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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1907

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1907.” You can view other years here.

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1907:  Committee on Adjustments.

“Church leaders felt a definite need for correlating these expanding activities.  In 1907 the Committee on Adjustments, representing various auxiliary organizations, recommended merging the similar Primary and Religion Class programs for children and also consolidating the Church’s magazines for adults.”  (Richard O. Cowan, “The Priesthood-Auxiliary Movement, 1928-1938,” BYU Studies 19(1):107, Fall, 1978; referenced to Marba C. Josephson, History of the YWMIA (1955), pp. 182-184)

8 Feb.:  Secret societies discouraged.

“Persons having joined secret orders contrary to counsel, may not be promoted in the priesthood nor be admitted to the temple until they have withdrawn from such orders & repent.”  (George F. Richards diary, 8 Feb., 1907) 

26 Mar.:  No arbitrary power in the Church.

“We deny the existence of arbitrary power in the Church; and this because its government is moral government purely, and its forces are applied through kindness, reason, and persuasion.  Government by consent of the governed is the rule of the Church.. . Nominations to Church office may be made by revelation; and the right of nomination is usually exercised by those holding high authority, but it is a law that no person is to be ordained to any office in the Church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of its members.  This law is operative as to all the officers of the Church, from the president down to the deacon.  The ecclesiastical government itself exists by the will of the people; elections are frequent, and the members are at liberty to vote as they choose.  True, the elective principle here operates by popular acceptance, rather than through popular selection, but it is none the less real.  Where the foregoing facts exist as to any system, it is not and cannot be arbitrary.

The Church officers, in the exercise of their functions, are answerable to the Church.  No officer, however exalted his position, is exempt from this law.  All decisions, rulings and conduct of officials are subject to investigation, correction, revision and final rejection by the general assembly of the priesthood of the Church, its final court of appeal.  Even the President, its highest officer, is subject to these laws, and special provision is made for his trial, and, if necessary, his deposition.  Where these facts exist in any administration of government, it cannot be justly classed as a tyranny, nor considered a menace to free institutions.”  (First Presidency, “An Address.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the World,” 26 Mar., 1907, IE 10:481-495)  

1 Apr.:  Harmony between priesthood & auxiliary leaders.

[This is a verbatim copy of Joseph F. Smith’s statement published earlier in the JI, 39(1):16-18, 1 Jan., 1904.  Appended to the end of this reprint is the following:

“The above article is to be read at the 4 o’clock meeting of the stake Sunday School conferences.”

(Joseph F. Smith, JI 42(7):210-212, 1 Apr., 1907)

5 Apr.:  Priesthood offices should be graded by age.

“There is an effort being made (it has come more particularly to our notice in the near Stakes of Zion) by the Presidents of Stakes and the presidents of the various quorums of the priesthood to induce the members of these councils to attend to their priestly duties.  The High Priests’ quorums should have their regular meetings.  They should meet together as often as circumstances will permit or as necessity requires, and grow and unite together.  They should establish their schools of instruction and enlightenment; for it is the duty of the High Priests’ quorum to teach the principles of government, of union, of advancement and of growth in the kingdom of God.  they are indeed the fathers of the people at large.  In our High Priests’ quorums are numbered the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, Bishops and Counselors, Patriarchs, and all that have been ordained to the office of High Priest in the Melchisedek Priesthood.  All such belong to the High Priests’ quorum.  They come under its supervision, and they should have a lively union with it, not a dead connection.  They should be united with the quorum in such a way that they give it all the force that they can impart for good.  They should give it their individual influence, their hearty support, their confidence, and the benefit of their advice and counsel.  They should not pull apart nor be disinterested in these matters.

