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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1928

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1928.” You can view other years here.

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1928:  Jan.:  Program for Priesthood Conventions.

[This followed the format of 1926 and 1927, with no message from the 1st Presidency, and a program for a Woman’s Meeting.  The only noteworthy item was in the Seventies’ Department:  “Explain Program for organizing Seventies’ Quorums for service as suggested in Circular Letter of August 22, 1927, to Presidents of Stakes–by a member of the Stake Presidency.”  (“Priesthood Conferences, 1928,” [pamphlet], xerox)

1 Jan.:  Instructions relative to Ward Teacher meetings.


Some material changes are contemplated in the Gospel teaching for the year 1928.  In lieu of the courses of study heretofore provided for the various quorums, it is proposed to have all Gospel subjects taught in the Sunday School.  This is in accordance with the announcement made by President Heber J. Grant at the General Priesthood Meeting in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, October 8, 1927.

Heretofore the weekly ward priesthood meeting has consisted chiefly of the general assembly of all members of the priesthood in each ward for preliminary exercises and general instructions, followed by separation of all quorums or clesses for department work, including the consideration of quorum business and activities and lesson work on Gospel subjects.  It is now proposed that, with the exception of the lesson work, the weekly meeting of the acting ward teachers and all members of the Aaronic Priesthood, at least, shall be of the same character as heretofore.

The important work of ward teaching and the promotion of the activities of the Aaronic Priesthood members require a check-up weekly in order that they may function most effectively.  With the change proposed the meetings can be shortened and the time applied chiefly to the consideration of the specific duties of the members of the various quorums, making assignments of duty, and reporting thereon, and other pertinent matters.

It is felt that the business of the ward priesthood meeting and the quorum or departmental work associated therewith need not require more than one-half hour.  This will necessitate some preparation on the part of the bishopric and of the quorum presidencies and Aaronic Priesthood supervisors, in order to dispatch the business promptly and fully.


The priesthood is the very foundation of the church, as also the framework upon which it is built.  It is the authority delegated by the Lord to men for the preaching of the Gospel and the building up fof the church in faith and righteousness.  It is the most potent means of real service.

In order that men may partake of the spirit of this divine authority and become qualified to properly exercise it, it is highly necessary that they be taught the purpose and duties thereof, and given frequent opportunity to function in the same.  To secure success in Aaronic Priesthood work, weekly meetings for teaching and training are important.  The particular matters with which the Aaronic Priesthood is concerned that need frequent and systematic attention are:

(a) The important work of ward teaching which affects many members of the priesthood in every ward.

(b) The making of assignments for the members of the various quorums for the performance of specific weekly duties and the reporting regularly on such assignments.

(c) Increasing the interest and activity of negligent members.

(d) The training of all members in the understanding of the functions of the priesthood and in personal behavior, habits, etc.

(e) Promoting the social and fraternal interest of the quorum members.


In view of the fact that the meetings henceforth will not require more than about one-half hour it is suggested that a very suitable time might be on Sunday morning immediately before Sunday School.  However, should some other time be considered more desirable by the stake presidency and the bishoprics of any stake, only in the interest of securing larger attendance and better results, there is no objection.

. . . .


To secure the most effective results in ward teaching the bishopric should be in touch with the progress made during each week of the month, and be able to stimulate the teachers, where necessary, to more active effort.

Some method should be worked out whereby in not to exceed five minutes a fairly accurate idea can be obtained by the bishopric of the extent of teaching thus far done.  This may be obtained by having the clerk call the roll of all ward teachers and having them respond by stating the number of families visited thus far during the month.  Account must, of course, be taken of the fact that each one of a pair of teachers may report the same number.  Another method that may be adopted for the larger wards is to have presiding teachers or division presidents, who should have received their reports previously from their district teachers, report the total number of families in the division and the number visited during the month.  Whatever the arrangement, the important thing is to secure each week fairly accurate information in the least time. . . .


The work of ward teaching is one of the most important duties in the church.  No other labor requires greater tact, wisdom, charity, enthusiasm and inspiration to secure real success.  It is important that all who hold the office of a teacher or any higher office in the priesthood should have the training and the labor of an acting teacher. . . .

Make visits short and worth while.  Make the visit convenient to each family; study each family and each individual; develop friendship for everyone visited; endeavor to meet each member of the family; invite brief discussion on the matters presented; leave a blessing in every home; obtain information of any changes in the family; if any dissatisfaction exists, try to remedy the same; if any trouble or distress prevails, express proper sympathy, and report to bishopric in order that they may provide means of relief. . . . Make visits so brief and interesting that the families will appreciate a return visit. . . .

Each district assigned to a pair of teachers should include not to exceed eight families.  Teachers should visit every home unless they know that non-members reside in any home.  Of course, where church members are in the minority, it cannot be expected that every home shall be visited. . . .

When men are to be called to act as teachers, it is desireable that the bishopric have a personal talk with them before presenting their names, in order to be assured of their willingness to labor diligently in this calling.  If any teacher shows signs of indifference, it is important that the bishopric personally confer with him and encourage him in kindliness.  If any teacher should still fail in his duty, or be prevented through occupation or other causes, he should be replaced by another. . . .


Ordinations.–Advancement–Based on their diligence, boys to be ordained to and in the Priesthood, as follows:

Deacons–12 years (3-year course).

Teachers–15 years (2-year course).

Priests–17 years (3-year course).

Candidates to be individually prepared, under direction of ward supervisors, for at lest six months before advancement.  Boys to be ordained, if prepared, as near their birthdays as possible. . . .


(2) Administration of Sacrament.–Priests are the only members of Aaronic Priesthood authorized to administer the Sacrament.  Teachers and deacons may assist in preparing the Sacrament table and in passing the Sacrament.  All priests and teachers should learn by heart the blessings on the bread and the water.  Have them recite them in a natural, clear, articulate manner.  Priests should break the bread and pour the water.  Bread to be broken in suitable size pieces.  Cold water for trays.  Sterilizing of glasses.  Provision for cleaning hands.  Neat, clean appearance of all who take part.  Simple, quiet dignity in the preparation and passing of Sacrament.  Care in handling bread plates and water trays.  Remember that this ordinance emulates the example of the Savior.  Keep in mind the purpose as outlined in the prayer.

. . . . 

(4)  Ordinations.–Everyone who receives the authority of the priesthood must obtain it by ordination through the laying on of hands of those who have already received proper authority.  It is a good thing to trace the authority of the one who ordained you.  Priests have the authority to ordain other priests, teachers and deacons, when called upon to do so by the bishop; but neither teachers nor deacons have authority to lay on hands.  Remember, that while a person may have the authority to ordain others, it must only be done under the sanction and approval of the presiding officers, such as the bishop of the ward.

. . . .


(3)  Authority of Deacons.–Deacons are primarily assistants to the teachers, priests and those of the Melchizedek Priesthood in their duties.  It is their opportunity to be learning of the duties and authority of the higher offices of the priesthood, while assisting.  They have no particular authority to perform ordinances nor to carry responsibility directly.  These come later. . . .


(4)  Authority of Bishops.–The office of bishop, like that of elder, is a necessary appendage belonging to the high priesthood. . . .


(1)  Authority of High Priests.–High priests have the particular responsibility of presiding.  All bishoprics, high councilors, stake presidencies and the First Presidency are high priests. . . .


(1)  First Presidency.–. . . The first presidency is a symbol of the unity of the church.  It is a symbol of the holy Trinity or the Godhead. . . .


(1)  Ward Authorities.–. . . The bishopric have direction of all affairs of the ward and preside over all of the members.  To assist them in their labors they have the acting teachers and the quorums of priests, teachers and deacons. . . .”

(“Instructions Relative to Weekly Ward Meetings of Acting Ward Teachers and All Members of the Aaronic Priesthood,” pamphlet prepared by the Presiding Bishopric, 1 Jan., 1928; xerox)

Jan.:  Weekly ward priesthood meetings.

“In view of the proposed change in the priesthood quorum or class meetings, beginning January 1, 1928, whereby the gospel lessons will be taken out of these classes and taught in the Sunday Schools, it is desirable that all bishops should sense the importance of continuing the weekly ward priesthood meetings, and applying the time available to the training and activities of the members of the Priesthood.

The Priesthood is the very foundation upon which the Church is built, as also the framework which supports the structure.  It is the most potent means of real service.  Unless the quorums of the Priesthood generally are trained and active in the performance of their duties, there cannot be the progress that there should be.  To secure such training and performance by the members of the Aaronic Priesthood, it is found that weekly meetings, properly directed, and devoted to these purposes, produce the best results.

There are, in fact, certain priesthood activities affecting all of the wards, under the direction of the bishoprics, that need frequent, systematic attention.  They are: (a) the important work of ward teaching, and (b) the training and activity of all members of the Aaronic Priesthood in their individual and quorum capacities.

It is therefore urged, that the weekly ward priesthood meeting, modified to conform to these conditions, and consequently shortened in time, be regularly held.  The half-hour required should be devoted to these two most important matters.  Letters of information outlining these purposes and detailing the mode of procedure, have already been sent to all bishoprics, and a booklet of instructions is now being prepared.  This will amplify the advices already given and indicate the program for the entire year of 1928.

THE PRESIDING BISHOPRIC.”  (“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(3):257-258, Jan., 1928)

Feb.:  Handbook for weekly ward priesthood meetings.

“A booklet of instructions has been issued by the Presiding Bishopric relative to the holding of the weekly meeting of the acting ward teachers and all members of the Aaronic Priesthood, under the direction of the ward bishopric.

Inasmuch as gospel teaching will henceforth not be given in the priesthood quorum or class meetings, these classes can be devoted primarily to the training of all priesthood members in the purpose and responsibilities of the priesthood, to the systematic performance of duty, and to the development of quorum identity.

In like manner the general assembly of ward teachers and Aaronic Priesthood can be applied directly to the training in, and performance of, effective ward teaching.  All of this work can be so arranged as to require not more than one-half hour of prompt, intensive effort.

It is realized that to achieve the purposes above specified most satisfactorily, and to produce the desired development in all the young men who bear this Priesthood, weekly meetings of the kind herein described, under enthusiastic leadership, are very important.

The time for the holding of this weekly meeting should be such as will prove most convenient and desirable to all concerned.  Every effort should be made to secure the largest possible attendance of the priesthood, and to make the meetings most profitable.”  (“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(4):342, Feb., 1928)

12 Mar.:  The Priesthood-MIA Program–Letter from 12.

“The following letter from the Council of the Twelve was sent, under date of March 12, 1928, to the presidents of stakes throughout the Church.  Accompanying the letter were printed suggestions and outlines, in booklet form, explaining the new order in priesthood quorum activity.  The diagrams and schedule of meetings published herewith form a part of that booklet.


