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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1962

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Priesthood, 1962.” You can view other years here.

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1962:  Jan.:  New Priesthood Activity Card.

“To refresh your memory:

1. This is a facsimile of the record of Melchizedek Priesthood quorum members.  It has been used by quorum presidencies to keep vital information about quorum members; and

This is the long familiar green card.  It is used by ward bishoprics and welfare committees to record information concering the welfare program and its purposes.

2. Both forms are to be supplanted.

a. The Melchizedek Priesthood card immediately.

b. The welfare card as the need arises for a new card.  (The change may be made at once or the bishop may continue to use the green cards until the supply is exhausted.)

This is the new priesthood activity card.  It takes the place of both of the cards illustrated above.

We suggest that quorums start now to use this card.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 65:58, Jan., 1962)

Jan.:  Interviewing boys.

“To every man called to be bishop, his hour of opportunity has come, and fortune waits uon his doorstep.  The fortune of eternal life is the goal of the righteous, and every bishop plays a chief role among the members of his ward in stimulating attainment of this objective.  He can be an architect in the life of every boy in his ward through radiating his love for and willingness to assist the young men to overcome life’s uncertainties.  The mission to help youth in their journey through life, equipping them to find happiness and to gain eternal life, is a solemn duty.

In every stake there are some boys with problems which tend to frustrate them in adjusting to the standards and activities of the Church.  They need love and encouragement from a person they can trust.  To wait until boys are in trouble to become a friend is not the preventive medicine desired.

The bishop, as president of the Aaronic Priesthood, must not permit his schedule to become so encumbered with organizational work as to limit his contact with the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood to a mere pat on the back as they walk down the hall.  The bishop has a paramount duty to counsel with every boy holding the Aaronic Priesthood.

A regular interviewing program pursued by the bishop will do wonders in helping to prevent the moral deterioration and collapse of a young man.  It will help avert the tragedy of becoming immoral, help prevent a wasted life, and help preclude a young man’s sense of values from being distorted.  It will also help him from being forced to make immature decisions.

The process of growth in a young man stimulates anxiety which tends to frustrate him.  While being buffeted about in an attempt to compete in an adult world, his own inadequacies convey to him the feeling that everyone resents his efforts.  The bishop’s interview will help to reconcile and control these frustrations, also stimulate his efforts towards study and preparation for missionary service.  The following suggestions are to help the bishop to understand the fundamentals of conducting an interview with the boys of the Aaronic Priesthood.

The purpose of such an interview is to aid the bishop to gain a closeness with the young man, and as a result of friendship, establish in him a love for proper conduct and high ideals of living.  An interview can involve one of three purposes.  In our Church, however, an interview will undoubtedly involve all three areas.  These are: first, fact finding or the securing of information; second, informing the boy; and third, motivating him to pursue a course of righteousness.  The interview when properly conducted will have a profound influence for good upon the boy’s behavior.

Basically speaking, the process of conducting successful interviews will depend upon the bishop’s interest in every boy.  Because interviewing is not an exact science, there are no rules requiring strict conformity.  To help develop the art of interviewing, the suggestions in this booklet will assist in avoiding mistakes and make your time and effort more productive.

. . . .

The bishop’s interview presents an ideal opportunity to teach a young man regarding his priesthood duties, tithing, habit of prayer, and the Word of Wisdom.  It also provides an ideal opportunity to teach him the sacreness of moral cleanliness.  Here we sound a note of caution and request that you gear any discussions of sex according to the age and comprehension level of the young man you are interviewing.  To be more specific, the interview with a young deacon regarding morality should not go beyond such general questions as, ‘Are you doing anything that you would be ashamed to tell your mother about?’  Here is an opportune time to stress the importance of avoiding vulgarity and profanity, but be extremely careful not to suggest practices that will tend to arouse curiosity.

Should he be a priest and his development has been normal, this is an opportunity to teach him that sex transgression is second only to the shedding of innocent blood, also that any form of sex perversion is a sin and undesirable in the eyes of the Lord.  Tell him he must be clean and pure to receive the blessings of temple marriage and missionary service.  In concluding any interview invite each young man to feel free to come to you any time to discuss any problem he may have.  Assure him that if it is important to him it is important enough to discuss it with you.  Tell him the power of the priesthood which you hold is to help him in his personal conduct. . . .”  (“The Presiding Bishopric’s Page,” IE 65:60-61, 124-125, Jan./Feb., 1962)

Jun.:  Nephite baptisms and gift of Holy Ghost.

“Question:  Jesus said to the Nephites that he would baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost, but the statement seems to indicate that such baptism was done without the laying on of hands.  In the Book of Mormon it indicates that Jesus baptized the Lamanites in a similar way, and administered to them, but still the practice of laying on hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost is not mentioned.  We always lay on hands for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, and in spite of the rule the Savior said to Nephi, ‘I will baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.’  Will you kindly give an explanation of this?

Answer:  It is true that the Lord gave the commandment to Joseph Smith that those who are baptized for the remission of sins shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and this is the practice in the Church.  This does not prove, however, that the gift of the Holy Ghost may not be received without the laying on of the hands, although we assume that this was the general custom of the Church in ancient days.  When certain disciples were brought to Paul at Corinth who claimed that they had been baptized, he asked them the question: ‘Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?’  Their answer was: ‘We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.’  Paul then asked: ‘Unto what then were ye baptized?’ they answered, ‘Unto John’s baptism.’  Paul realized from this answer that there was something wrong, therefore he had them baptized again, after which he laid his hands upon them and conferred the Holy Ghost.  (Acts 19:2-6.)  This, however, may not have been the universal custom through the ages.  When Jesus was with his disciples, he said to them, shortly before his crucifixion:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’  (John 14:15-17.)

