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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1881

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1881.” You can view other years here.

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1881:  2 Jan.:  Form of baptismal prayer.

“The elder then went forth and led you into the water, and he said, ‘Being commissioned of Jesus Christ I baptize you for the remission of your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.'”  (John Taylor, 2 Jan., 1881; JD 21:344)

9 Jan.:  Intolerance of sin.

“President Joseph F. Smith next addressed the meeting.  He spoke of the plainness which had characterized what had been said during the conference, and commended it as not only plain, but truthful.  Said his soul delighted in plainness.  He believed in practicing whatever he preached.  This is the only way for a preacher to get the confidence of his hearers.  He also believed that obedience to the law of God is the only way to deserve or receive the blessings of God, for all blessings are predicated upon law.  Touched upon the subject of the Word of Wisdom.  How can anyone expect to realize the blessings connected with this revelation, except by obedience to it!  It is the same with tithing, and all other revelations.  One very important commandment from God is, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’  In ancient days the crime was punishable with death.  Yet to-day, though this great offense is the one under which the earth is groaning most heavily and which is fast ripening it for destruction, it is allowed to go unpunished, and is considered less heinous by the world than many things of minor criminality in the sight of God.  But this makes no difference to the Saints.  This crime is no less heinous in the sight of God to-day than anciently, and in the case of a Latter-day Saint it is aggravated in the sight of the Lord.  And if the observance of the law of tithing is a test of a man’s worthiness to receive the blessings of the House of the Lrod, how much more should the observance of the law against adultery be made a standard of eligibility for those blessings.  It is a crime which cannot be repaired like others, and against the man or the woman who commits it, it will stand as an everlasting monument of folly, shame and wickedness.  The judgments of God will commence at the house of God, and although he is tolerant and long suffering, the time is nigh when the evil doer, Saint or sinner, will be made to feel the vengeance of his wrath.  The speaker mentioned other commandments of God and showed that all were binding upon his people.  Referred to the commandment in the prophecy of John the Revelator, ‘Come out of her my people,’ etc., and showed its relevancy to the gathering of Israel.  We have been required to forsake Babylon and its corruptions, and to partake not of her sins, lest we receive of her plagues.  There was a time when Salt Lake City had a name for temperance and purity.  How is it now?  Drunkenness, gambling, prostitution and kindred vices are prevalent in our midst.  Saints and Gentiles associate, drink and stagger along our streets locked in each other’s arms, lying in the gutter and committing every offense which God has forbidden.  How long shall such ‘Saints’ be tolerated as members of the Church?  How long shall the Bishops and the proper authorities wink at such corruption, and not call to account those who are guilty of it.  They should be dealt with irrespective of every consideration.  Because an offender is ‘my son’ and ‘my daughter,’ it should not shield or excuse him or her.  We are all the sons and daughters of God, and He is a father who is not partial.  He has no favorites, is no respector of persons.  Nor should we be, but deal out justice to all.”  (Salt Lake Stake Conference minutes, 9 Jan., 1881; DN 29(51):802-803, 19 Jan., 1881)

16 Jan.:  Concerning the restoration of the Priesthood.

“W Woodruff spok one hour.  Showed By Revelation that Joseph Smith had received all the Keys of the Aaronic & Melchezedec Priesthood for the last dispensation from John the Baptist & Peter James and John Moses, Elias, & Elijah, And had sealed all these Keys upon the Heads of the Twelve Apostles And that the Prophet had laid all these Responsibilities upon the Shoulders of the Twelve Apostles to bear off this Kingdom in all the world.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 16 Jan., 1881)

30 Jan.:  Set apart as Home Missionary.

“On January 30, 1881, I was ordained a High Priest, and set apart a high councilor, and home missionary in the Tooele Stake of Zion by President Joseph F. Smith.”  (John Gillespie autobiographical sketch; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 19:431, 1976)

Jan.:  Joseph speaks with John the Beloved.

“The first circumstance referred to in the card or letter related to Bro. Everett by Heber C. Kimball was as follows:

While ‘the camp of Zion’ was on the way to Missouri in 1834 Joseph was some ways ahead of the company one day, when there was seen talking with him by the roadside a man, a stranger.  When the company came up there was no person with him.  When at camp that night, Heber asked the Prophet who that man was; Joseph replied it was the beloved Disciple, John, who was then on his way to the ten tribes in the North.

I have heard Joseph say that ‘John was among the ten tribes beyond the north pole.'”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, Jan., 1881)

5 Feb.:  Limited authority within priesthood offices.

“Bishop A. G. Driggs enquired what they were to do with persons who held the Melchisedec Priesthood, and showed an utter contempt for everything relating to the duties thereof.  He had been told that the Bishops had no authority to deal with them.

