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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1921

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1921:  10 Mar.:  Ivins “ordained” a counselor in 1st Presidency.

“chosen and ordained Second Counselor in the First Presidency, March 10, 1921.”  (Caption under photograph of Ivins, facing lead article; IE 24(6):578, Apr., 1921)

23 Mar.:  Priesthood urged to hold weekly prayer meetings.

“When those missioners were here in January and February last, they caused a great Reformation thrugh out our ward.  And they called the Preasthood to gather, and had parayer circle.  Then it was advised that we pryaer meetings at least once a week.  And it was desided that each Wedensday evening would be the best time, we keep this ukp for about two years, then we let it die out, except when there was sickness in town, or, when some of our people were being operated on by the Dr’s at St. George, or Cedar, then the Preasthood was called to gather by the Bishop, or, some one.

I sure feel that we got along better as a ward every way while we keep up our prayer meetings.  I do know there was better feelings all the time in ward.

Our meetings were held some times in meeting house some times at my home, and other homes, those meetings always carried a good spirit with them.”  (Orson W. Huntsman diary, 23 Mar., 1921; LC Collection)

3 Apr.:  Women and the priesthood.

“The Priesthood is not received, or held, or exercised in any degree, by the women of the Church; but, nevertheless, the women of the Church enjoy the blessings of the Priesthood through their husbands.  This emphasizes very strongly the importance of marriage.  Every woman in the Church, of mature age, and worthiness, who is ambitious to attain to exaltation and glory hereafter should be married, should be sealed to a man for time and all eternity; and we trust that the young women of the Church as well as the young men of the Church realize the responsibility of this important ordinance.”  (Rudger Clawson, 3 Apr., 1921; CR Apr., 1921, p. 24)

6 Apr.:  Women and the priesthood.

“One other remark I want to make, and that is this: There seems to be a revival of the idea among some of our sisters that they hold the Priesthood.  President Clawson sat down on that in his remarks on Sunday.  He said ‘No, the sisters do not hold the Priesthood.’  Well, is that right?  Yes; but then there is a little qualification to it, perhaps, very slight.  When a woman is sealed to a man holding the Priesthood, she becomes one with him.  Sometimes the man is the one and sometimes he is not, but she receives blessings in association with him.  The glory and power and dominion that he will exercise when he has the fulness of the Priesthood and becomes a ‘king and a priest unto God,’ she will share with him.  Sisters have said to me sometimes, ‘But, I hold the Priesthood with my husband.’  ‘Well,’ I asked, ‘what office do you hold in the Priesthood?’  Then they could not say much more.  The sisters are not ordained to any office in the Priesthood and there is authority in the Church which they cannot exercise; it does not belong to them; they cannot do that properly any more than they can change themselves into a man.  Now, sisters, do not take the idea that I wish to convey that you have no blessings or authority or power belonging to the Priesthood.  When you are sealed to a man of God who holds it and who, by overcoming, inherits the fulness of the glory of God, you will share that with him if you are fit for it, and I guess you will be.

There is another thing connected with that.  I have had sisters visit me and ask me if they did not have the right to administer to the sick.  ‘Well,’ I have said, ‘yes, you have in one way; Jesus Christ said, “These signs shall follow them that believe–in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”‘  As I say, there are occasions when perhaps it would be wise for a woman to lay her hands upon a child, or upon one another sometimes, and there have been appointments made for our sisters, some good women, to anoint and bless others of their sex who expect to go through times of great personal trial, travail, and ‘labor;’ so that is all right, so far as it goes.  But when women go around and declare that they have been set apart to administer to the sick and take the place that is given to the elders of the Church by revelation as declared through James of old, and through the Prophet Joseph in modern times, that is an assumption of authority and contrary to scripture, which is that when people are sick they shall call for the elders of the Church and they shall pray over and officially lay hands on them.

It is the prayer of faith that saves the sick; faith in God not in some particular man, although some men seem to have more of the gift of healing than others, that is true, but the authority in the Church is vested in the elders.  True, a priest, of course, can, a teacher can, and so can a deacon, although neither a teacher nor a deacon can exercise the power in the lesser Priesthood which is for the remission of sins through baptism; he cannot do that, he has not the authority, but he may lay hands on the sick and pray God to heal them; so can a member.  So can people out of the Church, and so they have done.  Having faith in God, they have asked God in the name of Jesus Christ to heal the sick by the laying on of their hands, and some of them have got well, and a good many others have died, like it is with all of us.

These sisters, too, claim the right to go around and hold meetings of their own and speak in tongues and interpret the same and to prophesy.  Now they may have the gift of tongues; that is just as much for the sisters as it is for the brethren, and seems to be a little more so.  One good sister said to another, ‘Oh, you may have the gift of wisdom, I don’t say you haven’t, but I have got the gift of tongues.’  She thought she was ahead of her sister who had wisdom.  Sisters, it is not your right to organize meetings either for the sisters or for the brethren in your respective wards without the regulation and permission of the presiding authorities of the ward.  Some sisters not very far from this spot used to meet together, relate visions, speak in tongues and had a glorious time, and the president of the stake was appealed to as to the right to do that.  He said, ‘Sisters, you must not hold any meetings of that kind unless you get permission from the bishop,’ and they have never asked permission of the bishop nor held such meetings since that time.  What does that show?  It shows that they were not acting under proper authority.  The Lord has declared ‘my house is a house of order.'”  (Charles W. Penrose, 6 Apr., 1921; CR Apr., 1921, pp. 198-200)

7/26 Apr.:  Conferring the Priesthood–format.

“CONFERRING THE PRIESTHOOD.  To prevent disputes over this subject that may arise over the procedure presented on page 169 [General Handbook?], we draw attention to the fact that until recently, from the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, ordinations to the Priesthood were directly to the office therein for which the recipient was chosen and appointed in form substantially as follows:

As to the Melchizedek Priesthood–

‘By authority (or in the authority) of the Holy Priesthood and by the laying on of hands, I (or we) ordain you an Elder, (or Seventy, or High Priest, or Patriarch, or Apostle, as the case may be) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers, keys and authority pertaining to this office and calling in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.’

As to the Lesser Priesthood–

‘By (or in) the authority of the Holy Priesthood I (or we) lay my (or our) hands upon your head and ordain you a Deacon (or other office in the Lesser Priesthood) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers and authority pertaining to this office and calling in the Aaronic Priesthood, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.’

