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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1906

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1906.” You can view other years here.

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1906:  28 Jan.:  Church to triumph in spite of opposition.

“President Smith spoke in his usual impressive style.  He prophesied that the Church of God would triumph in spite of all opposition.  He was much moved himself and the whole congregation were mellowed.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 28 Jan., 1906; LDS Archives)

Jan.:  Deacons may ordain other deacons.

“Deacons may ordain persons to the office they themselves hold, when so directed by proper authority, but not to a higher office.”  [The words “when so directed by proper authority,” were added to the 1904 edition.]  (Joseph B. Keeler, The Lesser Priesthood and Notes on Church Government, 1906 edition, p. 31)

8 Mar.:  Apostles reach decision on absentees.

“Spent nearly five hours in the Temple.  John Henry reported his trip to Washington.  Reed Smoot is under a heavy load but the Senator’s like him.

The apostles remained until six and reached a conclusion on the absentees [John W. Taylor and Mathias Cowley?]”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 8 Mar., 1906; LDS Archives)

9 Mar.:  Mormons won’t be able to vote or hold office.

“The Senate voted on Statehood bill today, and took Arizona and [New] Mexico off.  Burrows by subjecting Mormonism in the discussion succeeded in defeating the measure in as far as Arizona and New Mexico are concerned.  Dubois also succeeded in getting the amendment passed so that Mormons can not vote or hold office.  I am sorry to see how much power this corrupt man wields by handling the weapon of prejudice.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 9 Mar., 1906; LDS Archives)

15 Mar.:  Quorums not to provide theological training.

“Read the Church History ms. with Roberts.  Then went to the Temple and attended meeting with the Presidency and Apostles.  The matter of changing the Y.M.M.I.A. from strictly theological teachings to a more social cast, and let the quorums take up the work of theological training.

It was voted not to change.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 15 Mar., 1906; LDS Archives)

22 Mar.:  Filling vacancy in Quorum of the Twelve.

“Went to Temple, had a nice meeting.  The President wanted us to think over who should fill the vacancy caused in the quorum of the Twelve by the death of Apostle Merrill.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 22 Mar., 1906; LDS Archives)

5 Apr.:  Resignations of Taylor and Cowley from 12.

“Attended Temple meeting.  It was the apostles’ reg. quarterly meeting.  It was agreed to present the resignations of J. W. Taylor and Cowley to the Conference.  It was also agreed to sustain Geo. F. Richards, O. F. Whitney and David O. McKay as members of the quorum of the 12.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 5 Apr., 1906; LDS Archives)

6 Apr.:  “We expect to see the day . . .”

“The conference opened and the first speaker was Pres. Jos. F. Smith.  He spoke upon the different organizations, their object and its results hoped for.  I followed him on the prospects of the Church and the kind of education to give our children.

A great number of people was present.

The seventies spoke in this conference, all of them.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 6 Apr., 1906; LDS Archives)

“I would like to say a few words in regard to the various quorums of the Priesthood in the Church–the High Priests, the Seventies, the Elders, and the lesser Priesthood.  The aim of those in charge of these quorums has been to awaken within the hearts of those who compose them a livelier interest in their work; and I believe it may be said in all candor and consistency that there never has been a time when the various quorums of the Priesthood were more interested in their work, more alive to their duties, looking more directly to their legitimate calling, and paying more attention to the responsibilities that devolve upon them, than they are today.  The Presidents of the Stakes are taking up the work of the quorums, especially of the lesser Priesthood, and they are endeavoring to arouse the members of the Priesthood to a realization of the great responsibilities that devolve upon them by reason of the Priesthood that they hold and their connection with the quorums thereof.  We expect to see the day, if we live long enough (and if some of us do not live long enough to see it, there are others who will), when every council of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty, will assume its own responsibility, will magnify its calling, and fill its place in the Church, to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it.  When that day shall come, there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of teh Priesthood.  The Lord designed and comprehended it from the beginning, and He has made provision in the Church whereby every need may be met and satisfied through the regular organizations of the Priesthood.  It has truly been said that the Church is perfectly organized.  The only trouble is that these organizations are not fully alive to the obligations that rest upon them.  When they become thoroughly awakened to the requirements made of them, they will fulfill their duties more faithfully, and the work of the Lord will be all the stronger and more powerful and influential in the world.”  (Joseph F. Smith, Opening Address, 6 Apr., 1906; CR Apr., 1906, p. 3)

