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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1942

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1942.” You can view other years here.

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1942:  Jan.:  Priesthood Conventions.

“The following are extracts from a letter sent by President Rudger Clawson of the Council of the Twelve to all stake presidents:

The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve have decided that there shall be held during 1942 a Priesthood convention in every stake.  The convention will consist of at least three meetings, the first with the presidency of the stake; the second with the stake presidency, high council, and the three stake Priesthood committees; the third meeting will be with those called to the other meetings, and, in addition, quorum and group officers and leaders and ward bishoprics.  Those invited to attend the convention, therefore, will be the Priesthood officers in the stake. . . .

There will be one or more brethren from headquarters assigned to attend each convention.

The program of the convention will be devoted to a close-up examination of the conditions affecting the Priesthood quorums in the stake, Melchizedek and Aaronic.  There will be reports, questions, round-table discussions, and instructions.  The purpose is to train Priesthood officers and leaders in their duties and how to meet and solve problems affecting the Priesthood.  It is to be hoped that the convention will be a potent means of stimulating the quorums in their work and, therefore, will be productive of much good.

The conventions are not a part of quarterly conferences and in nearly all cases will be held at other times.  Their purpose is to provide an additional means of helping to emphasize the importance of Priesthood and quorum work.

A questionnaire was sent out to stake presidents asking each one to say when he would prefer to have the convention in his stake.  The great majority replied indicating the first quarter.  To satisfy this desire it has been found desirable to schedule conventions in stakes near Salt Lake City on weekday evenings.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 45(1):41, Jan., 1942)

Jan.:  Adult AP age designation changed to 21 years.

“Rolls and records for both Aaronic Priesthood groups should immediately be set up to conform to the new ruling of the Presiding Bishopric that the names of young men bearing the Aaronic Priesthood are not to be transferred to the adult rolls until the age of 21 years.  Heretofore, this transfer has been made at the age of 20.  The ruling is effective from January 1, 1942.

Each young man bearing the Aaronic Priesthood is to be accounted for on his regular deacons, teachers, or priests quorum rolls, records, and reports, until he reaches his 21st birthday.  If, for instance, a young man is ordained a deacon at 12 and is not advanced in the Aaronic Priesthood or to the Melchizedek Priesthood before he becomes 21 years of age, he remains as a member of record in his deacons quorum, and is to be accounted for in all regular quorum records and reports.  The same is true as it applies to an ordained teacher or priest who is not ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood before reaching his majority, or 21 years of age.

Both stake and ward Aaronic Priesthood and adult Aaronic Priesthood monthly reports, hereafter, will call for information in keeping with this age modification.

There should be no confusion on the matter of reports.  Authorized deductions allowed for figuring Standard Quorum Award percentages, only, do not apply to regular monthly Aaronic Priesthood reports.  The total quorum enrollment should include each deacon, teacher, or priest until he is either advanced to the Melchizedek Priesthood or becomes 21 years of age.  In the latter case he is, thereafter, to be accounted for on the adult rolls, records, and report.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 45(1):43, Jan., 1942)

Feb.:  Discontinue auxiliary conventions due to war.

“Having in mind the heavy tax burdens which it is announced are to be imposed in the coming year, as also the limitations which have been made upon automotive travel, and desiring to help the people as much as possible in meeting these problems by cutting down, to the lowest feasible limit, all expenditures incident to Church activities, we are asking the general boards of all the auxiliary organizations to discontinue all their institutes and conventions.  For the same considerations, we request that all auxiliary stake union meetings be discontinued.  The policy is to take effect immediately and will continue in force until further notice.”  (First Presidency, IE 45(2):74, Feb., 1942)

Feb.:  The Holy Priesthood and its Responsibilities.

“Every man who is ordained and receives any office in the Melchizedek Priesthood receives it with ‘an oath and covenant’ that he he will be true and faithful and magnify his calling.  If he will do so the fulness of the Father’s kingdom is promised him; if he turns away from the Priesthood and violates his covenant and so continues to the end, there is no ‘forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.’  (D&C 84:33-41)

This being true, then every man ordained an elder, or seventy, or high priest, in this Church is under exactly the same covenant and obligations to be true that those are who hold the presiding positions in the Church.

Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.

He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand.  Even so.  Amen.  (D&C 107:99-100)

This commandment can have buit one meaning, and that is that the slothful and unfaithful who hold the Priesthood will have their authority taken from them and they will lose their exaltation, for without the Priesthood there can be no exaltation in the celestial kingdom.  It does not mean, however, that such a man shall become a son of perdition, but he will be denied the rights of the Priesthood which once were his.


A quorum of Priesthood consists of a specified group of men, holding the same office in the Priesthood, organized for material and spiritual betterment of the members and the advancement of the work of the Lord, with specific duties assigned to them by revelation.  

Every person holding the Priesthood should be enrollsed and received as a member of the appropriate quorum to which he is assigned.

No person should be ordained or advanced in the Priesthood without fully and favorably complying with the requirements of the current authorized recommendation for ordination.

The following quorums belong to the Melchizedek Priesthood:

The three presiding high priests of the Church form the quorum of the First Presidency of the Church.

The Twelve Apostles constitute a quorum of Priesthood, and they stand next in authority to the quorum of the First Presidency in the affairs of the Church.

The patriarchs of the Church do not form a quorum of Priesthood, but are members of the high priests’ quorum in the stakes where they reside.

All high priests in a stake of Zion constitute a quorum of the high priests and are presided over by a president and two counselors.  There is one high priests’ quorum in each stake.

A quorum of seventy is composed of seventy members, and of that number seven men are chosen as presidents who preside over the quorum.  The First Council of the Seventy has jurisdiction over all the quorums of the seventy in the Church, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles.

There may be one or more quorums of seventy in a stake.

A quorum of elders is composed of ninety-six elders, with a president and two counselors.  There may be one or more quorums of elders in a stake.

The following quorums belong to the Aaronic Priesthood:

The three men holding the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, and known as the Presiding Bishopric, form a quorum of presidency over all the Aaronic Priesthood under the direction of the First Presidency.

A quorum of priests is composed of forty-eight priests, presided over by the bishop of the ward.

A quorum of teachers is composed of twenty-four teachers, with a president and two counselors.

A quorum of deacons is composed of twelve deacons, with a president and two counselors.

The bishopric of a ward have authority over all the Aaronic Priesthood in the ward and should direct and counsel them.


The duties of the officers and members of the various quorums of the Priesthood are clearly set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, sections 20, 68, and 107.  These sections should be carefully studied and the duties set forth thoroughly learned.

If you will honor the holy Priesthood in yourself first, you will honor it in those who preside over you and those who administer in the various callings, throughout the Church.–Gospel Doctrine, p. 207.