In reference to the form of procedure mentioned on page 169, and that set forth in this addendum as adopted by the leading authorities of the Church from the beginning, our beloved and departed President Joseph F. Smith, when questioned concerning them, decided as of record.  ‘It is a distinction without a difference,’ and ‘Either will do.’

Persons therefore, who have been ordained in either way hold the right to officiate in all the duties of their respective offices in the Priesthood.

Heber J. Grant,

Anthon H. Lund,

Charles W. Penrose, 

First Presidency.


At a meeting of the First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles held on April 7th, the foregoing was unanimously endorsed for the instruction of the Stake and Ward and Quorum Authorities iin the Priesthood, so that there may be no difference of opinion or action in regard to the proper method of ordinations to the offices in the Melchizedek or Aaronic Priesthood.  The forms furnished in the addendum, of which the above is a copy, contain all that is really necessary in ordaining persons to those offices, and it is desirable to omit anything further, so as to avoid confusion and needless discussion.

Heber J. Grant,

Charles W. Penrose,

Anthony W. Ivins,

First Presidency.

April 26th, 1921.”

(Typescript from LDS Archives, Pq M251 G762a 1921; xerox)

26 Apr.:


CONFERRING THE PRIESTHOOD.  To prevent disputes over this subject that may arise over the procedure presented on page 169, we draw attention to the fact that until recently, from the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, ordinations to the Priesthood were directly to the office therein for which the recipient was chosen and appointed in form substantially as follows:

As to the Melchizedek Priesthood–‘By authority (or in the authority) of the Holy Priesthood and by the laying on of hands, I (or we) ordain you an Elder, (or Seventy, or High Priest, or Patriarch, or Apostle, as the case may be) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers, keys and authority pertaining to this office and calling in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.’

As to the Lesser Priesthood–‘By (or in) the authority of the Holy Priesthood I (or we) lay my (or our) hands upon your head and ordain you a Deacon (or other office in the lesser Priesthood) in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and confer upon you all the rights, powers and authority pertaining to this office and calling in the Aaronic Priesthood, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.’

In reference to the form of procedure mentioned on page 169, and that set forth in this addendum as adopted by the leading authorities of the Church from the beginning, our beloved and departed President Joseph F. Smith, when questioned concerning them, decided as of record, ‘It is a distinction without a difference,’ and ‘Either will do.’

Persons therefore, who have been ordained in either way hold the right to officiate in all the duties of their respective offices in the priesthood.

Heber J. Grant

Anthon H. Lund

Charles W. Penrose,

First Presidency


At a meeting of the First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles held on April 7th, the foregoing was unanimously endorsed for the instruction of the Stake and Ward and Quorum Authorities in the priesthood, so that there may be no difference of opinion or action in regard to the proper method of ordinations to the offices in the Melchizedek or Aaronic priesthood.  The forms furnished in the addendum, of which the above is a copy, contain all that is really necessary in ordaining persons to those offices, and it is desirable to omit anything further, so as to avoid confusion and needless discussion.

Heber J. Grant

Anthon H. Lund

Charles W. Penrose

First Presidency

April 26th, 1921.”


12 Apr.:  Report of Correlation-Social Advisory Comm.

“April 12, 1921.


Dear Brethren:

Pursuant to your action of November 4, 1920, the Correlation Committee and the Social Advisory Committee were amalgamated.  The new Committee was commissioned by the First Presidency to undertake e the work of defining the relationship of the auxiliary organizations and agencies of the Church each to the other and to the quorums and organizations of the Priesthood, and of defining the activities and fields of endeavor of each of the auxiliary associations and Church agencies.

The Committee has given long and careful consideration to the task assigned it, and respectfully submits to you in this report the result of its labors.

By way of premise to the suggestions that follow, it should be noted that the Committee has been guided by certain fundamental conceptions that have influenced all of its work.  In the first place it has clearly recognized the fact that the auxiliary associations and agencies of the Church are but ‘helps in government;’ that they are organized and presided over by the Priesthood and are at all times amenable to that authority.  Second.  That these institutions are provided primarily to meet the needs and requirements of the Church membership, and that Church needs should fundamentally determine their functions.  Third.  HKaving in mind that these organizations were, at their inception, given to the Church through inspiration to its leaders, that, to the extent that their original purposes and functions may be discovered, these institutions should be so administered as to subserve the original purposes of their organization: provided, however, that their original purposes and functions shall still subserve the needs and requirements of the people.

It should also be pointed out that, in the opinion of the Committee, the fields of endeavor herein assigned to the various organizations, conform substantially to the original statements of purpose of the various associations, and that whatever of change is proposed by the recommendations is in large measure a reversion to the original functions of the organizations.

. . . .

The Committee has thought it advisable to present its recommendations under eleven headings, as follows:

1. Priesthood Committee.

2. Relief Society.

3. Sunday School.

4. Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association.

5. Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association.

6. Primary Association.

7. Church Schools.

8. Genealogical Society.

9. Ward Weekly Program.

    10. Church Magazines.

    11. Correlation Committee.

There is included with the report a blue-print diagram which sets forth in concise, graphic form (a) the relationship of auxiliary work and organizations to general, stake and ward authorities, (b) the functions and scope of Church agencies, and (c) the proposed function and relationship of correlation committees to auxiliaries.


There is maintained in the Church today a general committee on Courses of Study for the Priesthood.  It is suggested that this Committee continue to prepare courses of study for the Priesthood classes, but in collaboration with the General Sunday School Board, in order that the course of study in theological and doctrinal instruction, later recommended for adoption by the Church, should be a well-organized treatment of the principles of the Gospel, comprehensive but without undesirable duplication or repetition.

It is also suggested that the work of this Committee, since the Committee directly represents the Priesthood organizations, might well be extended to work out and provide for Bishops and others who preside, programs and recommendations designed to assist them in the conduct of meetings and the more efficient performance of their duties, as presiding officers.

It is further recommended that this Committee include within its organzation a corps of musicians whose function it shall be to submit and carry out plans for the improvement of the devotional music throughout the Church, which music constitutes a very important part of our worship and is for the most part under the direction of the Bishop and other Priesthood authorities. . . .


The Committee regards the scope and function of the Relief Society as being well defined and established, both by the original statement of its purpose and its long practice in line therewith.  The declaration of President Joseph Smith at the time of its organization provides a great, comprehensive constitution for the Society.  He said in substance that it should ‘look after the needs of the poor, perform charitable acts, and assist in correcting the morals and strengthening the virtues of the community.’  To accomplish this great mission it is submitted that the function and activities of the Relief Society might be set forth as follows:

1. Relief, including both home and community service, caring for the poor, the sick, the aged, the neglected, the dependent and the dead; it being understood that the Society is also charged with the special responsibility of providing the much-needed institutional and special care (under direction of proper Priesthood authority) for the adult sick and the aged.