The same may be said of the Seventies’ quorums.  I believe that the Seven Presidents of the Seventies have it in their hearts and minds to establish a better system of growth, advancement and instruction in those quorums.  The Seventies are called to be assistants to the Twelve Apostles; indeed they are apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, subject to the direction of the Twelve, and it is their duty to respond to the call of the Twelve, under the direction of the First Presidency of the Church, to preach the Gospel to every creature, to every tongue and people under the heavens to whom they may be sent.  Hence they should understand the Gospel, and they should not be wholly dependent upon our auxiliary organizations for instruction, neither should they be wholly dependent upon the missionary classes in our Church schools for their knowledge of the Gospel and for their qualifications to preach that Gospel to the world.  They should take up the study of the Gospel, the study of the scriptures and the history of the dealings of God with the peoples of the earth, in their own quorums, and make those quorums schools of learning and instruction, wherein they may qualify themselves for every labor and duty that may be required at their hands.  The Bishops should take especial charge of the lesser priesthood, and train them in the duties of their callings–the Priests, Teachers and Deacons.  Our young men should be looked after.  The boys, as soon as it is prudent, should be called to take part in the lesser priesthood.  If it were possible to grade them, from the Deacon to the Priest, and from the Priest upward through all the offices that will eventually devolve upon them, it would be one of the best things that could be done.  All these things should be looked after by the presiding authorities of the Church, especially byi those who preside over the quorums.  I will repeat what I said before, it is expected that every man on whom responsibility is placed will do his duty faithfully, and be diligent in the performance thereof.”  (Joseph F. Smith, 5 Apr., 1907; CR Apr., 1907, pp. 5-6)

5 Apr.:  Source of salaries of General Authorities.

“[General Conference, Joseph F. Smith speaking] The general authorities do not use the tithing for their support but are provided for by the dividends recd from investments.”  (Anthony W. Ivins diary, 5 Apr., 1907)

31 May:  Guidelines for 70’s.

“In May 1907 Church leaders determined that the seventies throughout the Church should hold their priesthood meetings on Sunday morning.  It was also decided that they should have a regular outline of work and course of study.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 149; also George F. Richards diary, 31 May, 1907)

1 Jun.:  An added suggestion on harmony.

“It is gratifying to know that discretion is being used by Stake and Ward authorities in choosing officers and members in the various organizations.  When, for instance, a Stake Superintendent of Sunday Schools desires to choose from some Ward a member for his board, he first speaks to the Stake Presidency, second to the Bishop of the Ward, and then to the person whose services he seeks.  Again, when the Stake Presidency desires to call either Stake or Ward workers from the Sunday School, either to preside in some other organization, or to perform some special mission in another field, they make known their intentions to the presiding authority, from whose organization the member is to be taken.  To do so is not only a matter of courtesy but a just means of keeping harmony in the Stake.  This is as it should be; and it is pleasing to know that such harmony exists generally.

In the matter however of choosing Stake Superintendents, this order and condition has not been so carefully observed.  Stake Superintendents have been released and their successors appointed without consulting or even notifying, beforehand, the General Sunday School Board.  While in nearly every instance the change has been acceptable, yet it may happen that such a change might be very unacceptable.  There have been instances when the General Board members had reasons for not sustaining some Stake workers, of which the local authorities were entirely ignorant.  Where such is the case, trouble can be avoided by consultation.  Aside from this, however, there is the question of the respect due one organization from another.  The General Board directs the schools through the Stake Superintendency, and keeps a record of the Superintendencies throughout the Church.  It would cause inconvenience not to say humiliation for the Board not having heard of any change, to communicate with a released superintendency.  If the Presidency of the Stake will kindly notify the General Board, of their contemplated changes and given the latter a chance to approve or disapprove, I think harmony in this regard will be better promoted.”  (Joseph F. Smith, “An Added Suggestion on Harmony,” JI 42(11):338-339, 1 Jun., 1907)

12 Jun.:  Notice of weekly meetings for 70s.

“To the First Council of the Seventy–Dear Brethren:–

We have felt for some time the necessity of increasing the efficiency of our missionaries whom we send into the world to preach the gospel and represent the Church in the several countries where openings can be found for the proclamation of God’s message to the people.  As the body of the Priesthood over which the First Council immediately preside, the quorums of the Seventies, constitute more especially the missionary force of the Church, we have deemed it proper that they should have improved opportunities for meeting in a quorum capacity to pursue those studies necessary to equip them for the special work of their ministry.  At present your quorums are meeting in a very irregular manner, some monthly, some semi-monthly, others once in three months, others weekly, but only part of the year; and under these circumstances your quorums have not been able to follow any uniform plan of studies or any line of work that would give them the kind of training that would effectually prepare them for their ministry.  In view of all this, we now direct that you inform the Seventies through communication with the respective councils of the quorums that they are at liberty to hold their quorum meetings on Sunday mornings, at such hours as they may determine upon as most convenient for them, say between 9 a.m. and 12 noon, and at such places as they may be able to secure without interfering with any other organizations of the  Church.