Every man should be willing to be presided over; and he is not fit to preside over others until he can submit sufficiently to the presidency of his brethren.–Gospel Doctrine, p. 206.


Each Priesthood quorum bears a responsibility for the welfare of its members.  The quorum properly appointed, must seek out the needs of each individual member and attempt to supply the needs that may be discovered, both temporally and spiritually.  No quorum of the Priesthood is assuming the full obligation placed upon it by the Lord, which does not sufficiently extend its activities to help each member in his individual needs.  The spirit of brotherhood is indispensable for quorum success.

If the quorum thus assumes responsibility for the welfare of its members, it follows that each member must dedicate himself to the task imposed upon the quorum.  A man who accepts the Priesthood accepts the obligations of the Priesthood, and must so conduct his life and use his gifts as to be qualified to perform the work properly required of those who hold the Priesthood.  He must be loyal and faithful to the Church, the quorum, the Priesthood which he holds, to his family and to every principle of divine truth.


The presidency of the quorum are the responsible directing officers.  All committees are appointed by them for the quorum.  They should be in close touch with all the work of the quorum, supervise and direct the committees in their labor and see that ‘every man learns his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.’  A weekly meeting of the presidency should be held.


Where a quorum, such as the high priests, has members in two or more wards, a group leader, and a secretary in each ward should be appointed, under the direction of the quorum presidency, to conduct the affairs of the group and make proper reports to the quorum, seeing that every member receives proper credit for activities performed.

In the case of seventies’ ward groups, the ward group leader should be one of the quorum presidents, if a member of the seventies’ quorum presidency resides in the ward.


It is the duty of the secretary of each quorum to keep a proper record of all members and record all important matters pertaining to the quorum.  He should also compile each quarter the activities, etc., and place his report in the hands of the quorum president to be forwarded to the office of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, properly attested by the president.  There has been much annoyance and delay because of failure in this regard in the past.


The Welfare work of the Church is primarily a Priesthood quorum activity.  Each quorum should have one or more projects in the welfare program and the quorums should be closely associated with the welfare committee and officers of the welfare in the stake.


There is one general Priesthood committee, of which one member of the stake presidency is chairman, and composed of members of the high council and representatives of the quorums of high priests, seventies and elders within the stake.  The duty of this committee is to assist the quorums in their labors and to see that each quorum is fully organized and functioning properly.  They become advisors of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums of the stake.

Each quorum of the Priesthood should have the following standing committees:

1. Personal welfare

2. Church service

3. Class instruction

4. Social and miscellaneous activities

It is advisable that one member of the quorum presidency act as chairman of the personal welfare committee; one of the Church service committee; and one of the class instruction committee.

Sub-committees may be appointed as occasion requires to look after special features of the work.

These standing committees should have a regular time to meet.

It is the duty of each committee to make the work in its charge function.  To that end, the committee must exert all its powers.  No plan, however perfect or simple, works of itself.


It is the duty of the personal welfare committee to become acquainted with the character and attitude of quorum members so far as these relate to the advancement of quorum ideals.  It is not the prerogative of this committee to inquire into private matters which concern only the individual member himself.

The committee should have in hand:

1. A complete list of quorum or group members.

2. The number who keep the Word of Wisdom.

3. The number of tithe payers.

4. The number of non-tithe payers.

5. The number of unemployed.

6. The names of those who can render service to the quorum and to the Church.

7. The names of those who are incapacitated to render service and who need help.

8. The names of those who are unable to attend meetings, bu twho could do so if someone furnished transportation.

9. The committee shiould know how the families of those on missions are faring.

10. Under the assignment of the quorum presidency or the group leader, the committee should make personal contact with every quorum member, commending the activities, giving strength to the discouraged, awakening renewed desire among the indifferent and slothful, etc.

11. To direct the welfare projects of the quorum, under the presidency of the quorum.  However, this is a labor in which all the members of the quorum should be engaged.

12. Looking after absentees in the army and others.

13. The chairman of the personal welfare committee is to meet regularly each week with the ward welfare committee as the official representative of the Priesthood quorum.


The duties of the Church activity committee are:

1. To keep at hand a complete roster of quorum or group members.

2. To know what each member is doing in a Church capacity.

3. To report to the quorum presidency the names of those who are attending to no Church duty.

4. To study adaptation of each to any particular Church activity.

5. To become personally acquainted with members, as regards their inclinations and desires.

6. To note, at least quarterly, average attendance of each member at:

a. Monthly quorum meetings

b. Sacrament meetings

c. Quarterly conferences

d. Gospel doctrine, or Priesthood class

e. Other auxiliary organizations

7. To note the number who did not attend (a) a quorum or group meeting; (b) a sacrament meeting; (c) the stake Priesthood meeting; (d) the quarterly conference.

8. To report:

a. Number inactive because of age, infirmity, sickness

b. Number inactive becaused of absence from ward

c. Number inactive on account of occupation

d. Number wiling to labor but unassigned

e. Number who refuse to render service

f. Number unworthy to serve

g. Number in military service


The committee on class instruction should deal especially with preparation of lessons and attendance at the classes.

It is the duty of this committee to see that every member is provided:

1. With current pamphlets and other material needed in the lessons.

2. With the course of class study.

The committee should be prepared to cite interesting and helpful references pertaining to lessons under consideration.  These references should be given at least one week before lesson is to be presented.

It is the duty of this committee to visit delinquent members with the view of converting them to the need and benefit of participation in class study.

The committee should keep informed on current events and present them when opportunity or occasion presents itself for the benefit of the class.

Above all, this committee should be composed of men who are sound in doctrine and the fundamental teachings of the Church, and are prepared to correct false teachings should they be introduced.


The duties of this committee are varied, and include general phases of quorum activity not assigned to other standing committees.

To this committee is assigned:

1. Social functions

2. Summer outings

3. Temple excursions, etc.

4. An annual reunion, to which members and their wives, or other companions are invited.

5. Such other special and miscellanous activities as may be authorized by the quorum.


The quorum meeting is indispensable to the success of the quorum.  Where a quorum of Priesthood is confined to the borders of a single ward, quorum meetings should be held each week.  Under other circumstances, with very rare exceptions, a monthly quorum meeting should be held.  In a few of the outlying stakes where great distances intervene between wards and branches, the quorum meeting may be held quarterly.  If such is done, however, then the ward divisions of the quorum should hold meetings each week.  A definite time for quorum meetings should be made at some period that will not interfere with other meetings.

Some of the purposes of the quorum meeting are:

1. To make clear the place of the quorum in the activities of the Church.

2. To improve individual standards of living.

3. To receive reports of services rendered and to make assignments.

4. To foster true fellowship in the brotherhood of the Church.

5. To become better acquainted with each other, and to see that there are no enmity, jealousy, hard feelings, or other evils existing, and that all the members faithfully perform their duty.

