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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1932

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1932.” You can view other years here.

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1932:  21 Jan.:    Non-members as witnesses in Church Courts.

“It has been and is regarded by the Church authorities as inadvisable generally to bring non-members of the Church before tribunals either in the stakes or missions.  If, however, a non-member is considered to be a material witness, the trial body may consider the advisability of securing the evidence of such a witness through a properly arranged interview with the witness, directed by the tribunal.  In the event, however, that the testimony is secured at such an interview, great caution should be exercised in the acceptance of such testimony when not generally corroborated by witnesses appearing in due course at the trial.”  (21 Jan., 1932; Rudger Clawson “Book of Decisions-2”; in Widtsoe, Priesthood and Church Government (1939 edition), p. 237)

Feb.:  Aaronic Priesthood Correlation Plan.

“At the Aaronic Priesthood convention held in the Assembly Hall, April 4, 1931, there was presented a new and comprehensive plan of cooperation between all agencies in the Church directly concerned with the activities of young men 12 to 20 years of age.  This plan is known as the Aaronic Priesthood Correlation Plan.  It marshals a large propirtion of the man-power of the Church behind a program of training for the young men of the Church.  It has been called ‘the most important movement in connection with the Aaronic Priesthood since it was restored to the earth.’

In order that all who are concerned with the inauguration and operation of the plan may have complete details, the outline of the plan as prepared by the General Committee and distributed in circular form last April is here presented.

The first project under the plan was a complete membership survey.  This survey has been completed in several of the stakes, in some cases with surprising results.  In one stake 520 persons, members of the Church, were found whose names were not on record.  Of this number, 150 were young men of Aaronic Priesthood age.

Efforts are now being made by the General Committee to intensify activity among members of Aaronic Priesthood quorums through the operation of the correlation plan.

Where the stake and ward Correlation Committees have not been fully organized and set in motion, it is urged that this be done at once.  Where the survey has not been made, it is sugested that immediate action be taken as a necessary step in the operation of the plan and that the plans outlined be put into effect at as early a date as possible.


Correlation of All Agencies in the Training of Young Men (12 to 20 Years) in the Wards and Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.–Doc. and Cov. 107:99.

Prepared by the Presiding Bishopric, General Superintendency of Sunday Schools, General Superintendency of Y.M.M.I.A. and Commissioner of Education.

Training of the Young Man in 

the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Under the Immediate Direction of the Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood.

The Objective–

To prepare young men for missionary activity, for other church service, and for life.

The Agencies–

1. Quorums

2. Sunday Schools.

3. Y.M.M.I.A.

4. Department of Education

The Courses of Study and Activities–

1. Through Quorums.

Training members in the spirit and responsibility of Priesthood.

Testing their knowledge of Gospel essentials and their observance of commandments.

Assignments of duties and performance of ordinances.

Social and fraternal activities. . . .

2. Through Sunday Schools.

Principles and ordinances of the Gospel.

Church History and Doctrine.

3. Through Y.M.M.I.A.

Proper application of Gospel principles to personal habits and conduct. . . .

4. Through Department of Education.

Week-day Bible, Church history and Gospel study and Church activity.


1. The Ward Bishopric.

Note:  Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 107, ver. 15–‘The Bishopric is the Presidency of this Priesthood and holds the keys or authority of the same.’

2. The Best Latter-day Saint ‘Boy Men’ in the Ward.

Priesthood Supervisors.

Sunday School Teachers.

Y.M.M.I.A. Leaders.

Note:  These men should be selected with the greatest care, and assigned to duties of leadership because of their special ability, and aptitude for the work.  As nearly as possible they should be relieved of other duties in the ward, thereby giving them every opportunity to become well-prepared, influential leaders.  The selection and acceptance of this duty should be made with the definite understanding of permanency.  In some instances, where opportunity and the time of the leader will permit, the same men may lead in two agencies.  In all they will full cooperate.

Correlation and Cooperation–

All leaders, including a member of the ward superintendency of the Sunday School and ward presidency of the Y.M.M.I.A. should meet with the bishopric once a month to correlate the programs and cooperate in the welfare of the young men.