Dear Brethren:

The preparation of suggestions and outlines for the guidance of priesthood quorum activity has required more time than we anticipated when we wrote to you December 23, 1927; although, even then, we suggested that ‘several weeks and possibly months’ might be required to complete the proposed plan.

We are pleased now to submit to you plans and suggestions for the holding of quorum meetings and the stimulating of priesthood work, which we think will appeal to you and justify the high hopes we entertain for them.  We suggest that you give to the documents herewith sent to you most careful study; that they be considered by the presidency of the stake and the high council and by the bishoprics of the wards in your stake; and that when they shall have been thoroughly digested, immediate steps will be taken to put all quorums in active working order, so that the work outlined may be inaugurated under the most favorable conditions.

By revelation, the Lord has indicated two great avenues through which the Priesthood of his Church should function; viz., in study and in activity.

The accompanying diagrams present, in a general way, the means through which members of quorums may learn their duty, and may render service to themselves, to their quorums, and to the Church.

You will observe that the plan provides for the holding of official priesthood quorum meetings, including those of the Aaronic priesthood, at the same time as the M.I.A. meetings.

These suggestions have the united approval of the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, the First Council of Seventy, the Presiding Bishopric, and the General Boards of the Y.M.M.I.A. and Y.L.M.I.A.  They are now submitted to you for your consideration and adoption.

You will find provided an order of business and a few lessons for each department of the Melchizedek priesthood.  Instructions relative to weekly ward meetings of the Aaronic priesthood are already in your hands.  It will be noted that these lessons are directed generally to the education of members of the priesthood in their quorum duties and priesthood work.  It is contemplated that outlines will be provided in a bulletin or pamphlet for a continuation of the Melchizedek quorum lesson work.  When the plan is adopted by a stake, the topics may be taken up in the order suggested in the outline.  It will be impossible this year for all stakes to begin the plan at the same time; therefore, topics will not be studied on the same date throughout the stakes.  Within each stake, however, there should be uniformity in quorum study.

We recognize that the plans and work herewith submitted are comprehensive and, to some extent, novel.  Questions will naturally arise as they are put into operation.  Visiting members of the General Authorities will have opportunity to answer questions and to make explanations as they visit quarterly conferences; and members of the Council of the Twelve, of the First Council of Seventy and of the Presiding Bishopric, will be pleased at all times to confer with stake presidents on the problems which arise within their stakes.

With a keen realization that renewed quorum activity in study and in service will result in great good to the members of quorums as well as to the Church in general, we remain, sincerely your brethren,


By Rudger Clawson, President.


Meeting 7:00 to 7:30 p.m.


At the meeting held from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. there will be in attendance the bishopric, presidencies of all Aaronic priesthood quorums and of Melchizedek priesthood quorums within the ward; a representative of ech part of a quorum within the ward where there is not a complete quorum; the presidency and secretary of the Y.M.M.I.A.; the ward clerk and secretaries of quorums or parts of quorums.


To receive instructions from the bishopric regarding services to be rendered in the ward during the coming week.  These instructions will relate to ward teaching, missionary wrok, special visitations, administrations, special functions, etc., and will be carried by the quorum and the M.I.A. officers to the members of quorums and of M.I.A. who are to perform the duties assigned.

Meeting 7:30 to 7:45 p.m.


All of the priesthood of the ward, and members of the Y.M.M.I.A. and Y.L.M.I.A.


To hold devotional exercises and to receive general instructions.

Meeting 7:45 to 8:30 p.m.

The meeting held from 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. is the official meeting of each quorum in the Aaronic priesthood, and of elders and seventies whose quorum membership is within the boundaries of the ward.  Where there is not a completely organized quorum within the ward, part of an elders’ quorum, part of a seventies’ quorum, and part of the high priests’ quorum will meet as separate units, under the direction of one appointed by the quorum presidency to preside at these weekly meetings and to represent the quorum presidency in the 7:00 to 7:30 meeting with the bishopric.

Where only part of a quorum meets, a record of the proceedings of the meeting and of the activities of members should be kept, and reported to the secretary of the quorum.

Meeting 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.


In the meeting held from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. all members of quorums and of the M.I.A. will participate, each one going to the group to which he or she has been assigned, according to age groups and preference.


The purpose of these meetings is to have all members of priesthood quorums and of the M.I.A. function in social, literary, recreational and other activities, through the regular weekly program of the Y.M.M.I.A. and Y.L.M.I.A.”

(“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(6):516-517, Apr., 1928)

29 Mar.:  Order of seniority in 70s quorums.

“All Seventies who are called in to or added to a council of a Seventies’ quorum should take their places in the order in which they are sustained before the quorum, irrespective of the order of their setting apart.”  (29 Mar., 1928; Rudger Clawson “Book of Decisions-1”; in Widtsoe, Priesthood and Church Government (1939 edition), p. 121)

Non-members not to meet with quorums.

“Non-members of the Church should not be admitted to Priesthood quorums when the quorums meet.”  (1928; Rudger Clawson “Book of Decisions-1”; in Widtsoe, Priesthood and Church Government (1939 edition), pp. 155-156)

6 Apr.:  Summary of suggestions on PR/SS program.



. . . .

The purpose of the meeting is to review briefly some matters that have already gone out to the Stakes in respect to the recent movement affecting the priesthood and auxiliary organizations.

In laying the foundatins of this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in building it up to the glory of God, the priesthood is supreme.  Without it we would be helpless.  With it much may be and will be accomplished.  The purpose we have had in view is to put the priesthood into proper relationship to other organizations and agencies in the Church, and the other organizations should get their inspiration mainly for the work they are doing from the priesthood.  The priesthood is the great presiding authority of the Church.  It is divine authority and very vital in our lives, and I may say to you frankly that the Council of the Twelve and the First Council of Seventy are operating in these matters under the direction of the First Presidency of the Church.


‘The Priesthood Quorums and the Sunday Schools.’

Brethren, within the twenty minutes allotted to me I shall be able to give only a brief preview of the relationship of the quorums to the Sunday School.

Before the October conference of 1927 the Council of the Twelve had in mind a definite plan, which included not only the studying of the Gospel, but, what is equally important, the activities of the quorums.  Priesthood means service; studying is only part of the duty of quorums.  In November of 1927 the Presiding Authorities recommended that quorums be permitted to hold their study hours during the time hitherto set apart for the Sunday School as an auxiliary, Sunday morning from 10 o’clock to 12, that ample time might be given to the study of the Gospel.  They suggested however that in this study period quorum lines be not sharply drawn for the following reasons:

First, the Wards, as far as the High Priests and many of the quorums of Seventy and not a few quorums of Elders are concerned, have only parts of quorums, so a quorum meeting could not be held unless members came from adjoining wards.

Second, they recognize that age limits are not defined by priesthood quorums.  For example, there are fathers of families who hold only the lesser priesthood.  These fathers, indifferent though they be, might be induced to join for study purpose the higher quorums, and they would not feel out of place when quorum lines are not drawn.

Third, Sisters in the Church share the glory and privileges of the Gospel.  There is nothing which the priesthood will be studying Sunday morning which mothers and sisters ought not to study, and so if quorum lines be eliminated, women may join in the study of the Gospel.  In other words, the members of the quorums invite everybody to come every Sunday morning to study the Gospel with them.

Fourth, the Authorities recognize that the best way to study is to teach others, and if we can have 146,000 or sixty percent of 146,000 men and boys who hold the priesthood inviting other men to come with them, members of the Church or not, those men feel at once in that study the responsibility of the priesthood, and while they are studying they are teaching others, and Sunday morning offers the opportunity for the priesthood to extend just that invitation.

For these and other reasons the brethren recommend that the quorums of the Church be given the most important hour in the week.  Sunday Schools have been reorganized and renamed, with the result, as most of you know, that the Sunday School at present falls into three groups.


The first group comprises the children in the Kindergarten and Primary, and those two years older than the Primary age, or all children from the ages of 4 to 11 inclusive.  The responsibility of preparing the course of study for this group is assigned to the General Sunday School Board under the direction of the Council of Twelve.


The second group includes the age of the lesser priesthood 12 to 20 inclusive.  The Deacons pursue studies in the ‘A’ class, which includes courses in the Book of Mormon, the New Testament, and the Old Testament, adapted to their age and capacity.  Girls of corresponding age study co-educationally with them.  Boys not members of the Church, Deacons’ playmates, perhaps, are invited to come and study also.  Thus the plan affords an opportunity for our boys to become inbued with the thought that they are now missionaries in the community and they should try to fetch into class influence their playmates who do not know the Gospel as they do.

The Teachers form the ‘B’ Department, which includes courses in the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, adapted to their age and capacity.

The Priests will register in what is called the ‘C’ Department, Book of Mormon, Old Testament and New Testament.  Buit in that department these books will be considered from the standpoint of doctrine and the philosophy of the Gospel, adapted to the ages of these young men.

The Presiding Bishopric will prescribe the course of study for the Lesser Priesthood.

The next department, the Missionary Department, is the one that needs clarifying.

If there is one thing in this Church that should be upheld in dignity, and in inteeligence, it is our Missionary Department.  It is an honor for any young man or young woman to enter the ranks of our missionaries.  So should it be considered an honor and a privilege for our young men, Priests or Elders, to be permitted to register in the Missionary Department of the Church Sunday School.  This department should be made up of prospective missionaries, short-term missionaries included, but not of local missionaries.  You have many Seventies in your Stakes performing local missionary work.  They should not be enrolled in the Missionary Department.  The Bishops should determine who should join the missionary course.  It might be that there is a young man just finishing his second year at college, perhaps he is not through which his ‘C’ course, but if you contemplate sending him out at the end of the year, let him go into the missionary class and receive his training.  Here is a young elder, for example, who is not sure whether he can go on a mission this year, but if he has the desire and you think he should prepare for that labor, call him in.  In the very order of things, these classes will not be large.  They need not be.  They are our prospective missionaries, and the dignity and character of that class should by all means be maintained.


In group three, we have the Elders, the Seventies and the High Priests, with men in the Church not holding the Priesthood who are, in experience and in education, sufficiently matured to follow the subjects prescribed.  These will follow the course of study prescribed by the Council of the Twelve and the First Council of Seventy.  Thus it will be observed, the quorums of priesthood are studying courses authorized by the General Authorities of the Church.  What then, you may ask, is the place of the Sunday School?  The Sunday School takes its proper place as a helper, as an aid to the priesthood, its organization being utilized to carry on the preparation of lessons, the receiving of reports, the printing of lessons, etc., etc.

In each of these classes, in the Gospel Doctrine Department, and in each of the other groups there should be appointed by the president of the quorum, a group secretary, whose duty it will be to credit those who are in attendance Sunday morning at the quorum class.  This record will be given to the quorum secretary, and the credit made on the official quorum record.  In the case of an Elders quorum that is complete in the ward, the secretary of the quorum should be in attendance and the quorum record kept.