6. To aid one another to become successful in temporal affairs.

7. To attend to all current business pertaining to the activities of the quorum.

8. To assist the group to become efficient in promoting the work of the Lord on the earth.


In order that the quorum meetings be successful all the members must be converted to the principles of the gospel and the responsibilities which the Priesthood places upon them.

There must be:

1. A convenient time of at least one hour for the meeting.

2. A suitable place of meeting.

3. Promptness in opening the meeting and order in conducting it.

4. Proper devotional exercises.

5. An order of business followed with dispatch.

6. A reverent and prayerful spirit on the part of all the members.

There is no set time for holding the quorum meeting.  It is left optional with the quorums, provided that the time of other established meetings is not interfered with.


All quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood in a stake of Zion are under the supervision and direction of the stake presidency.

The stake Priesthood committee is to labor under the direction of the stake presidency.

It is always desirable to have committees from the high council to look after the interests of the organizations within the stake.

The seventies have a dual responsibility–one to the First Council of the Seventy, and the other to the presidency of the stake.  Quorums of seventy are Churchwide organizations under the supervision of the First Council of the Seventy.

The seventies have no responsibility of presiding.  It is not the calling or duty of their office to preside.  They are traveling elders, and they are to preach the gospel to the world, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, who constitute the traveling high council of the Church, and who are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world.  (Joseph F. Smith, CR Oct., 1901, p. 72)

When not engaged in their special calling, the seventies may, however, preside when called upon to do so by those having proper authority.

Since quorums of seventies are organized within the borders of the stakes, the presidencies of stakes are instructed to collaborate with the First Council of Seventy, in the activities of the quorums of seventy within the stakes.

Since Melchizedek Priesthood quorums are not ward quorums, the bishopric of the ward has no jurisdiction over their quorum functions, but as individual members of the ward, the bishopric has authority over all holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and when members of these quorums accept responsibility in the wards, such as ward teaching, they do so as ward members holding the holy Priesthood.


This is a meeting to be held monthly, where the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee can meet with only officers and leaders of quorums and quorum groups including quorum presidencies and quorum committee members.

After brief opening exercises where a roll call is conducted and general instructions, reports, etc., are received, the quorum leaders should then be separated into departments, each department to be conducted by a member or members of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee.  Each committee group will be composed of high priests, seventies, and elders.

It is suggested that departments be formed from the membership of each of the four standing committees of each quorum, i.e.:

1. A department for members of personal welfare committees

2. A department for members of Church service committees

3. A department for members of class instruction committees

4. A department for members of social and miscellaneous committees

Each member of quorum presidencies should attend the committee department to which he has been made responsible in his own quorum.

The program for each department should have been pre-determined by the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee and should include reports, check-up on previous assignments, development of new activities, discussion of problems, and the instruction of quorum officers as to their duties in the work of the quorum committee to which they are assigned.

Should there be a conflict in the program of those who should attend the monthly Priesthood leadership meeting as well as the leadership meetings of the auxiliary organizations, a separate hour should be selected for each group to meet.”  ([Joseph Fielding Smith–see IE 45(3):170, Mar., 1942] “Melchizedek Priesthood–The Holy Priesthood and Responsibilities of All Who Hold It,” IE 45(2):104-107, Feb., 1942)

Feb.:  Change in quorum committee chairmanships.

“It is recommended that hereafter, one member of the quorum presidency act as chairman of the personal welfare committee; another of the Church service committee; and the third of the class instruction committee.  The secretary or a member of the quorum may be appointed chairman of the recreational and miscellaneous committee.  

Sub-committees may be appointed as occasion requires to look after special features of the work.

These standing committees should meet at regular times.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 45(2):105, Feb., 1942)

Mar.:  Priesthood handbook available–first one.

“We have reason to believe that many quorum officers have wanted a brief handbook that outlined their duties.  We are pleased to announce that such a book is now available.  It is a reprint of the article by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith in the Melchizedek Priesthood department of the February Era entitled ‘The Holy Priesthood and the Responsibilities of all Who Hold It.’  Copies of the booklet will be sent free of charge to all officers who apply for it.

However, we suggest that the chairman of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee determine the number needed in his stake and send for this number to the 

Melchizedek Priesthood Committee

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah

On receipt of the order the booklets will be promptly mailed to him for distribution.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 45(3):170, Mar., 1942)

Apr.:  Excommunications published–INCLUDING CAUSES.

[6 excommunications listed:  4 for apostasy, 2 for adultery.]  (IE 45(4):222, Apr., 1942)

Apr.:  Restricted meetings, due to war.

“The public now know that restrictions have been placed by the First Presidency on the holding of certain general and stake meetings.  These restrictions are due to the existing emergency, occasioned by war conditions.  Interested persons have observed, however, that the restrictions do not affect regular ward meetings and activities, nor Priesthood quorums or group meetings.  These may go on as heretofore.  It is hoped that they may be made more effective than previously.  

To this end the program of these meetings should be more carefully planned and more thoroughly executed.  Emphasis should be placed upon worthwhile activities.  Frequent assignments to committees and individuals should be made and reports on the assignments should be required.

Weekly meetings of quorum officers should be the rule.  The officers must be active if the quorum is kept alive and does the work expected of it.  Generally progress will be proportional to the quality of quorum leadership.  ‘As with the priest so with the people.’  A wise, energetic, and enthusiastic quorum presidency may do wonders for their quorum, so experience demonstrates.  No, restrictions on meetings as per the plan, will not handicap quorum meetings and activities.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 45(4):232, Apr., 1942)

4 Apr.:  Increase in Standard Quorum Awards.

“I would like to call your attention to the fact that in 1939 we had two hundred fifty-eight standard quorum awards in the quorums of the Aaronic Priesthood.  In 1940 we had five hundred four, or an increase of ninety-five percent.  In 1941 we had nine hundred twelve, and requests are still coming in, which is an additional increase of eighty-one percent over the ninety-five percent of the year before.  Now for 1942, according to the promises we are receiving as we go about in the stakes of Zion, we ought to have nearly two thousand.”  (LeGrand Richards, General Conference talk, 4 Apr., 1942; IE 45(5):281, May, 1942)

4 Apr.:  The “new priesthood plan.”

“There was announced, in the issued of The Improvement Era four years ago last December, what was, according to the headlines of the article, a new Priesthood plan.  Well, there was nothing new about it; however, its title was intriguing, and I presume that all in the stakes who had any responsibility for the Melchizedek Priesthood read the article.

