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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1936

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1936:  Feb.:  Teachers and Deacons not to lay on hands.

“Neither Teachers nor Deacons have authority to baptize, administer the Sacrament, or lay on hands.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(2):107, Feb., 1936)

Feb.:  Adult Aaronic Priesthood classes in 1936.


RESPONSIBILITY–All whose names are listed on the ward records as being members of the Aaronic Priesthood, regardless of age, are the responsibilityi of the officers of the Aaronic Priesthood in the Stakes and Wards.

ORGANIZATION–WARD–It is suggested,–and the experience of leading wards in this work indicate that the plan is practicable–that in each ward an additional supervisor of Aaronic Priesthood abe selected and assigned to the adult group.  At least one assistant supervisor and a class teacher are also recommended.  If desired, additional supervisors may be appointed, the group to form an Adult Aaronic Priesthood committee.  In several wards all or part of the additional supervisors are themselves members of the Adult Aaronic Priesthood group.  In some classes committees of the members are appointed for various phases of the work.

ORGANIZATION–STAKE–It is recommended that the supervision of this work in the stake be assigned to the regular Aaronic Priesthood Committee as one phase of its work, but that the members be urged to give it definite and regular supervision, the same as any other responsibility assigned to them.

THE PLAN–Many plans have been tried throughout the Church in an effort to arouse the interest of men who are still members of the Aaronic Priesthood.  Missionary work among them has been carried on by Elders’ quorums, by specially appointed missionaries and by definite assignment to each of the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood of one grade of Aaronic Priesthood members–those who are Priests, Teachers or Deacons.  None of these plans has succeeded to any marked degree merely because of certain conditions which have been overcome to a great extent in this new plan, which has proved its value and effectiveness in wards of various sizes and in widely scattered areas of the Church.

The plan now recommended as being the most effective approach to a solution of this problem and which has already been responsible for bringing into renewed activity a great many members of this adult group, is to organize in each ward an adult Aaronic Priesthood class.  In small communities two or more wards may organize a joint class where conditions are favorable.  To this class should be invited all members of the Aaronic Priesthood of the ward who are over 18 years of age and inactive.  Where Priests are over 18 and still active, best results will doubtless be obtained by leaving them as they are.  The adult class is intended primarily for those who are over 18 and inactive.

PRELIMINARY PLANS–Before an attempt is made to form the class, the supervisor, his assistants and the class instructor should meet and study the situation thoroughly.  The names of all adults in the ward who still hold the Aaronic Priesthood should be obtained from the ward records and additional names secured, if possible, of others living in the ward.  Several meetings will doubtless be necessary to consider the names of prospective members of the class, determine the best methods of approaching each and getting the procedure and plan of the class lessons in mind.

Having done this, the actual formation of the class should be preceded by a definite missionary campaign for the purpose of reviving interest in Church work and, in some cases of older men, of bringing about a reconversion.  This missionary work may require several weeks or even months to lay a foundation that will insure the success of the class.  In some wards attempts to form classes have failed largely because the necessary preliminary work was not done.

Because of the conditions surrounding men who have not been active in the Church for many years, more than a phone call, a letter or even a personal invitation, is necessary to get them to attend.  I rekindling of the spiritual fire is necessary in most cases.  It is therefore urged that the preliminary missionary work be done carefully and thoroughly.  Every person whose name is on the list should be visited.  One can never tell which members will respond most readily.  Where visiting is done in pairs results have been most satisfactory.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(2):107-108, Feb., 1936)

Apr.:  Use of Teachers’ Message leaflets.

“Some questions have arisen regarding the use of the Monthly Ward Teachers’ Messages.  It was the practice formerly in several stakes to leave copies of the message in the homes of the people.  This practice was discontinued for two reasons: first, in many cases the teachers would read the leaflet verbatim and then leave it with the family.  While in some cases it may have been read after the teachers had left, it is believed these cases were few and the benefits negligible.  Second, teachers frequently would inquire regarding the health of the family, exchange greetings, and then leave the leaflet with no discussion whatever.  Either of these methods defeats the important purpose of the visit–the teaching of the Saints under the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord.