The Lord help us to get the vision of quorum leadership, in learning, in fraternity, in service throughout the Church.


‘Priesthood Quorums and the M.I.A.’

When this Sunday School course for the Priesthood was announced, President Clawson called attention to the fact that other instructions would follow relative to completing the plan for the priesthood, and after careful consideration the Priesthood M.I.A. program is completed.

In building that plan we had in mind to provide a weekly and a monthly meeting for the quorums of the priesthood and the simplificiation of our program.  We did not wish to unnecessarily call the brethren from their homes, but to save time we worked out this plan that combines the weekly priesthood meeting with the M.I.A.  The period suggested is Tuesday night.  At least in your program it states ‘the same evening as the M.I.A. meet.’  We have for something more than a year past been endeavoring to have the Mutual Improvement Associations of the Church meet on Tuesday nights.  We now jointly recommend that Tuesday night be the night when the Priesthood M.I.A. meeting will be held because there is so much activity connected with the M.I.A. program that it would be exceedingly difficult to have it go forward on Sunday night.  It would indeed be out of harmony in many respects with the spirit of the Sabbath day.

Just a word regarding those Stakes and Wards who are holding their M.I.A. meetings on Sunday night.  You probably feel that you cannot have the Sacrament meeting on Sunday afternoon and a preaching meeting on Sunday night.  So you have given Sunday night to the M.I.A.  In many stakes this has been done, and I presume there is no objection to letting the sacrament meeting some on Sunday night, and if you omit any meeting probably the Sunday afternoon meeting could be omitted with better profit, and you will get young people particularly in your sacrament meeting on Sunday night.  But this Priesthood-M.I.A. program should go forward on Tuesday night, and then we can do all our work.  If it is decided in any stake that it is necessary to have this meeting Sunday night then the M.I.A. will have to meet on some week night to complete their work.

We had in mind also simplifying the work for the Bishoprics by giving them the opportunity to meet those who are going to render service in the Wards from all these Priesthood quorums.  Therefore we have provided thirty minutes before the Tuesday evening meeting–from 7 to 7:30–as the best time probably when the Bishoprics could meet the Presidents of these quorums, or in the case of the High Priests and Seventies, where there is not a complete quorum in the Wards, the presidencies of those quorums should appoint a presiding officer or a leader from the High Priests and a leader from the Seventies group in that ward, if one of the presidency does not reside in the Ward, and this leader will meet with the Bishopric and the presidencies of the quorums of the priesthood, and the Ward Presidency of the Young Men’s Mutual.

We are attempting in this program to emphasize the importance of the presiding officers over the quorums, and instead of having a supervising Ward Teacher, for instance, over a group of Elders, Seventies and High Priests doing the work in this district, we desire the quorum officers to do that supervising.  You could do it in this way: In one division of the Ward the Elders could care for the Ward teaching, with so many Priests and Teachers affiliated with them; in another district of the Ward the work could be done by the High Priests with the Teachers and Priests associated with them.  The missionary work in the Ward could be done by the Seventies.  There might be some Seventies left who could do the Ward Teaching work in another district with Priests and Teachers.  Then there might be another district where the Priests themselves could do the work.  So that the work of supervising the priesthood in the Wards should be in the hands of the presidencies of quorums.  That will create responsibility and quorum interest in the work that is particularly assigned to the quorums.

Now in this meeting where the quorum officers meet with the Bishopric, reports of Ward Teachers, missionary work, or other service is brought to the Bishopric from these quorum officers, or the one who is leading the group.  Then the bishops give assignment in ward teaching to the presidents of these quorums, going so far as to suggest the companions that should be doing team work in that particular district, or any other suggestions of service that he desires these quorums to render.  That thirty minute period gives him the opportunity to get reports of work done, to give assignments to those who are to do that work in the Ward.

Now you have come to the opening period of the Priesthood-M.I.A., wherein all the priesthood of the ward and the sisters of the ward as well are invited and expected to be present so far as they can, and we are asking that the bishop preside over this meeting, to this extent at least that he call the meeting to order.  We suggest that he might ask the officers of the Young Men’s organization (the reason we have not named the Young Ladies is because we desire to keep the priesthood in control of this group) to conduct the exercises, which are to be brief, not over fifteen minutes, and then there is immediate adjournment of the Deacons to their quorum meeting, also Teachers, Priests, Elders, Seventies and the High Priests to meet in their separate departments.  We think it is far better if you have more than one quorum of Deacons to let each quorum meet by itself with a quorum officer presiding.

Since we are anxious to have the same leaders, particularly in the Lesser Priesthood quorums and in the activities of the M.I.A., we suggest that the Bishopric and the officers of the Young Men’s Association in the ward meet together and choose the best leaders for the groups in the priesthood period and in the activity period, so that there will be no break, particularly with the Lesser Priesthood, where leadership means so much.

The for forty-five minutes, from 7:45 to 8:30, the quorum officers will be giving to the quorum the instruction they receive from the Bishop, any assignments for service this quorum is to render in the Ward and receive back from the quorum members reports of activities.  When that is concluded there is an immediate adjournment without prayer into the departments of the M.I.A. for one hour.  Deacons and Teachers, go into the Scout Department.  The Priests go into the ‘M’ Men’s Department.  The Elders who are unmarried may go in with the ‘M’ Men, and they who are married may meet with their wives, who have, during the time while the priesthood have been in their quorums, studied with the Young Ladies their manual work for Juniors and Seniors, and they will have to have a new course for that advanced group who are coming with their husbands, problems particularly interesting to them.  They join then with their husbands after the priesthood period and go into the Social and Literary Department, where they have elective courses, and where they might carry forward the adult education of the Church in many interesting fields, one of them being an elective course in genealogy, giving the genealogical workers an opportunity to meet with their group.

The adjournment may be taken from the several departments, or there may be a joint re-assemblage, but the time of dismissal should be at the same period.

There comes with this the suggestion that Friday evening for adults and afternoon for children be the recreation period of the Church under the supervision and leadership of the M.I.A. and the Primary Associations.

The Lord help us to see the vision, carrying it forward and giving the priesthood preference throughout, and yet the priesthood utilizing these auxiliary agencies for the accomplishment of the mission that has been particularly assigned to them, I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.


‘Summer Program, Record and Report.’

Brethren, I wonder how many can answer these questions?

What is the average enrollment of members in your quorums?

Do your quorum members attend their quorum meetings?  If so, in what numbers?

Do they attend sacrament meetings?  What is the percentage?

What percent of them attend these Sunday School sessions for their education and study?

What percent of them attend quarterly conference?

As to the officers of the quorum, what percent of your officers of quorums attend your council meetings?  Managerial meetings, to look after their quorums?

What percent of them attend Priesthood Union meetings?

What percent of them attend meetings with the Bishop, for this consultation spoken of?  With the Stake Presidency?

What committees do you have in your quorums and when do they meet?  What reports do they make?  What are they undertaking to do?

What church service is performed by your quorum members, as foreign missionaries, or as local missionaries?

What percentage of them are engaged in ward teaching?

What percentage of them attend Sunday School, Mutual, or Religion Class?

What percent are genealogical and temple workers?

How many are recreation workers, or work in other organizations?

And then a little personal information:

Do you know anything about the percentage of your men in quorums who pay tithing.

How many are exempt as non-earners?

How many of them pay fast offerings?

What percentage use no tobacco?  No intoxicating liquor?  No tea nor coffee?  No profanity?

What percentage of them do not gamble?

What percentage observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy?

Have your quorums any quorum funds?  If so, what is the nature of those funds and the amount?  How are disbursements made and for what purpose?

What is the percentage of your quorum members who are married?  And if they are married, have they been married or sealed in the temple?

What is the number or percent of your quorum members carrying life insurance?

How many visits have your quorum presidency made to quorum members, or have members of the quorum made to their fellow members, to try to stimulate them in their activity?

Do you have in your quorums the undertaking of fraternal projects such as aiding fellow members of missionaries’ families, by financial aid or otherwise?

How often do they engage in socials, and when do they visit the sick and given condolence to the bereaved?

Those are a few questions that we feel are worthy of consideration by those who preside over quorums and by those who are responsible for the conduct of the quorum work in the stakes of Zion; and to the end that such information may be available to quorum presidencies and to stake presidencies and to the presiding authorities of the Church [NOTE THAT BISHOPS ARE NOT MENTIONED], it is proposed that in this new plan we cause report blanks to be circulated among the quorums, and then have reports submitted setting forth substantially the information which I have indicated, in order that we may know.

We recognize that to add to our statistical information and to the burden of securing is probably not a very welcome thing, but we believe that it would be well to circulate a questionaire of the kind that I have mentioned, among all the quorums, in order that their attention may be called to some of these items which indicate their status and their progress.  After all, the chief purpose in all statistical information is to determine status and progress.  That is the only reason why you secure reports from a business–is to know where it stands and whether it is going forward; and the brethren feel that it would be desirable to cause to be printed a blank in triplicate, to be made out by quorum presidents or group leaders in the wards, one copy to be retained in the ward, two copies to be sent on to the stake clerk for the information of the presidency in the first instance, and after the stake clerk has made a compilation and a tabulation of the items, we are going to ask the stake clerks to send on to the Presiding Bishop’s office for the general authorities this information.

Brethren, we have done too much guessing.  I go into a stake and I ask the stake president how a certain organization is getting along, and I usually get the answer, ‘Pretty well,’ or ‘Not very well,’ but I very seldom get the specific items which indicate progress or otherwise, because we do not know, we have not made the investigation.  This is designed to give us that knowledge.  We believe that quorum presidents, if they are asked to keep these items continually before them, will work to the end of having their quorums conform to the requirements that have been laid down by the brethren who have spoken here today.

We have prepared to be passed out to you some blanks, just as a reminder of this item.  You will observe that there are some personal items to be considered.  We regard it as a very personal and delicate thing to find out whether a man uses profanity, to find out whether he is gambling, whether he keeps the Word of Wisdom, and obeys the law of tithing [WHAT ABOUT CHASTITY?]; but we believe all quorum presidents are entitled to know, and unless they know they cannot adequately deal with these situations.  But we are urging that when this information is secured it be secured in such manner as to give no offence or embarrassment.  The tithing record is made by the bishop.  The quorum president can secure from the bishop the tithing record for the members.  We can also learn by personal contact with individuals their status with reference to these matters.  And when the information is once secured it becomes a solemn duty on the quorum president not to divulge it or use it in any way that will embarrass the quorum members.  We shall rely upon you to so instruct your quorum officers in that respect.

This report is to be called for every three months.  We feel that that will not be too burdensome and is about as frequent as we could well have it in order to make the matter serve its purpose.