2. Education for family welfare, including health education, sex instruction, house-hold management, etc.

It should be understood that such a designation of the scope of the Society does not preclude work and discussion of a theological or doctrinal nature designed to instruct the membership of the Society in the principles of the Gospel; provided, of course, that such theological exercises shall not duplicate the work offered in the Church Sunday School.

The relief work of the Society is necessarily so articulated with the charity work of the Bishop that it would seem to be advisable to suggest a working relationship between Bishops and Ward Relief Societies in charity work, especially in view of the fact that in some quarters this relationship is not clearly understood.  In submitting the following suggestions, it is well recognized that the Society is wholly amenable to the presidency and direction of the Bishop:

a.  The Bishop

It is recommended:

1. That the Bishop, as well as the Relief Society President, personally know of each case of need.

2. That the Ward Teacher promptly notify the Bishop of any case of sickness, distress, or need which he may discover while visiting his people.  The Bishop will then see that proper relief is given.

3. That the Bishop invite the Relief Society officers to meet with him monthly, or oftener if necessary, to consider general charity work; new cases; plans for looking after the poor and those who are sick or in distress.

4. That the Bishop become thoroughly familiar with the best methods of caring for the poor and other types of welfare work.  Such methods, if adopted, to be applied in conformity with the spirit and practice of Church work.

5. That in the treatment and care of the poor, each ward be considered the unit, as in all other forms of Church activity, except, perhaps, in larger centers of population where Priesthood authorities may deem it advisable to correlate the relief work of a group of wards for centralized supervision and administration of ward work.

b.  The Ward Relief Society

1. That the Ward Relief Society labor under the direction of the Bishop, and be his chief aid in assisting and caring for the poor and unfortunate.

. . . .

c.  The Charity Funds

. . . .

2. That all charity funds be disbursed under the direction of the Bishop.  Funds collected by the Relief Society may be disbursed by the Relief Society officers for emergency and other purposes, and later reported to the Bishop.

. . . .


The thought underlying the recommendations for the Sunday School is a recognition of a pronounced need in the Church for a well-organized, well-administered course of study which will be adequate to insure to the membership of the Church a comprehensive, coherent conception of the fundamental principles of the Gospel.  It is believed that if provision were made for one organization of the Church to offer theological and doctrinal instruction to the whole membership of the Church, in an authoritative, standardized course of study, at the time of the week best adapted for such purpose, and if such an organization were held responsible for the fulfillment of this obligation to the membership of the Church, far more favorable results would follow than under the present plan of distributing this obligation among many or all of the organizations of the Church.

Under an exclusive assignment of theological and doctrinal instruction to one organization, the best available talent for teaching can be brought together under one auspices for more adequate training and preparation.  Whatever of failure may be justly attributed to our present system of theological instruction is undoubtedly largely accounted for in the inadequacy of our teaching.

It is therefore recommended that the function of the Sunday School be that of providing theological and doctrinal instruction for the entire Church membership.  That the Sunday School be so organized as to provide facilities for the Priesthood classes within it and for all other members of the Church not included within the Priesthood classes.  That the Ward Sunday School be presided over and directly conducted by the Bishop of the Ward.  That Priesthood classes be taught by class-leaders selected by or under the direction of the Bishop and Priesthood Quorum officers.  That classes other than Priesthood be maintained under the supervision of a Sunday School Superintendent.  That Priesthood and all other classes meet conjointly for opening and closing exercises under direction of the Bishop.  That facilities for teacher-training be offered to Priesthood class-leaders and Sunday School officers and teaches jointly.

It should be noted that the holding of Priesthood classes in the Sunday School will not dispense with the holding of quorum meetings by Priesthood Quorums at times arranged therefor.

In making the foregoing recommendations for a Church Sunday School the Committee has deemed it necessary and proper to submit recommendations for a proposed authoritative course of study to be given in such a school.  In tendering suggestions for this course of study no effort has been made to more than merely indicate the subjects and principles of the Gospel which should be treated.  The preparation and adaptation of the course of study to the various classes of the School should, in the judgment of the Committee, be properly committed to the General Priesthood Committee and the General Sunday School Board.  While it is contemplated that the General Priesthood Committee would prepare outlines for the course of study for the Priesthood classes, and that the General Sunday School Board would prepare the courses of study for all other classes of the Sunday School, it is nevertheless thought indispensible to the harmonious operation of the entire undertaking that the General Priesthood Committee and the General Sunday School Board collaborate, not alone in preparation of the course, but in its supervision.

. . . .

It is recommended that the women of the Church study the same lessons that are followed by the Priesthood:

Mothers (same as Elders)

Young Ladies (same as Priests)

Later Adolescent Girls (same as Teachers)

Early Adolescent Girls (same as Deacons)

. . . .


. . . .

It is understood that the original purpose of the Religion Classes was to complement the education of Latter-day Saint children by providing religious instruction and activity in close connection with day-school work.  In recent years this very purpose has come to be one of the main objectives of the Church School System–its present policy being to leave high-school training so far as possible to State schools, and to provide in connection therewith seminaries for religious training.  The Church School System has taken over entirely the seminaries throughout the Church, which were once operated, in part at least, in connection with the General Board of Religion Classes.  These seminaries maintained by the Church now conduct classes for religious training every school day, and it is understood that the Religion Classes also contemplate, under ideal conditions, a similar daily exercise.

While the suggestion might be regarded as transcending the Committee’s functions, it nevertheless deems it important to bring to the attention of the Presiding Authorities the advisability of transferring the supervision and administration of Religion Class work to the Church School System.  It makes the suggestion with due deference to the Religion Class Organization as it now exists and the great work which it has accomplished, but out of consideration for the unity of Church organization and in the interest of what it also believes will bring about a consummation of the initial purposes of the great Religion Class movement.

The Committee has taken the view that the service which the Church is rendering and proposes to render through its seminaries to high-school students is the same kind of service that should be rendered to elementary and junior-high-school pupils through the Religion Classes.

. . . .


It is understood that the Genealogical Society of Utah, while ostensibly an independent corporation, is operated under Church auspices and that its work is carried on and disseminated through stake and ward representatives of the Society.

. . . .


In order that the operation of the various organizations of the Church, particularly with respect to the times of holding meetings, may be visualized, the Committee presents a suggestive weekly program of ward meetings and activities, as follows:

A.M. P.M. [night]

Sunday Sunday School Home Sacrament Mtg.