In preparing and publishing the messages in the present form the intent is to furnish a basis only for the messages the teachers are to deliver.  It is not intended that the printed message shall be the whole of the message delivered.  It should be a guide from which should be developed, by study and research, the best and most effective message the teacher is capable of delivering.  To the information given and whatever additional is secured, should be added the personal information possessed by the teacher and that developed through the aid of the Spirit of the Lord.  When the message is prepared in this manner additional opportunity is provided when the teacher is in the home, for the influence of the Holy Spirit to assist in making the teaching helpful and fruitful.  These opportunities for the teacher to secure such help are lost when the message is read from the slip or left with the family to read.

Every teacher is entitled to and should seek the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord in helping him to prepare for his visits.  Every possible step in preparation should be taken.  The teacher, knowing conditions in different families, if fully prepared, as suggested above, can adapt his presentation to the needs of each home.  This is the true spirit of teaching.  It is for these reasons that the printed messages are prepared in brief, concise form as a guide to teachers, and a help in their own preparation.  In the coming year, when teachers’ visits can be made so helpful and profitable, it is urged that proper preparation be made by all who are charged with this important responsibility, and that all homes be visited regularly each month.”  (“Ward Teaching,” IE 39(4):171, Apr., 1936)

Apr.:  The Standard Quorum Award.

“The standard quorum award is to be a recognition by the Presiding Bishopric of the Church to every quorum that reaches the standards prescribed.  The award will consist of an appropriate certificate, suitable for framing and preserving permanently, to be presented to the quorum upon a suitable occasion by stake officers representing the Presiding Bishopric.

A standard quorum is one where the following standards have been met:

1. Set up and follow yearly quorum meeting program in accordance with the recommendations of the Presiding Bishopric for 1936.

2. Set up and follow a yearly program of social and fraternal activities in accordance with the recommendations for 1936.

3. Have an average attendance record of 60% or more during the year.

4. Have 75% or more members fill assignments during the year.

5. Have 75% or more members observing the Word of Wisdom as shown by the annual report of the Bishop of the Ward as of December 31, 1936.

6. Have 75% or more of the members who earn money during the year pay tithing, as shown on the annual report of the Bishop of the Ward as of December 31, 1936.

7. Have 50% or more members participate in two or more quorum service projects.

Stake Aaronic Priesthood Committees will be requested to check on each quorum and recommend to the Presiding Bishopric the quorums which have reached the standards and are entitled to recognition.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(4):173, Apr., 1936)

7 Apr.:  Responsibility for welfare.

“The Ward authorities, the Relief Society, and the Priesthood quorum organizations must exert the greatest possible effort to see that fast offerings and tithing are fully paid.

Upon Ward teachers and the Relief Society must rest the prime reponsibility for discovering and appraising the wants of the needy of the Ward.  These wants must be administered to under and in accordance with the regular rules and through the regular organizations of the Church. . . .

The problem of Church relief is Church-wide; it is to be acomplished through local unit organizations and operations.  It will be the business and responsibility of the Bishop and his Ward organizations–Priesthood quorums, auxiliaries, Relief Society–to see that the full relief collections of the Ward are made.”  (First Presidency Circular Letter, 7 Apr., 1936.  In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency 6:11)

15 Apr.:  Church to help pay missionary transportation.

“The First Presidency announced April 15, 1936, that the Church will pay the traveling expenses of missionaries to their fields of labor when the expense exceeds one hundred dollars.”  (IE 39(6):362, Jun., 1936)

May:  A new plan for missionary work in the Stakes.

“(Submitted and edited for the Improvement Era by Joseph Fielding Smith)

In response to invitation, on Mary 12, 1936, the First Council of Seventy transmitted a letter to the Council of the Twelve in which recommendations were made concerning the establishment and carrying forward of missionary work in the stakes of Zion.  The recommendations contained in this letter were discussed and approved by the Council of the Twelve, and, with modifications, were forwarded to the First Presidency in a letter dated March 21, 1936, with a recommendation for approval, which letter was prefaced with this paragraph:

We, the Council of the Twelve, respectfully recommend that the missionary work in the stakes of Zion be more fully organized than it is at the present time.  We suggest the following program as a basis for said proposed organization, the First Council of Seventy concurring.