“I rejoice, brethren and sisters, in seeing the progress that the work of the Lord is making, both at home and abroad.  At home I see that the quorums of the Priesthood are awakening to their duties, and that in many of the Stakes the Presidents and their counselors, the Bishops and their counselors, are taking an active part in making the quorum meetings interesting unto the members.  The quorums are indeed like schools, in them the duties of the Priesthood can and should be taught, so that every one, from the Deacon to the High Priest, may learn his duty, and not be ignorant of what pertains to the office assigned him.”  (Anthon H. Lund, 6 Apr., 1906; CR Apr., 1906, p. 10)

“I am very much interested in this army of the Lord, and in order to preface my remarks I will read some statements made at our last conference.  Following is a quotation from the closing address delivered by President Joseph F. Smith, Oct. 8, 1905.

I feel like blessing the quorums of the Priesthood, every one of them, from the High Priests to the Deacons.  I pray God, my Heavenly Father, to remember them in their organizations, to help them, that they may magnify the Priesthood they hold and do the will of the Father; that the Seventies may be minute men, instant in season and out of season, ready and willing to respond to the calls that are made upon them to go and preach the Gospel to the world.  Gather in from the Elders quorums those who have proven themselves worthy and who have gained experience, and make Seventies of them, so that the quorums of the Seventies may be replenished; and the aged ones, whose physical condition will not permit them any longer to do missionary duty in the world, let them be ordained High Priests and Patriarchs, to bless the people and to minister at home.  Gather in the strong, the vigorous, the young, the able-bodied who have the spirit of the Gospel in their hearts, to fill the ranks of the Seventies, that we may have ministers to preach the Gospel to the world.  They are needed.  We cannot now meet the demand.

That is the word of the Lord to the Seventies, and to the Presidents of Stakes, and Bishops of wards.  We should search among our young people carefully and advance the worthy ones in the Priesthood, so that we can replenish the Seventies’ quorums with good, able-bodied men who are willing to perform the arduous labors connected with preaching the Gospel.  This labor is difficult; it is hard upon the Seventies and Elders, for they are sent into all the climates of the earth.  They go to the islands of the sea, to malarial districts, or to high altitudes, and unless they are strong and able-bodied, they break down physically.  To illustrate, if you send an Elder to Australia, at a cost perhaps of $120, and he is sick with rheumatism or other ailments, and has to return home, all that money is expended and very little accomplished.  I think President Smith has told me, personally, that to send men out in the missionary field who are broken down physically, demoralizes the mission.  It certainly is a great misfortune to break down physically while on a mission.  If you send out a sick Elder with a companion who is healty, strong and able-bodied, the healthy man is hindered from performing his labors because of the sickness of his partner.  If there are easy places the sick Elders have to be sent there, so I think it is sometimes a misfortune to be healthy if you have to go to all the hard places.  I say all hail to the aged Seventies who have been faithful, who have labored 70 years perhaps, as Brother Homer Duncan did.  He was one of the oldest presidents of Seventy in the Church; he was senior president of the Third quorum for a great many years.  He died lately over 90 years old; and he wanted to die a Seventy; there was nothing that could change his mind regarding that matter.

It seems to me that some of the aged Seventies have a wrong conception regarding their change of appointment to High Priests, so that they can labor at home, sleep in their own beds, and be cared for by their families.  This is the place for men who are aged, and who have been faithful and diligent witnesses of the Lord.  It is not good for them to be out in the world, exposed as our Elders have to be.  I am deeply interested in that matter, and desire you to give it consideration.  The Seventies are under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, who, when they need assistance in preaching the Gospel, should find such help in the Seventies quorums, instead of any others, according to the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.  But the difficulty is that many of these ‘soldiers of the cross’ are aged, physically disabled, crippled, and therefore unable to go out and perform this labor, and it would not be wisdom to call them.  So we need young and healthy men.

