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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1945

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1945:  Jan.:  Excommunications.

[4 listed, no causes.]  (IE 48(1):43, Jan., 1945)

29 Jan.:  Ordinations to the priesthood.

“January 29, 1945

To Presidents of Stakes

Re: Ordinations to Priesthood

Dear Brethren:  

In 1941 a new form of recommendation for ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood was issued with the approval and at the suggestion of the First Presidency.  This form was to supersede all other forms for this purpose.  The form, ‘Recommendations for Ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood,’ is printed in pad form and a supply was mailed to each stake to be kept by the stake clerk.

Under this plan the stake president, or a counselor in the stake presidency, is to interview each candidate.  The form also provides for the following: Date of approval by the high council, the signature of the bishop and the president of the quorum, date of approval by stake priesthood meeting, and the record of the ordination.  On the reverse side of the recommendation form are nine statements which are to be filled out by the person to be ordained.

It has come to our attention that in some of the stakes these forms are not being used, with the result that not enought care is being taken in advancing and ordaining men to offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood.  We urge, therefore, that in the future this form be used in connection with each recommendation of men to be ordained elders, seventies, or high priests.

If you are unable to locate supplies or have exhausted the pad of forms previously sent to you, please write this office promptly for additional supplies.

All of the bishops of your stake should have in their hands single forms entitled, ‘Recommendation for Advancement from Aaronic Priesthood to the Melchizedek Priesthood.’  These are for the use of the bishops in making recommendations to the stake presidency in the case of Aaronic Priesthood members to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood.

May we urge, brethren, that if these two forms are not now in general use in your stake, that you see to it that their use is begun immediately in order that the proper precautions may be taken in advancing and ordaining men to the priesthood, and that proper record thereof may be made.

Faithfully your brethren,

Council of the Twelve,

George Albert Smith, President.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(3):142, Mar., 1945)

Feb.:  Excommunications.

[5 listed, no causes.]  (IE 48(2):107, Feb., 1945)

Mar.:  Reprint of 1st Pres. letter on ordinations.

[Letter of 21 Aug., 1941 reprinted in its entirety.]  (IE 48(3):142, Mar., 1945)

Mar.:  Personal statement on ordination recommend.


. . . .

On the back of the above form these nine questions appear:


1. Are you morally clean and fit to be ordained a ____ [priesthood office] in the Church?

Answer Yes or No.  (If this question is answered in the negative, the form should go no further than the president of the stake.)

2. Will and do you sustain the General Authorities of the Church, and will you strive to live in accordance with the accepted rules and doctrines of the Church?  

Answer Yes or No.

3. Do you have any affiliation, in sympathy or otherwise, with any of the apostate groups or individuals who are running counter to the accepted rules and doctrines of the Church?  

Answer Yes or No.

4. Are you a full tithepayer? 

Answer Yes or No.

5. Are you a part tithepayer?

Answer Yes or No.

6. Are you exempt from paying tithes?

Answer Yes or No.

7. Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?

Answer Yes or No.

8. Will you earnestly strive to do your duty in the Church, to pay a full tithing, observe the Word of Wisdom, attend our sacrament, priesthood and other meetings, and to be active in priesthood affairs?

Answer Yes or No.

9. If you are to be ordained a seventy please indicate your willingness to serve, if called, as a missionary either abroad or in the stake mission at home.

Answer Yes or No.


Signed (By the candidate for ordination.)”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(3):143, Mar., 1945)

Mar.:  Excommunications.

[11 listed, no causes.]  (IE 48(3):146, Mar., 1945)

Apr.:  Excommunications.