At the close of the meeting or when we will create the least disturbance, we can pass to every stake representative a copy of the questionaire or report which I have just given to you.  You can take it and study it.  It may be varied a little bit when it comes out in printed form, but we felt it would serve to bring before you at least some of the vital items that need attention in this quorum work.

Every educational program seems to take a vacation.  It has been the policy of schools almost from time immemorial to relax during the summer months, and we have observed that our quorum activities are often very greatly decreased and in some cases entirely suspended during the summer months.  We recognize that there are conditions that seem in some stakes to make this almost imperative, and of course we cannot very well change those conditions.  I presume that a very considerable part of the Church is still agricultural.  We live in rural districts, our farmers are obliged to work long hours, they cannot abandon their work until the last hours of daylight have gone.  Now, in order to make some provision for the summer work in our stakes (in many cases perhaps the stakes will feel that they cannot carry forward this regular schedule that has been outlined by Brother Ballard, having the members meet regularly on Tuesday nights with the M.I.A.) it is felt that we can at least do three things:

First: We can have a monthly quorum meeting on a Sunday afternoon or at the most convenient time for the stake, the ward, or the members; and we can ask the members of the quorum to attend that meeting.

Second: We should in all cases have a weekly meeting of the quorum presidency or the group leaders.  You cannot run a business unless the management do their work.  We feel that a council meeting of the group, or leaders, or quorum presidency is essential.

Third: There should be a weekly meeting of the quorum presidency or group leaders with the bishopric, in order that these assignments which have been mentioned here today can be given, reports received, and at least the work of the quorum for the Church go forward although its regular weekly meetings may for a season be suspended.

We wish to say no word, however, in discouragement of the stakes who will carry forward the regular weekly program.  There will be provision made for topics to carry forward the work on Tuesday evening during the entire year, and when the time comes in the fall for some quorums which have suspended during the summer, to resume their work, they will take up the work as of the date when they begin.  They will not try to go back over the summer work of the regular course; they will take it up in September when they begin their new work.

These three meetings, please remember, we regard as indispensable for the carrying forward of our summer work.

As to the time of holding those meetings, we must of course leave it to the stakes to choose a time most convenient for those who are to attend.

Now, my brethren, I commend to you the items which are contained in this questionaire or report.  I feel to say personally that if every quorum would check itself on those items, we would have an unprecedented increase in efficiency and spirit in the quorums of the holy priesthood.  God grant that it may be so.  Amen.


President Hart of Rigby Stake:  Is it the desire of the Authorities that those who now hold their Mutual meetings on Sunday evening discontinue them and hold them instead of Tuesday night?

Brother Ballard:  Our recommendation is that you change your Mutual meetings to Tuesday night, because of the character of our program.  It is left optional with you as to whether you hold the Sacrament meeting Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening.

A Stake President:  In our Stake at the present time we hold Sunday School Sunday morning, Sacrament meeting Sunday afternoon, and Mutual Sunday night.  If we abandon either of the Sunday meetings I am afraid it is going to be an invitation to our young people to go out with their automobiles the entire Sunday afternoon or the entire Sunday evening.  They will not remain around home, I am somewhat fearful.

Brother Ballard:  We do not say that you should abandon your Sunday afternoon meeting, but if you do have a meeting Sunday night, and you want the young people to put on a program we have no objection, if it is in harmony with the Sabbath day.  We think you ought to have a meeting Sunday evening in every Ward in this Church for the sake of the young people.  If you feel that you cannot hold both the afternoon and the evening meetings we think it better that you should hold the evening meeting.

President Hart of Rigby Stake:  We are desirous of carrying out the instructions of the presiding brethren.  I think it would be better to have our meetings Sunday night from now on.  If positive information is given tha the sacrament meeting will be moved to Sunday night and the Sunday night Mutual meeting to Tuesday night, I do not think there will be much trouble.

President Wood of Alberta Stake:  We are wondering up our way, from the fact that we are strictly agricultural, if there is any objection to our meeting at nine o’clock Sunday morning in priesthood meeting instead of Tuesday night with the Mutual, or Sunday night with the Mutual.  Our High Priests and a good many Seventies and Elders dislike coming out in the evening, but they would all attend Sunday morning.  Boys who go out to work weekdays could not come Tuesday nights, but they will be there as they have always been in the past Sunday morning from nine to ten.

Brother McKay:  The brethren of the Twelve recommend that as far as possible Priesthood meetings be not held on Sunday mornings.  You may hold it after the Sunday School or any other hour during the week that will be convenient.

President Burgon of the East Jordan Stake:  I did not clearly understand whether or not the M.I.A. will continue holding meetings during the summer months, or if they will discontinue them?

Brother Ballard:  Our proposition is that wherever any Ward or Stake desires to hold their meetings during the summer months, particularly for the Lesser Priesthood, we will provide a program for the M.I.A. in connection with that for the priests, teachers and deacons.

President Bluth of the North Weber Stake:  If I understand aright we are to study the Gospel in the classes of the Sunday School and the quorums are to take care of social, fraternal and other literary activities.  Am I right?  If the program that has been provided by the First Council of Seventy for the Seventies is carried out it will practically duplicate what is being done in the Sunday School in the study of the Gospel and the time will be occupied in this manner instead of giving attention to quorum activities.

Brother McKay:  In the little pamphlet sent you is given the order of business for each quorum or group of quorum meeting Tuesday night from 7:45 to 8:30.  In that order of business, following reports, assignments to duties, etc., there is the word ‘topic.’  In the High Priests quorums topics have been suggested for consideration during the fifteen minutes that you may have.  For the Elders group suggestive topics to be considered are given.  The Seventies during the period between now and June may study the pamphlets that have been issued, the assignments may be made and a member appointed to speak for fifteen minutes upon that topic.  Before June 1st you will receive instructions for the year’s work, which will assign practical duties and activities for consideration during that period and there will be no duplications between the study of that hour and the courses of study prescribed on Sunday morning.

President Little of the Oquirrh Stake:  I would like to ask if there will be any objection to putting over the priesthood work as is outlined for us during the summer months if the Mutual does not care to put over its program?  That is, if there would be any objection to the priesthood going ahead with some of their work during the summer months, provided the Mutuals do not care to carry on their program?

Brother Ballard:  You may do this if you want to.  If you want the Mutual program to go with it it will be provided.

A member of the Presidency of Fremont Stake:  Are we to understand that we are to have records kept of quorum meetings Sunday morning and also Tuesday night, so that there will be records of two priesthood classes, tabulated each week, one on Sunday morning and one on Tuesday night?

Brother McKay:  Yes, a secretary of the quorum group on Sunday morning will mark present all members of his group, whether they are in the Gospel Doctrine class or whether they are in the Superintendency or the Bishopric or in another class.  Credit for attendance on Tuesday night is made by the straight mark, credit for attendance on Sunday morning by a horizontal mark.

President Hart of Rigby Stake:  We are holding our priesthood quorum meetings once a month on the date we hold our Union meetings and we find them very successful.  Do you suggest that we discontinue this?  We haven’t a ward in our Stake that has a complete quorum of Seventies, Elders or High Priests.

Brother McKay:  We suggest that you continue as you are doing, with the understanding that you give to your quorum all the time necessary to transact their business.  For monthly Unions, choose any of the options given in the little pamphlet.

President May of Minidoka Stake:  In the Mutual meetings Tuesday night, will the Young Ladies Presidency sit on the stand with the Bishopric, and is it your recommendation that they shall not at any time conduct?

Brother Ballard:  We suttest that the Young Ladies officers sit on the stand as usual, and that in the meeting where the priesthood is jointly assembled with the Young Ladies that we let the Young Men conduct, and the Young Ladies can take their part in the meetings the first Sunday night of the month, alternating with the Young Men as in the past.

Brother Woodruff of the Grant Stake Presidency:  It is suggested in this pamphlet, and Brother Ballard mentioned it in his talk, that the same class leaders should take for instance the group of Deacons through the priesthood period and also through the Scout period.  I am wondering if it would be an arbitrary rule, because I can easily conceive of people who are well qualified as Scout leaders who would not be able to enthuse the boys particularly as to their ward duties, attending to passing the sacrament and other labors which the Bishop might assign to them.  In our own wards that condition exists.  We have an exceptionally fine Scout leader, but he has very little spirituality.  I cannot imagine him making a success of his work with the Deacons during the priesthood period.

Brother Ballard:  It is not mandatory.  Where it is possible to find the right kind of men to lead both groups, we would like to have you do it that way, or you might have your leader in the Priesthood class as the teacher and have your Scout leader as his assistant, so as to tie those interests up togetehr as closely as you can.”

(“Summary of Suggestions given at a meeting of members of The Council of Twelve, the First Council of Seventy, Mission Presidents and Stake Presidencies, Barrett Hall, Friday, April 6th, 1928, 4:15 p.m.,” typescript from LDS Archives; xerox; a slightly edited version was published in IE 31(9):792-799, Jul., 1928)

8 Apr.:  Responsibility of Priesthood quorums.

“The second group upon whom the responsibility of training children rests by divine revelation, is the quorum of the priesthood and other helps in government.  A few years ago when I was attending conference in the Carbon stake, President Horsley and I discovered a little child that was lost.  President Horsley wiped away the little one’s tears, and carried her to his home and placed her in the hands of Sister Horsley, through whose gentleness and tenderness the child soon fell asleep.  Efforts were made to discover the parents, and at about five o’clock in the afternoon, the distracted mother was found.  Her tear-stained eyes showed what anguish she had passed through since the little one had wandered from her side.  But she was at peace when she found her darling sleeping by the fireside.

I think this incident illustrates the relation of the quorums to the parent.  There are boys and girls wandering from the parental hearthstone.  In the world, outside the Church, hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of them are crouching today behind steel bars.  Even here in our own stakes some are wandering carelessly, aimlessly away from the influence of home standards and home teachings.  It is the duty of quorum members to extend the hand of fellowship, the hand of guidance to these young men and young women wandering towards the downward path.  Can you find any more potent influence in all the world than the quorums as established in the Church of Christ?  Time will not permit me even to define them for you.  You all know, and while I am speaking you have in your minds the quorums of Deacons, one thousand or more; you have in mind over nine hundred groups of Teachers, and approximately an equal number of groups of Priests, young men between the ages of seventeen and twenty.  Seventy thousand young men thus grouped, whose duty it is to extend the glad hand to those of their companions who have not glimpsed the privilege given to these members of quorums.

I wonder how many parents have stopped to realize how potent these quorums are in the lives of boys!  In the first place, quorum membership awakens in the boy the pride of fellowship and membership.  Entrance into that group means that the boy has attained to certain standards of excellence of character, and the more distinctive we can make these entrance requirements the great will be the pride in the young boy’s heart.

Second, the quorum influence arouses or satisfies the call of the boy for the inspiration of the group.  Have you heard of the gang spirit?  Have you seen the boys out on the ditch bank gathering in groups to answer to the call of their souls for companionship?  Then can you see the wisdom of God in gratifying this natural inclination by grouping the boys under an influence that is educative in the highest sense of the term?

