setting the example himself.  He was one with his people, in every sense of the word.  On the principle that a stream cannot rise higher than its fountain, the people in the Days of could not have established that Celestial order, if Enoch himself had held back, and not have set the example.  On this view alone, if there were no other reasons, I am thoroughly convinced that the Order of Enoch will not be established at this time, nor for some years to come.  It is a pure and holy Celestial order, and the people at large are not yet prepared for it.

Second.  Our present relations with the Government of the United States, forbid the law of consecration, which is one part of the Order of Enoch, being carried into effect according to the law of Heaven.  To undertake to carry into effect the law of consecration, would simply indicate confiscation.  You doubtless recollect that after the ‘Reformation’ of 1857,– consecration being a part of it–how soon Congress passed a law prohibiting any Church, holding property over fifty thousand dollars.  That was a blow aimed directly at this Church, and if the law of consecration had been persisted in, the enemies and carpet baggers would have found ample means to apply the screws of confiscation, under that unconstitutional Act of Congress.  The matter was over-ruled, all talk of consecration was dropped, and the saints were preserved.

Third.  According to the laws of our Territory, none but householders and taxpayers, can hold office, sit on juries &c.  Suppose a man, under the law of consecration, deeds all his property away, and has nothing left in his own name; how long do you suppose it would be, before the enemies in our midst, would take advantage of our Territorial laws, and virtually alienate every man in Israel, bringing the whole people under a hundred fold more cruoel yoke of bondage and tyranny and oppression than ever Israel was in Egypt in days of old.  The right to vote, to hold office and to sit on juries, are too important, in these times, to be lightly thrown away.

To me, the Revelation given on Fishing River, June 22, 1834, D&C Page 294, ;lainly indicates that the establishing of the Order of Enoch and the Redemption of Zion, will commence simultaneously.  When Zion is redeemed and built up it will be ‘by the principles of the law of the Celestial Kingdom.’  When the time comes for the redemption of Zion, then the Order of Enoch will be established, for Zion will be redeemed on the principles of that order, and none who refuse to enter into that order, will participate in the redemption or building up of Zion.  This is my understanding of the matter, hence I do not look for success in the ‘New Order’ for some time yet; not until the Church is purified, and apostacy, reckless extravagance, the follies of fashion, whoredoms, lightness and all kindred follies are purged from among the people, and the hearts of the saints are turned in the depths of meekness and humility to the ‘New and Everlasting Covenant,’ even the covenant of Celestial marriage or plurality of wives, the most important principle ever revealed from the Heavens to man.  At present, we are far too wor[l]dly minded, too anxious to grasp and hoard up the riches of the earth, too covetous and illiberal in our dealings with each other, too fond of the pleasures and fashions and vanities of the world, to successfully establish the Order of Enoch.  Before this order is established I look for a literal fulfilment of the 5th paragraph of the ‘Revelation given August, 1833,’ D&C page 243, edition of 1854.  That paragraph tells us what we may expect, before the Order of Enoch can be established or Zion redeemed.  The Lord there says, ‘I will visit her acording to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.’  That we deserve this chastisement, I think none will deny.  That it will surely come, I firmly believe, and that it is nigh, even at our very doors, I also believe.  Recklessness, apostacy, vanity, whoredoms, self polution, rebellion, covetousness and kindred evils, are rampant, on every hand.  These will have to be purged out before the Order of Enoch can be a success, and that the day of reckoning is close on us I am as fully satisfied, as of anything in existence.

Now in regard to the ‘New Order.’  Since President Young returned to this City, the principal sought to be established has been modified, very materially.  As now promulgated in the rules in this City, it is simply a co-operation of trades, business &c., without any mention of consecration &c.  This is very good, and absolutely necessary to guard the people against being eat up by their enemies; and even this meets with much opposition, growing out of a boldly expressed fear, that the little means possessed by the people, is sought for private aggrandizement.

Bro. Marion, to me, these are the gloomiest days I have ever seen since the martyrdom of our beloved Prophet and Patriarch, thirty years ago.  The clouds are gathering around us on every hand, black storms are looming up, our enemies are making incroachments daily, and the people, generally, seem indifferent to the circumstances, and it seems to me, that we are entering upon an ordeal of trial, vexation and suffering such as we have not heretofore passed through or witnessed.  But, thank God, though severe, the trial will be short, sharp, and decisive, and the Saints, who are saints indeed, will come out purified, humble, and prepared to do the will of God without a murmer.  Then, when judgment has commenced and purified the ‘House of God,’ those judgments will pass over to the enemies and wo! wo!! wo!!! to the inhabitants of the earth, for their sufferings will be very terrible indeed.