Prest. Cannon said this subject had been discussed at our priesthood meeting.  It had been argued by some that a bishop’s court had a right to try and deal with any member of the Church from the apostles down.  And again it was argued by some that we had authority to confer the same priesthood we hold upon others–that a high priest could ordain a high priest, a seventy a seventy, etc.  Now he (President [Angus M.] Cannon) thought if that line of argument was carried out, it might be contended that a bishop had authority to ordain a bishop, or a president of a Stake, a president of a Stake.  They had been told that a bishop’s court were [sic] not to cut off those holding the Melchesedec Priesthood, but that they were to disfellowship them and report to their quorum and finally to the High Council, which latter would take such action as might be deemed justifiable.  However, it was unnecessary to argue the power of Bishop’s courts on that occasion.  They must act under the instructions received from the Almighty through the priesthood.  No Seventy must ordain a Seventy, nor no Elder ordain an Elder unless instructed so to do.  The time was when a President of a quorum was told to fill up any vacancy that might occur in his Quorum, but to-day the Seventies were not to do this unless instructed by the First Presidency or the Twelve Apostles, and the Elders were not to do so unless authorized by the priesthood of the Stake.  It was bad, the speaker said, for them to argue upon abstract theories.  It only led to contention.  For instance, discussions often arose among members of the Priesthood as to which of them was the highest in office.  He had heard the question debated since a child, as to which was the highest office, that of a High Priest or a Seventy.  Referred to the action of the Savior, when such a disputation was among his disciples, who took a little child and place it in their midst and told them that he who became as that little child would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, and that if they did not become as children they should never see that kingdom.”  (Salt Lake Stake Priesthood Meeting minutes, 5 Feb., 1881; DN 30(2):29, 9 Feb., 1881)

5 Feb.:  Should dying children be ordained to MP?

“Elder Francis Cope, president of the 6th Quorum of Elders, asked if it was lawful to ordain infants to the Melchisedec priesthood when thought to be dying.  He had declined doing so in one instance lately, not feeling authorized.

Bishops Crane, McRaek, S. A. Woolley and Whitney, and Elders Levi Richards and R. F. Neslen, related instances wherein infants had been ordained, and some stated that Prest. Young had said that he knew of no authority for doing so, and there was nothing forbidding it; he thought it would do no harm, if it did no good.

Elder D. O. Calder said that, so far as President Young’s answer to this question was concerned, having been closely associated with him for a number of years, he would have regarded his answer, if given to him, as very far from authorizing the practice of ordaining young children.

Elder J. E. Taylor asked the question, if children should be ordained, in their infancy, to any office in the Melchesedec Priesthood, would that act preclude any necessity of their being baptized and confirmed for?  Because, after a child had arrived at the age of eight years it must be baptized and confirmed before receiving any ordination to the priesthood in this life.  Again, is there anything revealed requiring any ordinance of the gospel to be attended to for children who died in their infancy under the everlasting covenant?  There is another important consideration, what about the record of these ordinations?  All our official acts should be recorded.

Prest. Cannon remarked: We are required of the Lord to instruct and see that our children are baptised at the age of eight yeras, and will be held responsible if we neglect this important duty.  He was not aware that there was anything written forbidding us to baptise children under eight years.  Shall we then, out of sympathy, when they are supposed to be dying, baptize our infants, or intrust them to the Almighty, who is their parent, and has only intrusted them to us as stewards.  John the Baptist was proclaimed of the Lord one of the greatest prophets ever born of woman.  Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than he.  Inasmuch as John the Baptist died only possessing the Aaronic Priesthood, does it argue that God will not provide a means to exalt him equally with one who received the Melchesedec Priesthood while in this life?  The Lord will control all things and provide means to furnish the pure in heart with all the glory they should inherit.  He said he had buried four lovely boys, the eldest near four years of age.  He had never felt authorized to ordain one of them to the Melchisedec Priesthood in the absence of direct instruction, and while other men who held the High Priesthood may have done otherwise, his counsel to the people of this Stake is to remember that there is a living Priesthood to whom we should look for instructions upon all these points; and the fact of a thing not being forbidden does not authorize its performance.  Otherwise, like the Presbyterians and others, we will be found baptizing our little infants and forgetting that the Twelve Apostles, with the First Presidency, are appointed to regulate and set in order the affairs of the Church in all the world.”  (Salt Lake Stake Priesthood Meeting minutes, 5 Feb., 18

81; DN 30(2):29, 9 Feb., 1881)

17 Feb.:  Addison Everett account of MP Restoration.

“I promised some time ago to give you a copy of a statement in my possession with regard to the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

St. George, Feb. 17, 1881.

Brother Oliver B. Huntington,

Dear Brother:–In answer to your request, I will state that I heard the following conversation between Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the front of the ‘Mansion,’ (Nauvoo) a few days before they were martyred:

Hyrum was telling Joseph that William Law apostatized because Joseph believed in a plurality of Gods.

Joseph said, ‘Who told him I did?  I did not.’

Joseph went on and said, ‘Now, brethren, if you will prepare a good lot of seats on the stand, I will preach you a sermon on the plurality of Gods from the 5th and 6th verses of the 1st Chapter of Revelation.’  (He was murdered before he had a chance to preach the sermon.)