Choir Practice Monthly Fast Conjoint MIA

Mtg. (monthly)

Monday Home Evening

Tuesday Primary YMMIA

Relief Society YWMIA

Wednesday Home

Ward Teaching

Thursday Religion Class Teacher- Training &



Friday Home


Saturday Supervised Supervised

  Community   Community

  recreation   recreation 

  for half   for Social

  holiday   Center

The suggestions for this program are prompted chiefly by two considerations:

1. That meetings and activities of the Church should be so arranged as to make more adequate provision for home association without sacrificing the aggregate efficacy of Church meetings and activities.

2. That Church meetings and activities be arranged so as to make the best possible appeal for the interest and attendance of the membership, particularly the youth.

It is believed that the influence of the home in the lives of the people is waning,–due in part to the excessive demands made upon the time of fathers especially, and upon other members of the family in lesser degree, for attendance at Church meetings.  To encourage home association and to realize the large measure of good derived therefrom, parents and members of the household must be reasonably free to live in their homes.  It is suggested in line with counsel that has heretofore gone forth to the Church that one evening of each week be set apart as a home evening, at which time a carefully prepared program for the family should be carried out.  It is felt also that two other evenings in the week should be left open for the use of the home, one of which might well be devoted to entertainments given in the home, thus tending to stimulate a form of entertainment that is regarded as of great importance in the promotion of culture and desirable social relationships.  It is also suggested that, with the exception of the fast day and such other necessary exceptions as will come to stakes and wards, Sunday afternoon be designated as another home or family period.

While a large number of wards now hold sacrament meetings in the afternoon, it is believed that with comparatively few exceptions sacrament meetings could be held with greater advantage to the people on Sunday evening.  A few of the older people might prefer the afternoon, but it is regarded as being essential to the welfare of the young that the meetings be held at the time that will most likely secure their attendance.  The worship and the spirit of the sacrament meetings should become a great factor in developing the faith of our young people.  Furthermore, Sunday evening is not a very good time for the holding of regular Mutual Improvement Association meetings, principally for the reason that much of the work cannot with propriety be carried out on the Sabbath day.

. . . .

. . . it is believed that the best course open to the Church is to enter into legitimate competition with all such commercialized amusements which cater to the entertainment and recreation of our young people in particular and the Church membership in general.

. . . .


The Committee considered that the magazines published by the various auxiliary associations, constituted a legitimate subject for its attention, since they are important instruments of auxiliary work.  A survey was made of all the Church magazines–their contents, duplication of material, subscriptions, cost of issue, etc.,–and it was the consensus of opinion that a recommendation should be made for the consolidation of the present six magazines.  There was a difference of opinion in the Committee, however, as to whether or not one magazine would adequately meet all requirements by making provision therein for departmental service to all of the associations and ages; some entertaining the other view that two magazines would be necessary–one to be devoted to children, and one for the remainder of Church membership.

. . . .

In order that the proposed magazine or magazines be not encumbered with too much technical work of the organizations, it is suggested that each organization issue manuals or handbooks, containing instructions to its workers, and periodical bulletins devoted exclusively to timely material for officers and teachers.

. . . .


It will be evident from the foregoing report that it has been the desire and aim of the Committee to assign the functions and activities of the Church, legitimate for assignment, to auxiliary organizations already established, thus curtailing as far as possible the tendency to create new agencies.

Moved by these considerations the Committee feels that with the assignment of activities herein suggested the maintainance of the General Social Committee and its committees in stakes and wards is unnecessary.  For the same reason the Committee regards it unnecessary to maintain the General Music Committee and the stake and ward music committees, believing that the functions of these committees can be properly and adequately performed by the organizations to which it is suggested they be assigned.

. . . .

The Committee feels, however, that it is indispensable to the coordination and accomplishment of the organizations and their work that a correlating agency be maintained, and to that end it recommends the establishment of a General Correlation Committee to comprise all of the presiding officers of (1) the General Priesthood Committee, (2) the General Boards, (3) the Church School System, and (4) the Genealogical Society; and that Correlation Committees be likewise established in stakes and wards comprising respectively the Stake Presidency and presiding officers of all stake auxiliary organizations, and the Ward Bishopric and presiding officers of all ward auxiliary organizations.

It will be seen that the establishment of these committees does not, at least with reference to their personnel, constitute a new organization in the Church.  The committees merely afford opportunity for presiding officers to correlate all of the work under their jurisdiction.  It is suggested that the principal duties of the Correlation Committees be regarded as:

1.  The Discovery of Church Needs.

2.  The Measurement of Church Work.

3.  Authoritative Correlation.

It is not contemplated that the maintenance of these committees in stakes and wards will materially add to the already heaven burdens of presidencies, bishoprics and presiding officers of organizations.  It will probably be sufficient for these committees in stakes and wards to hold monthly meetings.

In the General Correlation Committee special committees might well be formed to give attention to the more or less well-defined subdivisions of Church activity, viz., education, recreation, and social work.


In the consideration of the foregoing report the following question will naturally arise: ‘In what items of Church work do the suggestions contemplate a change from present organization and procedure?’  It will be noted uopn close analysis that comparatively few changes would result from the adoption of the recommendations.  They would be substantially as follows:

1. An enlargement of the functions of the General Priesthood Committee to include general supervision of music in worship in the Church, and other plans designed to assist Bishops and presiding officers in the conduct of meetings and the more efficient performance of their duties.

2. The establishment of an authoritative, standardized course of study for theological and doctrinal instruction in the Church, to be administered exclusively by the Sunday School organization, with provision for some religious activity in other organizations.

3. The inclusion of Priesthood Classes in a Church Sunday School, presided over by the Bishop.

4. A more definite assignment than heretofore existed of avocational and leisure-time activities to the two Mutual Improvement and Primary Associations.

5. A more definite assignment than heretofore existed of the institutional and special care of the poor, sick, aged, dependent, delinquent, etc., including a change in the supervision of the Lund School.

6. A suggested change in the administration of Religion Classes to the Church School System.

7. A consolidation of the Church magazines.

8. The suggestive assignment of the functions of Social and Music Committees to other organizations, and the consequent abolition of these committees.

9. A suggested change in the personnel of the General Correlation Committee, and the projection of Correlation Committees into Stakes and wards.

10. Suggested changes in the weekly program of ward meetings.

It might be mentioned in conclusion that an implied assumption equally applicable to all of the proposed changes herein set forth is the obvious necessity of encouraging specialization on the part of Church workers.  Other things being equal, ‘one person for one task’ is the desideratum in Church work.