We are aware, of course, that this change will affect the relations of some of the Seventies with Sunday School work, but where that is the case, you are at liberty to inform the members of your quorums that they can be relieved of attendance upon and service in the Sunday Schools, except where engaged as superintendents or heads of departments where their places cannot be immediately filled by the selection of others; in such cases it may be necessary to release them as Seventies, have them ordained High Priests, and devote themselves to Sunday School work, unless they, or any of them, prefer to remain Seventies, in which event, they should be excused from attending the quorum classes, a thing which might be done without in any way interfering with the spirit and progress of this work, as the brethren occupying those positions are supposed to be capable men along theological lines.  But as the Sunday Schools will have the High Priests, Elders, all the lesser priesthood, and all the sisters in the Church to draw upon for their work, we believe the cases will be very few where it will be necessary to release Seventies from their quorums.  In carrying out these directions you will caution your local presidents not to intrude upon the Sunday Schools or their work.  All arrangements as to place for holding quorum meetings must be made without disturbing any of their departments or classes.  We also suggest that you except out of your Seventies’ meetings all those Sabbath days on which quarterly conferences and ward conferences of the respective stakes and wards where the respective quorums meet, in order that the Seventies in common with the rest of the Priesthood may attend these general appointments of the Church; but as these excepted Sundays will not exceed more than ten, the arrangements herein suggested will give the Seventies an opportunity to follow a practical, uninterrupted course of study.  

We also suggest that you solicit the co-operation and assistance of the local authorities in bringing to pass these changes, that all may be done in harmony and good feeling.  In order to further aid you in affecting these changes, we have written a letter to the Presidents of the Stakes apprising them of these matters, and have asked them to co-operate with you therein.

We further suggest that in connection with securing these improved opportunities for holding your quorum meetings that the First Council outline a course of study that shall have special reference to qualifying men for labor in the mission work of the Church.”  (First Presidency to First Council of Seventy, 12 Jun., 1907.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:157-159)

“Copy of letter sent to the Sunday School Superintendency of every Stake of Zion.

To the Stake Sunday School Superintendency and Members of the Stake Board.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:

We endorse herewith a copy of a communication from the First Presidency of the Church to the First Council of Seventy under date of June 12th, 1907.

You will observe that the First Presidency have deemed it advisable to permit the quorums of Seventies to hold their meetings on Sunday morning.  This will necessarily bring about a conflict in the duties of a large number of our Sunday School workers on Sunday morning; but we desire to have you carefully read a portion of the second paragraph of the letter from the First Presidency as follows:

‘We are aware, of course, that this change will affect the relations of some of the Seventies with Sunday School work, but where that is the case, you are at liberty to inform the members of our quorums that they can be relieved of attendance upon and service in the Sunday Schools, except where engaged as Superintendents or heads of departments where their places cannot be immediately filled by the selection of others; in such cases it may be necessary to release them as Seventies, have them ordained High Priests and devote themselves to Sunday School work, unless they, or any of them, prefer to remain Seventies, in which event they should be excused from attending the quorum classes, a thing which might be done without in any way interfering with the spirit and progress of this work, as the brethren occupying these positions are supposed to be capable men along theological lines.’

You will note that where stake superintendents and other prominent officers are seventies and their places in the Sunday Schools cannot readily be filled they are to be excused from the Seventies meetings or be ordained High Priests if they so desire.

The brethren of the First Presidency and the First Council of Seventy are careful to urge that the Sunday Schools should be shown every consideration and that our standard should be maintained, therefore necessary changes should be made with wisdom and care.

We believe the first thing to be done is to get the Stake Boards in order and to do this we suggest the following:–

1.  All proposed changes should be submitted to the General Board before final action is taken.  In this connection we refer you to ‘An added suggestion on Harmony,’ written by President Joseph F. Smith printed in the Juvenile Instructor (page 338, vol. 42).

2.  Those selected to take the places of officers released should not be consulted until their qualifications have been passed upon and their appointment approved by the proper authority.

3.  In all work of this readjustment confer with the stake Presidency.

4.  When suggested changes have been agreed upon in the manner pointed out please send us a list of your Stake Board in which Seventies who are to be ordained High Priests and those who are to be released indicated and the names given of those selected to fill the vacancies.