In the conversation between Joseph and Hyrum, Oliver Cowdery was spoken of–Joseph said,

‘Poor boy!’ and went on and said that at Coleville, he and Oliver were under arrest on a charge of deceiving the people,  When they were at the justice’s house for trial in the evening, all were waiting for Mr. Reid, Joseph’s lawyer.  And while waiting the justice asked Joseph some questions, among which was this:

‘What was the first miracle Jesus performed?’

Joseph replied, ‘He made this world, and what followed we are not told.’

Mr. Reid came in and said he wanted to speak to his clients in private and that the law allowed him that privilege, he believed.  The judge pointed to a door to a room in the back part of the house and told them to step in there.  As soon as they got into the room, the lawyer said there was a mob outside in front of the house, ‘and if they get hold of you they will perhaps do you bodily injury; and I think the best way for you to get out of this is to get right out there,’ pointing to the window and hoisting it.   They got into the wood in going a few rods from the house–it was night and they traveled through brush and water and mud, fell over logs, etc., until Oliver was exhausted; then Joseph helped him along through the mud and water, almost carrying him.

They traveled all night, and just at the break of day Oliver gave out entirely and exclaimed,

‘O Lord!  Brother Joseph, how long have we got to endure this thing?’  They sat down on a long to rest and Joseph said that at that very time Peter, James and John came to them and ordained them to the Apostleship.

They had sixteen or seventeen miles to go to get back to Mr. Hales, his father-in-law’s, but Oliver did not complain any more of fatigue.

Now, Brother Huntington, I have told you what I heard Brother Joseph tell, almost the only time I ever heard him talk.  It is a source of satisfaction to have seen and heard the Prophet of God.

Yours truly,

Addison Everett.”

(Oliver B. Huntington, “Words and Incidents of the Prophet Joseph’s Life,” YWJ 2(2):75-76, Nov., 1890)

“The ordination of Joseph Smith and O. Cowdery to the Melchezedik Priesthood is related in a letter dated St. George, Feb. 17, 1881:

I heard the following conversation between Joseph and Hyrum a few days before they were martyred.  Hyrum was telling Joseph that Wm. Law apostatized because Joseph believed in a plurality of Gods.

Joseph said, ‘Who told him I did?  I did not.’  Now brethre if you will prepare a good lot of seats at the stand I will preach you a sermon on the plurality of Gods from the 5th and 6th verses of the first chapter of Revelations.’  He was murdered before he had a chance to preach the sermon.

In the conversation between J. and H., Oliver Cowdery was spoken of and Joseph went on to state that ‘In Coalville he and Oliver were under arrest on charges of deceiving the people and in court he stated that the first miracle done was to create this earth.  About that time his attorney told the court that he wanted to see Mr. Smith alone a few moments.  When alone Mr. Reed said that there was a mob in front of the house and hoisting the window, Joseph and Oliver went to the woods in a [few] rods, it being night, and they traveled until Oliver was exhausted and Joseph almost carried him through mud and water.  They traveled all night and just at the break of day Oliver gave out entirely and exclaimed, O, Lord, How long Brother Joseph, have we got to endure this thing?

Brother Joseph said that at that very time Peter, James, and John came to them and ordained them to the Apostleship.

They had 16 or 17 miles to travel to get back to Mr. Hales, his father-in-law and Oliver did not complain any more of fatigue.

Now Brother Huntington I have told you what I heard Bro. Joseph tell almost the last time I ever heard him talk.

It is a source of satisfaction and pleasure to me to have seen and heard the Prophet of God.

Your humble servant, Addison Everett.”

(Oliver B. Huntington journal, Feb., 1881)

Feb.:  Attempted to resign bishopric.

“During my absence on the railroad, I found it was not possible to give the attention to the Ward the office of Bishop demanded, and deeming it not honorable to hold a position which I could not fill, I wrote my resignation to President Hinckley in February 1881.  Also near this time the dam in the Sevier washed out by the ice breaking up on the river.  The people were generally poor and very much discouraged.  I received a letter immediately asking what was to be done.  I started for home at once, but before going there I went to Salt Lake City and there met President Hinckley.  He said my resignation had not been accepted and he thought I had better stay in the office as it was almost a unanimous feeling of the people, which I consented to do.”  (Joseph Smith Black journal; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 10:276, 1967)

19 Mar.:  Contrary vote in sustaining officers.

“Went up to Conference at the Tabernacle.  The day was chiefly occupied in hearing the Reports from the Bishops and Presiding elders of the different settlements of this Stake of Zion.  The Authorities of the Church were presented and sustained unanimously with the exception of one vote which thing is very rare and Caused Many to stare in the direction of the contrary vote with wonder.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 19 Mar., 1881)

21 Mar.:  Apostles disagree on duties of HPs and 70s.

“At night Went to the Seventies Meeting; much valuable instruction was given by F. M. Lyman on the duties and different callings in the Priesthood.  B Young made a few remarks and it seemed that they, the apostles, did not see exactly alike in all thing[s] pertaining to the question of the Calling and authority of High Priest and Seventies.”  (Charles L. Walker diary, 21 Mar., 1881)