[5 listed, no causes.]  (IE 48(4):212, Apr., 1945)

6 Apr.:  S. D. Young’s calling to 70.

“In the last few minutes President Seymour Dilworth Young has come into the building.  As Brother McKay told you, we have been trying to reach him since this morning very early.  Brother Young, while you were on the road coming here, we have sustained you as one of the members of the First Council of Seventy.  This calling without notice or previous consultation, is the way the call of the Lord frequently comes.”  (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., 6 Apr., 1945; CR Apr., 1945, p. 34)

7 Apr.:  The three great missions of the Church.


“I have often felt that there are three great and important obligations, possibly over-shadowing all others, which rest upon this people and upon this great Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The first of these, at least in the order of emphasis in this dispensation, is that of missionary work–the responsibility which rests upon this people to carry the message of the restored gospel to the people of the world.  We have been engaged in that work every since the Church was organized, yea, even before.  Secondly, we have the responsibility of building up the stakes and wards and branches of Zion.  This entails the building of a material kingdom, as well as a spiritual kingdom.  It entails the providing of facilities–houses of worship, temples, seminary buildings–that are so necessary for us to carry on the spiritual part of the program.  It entails taking care of our people, temporally, physically, culturally, and socially, as well as spiritually.  And in the third place, we have the great responsibility of performing certain sacred ordinances in the temples of the Lord,–a responsibility which rests upon every holder of the priesthood as well as upon the sisters of the Church.”  (Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, Priesthood Session, 7 Apr., 1945; IE 48(5):254, May, 1945)

May:  Excommunications.

[7 listed, no causes.]  (IE 48(5):271, May, 1945)

May:  When shall men be ordained 70s and HPs?

“The question is often asked: ‘What is the policy of the Church with reference to the age at which men shall be ordained to the office of high priest?’

There is no set age at which a man is to be ordained a seventy or a high priest.  The whole matter revolves about the questions of worthiness, qualifications, and need.

The use of the word ‘advancement’ or ‘promotion’ is not recommended in connection with ordination in the priesthood.  The various offices are but different callings in the same priesthood.

To be ordained a seventy and not do missionary work is no promotion.  To be ordained a high priest and not accept more responsibility is no promotion.

When a man has ability to serve as a missionary, it is generally well to leave him a seventy, regardless of age.

It is our observation that in the best organized stakes men are ordained to be high priests when they can best function as high priests.  The calling of a high priest is an administrative calling, and it has nothing to do with age.

From the body of high priests are chosen those who are to fill presiding positions of the Church.  High priests are, as a rule, men of varied experience, who have filled missions abroad, who have preached the gospel to the nations of the earth, and who have had experience fitting them to fill positions of presidency.  (Priesthood and Church Government, p. 121.)

Don Carlos Smith was called at the age of nineteen to be president over the quorum of high priests, the only existing quorum of high priests at that time, and the responsibility given to him and to his two counselors to train and to teach is expressed in the following language:

And again, I give unto you Don C. Smith to be a president over a quorum of high priests; Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad; And they may travel also if they choose, but rather be ordained for standing presidents; this is the office of their calling, saith the Lord your God.

I give unto him Amasa Lyman and Noah Packard for counselors, that they may preside over the quorum of high priests of my church, saith the Lord.  (D&C 124:133-136.)

The duty of the high priests’ presidency is to teach the members of the quorum and prepare them for the responsibility of presiding.

Men are not ordained high priests just because they are sixty years of age or any other age, unless there is a responsibility for them to carry.  In our opinion brethren should not be ordained high priests until it is ascertained that they can function better than in the quorum where they now are, and then worthiness, not age, should be the important factor.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(5):281-282, May, 1945)

Jun.:  Excommunications.

[6 listed, no causes.]  (IE 48(6):345, Jun., 1945)

Jun.:  Recommendation for ordination.

“To Stake Presidencies:

Sometime ago it was requested that the new form of ‘Recommendation for Ordination in the Melchizedek Priesthood’ be used–the form having nine questions on the reverse side to be filled in by the person to be ordained.

We find that there is a considerable supply of the former books on hand, and because of paper shortages, it is deemed wise and patriotic to ask the Presiding Bishop’s Office to insert the additional question No. 9 by rubber stamp and continue the use of these books.

We ask you to kindly discontinue the use of any of these forms you may have with but the eight questions, and to return such books to the Presiding Bishop’s Office with a request for the corrected form.

. . . .

Council of the Twelve,

George Albert Smith, President.”  

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(6):350, Jun., 1945)

Jun.:  3-month average of Priesthood activity.

“Melchizedek Priesthood Church Leaders, April-May-June, 1945.

. . . .

Church Average:

% Average Attendance Weekly Meetings:

High Priests:  42

Seventies: 32

Elders: 12

% Active and Accounted for:

High Priests: 63

Seventies: 56

Elders: 50″

(IE 48(11):667, Nov., 1945)

Jul.:  Will method for choosing President ever change?