A member of the bishopric and representatives of these organizations, with other men specially interested, may act as a Ward Troop Committee in scouting.

The order of business of this monthly meeting should include reports from Priesthood supervisors, Sunday School teachers, M Men, Vanguard and Scout leaders.

Individual case work should be conducted until every boy in the ward obtains the full benefit of participation in the above-named agencies.

Attendance at the seminaries and membership in the Junior Genealogical Society should be encouraged.

The leaders of Deacons’ Quorums and of Scouting should cooperate with the Primary Association in preparing Trail Builder boys for advancement.

Immediate Project–

A complete membership survey to ascertain the number of young men, members of the Church, between the ages of 12 and 20 residing in the ward, and how many are identified with these agencies.”

(“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 35(4):232-233, Feb., 1932)

10 Mar.:  Sovereignty of 70’s.

“Although the seventies eventually accepted the ruling of the Twelve and the First Presidency [from Dec., 1908], they initially resisted the decision because they believed they were independent of the Twelve and were at least equal to the apostles in authority.  Therefore the Twelve could not impose directions on the seventies.  Some confusion over this matter persisted for a number of years.  During a meeting of Church leaders in 1932, members of the First Council of the Seventy, including B. H. Roberts, were invited to join the apostles.  Elder Roberts spent two hours seeking to persuade the Church hierarchy that a seventy is above the high priest and that while a high priest holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, a seventy is more and is equal to an apostle.  Elder Roberts was unsuccessful in his efforts and these issues were gradually resolved into the present priesthood organizational configuration.”  (Mouritsen Diss., p. 150.  Also, George F. Richards diary, 10 Mar., 1932) 

Mar.:  Ward Aaronic Priesthood Supervisors.

“In view of the increased activity in Aaronic Priesthood quorums and the organization of Correlation Committees, the following instructions, issued by the Presiding Bishopric are timely and important:

Ward 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 necessary 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 on Vanguard and Scout Troop Committees.

Stake Supervision–Committee of high council, with other assistants.  Organize somewhat as stake auxiliary board.  Visit all quorums in wards, weekly, if possible.  See that these standards are met.  Get monthly reports from all wards.  Occasional stake social gatherings should be held.  Prepare monthly summary of ward reports for stake presidency and for their own guidance in improving conditions.

Ward Supervision–Bishopric, assisted by Board of Supervisors–three or more suitable men, as needed, with one as chairman.  Each member of the Bishopric has general charge of one grade of priesthood–the bishop as president of the Priest’s quorum, and each of the counselors in charge of another grade.

Supervisor’s Duties–Act individually as class leaders in quorums.  Hold weekly committee meetings as a borad, preferably after priesthood meeting.  Follow-up (a) attendance of members, (b) weekly assignments of duties, (c) lesson preparation by members, (d) prepare monthly reports for stake committee, (e) prepare young men for ordination and advancement, (f) supervise social and fraternal activities, and (g) consider general welfare of quorums.  Under the new arrangement of Priesthood-M.I.A. they will also act on Vanguard and Scout Troop Committees.”  

(“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 35(5):301, Mar., 1932)

Mar.:  An ordained teacher functions in his calling.

“In many parts of the Church ordained teachers and priests are being encouraged to become ward teachers.  Many interesting experiences are coming to light indicating that good results are being secured.  From Elder Junius Banks of Lehi Stake comes a report that is worthy of the serious consideration of those having the supervision of the Aaronic Priesthood.  Elder Banks recites the incident as follows:

A young teacher, ordained but a few months ago, had been assigned as the partner of a seventy to do block teaching.  For some time the boy had experienced difficulty in getting his teaching done promptly each month.  With the consent of the senior partner, the boy invited a fellow teacher to make the visit with him.”  (“Priesthood Quorums,” IE 35(5):302, Mar., 1932)

8 Apr.:  AP assumes responsibility for ward teaching.

“That members of the Aaronic Priesthood measure up to their responsibilities in a surprising manner when given the opportunity, is indicated in the report of the experiences in Cache Stake.  At the convention of the Aaronic Priesthood held in connection with the General Conference of the Church on Friday, April 8, President [Joseph E.] Cardon [Cache Stake] was requested by the Presiding Bishopric to tell of the success of the movement in that stake.  The report given is as follows:

In the Cache Stake the monthly visits of the acting teachers are being made almost entirely by the Lesser Priesthood–the ordained Teachers and Priests.  We have always used a number of Teachers and Priests, but the responsibility rested upon members of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Under these conditions the boys did not sense the responsibility which rightly belongs to them.  Now that they have assumed it they measure up almost perfectly–far beyond our expectations.