3 Apr.:  Recounting of “false” claims regarding Joseph.

“They said that Joseph Smith had tried to establish his divine calling by attempting to walk upon the water, with cunningly arranged planks placed a short distance beneath the surface of the water, but that, fortunately, he had been detected in his imposition.  They said he had tried to raise the dead, and that the man whom he tried to raise nearly died, because the apparatus which he had arranged for him to get air became accidently deranged.  There was no end of stories told by ignorant people, vile people, deluded people, wicked people, and even by men who called themselves ministers of the Gospel.  You cannot think of anything that was not told, that was not sworn to–any number of witnesses could be obtained to testify to the truth of these falsehoods.  At the same time it was said it would only be a little while until the system of which he was the head would burst up.  ‘We have only to wait a while and it will disappear.’  But it did not disappear.”  (George Q. Cannon, 3 Apr., 1881; JD 23:117)

3 Apr.:  Deacons to keep children from walking about.

“President John Taylor said owing to the magnitude of this immense audience, it was very desirable for as much silence to be maintained as possible, he therefore called on the Deacons to keep children from walking about, and to preserve as good order as could be maintained that the congregation might be able to hear the remarks of the speakers.”  (General Conference minutes, 3 Apr., 1881; DN 30(10):152, 6 Apr., 1881)

20 Apr.:  Publication of “Items on Priesthood.”


President John Taylor has prepared and published a pamphlet with the above title, for the benefit of the Latter-day Saints.  It is a work of forty-eight pages and is devoted to the subject of the Priesthood, its branches and offices and their relation to each other.  The Melchisedec Priesthood is described, its history related and its power and authority defined.  But the Aaronic Priesthood, including the Levitical, is more particularly dwelt upon, and many items, which will be valuable to all who are engaged in the latter-day work, are set forth in great plainness, so that he who reads may understand.

This pamphlet should be studied by every one holding the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that all may fully comprehend the position which they are called to occupy, and be able to fill their own spheres without encroaching upon those of other men, and that order, which brings peace and strength, may prevail in the Church and no occasion be left for a jar or a discord.

We commend this work to our brethren and sisters as a standard authority on the subject treated of, which we feel assured it will be regarded in the future as well as to-day, and be referred to as an end of controversy on these matters.”  (DN 30(12):179, 20 Apr., 1881)

12 Jun.:  Rebaptism of Branch President following adultery

“After [Sunday] meeting Bro. Bloesch, the president of the branch, expressed the desire to be rebaptized.  He is guilty of having intercourse with another man’s wife, but he asked forgiveness for this, and made everything right as near as possible.  We therefore went down to the Bieler canal, where I rebaptized Bro. Bloesch.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 12 Jun., 1881)

26 Jun.:  Deacons as ward teachers?

“If I were a Bishop–I do not know what I would do, but I know what I should do.  I should feel like saying, Father, thou hast commotted a number of souls to my care; help me to look after their temporal interests and also to promote their spiritual welfare, and see that they are properly instructed in the laws of life; help me also to teach the teachers that go among the people, that they may go full of the Holy Spirit to bless and benefit the people, that with the aid of my brethren I may be a Savior among them.  That is the way I ought to feel and to do if I were a Bishop; and that is the way you Bishops ought to feel and to act, and do it humbly with a desire to do good.  And then, if I were a Priest, Teacher or Deacon, and was going around as an instructor among the people, I would want to watch over their welfare.  And if I knew of difficulty between two neighbors, I should try to hunt it out, and seek after the Spirit of God to guide me, that I might do everything that is right and be under its influence.”  (John Taylor, 26 Jun., 1881; JD 22:231)

1 Jul.:  Satan to be bound by the Priesthood.

“Satan, who now prowls around,

By the priesthood shall be bound,

And into a pit be cast,

Till the thousand years are past.”

(James H. Wallis, song entitled “Anticipation,” JI 16(13):156, 1 Jul., 1881)

3 Jul.:  Elder chosen as president of Teachers Quorum.

“3rd.  I attended a priesthood meeting, and the Bishop said there would be a vacancy in the teachers quorum as Brother John Telford was going to move to Cache Valley.  The Bishop chose me to fill the vacancy [he was already an Elder at the time] and asked how the brethren felt about it.  After the brethren had expressed themselves, it was motioned and carried that I be the president of the Teacher’s Quorum.  The Bishop requested me to meet with him and his counselors the same evening.  We met at the home of the Bishop and he asked who I wanted for my counselors.  He said they had chosen as first counselor, Henry Rampton, and as second, D. O. Willey.  This suited me very well, and I thought that we could work together in harmony and peace.”  (Thomas Briggs diary, 3 Jul., 1881; in Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:300-301, 1960)