“The revelations do not say directly who shall be chosen President of the Church.  When the First Presidency was reorganized three years after the death of the Prophet, on December 27, 1847, the senior apostle and president of the Council of the Twelve, Brigham Young, was appointed.  Since his day, whenever the First Presidency has been disorganized by death, the president of the Twelve has succeeded to the presidency.

This is a wise procedure.  It places at the head of the Church the apostle who has been longest in service.  He is known well to the people and trusted by them.  He himself knows the procedure of Church affairs.  He is no novice to be trained for the position.  He can call to his assistance, in addition to his counselors, any helpers from among the priesthood of the Church.  It eliminates the shadow of politics from the operations of the Council.

Should there be any deviation from the practices of the past, it would come by revelation to the president of the Twelve, who by virtue of his presidency, holds the keys of authority committed to this quorum of the priesthood.  However, President Woodruff declared that in his opinion, the president of the council would never be set aside for someone else in appointing a president of the Church.”  (John A. Widtsoe, “Evidences and Reconciliations:  How is a President of the Church Chosen?” IE 48(7):405, Jul., 1945)

Jul.:  Personal interviews by quorum leaders.

“We are delighted with the reports we are receiving that officers of several of the larger high priests’ quorums are already beginning to hold personal interviews with their members, looking forward to the 1945 annual report.

These interviews are most important.  There is no satisfactory substitute for personal contact.  It is not intended that the full presidency call on each individual, but that one member of the presidency (not a group leader, nor a committee member) seek opportunity for a personal interview.  This should be in private, and a man-to-man, heart-to-heart visit, made in love and kindness. in the discharge of responsibility the Lord has placed upon those who preside over their brethren.  (D&C 121:34-46.)

Our responsibility cannot be satisfied by guesswork, by estimates, nor by merely mailing a questionnaire.

Let your visits be made in the spirit of the gospel with a humble desire to take a blessing to your brother, to build up his faith and strengthen his testimony of the truth.  If you so do, the Lord will take the direction of the interview and much good will result.

The real value of these interviews is not in the accumulation of figures, but in getting near to our brethren, strengthening them wherein they are weak, and lending them encouragement to ‘cease to do evil and learn to do well.'”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(7):406, Jul., 1945)

Aug.:  Change in Standard Quorum Award.

“The requirements for the standard quorum award and for the individual certificate of award for 1945 remain the same as for 1944.  Our handbooks state that the quorum must establish a minimum record of thirty-five percent attendance at sacrament meeting, but this requirement was reduced to twenty-five percent for 1944 and remains so for the current year.”  (“Aaronic Priesthood,” IE 48(8):465, Aug., 1945)

Aug.:  Excommunications–CAUSES GIVEN.

[11 listed:  5 for “violating the law of chastity;” 3 for “apostasy;” 2 for “being out of harmony with the doctrines and teachings of the Church and the law of the land;” 1 for “joining the so-called Order of Aaron.”]  (IE 48(8):476, Aug., 1945)

Sep.:  Excommunications:  CAUSES LISTED.

[9 listed:  5 for “apostasy;” 3 for “violating the law of chastity;” 1 for “teaching and advocating doctrines contrary to the teachings of the Church, particularly with reference to the trinity of the Godhead.”]  (IE 48(9):539-540, Sep., 1945)

Oct.:  Excommunications:  CAUSES LISTED.

[10 listed:  6 for “joining the so-called Order of Aaron;” 3 for “apostasy;” 1 for “apostasy and joining the so-called Order of Aaron.”]  (IE 48(10):606, Oct., 1945)

6 Oct.:  Responsibility of quorums.

“The quorums of the priesthood are organized for a definite purpose.  I’ve jotted down several of these: first, to keep the members holding the priesthood active and alert in the performance of every duty which the priesthood requires at their hands; second, to teach the members how to assume responsibility and magnify their callings; third, to train them in methods by which they may effectually teach others and officiate in their behalf; fourth, to encourage them in their responsibilities pertaining to the salvation of the dead as well as for the living.