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.  (John 16:13.)

In these words the Savior promised his disciples that they would be blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost when he departed from them, and before he took his departure, the record states that he ‘breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.’  (John 20:22.)  Evidently this was just as efficient as if he had laid his hands upon them.

We discover in the reading of the scriptures that the Lord conferred authority on some of his chosen servants and gave them exceptional powers without the laying on of hands, but merely by his spoken edict.  In this manner Elijah obtained the keys of power in the priesthood to raise the dead, heal the sick, close the heavens that it did not rain only by his word, and for more than three years there was no rain, and moreover he had the power to call down fire from heaven to destroy the enemies of the Church.  Speaking of this, James has said: ‘Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.’  (James 5:17.)

The Lord gave similar authority to Nephi, son of Helaman who likewise had authority to close the heavens and perform other mighty works, simply by his faith and the commandment from the Lord (Helaman 10:7.)  This wonderful power has been bestowed on but a few of the servants of the Lord.

We may correctly believe that the Lord may bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by other means than by the laying on of hands if occasion requires it.  While it is the practice to lay on hands, there are many incidents recorded in the scriptures where divine authority has been bestowed by the divine edict to the prophets.  In the case of the assembled multitude near the temple at the time of the appearing of the Lord, we also read that angels descended and encircled the little ones and ministered to them.  Now a careful reading of the first chapters in Nephi reveal to us that Nephi, grandson of Helaman, with other faithful brethren, labored diligently among the people before the crucifixion of the Lord.  They baptized all who humbled themselves and repented of their sins.  They had power to confirm, to heal, and even to raise the dead, but after the crucifixion of the Savior there came a new order of things.  The law of Moses came to an end, and with it, sacrifice of animals ceased, and the fulness of the gospel was ushered in.  Therefore in this new order it became necessary for all those who had been previously baptized to be baptized again.  Nephi and his fellow servants had been, no doubt, baptized and confirmed, otherwise they could not have given service in the authority of the priesthood, and they could not have performed the miracles that had been accomplished.  The condition among the Nephites and Lamanites was exactly the same as that which existed just before the organization of the Church in April 1830.  Quite a number of brethren and sisters had been baptized, including of course Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who were baptized at the direction and commandment of John the Baptist before there was a Church.  Baptism is also then entrance into the Church as well as for the remission of sins.  Therefore in the new order, Jesus commanded Nephi to be baptized and also the other brethren of the twelve.  Following this all of the people were baptized.  The conferring of the gift of the Holy Ghost would naturally follow, except in the case of those who had been previously baptized and confirmed.

We may be sure that Jesus did not overlook any ordinance that was necessary when he visited the children of Lehi after his resurrection.  His visitation to these people was a glorious occasion, and we learn from what is written that these people of that generation remained faithful and true all the days of their lives, walking in the spirit of faith and humility and guided by the blessings coming through the gift of the Holy Ghost.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” IE 65:390-391, Jun., 1962)

Jun.:  Quorum presidency should spend 3 nights/week.

“The signs indicative of a good active quorum:

. . . .

10. Is the quorum presidency spending time on the job of visiting?  (For all of its work about three nights a week is somewhere near the time required.  Why not–bishops spend more time than that–should not quorum presidents?)”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 65:484, Jun., 1962)

Oct.:  Annual confidential visits.

“In the program of quorum activity much of the presidency’s time is used in visits to quorum members.  The successful presidency will be constantly visiting the members.  These visits will fall into two categories:

1. The visits for assignment.  These are for the purpose of inviting service on quorum projects and programs.  (A man is asked to give time and effort to a project to serve the purposes of the quorum.)  If the presidency understands the committee work of the quorum, it will readily see that these visits are made with considerable frequency.  In addition to the purpose of asking for service, other visits are made to encourage the work thus accepted, to check on progress, and to receive a report on results when the job is finished.  This last call to learn results is important, for at this time the man who has completed the project receives the thanks of the presidency.  This is usually the most appreciated result of the job, the heartfelt thanks–the ‘well done’–from the leaders.

2. The visits for sociability.  The strands of friendship and loyalty are the warp and woof of quorum influence.  Surely the quorum member must see his president in a light other than one constantly asking for service.

It is in the social relationship that the friendships are cultivated which lead to true quorum influence in the lives of the members.  One cannot get very warm about belonging to the Nth quorum if it is merely an accident of geography.  But the kindness, understanding, and happy friendliness of John Johns, president of the quorum, make the quorum live in the heart of the member.  Visits for sociability or recreation, or to help in time of trouble–those times when wives mingle, too–these are what count.  Mary Smith may be married to John Smith, a man not very active.  She has worked and pressed and pleaded with her husband to become active for the children’s sake.  And now, at a time of discouragement, apparently out of a clear sky, a smiling couple begin to be their friends, asking no favors, but inviting them to share their fun, their entertainment, their hospitality.  Then, too, because of these visits and the friendliness engendered, the president can invite other good and happy members to share their social life with the lonely and misunderstood couple.  Warmth develops which happily enlarges into enthusiasm, which in turn becomes the fire of a fervent testimony.