9 Jul.:  Duty of Presidents of Quorums.

“President Joseph E. Taylor said there were many interests combined in the organization of a Stake of Zion.  The Lord had an appointed order in the organization of the various quorums of the Priesthood, and it was important that presiding officers should be diligent in precept and example in influencing the members of their respective quorums to faithfulness in the performance of their duties.  Presidents of quorums should labor with zeal for the salvation of those over whom they were called to preside, but when such labors failed they should not leave the labor of dealing with the unfaithful entirely with their Bishops, for they as quorums had authority to disfellowship the unworthy from their quorums.”  (Salt Lake Stake Conference minutes, 9 Jul., 1881; DN 30(24):376, 13 Jul., 1881)

23 Jul.:  Rebaptized twice since I came to the Valley.

“I continued to attend the meetings of the Reorganized Church, when on the 23d of July, 1881, I, with my wife, was baptized into Christ by Elder W. W. Blair, after being rebaptized by Brigham’s orders twice since I came into these valleys: once when we first came, as was said to get forgiveness for sins committed on the plains in our hegira from Nauvoo, and once at the time of reformation in 1857, March 4.”  (“Journal of Ethan Barrows,” Journal of History 15:442, Oct., 1922)

11 Aug.:  Restoration of Priesthood.

“Prest Taylor – spoke to the Meeting for 50 min  ‘John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood; Peter James & John conferred the Melchizedic do [Priesthood]; Moses came next & restored the gathering dispensation, Next Elijah came & conferred the dispensation of the turning the hearts of the Fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the Fathers – through this we build Temples & by the Knowledge of God we officiate in them & become Saviors upon Mt. Zion – then comes Elias – “the restorer of all things” who holds the Keys of all dispensations, that in the dispensation of the fullness of times all things may be gathered into one.'”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 11 Aug., 1881)

  27 Aug.:  Temporary reorganization of 70s.

“Bishop Halliday, of Santaquin, reported favorably of his Ward, followed by Elder K. G. Maeser, president of the temporary organization of the Seventies for the Stake, who reported that body of priesthood as having now gained a better understanding of the new arrangement or organization and its aims. . . .

President John Taylor said in regard to the Seventies, they occupied a rather singular position in our present organization; it became necessary that something should be done that they might be represented in their scattered condition from the headquarters of their presidencies; this temporary organization will given them proper representation; it is not intended to break their quorum organizations, for the reason that we believe theirs is one of the orders of the Priesthood that will endure forever.”  (Utah Stake Conference minutes, 27 Aug., 1881; DN 30(32):499, 7 Sep., 1881)

28 Aug.:  All priesthoods have been revealed in our time.

“If there was anything pertaining to the Adamic, (or what we may term more particularly the patriarchal) dispensation, it would be made manifest in the last days.  If there was anything associated with Enoch and his city, and the gathering together of his people, or of the translation of his city, it would be manifested in the last days.  If there was anything associated with the Melchisedek Priesthood in all its forms, powers, privileges and blessings at any time or in any part of the earth, it would be restored in the last days.  If there was anything connected with the Aaronic Priesthood, that also would be developed in the last times.  If there was anything associated with the Apostleship and Presidency that existed in the days of Jesus, or that existed on this continent, it would be developed in the last times; for this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, embracing all other times, all principles, all powers, all manifestations, all Priesthoods and the powers thereof that have existed in any age, in any part of the world, for, ‘Those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this the dispensation of the fullness of times.'”  (John Taylor, 28 Aug., 1881; JD 22:298-299)

28 Aug.:  Cooperation of Priesthoods on both sides of vail

“This Gospel is introduced that we may be taught and instructed in the ways of God, and that the Priesthood may be organized according to the holy order of God.  What for?  That this Priesthood may associate with the Priesthood behind the vail, who are operating with God and for God in the interests of humanity.  That is the reason of it.  And hence we find that these men who hold the Priesthood, the everlasting Priesthood, that ministers in time and in eternity, coming one after another to Joseph Smith, and conferring upon him the Priesthood which they held.  They conferred on him first the Priesthood of Aaron, a descendant of Aaron, John the Baptist, who held the keys of that Priesthood in his day, came to Joseph Smith and to Oliver Cowdery, and laid his hands upon their heads and said, ‘Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministry of angels, and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.’  Then came Peter, James and John, who conferred the same Priesthood and keys that they held.  And then came other powers, principles and revelations in succession, one after another.  After the Aaronic and Melchisedek Priesthoods had been conferred in general terms, then some of the most specific things in regard to the introduction of this Gospel were accomplished.  When Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were together in Kirtland Temple, we find that Moses appeared to them.  He committed unto them the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.  And did they have this power conferred upon them?  Yes.  And is that power continued?  I think it is or I do not think you would be here to-day.  What brought you here?  Why did you not stop where you came from?  Because you believed the Gospel.  When you heard it and obeyed it, the Elder who laid his hands upon your head, conferred upon you that principle which brought you here, and you hardly know why you came, but you could not rest easily until you did come; and you entered into all kinds of plans and calculations to get here.  And I have known people so anxious to come here, that they were ready almost to sell themselves.  And was it because we were such a good people?  I do not know about that; I do not think we were as good as we ought to be.  Nevertheless, that spirit operated upon you, and you coould not rest until you got here. . . .