A quorum, properly appointed, must seek out the needs of every individual member and attempt to supply these 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 temporal need.  Each member should dedicate himself and use his talent to advance the cause of Zion.  He must be loyal and faithful to the Church, to the quorum, to the priesthood in general, to his family and to every divine principle of eternal truth.

The responsibility of the quorum president is, as stated in this revelation, to sit in counsel, to advise and instruct and teach those who are under his direction.  The Lord has placed the responsibility for the training and the conduct of the members of the quorum upon the shoulders of the president of the quorum.  He has given him two counselors to assist him in that work.  This direction and care of the quorum may not be transferred to the shoulders of some other.  Men who are the most capable for these positions of presidency should be sought.  Too frequently it is thought that the supervision of a quorum, especially of elders, is not of great importance, but the Lord thinks otherwise.  There should be, however, a division of responsibility among the presidency.  The presidency shouild see that the quorum is fully organized, and that every man is performing his duty.  If there are delinquent or wayward members, these should be labored with until brought to repentance and full fellowship.

The stake presidency and the high council have supervision over the quorums of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It is their duty to see that the quorums are fully organized and properly functioning.  The stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee is to act as an aid to the stake presidency.  It is recommended that such a committee be maintained.  It must be understood, however, that the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee does not preside, but is to supervise and counsel quorum members, under the direction of the stake presidency.  It is proposed that a member of the stake presidency be the chairman of this committee.  He may have as many members of the high council on that committee as it is deemed wise, but not less than three.  It is further understood that this committee has authority in the supervision of the elders, seventies and high priests within the stake, under the direction of the stake president.

The presidency of a quorum of priesthood should hold weekly council meetings.  They must not wait for something to arise which they deem important to be considered.  If they will meet, many things will arise for their consideration which were previously not thought of.

There are three great needs of a quorum.  We believe that the work falls naturally into three divisions: first, the need to help every bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood to attain to the degree of economic independence and material well-being that will assure adequate food, clothing, fuel, housing, and other needs, physical and educational, for himself and family as well as spiritual; second, the need to establish a feeling of true brotherhood should should characterize the work of priesthood quorums.  There should be the endeavor to provide through the quorum activities, including socials and outings, the feeling of fellowship, faith, and love that shall meet all the needs of the membership; third, a need to search out the facts and make available all the information and statistics concerning the quorum and its members.

We suggest that the responsibility having to do with personal welfare be assigned to the quorum president.  It would naturally follow that the other divisions would be assumed by the counselors, one taking the quorum activity and Church service, the other fact-finding and statistical responsibility.  These responsibilities must not be shifted to the shoulders of others, but it is very proper that help be obtained from standing committees as the presidency of the quorum may determine.  It is suggested that these responsibilities may be designated as follows: one, personal welfare; two, quorum activity and Church service; three, fact finding and statistics.

In the past we have had four standing committees but our observation and the information coming from stake priesthood committees lead us to conclude that these three committees may be all that are required.  However, the presidency, if they desire, may call task committees whenever the occasion seems to warrant it.

There should be in each stake a monthly Melchizedek leadership meeting at which the stake presidency and the stake Melchizedek priesthood committee shall meet with the officers and leaders of quorums and groups, including quorum presidencies, quorum secretaries, group leaders, committee members, and class instructors.  It is suggested that the secretaries meet with the fact finding and statistical group of counselors.  It is also recommended that a special department to take care of instructors be conducted under the leadership, or at least the direction of a member of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee.  In this department teacher-training helps and assistance should be given, lesson material enlarged and developed.  It should be borne in mind that class instruction and related problems are the responsibility of the member of the quorum presidency assigned.