In conclusion let us urge you to act with promptness in order that your stake Board may be fully adjusted to the new conditions at once and that you may then have time to make the necessary changes in the ward Sunday School organizations of your stake before the first meeting of the Seventies in November.

Your brethren,

Joseph F. Smith,

Geo. Reynolds,

David O. McKay, 

General Superintendency.”

(JI 42(17):531-532, 1 Sep., 1907)

Jun.:  New text book for the Priesthood.

“First Steps in Church Government is the title of a little work just issued by the press of the Deseret News, and written by Prof. Joseph B. Keeler, of the Brigham Young University.  It is a book designed for young members of the Lesser Priesthood in the Church, in whom and in whose quorum work great interest has recently been taken.  The little work explains in ten chapters what Church government is, and also in a like number of chapters sets forth in readable and attractive style what Church government does.  As supplementary reading, it has twenty-one chapters by different authors, giving the personal experiences of prominent men and writers in the gospel work, under each particular division of the work.  The book should find a large number of readers and students among the quorums of the Lesser Priesthood, for whom it is specially designed.”  (IE 10(8):636, Jun., 1907)

Jul.:  On calling and releasing.

“At home, brethren are called to labor for the Church, in the bishoprics, as presidents of stakes, and in other offices, and in like manner when their work is completed, or the interest of the Church demands it, these may be released and others appointed to their places.  It is no more a disgrace for any man who has honorably finished his work in any of these or other callings to be superceded than it is to be released from foreign missions.  When men grow old and become physically incapacitated for the arduous labors that are required of certain officers in the Church, younger men with the vigor of strong manhood should be selected to take their places; men who are more capable, physically, to stand the strain of the work.  It is certainly no disgrace, dishonor, or a letting down, for those who have occupied the positions heretofore to be thus released.”  (Joseph F. Smith, “Editor’s Table–On Calling and Releasing,” IE 10(9):752-753, Jul., 1907)

15 Aug.:  70s classes vs. the Sunday School classes.

“The present movement to organize classes for the Seventies on the Sabbath morning, may cause for some time, a little confusion in the readjustment of the Sabbath Schools.  Many of the Seventies will be taken from their class work, and Elders or High Priests put in their places.  The removal of a large body of men from Sabbath School work will naturally create vacancies that are not easy to fill.  Time and patience will be required.  In these changes certain places made vacant by the Seventies will be filled probably by our sisters, but there must be precaution taken against taking the corps of teachers in our Sabbath Schools almost exclusively from the ranks of the sisters.  There are ages in the lives of our sons and daughters when the religious influence and teaching of men holding the Priesthood is most desirable.  One of the recognized defects in the Sabbath School teaching of the world, and as a matter of fact, in the day schools, is the almost exclusive work of women.  A woman’s work in educational life has its place and its great importance, but woman’s work in the school room ought not to be exclusive.  God gave to men and women some spheres of life that are distinct, missions in life which each must fulfill with respect to the divine purpose.  Our Sunday School classes should not be given over exclusively to the direction and management of the sisters.  A proper proportion of male teachers should be still maintained, and those classes which can be best directed and trained under the influence of the Priesthood, should be taught by men who bear it.

The suggestions therefore here and there thrown out that it will be necessary to substitute in this new movement, female for male teachers, must be guarded against with due consideration for the need of male teachers in the Sabbath Schools.”  (Joseph F. Smith, “A Word of Caution,” JI 42(16):499, 15 Aug., 1907)

Aug.:  Committee of Correlation and Adjustments.

“The YMMIA and the YWMIA were active in a joint committee known as a ‘Committee of Correlation and Adjustment,’ in which representatives from the Religion Class, the Primary, and the Sunday Schools participated.  This committee drew up resolutions in Auigust 1907 which were sent to the First Presidency.  In these resolutions a specific attempt was made to define the functions of the various organizations of the Church.  The representatives were:  B. H. Roberts, YMMIA; Mae Taylor Nystrom, YWMIA; May Anderson, Primary John Henry Evans, Religion Class; James E. Talmage, Sunday School.  Elder Talmage was named chairman.  The resolutions indicate a thorough study and careful evaluation of the different assignments of the auxiliaries of the Church:

1. Resolved that we recognize the quorums of the Holy Priesthood as designated of the Lord for, and as best adapted to, the systematic study and teaching of the Theology of the Church, and we recommend that the auxiliary organizations regard the field of formal Theology as most properly belonging to said quorums.