Since January 1 the Aaronic Priesthood Committee in the Stake has been responsible for this work.  The Stake Presidency look to them to organize and supervise the work within the wards, with the cooperation of the Bishops.  They have the responsibility of seeing that every worthy Teacher and Priest is assigned to labor as an acting teacher.  In a number of Wards there are boys enough to do all this work, and in the others this is the objective just as soon as possible.  Where members of the Melchizedek Priesthood are called to assist, they labor under the direction of the Aaronic Priesthood organization.  At present 75% is done by the ordained Priests and TEachers.  The supervisor in each ward is the one who is responsible for this work.  In nearly every case where our older brethren are called in to assist, they are assigned to labor together.  We have found where boys are together they assume and carry out the responsibility much better.

. . . .

For March the Ward Teachers made a special effort to get inactive members to attend Sacrament meetings and increased the attendance over the same month for 1931 from 20% to 29%, being a increase of 45%.  We also urge that teaching be done during the first week of each month.  To assist in this, we ask each Bishop to select each month a number of Deacons to act as messengers for the Supervisor.  At the end of the first week these boys call on each pair of teachers to collect the written report of ward teaching.  If the teaching is not completed the teacher is asked to indicate in writing just when the report is to be called for.  Practically all teaching is done during the first week.”

(“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 35(8):492, Jun., 1932)

20 Apr.:  Quorums and auxiliaries not to incorporate.

“President Anthon E. Anderson and Counselors,

Logan Stake.

Dear Brethren:

As some of the Priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations have expressed the desire to incorporate under the laws of the State of Utah as corporation sole, we have given the matter careful consideration and have decided that it is not necessary or desirable that quorums and auxiliary organizations should incorporate.

The Church now has the President’s corporation sole, holding title to general Church properties; the Presiding Bishop’s corporation sole, holding titles to mission properties; stake corporation sole, holding titles to stake properties; and bishops’ corporation sole, holding titles to ward properties.  These corporations now aggregate in number about one thousand and are constantly increasing as other wards and stakes are incorporated.

It is apparent that if the incorporation of the Priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations should be encouraged, the number of corporations sole might multiply to such an extent as to become very burdensome to the Church because of the expense attending their incorporation and maintenance.

In the case of a quorum of the Priesthood or the General Board of an auxiliary organzation, the legal title to this property should be held by the President’s corporation in trust for the use and benefit of the quorum or auxiliary owning the property.  In cases where the Priesthood quorum or auxiliary is a part of the stake organization, the legal title to this property should be held in trust by the stake corporation sole, and any quorums or auxiliary organizations which are related to certain wards, the legal title to the property should be held in trust by the bishop’s corporation sole of the ward in which the organization exists.

By this arrangement the respective Church corporations sole will simply hold the bare legal title to the properties and would not exercise control, management or use of the same, the property being left entirely under the control of the quorum or organization to which it belongs.  However, an annual report of the management and condition of the property should be made to the corporation sole holding title to the same.

In this way all the rights, titles and interests of the respective quorums and organizations will be preserved.  In case it should be desired to dispose of or exchange any property upon proper request being made in writing by the organization owning the same to the corporation sole holding the title, transfer could be made in accordance with the wishes of the owner.

In cases where titles are vested in corporations sole as trustees, the rights of the quorums or auxiliary organizations owning the property should be preserved by a statement in the deed that the property is deeded to the corporation ‘in trust for the use and benefit’ of the quorum or auxiliary organization named in the deed or by a written declaration of trust executed by the corporation taking the title.

