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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1882

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1882.” You can view other years here.

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1882:    5 Jan.:  Purging the Church of Evil Doers.

“The subject upon which President Taylor treated in the closing portion of his discourse last Sunday [1 Jan.] is of great importance–the purification of the Church by the expulsion of evil-doers.  That persons who frequent drinking saloons and are guilty of other practices in diametrical opposition to the spirit and letter of the gospel should retain Church membership seems somewhat anomalous.  The law of God in relation to such matters is perfectly plain, and the command given by revelation is unqualified–‘He that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.’

If a person claiming membership in the Church is guilty of any wrong and places any value upon his standing, he will turn away from the evil if his position is endangered.  When such characters are not dealt with, however, in accordance with the laws given for the purification of the Church, a check that might stop their progress to destruction is removed–the brake is off.

There can be no question as to the salutary effect of a more strict enforcement of the law that demands the expulsion from the Church of unrepentant sinners; the Church would be purged of the only element calculated to disgrace it.

That the officers of the Church whose immedate duty it is to carry its laws agains offenders into effect require much moral courage, is beyond dispute.  Parties guilty of offences have their friends and relatives who may not be slow to exert an influence against the carrying out of the regulations given for the cleansing of the body-religious from iniquity.  But parties who would seek to interfere in that regard become partakers of the evil.

The administration of the laws of the Church, however, has to be conducted with great care and wisdom, aw well as with an unwavering and impartial hand.  Family relationships as stated by President Taylor, should be ignored.  Proceedings of this nature should be characterized by a conservative and merciful spirit gradually encroaching upon the doers of evil, by first taking up and dealing with the most flagrant and notorious cases.”  (Reprint of report of of 5 Jan.; DN 30(51):796, 11 Jan., 1882)

7 Jan.:  Each ward should have AP quorums.

“President Joseph E. Taylor spoke of the great responsibilities devolving upon the Priesthood.  The organization of the Melchisedec Priesthood was very complete in the Stake, but the Quorums of the Lesser Priesthood were not as general as could be desired.  There being but two quorums of Priests and four quorums of Teachers in the Stake, whereas it was desirable to have one of each of these quorums in every ward as far as their numbers would justify it.  Deacons quorums were generally organized in the wards of the Stake, but he feared there was not that interest taken by the Bishops in the young men ordained to this calling that there should be.  He urged the importance of infusing a spirit of life into these boys, for if they were set on the right road in their early youth the experience they would thus gain would be a blessing to themselves and the Saints in after years.”  (Salt Lake Stake Conference minutes, 7 Jan., 1882; DN 30(52):806, 18 Jan., 1882)

16 Feb.:  She was a High Priestess in the Temple.


As stated in the NEWS, the demise of Elizabeth A. Whitney, familiarly known as Mother Whitney, occurred shortly after two o’clock yesterday. . . .

She was the second of her sex that received the endowments, being a High Priestess in the House of the Lord, in which capacity she officiated until lately, when she was compelled to relinquish her labors on account of failing health.”  (Reprint of report of 16 Feb.; DN 31(5):72, 22 Feb., 1882)

26 Feb.:  Repent or be excommunicated.

“After having something to eat in the morning we went to the home of Bro. Broschinsky and then went teaching; we first visited Bro. Farber and I told him if he did not repent of the adultery that he had committed and do the first works again, he would be excommunicated from the church.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 26 Feb., 1882)

5 Mar.:  Organization as complete as ever existed on earth

“After this order of Priesthood [Melchisedek] was introduced, the organization which we possess to-day was gradually effected, which is as full and complete, perhaps, as ever existed upon the earth.  How perfect it was in the days of Enoch we are not told, but everything that they had revealed to them pertaining to the organization of the Church of God, also pertaining to doctrine and ordinances, we have had revealed to us, excepting one thing, and that is the principle and power of translation; that, however, will in due time be restored also.”  (John Taylor, 5 Mar., 1882; JD 23:32)

23 Apr.:  Priesthood holders cannot sell liquor.

“President Teasdale introduced a resolution from the High Council regarding the excessive use of liquor by members of the Church, referring to the action taken at the last Conference to sustain the resolutions adopted by the Salt Lake Stake, and after the visiting Elders had expressed their sentiment, it was resolved without a contrary vote, not to sustain any one in the Priesthood who would sell or sustain others in selling spiritous liquors.”  (Juab Stake Conference minutes, 23 Apr.; DN 21(20):314, 7 Jun., 1882)

26 Apr.:  European excommun. required American Elder.

[Germany] “I gave some instructions in regard to excommunicating persons, and told the brethren that this was not allowable unless they had obtained the permission of an Elder from Zion.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 26 Apr., 1882)

1 May:  Priesthood chain of command.

“Take it the other way–the people listen to their Priests, Teachers and Deacons; the Priests, Teachers and Deacons follow the counsels of their Bishops; Bishops are placed under the direction of the Presidents; the Presidents under the direction of the First Presidency; the First Presidency seek the guidance of the Almighty; and then the Twelve, the High Councils, the High Priests, Seventies, Elders and all operating in their several spheres, in the interests of Israel, under the direction and guidance of the properly constituted authority, and each at the same time under the guidance of the Almighty, and we have a system that is as perfect as the universe, directed of the Almighty, subject and obedient to the laws, as the planetary system and all worlds are subject to the laws by which they are governed.  These are principles which are after the order of nature, and are as invulnerable as the throne of God, that will continue and rule while eternal ages roll.”  (First Presidency Epistle to the Presidents of Stakes, High Councils, Bishops and other Authorities of the Church, 1 May, 1882.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 2:341)   

1 May:  A dialogue on the priesthood.

“A Dialogue, Between two Brothers, on the Priesthood.  Joseph, the Older of the Two, Twenty Years of Age; David, some Five Years His Junior.