And are the Priesthood operating behind the veil?  Yes, and we are operating here.  And we have a Priesthood here, and they have one there.  Have we a Presidency?  They have one there.  Have we a Twelve?  So they have there.  Have we Seventies here?  They have there.  Have we High Priests here?  They have there.  Have we various quorums?  Yes, and we operate in them; and when we get through we join our quorums above.  As I told you yesterday that when Patriarch Joseph Smith [Sr.] died we were told that he was seated at the right hand of Abraham.  And why was he there?  Because Abraham was a Patriarch, and Joseph Smith’s father was a Patriarch.  He was at his right hand because he was associated with the dispensation of the fullness of times, the same as Abraham was a leading Patriarch in the dispensation in which he lived.  And David Patten, one of the first Twelve, what about him?  Another was to be ordained in his place, but he was not to have his Priesthood; of David, we are told, his Priesthood no man taketh–he should stand in his proper position.  Where? He was dead.  No, he was not; he was alive.  But he died?  Yes, he did; but he lives.  He was killed by a mob in Missouri, but he lives behind the veil and occupies his proper place there in his own quorum.  Then, there was a man named Seymour Brunson, who died, who was a member of the High Council.  It was said that nother should be put in his place, but that he held his Priesthood:  Where?  Behind the veil.  What of Seventies and High Priests?  Just the same, if they fulfil their duties and magnify their callings.  Has Joseph Smith ceased to minister in his office because he has left the earth?  No; he administers in his office in the eternal worlds under the direction of the Son of God, and a proper presiding Priesthood as it exists in the heavens.  And so will we.  Hence they have gone to live forever.  If a man dies, shall he live again?  Why, yes.  A man goes to sleep, but he wakes again.  It is said that Jesus possessed life in himself; and says he, I have power to lay down my body, and power to take it up again.  But we have not that power.  But says he, I am the resurrection and the life; and, ‘Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’  Die!  We will go to sleep, and we will wake up again.  We will associate with the Priesthood again; and that is the reason why we want to have our records all right, and everything straight in relation to all of these things.

If we are saviors, what have we to do?  Build Temples.  What then? administer in them; and others in the heavens are engaged in the same work as we, but in another position and in other circumstances.  They preach to spirits in prison; they officiate in ordinances with which we have nothing to do.  We administer in ordinances which God has revealed to us to attend to; and when we attend to them correctly, God sanctions them.  For instance, you Elders who have been out preaching, you told the people if they repented of their sins and were baptized they should receive the Holy Ghost, and they received it, according to the promise you made them.  God sanctioned these proceedings, and you are all witnesses thereof.  And God has said that it was his business to take care of His Saints.  But then it is our business to be Saints.

And then, in relation to these matters, when we are faithful and true to our calling on the earth, and we step behind the veil and are associated with our quorums in the heavens, and there continue to operate, what shall we have to do?  We are told that all those myriads before referred to, that would have received the Gospel, but had not the privilege of hearing or receiving it in this world and have died without it, shall have the opportunity of receiving it hereafter.  But who are to be the administrators of these ordinances?  Are we?  No, they are out of our reach, they are behind the veil.  But there is a Priesthood there; and there is a place for the Seventies and the High Priests, etc., to operate there.  And what were the Twelve to do who lived and operated on the continent of Asia?  It is written that they should sit upon twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.  And what of those Twelve that were on this continent?  They are to be judged by the Twelve whom Jesus chose in Judea.  And then the people of this continent will be judged by the Twelve that were here; and very likely the Presidency and Twelve of this Church will have something to do in this matter in relation to those who live in this age of the world.