In response to this recommendation the First Presidency wrote to the Council of the Twelve, under date of Marcy 23, 1936, as follows:

March 23, 1936.

President Rudger Clawson,

the Council of the Twelve,

Dear President Clawson:

The recommendations submitted in your letter of March 21, 1936, regarding missionary work in the stakes of Zion, which recommendations you say are concurred in by the First Council of Seventy, meet with our hearty approval, and you are hereby authorized to put into operation the program therein outlined.

Referring to the third and fourth items in your letter, we recommend that the First Council of Seventy operate directly through the presidencies of stakes, and that the mission presidents be recommended by the stake presidency rather than by the ‘stake president.’

We feel assured that this plan, when fully operative, will give great impetus to the missionary work in the stakes of Zion.

Sincerely your brethren,


By Heber J. Grant

   David O. McKay

Accordingly under date of March 24, 1936, the Council of the Twelve wrote to the First Council of Seventy a letter containing the slightly modified recommendations, which letter appears in full below, and constitutes the plan now approved by the First Presidency for conducting missionary work in the stakes of Zion:–

To the First Council of Seventy,

Dear Brethren:

We have given consideration to your letter of March 12, 1936, concerning the establishment and carrying forward of missionary work in the stakes of Zion.  We give our approval to the statement which you have made with reference to the organization and direction of the work, modified as hereinafter submitted.

1. That the object of this work be to do missionary work within the stakes of Zion.

2. That a mission be organized in each stake of Zion and that the general supervision thereof be given to the First Council of the Seventy.

3. That the First Council of the Seventy operate directly through the presidencies of stakes.

4. That the immediate charge of the mission shall be given to a mission president who should preverably be a Seventy but may be a High Priest.  In case the most desirable man for this position be an Elder, he must first be ordained a Seventy before appointment.  The mission presidents shall be recommended by the stake presidency, after consultation with the local council or councils of Seventy, and approved by the First Council.

5. That the missionaries to be employed preferably be Seventies but that High Priests and women may be called to serve.  Also that prospective missionaries who are taking missionary training courses be used to give them experience.

6. That the mission be divided into districts over which district presidents, preferably Seventies be appointed.

7. That report forms be prepared by the First Council of the Seventy upon which the activities of the missionaries be reported weekly to the mission president who will report to the First Council and to the stake president monthly.

8. That calls for missionary service be made by the presidents of stakes after consultation with Bishops and the local Council of Seventy upon forms prepared by the First Council.  That all missionaries so called be made to understand that the call entails full compliance with all missionary regulations and cheerful and faithful response to all assignments.

The stake mission presidents, after consultation with presidents of stakes, shall be authorized to grant releases to missionaries.

9. That the further detail of the program be left to the First Council, who will of course collaborate with stake presidents, subject, however, to approval of the Council of Twelve Apostles.

We desire to commend the First Council of Seventy on the comprehensive outline which they have prepared for the work.  We should be pleased to receive reports of progress and shall make it a point to confer with the council periodically with reference to this important undertaking.

With best wishes for success, we are

Very sincerely your brethren,


By Rudger Clawson, President.”

(“A New Plan for Missionary Work in the Stakes of Zion,” IE 39(5):273, May, 1936)

May:  AP assignments for 1935 near 1 million.

“In 1934 the total number of assignments filled in the stakes and the wards of the Church was 641,120.  At the beginning of the year 1935 a goal of a million assignments was set.  The audit of the annual reports, just completed, shows a total of 930,138 assignments filled during the year, 6.9% below the goal.  The increase was 289,018 assignments over 1934, a gain of 45%.  This is extremely gratifying.  But for epidemics in some parts of the Church and extreme weather conditions which blocked roads and greatly hampered Priesthood activities, the total would undoubtedly have gone well beyond the million mark.  As it was, the gain of 289,018 or 45% was a glorious achievement.  It means that more than a quarter of a million additional acts of service were performed by the boys and young men of the Church.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(5):306, May, 1936)

May:  Adult AP plan given new impetus.