On the day of the monthly priesthood leadership meeting, the stake committee should hold a preliminary meeting with the presidencies of the Melchizedek quorums.  We recommend that separation be had on a department, not quorum, basis.  At the time of separation, brief opening exercises should be held.  In the matter of reports, it is to be hoped that attention will be given to the instructions which are sent to the quorums.  More detailed information and an outline of procedure and instruction will, within a short time, be furnished each stake president and quorum president.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, General Conference, Priesthood Session, 6 Oct., 1945; IE 48(11):643, Nov., 1945; CR Oct., 1945, pp. 95-97)

6 Oct.:  Regular Ward Teaching Nights.

“Teaching the people requires regularity.  In other words, we should establish in the Church the practice of teaching the people on the first and second Thursday of each month.  Thereby it would be only a short time until the people would become accustomed to having the teachers visit on a definite night, that over the Church generally, these two nights will be known as ward teaching nights, and most people will set them aside in anticipation of the teachers’ visit.”  (Joseph L. Wirthlin, 6 Oct., 1945; CR Oct, 1945, pp. 103-104)

6 Oct.:  Only one group exempted from ward teaching.

“There are those who feel that they should be excused from teaching the people because of other duties, but it is felt that although members of the priesthood are engaged in other activities such as the auxiliaries, the assignment of teaching the people should take precedence for it is a priesthood activity, and the priesthood comes first.  There is only one exception to this rule, and this exception is made by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve: in the case of stake presidencies and high councils, they are exempt from teaching because they constitute a court of the Church, and it is felt to be necessary that their minds be free of bias or prejudice.  If they were to visit among the people as teachers or arbitrators, these men who constitute the high council court might find themselves in situations where their minds might become prejudiced because of contacts with those who are engaged in controversy.  But the stake presidency and high council are responsible afor the ward teaching in their stake, to see that it is done in all the wards and that the commandment of the Lord as revealed to the Prophet Joseph is carried out fully.”  (Joseph L. Wirthlin, General Conference, Priesthood Session, 6 Oct., 1945; IE 48(11):693, Nov., 1945)

6 Oct.:  Ward teachers should not go out alone.

“Without further comment I wish to mention one phase of ward teaching discussed so eloquently and impressively by Bishop Wirthlin.  You noted that he mentioned two teachers, each accompanying the other in the performance of their duty.  There is a growing tendency for teachers to go alone.  We decry this practice.  We commend those men who, when they fail to have a partner, are willing to assume the responsibility of visiting the Saints without a companion, but for seventy-five years, and probably longer, it has been the practice of the Church that teachers should go two by two.  And Bishop Wirthlin very eloquently told us why.  It is not sufficient for a teacher to say, ‘I cannot get anybody to go with me.’  There are too many young men in the Aaronic Priesthood who hold the office of teacher or priest, and who will accept an appointment as ward teacher to justify any teacher’s going alone.  Call a young man to go with you.  Kneel down with him, as we have been instructed, and then go two by two.

Do this for three reasons: first, because we are instructed so to do; second, because it’s for your own protection.  You think about that.  And third, because you need mutual strength, mutual guidance in giving correction, where it is necessary, and in teaching the doctrines of the Church.”  (David O. McKay, General Conference, Priesthood Session, 6 Oct., 1945; IE 48(11):696, Nov., 1945)


Dec.:  Excommunications:  CAUSES LISTED.

[10 listed:  6 for “apostasy;” 2 for “joining the so-called ‘Order of Aaron’;” 1 for “apostasy and joining the so-called ‘Order of Aaron’;” 1 for “practicing plural marriage contrary to Church rule and regulation.”]  (IE 48(12):768, Dec., 1945)

Dec.:  Change in direction and supervision of MP.

“The following letter has been sent to presidents of stakes, chairmen of stake Melchizedek Priesthood committees, and quorum presidents:

Dear Brethren:

We have given careful consideration to the Melchizedek Priesthood program of the Church and in an effort to make this important work function as the Lord has commanded, the attached program for the direction and supervision of the Melchizedek Priesthood of the Church has been approved. . . .

It is requested that this material be considered by the stake presidency and high council in time for presentation to the quorum leaders at the December kmonthly Melchizedek Priesthood leadership meeting, in order that all stakes and quorums may be uniform in their understanding and procedure as we enter the new year.

It is understood that this outline supersedes the instructions heretofore given in the Melchizedek Priesthood folder, and replaces the ‘four standing committees plan’ outlined therein, as well as the suggestions there given concerning the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee.

Plese give this material careful thought and study and see that steps are taken to introduce this program in your stake, to fully acquaint the officers and members of the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums with the procedure outlined and to see that the plans herein given are effectively carried out. . . .