David.–Brother Joseph, I hear much about the Priesthood.  Among the Saints we often hear such expressions as ‘By the authority of the Priesthood,’ ‘We must obey the Priesthood,’ ‘The Priesthood are our leaders,’ etc.  Although I hear so much about it, I think my knowledge of the subject is very limited.  I would like a definite answer to the query, what is the Priesthood?

Joseph.–I may not be able to satisfy you, but, to my understanding, the Priesthood is the delegated authority of God.  The term is also applied sometimes to the men who hold this authority, who possess a knowledge of laws and ordinances, by the observance of which men may be prepared to rise above their present low condition to the society of higher and holier beings.

D.–When did the Priesthood originate?

J.–To our understanding it has always existed, for the scriptures declare that it is without beginning of days or end of years.

D.–Then, I suppose, I am to understand that the Priesthood is eternal, as God is eternal?

J.–Yes, that I think is a correct view of the subject.  It is also well to keep in mind in this connection that God and men are of the same order of intelligences.

D.–I see; we are to understand that it is through this Priesthood that man can rise above his present low condition and become an associate of the Gods.

J.–I think you will readily see that the Priesthood must have come down in succession from the higher intelligences to the lower, and, of course, that it has come down from God to us.

D.–This never beginning and never ending of the Priesthood, makes the subject a little difficult of comprehension.

J.–It is not worth our while to try to grasp infinitude, for we cannot do it.  We need only go back to Adam, our father, and understand that he received the Priesthood from his Father, and that his sons have received it in succession from their fathers.

D.–I wish to better comprehend how this Priesthood has descended through successive generations down to the present.

J.–Observation teaches you that here the son inherits, by natural law, the form, features, temper and general characteristics of his parents.

D.–Yes, I understand these existing facts; and it also appears to me that we have no choice in the matter.

J.–You will also quite as readily understand that fathers may leave their sons many things to which they are rightful heirs, if they will fulfill the conditions for obtaining them; such as an honorable name, a good education, wealth, etc.

D.–I see that while we do not appear to have any choice with regard to our organization, we have a free agency as to the nature of our actions and their results.

J.–Just so; our Father in heaven has given His children an organization like His own, fitted to become great and glorious like Himself.  He has given them special instructions how they may become like Him, and then leaves them to choose for themselves.

D.–I think I understand; it is through the powers and ordinances of this Priesthood that God has received His exaltation, and it is only through them that we can attain to ours.  But how has this Priesthood come down to us?

J.–The children of those who had the Priesthood in the beginning, inherited the right to it from their fathers.  Whenever they have complied with the necessary conditions for its reception, its authority and powers have been conferred on them by the laying on of hands.

D.–Is it possible that the Priesthood has descended from Father Adam through the long centuries in regular succession down to us?

J.–Not entirely so; the primitive church organized by Jesus and His apostles, apostatized from the faith, and for nearly fifteen hundred years there was no authorized Priesthood on the earth until it was conferred on the Prophet Joseph Smith.

D.–If the Priesthood had not been on the earth for so long a period of time, how was it possible for him to obtain it?

J.–There could be but the one way.  To connect the broken chain from the beginning, he had to receive the authority from those who formerly held it on the earth.

D.–Then, certainly, some of the ancient fathers must have come and laid their hands on his head and ordained him.

J.–That is the way in which he did receive it.  After Joseph Smith had been prepared by the ministry of angels and the workings of the Spirit of God within him, John the Baptist came and laid his hands upon his head, and upon the head of Oliver Cowdery, and conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood.

D.–Why should John the Baptist have come instead of Aaron or some of his sons?

J.–We learn from the first chapter of St. Luke, that the father of John was a priest and his mother a daughter of Aaron.  Therefore, he was a son of Aaron and a lawful heir to the Priesthood of Aaron.

D.–Still, I do not see why he should have been the man, especially, to ordain Joseph Smith to the Priesthood.

J.–From the fact that he held the keys and presidency of that Priesthood for the first gospel dispensation, and, for that reason, was the one to bestow them in this, the next and last gospel dispensation.

D.–I remember reading in the Doctrine and Covenants that Peter, James and John were sent to ordain Joseph Smith and others to the Melchisedek Priesthood, and, I suppose, for the same reason that John was sent on a similar errand.

J.–Your ideas are quite correct; Peter, James and John held the keys of the Melchisedek Priesthood in the last dispensation of the gospel previous to this, and, consequently, were the ones from whom Joseph Smith must receive them.

D.–I think I understand this subject much better than I did, but I see it will bear much study and reflection.