However, visits for sociability and assignment are not to be confused with the annual confidential visit.  Working with members and building friendships can go on endlessly (and sometimes aimlessly) if their only purpose is warmth.  In the minds of each quorum president and his counselors must be the hope that in the soul of each member will burn the fire of fervent testimony and the energy to pour into actie work the newly awakened desire to serve the Lord.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 65:756, 766, Oct., 1962)

6 Oct.:  Correlation Progress Report.

“[David O. McKay]  The members of the Correlation Committee of the Church, consisting of Elders Harold B. Lee, Chairman, Marion G. Romney, Richard L. Evans, and Gordon B. Hinckley, will present a report of the progress of their work.  Elder Harold B. Lee of the Council of the Twelve will introduce the subject.”

“[Harold B. Lee]  I seek most humbly tonight the sustaining power of your faith and your prayers to the end that what we may say may be clear and concise and that you might glimpse the vision of the great movement which was initiated a year ago at the October conference in 1961.

In the announcement of the new correlation program as directed by President McKay, we used as our text a statement from the great modern-day revelation on church government, in which the Lord said:

Behold, this is the way that mine apostles, in ancient days, built up my church unto me.

Therefore, let evkery man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?

Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.  (D&C 84:108-110)

This significant statement meant clearly that, first, each organization was to have its specific function, that it was not to usurp the field of the other which would be like the eye saying to the hand, ‘I have no need of thee;’ second, that each subdivision is of equal importance in the work of salvation, just as each part of the physical body is essential to the complete human being; and third, that every member in the Church may be edified or educated together; and finally that the system may be kept perfect, or in other words, that within the framework of the Lord’s plan of organization for the salvation of his children, the Church will perform as a perfectly organized human body with every member functioning as it was intended.

The key to the whole correlation movement was given us when the First Presidency in an important communication some years ago declared the fundamental principles on which we were to build.  In this communication the First Presidency had said:

The home is the basis of a righteous life and no other instrumentality can take its place nor fulfil its essential functions.  The utmost the auxiliaries can do is to aid the home in its problems, giving special aid and succor where such is necessary; that in aiding the home, the auxiliaries may well consider thinking of home life of the people as having three periods: the first from birth to twelve years of age, or the childhood period; then the youth period from twelve years up to the early twenties; and then adulthood, from the early twenties to the end of life.

Since that announcement we have gone forward with the development of the so-called correlation program, and tonight President McKay has requested that we report to this great body of the priesthood of the Church the correlation program as it has now progressed since that first announcement one year ago.

My associates of the twelve, as announced by President McKay, constituting the correlation committee, will each take time tonight in a unified report of progress.  Elder Gordon B. Hinckley will first discuss the organizational development which has gone forward during this last year.  Then Elder Richard L. Evans will discuss the curriculum studies and development.  Elder Marion G. Romney will then talk to us about the priesthood correlation, which is in reality, an extension of what we have known as ward teaching in the past.  It will then by my responsibility after they conclude, to summarize with an announcement of the first application of the new correlation program to be carried out throughout the entire Church, beginning in January of 1963 on a Church-wide basis.  We will now proceed then with Elder Hinckley, then Elder Evans, and then Elder Romney, after which I will make a few concluding statements.”

“[Gordon B. Hinckley]  My brethren, I have been asked to give a report of progress on the organization of the co-ordinating program.

Brother Lee has made reference to Paul’s analogy to the Church as a body whose various members have need one for another.  In furtherance of that analogy the correlation committee and its associated subdivisions might be likened to the nervous system whose responsibility is to keep the various aspects of the great teaching program of the Church operating harmoniously together.

Fundamental to the very program of the Church is the teaching of the gospel to the membership of the Church.  In fulfilment of the obligation which was laid upon the Church in its inception, there has developed within the Church a system of great teaching organizations–the priesthood quorums, both Melchizedek and Aaronic, the far-flung church school system, and the auxiliaries: the Relief Society, the Sunday School, the Primary,k and the MIA, all of which play so important a part in the education of our people.

If it were possible, I would like to place before you on a chart the organization of the correlation program, but since we have outside the Tabernacle where only our voices reach eight to ten men for every man who is here tonight, I shall have to present the mechanics of the organization verbally.  (See accompanying chart.)

I should like you to picture in your mind’s eye the First Presidency at the top of an imagined chart and below that the Council of the Twelve, then beneath that is a subcommittee of the twelve known as the church correlation committee, comprised of four members of the Council of the Twelve who have been given responsibility for this work.

Associated with the correlation committee is an executive secretary, Brother Antone K. Romney.  Associated with him are three other dedicated men.  They, together with the heads of the various teaching organizations, constitute the body found next, below the correlation committee on the chart I am trying to describe for you.  This body is known as the all-church co-ordinating council.  It is comprised of the members of the correlation committee and their associates (Brother Romney, Brother Reed Bradford, Brother Vaughn Hansen, and Brother B. West Belhap), the Presiding Bishop of the Church, the chancellor of the Church School System, the general superintendent of the Deseret Sunday School Union, the president of the Relief Society, the president of the Young Women’s Mutual Improvement Association, the general superintendent of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, and the president of the Primary Association, together with a secretary.