Third, that group throws upon the youth responsibility.  Tell a young boy that you trust him, and you have one of the greatest means of guiding him uprightly that can come into your hands.  Young boy, I trust you!  To be trusted is a greater comliment than to be loved.  Boys are few indeed who will not hold inviolate an implicit trust.

Fourth, grouping in a quorum offers service.  The Presiding Bishopric, holding a presidency over these seventy thousand young men, have outlined as they have hitherto done, a plan of service into which these young men are invited, not just on Sunday, but on every day of the week.

Finally, into that group is introduced faith in God the Father, in his Son Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world, and their service and acts are all done under the cognizance and realizationk that God is approving of their acts.  It is sublime.  It is divine.  Fathers and mothers, let us unite with the priesthood in extending the influence of these groups.

I have mentioned only the Aaronic Priesthood, but our fathers are grouped in like manner, and we have one hundred and thirty thousand men and boys working for the true education, working to train the youth in parenthood and faith in God and in the restored gospel.  I tell you, this grouping in Priesthood Quorums has the mark of divinity.  It is divine.  And Joseph Smith, a young man not twenty-five years of age when he gave that revelation, gave it by the inspiration of God for the salvation of the youth of Zion.”  (David O. McKay, 8 Apr., 1928; CR Apr., 1928, pp. 103-105)

8 Apr.:  Unveiling of Priesthood/Auxiliary program.

“In harmony with these revelations, the Quorums of Priesthood have been given Sunday morning as the most convenient time for their members to be ‘instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the Gospel, in all things which pertain unto the kingdom of God.’

For the accommodation, therefore, of quorums and all others included in the Sunday School organization, departments therein have been changed and enlarged as follows:

Group One

Includes all boys and girls under quorum ages–ages from 4 years to 11 years, inclusive.

Kindergarten: 4-5-6 years inclusive

Primary: 7-8-9 years inclusive

Church History: 10-11 years inclusive

Courses of study for this group prescribed by the General Board of the Deseret Sunday School Union under the direction of the Council of the Twelve.

Group Two

Includes all young men and young women within the Aaronic Priesthood age–from 12 to 20, inclusive.


‘A’ Classes

1928:  Book of Mormon

1929:  Old Testament

1930:  New Testament


‘B’ Classes

1928:  Old Testament

1929:  New Testament

1930:  Book of Mormon


‘C’ Classes

1928:  New Testament

1929:  Book of Mormon

1930:  Old Testament

Courses of Study for this group are prescribed by the Presiding Bishopric of the Church.

Note:  The order of books to be studied may be changed for 1929 and 1930.

Group Three

Includes all members of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, and sisters and men of the Church prepared to pursue the Course of Study given in this department.


For Prospective Missionaries


Gospel Doctrine Department

Membership Composed of High Priests,



Note:  Each of these groups should appoint a secretary from one of its number, whose duty it is to keep an accurate record of the attendance of members of his group at quorum classes.

Courses of study for these departments are prescribed by the Council of the Twelve and the First Council of Seventy. 

Thus, the year 1928 marks a distinct epoch in the history of the Deseret Sunday School Union.

For the first time in seventy-nine years, the members of the Union are given the privilege of pursuing a course of study not only authorized, but prescribed by the General Authorities of the Church.

Secondly.  For the first time in seventy-nine years, the departments of the Sunday School are adapted to the needs, instructions and advancements of members of Priesthood quorums.

Thirdly.  By approval and instruction of the General Authorities of the Church, this year marks the setting apart of Sunday morning as the most suitable time for the studying of the Gospel by all members of the Church; especially for the quorums of priesthood.

Fourthly.  The same course of study prescribed for the quorums of priesthood is now studied co-educationally by the women and girls of the Church.

‘No Part of education is more important to young women than the society of the other sex of their own age.  It is only by this association that they acquire that insight into character which is almost their only defense.’

Quorum Statistics

Into the study period from 10 to 12 o’clock Sunday morning are now included quorums and parts of quorums of the Priesthood as follows:

1010 groups of High Priests

1010 quorums or groups of Seventies

1010 quorums or groups of Elders

 900 groups of Priests

 938 quorums or groups of Teachers

1000 quorums or groups of Deacons

Making a total of approximately 130,000 men and boys who should accept the privilege of leading in Gospel study.”  (David O. McKay, address at DSSU Conference, 8 Apr., 1928; in JI 63(6):299-300, 1 Jun., 1928)

Apr.:  Preparation for AP ordination.

“In order that everyone who is to be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood shall duly sense the privileges extended to him and be able to measure up to the responsibility placed upon him, it is vitally important that he should be well prepared and willing to undertake this service.

The manner in which this preparation should be carried out by the ward supervisors or bishopric is suggested in the following instance:

In the case of a boy not yet twelve years of age who is under consideration for ordination as a deacon, the supervisor or member of the bishopric directly responsible should inform the parents and the boy about six months in advance of the contemplated action.  The parents should be requested to teach their son and encourage him properly to prepare himself.  The boy should be advised to learn the duties epected of him and the faith, habits and qualifications which he should possess.  From time to time, he should be counseled as to his habits and course of life and the various means by which he can increase his faith in the gospel.  In every possible way, he should be assisted to sense the opportunity before him for spiritual growth through faithful service.

In proper time, previous to his twelfth birthday, the supervisor should be assured that he is ready to receive this ordination and thereupon shoulid recommend him to the bishopric for their approval.  In a number of wards, the candidate has been invited to write a letter to the bishop expressing his attitude in the matter and his willingness to serve.  In other cases, the boy has personally expressed his willingness to the bishopric.  If he is prepared for ordination, his name should be presented before the people in Sacramental meeting, as near to his twelfth birthday as possible.  If approved, he should be ordained under the direction of the bishopric in the proper quorum or class meeting.  He should then be voted in as a member of that quorum.  It is an appropriate thing to have deacons, teachers or priests present on the stand, or near by, and to have them stand as they are voted upon.  It is very proper, also, for the bishopric to explain, before voting upon any candidate, regarding the nature of the preparation which he has made and as to his course of life.

The same preparation should be undertaken with respect to any candidate, of whatever age, before receiving the Aaronic Priesthood.  Before deacons are ordained teachers or teachers priests, the same preparation should be given to them, in order that all may be qualified to proceed at once to act acceptably to the Lord in their calling.”  (“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(6):520, Apr., 1928)

Apr.:  The Priesthood-MIA Plan–Gen. Super. Y.M.M.I.A.

“The much-discussed new plan for priesthood quorum activities in connection with the work of the Mutual Improvement Association has now been completed; and a booklet, containing diagrams of plan, suggestions, outlines, etc., has been published for distribution throughout the Church.  The following letter from the General Superintendency Y.M.M.I.A., which contains information and instruction pertaining to this new plan of activity, was sent to all Y.M.M.I.A. stake superintendents.


Dear Brethren:

We are enclosing copy of communications just sent forth to presidents of stakes by the General Authorities of the Church, introducing a new plan of procedure for priesthood and M.I.A. meetings.  We feel sure that after careful study and adoption of these communications that there will come greater interest in boththe priesthood and M.I.A. work.  We ask that full cooperation be given by our workers in this program.

Undoubtedly, your stake and ward authorities will go forward with this plan at once.  If you have not completed the manual lessons, this should be done in connection with the M.I.A. April and May program, as outined in the February, March and April numbers of the Improvement Era, during the period following the priesthood meetings.  One general idea to be noted, of course, is that all leaders must cooperate in seeing that the program goes forward on a strict schedule of time.  A full hour should be given to our M.I.A. activity program.

We suggest that you confer with the president of the stake at once and, on his recommendation and the approval of the bishops, call a meeting of the M.I.A. stake and ward leaders and, with our suggestions before you, as referred to in the foregoing paragraph, make definite plans for carrying forward our work.

Sunday morning, at 8 o’clock, April 8, in the Assembly Hall, Tabernacle grounds, Salt Lake City, there will be held a general meeting of M.I.A. officers, at which time fuller instructions will be given.  In the meantime, we trust that you will give these communications your thoughtful, prayerful study and note the following:

1. This is an excellent time to cooperate with the president of stake and bishopric of wards in the careful selection of men for the priesthood study period and the activity program of the M.I.A.  Remember the best men should now be available for these positions, as they will give leadership to both groups, calling to their assistance any help which they may need.  This general arrangement of our program may also give you opportunity, where desirable, to select new men for the work of other departments of the M.I.A.

2. Both Scouting and M Men’s programs are to be given on the same evening as the priesthood work or one of our great objectives will be lost–full cooperation of the priesthood authorities in the activity program of the M.I.A.

3. The housing of the program may give some concern to our leaders; but by careful study and cooperation we feel sure it can be worked out.

4. The plan of cooperation with the lesser priesthood calls for the same leadership in the priesthood period to continue in the leadership of the activity period.  In cooperation with the Presiding Bishopric, it is recommended that we follow, as far as possible, the following plan:

In one group–young men 12-13-14 years–deacons and scouts.

In another group–young men 15-16 years–teachers and older scouts.

(A definite name and distinctive program of Scouting is now being prepared for these older scouts, whereby they will be held in a separate group in most of their activites, although registered in the same troop.  The leaders of the deacons and teachers will cooperate fully.  It is desirable that members of the bishopric and Y.M.M.I.A. executive officers become members of the Troup Committee.)

In another group–young men–17-18-19 years–priests and M Men (also unmarried elders.

5. On account of the 7 to 7:30 meeting for priesthood and Y.M.M.I.A. officers being crowded with the work which the bishopric will need to bring before this group, we recommend that the Y.M. and Y.L.M.I.A. officers select some appropriate time for a weekly officers’ meeting, when all M.I.A. work may be discussed.

6. This general plan will not disturb our privilege of holding our regular monthly Sunday evening joint meetings, and the Sunday evening meeting of stake quarterly conferences.

7. The responsibility of the Recreation Program of the Church has now become more definitely our problem.  The Friday evening programs should be more carefully planned into an all-year M.I.A. Recreation schedule for all members of the ward.

8. We trust that you will feel free to write us on any detail in relation to this entire matter, and also give us the opportunity to check with you on the program of cooperation which you propose to carry forward.

Praying the Lord to bless you in the leadership of this great work, we are sincerely your brethren,

George Albert Smith,

Richard R. Lyman,

Melvin J. Ballard, 

General Superintendency, Y.M.M.I.A.”  (“Mutual Work,” IE 31(6):524-525, Apr., 1928)

1 Jun.:  Missionaries authorized to perform marriages.

“Presidents of Missions in the United States, Canada and Mexico

Dear Brethren:

In accordance with a ruling made yesterday by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, you are hereby authorized to commission such missionaries and presidents of Branches as you may consider proper and necessary to perform the marriage ceremony as Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in behalf of those legally entitled to marry.