J.–Yes; in it are embraced all the powers and obligations of our holy religion, and we can never fully understand it until we learn all things that pertain to the salvation of man.”

(James A. Little, JI 17(9):131-132, 1 May, 1882)

6 May:  When Peter, James and John visited Joseph & Oliver

“In due course of time, as we read in the history which he has left, Peter, James and John appeared to him–it was at a period when they were being pursued by their enemies and they had to travel all night, and in the dawn of the coming day when they were weary and worn who should appear to them but Peter, James and John, for the purpose of conferring upon them the Apostleship, the keys of which they themselves had held while upon the earth, which had been bestowed upon them by the Savior.”  (Erastus Snow, 6 May, 1882; JD 23:183)

6 May:  Excommunication for conceiving out of wedlock.

“The President of the Stake, A. O. Smoot, decided that in answer to a question where a man and woman had been married or sealed in the Endowment House and the sister had a baby 3 months after marriage, they ought both to be cut off the church.”  (Oliver B. Huntington journal, 6 May, 1882)

10 May:  Concerning prayer/Rebaptism into United Order.

“We have been requested to state through the NEWS whether private devotions answer the obligation upon the Saints in reference to prayer, or whether it is necessary for men holding official positions in the Church or its auxiliary societies to pray with their families.

It appears to us that there is no need for anything to be said on this subject in the columns of a newspaper, after the plain and repeated teachings that have been delivered from the public stand in every part of this Territory.  Also that if the teachers in the various Wards discharge their duty with any degree of diligence, every member of the Church would understand his duty in this particular.

Every head of a household is required to pray with his family.  This, properly, should be attended to every morning and evening.  It is not enough for a servant of God to pray in secret.  He should hold family prayers at which, if possible every member of the household should be present.  The family altar should be thus set up in every home in Zion, and thanksgiving, praise and supplication should ascend morning and evening to Him who is the author of every good and the Owner and Ruler of all created things.  Neither is family prayer sufficient.  Secret devotions are part of the duty of a Latter-day Saint, and all members of the Church imbued with a right spirit and having a proper understanding of the requirements of the Gospel, will attend to both family and secret prayer.

We quote from the Doctrine and Covenants:

The Priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort and baptize, and administer the Sacrament and visit the house of each member and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties.

Among the duties of the Teachers is to 

See that the Church meet together often and also see that the members do their duty.

From this it will be seen that family prayers as well as private devotions are part of the duty which the visiting officers are to impress upon the minds of the members.  If anything further is needed to make the matter clear and positive, we refer to the rules of the United Order, to which rebaptized members have subscribed and which are an epitome of the duties of the Saints; one of the covenants made therein is this:

Rule 2.  We will pray with our families morning and evening, and also attend to secret prayers.

This is an obligation which most of the Latter-day Saints have voluntarily asumed and which they have agreed to discharge.  Need anything more be said as to its binding nature?  It appears to us that while this is in the nature of a duty it is also a privilege of which every member and especially every man holding a portion of the Holy Priesthood would be thankful to avail himself, and that there would be no need for any one to point it out as a duty.

In conclusion, we make the following further quotations from the Doctrine and Covenants, which we think bear out fully the views we have expressed in regard to the duty and privilege of prayer:

And a commandment I give unto them, that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof, let him be had in remembrance before the judge of my people.  (p. 251)

Pray always, that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or in death.  Even so.  Amen.  (p. 231)”

(Editorial, “Duty and Privilege of Prayer,” DN 31(16):248, 10 May, 1882)

15 Jun.:  Elders quorum covered 8 branches.

“At the St. George Stake quarterly conference held on the 15 & 16th June I was unamously sustained and was set apart to preside over the fourth quorum of Elders in this, the St. George Stake of Zion with Francis C. Lee of Panaca Nevada and John A. Gardner of Pine Valley my counselors.  This quorum consists of all the elders residing in Pine Valley, Pinto, Hamblin, Hebron, Clover Valley, Panaca, Eagle and Spring Vallies, making eight branches in all.

This I feel a great labor placed on myself and my brethren as the presidency of this quorum and counselors are living forty miles each, away from me, one east and one west and quorum is scattered over one hundred miles.”  (Orson W. Huntsman journal, LC Collection)

30 Jun.:  Court for adultery; public confession required.

“We had breakfast at the hotel, and then went to see Pres. Preston, but he was not at home.  I then called on Br. Moses Thatcher, who although quite ill, kindly offered to do anything in his power to assist Frank [Cannon] in arranging his affair.  I also called on Bro. Ballif who invited us to supper; he was glad to see me, as I also was to see him.  We then found Pr. Preston, who told Frank that he thought a public confession before the saints of the ward in which the sin off adultery was committed would be necessary and he (Frank) could then ask forgiveness for the same.  He also advised Frank to see the parents of the injured girl, and make matters right with them.  This latter part he was willing to perform, but he argued that a public confession was unnecessary as the revelations of God did not require it.  He considered the sin a private one, and should not therefore be made public.  I could not agree with his argument.  Bro. Preston finally referred him to the Bishop of the ward in which the act was committed.  A Bishop’s court consisting of this officer and his two councilors was appointed for this evening.. . .