2. Resolved that we recognize the sphere of the Sunday Schools as necessarily including moral training, religion, and Theology, though as to the last named subject the treatment required is less exhaustive and the instruction less formal than the Theology courses that may be provided for the quorums of Priesthood.

3. Resolved that we recognize the YM and YLMI Associations as institutions whose functions comprise the cultivation of religious feeling and sentiment; the development of testimony as to the truth of God’s great latter-day work; also the cultivation of the social qualities, and the refined accomplishments such as music, elocution, etiquette, and belles letters; the study of literature, history and science; and the encouragement of systematic reading by graded courses.

The amusements of our youth should also be influenced by the spirit of Mutual Improvement work; and we recommend that the associations give due attention to indoor and outdoor amusements, sports, and pastimes.

4. Resolved that Religion Classes and Primary Associations be united into one organization whose field shall be the teaching of manners, morals, and religion, and that these combined organizations be placed in charge of one General Board comprising both men and women.

5. Resolved that we recognize the Home as the institution most valuable for the instruction of the youth in religion, morals, deportment, and patriotism; and that the Church should assiduously foster home cultivation of all these virtues.  We recognize a wise provision in the organization of the Priesthood whereby a particular quorum, namely, that of the Priests, is consecrated to the work of teaching the gospel in the homes of the people; and we recommend that special effort be made to utilize this instrumentality provided in the wisdom of God to supplement the teaching of parents; (1) by increasing the efficiency of this department in the home ministry of the Church; and (2) by encouraging parents to solicit the assistance of this teaching corps in their families.

6. Resolved that two periodicals are sufficient for the needs of all the auxiliary organizations and that the welfare of the organizations and the interests of the people can be best subserved by such limitation: (1) A union of Improvement Era, Young Woman’s Journal, and Juvenile Instructor into one magazine; to be placed under one editorial management with departments devoted to and edited by the several auxiliary associations.  (2) a strictly juvenile magazine devoted to the needs of the children.

7. Resolved that there be appointed a standing committee comprising a representative from the General Board of each auxiliary organization, and that this ‘Committee of Correlation and Adjustments’ have jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the relations of the auxiliary organizations to one another.  Respectfully submitted, James E. Talmage, Chairman.  Mae T. Nystrom, Secretary, in behalf of the committee.”

(Josephson, History of YWMIA, pp. 182-184; in (Richard O. Cowan, “Priesthood Programs of the Twentieth Century–Under the direction of Dean Jesse, Melchizedek Priesthood Research Task Committee, March, 1974,” pp. 26-27)

6 Oct.:  Anthony W. Ivins chosen to be Apostle.

“The following is an extract from my journal of Oct. 6th [1907].

When our afternoon meeting opened I concluded that the vacancy in the quorum of the Apostles was not going to be filled, as I had not heard a single word said regarding same, by any one of the First Presidency.  But just after the meeting opened this afternoon, the following note, which I got permission from Prest. Smith to copy, was handed to each member of the quorum of Apostles present, namely, 

Will Anthony W. Ivins suit you to fill the vacancy in the council of the Apostles?  Please write yes or no opposite your initials.

[Ten names were listed:  Reed Smoot, Hyrum M. Smith, George Albert Smith, George F. Richards, Orson F. Whitney, David O. McKay, Francis M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Heber J. Grant and Rudger Clawson.  Each of them wrote “yes” next to his initials.]

Please return this pad to me.

Joseph F. Smith,

Tabernacle, October 6th, 2 p.m. . . .

After the conference had closed, the First Presidency and Apostles met at the Beehive house, in the south east front room.  President Francis M. Lyman gave the usual charge to my cousin, Brother Anthony W. Ivins, and brother Ivins lifted his hand agreeing to devote his life to his Apostleship.”

(Letter from Heber J. Grant to Anthony W. Ivins, 10 Jan., 1908; in Anthony W. Ivins papers)

26 Oct.:  On the selection of Seventies. 

“In passing on the worthiness of candidates to be ordained Seventies, we have concluded, and so instructed the Stake Presidencies, that all recommendations for ordination to the office of Seventy must be made to or by them, whose duty it will be to present the same to the High Council to be passed on by that body; and afterwards to the stake priesthood meeting or other gathering of the Saints, for its sustaining vote.  The same procedure to obtain in recommending the passing upon candidates to be ordained High Priests.