“The publication of an instructor’s manual for adult Aaronic Priesthood classes and providing a separate roll book for all members who have passed their twentieth birthdays has given new impetus and motivation to the plan of providing separate leadership and activities for the adult group.

Stake and ward officers generally have expressed the opinion that this is an important forward-looking move and many predict renewed interest and activity in regular quorums as well as among adults.

Provision in the current quarterly report for accounting for those twenty years of age or older is expected to add still further stimulus as the new form of report will direct attention to the adult group as never before.  The formation of a supervising group for missionary work and the organization of adult classes as recommended by the Presiding Bishop are expected to be the outgrowth of the new plans which are now complete with the preparation of the new form of quarterly report.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(5):307, May, 1936)

May:  Ushering as a new AP duty.

“Ushering in Sacrament Meetings and other gatherings of Latter-day Saints is to be made a prominent feature of the training of members of the Aaronic Priesthood, it is announced by the Presiding Bishopric.  The new lesson outlines for 1936, which will be ready for distribution by the first of the year will contain definite suggestions for organizing and directing ushers and doorkeepers in all church gatherings.  Preparation and duty of the usher, issuing instructions and giving training and similar topics are being outlined in detail as a part of the study course.  Credits for assignments filled will be given to all participating either as doorkeepers or ushers.  The lesson outlines containing instructions for one period to be devoted to a discussion of the principles involved in ushering in a Church and another period to be devoted to an actual demonstration of the methods suggested.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(5):307, May, 1936)

Jun.:  Priesthood vs. keys of the priesthood.

“The question is constantly arising in Priesthood quorums and other gatherings: ‘What is the difference, if any, between the Priesthood and the keys of the Priesthood?’  President Joseph F. Smith has given a very clear answer to this question, a part of which is repeated here.

The Priesthood in general is the authority given to man to act for God.  Every man ordained to any degree of the Priesthood has this authority delegated to him.  It should be remembered, however, that every act performed under this authority must be done in the proper way and after the proper order.  The power of directing the Priesthood constitutes the keys of the Priesthood.  In their fulness these keys are held by only one person at a time, the prophet and president of the Church.  He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which case that person holds the keys of that particular labor so delegated.  Thus, the president of a temple, the president of a stake, the bishop of a ward, the president of a mission, or the president of a quorum,–holds the keys of the labors performed in that particular body or locality.  His Priesthood, however, is not increased by this special appointment; for example, a Seventy who presides over a mission has no more Priesthood than a Seventy who labors under his direction; and the president of an Elder’s quorum has no more Priesthood than any member of that quorum.  But the president holds the power of directing the official labors performed under his special jurisdiction, or, in other words, the keys of that division of the work.  So it is throughout all the ramifications of the Priesthood.  A distinction must be made between the Priesthood and the directing of the labors performed by that authority.  To sum up, the difference between the Aaronic Priesthood and the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood is this: one is the Priesthood itself, the other is the call to direct that authority.  The keys of the Aaronic Priesthood are vested in the presiding bishop of the Church; but he is under the direction of the president of the Church who holds the keys of the high or Melchizedek Priesthood, and who presides over the whole Church, and who has all the gifts of God which He bestows upon the head of the Church.

If a literal descendant of Aaron were found, he would have no right to preside as a bishop unless he were called, set apart, and ordained in like manner to the High Priesthood, by virtue of the authority and keys held by the president of the Church.

Every man holding the Priesthood should understand that the keys of authority are centered in the president of the Church who is also the President of the High Priesthood.  It is by virtue of the keys held by him as the vice-regent of God upon the earth, that authority is exercised by all those who are ordained to the Priesthood.  While the Priesthood is divine authority which is delegated to men on the earth, yet the exercise of that divine authority would not be valid without the sanction and authorization of the one who holds the keys.  It was for this reason that Elijah was sent to the earth in these last days to restore the keys of sealing, or binding power.  Peter, James, and John came with the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood and conferred it, with the keys they were authorized to give, upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Notwithstanding this conferring of authority, we are informed that it was necessary for Elijah to come with the power of sealing, or binding, which keys he held, and restore that power to make valid all acts done officially in the Church by virtue of the Priesthood.  On this point the Prophet Joseph Smith has said:

Elijah was the last prophet that held the keys of the Priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the authority and deliver the keys of the Priesthood, in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. . . . ‘And I will send Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day fo the Lord,’ etc.  Why send Elijah?  Because he holds the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances of the Priesthood; and without the authority is given, the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness.