I desire to say further that we need a little more discipline, and more attention to the the interests of our Seventies.  There are seven Presidents over each of those quorums in the Church, and there are now 148 quorums; but there is a difficulty that I think needs to be looked after.  The Sunday school numbers about 100,000 in its membership.  The Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association about 25,000.  These organizations have strong General Boards, and there has been a wonderful labor performed by them.  As President Smith stated this morning, it cannot be expressed in a few words what the Sunday Schools, the Mutual Improvement Associations and other auxiliary organizations have accomplished.  They have been encouraged, held together, pushed and crowded to their fullest capacity by their energetic and capable officers.  The Priesthood quorums should be foremost in this Church, but some of the members have become mentally lazy, and have acted as if they expected their organizations to keep together without effort.  The auxiliaries have been urged forward with great enthusiasm, everywhere, from Canada to Mexico, these organizations are to the front.  The Priesthood quorums are apparently weary in well doing, and the officers and members seem to think that their organizations can run themselves.  They have become lax in their work, and let loose their hold.  While the auxiliary organizations have taken the right of way, the Priesthood quorums stand by looking on awe-struck at the great phalanx of young people who are rushing ahead.  So the auxiliary organizations are going away up the hill and we, the Priesthood quorums, stand down in the valley and look on.  Perhaps you don’t like that picture, you men of the Priesthood quorums, but I tell you there is a lot of truth in it.

You owe first allegiance to your quorums and quorum meetings, for there is where you get your authority and power.  Why is it that we are different from other men in the world?  It is not because we have greater knowledge and information, but because we hold the Priesthood.  Why is it that you fathers and mothers permit your 18-year-old boys to go to South Africa, Australia, Germany, or other nations of the earth, notwithstanding you are afraid to trust them out in this city after dark?  It is because they hold the Priesthood.  Our beardless boys are able to defend the Church of Jesus Christ, and preach the Gospel.  They hold divine authority, and under their administration the repentant believer is baptized, receives the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost is conferred by the laying on of hands.  The arm of the Lord is not shortened.  These boys are sent out in His service and He has told them to think not of the morrow, of what they shall eat, or what they shall drink, or wherewithal they shall be clothed, for He is amply able to take care of them.  There is no great number of men in this Church so carefully looked after, and their lives so well preserved, as are the Elders who preach the Gospel in the world.  I am in favor of the Priesthood quorums taking their proper places, and if they do not do it, they ought to be ashamed of themselves, for they have the power and intelligence, and they hold the authority.  It puts me in mind of a story, the only one I can think of just now to fit the condition.  It may not be just suitable, but I will tell it anyhow:

A negro had a mule which balked, and he could not get it to move; so he went into a drug store and asked the druggist if he had anything that he thought would start the mule.  The druggist came out and injected something in the region of the ribs of the mule, and immediately thereafter the negro saw a streak of dust and the animal flying over the hill.  He went back to the druggist and said, ‘How much is it?’  ‘Twenty-five cents.’  ‘Well,’ said he, ‘Just put fifty cents worth in me, so I can catch the mule.’  (Laughter.)”

(J. Golden Kimball, 6 Apr., 1906; CR Apr., 1906, pp. 18-20)

7 Apr.:  Speculation as to new Apostles.

“There is much speculation as to who are going to fill the vacancies.  The Tribune as usual has made its nominations.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 7 Apr., 1906; LDS Archives)

9 Apr.:  Taylor & Cowley:  I felt it was the Lord’s will.

“The three new Apostles and Chas. H. Hart were set apart and ordained by President Jos. F. Smith.  I had felt very sad about the resignation of Bros. Cowley and Taylor, but while Pres. Smith ordained the brethren I felt it was the Lord’s will, and this feeling was so sanctifying that I was melted to tears.”  (Anthon H. Lund diary, 9 Apr., 1906; LDS Archives)

9 Apr.:  Quorum meetings should be held.

“[General Conference, Priesthood Session, Joseph F. Smith speaking] Quorum meetings should be held & at quorum meetings held subjects should be treated which will be educational.  Tithing, Word of Wisdom, Profanity, & other virtues and vices be discussed.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 9 Apr., 1906)