We shall appreciate it, therefore, if you will have these instructions carefully followed in any matters of title to property.

Sincerely your brethren,

Heber J. Grant

Anthony W. Ivins”

(20 Apr., 1932, First Presidency Circular Letters, LDS Archives, CR 1/1)

Apr.:  MP quorum activity.

“What an army of men in the aggregate hold the authority of the priesthood!  There are 18,034 High Priests, divided into 104 quorums and into 1,000 groups; 10,745 Seventies divided into 190 quorums; and 44,351 Elders composing 564 quorums and 1000 groups, a host of over 73,000 men!  Like the impounded lake, this body of Priesthood is a mighty force; but its power for good is felt only when this force flows through the rivers, canals, and streams of human activity.

. . . .

It is not only recommended but required that all quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood meet in a quorum capacity at least once every month.  This is the official meeting at which careful consideration of the duties of quorum members should be considered, reports of service rendered received, appointment to new duties made, significance of priesthood explained, new avenues of service opened, committees appointed, and anything pertaining to the welfare of the quorum and to the spiritual uplift of the members presented.”  (David O. McKay, Chairman of the Committee on Courses of Study and Activities of Quorums of Priesthood, “Priesthood Quorums,” IE 35(6):355, Apr., 1932)

May:  AP correlation and the Y.M.M.I.A.

“It is a pleasure my brethren to meet you this morning and take part in this discussion which has to do with the most important problem we have before us–the problem of our boys.  When we studied this question early last year we concluded that it was time we should take stock of our boys and find out how many of them we actually have.  The CHurch-wide survey was the result.  I presume you have all conducted it and discovered what your losses are.  We found only some 26 per cent of the boys of the Aaronic Priesthood of the Church active.  We felt that was too great a loss.  We discovered only 45 per cent of them observing the Word of Wisdom.  We felt that was wrong.  We must do something unitedly to fight for them because the enemy is fighting to steal them away from us.  The war wasn’t successful on the part of the Allies until under one general leader all the forces were united, then victory soon came.  We will not be successful in fighting our common enemy until all the forces for right, for truth, for God, and for the Church are united.  These forces within the Church, therefore, dealing with the boys during the Aaronic Priesthood age, from 12 to 20, are brought together, given their respective assignments to wage a warfare to win these boys, to fight a common enemy that would seek to steal them away from us.

. . . .

It is the mission of the M.I.A. to make its merits appeal to the boy and to join in helping with this united program to win that boy for God, for the Church, for his own family, for the great purposes the Lord had in establishing this work in the earth and I hope that every man who is called to lead these boys in this activity program of the Y.M.M.I.A. will feel that he has just as sacred a mission as though he were leading in the Priesthood Quorum.”  (Melvin J. Ballard, Excerpts from a discussion of the Aaronic Priesthood Correlation Plan and its relationship to the YMMIA at the BYU Leadership Convention, “Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 35(7):423-424, May, 1932)

Jul.:  Status of AP attendance.

“One of the most gratifying reports to be issued from the Presiding Bishop’s Office in a long time is the report of attendance at Aaronic Priesthood at quorum meetings during the month of May.  So unusual were the gains made over the corresponding month of 1931 that a special bulletin was issued in appreciation and commendation to stake and ward officers who were responsible for the splendid results indicated in the report.  The reports show that in May of 1931 the average attendance of Aaronic Priesthood members at their quorum meetings was 20%.  In May of 1932 it was 24%.  This represents a gain of 25%.  In terms of members it means that 2800 more young men throughout the Church attended their quirum meetings in May of this year than in May of 1931.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 35(9):561, Jul., 1932)

Jul.:  Books for MP workers.

“The three booklets shown here constitute the kit for the workers in the Elders’, Seventies’, and High Priests’ Quorums of the Church.  All of them may be had from the Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Mail orders will be filled promptly.  Price 10c each.

The books are, ‘In the Realm of Quorum Activity,’ ‘In the Realm of Quorum Activity,’ series two, and ‘Supplement to “In the Realm of Quorum Activity.”‘  The last named book is just off the press.