Now, in response to a petition of the general Sunday school board, and in accordance with what had been the expressed wishes of some members of the Council of the Twelve the Priesthood classes, Melchizedek and Aaronic, were taken out of the Sunday schools.  I think this was a good move.  The Priesthood classes of the Church, particularly the Melchizedek Priesthood classes, had grown to believe that to be active in the Priesthood quorums was to attend the weekly or the monthly meetings of the quorum; and if that was done one was considered to be wholly active.  We seemed to have forgotten the fact that in this Church we get joy through activity.  When we attend our class, sit quietly, and listen to somebody conduct the lesson, then get up and go away, the amount of activity in which we engage is extremely small.

In taking the classes of the Priesthood groups and quorums out of the Sunday school, it was not designed, at all, to say the class work was not important, but it was designed to emphasize another feature that had become more or less quiescent–the feature of activity; and so since that time the Council of Twelve, together with the other general Priesthood authorities of the Church, as they have gone out through the stakes, have been very insistent in urging the presidencies of stakes–because they are the responsible officers in the stakes–to look carefully to the supervision and guidance of the work of the Priesthood.  No more responsible work, no greater obligation exists in the stakes than that of properly supervising the Priesthood quorums.

There has been a great deal of effort spent, in the last four years, in trying to improve the activity of Priesthood quorums, particularly of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, but the progress has been rather slow.  Though I think that if we compare the results today and judge our reports with the reports that were obtainable at that time, we will see that there has been improvement; and yet it is rather disappointing, when we come to realize what the Priesthood means and what it is, that improvement has not been more rapid.

Of course, we realize this fact, that all of this work is wholly voluntary.  There is no such thing as force in the Church.  There is no desire to use force, even if it could be used.  It is love that is the dominating factor in the Church, and it is through love that we have been trying to get our brothers to feel, to a greater degree than they did in the past, their responsibilities as holders of the Priesthood.  To be ordained to the Priesthood, in itself, may bring no blessing: It may bring condemnation.  It gives an opportunity, a wonderful opportunity, in the light of the real truth in the circumstance, for personal growth and development.  So an individual who is privileged to receive the Priesthood has been honored with a very great opportunity.

Now, what we have been trying to do, brethren, as you know, is to emphasize the need of improving that opportunity, in order that we might live more acceptably to our Father in heaven.  As a means of stimulating that activity, a committee was set up in every stake–the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee–and it was advised that a member of the stake presidency should be chairman of that committee, the thought being to emphasize to the stake presidencies that it was their responsibility to supervise the work of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums in their stakes.

The chief duty of that committee is to train the quorum officers in their duties and responsibilities, and so it was advised that a monthly meeting be held with all the Priesthood quorum officers and group leaders.  A program for these meetings was discussed in several subsequent issues of The Improvement Era.

Well, brethren, progress has been made, we think, in an understanding by this stake committee of its responsibilities, and we believe those committees are growing in efficiency in discharging the responsibility of training the officers, but there is still much to be accomplished.

Now, may I say that, among other things, we instituted a quarterly report and asked that every quorum and every quorum group fill out a quarterly report form in triplicate, keep one and send two to the chairman of the stake committee, who keeps one and sends one on to the Melchizedek Priesthood committee of the Council of Twelve.  Those reports have been coming in.  They indicate, as I said a moment ago, some advancement and progress, but not as much as we hoped for.  There are still some things that are lacking.

We know that a number of years ago there was advised to be set up in every quorum four standing committees.  They were named.  Their duties were specified.  Generally the committees were appointed, but even today some of them, according to reports, are not functioning well.  Do we remember two things must be done if a standing committee continues to function well?  Frequent assignments must be made and frequent reports required.  Don’t give a blanket assignment, turn the committee loose, and expect it to operate.  Make those assignments frequently, and then ask for a report on every assignment.  The report, of course, may be oral, it may be written, but a report should be required on every assignment.  When the assignment is made, the assigning authority–of course that is the presidency of the quorum–should keep in touch with those who receive the assignment and see that they are functioning.

In the February number of The Improvement Era an article that was written by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith indicated in very clear terms what the duties of these committees are.  But in order that these committees should function, and in order that the presidency of the quorum should feel it is their responsibility to see that they function, it was advised that the presidency of the quorum divide themselves among these committees, each one of the presidency being chairman of a committee.  Now since there are four standing committees, the chairman of one of them will have to be chosen from the membership.  The particular committees of which the presidents shoulid be the chairmen were indicated in the article.

Well, brethren, I want to repeat that in order to get your committees at work and keep them at work, it is necessary to make frequent, specific assignments, and then to make a demand for reports on those assignments.

Now, there is another thing that we feel ought to be done, in order that the presidencies of quorums may meet their responsibilities to a greater degree than they did in the past.  What do we advise?  We advise that the presidencies of these quorums, who are held responsible for their quorums, should see that the requirements, as indicated by the questions on the report forms, are definitely assigned, and that they are met.  That is going to be some considerable responsibility.  But in order that this may be done, we feel that the presidencies of quorums should meet more frequently than once a month.  No presidency of a stake can function unless they have regular weekly meetings.  As a rule, no bishopric can function unless they have regular weekly meetings.  We feel that presidencies of quorums should meet weekly, wherever it is feasible to do so, and that would be in the great majority of cases.  Meet weekly.  Let them meet with the idea of getting on their knees, brethren, and pray devotedly and wholeheartedly and honestly to the Lord for wisdom and guidance, and then get up and put their wits to work and try to plan how to make their assignments, how to meet their responsibilities, ahow to increase the activities of their committees and of their members.”  (Joseph F. Merrill, 4 Apr., 1942; CR Apr., 1942, pp. 38-40)

4 Apr.:  Monthly quorum meeting in time of war?

“I imagine your high priests will have the same difficulty that the seventies will experience.  In many of the stakes where I have visited I fear that the monthly quorum meeting is going to be next to impossible.  The leadership meeting does not provide the opportunity for more than a quorum council meeting.  I hope that some time, at least, in the quarter, that we can get all of our seventies together, so that they will still remember that they are a quorum, and that they have a responsibility to the stake organization, as well as to the First Council.”  (Antoine R. Ivins, 4 Apr., 1942; CR Apr., 1942, p. 47)

May:  Older men to fill missions while war is in progress.

“Only men who held the office of seventy or high priest in the Melchizedek Priesthood on March 23, 1942 will now be called to full time activity in the missions of the Church, according to an announcement by the First Presidency.”  (“The Church Moves On,” IE 45(5):300, May, 1942)

Jun.:  Excommunications published–INCLUDING CAUSES.

[16 excommunications listed:  13 for apostasy; 1 “at her own request”; 1 for “unchristian-like conduct in Mission Field”; 1 for “advocating plural marriage”]  (IE 45(6):383, Jun., 1942)

Jun.:  Did Nephites hold the Higher Priesthood?


There is no direct answer to this question in the Book of Mormon.  Yet, the events recorded in the Nephite scriptures indicate that the Higher Priesthood was among the Nephites prior to the coming of Christ.