In selecting brethren to be ordained Seventies, it is understood that the Stake Presidencies will confer and co-operate with you, to the end that none but suitable men be chosen–men most likely to develop ability as preachers of the Gospel, to the end also that the quorums may be filled up and replenished from time to time.  And we suggest that now, just before commencing the intended course of study would be a good time to fill up the several quorums with available young men as far as it may be practicable to do so.”  (First Presidency to First Council of Seventy, 26 Oct., 1907.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:159-160)

26 Oct.:  Ordination to HP as recognition of faithfulness

“And in this connection it would be well to consider your faithful fellow servants who have passed the age limit of missionary service.  Our idea is that they should be recommended to the High Priests’ quorums as a recognition of faithfulness, where their services might be further utilized by the Stake Presidencies in the work needed to be done at home, and this that merit may not go unrewarded, and that all available material may be used to the best advantage and for the general welfare of the whole church.”  (First Presidency to First Council of Seventy, 26 Oct., 1907.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:160)

Oct.:  Era now the organ of the 70’s.


. . . .

It came about in the following manner:  The First Council suggested to President Joseph F. Smith that the IMPROVEMENT ERA, now the organ of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Associations, could easily be extended in its scope so as to become also the organ of the Seventies.”  (“Editor’s Table,” IE 10(12):987-988, Oct., 1907)

6 Nov.:  Guidelines for MP offices.

“In passing on the worthiness of Elders and Seventies to be ordained High Priests, and Elders to be ordained Seventies, we suggest that recommendations for ordination to these offices in the Priesthood be made to you, or by you, and passed on by the High Council, and afterwards submitted to the Stake Priesthood Meeting for its sustaining vote.  Where it may not be convenient to submit such recommendations to the Stake Priesthood Meeting, in that event they might be submitted to a conference or other gathering of the Saints. And we suggest also that all ordinations, as far as practicable be attended to at the quorum meetings.

It is desirous that uniformity obtain in all of the Stakes with respect to recommending and passing on the worthiness of candidates to be ordained Elders.  In Stakes therefore where the following method is not in vogue;, we suggest that it be adopted:

All recommendations for ordination to the office of Elder to be made by Bishoprics to Stake Presidencies after having submitted the same to and received the sustaining vote of the Priesthood or Saints of the ward at their respective meetings.  And after receiving the approval of the Stake Presidencies, the same then to be submitted to the Stake Priesthood Meeting, then to a conference or other public gathering of the Saints.  

We have this day directed a communication to the First Council of Seventy informing them that so far as selecting brethren to be ordained Seventies is concerned, it is understood that you will confer with them, and they with you, and that you and they will co-operate for the best interests of the Church at home and abroad in all that pertains to this matter.

We have suggested also that now, just before the course of study in theology to be taken up by the Seventies, would be a good time to fill up the quorums of Seventy as far as practicable, and that in doing so, also in replenishing the quorums from time to time, a studious effort should be made to select brethren likely to develop ability as preachers of the Gospel, and none others, as to do so might in time be the means of embarrassing the quorums with material that could not be utilized in the mission field.  The manner of selecting Elders is left with you; but in the absence of a personal knowledge of their intelligence and speaking ability, it would be very proper for you to confer with your Bishops and the Elders’ Quorum Presidents about it.

And we have suggested also the advisability of recommending faithful Seventies, who have passed the age-limit of missionary service, to be recommended to the High Priests’ Quorum as a reward of faithfulness, where their services might be utilized by you in other ways, and this that merit may not go unrewarded, and that all available material might be used to the best advantage, and for the general welfare of the whole Church.

Where quorums of Seventy contain members who, in consequence of age, are unfitted for missionary service and at the same time unworthy of being ordained High Priests, the question arises, what should be done with them?

By way of partially answering the question this must be born in mind, that such men must not be recommended to the High Priests’ Quorum, neither must any body else be so recommended excepting on the score of worthiness; and it will therefore be for the quorums of Seventy who may be burdened with this class of material to purge themselves of it the best they can, a thing they should be encouraged and urged to do, and which may be done in a proper and legitimate way, that is, by the quorums themselves withdrawing fellowship from all such men, after laboring with them without avail, and reporting the action to their Bishops or High Council.