. . . .


Stephen L. Richards, Acting Chairman

Arthur L. Beeley, Secretary.”

(Antone K. Romney, “History of the Correlation of L.D.S. Church Auxiliaries,” prepared for the Research Committee of the Melchizedek Priesthood Education Committee, Aug., 1961, part D; xerox)

“In 1920 an expanded correlation committee was assigned to define the relative roles not only of the auxiliaries, but of the various priesthood quorums as well.  The committee formulated three basic premises to guide its work:  (1) The auxiliaries are ‘helps’ to the priesthood and therefore subject to its authority.  (2) Programs exist only to meet the needs of Church members.  (3) All organizations should adhere closely to their original inspired assignments.  A specific recommendation was that the Sunday School should be given the responsibility of formal theological instruction; it should be extended to two hours and absorb priesthood instruction.”  (Richard O. Cowan, “The Priesthood-Auxiliary Movement, 1928-1938,” BYU Studies 19(1):107, Fall, 1978; referenced to “Report of the Correlation-Social Advisory Committee to the First Presidency,” 14 Apr., 1921, HDC)

Oct.:  Concerning #13 of General Handbook.

“The Presiding Bishopric of the Church have issued circular number thirteen, giving instructions to bishops and counselors, and stake and ward clerks in the Church, intended to aid these officers in transacting the business of the Church within their jurisdiction.  The circular is sent out with a hope that those having business with the Presiding Bishopric will become familiar with the instructions, and further that the Presiding Bishopric will have the faithful cooperation and assistance of the stake and ward authorities.

One of the valuable instructions relating to ward teachers is that they are advised that all who are called to labor as acting teachers are requested to attend the teacher-training class in the ward.

Another instruction relates to candidates prepared to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  Their names should be submitted to the congregation of the Saints for approval, and the ordination should take place before the body of the Saints at some stated period, preferably once a month.

A very interesting feature relating to the foreign missionaries, their departure and return, reads as follows:

When persons are sent on missions it is a pleasing custom to hold a ward entertainment for them.  This is a general practice.  When they come back, having completed a noble mission, it would be a deserved mark of respect to give them a public reception to show our joy at their return, and let them know their coming home is as greatly appreciated as their going away.

We think this is a step in the right direction.  Certainly when missionaries return to their homes, full of faith and the spirit of the gospel, having labored from two to four years in the mission field in behalf of the great cause for which we are all striving, their return home should not be left unnoticed as has often been the case.  Generally when they leave they are given an entertainment and often means to aid them in their journey.  On their return it is to be hoped that every ward will pay as much attention to them, as they did on their going into the mission field, and, furthermore, place them where they may have some work to do, both temporal and spiritual.

On the whole, the pamphlet, containing some 72 pages of matter, with an index, is of great value to the authorities of the wards, and will be found a worthy aid in producing concerted action, unity and harmony, in the labors of the priesthood.”  (“Editor’s Table,” IE 24(12):1121-1122, Oct., 1921)

Dec.:  New plan for increased activity of AP.

“A plan is being developed for increasing the interest and activity among the members of the Aaronic or Lesser Priesthood of the Church, under the direction of the Presiding Bishopric.  The program, as it will develop from time to time, as well as the order of procedure, will appear in the Improvement Era.  It is designed that the quorums shall be more thoroughly organized, and that greater attention shall be paid to the study, the activities, and the duties of the members of the Lesser Priesthood quorums than heretofore.  Elder LeRoi C. Snow has been appointed to engage in this work under the direction of the Bishopric, and will devote his entire time to the promotion of this cause.  The presidents of stakes and bishops of wards are urged to co-operate with the Presiding Bishopric in the furtherance of this great work.  Helpful suggestions to bishops, class leaders, and members of the quorums, relating to their religious duties, studies, and other activities that pertain to their offices and callings in the Priesthood will appear in the Era from month to month.  In this connection, let it be understood, that suggestions from the presidents of stakes, bishops, or others interested in the development and progress of the Priesthood quorums, are solicited and will be gladly received, considered, and, if thought advisable, published in these columns, in the interest and advancement of priesthood studies and activities.”  (“Priesthood Quorums’ Table,” IE 25(2):174-175, Dec., 1921)

“The Presiding Bishopric of the Church are now developing a plan for greater activity among the quorums of the Lesser Priesthood.  There are nearly 60,000 in the offices of deacon, teacher and priest, of whom about one half are deacons.

Through the various general boards wonderful programs of study and activity have been worked out for the auxiliary organizations.  The boy scout movement has rapidly become popular and been given a great deal of attention.  All these ‘helps in government’ are important, and are accomplishing much good in the lives of the young men in the Church.  It is very fitting that many of our most capable teachers and leaders are devoting their time and energy in the interest of these organizations.  This good work deserves continued encouragement and success.

Without detracting from any worthy effort in the interest of our boys and young men, there is a great opportunity to do more than has ever been done before for the members of the Aaronic Priesthood.  This work comes directly under the supervision of the Presiding Bishopric, Bishops Charles W. Nibley, David A. Smith, and John Wells.  They realize both the responsibility and the opportunity.  In 1908, soon after Bishop Nibley’s appointment, a number of improvements were inaugurated.  The Priesthood Committee was appointed, and special outlines for study were prepared.  Since that time priesthood meetings have been held regularly.  The present work, however, contemplates far greater activity and development.

As fast as the plan becomes known, it is being welcomed by the stake and ward authorities and the people generally.  It is being given hearty support by the First Presidency and the Council of Twelve.  Bishops especially, appreciate its importance.  The Aaronic Priesthood is fundamental in the Church of Christ, auxiliary only to the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Through the concentrated effort which has been made in the interest of the auxiliary organizations, the Lesser Priesthood has been neglected.  The present inspiration of our leaders should be a testimony that the Lord now desires that Zion’s youth who hold this divine authority shall stand in their places and function in their offices and callings.

In harmony with the revelations of the Lord the bishop in each ward should ‘sit in council with the priests,’ and personally preside over them, and direct their activities.  It is advised that one of the bishop’s counselors take charge of the teachers and that the other counselor look after the deacons.

A definite preparation will be expected of each boy before he may receive the Priesthood, and he will be required to pass certain examinations before advancement to the several Priesthood offices.  Such advancement will come as promotion for faithful service.  It is hoped that boys will be worthy and otherwise prepared at about twelve years of age for ordination as deacons.  It is the parents’ responsibility to properly train their sons and to see to it that they become worthy to receive the Priesthood.  A young man should serve faithfully for about three years in each office of the Lesser Priesthood–deacon, teacher and priest.  Devotion in these sacred callings should properly prepare him for the Melchizedek priesthood.