The Nephites were descendants of Manasseh, the son of Joseph of Egypt.  (I Nephi 5:14-16; Alma 10:3)  The Nephite Priesthood therefore differed from the Levitical Priesthood which was assigned to the sons of Levi, the brother of Joseph.  Lehi, father of the Nephites, held the Priesthood, for, while yet in the wilderness, he and his family offered sacrifice and burnt offerings, priestly ordinances of the Church before the coming of Christ.  (I Nephi 5:9)

Nephi, the son of Lehi, also held the Priesthood, probably conferred by his father.  Nephi in turn ordained two of his brothers, Jacob and Joseph, to the Priesthood.  ‘They should be priests and teachers over the land of my people.’  (II Nephi 5:26)  The elder and younger Alma (Alma 5:3), several of the latter’s sons, and Nephi, the son of Helaman, together with many others, some of whom are not mentioned by name, held the Priesthood even to the coming of Christ.  (II Nephi 18:2; 25:4; Alma 30:20, 23; 46:38)  At no time, it would seem, were the Nephites without the Priesthood.

It would appear that not every man held the Priesthood, yet it must have been rather widely distributed.  Mosiah records that there was ‘one priest to every fifty of their number.’  (Mos. 18:18)  Every Church unit was presided over by the Priesthood.  (Mos. 25:21)

The nature of the Nephite Priesthood is gathered from various statements made by Book of Mormon characters.  Jacob, the brother of Nephi, declared that he had been ‘called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order.’  (II Nephi 6:2)  Alma, the younger, says ‘I am called . . . according to the holy order of God, which is in Christ Jesus’ (Alma 5:44), and he later states that he confined himself wholly to the High Priesthood of ‘the holy order of God.’  (Alma 49:30)  This holy order was ‘after the order of his Son.’  (Alma 13:2; Helaman 8:18)  The ‘holy order of God,’ especially when coupled with the order of the Son of God, has always been held to refer to the Melchizedek or High Priesthood.  (Doctrine and Covenants 77:11; 84:19)

Alma was a high priest.  (Alma 8:23)  His sons were ordained high priests, and also many others.  (Alma 46:6; Helaman 3:25)  Since there were many Nephite high priests, this office in the Priesthood could not refer to the one high priest, of the order of Aaron, required to stand at the head of the Lesser Priesthood.  It is clear that Alma cited in his famous sermon (Alma 13) the story of earlier high priests of the Melchizedek order, to explain and to emphasize his own calling.  The existence of numberous high priests is thus another evidence that the Higher Priesthood was among the Nephites.

Under the authority of the Priesthood, the Nephites performed baptisms from the days of the first Nephi.  (MKos. 18:13-16; Alma 5:3; 15:13; 48:19)  Now, baptism is by itself an incomplete ordinance.  Its full value comes when it is followed by the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Numerous references in the Book of Mormon indicate that the Holy Ghost was received by those who had been baptized.  For example: ‘The gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.’  (II Nephi 31:17)  ‘He that is baptized–him will the Father give the Holy Ghost . . . baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.’  (II Nephi 31:12-14)  Alma likewise says that he had labored ‘without ceasing’ to bring souls unto repentance ‘that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.’  (Alma 36:24)

The ordinance of baptism could be administered by holders of the Lesser Priesthood (priests), but the conferring of the Holy Ghost requires the authority of the Higher Priesthood.  Again the conclusion seems warranted that the Nephites had the Higher Priesthood.

President Brigham H. Roberts came to the same conclusion in his comprehensive study of the Book of Mormon.  He says:

Lehi held the Priesthood, . . . the Higher Priesthood, which was after the order of Melchizedek, and was a prophet and minister of righteousness.  This, Lehi conferred upon his son, Nephi; and Nephi, shortly after his separation from his elder brothers on the land of promise, consecrated his two younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, to be priests and teachers unto his people.  (New Witnesses for God, Vol. 2, p. 219)

Undoubtedly, various offices in the Priesthood were recognized by the Nephites.  Teachers, priests, and high priests are specifically mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  The terms teachers and priests probably refer to offices in the Lesser Priesthood; and the term high priest to an office in the Higher Priesthood.  The Priesthood organization of the Nephites was such as to meet the needs of the people of that day.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 45(6):385, Jun., 1942)

Jun.:  Priesthood vs. keys of priesthood.


They who have the right to say when, where, and how the Priesthood shall be used for the Church have keys of authority.  They may give authority or keys to others.

Every priest has the authority to administer the sacrament; every elder has the authority to baptize; but neither can so officiate in the activities of a ward unless called to do so by the bishop who holds the keys of authority for the ward. 

Every high priest has the authority to preside, but cannot preside over any stake organization without being called to do so by the stake president, who holds the keys of authority for the stake.

All members of a Priesthood quorum hold equal Priesthood authority, but in the president of the quorum is vested the authority to used the Priesthood for quorum purposes, for he holds the keys of authority for the quorum.

A seventy by virtue of his Priesthood has authority to preach the gospel, but he cannot fill a mission unless he is called by the proper officers of the Church, and set apart for that purpose–that is, unless the keys of that ministry are conferred upon him, within his specific field, by those who hold the general keys of spreading the gospel abroad, and can confer them on others.

Therefore it is customary and proper in ordaining or setting apart men to presiding offices to confer upon them the associated keys of authority.  If in ordaining a man to the office of elder, seventy, or high priest, the keys of authority are conferred, it means that henceforth he has full right to the use of the power committed to him to meet his own needs, and in guarding and blessing his own family, and all who have need of help.  But, when men are called to specific offices of responsibility, the corresponding keys of authority are conferred, even though the man already holds the Priesthood.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 45(6):413, 415, Jun., 1942)

Jun.:  Quorum meetings during time of war.


There seems to be an urgent need for stake Priesthood committees and quorum officers to make a careful study of the letter of the First Presidency written under date of January 29, 1942.

This was a letter addressed to presidents of stakes and bishops of wards, dealing with Priesthood meetings.  We quote:


These should continue to be held as now arranged.

Will all concerned please take note: In this column under the heading of Restricted Meetings we said in the April number of the Era that the restrictions placed by the First Presidency on the holding of certain meetings ‘do not affect regular ward meetings and activities, nor Priesthood quorum or group meetings.  These may go on as heretofore.  It is hoped that they may be made more effective than previously.’  And the point we wish to stress here is that no restrictions were placed on the holding of monthly quorum meetings.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 45(6):395, Jun., 1942)

15 Jul.:  Should RLDS ordain deacons at an early age?

“To:  Elder S. A. Burgess

From:  The First Presidency

Date:  July 15, 1942.

Dear Brother:

I am wondering if it would be a difficult task to ascertain what were the ages of men called and ordained to the offices of the Aaronic priesthood as well as the Melchisedec priesthood in the early days of the church.