28 Apr.:  G. F. Richards’ comments on correlation. 

“At a stake conference soon after his call to the apostleship he described the [correlation] problem when he spoke on what he called ‘Priesthood quorums vs. Auxiliary organizations.'”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 146; also George F. Richards diary, 28 Apr., 1906)

1 Jun.:  Explanation of priesthood organization.

“Authority as exercised in the several offices appertaining to the government of the Church is expressed by the profoundly significant word, Priesthood.  Every position of responsibility and active administration within the Church is filled by one bearing the holy priesthood or by someone set apart under the authority of the priesthood.  This fact emphasizes the sacredness of the obligations associated with the duties of the Church appointment or calling, and ought to be ever kept in mind, its consideration cannot fail to be both inspiring and impressive.

It is not the present purpose to discuss in detail the duties belonging to the offices of presidency, which, as the revelation on Church government indicates, are essential to the proper and efficient exercise of the powers belonging to the holy priesthood, but rather to consider certain features of the organizations over which these presiding officers are called to exercise supervision.

The Church comprises a veritable host of men upon whom the priesthood has been conferred.  These are classified according to the specific duties of their ordination into various quorums, some of which are designated as ward organizations, while certain others are stake authorities, and yet others pertain to the general scope of operations of the Church in its entirety.

Furthermore, besides these established quorums of the priesthood, we have a series of auxiliary organizations designed as helps in Church government and as means of contributing to the education of the members.  These comprise Relief Societies, Sunday Schools, Primary Associations, Mutual Improvement Associations, Religion Classes, and Church schools of all grades, from kindergarten to college.

Appointed meetings are held in connection with these different bodies; and it is probably true, that the Latter-day Saints are not surpassed by any community on earth in the number of meetings and range of work incident to Church duties.  Attendance at these many meetings and active service in connection with the proceedings thereof, is a never-failing source of joy to those who are animated by the spirit of their religion; on the other hand, these duties, as indeed all others belonging to membership in the Church, necessarily become irksome and unwelcome to the slothful and careless.  When the appetite for spiritual food fails, when the spirit no longer thirsts for the water of life, disease has surely begun its deadly work within the soul.

Numerous and varied as are the meetings and other appointments incident to the Church system, not one of them is superfluous or unnecessary.  Not a single organization amongst us can say to another, ‘I have no need of thee.’  The primary purpose of the ward sacrament meeting is not met by the stake conference; nor can the work of the quorums be accomplished without the meetings prescribed for them; and it is so throughout the series.

It is deemed advisable that we urge upon the officers in charge of these separate and specific organizations, that they endeavor to give their meetings a properly distinctive character, in the sense of making them more truly expressive of the purpose for which the particular organization has been established, and therefore more effective as a means of preparation and training.

Not infrequently it has been observed, that in quorum meetings or other special gatherings, even when the program of proceedings has been duly arranged and previously announced, the exercises are wholly general, having little or no direct bearing upon or specific connection with the particular work of the organization.

The several quorums of the priesthood are organized for instruction, training, encouragement, admonition–in short, for the education of their members, and therefore for the advancement of the Church as a whole.  In this labor of instruction, presiding officers and members are alike concerned and responsible.  The educative purpose is shown in the revealed order as to the number of members constituting a quorum in the priesthood.  As the Deacons are young and comparatively inexperienced, their quorum membership is small, twelve deacons making a full quorum, thus affording greater opportunity for instruction and training.  The Teachers’ quorum comprising more experienced men, is complete with twenty-four members; and the higher quorums, those of the Priests and the Elders, comprise a membership each double in number to that of the next quorum below.  The Seventies, being particularly commissioned for a labor in the mission field, are exceptional in this classification; while the High Priests, presumed to be men of long training and service, are not limited as to number in any established quorum.

The exercises appropriate to a regular session of the Elders’ quorum are such as pertain to the duties of the Elders’ high calling, including of course such matters as are germane to the responsibilities, duties, powers and blessings of the priesthood itself.  As one of the prescribed duties of the Elders is that of preaching the Gospel and administering in the sacred ordinances thereof, careful and thorough study of the principles of the Gospel and of the doctrines and theology of the Church in general, is strictly appropriate to the proceedings of an organization of Elders; yet there is a distinctive character belonging to an Elders’ quorum, and this should be kept in view in all its program of meetings and other appointments.  So as to the meetings of the other quorums; the periodical session is to be regarded as the appointed school period, the set time for that particular class to assemble for needed instruction and training.