I went with Frank to Br. Ballif’s home, where we had supper and remained a short time.  We had a pleasant visit.  We then sent to the home of Bishop Lewis, and Frank’s case was then examined.  The Bishop and his councilors also demanded a public confession of Frank, and said that nothing less than this would satisfy them.  I was called upon to express my ideas, and in doing so was forced by the Spirit to coincide with the views of the authorities.  Frank demurred to comply with these requests at present; three months time was then given him in which to put matters in order.  If he does not do so within the allotted time he will be excommunicated.”  (Abraham H. Cannon diary, 30 Jun., 1882) 

1 Jul.:  Priesthood questions.

“President A. M. Cannon said that the following questions had been asked by a president of an Elders’ Quorum:

Have Bishops any right to recommend brethren to be ordained to the Melchisdek [sic] Priesthood, or to receive their endowments in the House of the Lord, who neither pay Tithing nor donations?

What course should be pursued in relation to Elders who reside in Wards where duly organized quorums exist, and regular meetings are held, who continuously absent themselves from said meetings and from all other meetngs of a religious character, and who deport themselves in a manner unbecoming the true Christian, and repulsive to a Latter-day Saint?

He would not recommend a man to be ordained to the Melchisedek Priesthood who did not pay his tithing, for this was a requirement of the Lord, and he would go further and say, that nothing that we had should be withheld when the Lord required it.  It seemed harder for us to pay our tithing in the day of prosperity than when our means were limited.  Where a man was so cramped in his feelings as to fail to assist in any way in paying the expenses of the Ward or would not pay his tithing, it would not be a benefit to him to have the Melchisedek Priesthood conferred upon him.  In refusing to observe these laws we ignored the right of God to our possessions.  If we were poor and paid our tithing, the Bishop would be made familiar with our circumstances, and if our income was small he would be in a condition to know that we needed aid, if such was the case.  While he would not cut a man off from the Church for failing to pay his tithing, he certainly would not recommend such to be ordained to the Priesthood nor for the blessings of the Lord’s house.  Where brethren who held the Priesthood transgressed and after being labored with they failed to repent, they should be cited to appear before their Quorums, and if such a cours availed nothing they should be reported to the High Council.  The question had been asked, if an Elder who was acting as a Teacher whose mate was an advanced Teacher, and they were called upon to administer to a sick person while out teaching, if the Elder had the right to call upon the Teacher to annoint the sick person and, if so did he do it by virtue of the Elders request or the Priesthood held by himself.  He would say that such ministrations should be attended to according to the Priesthood held.  If the person administering was a Teacher, he should do so as a Teacher or by all the authority or grace he had with God.”  (Salt Lake Stake Conference minutes, 1 Jul., 1882; DN 31(25):388, 12 Jul., 1882)

31 Jul.:  May confirmation immediately follow baptism?

[31 Jul.]  “In the evening I went to the farm and attended to the baptism of Mary Davey, who is eight years old today.  Jay Lambert is also eight years old today, and he and Eddie Jenkins were baptized by Richard, after I had immersed Mary Davey.  As I was about to attend to the confirmation, Richard said it was against the order to do so, and asserted that the children would have to be taken to fast meeting, and there blessed.  I thought he was mistaken, as both Father and Uncle Angus have confirmed on the river banks.  Still to avoid all mistakes I decided to wait and make inquiries. . . .

[3 Aug.]  . . . in the evening went to Father’s farm where I baptized Brigham, who is eight years old today and confirmed him and Mary Davey.  Richard Lambert’s assertions of Monday evening in regard to confirming are incorrect, as Uncle Angus supported my ideas.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 31 Jul. & 3 Aug., 1882)

6 Aug.:  Duties of various Priesthood officers.

“The organization of the Church is after the plan that exists in heaven, and according to the principles that God has revealed in the interest of His Church upon the earth and for the advancement and rolling forth of his kingdom.  We start in with the Teacher and with the Priest, whose duty it is to know the position of all the members in their several districts; if they do their duty they will know really and truly the position of all those who come under their charge.  Their duty is very simple.  What is it?  They are to see that there is no hard feeling existing in the breasts of the Saints one towards another; that there are no dishonest or fraudulent acts, no lasciviousness or corruption, no lying, false accusations, profanity or drunkenness; and that the people call upon God in prayer in their various households–the father and mother and children, and that all perform their various duties and do right.  I look upon it that the Teachers and the Priests occupy a very important position in the Church and kingdom of God; and that if they perform their duty aright, there will be no hard speaking; there will be no hard feelings, no bitterness or wrath; there will be no fraud, no lasciviousness of any kind, no drunkenness, nor will there be any bitter or improper feelings of any kind; for it is their right and privilege to look after these things, and not only their right and privilege but their duty; and if they do not fulfill this, they are not magnifying their calling and Priesthood.  But if they are and people are disposed to listen to them, then everything will be right in regard to this matter.  And if there are those who are not disposed to listen to them and to do right, then it becomes the duty of the Teachers, after pleading with them and doing the best they can, to report them to their Bishop; and then it devolves upon him to do his part, not in anger or animosity or in the spirit of vindictiveness, but as a savior; and the Teacher and the Priest ought to act in the same way.  And while God has organized His Church upon the earth after the plan that exists in the heavens, it is for the various officers in the Church to fulfill the duties devolving upon them, acting in all kindness, long-suffering and mercy before the Lord, yet with justice and judgment, that the law of God may be honored, that the principles of righteousness may be exalted, that the workers of iniquity may be ashamed, that the meek may increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men may rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; that righteousness and truth may prevail among the people of God; and we may act not in name only, but in reality as the Saints of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