What I am getting at is that I think we are too slow about ordaining the younger men and some seem to have gotten into the habit of thinking we should not ordain men until they have reached the age of twenty years or more.  I am favorable to ordaining to the deaconate even at quite an early age in the teens, and I would like to know if there is a precedent for it in the past.

Fraternally yours,

The First Presidency

By [Signed] F. M. Smith.”

(P22 f83, RLDS Archives)

“To:  President F. M. Smith

From:  S. A. Burgess

Date:  July 23, 1942.

Re:  Ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood.

Dear Brother:

It is with regret that we have to advise that we can find nothing in the law designating age for ordination.  Giving consideration to first church history.  There are isolated instances of early ordinations, some listed below.  I have searched a number of biographies and find only a few instances of ordination to the Aaronic priesthood.  There is nothing that we recall or have been able to find indicating any idea of age.

We do note that in the early church emphasis was strongly on missionary work, hence young men were ordained Elders, High priests, Seventies, and Apostles.  Curiously the Seven Presidents of Seventy were considerably older in age, then [sic] its members of twelve.

A. In the early reorganization there was also a very strong tendency to ordain men to the eldership.  We recall instances of nine elders in one branch with only one member of the Aaronic priesthood.

B. We recall though I have not relocated, the late Joseph Smith admonished with regard to this, that for local work more men of the Aaronic priesthood were needed.  Also in one of the early writings on the work of the deacon Saint’s Herald 18 page 368 in June 1871, on page 373 he remarks that many elders think so lightly of priests, teachers and deacons that they are quite disdainful of these offices and think that an elder is the least of these it is honorable to aspire to, or even to offer.  Two or three times this article was reprinted, even as late as 1896 as well as 1878 and 1888.

We also recall, though I have not varified [sic] for this writing, his making the statement that a man who did the work of a deacon well was as deserving of honor as a man acting in the highest offices of the Melchisedeck priesthood.  Men should be called according to their talents and capabilities.  That would seem really fundamental that the officers of the Aaronic priesthood should be made honorable.  To be a door keeper in the house of the Lord and do it worthily is a great honor.  It is much better to do the work of a deacon, teacher, or priest well than to be a mediocre elder.  Men ought not to feel that of necessity they should be ‘promoted’ to the eldership.  The success of a meeting and of the church depends as much on this work of the Aaronic priesthood being done well, as it does on the missionary or evangelic work, as it is now called, being well done.

C. Of course you are well aware of the present practice of the Utah church.  Deacon at 12, teacher at 15, priest at 18, and elder at 20.  If not an elder at that time it needs investigation.  Then to complete the picture a Seventy returning from a mission abroad nasked to do some of the serious work of a teacher, that which could not well be done by a boy.  The work was done succesfully, so the apostolic authority ordered that he be ordained a teacher, and it was done.

D. We mention this because there is so much of the work that could not be done well by a young boy.  Part of the work may be done by boys, such as usher, possibly taking up the collection (though there is some reasons why those handling the money should be of a mature age, and responsibility.)  The care of the church; ventilation, lighting, heating, the handling of financial matters and looking after the poor is the distinct work of a deacon.  The visiting of the family seeing there is no iniquity in the church and other work in which a deacon may assist a teacher.  Visiting the family to see that they attend to all family duties etc.  These duties hardly belong to adolescence.  There are aspects of the work that need the best mature judgment, in deacon, teacher, or priest.

E. Of course, there may be exceptionally cases.  One to occupy high offices in the church might well serve at apprenticeship in each office of the Aaronic and Melchisedeck priesthood encluding a few years on the firing line as a missionary, becoming personally acquainted with all departments of the work.  That of course has not been done.  We are not urging it; merely remarking on such a contingency.

F. Now in the matter of age.  Lucy Smith says that Don Carlos was ordained when 14 years of age it appears to have been as an elder; at 19 he was President of the High Priesthood, or the High Priest Quorum.  George Albert Smith was baptised when 15 years of age, and was 17 years 8 months when ordained a Seventy.  The early twelve of course, were too old in years when they joined the church to come within the limit, that is to be ordained to any office before being 21.  H. H. Deam was ordained an elder before he was 20 years old (19 years plus).  Jason Briggs ordained elder when he was 21.  John Shippy was baptised at 17, priest at 20 years.  David Smith baptised at 17, a priest at 18 and a half, and elder at 19.  Alexander Smith baptised and ordained a teacher at 24 but a elder within one half a year later.  Joseph R. Lambert baptised at 18, a teacher at 21 and a priest at 25.  Heman C. Smith baptised at 12, an elder at 24.  In a number of these cases, except as indicated, there was only ordination to the higher priesthood.  We try to take the probable cases.  E. L. Kelley was baptised when 20 offered his services to the church and was ordained a priest and sent out when 27.  Some of these are not very promiseing.  I have looked up a few from church records and find an occasion a case of early ordination but not frequent.  One boy I remember preaching when he stood on a chair was ordained priest when 18 years old, Elder past 30 then he was silenced at 46 years old and is still silenced.  A few years ago at the Conference of 1930 a boy preacher was introduced.  I looked him up and find he was ordained deacon when 13 years 6 months 19 days, Priest 15 years 9 months 3 days now eleven years have passed since that.  It may be he is a good priest, but since hardly has been heard of.  Our boy preachers in many cases have not proven to have had stability, but have gone up and come down again.  There are a few cases of early ordination in the Herald this year.

Going back to Bible times we note that Mahalaloel was ordained when 496 years old while Noa was ordained when 10 years of age.  Doctrine and Covenants 104 22-27.  Isaiah 49:1 and 5 says the Lord called him from his mother’s womb.  Samual was also set apart from his infancy.  Jeremiah 1-5 says ‘Before thou camest forth out of the womb I ordained thee a prophet.’  John was filled with the Holy Ghost even from birth.  Luke 1:15 of course Jesus was called before he was born.  Enoch was a ‘lad of 65’ Genesis 6-32 inspired version; though he represents he was ordained at 25, Doctrine and Covenants 104;24.  Doctrine and Covenants 83-4 says that John was ordained when he was eight days old.

Reference is sometime made to 1. Timothy 3, 8-13 especially 11-12 on the deacon.  It is worthy of consideration as to the importance of the work, and on the results of good work.  Of course our late President Joseph Smith answered correctly the question, whether a deacon must be married, that it was not essential, but that if married he should have only one wife.  (There may be a little humor here in the Utah interpretation that he must be the husband of at least one wife where their deacon is between 12 and 15 years of age and a teacer at 15.)  The late Joseph Smith adds that they are better prepared and fitted to do the duty if they are married men.

I am sorry, but I have searched far and wide and that is what makes this a bit long.  I fail to find any rule as to age.  We do find that there is work of every rank of the priesthood that requires maturity and ability.  We also note that there is some work that might be done by an adolescent, that is true also of the work of an elder.