Council of the Twelve

George F. Richards, President.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(12):770, Dec., 1945)

Dec.:  Letter from General Priesthood Committee of the 12.

“The following suggestions are published for the guidance of stake presidencies, high councils, stake priesthood committees, and quorum presidencies on the following items:

Purposes of the quorum

Responsibilities of quorum presidencies

Suggested division of responsibility of the quorum presidency

Standing committees

The stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee

Monthly stake Melchizedek Priesthood meeting

Monthly priesthood leadership meeting

This outline supersedes the instructions heretofore given in the Melchizedek Priesthood folder, and other places, with reference to stake Melchizedek Priesthood committees, quorum standing committees, and monthly priesthood leadership meetings.


We feel there is a great need to re-emphasize the following main purposes of a quorum:

A. To help every individual member of a quorum to attain a condition of well-being in body, mind, and spirit.  Every need of a man holding the priesthood should be the concern of the quorum to which he belongs.

B. To help the Church in the accomplishment of the divine duties imposed upon the organized body of Latter-day Saints:

1. To keep the members of the Church in the way of their full duty;

2. To teach the gospel to those who have not yet heard or accepted it;

3. To provide for the dead through the ordinances of the temple, the means by which the dead, if obedient, may participate in the blessings that are enjoyed by those who have won citizenship in the kingdom of God.

A priesthood quorum, to magnify its opportunities and to fulfil its purposes must develop its members for greater fitness to aid in these three great divisions of Church activity.


We must not lose sight of the most important fact that the presidency of the quorum are the responsible directing officers.  The management of quorum affairs and the responsibility of seeing that the purposes above-named are accomplished, rest with the president and his counselors.  Committees are not intended to be used in the place of the presidency, but as aids to the presidency is carrying out its assignment.

Bearing this in mind, we recommend that the responsibility be placed squarely on the shoulders of the quorum presidency and that the president and his counselors divide the responsibility amongst themselves.

It is understood, of course, that the president and his counselors (in the case of the seventies, the presidents) will act as a unit in the discharge of their duties and not independently of each other.  A member of the presidency as a chairman of a committee should not act independently with his committee, but only in harmony with the decision of the entire presidency, either previously or subsequently arrived at.  It is realied that certain phases of the work can best be handled as a unit by the entire presidency.  Among these may be mentioned the planning of visits to quorum members, temple work, ward teaching, and Church welfare activities.


There are three great needs, and we believe the work falls rather naturally into three divisions.

(a) A need to help every bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood attain the degree of economic independence and material well-being that will assure adequate food, clothing, fuel, housing, and other needed physical comforts and educational advantages for himself and his family.

(b) A need to help establish a feeling of true brotherhood that should characterize priesthood quorums, and provide through quorum activities and Church service, including socials and outings, a feeling of fellowship, faith, and love that shall meet all the needs of the membership.

(c) A need to search out the facts and make available all the information and statistics concerning the quorum and its members.

We suggest that the division of responsibility having to do with personal welfare be assigned to the quorum president (see {a}).

It would follow then that the two counselors would each undertake to carry the responsibility suggested under (b) and (c) above.  These three divisions might well be designated:

1. Personal welfare

2. Quorum activity and Church service

3. Fact-finding and statistical

In addition to the presidency, each Melchizedek Priesthood quorum has a secretary.  It is the duty of the secretary of each quorum to make minutes of meetings, and to keep a proper record of all members and of important matter 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 stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee and to be made a part of the stake report, properly attested by the president, to be forwarded to the general priesthood committee of the Council of the Twelve.


A.  Quorum president (Personal welfare)

Objective:  To help every bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood attain the degree of economic independence and material well-being that will assure adequate food, clothing, fuel, housing, and other needed physical comforts and educational advantages for himself and his family.


1. To become acquainted with the character and attitude of quorum members so far as these relate to the advancement of quorum ideals.

2. To have constant personal contact with every quorum member, commending the activities, giving strength to the sick, bereaved, and discouraged, awakening renewed desire among the indifferent and slothful.

3. To foster and encourage stake and foreign missionary service.

4. To interest himself in improving the economic status of quorum members.

5. To know how the families of those on missions are getting along.

6. To look after those away from home and their wives and children at home.

7. Church welfare:

(a) To direct the individual quorum member in his participation in the welfare projects of the quorum.