The power of the Priesthood, or, in other words, the authority which makes all ordinances and acts valid, is vested in one person.  Jesus Christ holds this authority in the heavens under His Father.  All power is vested in Him by the decree of the Father, ‘both in heaven and in earth.’  He has the power to grant authority, or to withdraw authority, from His servants on the earth.  He has given the keys of authority, by ordination as herein stated, to the person who serves as president of the High Priesthood, who, under Jesus Christ, exercises that authority and by virtue of the keys he holds, makes valid by his sanction all official acts performed by those who hold the Priesthood.

The president of the Church has the power to grant authority to all those who are called to serve in the Priesthood, and he has the power to cancel such authority.  It is a very strange thing how men of average intelligence can ever get an understanding that authority once vested in them by virtue of the keys held by the president of the High Priesthood, cannot be discontinued by that same authority.

The great mistake made by Martin Luther and others of the ‘Reformers,’ was in assuming authority which was not divinely conferred.  The Lord made the matter very plain in the restoration of the Gospel and the organization of the Church in this dispensation that no man can take authority unto himself.  The Priesthood, which is authority delegated to men by which they may officially act in the name of the Lord, must be conferred by the laying on of hands by one who holds that authority and is legally authorized to confer it upon others.  When men take it upon themselves without due authorization they are imposters pure and simple, notwithstanding the intent of the heart and their desires to do good.

When some of the members of the Church broke away, after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, they claimed to take authority with them.  Such a thing is absurd.  It is strange that men can reason in this manner, especially when we are so plainly taught that the office held by any individual does not authorize him to act unless he is properly called by those in authority and his calling sanctioned by those who hold the keys.  For a man to claim that he may exercise authority of Priesthood in opposition to the properly constituted authority in the Church, and in violation of the sanction of the one who holds the keys, is either a matter of extreme stupidity or wilful wickedness.

It may be seen from the explanation made by President Joseph F. Smith in relation to the Priesthood and the keys of the Priesthood, that it is not in order for anyone to confer the keys of the Priesthood upon a man who is to be ordained to the office of Elder, Seventy, or High Priest, unless he is to serve in some presiding capacity.  If he is to be ordained and given a position of presidency then the keys of that presidency should be conferred upon him.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” Joseph Fielding Smith, editor, IE 39(6):370, Jun., 1936)

Jun.:  Q & A regarding Adult AP program.

“Q. When is a member of the Aaronic Priesthood considered an adult?

A. When he has passed his twentieth birthday.

Q. The Aaronic Priesthood ages specified in the monthly reports and in the lesson outlines are 12 to 18 inclusive.  Does the answer to the previous question mean that these ages have been changed?

A. No.  The ages specified for Aaronic Priesthood quorums are: Deacons 12, 13 and 14, Teachers 15 and 16, Priests 17 and 18.  When a young man reaches his nineteenth birthday he should, if worthy, be ordained an Elder.  If, however, for any reason he is not ordained an Elder when he becomes 19, his name should be left on the regular quorum roll for another year and every effort made to assist him to become worthy to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  When he becomes 20, if he still holds the Aaronic Priesthood his name should be transferred to the Adult roll book and he should still be urged to prepare himself for the Melchizedek Priesthood.  When names are placed in the Adult roll book the supervisor of Adult Aaronic Priesthood should be given responsibility for looking after those persons.

Q. When names are listed in the Adult roll book should Priests, Teachers and Deacons names be listed together?

A. No.  Priests should be listed in one section of the book, Teachers in another and Deacons in another.

Q. Should the supervisor of Adult Aaronic Priesthood be a member of the ward Aaronic Priesthood committee in the ward and the stake committee in the stake?

