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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1963

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1963:  6 Apr.:  Update on Correlation.

“In order to set forth more clearly what we were now assigned to do in this new look at correlation, the First Presidency, under date of March 24, 1960, that means just a little over three years ago, wrote this letter to the general priesthood committee:

We of the First Presidency have over the years felt the need of a correlation between and among the courses of study put out by the General Priesthood Committee and by the responsible heads of the other Committees of the General Authorities for the instruction of the Priesthood of the Church.

We have also felt the very urgent need of a correlation of studies among the Auxiliaries of the Church.  We have noted what seemed to be a tendency toward a fundamental, guiding concept, particularly among certain of the Auxiliary Organizations, that there must be every year a new course of study for each of the Auxiliary Organizations so moving.  We question whether the composite of all of them might not tend away from the development of a given line of study or activity having the ultimate and desired objective of building up a knowledge of the Gospel, a power to promulgate the same, a promotion of the growth, faith, and stronger testimony of the principles of the Gospel among the members of the Church.

We have sometimes been led to wonder whether there was a proper observance of the field of a particular Auxiliary of what might be termed its jurisdiction.  The question has not been absent from our minds that there might be a concept entertained by some of them including within their jurisdiction the entire scope of Church activity, and with their members the whole Church membership.

We think that the contemplated study by the Committee now set up, should have the foregoing matters in mind.  We feel assured that if the whole Church curricula were viewed from the vantage point of what we might term the total purpose of each and all of these organizations, it would bring about such a collation and limitation of subjects and subject matters elaborated in the various Auxiliary courses as would tend to the building of efficiency in the Auxiliaries themselves in the matter of carrying out the purposes lying behind their creation and function.

We would therefore commend to you Brethren of the General Priesthood Committee the beginning of an exhaustive, prayerful study and consideration of this entire subject, with the co-operative assistance of the Auxiliaries themselves so that the Church might reap the maximum harvest from the devotion of the faith, intelligence, skill and knowledge of our various Auxiliary Organizations and Priesthood Committees.

This is your authority to employ such necessary technical help as you might need to bring this about.  We shall await your report.

I suppose I need not tell you what a soul-searching assignment that was.  We found in our study, that in 1912 and again in 1920 since President McKay became one of the General Authorities, he was a member of a committee of the Twelve by whom similar studies were undertaken.  This means that for a matter of forty years at least, this subject of correlation had been close to the President’s mind and in his thoughts as something very essential and desirable.

Now, in setting about to carry out this assignment, it was our first conclusion that there should be set up a co-ordinating council, which we so recommended, and which was approved.  We will show you that council in a few moments.  There would be three committees established, and in harmony with the letter which I have just read you, one for youth, one for children, and one for adults, and it was felt that the Primary and the Sunday School would probably be the organization to teach the children.  The two MIA organizations and the Sunday School and the educational system and the Aaronic Priesthood would implement the program for the youth.  The adults would be taught by the Sunday School, the educational system, the Relief Society, and the priesthood, including the members of the Aaronic Priesthood over 21, and of course some flexibility would have to be provided in these areas and activities where sharp lines could not be drawn.

When we made our first preliminary report, which we have done step by step as we have advanced since that first assignment, President McKay said in a meeting with the Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, ‘This is in the right direction, and should go forward.’  Encouraged by that, then, we took the next step.

We are going to undertake tonight something that is going to be rather difficult.  We are going to show you eight charts, which we will now flash on a screen.  Because two thirds of our audience tonight are not within sight of the screen, we shall ask you who are not here or where television is not available to you, to pay careful heed, and I will attempt to explain it sufficiently so you may get come kind of mental picture at least, and if you folks here who are seeing, will watch these charts, perhaps I can more quickly show you the organization and what has been done up to the present time.

In order for the General Authorities to see the charts without having to turn around, we have prepared copies of these charts which the brethren will pass out to you now, and you may then follow without the necessity of reversing your seats.