The writer of these lines recently listened with interest to the statement of an Elder–one, by the way, who is in constant demand for lectures and addresses in connection with many Church gatherings–and the remarks referred to are of direct importance to the present instance.  Said he: ‘When I accept an invitation to lecture under the auspices of one of our Church organizations, I am careful to ask as to the nature of the subject that would be most fitting to the occasion.  I am usually assured that any topic will do.  Indeed, it seems that some of our program committees have no thought of their individuality as representative of separate organizations with a definite purpose of work–any topic will do, they say; and it matters not whether the meeting be a quorum session of Deacons or Elders, or a Sunday evening gathering of the Improvement Association.  The main purpose appears to be, to bet up some sort of a program, and fill up the time.’

Brethren and sisters, all,–give your special attention to your special duties; cultivate the spirit of and love for the particular work to which you are called; you will find your interest grow for all as you cultivate it for your own.  Do not fear that in the work of any organization there will be a scarcity of subjects or a dearth of material.  The depths of truth have never been fully sounded, the wealth of holy scripture is in no danger of becoming exhausted.  The true spirit of anyone’s calling in the Church of Jesus Christ is an unfailing revelator, showing an ever-widening field of enquiry, study and effort.

In connection with the current spirit of progress in Sunday School work, parents’ classes have been established in many wards, and the number of these excellent organizations is steadily increasing.  This addition to the course of Sunday School labors has received the hearty endorsement of the General Board.  Committees from the Board have visited several such classes now in operation.  The reports of these brethren show that in many instances splendid results are already apparent, while in some schools the interest in parents’ classes has begun to wane even thus early.  The main cause of this weakening of effort and loss of vital energy is seemingly traced to the fact that the distinctive purpose of the parents’ class is apt to be lost sight of.  If parents’ classes are to be such in name only, if they are allowed to become in fact nothing other than additional theology classes, they will not be the useful and permanent organizations hoped for and expected by their faithful and zealous promoters.  The plan, program and operation of parents’ classes must be distinctively appropriate, otherwise they will not live.  The breath of life is the spirit of active adjustment to purpose and need, and to be alive is to work in harmony and with definite intent.  Let not these suggestions be misconstrued to the hindrance and restriction of effort.  Give life to your labors by infusing the spirit of prayer.  Work and pray; and know that you may so work as to make your labor itself become an expression of prayer more eloquent because more effective than work.  Labor thus vitalized is never fruitless; effort so inspired is always appropriate.  Let all things be done decently and in order.”  (Editorial, JI 41(11):336-339, 1 Jun., 1906)

28 Jun.:  GA’s not to take unilateral action in stakes.

“Members of the Council of the Twelve were advised by the President of the Church to use much caution while visiting stakes and do only what had been cleared by the First Presidency and the Twelve as a group.  The apostles were advised by President Joseph F. Smith to anticipate what actions would be necessary in their assigned stakes so that proper clearances could be given.  An apostle, for instance, should not summarily release a stake presidency before consulting with the First Presidency and should never ordain a patriarch unless approval had been given by the First Presidency.  President Smith told the Twelve that they had all authority when sent into the stakes to do everything necessary but it [is] always safe and wise to take counsel.”  (Mouritsen Diss., pp. 153-154; also George F. Richards diary, 28 Jun., 1906) 

17 Aug.:  Bishops and Stake Presidents to meet weekly.

“At another time Elder [George F.] Richards advised stake presidencies and ward bishoprics to meet togetner weekly to consider people and problems under their jurisdictions and provide answers to those issues.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 153; also George F. Richards diary, 17 Aug., 1906) 

21 Aug.:  Change suggested in setting apart missionaries.

“A procedural changes in the process of calling full-time missionaries was suggested by Elder [George F.] Richards during the first months of his apostleship.  General authorities were responsible for setting apart missionaries when Elder Richards came into the quorum and a great deal of time was spent in the process.  Many hours during a week were devoted to the routine and Elder Richards believed it was excessive and not a prudent use of the apostles’ time.  Accordingly, he suggested that missionaries be simply set apart with a set prayer.”  (Mouritsen Diss., pp. 156-157; also George F. Richards diary, 21 Aug., 1906)