(b) To meet regularly each week with the ward welfare committee as the official representative of the priesthood quorum, in cases where the quorum membership is confined to one ward.  In the case of a priesthood group, the group leader may serve on the ward welfare committee.  (Because of the relationship of the quorum members’ personal welfare to the ward welfare committee, it has been thought advisable that the president of the quorum or group leader serve as quorum or group representative on the ward welfare committee.)

8. The president, in order to carry out his assigned responsibilities should obtain from the fact-finding and statistical counselor items ‘a’ to ‘g’ below, and from the respective bishops item ‘h’:

(a) A complete list of quorum or group members;

(b) a record of the number who keep the Word of Wisdom;

(c) a record of the unemployed.  This will include individual records reflecting abilities, training, needs, and other helpful information;

(d) a list of the names of those who can render service to the quorum and to the Church;

(e) a list of the names of those who are incapacitated to render service and who need help;

(f) a list of the names of those who are unable to attend meetings, but who could do so if someone furnished transportation;

(g) such other facts, figures, and information as may be called for;

(h) the president of the quorum should have at hand a record of the full, part, and non-tithepayers in the quorum.  It is thought advisable that the president himself seek this information from the bishop of the ward and treat it in the strictest confidence, laboring in love and patience with those who are careless in this important matter.

B.  Counselor in the presidency (Quorum activity and Church service)

Objective:  To bring to every member of the Melchizedek Priesthood spiritual and mental well-being; to help establish the feeling of true brotherhood that should characterize priesthood quorums; and to provide through quorum activity and service, including adequate class instruction, ward teaching, temple work, active missionary service, socials, outings, etc., a feeling of fellowship, faith, and love that shall meet all the needs of the membership.


1.  To sponsor social activity through: (a) dances; (b) drama; (c) musicals; (d) summer outings; (e) annual reunions; (f) athletics; (g) excursions; (h) miscellaneous activities to meet the normal social needs of the quorum members.

2. To study the fitness and adaptation of each member to some particular Church activity, keep record of same, and make such information available to the quorum presidency, and through them to the stake presidency and ward bishops.

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

4. To see that the class has an able and worthy instructor who is sound in doctrine and the fundamental teachings of the Church, and that the instructor and class have access to textbooks and lesson helps.

5. To promote attendance at: (a) quorum or group meetings; (b) sacrament meetings; (c) stake priesthood meetings; (d) quarterly conferences.

6. To be responsible for any ward teaching that may be assigned to the priesthood quorum or group by the bishop.

7. To use every possible means to stimulate interest and activity to increase the service of the individual to the Church, and to promote his growth and happiness, as well as that of his family.

C.  Counselor in the presidency (Fact-finding and statistical)

Objective:  To provide constantly, in usable form, up-to-the-minute, complete information concerning the members of the quorum, that will enable the presidency to perform its assigned responsibilities in the most effective manner.


1. To supervise and direct the work of the quorum secretary.

2. To have available at all times a complete roster of quorum and group members.

3. To compile and maintain a record of what each member is doing in a Church capacity.

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

5. To have available current information concerning vocational ability, employment, needs, etc., of each member.

6. To note, at least quarterly, average attendance of each member at:  (a) monthly quorum meetings; (b) sacrament meetings; (c) quarterly conferences; (d) weekly priesthood meetings; (e) gospel doctrine classes; (f) auxiliary organizations.

7. To report: (a) those inactive because of age, infirmity, sickness; (b) those inactive because of absence from ward; (c) those inactive on account of occupation; (d) those willing to labor but unassigned; (e) number who refuse to render service; (f) those in military service; (g) those otherwise absent from home.

8. To provide such other information as may be requested.  (See items ‘a’ to ‘g’ inclusive, No. 8, section A.)


Experience has demonstrated that committees can be valuable aids to a presidency in carrying out its responsibilities.

The need for wider distribution of responsibility among quorum members is recognized, and committees provide opportunity for such distribution.