In granting this privilege we ask that you instruct those to whom this commission may be given that every care be taken to comply with all the legal requirements.

Sincerely your brethren,

Heber J. Grant

A. W. Ivins

C. W. Nibley

First Presidency”

(1 Jun., 1928, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)

3 Jun.:  New Priesthood-MIA Plan.

“It is not my purpose to go into a detailed discussion of this plan.  That is the business of this conference.  It will be considered in the various departments, and my only desire is to try to get you into the right attitude towards it and to make you feel it is the best thing that has yet been devised for the promotion of Priesthood and M.I.A. interests.  First of all, I should like to say that the plan was devised primarily to give a simplified program for the membership of the Church involved.  We have but one group of men and boys and women and girls.  There must be one unified, simplified program for this work.  No one organization in the Church can do everything for the entire group.  There has been delegated to each organization its specific field.  We recognize that the Priesthood is the very life of the Church.  It is to the Church what the mainspring is to a watch, the power by which it goes.  The auxiliary organizations are but helps in government to the Priesthood.  The Sunday School serves the Priesthood and gives the opportunity not only to the Priesthood but to the whole Church to study its theology.  The Mutual Improvement Associations help the Priesthood in the leisure-time field, cooperating with the brethren in eliminating an unnecessary meeting.  Therefore one night is chosen for the consideration of Priesthood assignments and other problems.  Then in addition to Priesthood participation, the participation of the sisters of the Church in this program has been devised.  In Mutual Improvement classes, in the Young Men’s department, we discovered that deacons, teachers and priests were studying programs similar to those in our Priesthood manuals, in some instances the very identical lessons, and in addition, an activity program was being built up.  The Presiding Bishopric and Superintendency of the Young Men, in studying this program, concluded that, having but one group, we could not have two competitive programs.  And so the fine things the Priesthood has been doing and the fine things the Y.M.M.I.A. has been presenting in the manuals for these boys are to be consolidated in lesson work that will be given during the Priesthood section; and the activities that have been presented in both Priesthood and M.I.A. will be given by the Mutual Improvement organization.  They are serving, one in one field and the other in the other.  When we come to the adult group there is an enlargement of our field work, because there comes to this division the adult people of the Church, where adult education in the Church can be projected in many lines, for there will be elective courses.  It is not expected that men and women will go home when the Priesthood period is ended.  There should be a loyal support of this period on the part of the M.I.A., and then a loyal support of the M.I.A. on the part of the Priesthood, and men or women should not fail to enter into the department provided for them.

We should like you, therefore, to feel that, after very careful thought and consideration on the part of all interested, this plan was conceived as the solution to a rather complicated situation that was arising because of this competition and rivalry and multiplicity of meetings.  And so it is hoped under this simplified plan that the M.I.A. organization may render service to and magnify the Priesthood, and in return we shall receive benefits by an increase, undoubtedly, in the attendance at the M.I.A.  I am looking for at least 25% increase in attendance and enrollment during the first year.  We hope none of you will go home and complain about it or feel that the M.I.A. is being shelved or side-tracked.  We may yield something, but we are yielding it for ourselves, for the Priesthood is the very heart and life of this Church, and anything that promotes and magnifies it is a thing to be desired by every member of the Church.  So, if we are yielding something, it is to help keep the Priesthood where it belongs, at the head of the procession.  But by willingly and cheerfully adopting this plan we are really losing nothing in the development of the work assigned to us, for we will receive the hearty cooperation of the Priesthood.  I can see a more glorious future for this movement than ever before.  Though its field is perhaps more elaborate, yet in its development we shall find employment for all our talents, our time and ability; and so let us fall in line with the spirit of this program.

It is contemplated that work shall be done on Tuesday night.  M.I.A. will start September 1 and run until May 31.  It is not expected that summer work will be carried on, but if the Priesthood decides to continue on Tuesday during the summer, then a program should be planned for the Young Men; but where a ward chooses to hold a Priesthood meeting at some hour on Sunday during the summer time, it is not necessary to plan an M.I.A. program.  But when September 1 comes we do expect that Tuesday night will be given up for our work.  Let us give our loyal support to the plan which has been studied out with care and thought, and have clearly in mind that we are servants in the Lord’s house and, having been given our assignment, cheerfully accept it and with all our might, mind and strength help to accomplish it.  God give us power to develop it, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, Assistant General Superintendent, Y.M.M.I.A, .Address delivered at the General Joint Session of the Thirty-third Annual Conference of Y.M. and Y.L.M.I.A., June 3, 1928; IE 31(9):744-745, Jul., 1928)

4 Jun.:  Letter sent to Stake Presidencies.

“June 4, 1928.

Dear Brethren:

Reports from the stakes and missions, as well as observations made during official visits of the General Authorities, disclose the fact that the plan for the studying of the Gospel by all the Priesthood Sunday morning, and for quorum activity Tuesday evening, promises fruitful results.  Increased attendance and more united effort will, proportionately, increase the good to be accomplished.  Appreciative comments are made by sisters, and men who do not hold the Higher Priesthood and who in some instances are not members of the Church, on the opportunity now afforded them to study the Gospel in classes with members of the Priesthood quorums.  The Priesthood classes Sunday morning furnish to them this opportunity.

Permit us at this time to emphasize the fact that the most important service that the Priesthood can render is the teaching of the principles of life and salvation, and that Sunday morning is the best opportunity at hand for the rendering of this service.  Every quorum member, therefore, from deacon to high priest, should be a missionary, inviting some neighbor or indifferent member to attend class and to study the Gospel with them.  We cannot emphasize too strongly this phase of quorum activity.  Opportunity for rendering this service presents itself every Sunday throughout the year.

For other quorum activities during the summer months we offer the following suggestions:


All quorums of the Aaronic Priesthood, as well as all quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood, as already stated, will continue class work every Sunday morning at 10 o’clock.  In addition to this the deacons, teachers, and priests should hold, respectively, weekly meetings, which will be exclusively quorum meetings.  (For program of activities and order of business, see published instructions by the Presiding Bishopric.)


High priests, seventies and elders should hold, respectively, throughout the summer months, as during other months of the year, a regular monthly quorum meeting.  This is an official meeting of the quorum which should not be suspended, even during the vacation period, except by permission of stake and other presiding authorities.

An order of business and suggestions for the conducting of these monthly meetings have already been sent to stake and to quorum presidencies.

In addition to the holding of this monthly meeting, some stakes find it advisable to continue during the summer months the regular ward weekly meeting, holding it either on Tuesday night as in winter, or at some convenient hour on Sunday.  Quorum fraternity and Priesthood activity are best fostered by this weekly plan.  These meetings are devoted almost entirely (1) to the checking up of members; (2) to the receiving of reports; (3) to the assignment of duties; and (4) to the fostering of a brotherhood that should become an uplifting force in the daily life of every quorum member.

Ever praying for the Lord’s help in every effort to have the quorums lead in all Church activities, we remain, 



By Rudger Clawson, President.”

(“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(9):791-792, Jul., 1928)

13 Jun.:  Elders may be authorized to perform marriages.


Dear Brethren:

Occasionally requests are made by parties who are contracting the marriage relation that a relative or some certain elder in the Church be given the privilege of performing that ceremony, and the President of the Stake or the Bishop of the Ward would like to grant their request.

In individual cases you are authorized to grant permission for such worthy brother to perform the marriage ceremony.

It should be distinctly and definitely understood, however, that this authorization should be given by you only in cases where circumstances justify it and where it is believed that good may result therefrom.

In all cases where this special commission is given the Stake President or the Bishop should instruct the person so authorized as to the proper procedure in performing the marriage ceremony, and also that he must comply with the provisions of the civil law pertaining to the solemnization of marriages.

Sincerely your brethren,

Heber J. Grant

A. W. Ivins

C. W. Nibley

First Presidency.”

(13 Jun., 1928, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)

28 Jun.:  No priesthood required to pass sacrament.

“I enclose herewith a letter from Elder Ralph C. Brown, which is self-explanatory.

Instead of answering this brother direct, I am writing to you so that you may be advised as to our attitude towards the question that he raises, and you in turn can inform him.

There is no rule in the Church to the effect that only those holding the priesthood may be permitted to pass the sacrament to the congregation of the saints.  It is, however, customary for brethren who have been ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood to pass the emblems to the people.  I recommend that this practice be followed where there are ordained priests, teachers or deacons present.  In branches where there are no brethren who have been ordained to the lesser priesthood it would in no wise invalidate the ordinance if some worthy young brethren were requested by the officers in charge of the branch to pass the bread and the water; and I can see no objection to this being done.”  (Heber J. Grant to President Henry H. Rolapp [Mission President], 28 Jun., 1928.  First Presidency notebook)

19 Jul.:  New plan for teacher-training classes.

“July 19, 1928.

To the General Boards of Auxiliary Organizations.

Dear Brethren and Sisters:

This is to advise you that the General Authorities of the Church have approved the recommendation of the Church Board of Education abnd the Auxiliary General Boards that in the future teacher training shall be carried forward by the respective auxiliary organizations for their own workers.

As you know, for the past several years teacher training has been a function of the General Board of Education for the teaching personnel of all organizations.  This was done under the assumption, which has heretofore been well founded, that general principles and methods of teaching were as applicable to one organization as to another, and that therefore there was no need for more than one teacher training organization.  Of necessity under this plan teacher training was more or less general in its application.

It is now deemed advisable to make more specific to quorum and auxiliary work the study and application of this important part of Church work.  Each auxiliary will carry forward hereafter a line of work more sharply defined and distinguished from all others and of a more specialized nature than heretofore, which has made it advisable that specialized training be given the workers in each organization.

In taking the responsibility of training our own workers, we desire to express appreciation to the General Board of Education, Stake and Ward Boards of Education, and teacher training workers generally, for the good they ahve done our organization in the past.  They have established a foundation on which we may now build.  They have spread throughout the personnel of our organization a desire for personal improvement and efficiency.  It is hoped that in the future we may be able to capitalize upon the work which they commenced.

Detailed instructions will be sent forward in the near future.

Very truly yours,

Franklin S. Davis, 

Secretary Auxiliary Executives.”

(“Mutual Work,” IE 31(10):893, Aug., 1928)

1 Sep.:  Summer classes for AP.

“September 1, 1928.

Dear Brethren [bishoprics]:

It has been expected that the weekly meetings of the Aaronic Priesthood, at least, would be held regularly during the entire year.  However, in view of the fact that in some of the wards and stakes such meetings have not been held regularly during the past summer, we desire to call your attention to the importance of the work to be done during the remainder of this year.