A. Yes.  The stake and ward Aaronic Priesthood committees, under the Stake Presidency in the stake and bishoprics in the ward have responsibility for all members of the Aaronic Priesthood of all ages.

Q. If adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood attend Elders, Seventies or other classes where should their attendance and activity records be kept?

A. In the Adult Aaronic Priesthood roll book.  This information will be ccalled for in all quarterly reports in the future and should be available from the adult roll book.

. . . .

Q. Where is information regarding Adult Aaronic Priesthood classes to be had?

A. In the ‘Instructor’s Manual for Aaronic Priesthood Supervisors’ distributed by the Presiding Bishop’s Office.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(6):371-372, Jun., 1936)

15 Jul.:  Concerning stake missionary work.

“July 15, 1936.

To Stake Presidencies:

Dear Brethren:

We deem it highly important in the very beginning of our local missionary work in the Stakes of Zion that there shall be a full and harmonious understanding with the local authorities of the Church, particularly with the Bishops of wards, who are charged with the great responsibility of conducting the affairs of the Church within their jurisdictions.

Our approach to this matter must, of necessity, be through you, under whose direction and supervision the various wards are operating and with whom The First Council of the Seventy are collaborating in organizing and conducting the new uniform and permanent system of missionary work throughout the organized Stakes of Zion.

It is definitely understood that the missionaries are to be called by you after consultation with the Bishops and the local councils of the Seventy.  This we consider a very wise provision, for it leaves the matter of safeguarding the stake and ward activities such as Sunday Schools and M.I.A., etc., entirely under your control and will prevent any undue and unnecessary inroads being made on your local organizations.

To cripple or disrupt the local activities in the wards or in any way to work adversely to their best interests would be to defeat the very purpose of our mission, and nothing could be farther from our intent.  On the contrary, we desire to build them up and in every possible way to sustain the splendid institutions which the Lord has established in the Wards and Stakes of Zion for the salvation of His people, both old and young.

And yet, at the same time, we must depend upon our Bishops for our missionaries, and we most assuredly count on receiving their loyal and enthusiastic cooperation by supplying us suitable men and women for carrying on this new missionary movement within the stakes of Zion.  Without this, success would be impossible.

Inasmuch as our missionaries will be laboring right in their own stake, it will be seen that every effort put forth by them will redound [?] to the benefit of the ward.  If we are successful in our labors, it means increased membership at Sacrament meetings, increased payments of tithes and offerings, better knowledge and stronger testimonies of the Gospel, and better ability for teaching it.

Surely then, all our efforts will inure directly to the welfare of the wards.  We are not taking your officers and workers away from you, but merely borrowing them for a short period of about two years, to return them to you all the better prepared for their ward and stake activities, by reason of having filled an honorable mission.

In our Letter No. 4, we advocated the extension of the missionary term beyond the two-year period which has been fixed for our foreign missions.  Let us now rescind that recommendation by adopting the two-year period, the same as in the foreign missionary service.  This is recommended to us by The First Presidency.  We heartily concur in this advice and feel that it would have been unwise to prolong the missionary term beyond the two-year period.

As the two-year period expires and the missionaries are released, you will be confronted with the task of finding recruits; therefore, let us suggest that you do not call so many that you will be unable to fill the vacancies in the missionary forces caused by their releases.  We should bear in mind that these Stake Missions are to be permanent institutions–a perpetual going and coming–and therefore we should endeavor to make our plans fit into this situation, and not undertake to carry a heavier load than we can continue to maintain.

. . . .



(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 39(9):564, Sep., 1936)

Aug.:  New plan for stake missionary work.

“For a number of years past some of the leading stakes of Zion have been conducting a missionary system within the borders of the stakes.  This system was under the sole direction of the presidents of the stakes who appointed mission presidents and other officers to give service among the non-members of the Church.  Great good has been accomplished by this missionary work, and many new members have been added to the Church from among the ‘strangers within our gates,’ who would, perchance, have paid no attention to the message of the Gospel had not some missionary, appointed and directed to do so, carried the message to their doors.  In some instances the percentage of converts per missionary in the stakes has surpassed the same percentage in mission fields abroad.