If any persons then should feel that they are aggrieved by the acts of the Teacher or the Bishop; if they should think that they have been unnecessarily harshly dealt with, they have the right of appeal to the High Council–High Priests selected from among the people and set apart because of their fidelity, their integrity, their honor and their justice–at least these are the kind of qualifications necessary to fill this calling.  And if upon an appeal to the High Council on any of these matters (of course including drunkenness), they find there has been unnecessary harshness, it would be for them to remedy the evil, to see that justice is done and that no man is oppressed; on the contrary that all have their rights, freedom, liberty and equal justice in righteousness without fear or favor.

When things are attended to in this way they move along all right.  If professed Saints will not obey the law of God, but violate the commands of the Almighty, they are not fit to be the servants and handmaids of the Lord.  We are told that they must be dealt with according to rules laid down in the law of God, by the proper persons that He has placed in His Church for that purpose.

I heard a man not long ago say that in the place he lived he had seen a great many people drunk; it was one of those places abounding with saloons in which they could bet beastly drunk; and that some of those who thus indulged were Elders, High Priests, etc.  The man himself was a High Priest.  If I had seen such men I should have gone to them and told them what course to pursue to stop those infamies.  Every Elder in Israel ought to be on the watch-tower as watchmen upon the walls of Zion.  Where iniquity prevails or evil of any kind, it is for them to do what they can to stem the current of evil and to lift up and exalt the people that they may comprehend correct principles, live their religion and be prepared to receive the blessings of Jehovah.  When I was quite a boy–I was not a Mormon then, but I had principles of humanity nevertheless–there was an old gentleman whom I respected, he was a good man, a praying man–he had a wife who did not want to pray, and who interfered with his devotions; she was uneasy and turbulent, and a kind of thorn in his flesh.  Under these trials he got along very well, but it used to drive him to the Lord.  After a while she died and he married again; this time to a very amiable lady; his wife was so pleasant and agreeable that the change in his circumstances was very great.  Being thus comfortably situated he became remiss in some of his religious duties, and commenced by giving way to the temptation of liquor.  Seeing the course he was taking I went to him.  I felt a little bashful on account of my youth at the time, but because of long friendship and out of respect for his many good qualities, I felt it a duty to bring these delinquencies to his notice; I told him that I had seen him drunk a few days previously, and that it had hurt me very much to see him in such a state, as his course had always been exemplary and he was a man whom I respected very highly.  He appreciated my good feelings, saying that he felt disgraced and promised to mend his ways.  Now that was not ‘Mormonism,’ but it was a correct feeling.  Cannot we, as Latter-day Saints, do as much good as those who are not Latter-day Saints.  Cannot we go after our brethren and sisters when they do wrong, with love and affection, and lead them in the paths of life  But then, if they will not do it after much persuasion, it becomes our duty to deal with them as the law of God directs; but in doing this we ought to be full of love and kindness one toward another, and not be harsh, acrimonious or desirous to place them in a wrong; such feelings do not become Latter-day Saints.  We ought to cherish feelings of kindness and love and longsuffering; but we do not want our charity to cover too many sins.  Everybody is at liberty to do this, whoever he may be, it being our privilege to do good, to try to redeem and exalt our fellow-men, and to act as saviors upon Mount Zion.  But when people will not do right, are we to foster the wrong?  No, God forbid.  We talk sometimes about the celestial glory, the terrestrial glory and the telestial glory, do you think that a man will get the celestial glory if he does not abide the law of the celestial kingdom?  You Latter-day Saints know better.  Well, then, if men are disposed to do wrong, to violate the commandments of God and yield to evils of various kinds, is a Bishop authorized, or is the High Council authorized to cover up those sins and allow them to go on?  I tell you No, they are not.  And if the Priest and the Teacher do not do their duty, it is for the Bishop to look after them to see that they do their duty.  And if the Bishop does not do his duty in this respect, it becomes the duty of the President of the Stake to do it, to see that righteousness prevails, that the principles of truth are sustained, that the Gospel of the Son of God is honored, and that the principles of equity, justice and righteousness and the fear of God are maintained in their purity in the Stake over which he presides.  And if the President of the Stake does not attend to his duty, then it devolves upon the First Piresidency to see that no iniquity exists in the Church.  And when these things are done we are then in a position to approach God our Heavenly Father to ask and receive, to seek and find and to knock and have the door opened unto us.

