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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1958

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1958.” You can view other years here.

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1958:  4 Apr.:  Excommunication for buying Gentile goods.

“In the earlier days of the Church there were serious physical problems to meet.  Sometimes our Priesthood was required to defend, other times to build, in unison, by cooperative effort.  They had to stand together.  I remember not long ago when an application came to the Presidency of the Church through a family for the restoration of the father’s blessings.  We learned that he had been excommunicated from the Church.  As I remember he lived in upper Cache Valley.  And when we investigated we discovered the cause of his excommunication–trading at the store of a Gentile.  Now that would seem trivial and most unjustifiable in this day.  Perhaps in that day it meant much to a community of Latter-day Saints engaged in a common enterprise, seeking to establish the necessary industry for that community, and for one of the Priesthood to forsake his brethren, in the eyes of the men was regarded as a serious offense.”  (Stephen L. Richards, 4 Apr., 1958; CR Apr., 1958, p. 46)

May:  Responsibilities of quorum presidency.

“What are the responsibilities of a quorum presidency?

a. Become acquainted with the character, qualifications, and attitudes of all quorum members.

b. Make personal calls on each quorum member at least once a year and oftener when necessary.

c. Foster and encourage stake and foreign missionary service.

d. Promote temple work.

e. Keep in constant touch with all members living away from home.

f. Provide adequate class instructors.

g. Teach quorum members how priesthood ordinances should be performed.

h. Hold a regular presidency council meeting each week.  Available at these meetings should be records of attendance and activity of quorum and group members.  White activity cards or a summary thereof should be available so presidencies can readily see the activity of each member.

i. Have a live program for keeping each quorum member active or reactivating those who are not now active.

j. See that the quorum committees function and that members are given assignments to assist in various responsibilities of the quorum.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 61(5):328, May, 1958)

May:  How many required for an Elders’ quorum?

“What is the minimum number required for the organization of an elders quorum?

An elders quorum should have 96 members or a majority thereof.  It should not be organized with less than 49 members.  Where quorums fall below this minimum number and there is no  prospect of increasing the membership to the required number, the stake should disorganize the quorum and make it a group belonging to the nearest quorum.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 61(5):328-329, May, 1958)

Sep.:  New program of convert integration.

“A new program for assimilation of converts into the Church was adopted this year on a church-wide basis.

To the San Jose Stake in California goes the distinction and honor of working out much of the experimental detail in connection with this new program.  Thereafter it was tried out with great success in more than a dozen west coast stakes.  Now it has been adopted and is to be put into full operation in all stakes.

Brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood, as older and more experienced members of God’s great latter-day kingdom, have a great responsibility to help and aid the new converts now being brought into the fold of Christ in such great numbers.

Let us here note (1) the acute and difficult problem of convert assimilation and (2) a practical and sensible arrangement for overcoming these difficulties and tying the newly baptized members into the programs of the Church so securely that they will be enabled to press forward and gain their salvation.

. . . .

Convert integration should begin long before baptism.  Prospective members of the Church should be invited and encouraged to attend Sacrament meetings and to participate in all of the auxiliary organizations of the ward in which they will be members in the event they join the Church.  We want to use the organizations of the Church for their proselyting value; we want prospective members of the Church to become acquainted with those of us who already belong so they can better decide whether they want us for their future fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters.

To help after baptism, those concerned should follow the steps of this outline:

1. The member of the stake presidency who supervises the stake missionary program should be appointed to supervise the integration program.

2. A member of the high council is to direct the program.  This may be the same man who directs the stake missionary work.

3. In each ward the bishop will select and set apart a couple to work with the new converts.  This man and wife should be a congenial couiple who will go out of their way to assist those who come into the Church.  They should be well known and respected in the ward, should have time to work evenings with new members, and to assist them in getting to their various meetings.  A couple with missionary experience would be preferable, since new members often have questions on the gospel, and those with missionary experience would be best qualified to handle these.

In some wards where large numbers of converts come in each year, it may be necessary to appoint several such couples, so that needs of the new members may be adequately met.  In this case, one of the brethren should be appointed as chairman of the integration committee.

4. At the time of baptism, the missionary will give the convert a folder setting forth the schedule of the meetings of the ward or branch, the name and address of the bishop and advisers, and other pertinent information.

5. The advisers will set up a record of each member, and it will be their responsibility to keep a tally of each of these new members.  Each quarter the bisohp, under an appointment made by the adviser, will meet each new member to review his progress and feel of his spirit so that he may appraise the progress of the new member.

6. The advisers will introduce the new converts to their respective Senior Aaronic Priesthood advisers and quorum presidencies, the auxiliary officers and teachers, and the ward teachers.

7. When an investigator is about ready for baptism, the missionaries will introduce him, whenever feasible, to the bishops and to the advisers, who will then be assigned to look after his progress.  The advisers should become acquainted with the new convert even before he comes into the Church and attend the baptism.

8. The advisers will work with the new converts for as long as the bishop considers it necessary that they do so.

These cards are being supplied to all wards so that advisers may carry out their responsibilities in tying new converts into the full program of the Church.  Items noted should be checked carefully for each convert for at least six months.  An appropriate church assignment should be given to every newly baptized member.  Adult brethren who are worthy to be baptized are worthy to hold the Aaronic Priesthood.  It is recommended that newly baptized brethren of Aaronic Priesthood age have the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon them and be ordained deacons within two weeks after baptism.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 61(9):656-657, 699-700, Sep., 1958)

8 Oct.:  Priesthood and women.

“And while the sisters have not been given the Priesthood, it has not been conferred upon them, that does not mean that the Lord has not given unto them authority.  Authority and Priesthood are two different things.  A person may have authority given to him, or a sister to her, to do certain things in the Church that are binding and absolutely necessary for our salvation, such as the work that our sisters do in the House of the Lord.  They have authority given unto them to do some great and wonderful things, sacred unto the Lord, and binding just as thoroughly as are the blessings that are given by the men who hold the Priesthood.  And you sisters who labor in the House of the Lord can lay your hands upon your sisters, and with divine authority, because the Lord recognizes positions which you occupy.  He honors you and blesses you in your labors in your various stakes, and you go forth with authority.  You can speak with authority, because the Lord has placed authority upon you.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Address delivered at the Officers Meeting, Relief Society General Conference, 8 Oct., 1958; RS 46(1):4, Jan., 1959)

1 Nov.:  Women in superintendencies.

“Q.  Can a woman be a member of the Sunday School superintendency?

A.  The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency; it has authority over all the offices in the Church.  When there is no one in the ward or branch holding the Melchizedek Priesthood who can serve in the Sunday School superintendency, then and only then should a woman be called to assist.”  (Instructor 93(11):346, 1 Nov., 1958)  

Dec.:  “How annual confidential visits pay off.”

“When properly handled, the annual confidential interview of all Melchizedek Priesthood holders will do more than almost any other thing to reactive delinquent quorum members.

. . . .

Quorum presidencies are called, appointed, and obligated to lead their quorum members to eternal life. . . .

The annual confidential interview is probably the chief tool in the hands of presidencies to learn the status of personal righteousness of their members.  Its chief purpose is not to collect social statistics or to gain information to send into the brethren on a report.  These things are only incidental.  Its main purpose is to give quorum presidencies the information they need to do their job. . . .

If a quorum member declines to answer a question, that is his privilege.  Be tactful.  These interviews are to draw people to the Church, not drive them away.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 61(12):906-907, Dec., 1958)