In more recent years the matter of carrying the message of salvation to those living within the borders of the stakes has been a matter of deep concern to the General Authorities of the Church.  The Lord has placed the burden of proselyting and proclaiming the Gospel to the world, upon the shoulders of the Twelve Apostles.  In former times this work of the Seventies was confined strictly to foreign mission fields, but we have in the Church a great army of Seventies who cannot go abroad for various reasons, and, therefore, if the work required of the Seventies is confined to the preaching of the Bospel abroad, there will be many men ordained to this important office who will never have the opportunity of magnifying the calling of a Seventy.

In the consideration of these matters, the authorities felt that the Seventies who are living withint he stakes and who cannot fill foreign missions, can, nevertheless, magnify the office and Priesthood which they hold, by engaging in missionary work among the people living within the borders of Zion.  It was, therefore, decided that a change should be made in the missionary system as it was conducted locally in the stakes, and that the Seventies should be called, in preference to any others, to be the missionaries in the stake missionary work.  While the rule to choose Seventies was not to be drawn so tight that no one but a Seventy could labor in the local field, yet the burden of this work was to be placed upon them.  The new order permits the calling of some High Priests and some sister missionaries to augment the work as necessity and wisdom may require.

According to this plan a mission is to be organized in each stake of Zion, and the general supervision given to the First Council of the Seventy.  The First Council will operate directly through the presidents of stakes, and mission presidents, preferably Seventies, will be chosen to preside in these stake missions.  The missions are to be divided into districts, with district presidents, and the work is to be conducted in all particulars in a manner comparable to the work in the foreign mission fields.

Since the announcement was made and the plan approved, the First Council of Seventy have been busy organizing missions, appointing mission presidents and getting the work started it the several stakes.  It will, of course, take some time to complete these arrangements in all of the one hundred and seventeen stakes of Zion.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 39(8):498, Aug., 1936)

Oct.:  Summary of all living returned missionaries.

Male:  17,922

Female: 1,958

[As of the end of 1934]

(IE 39(10):593, Oct., 1936)

Dec.:  Voting on AP officers.

“The Presidency of any Aaronic Priesthood quorum is to be selected by the Ward Bishopric, and their names are to be presented to the quorum over which they are to preside to be voted upon.  When they are approved by the vote of the quorum they are authorized to act in that presidency.  It is not necessary that these officers be presented to the Sacrament Meeting to be voted upon in advance of their appointment in the presidency of the quorum; but they are to be voted upon at the annual ward conference.  However, anyone who is proposed to be ordained to any office in the Aaronic Priesthood must be voted upon in Sacrament Meeting and approved before he is ordained.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(12):781, Dec., 1936)

Dec.:  The special calling of a Deacon.

“The Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels and of the preparatory Gospel, which is the Gospel of repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.  An angel is a ‘messenger,’ the name or title given to those whom the Lord calls to act as His messengers to men on the earth.

Deacons who have been ordained in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hold the priesthood and authority, when properly directed, to be messengers for the bishop, as angels are messengers of the Lord.  When directed by the bishop they may call on the poor to ascertain their needs, and may also be sent to deliver necessities for the sustenance and comfort of those requiring assistance.  Deacons may be assigned to assist the needy, the sick or the aged, the widow, and do for them such manual work as they may be unable to do themselves, such as chopping wood, and shoveling snow.  They may be sent by the bishop with messages to other officers or members of the ward, notifying them of appointments and special assignments.  they may be assigned to make appointments for visiting teachers to call on ward members, or to make appointments for the ward teachers to visit families at convenient times.  If the visiting teachers are unable to keep the appointments made, the Deacons may substitute for them.  In this event they should be prepared to sing and pray with the family when requested and to bear testimony unto them.

The prayers of a Deacon are just as acceptable to the Lord as the prayers of a Seventy or of a High Priest, and his testimony may carry as much weight as that of an older person.  The servants of the Lord will never be without His help when engaged in His service.

The members of the Deacons’ quorum should plan how they may be of service, submit their plans to the bishop, and signify their willingness to serve; and they should always be on hand to perform promptly the service required of them.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 39(12):781-782, Dec., 1936)