We have numbered these, as you will notice, brethren, on the upper left-hand corner Number 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on, so you can follow rather readily.  Now if we may have the lights dimmed and the first chart thrown on the screen.  We have left these lights here dimmed, I think, enough, President McKay, so that the brethren on the stand can see and yet it will not take away the effectiveness of the projection on the screen.  Now we will show you the first chat and see if that will work.

Chart #1 shows the over-all organization for all-church co-ordination, with, of course, the First Presidency at the head.  Under their direction, the Council of the Twelve and the General Authorites associated with them, and then you will notice on the left-hand side of the chart the Correlation Committee, presently consisting of four members of the Twelve.  On the right-hand side you will notice the auxiliary advisers.  These are advisers named by the First Presidency to each of the auxiliaries, two or three or more to each such auxiliary.

Chart #2.  This chart shows you the Correlation Committee.  Then you will notice an All-Church Co-ordinating Council, as it is called on this chart.  This includes the four members of the Twelve, representing the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Presiding Bishop who represents the Aaronic Priesthood, the chairman of the Genealogical Society, and the presidents and/or superintendents of each auxiliary board, and a representative of the church school system.  This council has an executive secretary.  Under the All-Church Co-ordinating Council we have three committees–The Children’s Committee; the Youth Committee; and the Adult Committee.  The chairman of each of these three committees, the Adult Committee, the Youth Committee, and the Committee for Children, is a member of the Twelve.  Each committee has its own executive secretary.

Now, as the letter I read you indicated, the three periods in the span of life as set forth, are children up to twelve years of age, youth twelve to the early twenties, and adults through life.  The executive, or planning group, who work with each chairman, have from two to four who constitute an executive committee.  Then we have in addition thereto, twenty-five well-qualified brothers and sisters who are chosen on the additional ‘task’ committees.  They are at work now reviewing the present courses of study and the previous courses which have been used, and where necessary will recommend new courses in order to follow a pre-determined outlined and accepted course for children from three years of age to adulthood.  This complete outline of subjects to be taught at all ages has been reviewed and presented to the Presidency and the Twelve, and now becomes the plan which these ‘task’ committees will follow.

With each of these committees, I should like to make a special mention of the four brethren who serve as our executive secretaries, who have done such tremendous work:  Brother Antone K. Romney, Brother Reed L. Bradford, Brother B. West Belnap, Brother Vaughn E. Hansen, and previously Brother Dan Ludlow, with Carol H. Cannon as their secretary.  Night and day and throughout these years they have been excused fro all other church assignments, and while carrying out their own schoolwork as professional teachers at their various universities, they have carried on and with their planning groups have brought to us their excellent work for our consideration and further development, which progress report we are trying to present to you tonight.

In the planning groups or executive committees we have nine members in all.  We have the same kind of dedication, as I explained, in twenty-five more who are working on the task committees with the same complete attention to their specific assignments.  If Brother Wendell Ashton will pardon me, I would like to make a reference to him as an illustration.  We were sitting in a meeting the other night where he, representing the adult group was in session with us, when the telephone rang.  It was word from his home that his lovely wife had just passed away.  Sick though she was, he had left her bedside to counsel with us preparing for this conference.  From this meeting he was to return home to his sorrowing family.  I cite that complete selfless service of Brother Ashton, as an example of the fully devoted service of these committee members as they work behind the scenes.  I wish time would permit me to name them all.

As I think of the dedication of these brothers and sisters, I have thought often of something that is reported to have been said by the late President J. Golden Kimball.  He was asked on one occasion how many people worked in the Church Office Building, and his answer was, ‘Oh, about a third of them.’  At least, we can say to you that these folks represent the ‘third’ of which Brother Kimball was speaking–a thoroughly dedicated ‘working third.’

Chart #3.  In this next chart you will note the auxiliary advisers shown at the top and underneath the auxiliary advisers on the chart, the four auxiliaries, or five, if you count the YWMIA and the YMMIA as separate organizations: Relief Society, Sunday School, MIA, and Primary general boards.