This group, representing the great teaching organizations of the Church, stand together as the all-church co-ordinating council to bring about the harmony of which Brother Lee spoke.

Operating under the direction of the all-church co-ordinating council are three groups or subdivisions which constitute what we have come to describe as executive planning committees, one for children, one for youth, and one for adults.  One of the twelve serves as chairman of each of these committees, with a secretary in each–Brother Belnap for the children’s committee, Brother Hansen for the youth group, and Brother Bradford for the adult committee.  Associated on each of these committees are men and women of great ability, extensive experience in the Church, and proven devotion, who constitute respectively, planning organization for children, for youth, and for adults.

Now, working with each of these executive planning committees are three other groups, one tied to each of the three.  These are task committees, chosen from over the Church because of their experience, their devotion, and their ability.  It is their assignment, and I think the word task fits the assignment, to review carefully the entire curriculum of the Church, past and present, to become acquainted with all courses of study and activity programs used now and used in the past.  This is a tremendous undertaking.  This study will become the foundation upon which will be built a program of co-ordinated study and activity for the entire Church in all the world, including all age groups.

I hope I have made reasonably clear the mechanics of the all-church co-ordinating program designed to further harmony and orderly sequence in the teachings and activities of the organizations of the Church.

Now, let me quickly review it as we proceed from the top–the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, the correlation committee, the all-church co-ordinating council, three executive planning committees each with a task committee of curriculum study, whose responsibility it is to dig and study and conduct research, out of which will come co-ordinated courses of study and programs of activities that will build testimony in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints from the day they are old enough to attend classes.

I desire in conclusion to say a word of appreciation for the magnificent service of those who have been called to serve on the various committees.  Many have been released from positions of great priesthood responsibility including those of stake president and bishop; men and women have been released from general boards to work quietly in the background to bring about this great work of correlation which shall bless the lives of the Latter-day Saints throughout the earth.

God bless them in their labors and bless us with a sense of appreciation for their devotion, I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

“[Richard L. Evans]  President McKay, and my beloved brethren, it would be difficult to say in words how cherished is your fellowship in the priesthood.  God bless you all, wherever you are.

You who have visited Seattle’s Century 21 Exposition would perhaps have noticed in one of the scientific exhibits a moving meter which indicates the present population of the world, more than three billion, two hundred-eighty million, as I recall, with the clicking of a number, ever second or so it seemed, as each additional newcomer arrives from eternity into time.  It is a sobering sight to see–more than 3,280,000,000–all of the ultimately our responsibility, and many of them currently being added to the Church, each one to be taught (as well as all else), each one to be made to understand the purpose of time and life and eternity.

It is a sobering and a wonderful assignment.  With the Church growing as it is, every more widely over the world, it becomes apparent that it must more sharply focus its purposes, avoiding duplications and obvious unessentials, but doing what is essential, as to teaching and training and activities and understanding.  We have an obligation to see that our children, our youth, and all of us–and those who come to us by conversion–know what they ought to know.  And it cannot be haphazard.  This brings us to the question of the correlation of the curriculum.

Now, these dedicated groups, already referred to, who have been working so well so many months–former stake and general board members, members of bishoprics and stake presidencies, professional educators, and others–have arrived at a recommendation, which in principle the First Presidency has approved: that the gospel be taught as completely as possible at least three times during these three age levels of life: children, youth, and adults.

Within these major groupings there will be many minor groupings, taking into account school associations, social interests, priesthood ages, missions, marriage, and other factors.

The committees at work gratefully know that they are not beginning from nothing or from nowhere.  Gratefully they know that they already have going activities and organizations, and revealed truth, and the priesthood of God, and the gospel, and the greatest organization on earth.

They know also that from decades and generations past there are priceless study courses and lesson materials already written, and, as reported to President McKay, and as I feel sure he has very much in mind, these task committees are reviewing all that has been written and used, all that is now being used, as well as seeking to determine the need for further lesson writing.

There is no presently defined limit as to how much we can enlarge or expand the curriculum.  It is inclusive, but does not exclude the possibility of adding anything that should be in it.  In general, it is proposed to preserve the traditions, names, influence, experience, objectives, and activities of the various organizations, but all to be directed through the priesthood and co-ordinated not only at the level of the General Authorities and general boards, but co-ordinated through the stake presidencies in the stakes and through the bishoprics in the wards, in a way whereby competition and inadvertent duplication will be avoided, and in such a way that each young woman and each young man will grow up with an opportunity to know what he needs to know, and to do what he needs to do, without overloading him or pulling him two ways at once.

Brother Lee has sometimes cited Oscar Kirkham, who said, ‘One Church, one boy, one program.’  May we give you an example of the necessity for correlation:

Some months ago when the latest missionary lessons were introduced, four organizations of the Church sincerely and properly desired to use them as lesson material.  Had each organization done what it desired to do, some of the same young people would have been taught the same lessons four different times in the same season by four different teachers in four different organizations.  You see we can get too much of a good thing!

The curriculum that is being worked on by these dedicated committees will not only prevent such duplication, but will assure the filling in of some areas that have been too thin.  It appears that there may have been thick layers in some places, and great gaps in others.  This is not a curriculum designed to create a shallow program, but one dedicated to cover uniformly deeper.  There will no doubt be some changes of age groupings, and some reallocation of assignment, but the contemplated curriculum will include instruction, activities, and all proper wholesome interests on a broad base, having in mind the spiritual and cultural and mental and physical and social aspects of man.