We feel to add that a great deal of labor needs to be done by way of improving the general status of the quorums of Priesthood, both Melchizedek and Aaronic; and that as presiding officers in the Church, we must not permit, in any instance, unworthiness to exist among them; neither should negligence be permitted to go on without special efforts being made to stimulate negligent brethren into a state of life and activity.

And inasmuch as the Seventies are now about to take-up the work of greatly improving the condition of their own quorums by pursuing a regular course of theological study, we suggest that the present would be a most opportune time for you to look into the methods of conducting meetings in vogue among the other quorums, with a view to improving the same wherever thought advisable by you to do so, to the end that interest may characterize the meetings and profitable instruction be derived from them.”  (First Presidency to Stake Presidencies, 6 Nov., 1907.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 4:160-162)

Nov.:  The new 70s movement.

“The New Movement.–The inauguration of the new working conditions under which the quorums will hereafter do their work is quite frequently referred to as the ‘New Movement among the Seventies,’ or more briefly, ‘The New Movement.’  The phrases are certainly not inappropriate; but have you stopped to think what the ‘New Movement’ will mean to Seventies work?  In the first place it gives us a day-time appointment for our quorum meetings, on a day regularly set apart for worship and thought and reading concerning the things of God; our members are released from other Church duties during that forenoon, that they may devote themselves to this quorum appointment and its work; the arrangement gives a uniform time of meeting for all the quorums in the Church; it will enable all the quorums to pursue the same general line of study, and at the same time; the meetings will be so frequent and regular that interest in the Seventies’ course of study can be sustained throughout the year; the new arrangement practically insures us a very much larger attendance upon quorum meetings; it sweeps away all excuses for protracted absence from quorum appointments; it gives recognition to the importance of the Seventies’ work, and emphasizes the dignity of the foreign ministry of the Church; to use the phraseology of the First Presidency in their circular letter to the Presidency of the Stakes–it will enable us ‘to make the quorums the schools of instruction they ought to be, and which it was intended of the Lord from the beginning that they should become.'”  (B. H. Roberts, “Seventy’s Council Table,” IE 11(1):65, Nov., 1907)

Nov.:  General Conference of the Seventies.

“The first General Conference held by the Seventies in sixty-three years convened at the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City, on Friday evening, October 4, 1907, Elder Seymour B. Young presiding.  The number of quorums represented were 132 out of 151 quorums in the Church, so that all but 19 quorums were represented; and when it is remembered that these quorums are scattered in three countries, Mexico, the United States and Canada, in five of the inter-mountain states and two of the territories, the representation was remarkable.  There were 239 Presidents of quorums in attendance, and 277 members.  The opening prayer was offered by Elder Francis M. Lyman, President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, and in itself grandly foreshadowed the purpose and spirit of the ‘New Movement among the Seventies.’  Words of greeting were given by the Senior President of the First Council, Elder Seymour B. Young; after which the purpose of the ‘New Movement’ and the first year’s course in theology, were outlined by Elder B. H. Roberts of the First Council. . . . It was a occasion long to be remembered, and the hope was very generally expressed that such a conference would be held every year, at the time of the General Conference of the Church, in October.”  (B. H. Roberts, “Seventy’s Council Table,” IE 11(1):65-66, Nov., 1907)

Dec.:  Regular official 70s quorum meetings.

“Where quorums are so situated as to make it necessary to divide them into two or more classes in their theological work, it should be remembered that the quorum must meet at regularly appointed times for the transaction of official business, and also for the preservation of the solidarity of the quorum.  How frequent these appointments shall be the First Council is not able now to determine; and at present, at least, it will be left for each quorum to decide for itself.  It will perhaps be out of the question to establish uniformity in such a matter, as the circumstances of the quorums are so varied.  We go no further at this time than to suggest that the quorums which are divided into several classes shall make such arrangements that at certain regular intervals the whole quorum will meet together, and that all members be required to be in attendance at that appointment.  There should be, however, no abandonment of the lesson of that day.”  (B. H. Roberts, “Seventy’s Council Table,” IE 11(2):148, Dec., 1907)