Graded courses of study combined with an attractive program of Church and priesthood activities are now being worked out.  The aim is to train the young man in his priesthood privileges as well as to teach him his duties.  (Le Roi C. Snow, “Priesthood Quorums’ Table,” IE 25(2):175-176, Dec., 1921)

Calling and ordination of bishops and counselors.

“Bishops are ordained by the members of the First Presidency, or under their direction.  However, in choosing a Bishop, it is the duty of the Stake Presidency to make recommendation to the First Presidency, to receive the latter’s approval, and then notify the man so chosen.  All such recommendations should first be submitted to the Stake High Council before being sent to the First Presidency.

When practicable, Bishops’ Counselors should also be chosen and submitted for approval in the same manner as Bishops.  However, it frequently happens that between the meeting with the proposed Bishop and the date set for the organization of the Bishopric, there is insufficient time to submit the names of the counselors to the First Presidency.  In such cases the Apostle appointed to the quarterly conference is fully authorized to act for the First Presidency.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 9-10)

Bishoprics to greet congregations as they enter.

“A very pleasing custom has been adopted in many of the large wards–that of the Bishopric personally greeting the Saints as they enter the meeting-house on the Sabbath day.  This practice creates a good impression and enables the Bishopric to become better acquainted with those who reside in the ward.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p. 10)

Annual house to house visits.

“As often as convenient, and especially during the months of November and December, the Bishopric should visit each family in the ward.  The purpose of these visits is to make the Bishopric better acquainted with the people in their home life, to encourage and instruct them concerning their religious duties, and to give such counsel and advice as may be necessary.  The influence of the Bishopric should be such that their personal counsel in the homes of the Saints will be productive of much good, both to children and adults.  During these visits, the Bishopric will have an excellent opportunity to instruct and encourage the Saints concerning private and family prayers, the observance of the law of tithing, loyalty to the priesthood, attendance at Sacrament and priesthood class meetings, the observance of the Sabbath day and the necessity of every member of the ward participating in the active social or community work of the ward.  These visits will also give the Bishopric an opportunity to announce throughout the ward the time and place for the annual tithing settlement.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 11-12)

Separate class for adult non-MP suggested.

“When persons have grown to manhood without having been advanced in the priesthood, they should be permitted to meet with one of the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood and thus be encouraged to attend the priesthood meetings, until such time as their good works justify their advancement; or they may be grouped into a separate class or quorum and placed in charge of a capable instructor.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p. 13)

Bishops’ counselors to preside over Teachers and Deacons.

“The Bishop is to preside over the Priests, and sit with them in council and teach them their duties.  Another member of the Bishopric should take charge of the Teachers, supervise and direct their labors and activities, and the other counselor should take charge of the Deacons in the same manner.  Thus, the three grades of the Aaronic Priesthood are brought under the direct supervision and control of the Bishopric of the Ward.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p. 13)

Ordinations to the Aaronic Priesthood.

“When a person is selected for ordination to an office in the Aaronic Priesthood, he should be interviewed by the Bishopric, his personal habits inquired into and the candidate should be told what will be expected of him before he can receive the priesthood.  No one should be ordained to an office in the priesthood who does not understand fully the duties and responsibilities of the office.  When the Bishopric are satisfied that the candidate is prepared to receive the priesthood, his name should be submitted to the congregation of the Saints for approval, and the ordination should take place before the body of the Saints at some stated period, preferably once a month.  The following are some of the duties that can be performed in the ward by those holding the Aaronic Priesthood.


To hold cottage meetings, to be ward teacher, to be missionary in the ward, to be a Sunday School officer or teacher, to be Mutual Improvement Association officer or teacher, to be Scripture reader at meetings, to be a messenger for the Bishop, to help Bishopric with wayward boys, to perform ordinance of baptism, to administer Sacrament, to pass Sacrament, to be usher, to be ward chorister, to visit homes of Saints, to teach prayer, to assist the Elder, to supervise collection of Fast Offerings, to help Bishop with tithes, to attend Sacrament meetings, to care for meeting-house grounds, to aid in local amusements, to collect ward funds, to renovate and repair the meeting-house, and to visit quorum members.


To assist in ward teaching, to be an officer in the Sunday School, to be an officer in the Mutual Improvement Association, to notify members of meetings, to be a messenger for the Bishop, to pass the Sacrament, to assist ushers, to be choir member, to be door attendant, to collect Fast Offerings, to visit and aid the poor, to attend Sacrament meetings, to visit and aid the poor, to attend Sacrament meetings, to care for meeting-house grounds, to assist the social or amusement committee, to collect ward funds, to prepare the meeting-house, etc., and visit quorum members.


Assist in Primary Association, assist in Religion Class, notify members of meetings, be messenger for Bishop, pass Sacrament, assist ushers, be choir member, be door attendant, collect Fast Offerings, provide fuel for widows, attend Sacrament meetings, assist amusement or social committee, prepare meeting-house, etc., and visit quorum members.”

(Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 13-15)

Weekly priesthood meetings.

“In every ward and branch a priesthood meeting should be held on Sunday morning, or at such other time as may be designated by the Stake Presidency.  Every person in the ward holding the priesthood, should be enrolled.  The Bishop will preside at the weekly priesthood meeting.  All should meet in a general assembly for the opening exercises; during this meeting, brief and timely instructions may be given; then the members should adjourn to their class rooms and proceed with their regular lesson.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p. 15)

Ward teachers to notify members of tithing settlement.

“The Bishopric in their personal calls, and the ward teachers by visitation, should notify the Saints in their homes as to the time and place of the settlement.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p. 21)  [This differs from the 1913 General Handbook, which assigned the task of notification to the AP teachers.]

AP to be encouraged to have tithing settlement.

“The Bishopric should make a special effort to encourage the attendance of the younger members of the ward at the tithing settlement, especially those who have started to work, even though their earnings are small.  The members of the Aaronic Priesthood should have the personal attention of the Bishopric, and they should be encouraged to observe the law of tithing.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 21-22)

Monthly ward teachers’ meeting.