And besides these offices, which are the leading, prominent media or channels through which these things are reached, there are other methods by which they can be adjusted.  The Twelve, where they go, are expected to regulate matters of this kind.  We have a Quorum of High Priests in each Stake, and it is for them to exercise themselves and their influence individually and as a Quorum in the interests of righteousness and virtue and the maintenance of the principles connected with the kingdom of God.  They have no particular position or calling; they are ordained to the High Priesthood, and it is for their President to meet with them and have them humble themselves before God, and seek for the guidance of His Holy Spirit and the light of revelation; ‘for this ordinance’ we are told in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing Presidents or servants over different Stakes scattered abroad, and they may travel also if they choose, but rather be ordained for standing Presidents; this is their office and calling saith the Lord your God;’ that they may comprehend the principles of law, of government, of justice and equity, and watch over, not only themselves, but their families and friends, associations and neighborhoods, and act as fathers in Israel, looking after the welfare of the people and exerting a salutary influence over the Saints of the Most High God.

Again, we have our organization of Seventies, and they ought to see that there is no iniquity among their quorums–no drunkenness, no whoredom, no fraud, nothing that is wrong or improper, unholy or impure; but that they are men of God chosen and set apart as messengers to the nations of the earth, and wherever they reside it is their duty, and it is the duty of all men in Israel, to see that there is no iniquity, to use their influence on the side of right, and to put down wrong.

Then again, the same thing will apply to Elders.  The Elder is ordained in many instances to act as a standing minister among the people, to preach to them, to instruct them as we are doing and as your missionaries are doing, and as others are doing, preaching among the people at home, and frequently going abroad as circumstances may require.”  (John Taylor, 6 Aug., 1882; JD 23:216-219)

20 Aug.:  Elderly to be called to work in Temples.

“When we build our Temples, what then?  The brethren of the Twelve have been calling some men and women to go and labor in them.  The old men whose heads are whitened with the passage of time are not without zeal, but they have not the strength to cope with the hardships attending a foreign mission; and therefore some of them will be called to minister in Temples.”  (John Taylor, 20 Aug., 1882; DN 31(36):562, 27 Sep., 1882)

27 Sep.:  President of Church to nominate new Apostles.

“I met in Council with the Presidency when the subject was discussed of filling the Quorum of the Twelve & seventies And it was decided that it was proper for the Presidet of the Church to Nominate the persons to fill the Quorum as was the Custom from the Begining except in the first & second organization which was by revelation.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 27 Sep., 1882)

3 Oct.:  Quorum of 12 to nominate new 70s for 1st Council.

“Attended Aouncil whare Much instruction was given.  It was decided that the presidet of the Church Should Nominate the persons to fill the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles And the Twelve should Nominate or Present Names to fill the first Presidency of the Seventies.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 3 Oct., 1882)

8 Oct.:  HP can’t serve in 1st Council of 70.

“[General Conference] The Names of Abram H Cannon & Theadore B Lewis Had been Chosen by the Presidents of the Seventies the Twelve Apostles and the Presidency of the Church.  When they Come to be set apart on Monday W Woodruff set apart Abram H Cannon and when we Come to lay hands upon the Head of Br Lewis it was found He was a High Priest.  Therefore He Could not be ordained as A President of the Seventies therefore He was Set aside & not ordained to the office of the seventies which Still left one vacancy among the Seven Presidets.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 8 Oct., 1882)

“I was at my work until ten o’clock this morning, when I went to a meeting at the Council house.  Pres. Woodruff here set me apart with an excellent blessing and as he and the brethren were about to ordain Bro. [T. B.] Lewis, they learned that he was a High Priest and could not therefore be appointed to the office of a Seventy.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 9 Oct., 1882)

13 Oct.:  Revelation on priesthood.

“We met in Council at President Taylor Office.  We heard the revelation read in which George Teasdale and Heber J Grant were Called to fill the vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Seymour Young to fill the vacancy in the first Presidency of the Seventies.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 13 Oct., 1882)

“Let the Presidency of my Church be one in all things; and let the Twelve also be one in all things; and let them all be one with me as I am one with the Father.

And let the High Priests organize themselves, and purify themselves, and prepare themselves for this labor, and for all other labors that they may be called upon to fulfil.

And let the Presidents of Stakes also purify themselves, and the Priesthood and people of the Stakes over which they preside, and organize the Priesthood in their various Stakes according to my law, in all the various departments thereof, in the High Councils, in the Elders Quorums, and in the Bishops and their Councils, and in the Quorums of Priests, Teachers and Deacons; that every Quorum may be fully organized according to the order of my Church; and, then, let them inquire into the standing and fellowship of all that hold my Holy Priesthood in their several Stakes; and if they find those that are unworthy let them remove them, except they repent; for my Priesthood, whom I have called and whom I have sustained and honored, shall honor me and obey my laws, and the laws of my Holy Priesthood, or they shall not be considered worthy to hold my Priesthood, saith the Lord.  And let my Priesthood humble themselves before me, and seek not their own will but my will; for if my Priesthood whom I have chosen, and called, and endowed with the spirit and gifts of their several callings, and with the powers thereof, do not acknowledge me I will not acknowledge them, saith the Lord; for I will be honored and obeyed by my Priesthood.”  (Revelation given through John Taylor, 13 Oct., 1882.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 2:348-349) 