While the correlation committees are studying the courses of study, preparing, and writing them if assigned to do so, the auxiliary advisers with their general boards will now engage primarily in leadership training, so you will notice in the center of that chart ‘Leadership Training’ is pictured as the great task of the general auxiliary boards with their advisers.  This is done first at their annual conference, such as has just been held by the general board of the Primary Association and is now in process of being held by the general Sunday School board.  Here in these annual conferences there will be a preview of courses of study and activities, and then at stake quarterly conference (you will notice on the right-hand side) where once annually, each auxiliary organization will send a representative who will bring to each stake a program for training and instruction of local leaders.  Most of you now have had visits from the Relief Society and Primary representatives, and almost uniformly we have heard nothing but commendation from stake presidents for the excellent service these auxiliary representatives have rendered at stake conferences.  The Sunday School and MIA will attend conferences during the third and fourth quarters of the year.  These auxiliary representatives will give leadership training to stake leaders in separate meetings throughout Saturday, and then to priesthood leaders in the evening, and then participate, under the direction of stake presidents, in the general sessions on Sunday, to bring their respective auxiliary programs to the body of the Church.  These stake conferences, attended by auxiliary representatives will take the place of what have been called heretofore, the annual auxiliary conventions.

Chart #4.  The next chart shows four other phases of the work, you will notice.  Under the First Presidency and the Twelve, General Authorities will be sent out to stake conferences, alternating with the general auxiliary boards, and you will notice at the bottom of the chart the four phases of work which will be stressed when the General Authorities come.

In the first two quarters of this year welfare work and genealogy work were stressed and will be stressed to the end of the second quarter.  For the last half of the year, missionary work and what we are calling ‘Home Teaching’ will be stressed by the General Authorities and their associates.

We will speak of ‘Home Teaching’ in just a moment.

Chart #5.  Now with this next chart I want to pause a moment to illustrate something of our procedure, as we have developed the correlation program, step by step.  You will notice here again, and to you who are listening, the First Presidency at the top of the chart, and under the Presidency, the General Authorities, and then you will notice in a subordinated position the words, ‘general priesthood board’ in parentheses, and stemming out from the box showing the General Authorities or (general priesthood board,) you will see four committees who will assist the General Authorities: a priesthood missionary committee, a priesthood welfare committee, a priesthood Home Teaching committee, and a priesthood genealogical committee.  All of these programs, therefore, are to be priesthood-centered.

When we brought this recommendation to the First Presidency designating a general priesthood board in a supervisory position, President McKay made a very significant statement to the effect that, years ago, when the committee of the Twelve on which he was then working with a similar problem had suggested the setting up of a general priesthood board, President Joseph F. Smith had said, ‘You have a general priesthood board.  You as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, constitute the priesthood board.’

In that naming of the Twelve as the general priesthood board, the President of the Church was but repeating in essence what the Lord had said.  Let me read you three brief verses.

The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.

Then this reference to the Seventy:

The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the traveling high council, in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews;

Then finally,

Whereas other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all nations, but are to travel as their circumstances shall allow, notwithstanding they may hold as high and responsible offices in the church.  (D&C 107:33-34, 98.)

And if you will think of the place of the Assistants to the Twelve, you will begin to see how the Lord very clearly in that last quotation opened up the possibility of that very kind of appointment, just as the Lord had said there would be, ‘other officers not of the Twelve neither the Seventies–notwithstanding they may hold as high and responsible offices in the Church.’  Working with the Twelve, then, serving as a general priesthood board assisted by others of the General Authorities, will be these four sub-committees, priesthood-centered, directed by the general priesthood board which is, as President Joseph F. Smith had described, the priesthood responsibility of the Twelve.  A member of the Twelve will be the chairman of each such committee, with an Assistant to the Twelve as a managing director, and others to form an administrative staff, with committee members who will serve as members on each of these committees who may be thought of as field representatives.  There probably will be as many as twenty or twenty-five on each committee.  (These will be full church service time associates but not required to give full time as do the Assistants to the Twelve and the other General Authorities, i.e., they are to be released from other church assignments conflicting with this assignment.  They will function under the direction of the General Authorities in some respects as do the auxiliary boards in the matter of call and release.)  The priesthood welfare committee will have as chairman the Presiding Bishop of the Church, as was announced by President Moyle today, when the general officers of the Church were sustained, with an Assistant to the Twelve as the managing dfirector and others as an administrative staff and committee who will work with him.