We note the emphasis by the late Joseph Smith on the honorableness of each and every office of the priesthood and against the idea that good men should be regularly ‘promoted’ or that a good deacon or teacher should be held in disesteem.

Respectfully submitted,

S. A. Burgess.”

(P22 f83, RLDS Archives)

“August 8, 1942

S. A. Burgess,


Dear Brother:

Thanks for your letter of July 23 concerning the ages of ordained men in the early history of the church.  I appreciate your efforts in this direction and while I am a bit disappointed that we did not have more, I think the information you have furnished is going to be helpful.

I might say that I am disposed to urge our local pastors to make prayerful and diligent search and investigation having in mind the ordination of younger men to the Aaronic priesthood, particularly.  I feel sure that in such a move I would have your hearty support.

If you have further suggestions, feel free to make them.

Fraternally yours,

Fred M.”

(P22 f83, RLDS Archives)

Jul.:  Excommunications published–CAUSES GIVEN.

[6 excommunications announced:  4 for apostasy; 1 for “advocating plural marriage”; 1 for “immorality”.]  (IE 45(7):447, 456, Jul., 1942)

Aug.:  Concerning the Sons of Levi.


The sons of Levi are the male members of the tribe of Levi, descendants of Levi, the third son of the patriarch Jacob.

While ancient Israel journeyed in the Sinaitic wilderness, they showed themselves unworthy to hold the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood.  Consequently the Lord took this Priesthood from them, but allowed the lesser Priesthood to remain.  (D&C 84:23-27)

This lesser Priesthood that remained was confined to the male members of the tribe of Levi; therefore, it is often spoken of as the Levitical Priesthood.  Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, and his sons, were called to the office of priest, that is to the presidency of this Priesthood; therefore, it is also called the Aaronic Priesthood.  The organization of the lesser Priesthood under the Mosaic dispensation must have been much like that of this day.  Aaron and his sons served in offices similar to the priests, the other male member of the tribe of Levi in offices similar to the teachers and deacons of this dispensation of the gospel.  The presiding priest, called the high priest, probably served as does the presiding bishop of our times.

The activities of the lesser Priesthood among ancient Israel were designed to meet the needs and conditions then existing.  The law of bloody sacrifice or burnt offerings, in witness of the coming Savior, was in operation from this time until the coming of Jesus, the Christ.  The Levites performed the labors and ordinances pertaining to this law.  Explicit directions for the duties of the Levites are found in the Books of Moses.  In course of time, the ordinances under the Levitical law became largely corrupted and unacceptable to the Lord.  Only a few of the Levites held the true authority of the Priesthood.  At the coming of the Savior, John the Baptist held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, that is, he was the presiding officer of that Priesthood.

On May 15, 1829, this John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and conferred upon them the ‘Priesthood of Aaron,’ that is, the keys of the lesser Priesthood.  In so doing he declared that this Priesthood ‘shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.’  (D&C 13)

It does not seem probable that this offering will be a burnt offering.  The coming of Christ ended the Mosaic law.  The earlier sacrifices were in similitude of the coming sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ.  After his crucifixion, death and resurrection, the sacrament was instituted to keep his sacrifice in constant living memory.

It seems more probable that the ‘offering in righteousness,’ which will terminate the functions of the Sons of Levi under the Levitical Priesthood, will be the full acceptance of the gospel, when their Priesthood will come under the direction of the higher or Melchizedek Preisthood.

This view seems borne out by Latter-day revelation.  In Section 84:27 it is stated that this Priesthood the Lord caused ‘to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John.’  This suggests a termination with the coming of Christ.  In Section 124:39, where the work of the modern temples is summarized, ‘memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi’ are mentioned as part of the temple service.  No provision has been made in the temples for the ancient type of burnt offerings, and the word memorials would seem to exclude such an interpretation.  A more explicit suggestion is found in Section 128:24:  ‘For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.  Let us, therefore as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.’  The ‘offering in righteousness’ is here identified with temple work for the salvation of the dead, which encompasses all the principles of the plan of salvation.

When, therefore, the sons of Levi accept Christ and His gospel, subject themselves to the ordinances of the Church, and become active in gospel requirements, they will offer the offering in righteousness of which has been spoken.

Though the type of sacrifice connected with the Levitical Priesthood is no more, yet the law of sacrifice remains.  The Prophet Joseph Smith made it clear that sacrifice is ever a part of the gospel.  In the restored Church, this law is in full operation.  None can retain the spirit of the gospel unless he gives to the Cause of the Lord of himself, of his substance, time and strength.  (HC 4:207-212)”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations,” IE 45(8):513, 543, Aug., 1942)

Aug.:  Changes in Aaronic Priesthood program.

“Looking to the elimination of unnecessary meetings and detail in the carrying forward of the Aaronic Priesthood program of the Church, the Presiding Bishopric suggest the following changes with appropriate recommendations for the conduct of this work.

During the past, it has been suggested that the monthly ward Aaronic Priesthood committee meeting and extension plan meeting be held during the second and fourth weeks of the month respectively.

The program now calls for these two meetings to be held together before the fifth of each month.  When this meeting is held, the ward is entitled to take credit on the monthly Aaronic Priesthood report for the meetings specified as ward Aaronic Priesthood committee meeting and ward Aaronic Priesthood extension plan meeting.

In addition to the ward bishopric, those expected to attend this meeting are the chairman and secretary of Aaronic Priesthood and Quorum advisers to deacons, teachers, and priests; the teachers of the Junior, Advanced Junior, Senior, and Advanced Senior Departments of the Sunday School; and the Y.M.M.I.A. class leaders of the M Men, Explorers, and Boy Scouts.

During the opening exercises of this combined meeting, there is to be a period of fifteen minutes each month devoted to teacher training activities.  Outlines for this activity will be published two months in advance of each meeting in the Aaronic Priesthood pages of The Improvement Era and in the Progress of the Church beginning next month.

As in the past, the three members of the bishopric will meet the leaders of the three respective age groups in separate departments, the bishop meeting with leaders of the priests’ age group, the first counselor, preferably, with the leaders of the teachers’ age group, and the second counselor, with the leaders of the deacons’ age group.

In each of these departments, the member of the bishopric in charge will call an audible roll from the Aaronic Priesthood individual record cards.  As he calls the roll, the respective leaders of the Priesthood, Sunday School, and Y.M.M.I.A. report to him the number of times each boy has attended their respective organizations during the month.  This information they report from their own class roll books, supposed to be in their possession during the meeting.

As this report is made, the member of the bishopric calling the roll records this information on the individual record card in the space provided for each organization.

Assignments should be made to the respective leaders to visit each boy absent four weeks or more in any one of the organizations.