“Thus saith the Lord to the Twelve, and to the Priesthood and people of my Church.  Let my servants, George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant, be appointed to fill the vacancies in the Twelve, that you may be fully organized and prepared for the labors devolving upon you, for you have a great work to perform; and then proceed to fill up the presiding Quorum of Seventies and assist in organizing that body of my Priesthood who are your co-laborers in the ministry.  You may appointe Seymour B. Young to fill up the vacancy in the presiding Quorum of Seventies, if he will conform to my law; for it is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my Priesthood.”  (Revelation given through President John Taylor, at Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, October 13, 1882; in “Items on Priesthood from the Presidents of the Church and Others,” LDS Archives, P1 M251.3 I88 195-?; xerox)

“I worked in the office until 3.30 P.M. when I attended a Council meeting of the First Presidency, Seventies and Twelve in the President’s office, where a revelation of the Lord to Pres. Taylor was read, in which Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant were appointed to fill the vacancies existing in the Quorum of the Twelve, and Seymour B. Young to be the remaining one in the First Seven Presidents of Seventies.  These brethren were then set apart or ordained.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 17 Oct., 1882)


given through President John Taylor, at Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, October 13, 1882.

Thus saith the Lord to the Twelve, and to the Priesthood and people of my Church.

Let my servants George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant be appointed to fill the vacancies in the Twelve, that you may be fully organized and prepared for the labors devolving upon you, for you have a great work to perform; and then proceed to fill up the presiding quorum of Seventies, and assist in organizing that body of my Priesthood who are your co-laborers in the ministry.  You may appoint Seymour B. Young to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies, if he will conform to my law: for it is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my Priesthood; and then proceed forthwith and call to your aid any assistance that you may require from among the Seventies to assist you in your labors in introducing and maintaining the Gospel among the Lamanites throughout the land.

And then let High Priests be selected, under the direction of the First Presidency, to preside over the various organizations that shall exist among this people, that those who receive the Gospel may be taught in the doctrines of my Church, and in the ordinances and laws thereof, and also in the things pertaining to my Zion and my Kingdom, saith the Lord, that they may be one with you in my Church and my Kingdom.

Let the Presidency of my Church be one in all things; and let the Twelve also be one in all things; and let them all be one with me as I am one with the Father.

And let the High Priests organize themselves, and purify themselves, and prepare themselves for this labor, and for all other labors that they may be called upon to fulfil.

And let the Presidents of Stakes also purify themselves, and the priesthood and people of the Stakes over which they preside, and organize the Priesthood in their various Stakes according to my law, in all the various departments thereof, in the High Councils, in the Elders’ Quorums, and in the Bishops’ and their Councils, and in the Quorums of Priests, Teachers and Deacons, that every quorum may be fully organized according to the order of my Church; and then let them inquire into the standing and fellowship of all that hold my holy Priesthood in their several Stakes, and if they find those that are unworthy, let them remove them, except they repent, for my Priersthood whom I have called and whom I have sustained and honored, shall honor me and obey my laws, and the laws of my holy Priesthood, or they shall not be considered worthy to hold my Priesthood, saith the Lord.  And let my Priesthood humble themselves before me, and seek not their own will but my will; for if my Priesthood whom I have chosen and called and endowed with the Spirit and gifts of their several callings and with the powers thereof, do not acknowledge me I will not acknowledge them, saith the Lord; for I will be honored and obeyed by my Priesthood.

And, then, I call upon my Priesthood, and upon all my people, to repent of all their sins and short comings, of their covetousness and pride and self-will, and of all their iniquities wherein they sin against me; and to seek with all humility to fulfil my law, as my Priesthood my Saints and my people.  And I call upon the heads of families to put their houses in order according to the law of God, and attend to the various duties and responsibilities associated therewith, and to purify themselves before me, and to purge out iniquity from their households.  And I will bless and be with you, saith the Lord, and you shall gather together in your holy places wherein ye assemble to call upon me, and shall ask for such things as are right, and I will hear your prayers, and my Spirit and power shall be with you, and my blessing shall rest upon you, upon your families, your dwellings, and your households, upon your flocks and herds and fields, your orchards and vineyards, and upon all that pertains to you; and you shall be my people and I will be your God; and your enemies shall not have dominion over you, for I will preserve you and confound them, saith the Lord, and they shall not have power and dominion over you, for my word shall go forth and my work shall be accomplished, and my Zion shall be established, and my rule and my power and my dominion shall prevail among my people, and all nations shall yet acknowledge me.

Even so,

Amen.”  (Ms d 41, LDS Archives)

25 Oct.:  Filling of 70s presidents.


The Latter-day Saints will rejoice to learn that the vacancies which have existed in the quorums of the Twelve Apostles and the First Seven Presidents of Seventies are now filled.  During the Conference recently held, Elder Abram H. Cannon was unanimously chosen to be one of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies, and he was ordained to that office on Monday October 9th.  Subsequently the Lord by revelation through His servant President John Taylor designated by name Brothers George Teasdale and Heber J. Grant to be ordained to the Apostleship and Brother Seymour B. Young to fill the remaining vacancy in the Presidency of the Seventies.  These brethren were ordained on Monday October 16th, the two Apostles under the hands of the First Presidency and Twelve, and the other under the hands of the Twelve and the Presidency of the Seventies.