The basic program for the various age groups will be made flexible enough to meet the varying needs and circumstances of individuals and of wards and stakes and branches and missions of different sizes and circumstances.

It is expected that the meeting schedule of the Church will be simplified.

As Brother Lee has indicated, the home and family will be considered in all programs that are developed for individuals or age groups.

May we quote from the minutes of one of the committee meetings:

We shall teach them not only doctrine and scriptures, but also such things as the Word of Wisdom, chastity, the Ten Commandments, the Beautitudes, reverence, good citizenship, good manners, and other things which will help them to become wholesome and gracious Latter-day Saints, with an understanding of the basic beliefs, of the ordinances of the gospel, prepared for missions, for success in vocational life, in marriage, and in church and civic affairs.

It is a wonderfully inclusive curriculum.  I cannot imagine a father who would not be interested in all that pertains to his children, in all phases of life, and our Father in heaven surely is in us.  An eminent thinker of our time has said that ‘the Church cannot afford to be interested in less than God is interested in.  Religion has to do with everything.’

‘When you get the function of the priesthood fully defined,’ Brother Lee has said, ‘it is going to be comparatively easy for us to define where the MIA, the Primary, the Sunday School, etc., fit in.  It will all fit into place with the program of the priesthood.’

With it becoming more and more difficult to keep the balance of life, to keep the spirit of prayer and spirituality in public places, it becomes increasingly important that our instruction and activity and learning and lives be full and effective from the first influence of a mother’s arms to the latest opportunity of life.

May God help us to know the gospel, to live it, to teach it to our children, and to share it with all others, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”

“[Marion G. Romney]  President McKay, and brethren:  As Brother Lee mentioned, I am to speak a few moments about the proposed priesthood correlation program.

Through a program of priesthood correlation, we bearers of the priesthood must increase our efforts to encourage, teach, and inspire the Saints to become ‘partakers of the divine nature,’ to use Peter’s phrase, through obedience to the sanctifying principles of the gospel.  

We are performing far below our potential in this matter.  President Joseph F. Smith seems to have visioned the time when the priesthood would do much more than it has been doing.  In his opening address at the April conference of 1906, he said:

[We expect to see the day . . .]

Now, since President Smith made this statement fifty-six years ago, the Church has not only grown in numbers, but its programs and activities have multiplied.  Many special committees–priesthood and auxiliary–have been set up and assigned particular functions.  Many of these functions are rightfully the responsibility of the priesthood.  Fellowshiping, for example, and working with inactive members of the priesthood, both Aaronic and Melchizedek.

With a view to correlating some of these activities, the First Presidency in 1960 asked the general priesthood committee to consider the problem and bring in a report and recommendations.  Pursuant to this assignment, fourteen representative stakes were selected and since then have been experimenting with programs which they themselves have developed within certain priesthood guidelines.  The brethren have been most co-operative and creative in this work.  To them we express gratitude and thanks.  The results have been encouraging.

Their plans and developed material are now in the hands of the all-church co-ordinating council.  It is anticipated that a program will be perfected, approved, and presented at stake conferences to each stake in the Church during the last half of 1963, with the program to go into operation throughout the Church in January 1964.

Now, priesthood correlation, as we are using the term here, contemplates all that is now being done in ward teaching and much more.  It unites under one undertaking many activities.  It requires that attention be given to every member of every family, particularly to those who need special encouragement to live the gospel.  It means much more than a perfunctory visit once a month.  It includes:

1. Periodic visits to every family by two priesthood bearers;

2. Laboring with Melchizedek Priesthood bearers to build spiritual and temporal ‘strength;’

3. Laboring with inactive and over-age members of the Aaronic Priesthood under 21;

4. Activating and bringing into full church participation senior members of the Aaronic Priesthood and their families;

5. Fellowshiping and bringing into full activity recent converts, new arrivals, and all inactive church members;

6. Encouraging all parents and other family heads to maintain genuine Latter-day Saint homes in which are practised and taught the sanctifying principles of the gospel.  It aims to bring all parents to a realization of President McKay’s statement that ‘The character of the child is formed largely during the first twelve years of his life.  It is estimated,’ said President McKay, ‘that in that period the child spends sixteen times as many waking hours in the home as in school and more than a hundred times as many hours in the home as in the Church.  Every child is, to a great degree, what he is because of the ever constant influence of home environment and the careful or neglectful training of parents.’

It is anticipated that priesthood correlation will include ward teaching, fellowshiping, activating inactive bearers in the priesthood, both Melchizedek and Aaronic.

It will be the responsibility  of the two brethren who visit homes under the priesthood correlation program to familiarize themselves with the spiritual status of each member in every family assigned to them.  It will be their responsibility to make sure than infants are blessed; that children are baptized at eight years of age; that boys are worthy and qualified to be ordained to the priesthood at 12 years of age and that they are so ordained; that they move through the grades of the priesthood in proper order; that candidates for marriage are properly taught the importance and sanctity of temple marriage and the church standards which will qualify them for it, to the end that they will be married in the temple.

It will be the responsibility of the two visiting brethren to know the available church activities for each family member and encourage him to avail himself of them–such activities, for example, as Sacrament meetings, stake conferences, and other ward and stake activities; activities provided by priesthood quorums, auxiliary organizations, the church educational system; genealogical and temple work, and so forth.