As you are aware, the meetings of the Priesthood and the M.I.A. are now coordinated so as to be held on the same evening.  The plans already outlined for the Aaronic Priesthood for this year are given in the booklet issued by the Presiding Bishopric at the beginning of the year, entitled ‘Instructions Relative to Weekly Ward Meetings of Acting Ward Teachers and all members of the Aaronic Priesthood,’ and for the Melchizedek Priesthood in the booklet issued by the Council of the Twelve, March 20, 1928, entitled ‘Suggestions for Quorums of Priesthood and M.I.A.’

If there has been any slackening of the work and activity of the Aaronic Priesthood during the summer, it is very greatly desired that this work should now be taken up with renewed energy and system in order to carry forward vigorously during the fall and winter season.  In order that there may be clear understanding on the part of everyone associated with the Aaronic Priesthood as to the plan of procedure for the meetings, instructions and activities thereof, we are reiterating here the instructions previously given.  Will you therefore kindly follow these instructions and also transmit this information to the supervisors of the Aaronic Priesthood in your ward.  If you do not have sufficient copes of the ‘Instructions’ mentioned, if you will kindly advise us, we shall be glad to furnish you with additional copies for the use of the Bishopric and the supervisors of your ward.  We would suggest that you hold a meeting at once with your supervisors, for the thorough consideration of Aaronic Priesthood work.

It is expected that the weekly meetings of the Priesthood and M.I.A. will be held on Tuesday evenings.  They will consist of an officers’ meeting to be held at 7 p.m., as given in the instructions, and the regular meeting of all the members of the Priesthood and Y.L.M.I.A. at 7:30 p.m.  After the opening exercises of the regular Priesthood-M.I.A. meeting (7:30 to 7:45 p.m.), the Priesthood will separate for class or quorum work.  At that time the order of business for the Aaronic Priesthood quorums or classes should be carried out as indicated on page 8 of ‘Instructions.’  However, the time allowed for the quorum or class exercises will permit of more discussion than is indicated in those ‘Instructions.’  It is very desirable, therefore, that after the individual activities of the quorum members have been checked and the social and fraternal interest of the quorum considered, as there indicated, the time allowed for the discussion of the topic assigned for that particular meeting should be most effectively used.

The topics to be covered during each month of this year are given in that same book of ‘Instructions.’  If these topics have not been discussed systematically thus far this year, we would urge that two or three topics in order be given each week during the remainder of the year, because we feel that every member of the Priesthood should, if possible, be familiar with these matters.  If, however, topics have already been presented in their order thus far this year, then it will be necessary to expand the remainder of the lessons in order to occupy effectively the time allowed.  In a separate statement, therefore, which is hereto attached we have indicated how a topic might be enlarged upon.  Where, therefore, the remaining topics only are to be given from now until the end of this year, we would suggest either that the bishopric assign this matter of developing the lessons in advance to a committee, or else that the matter be referred to the Stake Presidency and Stake Aaronic Priesthood Committee, with a request that they outline the lessons in more detail for all of the wards of your stake.

In connection with the lesson work and the activities of the Priesthood, it is very important that the booklet of ‘Instructions’ before mentioned should be carefully read and followed by the bishopric and the Aaronic Priesthood supervisors.  The purpose of the plan and procedure therein outined is to promote the training and activites of the Aaronic Priesthood most effectively in order that every member of the Aaronic Priesthood in your ward shall be thoroughly active in the duties of his important calling.

Assuring you of our desire to cooperate in every way possible to secure the best results, we are, with cordial wishes,

Sincerely your brethren,


By Sylvester Q. Cannon.”

(“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(12):1057-1058, Oct., 1928)

Sep.:  Program for 4th Quarter Priesthood Conventions.

[This was a 2-day convention, with sessions morning, afternoon and evening each day.  Of interest:

1.  An address on the duties of High Priests, including “As a Temple Worker or Representative of the Genealogical Society.”

2.  An address, “Blessings Derived from Administration to the Sick.”

3.  A demonstration of Ward Teaching, outlined in detail as follows:


To be presented during the meeting to be held Sunday at 10:00 A.M., in the Priesthood Conventions of 1928.

First Episode, ‘The Preparation’–by an Elder and a Priest.

Scene–The home of a Priest.  Greeting at the door–Statement of the purpose of the Elder’s call–Response of the Priest to the invitation extended–Preview of the work for the evening–Discussion of the families to be visited and their needs–Agreement on the plan to be pursued–Assignment of the parts to be taken by each in the presentation of the message to be delivered–The questions to be asked and the work to be done–The leaving for the visits.

Second Episode, ‘The Visit’–by an Elder, a Priest, and a family.

Scene–The home of a representative family of the Church.  Time–Shortly after the evening meal.  The coming of the Teachers–Greetings at the door–Inquiry as to convenience of visit–Assembling of the family–The teaching introduced by tactful inquiry as to the welfare of each member of the family, spiritually, physically, and morally–Commendation for activities of members of family as they have been observed by the Teachers–Presentation of the teaching message for the month (by one of the Teachers, standing)–Stimulating discussion of it–The leaving of a blessing and suggestive remedies for problems which may have developed–Departure of the Teachers.

Third Episode, ‘The Result’–by the family.

Scene–In the same home with the same family after departure of the Teachers.  The father calls attention to the application of the message left by the Teachers in the home–presentation of intimate personal problems by members of the family, such, for instance, as the keeping of the Word of Wisdom, the payment of tithing and fast offerings, attendance upon meetings and Church appointments, the keeping of good hours and good associations, regularity of family prayers and blessing on the food–The resulting resolution to improve and conform to the requirements of the Church–The separation of the family with affectionate partings.


(“Priesthood Conventions Held in connection with Quarterly Conferences during the Fourth Quarter of 1928,” Issued by the Council of the Twelve; [pamphlet], xerox)

Sep.:  The Lesser Priesthood.

“During the summer months the reports of the activities of the Aaronic Priesthood that have reached the office of the Presiding Bishopric have not been very encouraging.  A condition that prompts those who bear the holy Priesthood to lay aside the privilege of magnifying that Priesthood during any portion of the year is not of the Lord, and it seems those who partake of this spirit have not grasped the full meaning of the Priesthood and have not partaken of the power thereof.

Have you received the gift of the Holy Ghost, which, although promised at the time of confirmation, may never really come to one unless invited through faith and works?  For the Holy Ghost has nothing in common with the sluggard or those who fail to magnify their calling in the work of our Lord and Savior.

The summer season is now about past.  It is hoped that he who has accepted the responsibility of Priesthood service will ‘Learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.’  Doc. and Cov. 107:99.

The September topics to be discussed by the members of the Aaronic Priesthood are given for the purpose of encouraging young men to become fully acquainted with the offices of the Church and their functions.  One of our active stake presidents at a conference sometime ago said: ‘It is the duty of a father to encourage through active leadership his sons, the duty of a ward bishop to provide some means for such activity and training.’

The thing that makes such service worth while is having a proper attitude toward the work.  One cannot successfully perform a service which is distasteful or which one is poorly prepared to perform.  The purpose of our Priesthood meetings under the new plan is to study carefully these conditions, receive instructions and training, and prepare really to magnify the calling which the Lord has bestowed upon us.

The Presiding Bishopric feel that young men can be encouraged to perform labors required of them and that these lagbors may be made to appeal to them in such a way that they become a joy when properly performed.  May we at this time impress this fact upon those who are charged with the responsibility of directing this work in the stakes and wards.”  (“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 31(11):969, Sep., 1928)

Dec.:  Regarding Deacons’ quorums.

“The question has been asked whether it would not be satisfactory, where there are more than one quorum of deacons, to have the two or more quorums meet together under the direction of one or more supervisors.  The various quorum presidencies might take turns in presiding.

In answer thereto, we desire to call attention to the fact that the Lord, by revelation, has particularly provided for separate quorum organizations, each to consist of twelve members.  We can see the divine wisdom in thus forming these quorums, small in numbers.  This permits each one to take active part, which is very important, and makes possible a more rapid checking up on the work done by each member.

In view of the activities of the boys, these are both vital matters.  Where two or more quorums meet together, the presidency of each quorum does not have the opportunity of presiding each time, and the members do not have as frequent opportunity of taking part, such as praying and answering questions, as they would in separate quorums.  Then, too, there is the difficulty of maintaining order in a group as large as that of two or more quorums.  It is, of course, a very desirable thing that each quorum should have associated with it a competent supervisor who can advise the boys in the matter of checking up their activities, and who can take charge of the lesson work.”  (IE 32(2):155-156, Dec., 1928)

Qualifications of Bishop.

“The bishop should be qualified to keep accurate account of the tithes and to check over the financial accounts of the ward.  He should be wise and tactful.  He should be sympathetic and considerate.  He should develop system and executive ability in his labors.

Since the bishop is concerned largely with temporal affairs, he should be a man of judgment, integrity and thrift.  Some knowledge of accounting is very helpful to him.  A bishop should set an example in the systematic, careful handling of his own affairs, and of order in his home.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 6)

Selection of Bishops’ counselors.

“When thus approved the Bishops should have the opportunity to recommend the selection of their counselors.  The names of the bishopric should then be presented to the people of their ward for their vote.  They are then to be ordained by the members of the First Presidency, or under their direction.

Bishops’ Counselors–Counselors of bishops should be nominated by the bishops themselves, subject, however, to the approval of the stake presidency and high council, and also subject to the approval of the apostle setting them apart.  The names of the bishops’counselors need not be submitted to the First Presidency.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 7-8)

Bishopric to sit on stand.

“The bishopric should, of course, all be on the stand at the time of beginning the meeting.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 8)

Annual visits by bishoprics.

“It is very desirable and important that a complete annual house to house visit be made at least once each year.  Some of the reasons for this are: That all of the saints should be visited in their homes at least once each year by the bishopric; that special instructions should be given all of the families relative to the observance of the commandments of the Lord, such as the law of tithing, secret and family prayers, observance of fasting and fast donations, testimony bearing, keeping out of debt and cultivating thrift, attending sacramental, priesthood and other meetings, etc.

Inquiry should be made by the bishopric with regard to any complaints or dissatisfaction with any of the activities or policies, or with any of the officers or organizations.  The ward members will feel honored to have a visit by the bishopric.  If practicable all members of the bishopric should visit all of the homes.  However, if conditions do not permit of this, then each member of the bishopric should take one or two ward officers and each group should visit their portion of the families.

In some wards it is advantageous for the bishopric to visit a certain number of families each week or month throughout the year.  In other wards, the visits are made during the latter part of the year.  In the event that the annual visit is not made during the latter part of the year, it is important that a special visit should be made by members of the bishopric or other ward officers, to invite all of the members to attend the annual tithing settlement and to observe the law of tithing fully by the close of the year.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 11-12)

AP quorums only if a majority exists.