As we study the appointments of these brethren, we think that at some stake conferences, in foreign countries, one brother might give attention to both programs by going before and staying a day after the conference.  We may find some committee members who can teach one program for the first half of the year and another program for the second half, if his personal affairs permit.  This is all being studied by the Twelve to see what can be done to increase efficiency and to keep travel costs to a minimum.

Chart #6.  Here now we will show you the introduction of what we are calling the priesthood Home Teaching program.  This is a program which we are going to study now in great detail as we come out to your stake conferences, so I shall only speak in headlines here tonight.  To you who are listening, at the top of the page we say ‘Priesthood Correlation.’  It is a Home Teaching organization chart.

This new program is to be introduced and taught during the last two quarters of 1963 and will be inaugurated in full scale, January 1, 1964.  This phase of the work is known as ‘Home Teaching.’  This designation was made after prayerful discussion by the Co-ordinating Council and by the First Presidency and the Twelve to emphasize an enlargement of the scope of responsibility previously in what we have called ‘Ward Teaching.’  Emphasis on the responsibilities of the entire priesthood to ‘watch over the Church’ as commanded in the early revelations–to be concerned with the whole family as a group and as individuals.

In each stake there will be set up a Home Teaching committee as you will see at the top of the chart which will consist of the stake presidency, the general secretary for Home Teaching, who will be one of the high councilmen who is also a member of the stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee, and an assistant stake clerk for Home Teaching.

Under the supervision of the stake Home Teaching committee, as the chart shows, in each ward there will be a ward Home Teaching committee, consisting of the ward bishopric, an assistant ward clerk for ward teaching, and a high priest’s group leader, the seventy’s president or group leader, and the elder’s president.  Now this will constitute the core of those who now will go out to ‘watch over the Church.’  Priesthood group leaders will confer with the bishop, and the bishop will in turn determine who shall be assigned to work with certain families.  These Home Teachers will then report back to their priesthood group leader or president, who in turn, will report to the bishop.

Chart #7.  This chart will show you the high priests, who as senior companions, so far as is practicable, will work with high priests.  They may be in some cases accompanied by an Aaronic Priesthood member, and they will visit the homes of high priests or high priests’ widows.

The seventies at the top of the page, or group leaders, will be assigned so far as practicable to work with seventies as senior companions, with possibly a junior companion from the Aaronic Priesthood.  They will visit the homes of seventies and their widows, and so with the elders.

Chart #8.  Now on the next page you will see the Aaronic Priesthood.  The general secretary over 21 will work with the home teachers, advisers to the Aaronic Priesthood over 21 as senior companions, and visit the home of Aaronic Priesthood over 21 and the unordained.

On the opposite side you will notice in the writing something that is very significant.  Auxiliary leaders will assist priesthood leaders in the Home Teaching program as directed by the stake and ward priesthood leadership.  This meeting of priesthood and auxiliary leaders will constitute what will be called the Ward Council.  You stake presidents have been holding a monthly meeting with this group of ward leaders.  This meeting has been known by different names–ward officers meeting, ward faculty meeting, ward correlation meeting, etc.–but will now be known as a Ward Council meeting where representatives of all auxiliaries may be invited to meet with priesthood representatives.  In cases of special need, this chart explains the bishop will make adjustments in assignments as necessary; for example, there may be women assigned to go with their husbands on occasion or there may be called specialists from priesthood or auxiliary organizations where they are having a particular problem with a boy or girl or a man or woman, as the case might be.

Now with those few charts in mind, if the lights can be put on, let me make just one or two closing comments.  In the instruction book, which will be put in the hands of all leaders, President McKay has prepared a foreword in which he has stressed these very things we are talking about.  This is what President McKay will say in his foreword: ‘A Divine Service.’