Now if they have that to do what have we to do?  Build  Temples.  What then?  Administer in them.  And when we have got beyond the range of those whom we know, we shall need information from the powers behind the veil to know for whom we are to be baptized.  Do you think they will be at the trouble of informing us?  I rather think they will, if they are set to judge people.  And having seen proper to organize the Church and establish the Holy Priesthood and reveal the first principles of the Gospel, it is but reasonable to conclude they will be sufficiently interested about the other matters.  But it is for us to build the Temples and administer in them, and help the fathers to save their children, and the children to save the fathers.  Have they rights in heaven?  So have we on earth.  Have they privileges?  So have we.  Have they earned salvation and become saviors?  We also shall participate in that if we magnify our calling, honor our God, and keep His commandments.  Hence we are joint saviors with them.  We need their assistance, they need ours.  These are some of the things that we have to perform.  We have a labor before us.  You, Seventies; you, High Priests, you are not here to find out what you shall eat or drink, or wherewithal you shall be clothed.  You are not here to quarrel over little things and to have your own way.  Jesus said, Father, Thy will be done.  He said, He came not to do His own will, but the will of His father who sent Him.  And when His disciples came to Him and said, Lord, ‘Teach us how to pray, as John taught his disciples,’ He said, pray, ‘Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed by thy name: Thy kingdom come.’  Let the rule and government of God be established.  ‘Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’  This was His feeling, and this is the feeling of all good Saints and faithful Elders in Israel.  And what did Joseph Smith come to do?  The will of his Father, to learn that will and do it.  What was the duty of Brigham Young?  The same.  What is mine?  The same.  What is the duty of the Twelve?  To follow the counsel of the Presidency.  What is the duty of the Presidents of Stakes?  To follow the counsel of the Presidency.  What is the duty of the Bishops?  To follow the counsel of the Presidents of Stakes and of their presiding Bishop.  I have had men frequently come to me and want to pass by the Presidents of Stakes.  I pass them back again.  I tell them to go to their Presidents.  Again I have men come to me who wish to pass by their Bishops; I send them back to their Bishops as I wish to honor all men in their place.  I have enough to do without interfering with the little details of others; and so on from them to the Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, every man in his place.”  (John Taylor, 28 Aug., 1881; JD 22:305-306; 308-310)

8 Oct.:  Those in quorums here will be in quorums there.

“The greater portion of the male members of Zion, who have arrived at the years of early manhood, bear some portion of the Holy Priesthood.  Here is a kingdom of Priests raised up by the power of God to take hold and build up the kingdom of God.  The same Priesthood exists on the other side of the vail.  Every man who is faithful in his quorum here will join his quorum there.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 8 Oct., 1881; JD 22:333)

“He [Wilford Woodruff] then addressed himself to those holding the Priesthood, showing that we are a kingdom of priests, and we ought to be alive to our duties, and prepare ourselves for the great work that lies before us.  He related a dream that Bishop Roskelley, of Cache County, once had when very sick.  President Maughan, who had been dead for years, appeared to him and mentioned the names of three men, one of whom was needed in the spirit world, himself being one, but on account of Bro. Roskelley’s usefulness, he was excused and another one selected, and each of the others were taken sick and one of them died very soon after.  This vision or dream teaches us that the priesthood behind the veil as well as the priesthood upon the earth, are interested and engaged in forwarding the interests of the kingdom of God.”  (Wilford Woodruff, General Conference minutes, 8 Oct., 1881; DN 30(38):580, 12 Oct., 1881)

19 Oct.:  Duties of Bishops.

“We have our Bishops; and it is their duty to look after their wards, and see that everything is moving along right, and that everybody is doing right, and if there be any poor or sick, to feel after them and relieve them; and then to enlist the sympathies of the brethren and sisters, that they may also feel after them.”  (John Taylor, 19 Oct., 1881; JD 22:316)

1 Dec.:  Baptism in a bath-tub.

“In the afternoon I baptized the mother of Sister Maier in a large bath-tub in the house, with water which was carried from the well; this sister is 72 years old and is so sick and weakly that she cannot walk but little.  I also confirmed her.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 1 Dec., 1881)

7 Dec.:  Mormon Bishops, and Church-and-State.

“A press dispatch has been published in a great many papers, giving a garbled account of the collecting of information concerning the churches and schools in Utah, and of the nature and scope of the Bishops’ office in the ‘Mormon’ Church.  President John Taylor is represented as having made some ‘damaging admissions’ in his reply to the census officers.  In reference to this, the dispatch says:

The census people assumed that the Bishops were to the Mormon Church what pastors are to other religions, and proposed to send to them census returns in blank, to be filled out with statistics to their respective charges.  This was exactly what Mr. Taylor did not want, and he therefore replied that Bishops were not pastors of churches, but were, in fact, judges of the Mormon courts, there being a judicial system under control of the Church by which temporal cases were tried.  Said a Mormon, referring to a Bishop: ‘He is assisted by two counselors, who, together with himself, form a court denominated by us Bishops, to investigate and try all minor cases that may come before him in his ward, whether of a temporal or spiritual nature.’  This is a pretty plain admission of the charge of the connection between the Mormon Church and State, and the practical dominance of the former, and forcibly suggests what may be the condition of affairs should the Mormon Church control become entire of a State or Territory.

This ‘plain admission’ which is spoken of as something new, has been published to the world for forty-six years.  The calling and duties of Bishops in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are defined by revelation, and described in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.  That book is and has been offered for sale to any one who wishes to read it.  It is stated in another part of the telegram that this ‘disclosure’ about the Bihsops is something that ‘Brigham Young always studiously concealed.’  The truth is that there is nothing about it to conceal, but in public discourses, as well as in the book, we have cited the duties of the Bishops have been plainly set forth for the common understanding.  The office of Bishop in this Church is not simply that of a Pastor over a sectarian congregation.  His calling is to attend to the temporalities of the Church.  There is a presiding Bishop with two Counselors to attend to Church temporalities pertaining to the whole organization, and there are Bishops in the various wards and settlements who, with their Counselors, attend to the temporalities of those divisions or branches of the Church in which they officiate.  They look after the poor; they receive donations; they watch over the Church properties in their respective spheres, such as the meeting-houses and the appurtenances thereof; they give advice to the people in their labors, and in their business affairs one with another when so requested; they are also with their Counselors common judges in Israel, t sit in judgment upon transgressors, to try them for infractions of Church laws.  But in all these duties they are purely and simply Church officers.