(William Clayton to F. M. Lyman, 19 Jul., 1874; William Clayton Letterbook, Bancroft Library; microfilm)

9 Aug.:  Church organization completed in Spring, 1844.

“I will say to you with regard to the kingdom of God on the earth–Here is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized with its rules, regulations and degrees, with the quorums of the holy Priesthood, from the First Presidency to the teachers and deacons; here we are, an organization.  God called uon Joseph, he called upon Oliver Cowdery, then others were called through Joseph, the Church was organized, he with his two counselors comprised the First Presidency.  In a few years the Quorum of the Twelve was organized, the High Counsel was organized, the High Priests’ Quorum was organized, the Seventies’ quorums were organized, and the Priests’ quorum, the Teachers’ quorum and the Deacons’.  This is what we are in the habit of calling the kingdom of God.  But there are further organizations.  The Prophet gave a full and complete organization to this kingdom the Spring before he was killed.”  (Brigham Young, 9 Aug., 1874; JD 17:156)

9 Aug.:  “Damned” means not having Priesthood hereafter.

“What Joseph meant by being damned was that people will go into the spirit world without the Priesthood, and consequently they are under the power of Sata, and will have to be redeemed, or else they will be forever under his power.  That is all there is about that.”  (Brigham Young, 9 Aug., 1874; JD 17:159)

14 Sep.:  A bishop in “other places as required.”

“In President Brigham Young’s Office, under the hands of President Brigham Young, Geo. A. Smith and Daniel H. Wells.  President Smith being mouth, Elder Howard O. Spencer, a member of the High Priests’ Quorum, was set apart to officiate as a bishop and to preside in the Branches in Long Valley, Kane Co., Utah, and to act as a Bishop in such other place or places, as he may at any time be required by the First Presidency so to do.”  (JH 14 Sep., 1874)

2 Oct.:  Teachers’ report/Teacher dropped from quorum.

“Special Teachers Meeting called by the Bishop.

Cr. McAllister said he was requested by Br. G. B. Wallace, Pres’t of this Stake of Zion, to have every member of the Church visited and find out their feelings about sustaining the authorities of the Church.  The Teachers reported as follows.  Br. A. Anderson was willing to sustain the authorities of the Church but not in any humbug.  Br. Joseph Braithwaite wanted to be let alone.  He had always taken liquor, and always expected to, and he would not promise to do better.  Henry Braithwaite said he acknowledged it was wrong in getting drunk, and would try and do better.  Sister Braithwaite said she believed in Mormonism and never took more liquor than done her good.  Margaret Miles said she was no Mormon.  Sister Barnes said she would just as soon have her name taken off the books.  Henry Sadler believed in the principles of the Gospel except United Order.  Andrew Anderson would give no definite answer to any question.

Br. Albert Dewey was dropped from the Teachers quorum of the ward.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 2 Oct., 1874)

3 Oct.:  Teachers’ Court.

[Teachers Meeting]  “Report of Bro. Joseph McMurrin and Elbridge Tufts.  Visited Mary Keats who expressed herself as not wishing to belong to the Church.  Jane Pitts did not wish to belong to the Church.  John Hepworth Junior had no faith in the Gospel, and did not wish to belong to the Church.

Fanny Hepworth expressed herself in a similar way.  James Hepworth in the same manner.

It was motioned and seconded and carried that Jane Barnes, Margaret Miles, Albert Ninde, Mary Keates, John Hepworth, Fanny Hepworth, Jane Pitts and Joseph Braithwaite be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for apostacy, and according to their own request.”  (8th Ward Minutes, 3 Oct., 1874)

7 Oct.:  Patriarchal Order = Melchizedek Priesthood.

“We find that after the days of Noah an order was introduced called the patriarchal order, in which every man managed his own family affairs, and prominent men among them were kings and priests unto God, and officiated in what is known among us as the Priesthood of the Son of God, or the Priesthood after the Order of Melchisedec.”  (John Taylor, 7 Oct., 1874; JD 17:207)