In brief, it is the hope that through priesthood correlation the responsibility which the Lord placed upon the elders, priests, and teachers at the time the Church was organized will be discharged.  You will remember that in the revelation recorded in the 20th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, given in 1830 at the time the Church was organized, the Lord prescribed the duties of the elders, priests, teachers, and deacons.  He there said, ‘An apostle is an elder,’ so I assume that the responsibility placed upon the elder is borne by every member of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  President Joseph F. Smith must have been of the same opinion because he said:

Brother Charles W. Penrose is eighty-two years of age.  I am going on seventy-six . . . and I want to tell . . . you that we are not too old to act as teachers, if you will call on us to do it, not one of us. . . . So long as life lasts, and so long as we possess ability to do good, to labor in the upbuilding of Zion for the benefit of the human family, we ought, with willingness, with alacrity to yield to the requirements made of us to do our duty.  (Gospel Doctrine, p. 188)

By some it has been thought that some of the directios given in the revelations referred only to ordained teachers.  It would seem, however, that the responsibility has been placed upon every bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the priests as well as upon the teachers.  For in the revelation the Lord says that the elder’s calling is ‘to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church.’  That’s the responsibility of the elder (which as above explained includes all bearers of the Melchizedek Priesthood).  Then the Lord says that it is the priest’s duty to help him in certain activities–not the whole scope of the elder’s responsibility, but he says it is the priest’s duty to ‘visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties, . . . And he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present.’  And then he repeats, ‘And visit the house of each member, exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties.

‘In all these duties the priest is to assist the elder.’

And then the teacher’s duty is to help also, but not in as wide a scope as the priest, but, ‘The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them;

‘And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking; 

‘And see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty.’  (See D&C 20:38, 42, 47, 49, 51-55.)

We hope to develop a program in this priesthood correlation through which all these responsibilities will be discharged.  When we have seen that every member of the Church does his duty, we think we will be able to stand approved before the Lord.

This is a tremendous undertaking.  It will take training of teachers.  It will take a new determination.  It will mean that every priesthood member will have to be a man of courage.  Someone has said that the courageous man finds a way and that the ordinary man finds an excuse.  No man that holds the priesthood wants to be just an ordinary man.

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.  (D&C 107:99-100)

And again:

Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.

Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;

Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quency all the fiery darts of the wicked;

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also.  (D&C 27:15-18)

In the name of Jesus.  Amen.”

“[Harold B. Lee]  President McKay, as I now come to announce the first tangible step forward that the Church will see on a church-wide basis, I am reminded of something you said when you came to the first regional meeting of the church welfare plan held in 1936 down in the old Pioneer Stake Hall where all the stake presidents of this area were called together.  You sat through an hour or two of what must have been somewhat of a painful discussion of the details of beginning this far-reaching new welfare movement.  You asked no questions, you made no comment, but at the conclusion you made this statement in something of a parable which I should like to apply tonight to this correlation movement.

An engineer pulled his train into a station one dark and stormy night, and while the engineer was out oiling his engine and getting ready for the next run, a timid passenger left his place in the train and walked up to the engineer and asked, “Aren’t you afraid to pull your train out into the dark tonight, raining and storming like it is?”  Without looking up, the engineer replied, “I am not pulling my engine out into the dark tonight.”  “Why,” said the passenger, “it’s pitch dark outside the lights of the station.  I should think that with the responsibility of these four or five hundred passengers depending upon your handling of the train, you would be a nervous wreck.”

For an answer the engineer pointed up to the bright headlight and he said, “Do you see that light up there?  That throws out an intense white light a thousand yards ahead on the track.  When I pull out of the station tonight, I will be running my engine only to the first circle of that light, a thousand yards away, and when I get to the outer circle of that light it will still be out another thousand yards in front of me.  All through this dark night I will not be running in one foot of darkness all the way.”

Then President McKay said, 

Now, brethren, the first goal of this welfare program is October 1936, the first harvest time.  That is the first circle of light.  And when we get to October, the light will be out ahead of us, and I can promise you one thing, that all through this night of uncertainty when we are trying to establish the security of our people in a temporal way, this Church will be running in light of the revelations that come from God, all the way.

We have seen that prediction completely fulfilled.

The first light that the Lord gave us as to how we should instruct his Church in all matters pertaining to his kingdom was given in that same revelation from which Elder Romney has read.  It pertained to the holding of a stake quarterly conference, as we have come to know it.  This is what the Lord said:

Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him; and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him.

The several elders composing this church of Christ are to meet in conference once in three months, or from time to time as said conferences shall direct or appoint.  (D&C 20:60-61)

That assignment to hold quarterly conferences with the elders of the Church was followed then by another apertinent instruction which impressed the need for the constant attendance of teachers that were to come from the headquarters of the Church to instruct, at the conferences, the elders of the Church, which clearly indicated that the Lord intended that a stake quarterly conference was to be primarily a training school for leaders, as well as the Church membership generally.  Note, now, this instruction which verifies that conclusion:

It shall be the duty of the several churches, composing the church of Christ, to send one or more of their teachers to attend the several conferences held by the elders of the church.  (D&C 20:81)

Repeatedly church members have asked as to how, with the rapid growth of the Church, the General Authorities could continue to keep contact with and to properly direct the work.  To illustrate what some have posed as a difficult administrative hurdle: in the twenty-one years since I became a member of the General Authorities, we have increased 222 stakes and about twenty missions more than we had when I became a member of the Council of the Twelve.  This means that when multiplied by four conferences in each stake each year, that we are now having just short of 900 more stake conferences to hold generally than we were holding twenty-one years ago.  Hence, the question as to how the General Authorities were going to keep contact with the stakes of the Church being multiplied at that rate and likewise keep a close supervision of the missions.