Material from the ‘Supplement’ was run in issues of the Improvement Era, but as soon as the book became available in printed form, the publication of extracts on this page was discontinued.  From now on material which will assist ward leaders and committees with their work will be available on this page.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 35(9):562, Jul., 1932)

Aug.:  AP Organizations in stakes.

“Fifteen stakes have fully complete organizations and twenty-three others have minimum organizations for supervision of Aaronic Priesthood work in the stakes as recommended by the Presiding Bishopric.  A minimum organization, as outlined in the instructions, includes at least three members of the High Council and three others who may or may not be members of the council, making a minimum of six members of the stake committee.  This committee organizes and operates somewhat after the plans followed by the stake boards of the auxiliary organizations, doing for the Aaronic Priesthood in the stake what stake boards do for their associations.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 35(10):626, Aug., 1932)

Sep.:  Stake Correlation Conferences.

“From many stakes in the Church, word has been received by the Presiding Bishopric that correlation committees are being fully organized for the fall season, and plans being made to contact every young man from twelve to twenty, in an effort to bring them into activities in all the organizations of the Church.  Several of the stakes have set the month of September as a special visiting month, and aim to contact all the inactive young men during that period.

Correlation conventions are being planned for the stakes where they have not yet been held, and are to be set within a few weeks.  The success of the correlation plan thus far has proved its value to the Church, and indications are that this coming season will see greater increases in the Aaronic Priesthood activities than in any time in the past.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 35(11):679, Sep., 1932)

Sep.:  Priesthood Conferences program.

“The following items are suggested for attention:

1. . . . Number over 20 holding Aaronic Priesthood.  What losses to Church activity occur in these different age groups? . . .

3.  What efforts are being made to bring into Church activity those indifferent ones who are over 20 and have not been advanced from the Aaronic Priesthood, and for bringing into Church activity every young man from 12 to 20 during the coming winter season?

. . . .

5.  What is the tobacco habit doing to keep young men out of Church activity?

6.  What combined efforts of Church organizations are being used to reduce or eliminate this evil?”  (“Priesthood Conferences, Season of 1932-33,” [pamphlet], xerox)

24 Sep.:  Water for baptism need not be dedicated.

“Word has come from various sources that, in some instances, the practice has been adopted by brethren in charge of baptismal services of dedicating the water for baptism by prayer.

After consideration of this matter with the First Presidency, the Presiding Bishopric are authorized to state that such procedure is not a part of the baptismal ordinance or ceremony and it is not necessary.  It is, of course, entirely appropriate to have a short preliminary service including prayer, and a hymn, where desired.

It is suggested to stake presidencies, mission presidents, and ward bishoprics that proper instructions in conformity with this statement be given to those who may have charge of baptismal services.”  (First Presidency, 24 Sep., 1932, Deseret News, Church Section, p. 6.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 5:308)

Dec.:  Review of MP accomplishments during 1932.

“To Members of the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums Throughout the Church.

Dear Brethren:

Before the present year takes its place in the files of the Past, we desire to express, even though inadequately, appreciation of the excellent labors performed by many of the groups and quorums throughout the Church.  Perhaps it is not too much to say that during 1932, many groups have achieved a quorum consciousness heretofore unexcelled.  Group action and group influence are becoming more and more manifest, with the result that quorums are now beginning to exert that influence upon their members and upon Church procedure which is required of them by divine appointment.

With true satisfaction, we have noted quorum activity in helping the unemployed, in carrying responsibility of ward teaching, in attendance at quarterly conferences, Sacrament meetings and other authorized assemblies, in assisting missionaries, and missionaries’ families, in conducting socials, etc., etc.

Another feature most gratifying is the greater consideration given to the choosing of quorum officers by officials whose duty it is to make such selections.  They not only choose with wiser deliberation but also impress more earnestly upon the men so chosen the mighty responsibility quorum leadership involves.

But, brethren, notwithstanding these marks of progress, the fact remains that we have scarcely more than entered the field of quorum activity–much of the area still lies before us undeveloped.

. . . .

The Council of the Twelve.

By Rudger Clawson, President.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 36(2):102, Dec., 1932)