9 Oct.:  Comparison of ancient & modern church officers.

“Now then, what were Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists and other officers placed in the Church for in former days?  Paul tells us for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ until we all come to a unity of the faith, to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the fullness of the stature of a perfect man in Christ, that we be no more children, tossed about with every wind of doctrine, and the cunning craftiness whereby men lie in wait to deceive, and that we may grow up in him, our living head, in all things.  What are Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, &c., placed in the Church now for?  For precisely the same reasons that they were then, only much more so, for they were connected with a system that had to succumb to the adversary, and to be rooted out–a certain power was to rise up and was to prevail against them; but it is not so with us–our course is onward.  We are connected with that little stone that was hewn out of the mountain without hands, and that was to continue to roll until it filled the whole earth.  That is the position that we occupy, and it is said that the kingdom shall not be given into the hands of another people.

These several officers, we are told, were placed in the Church for the perfecting of the Saints–we need their labors; they are for the work of the ministry–we need a little of it; they are for the edifying of the body of Christ–we need edifying.  How long?  Until we all come in the unity of the faith, and until we are perfect in the knowledge of the Son of God.  We are not quite there yet.  There is a little faltering, shaking, tottering and stumbling like babes amongst us once in a while, and we need the sustaining hand, and instruction of God to support us and help us to pass along in the path marked out for us.”  (John Taylor, 9 Oct., 1874; JD 17:173-174)

11 Oct.:  Quorums of Priesthood to be organized in Temple.

“Then let our hearts be lifted to him in prayer that this work may continue, that we may be protected from the wrath of our enemies and from the vengeance of the wicked one, and be able to complete this Temple and dedicate it, that the glory of the Lord may rest upon it, the various quorums of the Priesthood be organized within it, and that we and our children may be permitted to enter its sacred precincts, and receive the ordinances of the Priesthood and the blessings of the Gospel of peace which can be received only in a Temple of the Lord.”  (George A. Smith, 11 Oct., 1874; JD 17:162)

7 Nov.:  God will honor and give strength to the Teachers.

“God will honor and give strength to the Teacher who will do his duty, and he will have the administration of Angels.”  (Edward Hunter, Presiding Bishops Office, Aaronic Priesthood Minutes, 1857-1877, entry for 7 Nov., 1874; in Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):383, Spring, 1976)

21 Nov.:  Prepare children for the priesthood.

“. . . the children of the Latter-day Saints, to whom we are writing, are heirs unto the Priesthood.  Its weight will by and by fall upon their shoulders, its power will rest upon their heads.  Then is it not right for us to ask each youthful reader: are we preparing ourselves for so important a trust?–a trust which is greater than to be the guardian of the riches and wealth of a nation.  Do we strive to learn the ways of God?  do we seek to walk in his paths?  do we endeavor to follow good example?  do we shun the evil doer?  do we pray to God for His Holy Spirit?  do we listen to the teachings of His servants, whose places it will some day be our privilege to fill?  Or are we wasting our time, neglecting our duties, forgetting our prayers, and reading the trash referred to in a late number of the Instructor, instead of the word and revelation of God?  Let each one ponder, and answer these questions honestly to his own heart, and see where he stands a a child of that kingdom which God will make a nation of kings and priests.”  (George  Q. Cannon, JI 9(24):282, 21 Nov., 1874)

AP quorums acted as STAKE rather than WARD quorums.

“Initially, lesser priesthood quorums operated as stake rather than ward entities.  During the first three Utah decades each stake was expected to have at least one quorum each of deacons, teachers, and priests, with additional units as needed.  When Sanpete Stake organized its lesser priesthood work in 1874, for example, it called forty-eight priests, twenty-four teachers, and twelve deacons–the quorum maximums outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants–with half of each quorum coming from each of the stake’s two large settlements, Manti and Ephraim.  [Sanpete Stake, Aaronic Priesthood Minute Book, 1873-1877]  In time more populous stakes created ward quorums, particularly for the deacons and teachers, to coexist with the general stake quorums.  In Salt Lake Stake, for example, a stake deacons quorum presidency conducted monthly meetings for two decades to which ward deacons quorums presidencies and all other deacons were invited.”  (William G. Hartley, “Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883,” BYU Studies 16(3):378-379, Spring, 1976)