In a revelation to President John Taylor the Lord answered that question, and you will note how clearly he said it:

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be ye concerned about the management and organization of my Church and Priesthood and the accomplishment of my work.  Fear not and observe my laws and I will reveal unto you, from time to time, through the channels that I have appointed . . . (I want you to mark that) . . . through the channels that I have appointed, everything that shall be necessary for the future development and perfection of my Church, for the adjustment and the rolling forth of my kingdom, and for the building up and the establishment of my Zion, for ye are my Priesthood and I am your God.

We who are working closely together in the development of a more effective correlation have had the unmistakable evidence of divine direction through the channels by which the Lord told President John Taylor he would reveal himself and the development and the rolling forth of the work of the Lord.  Now to understand what we mean by that you have but to kneel with President McKay in our council meetings and to hear him pray with a fervor that thrills every man of the council who kneels with him, ‘Heavenly Father, keep the channel of communcation open between thee and us.’

The relationship of the expanding organization and development of the correlation courses of study of the auxiliary organizations as explained by Elder Hinckley and Elder Evans have been done through the all-church co-ordinating council which is comprised of the heads of all the auxiliaries, the Presiding Bishop, and the administrator of the church school system.

We have now gone forward as the brethren have explained in consultation with the all-church co-ordinating council together with four members of the twelve and executive secretaries which make up our research staff.  It is now beoming increasingly clear that not only the ‘what‘ to teach in the curricula of the Church is important in the co-ordinating of courses of study and the activity programs of the Church, but it is just as important, and, in fact, going hand in hand must be the ‘how‘ of leadership training in stakes and missions.

Keeping in mind what the Lord has clearly instructed as to leadership training in the stake conferences every three months, the light of spiritual guidance as to the next steps ahead begins to break through.

The first step in this new development came last spring when the Presidency and the twelve decided that beginning in 1963, General Authorities would attend only two of the stake conferences annually in each stake.  At the same time President McKay warned of the importance and the absolute necessity of the General Authorities having the conduct for all stake conferences under their close supervision.

From the first announcement of the new correlation program, there has been constant inquiry made as to where the general auxiliary boards were to function, and always, with our limited view at the beginning, we answered, ‘Well, when we get to that problem, the answer will come.’  Now the answer has come.  Beginning with 1963, alternating with conferences attended by the General Authorities, general auxiliary board representatives will be assigned by the First Presidency to attend these other two stake conferences each year.

For the conferences during the first half of the year, one representative from the Relief Society and one from the Primary general board will go to each stake conference as assigned.  During the last half of the year, alternating with quarterly conferences attended by the General Authorities, one representative from the Sunday School and one from the MIA general board will attend the stake conferences as assigned by the First Presidency.

The general plan for these conferences attended by the general auxiliary board representatives as is now being formulated will be something like this: These quarterly conferences attended by auxiliary board representatives will take the place of what have been called the annual conventions heretofore held by each general board in each stake or on a regional basis.  There will be no such annual conventions in this new conference program.  Instead, the quarterly conference, where general board representatives attend, will take the place of these annual auxiliary conventions.

The emphasis now at these conferences attended by general board representatives will be on leadership training and not on curricula presentation.  The introduction of courses of study and the activities for the coming year by each auxiliary will be, hereafter, announced and developed at the annual conferences held by each auxiliary at church headquarters–June conference for the MIA, then for the Primary, Relief Society, and Sunday School conferences on schedules as followed in the past.

Now, to give you some idea of the suggested schedule that will be followed at these stake conferences attended by the auxiliaries, and this is just a rough sketch of how it may work:

On Saturday morning each auxiliary representative, beginning probably about 9:00 o’clock, will begin a series of training sessions and problem discussions with their respective organization leaders separately, and they will carry out a predetermined program which has been worked out in consultation with the advisers to each auxiliary; these advisers, of course, being made up of members of the twelve and then approved by the Presidency and the Twelve.  Toward the evening and probably about 7:00 o’clock on Saturday, both auxiliary representatives will then meet with stake and ward priesthood leaders, the stake presidency, probably, the high council, and ward bishoprics, and there in that meeting these two auxiliary representatives will present to priesthood leaders, a predetermined and approved program of instruction and explanation.  This meeting will be presided over by the stake president.

On Sunday, at both general sessions held at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, both auxiliary representatives will attend and will participate in both sessions as a team, so that now as they come to you instead of presenting their program as separate and sometimes unrelated and uncorrelated units, they will come to you, for example, in the first of these conferences in 1963, the Primary representing the children’s program and the Relief Society representing the mother’s program.  How much more important will this kind of teamwork so presented mean to the church membership as both mother and child programs are related to each other.

They will carry out a program and demonstrate the harmony of the auxiliary programs as they relate to the priesthood and the home.  This kind of meeting with the whole church membership in the general sessions will give the auxiliary representatives the opportunity to meet the maximum of the total stake membership and to impress the essential co-operation between the auxiliary organizations, the priesthood, and the home.