“A meeting of the Bishopric of the Ward and the acting teachers [NOTE THAT THE 1913 GENERAL HANDBOOK SPECIFIED ONLY TEACHERS, NOT “ACTING TEACHERS”] should be held once a month at such time as will enable the Bishopric to make a report to the Stake Presidency immediately after the last Sunday in the month.  At this meeting the teachers will report the families visited, the arrival and departure of members, births, marriages, and deaths.  Every family should be visited once every month.  In order to do this properly and effectively, an active member of the priesthood should be selected to take charge of each district and he should be accompanied by a Priest or Teacher.  The Bishopric should give instructions to the teachers concerning the subjects to be presented to the Saints.  All those called to labor as acting teachers should attend the Teacher Training Class in the ward.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p. 28)

Concerning transgressions and transgressors.


No records should be made of minor transgressions of young people, nor cases of the same character of a strictly private nature, considered by a Bishop or a Bishopric.  But a record should be made of cases of fornication or adultery tried in the regular way by a Bishop’s Court.

Where there is gossip in a community concerning alleged transgression, the ward teachers should make inquiry, and if they are satisfied that transgression does exist, it should be reported to the Bishop.  It then becomes the duty of the Bishop to make further investigation and to act accordingly.

Confessions should be left to the Bishopric of the Ward in which the wrong-doing occurs.  Each case should be considered by them on its own merits, and disposed of according to the publicity already given it.  Where persons guilty of adultery or fornication confess their sin, and their transgression is known to themselves only, the confession to the Bishopric should not be made public nor recorded.  But where publicity has been given to it, the confession should be made before the priesthood of the ward at the regular weekly priesthood meeting.  In the case of women, their confession may be made to the Bishopric of the ward, and the Bishopric may make such explanations to the priesthood as they may consider necessary.  The object of this restriction is to confine the confession as much as possible to the circle acquainted with wrong-doings and to avoid spreading the knowledge of sin, in accordance with the revelation contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 42:89, which says that such things ‘shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.’


If alleged transgressors are about to leave the ward, investigation and action on their case should be taken before they leave, if possible.  When a person in transgression leaves the ward before action has been taken, the certificate of membership should be withheld until the transgressor has made restitution or action has been taken regarding the case, and report of the facts sent to the Presiding Bishopric.


When persons have been excommunicated by the High Council of a stake, or by the Bishop, the Stake Clerk should immediately notify the Presiding Bishopric, so that the information may be entered on the records of that office.  Persons who have been excommunicated should not be re-baptized until permission is first obtained from the Stake Presidency and High Council, or from the Bishopric of the Ward who acted on the case.


If a certificate of membership is received for a person who is leaving a ward, who expressed a desire not to become a member of the ward, nor to be considered a member of the Church, and requests that his name be stricken from the records, such person should be summoned to appear before the Bishopric, and if he persists in his desire to have his membership canceled, action should be taken accordingly.  [Compare with the looser rules of 1913.]”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, p

(Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 41-43)

The Bishop’s Court.

“Note.–The subject-matter under this heading, pages 43 to 54, inclusive, is taken by permission from the manuscript of a forth-coming book on ‘Priesthood,’ to be published by the Church, and now being written by Elder James E. Talmage, of the Council of the Twelve.

Bishops are designated by revelation as common judges among the people–see D&C 107:71-75.  The Bishop of a ward and his two counselors constitute the Bishop’s Court for that ward, with jurisdiction confined thereto.

In all cases of personal difference or grievance arising between members of any ward, the ward techers, who officiate under the direction of the Bishopric, should exercise their brotherly ministrations in trying to bring about a reconciliation between the parties.  If such efforts are not effective, the teachers should promptly report the matter to the Bishopric.

In all cases of transgression, violation of the laws and order of the Church, immorality, or iniquity in any form, the teachers should make report thereof to the Bishopric as soon as they learn of the existing evil.

If information or evidence of alleged wrongdoing within the ward comes to the knowledge of the Bishopric, otherwise than by report of the teachers, the Bishopric should instruct the teachers or other men invested with the Melchizedek Priesthood, two or more in every case, to investigate the matter and report their results.

Whenever, in the opinion of the Bishopric, a formal hearing or investigation is necessary or advisable, or when a written complaint alleging sufficient cause for action has been made to the Bishopric by a member against another, the Bishopric should summon the accused party or parties to appear before them, definitely specifying time and place of the sitting of the Bishop’s Court, and should so notify all persons concerned.

The Complaint.–Accusation by one member against another is to be made in writing, and must contain all essentials of the charge, so that the accused may be definitely informed as to what allegations he is to answer.  It may be that the accuser is not conversant with the usual type of complaint, and he may present his accusations in the form of a letter; and such letter may be accepted by the Bishopric as the complaint in the case, provided it definitely sets forth the charges.  A convenient complaint follows.

. . . .

When a written complaint reaches the Bishopric, they should have made a copy, or copies, for delivery to the accused person or persons in the case; but the original complaint must be retained by the Bishopric.

The Summons.–As soon as possible after the receipt of the complaint, the Bishopric should determine as to suitable time and place for the trial, and issue a summons to the accused; and this, together with a copy of the complaint, is to be delivered to the accused by two of the teachers or other competent men duly appointed by the Bishopric.  Two copies of the summons should be prepared for each person to be summoned, one of which copies is to be left with the person served therewith, and the other copy is to be returned to the Bishopric with certification of service.

A suggestive and convenient form of summons follows.

. . . .

The Trial.–The Bishop and his counselors sit as a trial court.  When, through disability, one or both of the counselors are unable to attend, or are disqualified, the Bishop may appoint one or two High Priests to sit with him as members of the Bishop’s Court for the hearing of the particular case at issue; but the names of such specially appointed High Priests must first be submitted to, and be approved by, the Stake Presidency.

The proceedings should be opened and closed with prayer.  The court should decide and announce, before the hearing is begun, whether witnesses, other than the signer or signers of the complaint, shall be allowed to be present throughout the proceedings, or be brought in one by one as their testimony is called for.  Any ruling on this point must apply equally to witnesses on both sides.  The order of procedure outlined below should be followed in the trial.

A full record of all proceedings, including the essential parts of the testimony given by each witness, must be made by the Ward Clerk, or other person or persons appointed by the court to act as clerk or clerks at the trial.

The complaint is read by the clerk or by one of the court, and the service of complaint and summons is announced.  The accused is called upon to make answer.  If the answer be an acknowledgement of guilt, the court may inquire as to the facts, and will then, or later, render a decision.  If the accused denies the charges, the trial is to proceed.  The accuser first testifies, or makes a statement of his case, and then the court calls upon his witnesses, one by one to testify.  Cross-examination of the accuser and other witnesses may be made by the accused.  The court will rule on any question as to the advisability of evidence, or the like, and must maintain orderly procedure, with due regard to the rights of both parties.