The attempt is made in this press dispatch to make out that the Bishop’s office as described by President Taylor, is a union of Church and State.  The framer of the dispatch had to go a long way out of his road and make a big stretch of imagination to manufacture such an absurd statement.  A ‘Mormon’ Bishop is in no sense a State official.  The extent of his power as a common judge in Israel is to disfellowship the transgressor.  He holds none of the primitive powers of a secular magistrate.  He has no relation to the State in his official capacity.  His functions, his court, his methods, his decisions are all simply Church affairs and relate only to the Church, its discipline and welfare.

By the same reasoning (?) through which the veracious (?) dispatcher reaches the conclusion that a ‘Mormon’ Bishop’s management of temporal and spiritual affairs proves a union of Church and State, it can be proved that a Methodist or Presbyterian deacon’s duties show a union of Church and State.  His calling lies as much in temporalities as that of a ‘Mormon’ Bishop.  Indeed, there is no religious organization of any importance but has officers to attend to its temporalities.

In Utah the affairs of the Church are as distinct and separate from the affairs of the State as in any part of the Union.  There is no man in the Territory who holds a secular office by virtue of an office in the Church, and no one who holds an officail position in the Church by virtue of a Territorial office.  Thus the essential principle of ‘union between Church and State” is entirely lacking in Utah, and all the noise and clamor on this question, including the press dispatch, which has been made so much of, really amount to a solemn nothing.

We fail to see how there could be a greater separation of the two interests in this Territory, unless the officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were to cease to exercise their political rights as American citizens.  But why should a Bishop, or Elder, or Apostle as soon as ordained to his ecclesiastical calling throw down the sacred right of the ballot?  Why should he be deprived of a voicein the political affairs of his city, or county, or Territory, or State?  Has he not just as much right to say whom he wants to represent him in the local or national government as a layman has?  And what is there in the spirit or letter of American institutions which debars him from exercising a lawful influence over those who respect his opinions, to induce them to join him in any measure calculated for the public benefit?  If a ‘Mormon’ Elder is debarred byhis Church position from taking any part in politics, so is a Methodist preacher, or Presbyterian priest or Episcopal clergyman.

But there is nothing that could be done which would be satisfactory to the unprincipled persons who circulate such rumors as those in the above dispatch, but the abject submission of the vast majority in Utah to the will and dicta of a very small minority.  This is not likely to occur and therefore it may be expected that all kinds of absurd stories will be trumped up and sent abroad concerning the ‘Mormons,’ and that while the Associated Press lends its aid to as vile a set of scamps as ever infested a newly settled country, lies will be sent by lightning to all parts of the land, and the public mind will be deceived and poisoned in relation to a people who have planted the standard of true liberty in the tops of the mountains, and who, while according to all sects and parties and races perfect freedom of speech and act, are determined to maintain their own rights so far as possible by the blessing of the Almighty and under the Constitution of the land which guaranteed them.”  (Editorial, “Mormon Bishops, and Church and State,” DN 30(46):712, 7 Dec., 1881)

11 Dec.:  Priesthood organization came straight from God.

“We did not receive our ideas from any theologian, from any scientist, from any man of renown, or of position in the world, or from any body or conclave of religionists, but from the Almighty, and to him we are indebted for all life, all truth, and all intelligence pertaining to the past, pertaining to the present, or pertaining to the future.  Therefore we feel our dependence upon him.  Neither are we indebted to any man for any doctrine that we have received, nor for the Holy Priesthood, whether it be the Melchisedec or the Aaronic; all of these proceed from the Almighty, and if he had not given them we should have been as ignorant of them as others are, for they do not generally comprehend the law, the word, the will, or the design of the Almighty; for no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God; and if the Father did not reveal them we should be very ignorant indeed, as are the rest of mankind pertaining to these matters.  But the time having come to introduce what is termed, the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times,’ when God would gather together all things in one, whether they be things in heaven or things on the earth, it became necessary, because of the ignorance of men, because they did not comprehend God, nor his laws, nor the principles of eternal truth, that men should be taught of the Almighty, that God should be their instructor, and hence he introduced through the medium of the Holy Priesthood that had existed heretofore upon the earth, those principles which are calculated to bless and exalt the human family, prepare them to carry out the word and will of God, and to accomplish those purposes which he had designed from before the foundation of the world.  Hence he organized the First Presidency and the Twelve, he organized the Seventies, he organized Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, he organized Bishops and High Councils and all the various adjuncts associated with the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”  (John Taylor, 11 Dec., 1881; JD 23:24)