While both auxiliary representatives will participate in both sessions, one session might feature, for example, in the case of the Relief Society and Primary, the Singing Mothers who could be assigned the music at one session and the primary children singing chorus at the other session.  At both these sessions the stake president will preside.

At the other stake conferences attended by General Authorities during the first half of the year, the missionary work and the welfare program will be stressed.  It is likely that representatives of these two phases of the work may be assigned to accompany the visiting General Authority.  That organization and the details thereof have yet to be announced.

At the conferences during the last half of the year, attended by General Authorities, the priesthood correlation or the enlargement of ward teaching as Elder Romney has explained it [note that HOME TEACHING apparently has not yet been coined] and genealogical and temple work will be stressed.  It is conceivable that a program of training and instruction in genealogical work might be considered through the whole of Saturday, just as the program of the auxiliaries will be developed, if they so desire.  It is also likely that representatives of these two phases of vital church programs may be assigned to accompany the visiting General Authority.

Thus you see that every phase of the Lord’s work will receive attention, with a full correlation of courses of study and activities and with stress being placed on the training of and the instruction of local stake and ward leaders.

One concluding thought, and may I say, something of a testimony–President McKay sometime ago in talking to the Presidency and the twelve, urged us to give time for more meditation so that we could tune in with spiritual forces that we had a right to and should expect to direct us in our work.  He said, ‘The best time for me is early in the morning when my mind and body are rested.  But when the inspiration comes, and it can come just as clearly as though you were taking down a telephone and dialing in for information; when the Lord tells you what to do, you have to have the courage to do what he instructs you.’

It is that, President McKay, which has been one of the most humbling experiences of this last year.  Under your assignment, I bear humble witness to the Church I have sought that with all the faith I could muster, I have importuned the Lord.  Sometimes the startling nature of my assignment has required courage almost beyond my strength.  I come to you tonight subdued in spirit, I come to you with a sincere witness that the Lord is revealing and working through channels that he has appointed.  Don’t you ever let anybody tell you, the membership of the Church, that the Lord is not today revealing and directing and developing plans which are needed to concentrate the entire forces of this Church to meet the challenge of the insidious forces at work to thwart and to tear down and to undermine the church and kingdom of God.

I bear you my solemn witness that I know that God is directing this work today and revealing his mind and will.  The light is shining through, and if we can get the priesthood now to come alive and to put into full gear the full strength of the priesthood, we shall see some of the most wonderful developments and some of the greatest things happen to the forces which the Lord can set in motion that we have ever known in this dispensation.”  

(6 Oct., 1962; CR Oct., 1962, pp. 71-83)

ca. l962:  “Interviewing Boys.”

“For some time we have felt a need to publish suggestions to help bishops in their responsibility of interviewing the boys of the Aaronic Priesthood. . . .

The bishops, as president of the Aaronic Priesthood, must not permit his schedule to become so encumbered with organizational work as to limit his contact with the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood to a mere pat on the back as they walk down the hall.  The bishop has a paramount duty to counsel with every boy holding the Aaronic Priesthood.

A regular interviewing program pursued by the bishop will do much in helping to prevent the moral deterioration and collapse of a young man.  It will help avert the tragedy of becoming immoral, help prevent a wasted life, and help preclude a young man’s sense of values from being distorted.  It will also help him from being forced to make immature decisions. . . .

The scheduling of interview appointments should call for some special consideration.  With the bishop’s time becoming more and more concentrated with Church activity, he may be tempted to call the members of his Aaronic Priesthood over to the Church some evening to assemble in the foyer while he invites them one at a time into his office and asks three or four standard questions.  Utilizing this procedure he soon discovers that the first boys interviewed have briefed the rest of his friends, and they have prepared their answers in advance of meeting the bishop.  These answers are the answers every bishop hopes to hear when he is talking to young people, but they do not always convey the true meaning or circumstances. . . .

The interview presents an ideal opportunity to teach a young man his Priesthood duties, to teach him about tithing, to teach him the habit of prayer, to teach him about the Word of Wisdom; and it also provides an ideal opportunity to teach him the sacredness of moral cleanliness.  Here we should sound a note of caution and request that you gear any discussions of sex according to the age and comprehension level of the young man you are interviewing.  To be more specific, the interview with a young deacon regarding morality should not go beyond such general questions as, ‘Are you doing anything that you would be ashamed to tell your mother about?’  Here is an opportune time to stress the importance of avoiding vulgarity and profanity, but be extremely careful not to suggest practices that will tend to arouse curiosity.

When a young man reaches the age of a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood, discretion is still required; but your interview regarding his moral status can be more specific, primarily in teaching him to respect young ladies as he would expect others to respect his sisters.  Again stress cleanliness of thought, also that he should not be engaged in any practices that tend to create unwholesome thoughts.  If the maturity of the boy warrants, it may be necessary more directly to suggest that masturbation is not acceptable in the eyes of our Father in heaven and is not to be practiced by a young man holding the Priesthood of God.

Should he be a priest and his development has been normal, this is an opportunity to teach him that sex transgression is second only to the shedding of innocent blood, also that any form of sex perversion is a sin and undesirable in the eyes of the Lord.”  (“Interviewing Boys,” published by the Presiding Bishopric [John H. Vandenberg, Robert L. Simpson and Victor L. Brown], ca. 1962)