When the business of this group is finished, the Sunday School and Y.M.M.I.A. leaders may be dismissed.

The ward bishopric then, without a break, meets the chairman, secretary, and quorum advisers for a discussion of strictly Priesthood problems.

The boys to be visited by this group are those currently absent one to four weeks from Priesthood quorum meeting only.

Other matters which should properly come before this group should include the progress being made toward the Standard Quorum Award, promptness in making full and adequate reports on Aaronic Priesthood activities each month, the individual welfare of each quorum member, proper training and education of quorum presidencies and secretaries and their responsibilities, social and farternal programs, quorum service and welfare projects, and many others.

A more complete and detailed account of these changes may be found in the Progress of the Church for July, 1942.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 45(8):527, Aug., 1942)

Sep.:  Excommunications published, no causes given.

[55 excommunications listed, no causes given.]  (“The Church Moves On,” IE 45(9):586, Sep., 1942)

Sep.:  The Calling of the Seventy.

“Never before has the calling of the seventies been so deeply and comprehensively felt as it is today.  Since the organization of the ‘grand evangelical army of the Church,’ as one writer expresses it, to the present day, hundreds, yea, thousands, of seventies have gone into every part of the world to carry the restored gospel.  The record of the devotion, heroism, sacrifice, of these missionaries of Israel who have gone into the wilderness that they might save the souls of men, is unsurpassed.  The dignity of the work has been in keeping with its importance.  Brethren holding office in all the Melchizedek Priesthood organizations have shared in this call of missionary endeavor.  They, with the seventies, have been chosen to go ‘into all the earth’ to preach the ‘fulness of the gospel,’ and gather Latter-day Israel from among the nations.

. . . .

The Seventies constitute a ‘Church organization,’ in the sense that they are directly under the supervision of the First Council of the Seventy who work under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve.  In the supervision of the quorums in local affairs, however, stake presidents have been given the responsibility of collaborating with the First Council in helping the seventies quorums to keep organized and active.”  (Levi Edgar Young, “The Calling of The Seventy,” IE 45(9):590, Sep., 1942)

Oct.:  Excommunications announced–no causes given.

[8 excommunications announced; no causes given.]  (IE 45(10):637, Oct., 1942)

3 Oct.:  Plea for reactivation.

“In nearly every Priesthood quorum in the Church there is a large percentage of our brethren who count the high honor of being ordained to the Priesthood as a thing of naught; who enjoy not its blessings because they magnify not their callings.  If they continue in their course, they stand in jeopardy of losing their right to the Priesthood.

I call these well-known facts to your attention, because I am persuaded that if this great host of inactive brethren are ever to be awakened, if they are ever to be called again ‘out of darkness unto His marvelous light,’ it must be done by more effective action on the part of Priesthood quorum presidencies and their committees.

The Priesthood quorum is an indispensable unit of the Church.  The presidencies of Priesthood quorums have the responsibility to see that every member of their quorums honors his calling in the Priesthood, and they, with their quorum committees, can labor with every member if they but have ‘the will so to do.’  Instructions as to how to proceed have been and will be given.  They should be studied and followed, in order that our activities may be purposeful; but no instructions, and no program, can take the place of ‘A Will To Do.’

We Priesthood officers must shake off our apathy.  With the prize of eternal life for our brethren and ourselves at stake, we must not falter.  The Priesthood we bear is not of men.  Joseph Smith the Prophet received it direct from heavenly messengers.  He was instructed by them, and he labored with all the energy of his soul to carry out those instructions.”  (Marion G. Romney, 3 Oct., 1942; CR Oct., 1942, pp. 42-43)

3 Oct.:  Missionary work and the Seventy.

“Tonight we have a large representation of that group [Seventies] of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Unless it might be the high councilmen of the stakes who are present, perhaps the presidents of seventies quorums form the largest gropu here, and we who stand at their head pledge to the President of this Church the loyal support of that group of men.

If you will read the 107th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants you will learn that they have a very special calling.  Their calling is to walk behind the Council of the Twelve in carrying the message of redemption to the people of the world; and if the Church didn’t have that charge and that calling I think this group never would have been organized in the Church at all.

We try to impress upon every man who is ordained into the seventies quorums that that is his calling and that if he will not exercise that function he has no right to come into this group of men.  They should be the missionaries of the Church.  They should be the predominating element in any missionary group in the Church.  Now we have two ministries of that type, the foreign mission ministry and a stake mission ministry, all of the same type and class except in some minor details, and we now are interested very much in that stake mission work of this Church.  It is proving to be such a womderful and magnificent work that we are overjoyed with the success that we have realied in the past.  But we are worried now, brethren, because we note a falling off in that effort.  We are short this year about six hundred missionaries as compared with last year.  We are short from the seventies six or seven percent of that missionary group.  We would like to ask you presidents who are here when you return to use your influence in recruiting from your ranks other seventies who can go into that work.”  (Antoine R. Ivins, 3 Oct., 1942; CR Oct., 1942, p. 45)

3 Oct.:  Church-wide quorum activity in MP.

“It has been an interesting thing to me to note that for the month of August just past, in activity, the high priests quorum of the San Diego Stake leads with eighty-two percent of its members active.  The lowest stake in the high priests quorums runs only twelve percent.  All along between that point of twelve percent and eighty-two percent, the different quorums function.  Eighty-two percent would be a low percentage if the Priesthood really realized the importance of their calling as God’s representatives in their respective places, I am sure.

In the seventies for August, Long Beach Stake led with seventy-four percent of the seventies active; in the lowest stake only eight percent of the seventies were active.

Of the elders in Juarez Stake fifty-nine percent were active, and there were two stakes that only had four percent of their elders active.”  (Nicholas G. Smith, Ass’t. to the 12, 3 Oct., 1942; CR Oct., 1942, p. 53)

Nov.:  Excommunications announced–no causes given.

[11 announced; no causes given.]  (IE 45(11):719, Nov., 1942)

Dec.:  Committees for Adult AP.

“Any reference to the adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood should be made hereafter not as ‘Adult Aaronics’ or ‘Adult Aaronic Priesthood Members,’ but as adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood.  Stake and ward adult Aaronic Priesthood committees are to be designated in the future as stake and ward committees for the adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood.

The reason for this change is that the use of the term adult Aaronic Priesthood implies that there are two Aaronic Priesthoods, one for young men under twenty-one and another for men over twenty-one who are not yet ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood.  This, of course, is in error, making this change advisable and most appropriate.

There is to be no change in the personnel of the stake and ward committees for adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood.  The stake committee will be headed by a chairman chosen from the high council, with two associates and a secretary chosen at large.  The ward committee will have a chairman, a secretary, and as many members as may be necessary in the judgment of the ward bishopric for the promotion of the work among the adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 45(12):813, Dec., 1942)