16 Sep.:  Who should ordain 70’s?

“The expression of the Council was that the Seventies should be ordained by the First Council or the Twelve as far as possible but Presidents of local quorums may ordain in emergency cases when instructed.”  (George F. Richards diary, 16 Sep., 1906)

3 Oct.:  That missionary blessings not be written.

“Several months later [George F. Richards] suggested that missionary blessings not be written.  He believed this, too, would save much valuable time.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 157; also George F. Richards diary, 3 Oct., 1906)

3 Oct.:  Sacrament to highest authority first.

“The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve ruled in October 1906 that the sacrament should be passed to the one highest in authority in a meeting in recognition of his position.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 81; also George F. Richards diary, 3 Oct., 1906)

3 Oct.:  Should 70’s be sustained in wards?

“In 1906, for example, he [G. F. Richards] called the quorum’s attention to a revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 26:2 which provides that all officers in the Church, where there is an organized ward of branch, should be presented to the members of the Church before they are installed in their positions.  Elder Richards noted that the seventies did not believe this was necessary in their case.  The matter was discussed by the Council but no decision was reached.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 148; also George F. Richards diary, 3 Oct., 1906)

13 Oct.:  Courts involving missionaries.

“Prest. Heber J. Grant, 


Dear Brother:–

It is deemed advisable and important by us that mission presidents should know that they have full jurisdiction over every missionary elder laboring in their missions; and that where they have reason to believe that any one of them has rendered himself unworthy of acting as a messenger of life and salvation, and evidence to that effect can be produced, it at once becomes their duty to convene a council consisting of the missionaries who can be conveniently reached, who, with the president at their head, constitute themselves as a tribunal competent to try him on his fellowship in the Church; and their decision must be regarded as final, inasmuch as it is rendered according to the evidence, and in the spirit of equity and justice.

In the event of the trial resulting in excommunication, the Elder shall be required to surrender his missionary certificate, and be left to his own resources about returning to his home; but should it be deemed expedient and proper to assist him in part or whole with money to pay for his transportation, his note shall be taken for the amount so advanced, and the President of the European Mission duly notified of the action taken against him, and his note forwarded for collection.

We have deemed it proper to issue this letter of instructions (a signed copy of which has been sent to the Presidents of the Swiss and German, Netherlands, Scandinavian and Swedish Missions) on account of the fact that cases of this character have now and again arisen, and mission presidents have been at a loss to know how to handle and dispose of them.  We would like this letter to become part of the Mission official papers, so that there may be no question about such things hereafter.

Your brother,

Joseph F. Smith

John R. Winder

Anthon H. Lund

First Presidency.”

(13 Oct., 1906, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)

22 Nov.:  Two priests could kneel to bless sacrament.

“Later it was determined that two priesthood holders could kneel at the sacrament table while blessing the sacramental emblems.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 81; also George F. Richards diary, 22 Nov., 1906)

8 Dec.:  Avoid overuse of the word “Apostle.”

“[Quarterly Conference, Juarez Stake, Apostle Francis M. Lyman speaking] Apostle Lyman occupied one hour.  Counseled the brethren to avoid the frequent repetition of the name of God or Jesus Christ.  The members of the quorum of 12 should not be refered to as Apostles.  All are Elders and it is sufficient to refer to a man as an Elder.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 8 Dec., 1906)

12 Dec.:  President of Church set apart, not ordained.

“The President of the Church is not ordained President but set apart.”  (Joseph F. Smith, quoted in George F. Ricahrds diary, 12 Dec., 1906)

12 Dec.:  President of 70’s set apart, not ordained.

“In a meetings of general authorities several weeks later, Elder Richards asked if it was proper to ordain a man when he is already a seventy and being called to be a president of a seventies quorum.  President Joseph F. Smith replied that it was not proper because a man is a president only temporarily but once he is a seventy he is always a seventy.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 148; also George F. Richards diary, 12 Dec., 1906)