When all the evidence on the part of the accuser has been heard and recorded, the accused may testify in his own behalf, and the court will call his witnesses, one by one, to testify.  The court may question any witness both on direct and cross-examination.

The Decision.–After all testimony has been heard and recorded, the three members of the court may consult among themselves and formulate their decision; or, if the court desire further time for consideration, the case may be taken under advisement and the session be adjourned to a fixed date.  The decision is announced by the Bishop; and if it be concurred in by his counselors, or by one of them, it stands as the decision of the Bishop’s Court; but a conclusion of the counselors, in which the Bishop does not concur, is not a decision of the Bishop’s Court.  In such an instance the case must be retried or be referred to the Stake Presidency, who will determine as to further procedure.

A written copy of the decision, signed by the Bishop, is to be furnished each of the parties to the case as soon as possible after the decision is rendered.

The Penalty.–The decision may specify compliances, or acts of restitution required of the guilty party, neglect of which will bring into operation certain penalties; or, the penalty may be imposed unconditionally.  The extreme penalties within the power of the Bishop’s Court to inflict are disfellowshipment and excommunication from the Church.  A member ordained to office in the Aaronic Priesthood only, or one not holding the priesthood at all, may be excommunicated from the Church by action of the Bishop’s Court; but in the case of one holding the Higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, the Bishop’s Court may disfellowship but cannot excommunicate.

When a holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood is so disfellowshiped, it is the duty of the Bishopric to make prompt report of the case to the Stake Presidency, who will bring it before the High Council.  A transcript of the evidence heard in the Bishop’s Court should be prepared without delay, for presentation to the High Council.

A disfellowshiped person is not to be admitted to priesthood meetings, nor to any assembly of Church officers; is not to hold office in the Church nor in any of the auxiliary organizations; and is not entitled to partake of the Sacrament.  Of these restrictions, the person should be specifically informed by the Bishop when the penalty of disfellowshipment is imposed.

An excommunicant is not a member of the Church, and has no claim to any rights or privileges therein.

The Right of Appeal.–If either party to a case duly tried in a Bishop’s Court is dissatisfied with the decision, and alleges that injustice has been done him, he may appeal to the Stake Presidency, who may bring the case for trial before the High Council.  The intending appellant should give notice to the Bishop of his determination to take an appeal, directly following the rendering of the decision by the Bishop’s Court; and the Bishop will thereupon set a reasonable time limit within which the written appeal is to be presented to him.  The appellant must specify the particulars as to error or unfairness in the trial, whereby injustice has been done him, as he alleges.  Should he fail to perfect his appeal within the time set, the decision of the Bishop’s Court stands as rendered.

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Bishop must at once give written notice to the Stake Presidency, and must forward without avoidable delay the record of all proceedings in the case.

The Stake Presidency will give prompt notification, in writing, to the Bishop as to the action taken on the appeal.

Citation.–The foregoing instructions as to the operation of the Bishop’s Court apply more particularly to the trial of individual cases in which one party accuses another on allegation of personal grievance.  Besides such cases, there may be instances of wrong-doing, such as conduct violative of the law and order of the Church, teaching of false doctrine, disobedience to Church regulations and requirements, encouraging any or all such evils by example or by open or covert advice–in none of which is any one member of the Church personally injured or aggrieved more than others.  It may be that no person comes forward as the accuser.  Under these conditions, it is the duty of the Bishopric to appoint two or more men of discretion, who hold the Higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, to investigate the respective case and to make accusation in due form if their findings so warrant.

However, in cases of reputed wrong-doing, wherein no accuser appears, the Bishopric should cite the alleged wrong-doer, as well as witnesses, to appear before the Bishop’s Court for investigation or trial.  A convenient form of citation follows:

. . . .

Summoning of Witnesses.–In cases coming before the Bishop’s Court on citation, the Bishop may summon witnesses to appear and testify as to the knowledge in the matter.  Also in cases between accuser and accused it may be necessary to issue summonses to witnesses.  A convenient form follows.

. . . .

Contempt of Court.–Any member of the Church who refuses to appear, or without justifiable reasons neglects to appear before the Bishop’s Court at the place and time specified, after having been duly summoned or cited to appear, may be adjudged by the court as in contempt.

Any person who is before the court and refuses to answer questions put by, or sustained by the court as proper and relevant questions, pertaining to the case on trial, may be adjudged by the court as in contempt.

Any Church member who openly manifests disrespect toward the court or the proceedings thereof, in any disorderly manner tending to interrupt or impede the proper procedure of the court, may be adjudged by the court as in contempt.

For contempt as above specified, the Bishop’s Court may impose discipline ranging from reproof or reprimand to disfellowshipment or excommunication within the limitations specified under ‘The Penalty,’ page 48.

Change of Venue.–If either party to a case set for trial in a Bishop’s Court objects to the personnel of the court, he must present his objections, together with an adequate statement of reasons therefor, in writing to the Bishop, who will forthwith report the matter to the Stake Presidency.  It is within the power of the Stake Presidency, if they deem the reasons set forth by the objector to be real and sufficient, to transfer the case to some other Bishopric within the stake, for hearing and decision.  Under direction of the Stake Presidency, the High Council may assume original jurisdiction in such cases, as in any others arising in the wards of the stake.

Removal of Penalties.–Disfellowshipment may be terminated, and the person concerned be restored to fellowship in the Church, on evidence of sincere repentance and full compliance with the conditions imposed, only by action of the tribunal that dealt with the case or by that of a tribunal having superior jurisdiction.  In every instance of application for restoration, after disfellowshipment by a Bishop’s Court, the approval of the respective Stake Presidency must be obtained.

No Bishop is empowered to authorize readmission into the Church by baptism of any person who has been excommunicated, until the tribunal that dealt with the case of the said person, or a tribunal of superior jurisdiction, has considered and favorably acted upon the application.  Every application for readmission to the Church, presented to a Bishop, must be promptly brought by him to the attention of his Stake Presidency, whose instructions in the matter the Bishop will follow.”

(Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 43-54)

Procedures for adopted children.

“Where children have been adopted through legal proceedings of a regularly established Court, the child should bear the name of its adopted parents, but in recording its name on the ward record, there should be added to it its real surname, the last name being its adopted name.  In the instance of children not adopted by process of law, they should be baptized and recorded in their own family name.”  (Instructions to Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 13, 1921, pp. 54-55)