The word of the Lord and the ordination of these brethren, we feel assured will be received and sustained by the cordial consent of the Saints, and there will be a general feeling of satisfaction that all the leading quorums of the Church are now full and complete.  There is nothing more perfect and beautiful than the order of the Holy Priesthood as revealed from on high through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and when every quorum and council occupies its proper position, each filling its own sphere and not impinging upon that of another, and the members thereof act in the spirit of their callings, there is power in Israel such as cannot be felt and exercised by other means, and the whole body of the Church is blessed and strengthened.”  (DN 31(40):632, 25 Oct., 1882)

28 Oct.:  Rotation of conducting in 1st Council meetings.

“I attended Council at 2 P.M. and presided, as it was my turn to do so.”  (A. H. Cannon diary, 28 Oct., 1882) 

29 Oct.:  Apostleship and Melchisedek Priesthood.

“They afterwards received the authority of the Melchisedek Priesthood, under the hands of those who last held the keys of that Priesthood upon the earth.  When Jesus, you will remember, took His three disciples into the mount, He was transfigured before them, and Moses and Elias administered unto them; and at that time Peter was ordained to hold the keys of that dispensation.  He held the keys in conjunction with his brethren, James and John.  They came and unitedly laid their hands upon the heads of Joseph and Oliver, and ordained them to the authority that they themselves held, namely, that of the Apostleship.  In this way they received the authority of the Melchisedek Priesthood, and could administer in the ordinances that belong to the Priesthood; one of which is the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Until that time they had not receive that ordinance.”  (George Q. Cannon, 29 Oct., 1882; JD 23:360)

29 Oct.:  Rearrangement of seniority among the Twelve.

“Other names had at one time preceded President John Taylor in the order of the Twelve.  There were various reasons for this.  Two of the Apostles had lost their standing, and upon deep and heartfelt repentance had been again ordained to the Apostleship.  In both instances this had occurred after the ordination of President Taylor to that calling.  Still, for many years their names were allowed to stand in their old places and preceded his in the published list of the Twelve.  The revelation designating Presidents Taylor, Woodruff and Willard Richards to be ordained Apostles was given July 8th, 1838; John E. Page was called to the same office in the same revelation.  He and President Taylor were ordained at Far West before the Saints were driven from there.  Brother Woodruff being on a mission at the Fox Islands, was afterwards ordained on the corner stone of the Temple, April 26th, 1839.  Brother Willard Richards, when he was called, was on a mission in England, and was ordained in that land after the Twelve went there on their mission.  In this way Brothers Richards and Woodruff, though the seniors of President Taylor in years, were his juniors in the Apostleship; he had assisted in ordaining them Apostles.  For some years attention was not called to the proper arrangement of the names of the Twelve; but some time before President Young’s death they were arranged by him in their proper order.  Not long before his death a number of the Twelve and leading Elders were in Sanpete when, in the presence of the congregation in the meeting-house, he turned to President Taylor, and said, ‘Here is the man whose right it is to preside over the council in my absence, he being the senior Apostle.”  (George Q. Cannon, 29 Oct., 1882; JD 23:364-365)

12 Dec.:  Quorums in SL Stake.

“President A. M. Cannon said there were 38 Wards, 16 Elders’ Quorums, 3 Quorums of Priests, 4 of Teachers and over 40 Quorums of Deacons in this Stake.”  (Special Stake Meeting, SL Stake, 12 Dec., 1882; DN 31(48):755, 20 Dec., 1882)

12 Dec.:  Status of 70s quorums/Purpose of HP quorum.

“The Seventies Quorums had been greatly depleted by the ordination of the brethren as High Priests, who had been called to act in local positions. . . .

[John Taylor speaking] It was designed to fill up the vacancies existing among the Seventies with just as faithful men as could be found; men who were willing to devote their lives to the service of God in time and all eternity.  The High Priests’ Quorum was instituted to prepare men for presiding positions in the various Stakes, but as suitable men could not be found to fill these positions among the High Priests, they had been taken from the Seventies’ Quorums.”  (Special Stake Meeting, SL Stake, 12 Dec., 1882; DN 31(48):755, 20 Dec., 1882)

12 Dec.:  Call for revitalization of Priesthood quorums.

“President Wilford Woodruff, in listening to the reports given to-day, was reminded of the parable of the ten Virgins.  He felt that the time had come for the Priesthood either to magnify their callings or repudiate them, for if there ever was a time when the Priesthood should be faithful, it was the present.  They possessed the keys and authority to minister in the ordinances of the Gospel for the living and the dead, and such men had too much to do to lend themselves to evil practices.  The Priesthood should be clothed upon with the spirit of revelation to direct them in the performance of their duties.  It was important that all should be faithful in attending their meetings and in the performance of all other duties, for this work did not devolve alone upon the leaders of the Church, but each one had a work to perform.”  (Special Stake Meeting, SL Stake, 12 Dec., 1882; DN 31(48):755, 20 Dec., 1882)

13 Dec.:  Reading of John Taylor revelation on Priesthood.

“President Angus M. Cannon read a revelation given through President John Taylor, concerning the purifying and setting in order of the various departments of the Church.”  (Special Stake Meeting, SL Stake, 13 Dec., 1882; DN 31(48):755, 20 Dec., 1882)