“There should be strict compliance with the revealed word in the organization of the quorums of the priests, teachers and deacons.  According to the revelation of the Lord, a priests’ quorum consists of forty-eight members, a teachers’ quorum of twenty-four members, and a deacons’ quorum of twelve members.  Wherever there is the required number, or a majority of the number designated as the quorum limitation, a quorum organization should be effected.  In case there are not sufficient members to form a majority and thereby form a quorum, a class organization should be formed and the same plan carried out as for the quorum.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p, 12)

NO SEPARATE CLASS for older non-MP holders.

“When persons have grown to manhood without having been advanced in the priesthood, special efforts should be made with them to secure their regular attendance at the weekly priesthood class meetings, and they should be permitted to meet with one of the classes of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and thus be encouraged to attend the priesthood meetings until such time as their good works justify their advancement.  In such cases their attendance should be credited on the record of the quorum to which they belong.”  [Note the departure from the idea of separate classes for these men, which was present in General Handbooks #12 and 13, 1913 and 1921.]  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 12)

Ward AP supervisors.

“The primary responsibility for the direction of the Aaronic Priesthood rests upon the bishopric.  But, in the very nature of things, because of their manifold duties, the bishopric cannot ordinarily give the time necesary for the preparation of the class lessons in the various quorums nor to the detailed follow-up of the assignments of duty to the various members, nor give attention to the individual welfare of each member of the priesthood.  For these reasons a committee of ward supervisors should be appointed by the bishopric to labor under their direction in handling the details.  They should be men who are thoroughly interested in boys and who have the boys’ viewpoint.  Each member of this committee is expected to attend to the details of supervision of one of the quorums.  As a committee they will consider the prevailing conditions of all the quorums and the individual members, make up the necessary reports, and plan to secure the activity and interest of every member of the Aaronic Priesthood in the ward.  Under the new arrangement of Priesthood-M.I.A. work, they will, also, act as scoutmasters and assistants, and ‘M’ men leaders.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 13)

Adequate preparation of boys for ordination to AP.

“For some months, at least, previous to the time when any person is selected for ordination to an office in the Aaronic Priesthood, the bishopric and ward supervisors should have such a person in training.  He should have learned the duties which will be expected of him.  He should have shown an appreciation of the privilege.  He should have manifested faith in the Gospel, and evidenced good habits.  He should have shown willingness to do the things that may be asked of him.  Just before his name is presented, the bishopric should be assured that he is prepared to fulfil these requirements.  No one should be ordained to any office who does not understand the duties and responsibilities thereof.  When the bishopric are satisfied that the candidate is prepared to receive, or to be advanced in, the priesthood, his name should be submitted to the congregation of the saints for approval.  Ordination shoiuld take place either in the fast meeting, or in the quorum or class meeting, under the direction of the bishopric.

It is very advantageous, wherever possible, to arrange for the ordinaction of members of the priesthood at the date nearest their birthdays, provided they are worthy of such ordination.  For instance, it is very desirable to prepare the candidate for ordination as a deacon at the nearest possible date to his twelfth birthday, for a teacher as near as possible to his fifteenth birthday, and for a priest to his seventeenth birthday.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 13-14)

Form of ordination to AP.

“The form of ordination authorized by the First Presidency, is as follows:

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.”

[Note that this form does not include “conferring the Aaronic Priesthood,” which later became an issue.]  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 14)

Weekly Priesthood Meetings.

“In every ward and branch a priesthood meeting should be held weekly at such time as may be designated by the stake presidency.  Every person in the ward holding any office in the priesthood should be enrolled.  The bishop will preside at the weekly meeting.  All should meet in a general assembly for the opening exercises.  During this meeting brief and timely instructions may be given, and any item of business to be considred by the priesthood be presented.  Then the members should adjourn to their different classrooms, according to their priesthood, and proceed with the regular order of business and consideration of assignments of duty in the priesthood for the ensuing week, and with the discussion of suitable topics pertaining to the priesthood.  At the close of the quorum or class work, all members of the priesthood should return to the general assembly for the closing exercises.

Under the new arrangement for Priesthood-M.I.A. work, it is expected that an officers’ meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m., preliminary to the regular meeting of all the priesthood and members of the M.I.A.; or at some other convenient time.  The Priesthood-M.I.A. meeting will conform, in general, to the instruction given above; but after thirty to forty-five minutes  shall have been given to priesthood work, the deacons and teachers, will take up scout work, and the priests ‘M’ men’s work for the remainder of the session.  During the summer months, when the M.I.A. is not in session, the priesthood meetings can be started at 8:00 p.m., and be concluded in an hour.  Or, if desired, the meeting can be held at some more convenient time.  The teaching of the Gospel principles to members of the priesthood will be carried out in the Sunday School classes.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 16-17)

System of Ward Teaching.

Effective ward teaching calls for regular visits each month to every family of church members in the ward by a pair of ward teachers, and the accomplishing of the purposes set forth in the previous section.

In order that the work shall be performed systematically, the teaching corps should be well organized.  A sufficient number of ward teachers should be appointed to provide a pair of teachers for not more than six to eight families.  The ward should be districted in the most convenient way to permit each pair of teachers to visit the families under their direction with the least loss of time in going from house to house.  This important work should be properly supervised under the direction of the bishopric.  In medium sized or large wards particularly, it is found that division presiding teachers or division presidents appointed to direct the work of several pairs of teachers can best supervise a larger section of the ward.  The same result may be obtained by placing this responsibility on the presidencies or group leaders of elders or other quorums to direct the work of their members.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 37-38)

Increased use of AP quorums in ward teaching.

“The ordained priests and teachers are particularly charged with the responsibility of ward teaching, under the direction of the bishopric.  All members of the Melchizedek as well as the Aaronic Priesthood living in the ward may be called by the bishopric to this duty.  In many instances members of the Melchizedek Priesthood are selected as senior teachers with members of the Aaronic Priesthood as their assistants.  In other wards excellent success has been had in placing the prime responsibility upon the priests’ and teachers’ quorums for a certain number of families.  In one or two instances the Aaronic Priesthood quorums have the responsibility of this work with members of the Melchizedek Priesthood associated with them in an advisory capacity.  With the approval of the stake presidency, the bishopric may ask the elders quorum presidency to be responsible for a certain section of the ward.

In the selection of ward teachers the bishopric should have personal talks with them to learn of their willingness to accept and fulfil this responsibility.  All of those selected should be men of exemplary habits and character, possessed of some knowledge of, and faith in the Gospel and imbued with love and consideration for their fellowmen.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 38)

Monthly Ward Teachings Messages.

“It has become a practice in many wards and stakes to prepare typewritten or printed messages or topics by the bishopric or stake presidency for the ward teachers or the families generally.  In many ways it is preferable to have such mesages or topics furnished to the teachers only, and by them presented in their own language, or read, to the individual families.  Such messages should be pointed and timely.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 39)

Monthly Ward Teaching Report Meeting.

“At or near the close of each month the Ward Teachers’ Report Meeting should be held.  It should be arranged at such time as to insure the largest possible attendance of ward teachers and also enable the ward clerk to prepare the information in time for submission to the stake presidency not later than the 5th of the following month.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 40)

Blessing of children.

“Whenever practicable, parents should take their children to the fast meeting in the ward where their membership is carried, to be blessed.  There should be prepared by the ward clerk at that meeting the certificate of blessing for the signature of the bishop; and it should be delivered to the parents immediately after the close of the meeting.

. . . .

In the blessing of children the bishop may very properly call upon the father to be mouth in pronouncing the blessing and giving the name, if the father holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 69-70)

Blessing of children at home.

“Children may be blessed and named at home by father, grandfather, or any other elder whom the parents may choose to officiate in that capacity, but they should also be taken to the ward fast meeting and blessed in accordance with the revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants, so that proper entry can be made in the ward records.

If for justifiable reasons, parents are not able to bring children to fast meeting, they may be blessed at home under the direction of the bishopric, and the ward clerk should not fail to make the proper record.  This practice should not be encouraged, but permitted only through very exceptional circumstances.  If an infant less than eight days old be critically ill, it may be blessed and the proper information reported to the ward clerk for entry in the ward record of members.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 70)

Father may perform baptism and confirmation.

“In the performing of baptisms of young people, it is proper that the bishop should invite the father to perform the baptism and confirmation if so desired and he bears the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It is desirable that all priests in the ward and other brethren holding the higher priesthood shall have the opportunity to perform some baptisms.  It is preferable to have the priests baptize young people and elder brethren baptize the older candidates.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 71)

Confirmations to be performed in fast meetings.

“Those who have been baptized should be confirmed preferably in fast meetings, and complete and accurate record should be made of the same by the ward clerk and entered in the Ward Record of Members, and the proper certificate issued.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 71)

High Councilors to be set apart by visiting apostles.

“High councilors, alternate members of high councils, and stake clerks are to be chosen by the stake presidency with the approval of the high council, subject, however, to the sustaining vote of the stake conference and the approval of the visiting apostle under whose direction they are to be set apart.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 73)

Confessions may need to be made in Fast Meeting.

“Where publicity has been given to [the sin] the confession should be made before the Priesthood of the ward at the regular weekly Priesthood meeting; or if it be deemed advisable that a still more public confession be made, it should be at the monthly fast meeting and not at the regular Sacramental meeting.  [Differs from 1921 GHI, which made no provision for Fast Meeting confessions.]”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 75-76)

Withdrawing membership:  Now called excommunication.

“If a certificate of membership is received for a person who does not desire to become accepted in the ward nor to be considered a member of the church, and desires his name taken from the records, he should first be labored with in kindliness and patience to endeavor to bring him to repentance.  If, however, he still persists in his determination to leave the church, he should be invited to appear before the bishop’s court or to send a letter expressing his wishes.  The bishop’s court should then take formal action to excommunicate such person for ‘apostasy and at his (or her) own request.’  If the person is a man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, the bishop’s court can, of course, only disfellowship him and report its action to the stake presidency and high council for further action of excommunication.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, pp. 76-77)  [In prior GHI’s, this was never referred to as “excommunication.”]

Bishop’s court–changes from 1921 GHI.

Screening of witnesses:  “They should first be consulted by the bishopric in order to determine the extent of their knowledge of the facts and their willingness to give the evidence.”  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 80)

Witnesses not to be pressured to testify:  “If any witnesses object to the giving of testimony undue pressure should not be brought to bear upon them.”  [1921 GHI said they could be held in contempt of court for refusing to testify.]  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 80)

Readmission:  “Persons who have been excommunicated should not be rebaptized until approval has first been had from the stake presidency and high council of the stake or the bishopric of the ward in which the action was taken against them; and until permission is given by the stake presidency in which the person lives.”  [Removes wording from 1921 GHI:  “or by that of a tribunal having superior jurisdiction.”]  (Handbook of Instructions for Bishops and Counselors, Stake and Ward Clerks, No. 14, 1928, p. 84)