We therefore recommend that under the direction of the quorum presidency there be three standing committees established, following the lines of the foregoing three divisions, with a member of the presidency as chairman of each committee and with objectives and duties as outlined above, but under the active leadership and direction of the presidency.  Under such an arrangement, the president of the quorum would of course be the chairman of the personal welfare committee, with the counselors serving as chairmen of the quorum activitiy and Church service, and the fact-finding and statistical committees.

It is again emphasized that the responsibility for the direction and supervision of the quorum rests with the presidency, and that committees are not intended to take the place of the presidency, nor to serve in its stead, but rather are to be used as aids to the presidency in more effectively carrying out the program.

If, in addition, the need is felt for special task committees, the quorum presidency may name such, to be released when the appointed tasks are fulfilled.  This would cover special and miscellaneous activities as may be authorized by the quorum and not included specificially in the general phases of the quorum activities covered by the three divisions listed.


The responsibility of directing Melchizedek Priesthood activities rests with the stake presidency.  As an aid to the stake presidency, we recommend and urge the appointment of a stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee to assist them in carrying out their duties.  The stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee does not preside, but supervises under the direction of the stake presidency.  We recommend that this committee be composed of a member of the stake presidency, who shall be chairman, and as many members of the high council as is necessary, but in no case less than three.  It is understood that this committee has equal authority and responsibility in the supervision of the elders, seventies, and high priests, under the direction of the stake presidency.


We recommend and urge that a two-hour combined monthly stake Melchizedek Priesthood meeting be held.  (This does not replace the regular monthly quorum meeting, and it is again urged that a separate monthly quorum meeting for all quorum members be held, except in widely scattered areas where a quarterly meeting may suffice.)

A suggested outline of business to be followed and material to be considered at each monthly Melchizedek Priesthood leadership meeting for the entire year is being prepared by the general priesthood committee.

It is recommended that the first half of the meeting, or such time as is needed in the wisdom of the stake presidency, be devoted to a general Melchizedek Priesthood meeting, presided over and conducted by the stake presidency.  All members of the Melchizedek Priesthood and adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood are expected to be present at this meeting.  In addition to appropriate opening exercises, roll call, recommendations for advancement in the priesthood, reports, general business, instructions and inspirational messages from the stake presidency should be given.

The second portion of the meeting will comprise the monthly priesthood leadership meeting.  This is a meeting at which the stake presidency, stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee, and stake Aaronic Priesthood committees, can meet with the officers and leaders of quorums and quorum groups, including presidencies of quorums, secretaries, committee members, group leaders, class instructors, ward bishoprics, Aaronic Priesthood general secretaries and advisers, with a special department for those not called to leadership in one of the foregoing groups.  Separation is to be had on a departmental (not quorum) basis.  There will be seven departments, as follows:

Three departments, one for each of the proposed divisions of responsibility and the proposed new standing committees, each department to be conducted by one or more members of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee, and to be attended by all members of the respective committees from the high priests, seventies, and elders quorums in the stake.  (Each member of the quorum presidency would, of course, attend the department for which he has been made responsible in his own quorum.  It is suggested that the secretaries meet with the fact-finding and statistical counselors.)

One special department for the class instructors, to be conducted under the leadership or at least under the direction of a member of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee: In this department teacher-training helps and assistance could well be given, lesson material enlarged and developed.  However, it should be borne in mind that class instruction and related problems are the responsibility of the member of the quorum presidency assigned.

One department for the stake Aaronic Priesthood committee, to be attended by the stake Aaronic Priesthood committee, and from each ward, two members of the bishopric, general secretary, and advisers.

One department for the stake committee for adult members of the Aaronic Priesthood, to be attended by the stake committee, and from the wards, one member of the bishopric.

One department for the brethren not invited to attend one of the foregoing departments.  This department is to be conducted by a member of the high council and will consider such items as ward teaching, family prayer–topics to be suggested by the general priesthood meeting.

The regular stake priesthood meeting held in connection with stake conference may, if desired, take the place of this combined meeting one month during each quarter, and at that meeting all members of the priesthood, including the Aaronic Priesthood bearers, should be urged to attend.

It is recommended that this combined monthly meeting be exclusively a priesthood meeting, and that the stake presidency meet with the presidencies and superintendencies of auxiliary organizations at another time for their leadership meeting.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 48(12):770-772, Dec., 1945)