Home teaching is one of our most urgent and most rewarding opportunities to nurture and inspire, to counsel and direct our Father’s children in all that pertains to life.  Through the priesthood quorums, and under the Bishop’s direction, Home Teaching takes the message of the gospel, the message of life and salvation and brotherly love, into the home, wherein lies the first and foremost opportunity for teaching in the Church.

Three things should be kept in mind in thorough preparation for Home Teaching:

First, a knowledge of those whom you are to teach.  As each family is different from another, so each individual in the family differs from others.  Methods and messages should vary according to each individual, and according to his problems and needs.

To perform fully our duty as a Home Teacher we would need to be continually aware of the attitudes, the activities and interests, the problems, the employment, the health, the happiness, the plans and purposes, the physical and temporal and spiritual needs and circumstances of everyone–of every child, every youth, and every adult in the homes and families who have been placed in our trust and care as a bearer of the priesthood and as a representative of the bishop.

Second, is a knowledge of what you are to teach.  It is the Home Teacher’s duty to teach that Jesus the Christ is the Redeemer of the World, and that Joseph Smith and his successors are prophets of God, and that the gospel has been restored, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being divinely led and offers happiness eternal life and exaltation for all who are willing to learn and to live its principles.  The earnestness of your testimony and the sincerity of your service will help give life and purpose and a desire for full fellowship in the Church to those whom you teach.

Third, is a knowledge of how we are going to teach.  If we may take some language from the Doctrine and Covenants, and apply it to this purpose: The Home Teacher should ‘visit the house of each member’ and ‘teach, expound,’ and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties and ‘watch over the Church always, and be with and strengthen them’–and this means always–however and whenever and with whatever may be necessary.

Home Teaching is a divine service, a divine call.  It is our duty as Home Teachers to carry the divine spirit into every home and heart.  To love the work and do our best will bring the unbounded peace and joy and satisfaction of a noble, dedicated Teacher of God’s children.

Here, then, you will see a home-centered, priesthood-centered responsibility in which every member of the priesthood is expected to function.

No one holding the priesthood is to be exempt from a bishop’s assignment to work in this program.

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.

Just one final thought.  When this correlation plan, thus far developed, was finally presented, President McKay made this statement.

This is not only a wonderful step forward but a bound forward.  My soul rejoices!  I think the whole thing is glorious!  We can all see opportunities for the priesthood to become activie and as quorums also: I think this is growth.  It warms my soul!

And all of us who have been privileged to work in the correlation studies feel as the President has expressed himself.  Each step forward, however, opens up a new vista of new responsibility, so that we feel something like the great empire builder, Sir Cecil John Rhodes, who said in his last and dying words, after a lifetime of great accomplishments, ‘So little done, so much to do.’

That is the way we feel about it.  ‘So little done, and so much that lies yet ahead.’  We must expect opposition, and sometimes that opposition may come from inside, but remember what the Prophet Joseph Smith our early leader said: ‘The nearer a person approaches the Lord, ther greater the power will be manifested by the Adversary to prevent the accomplishment of his purposes.’  One of the brethren, President John Taylor, said he heard the Prophet say, ‘You have all kinds of trials to pass through, and it is quite as necessary for you to be tried even as Abraham, and other men of God,’ and said he, ‘God will feel after you, he will take hold of you and wrench your very heartstrings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Kingdom of God.’

Well, now may I close with a statement, paraphrasing what the Lord said through the Prophet Joseph Smith to his associates in the priesthood of the Church: ‘Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause?  Go forward and not backward.  Courage, brethren, and on, on to victory,’ for which I pray humbly and fervently we may do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.”  (Harold B. Lee, 6 Apr., 1963; CR Apr., 1963, pp. 82-89)

6 Apr.:  Duties of quorums relative to Correlation.

“While listening to the profound presentation of the correlation work in this Church, two thoughts came to my mind which I wish to emphasize.

First, I hope you all visioned clearly the quorum work in the Church and its relation to what Brother Lee presented.  There are quorums in the Church independent, in a way, so far as spiritual work and service is concerned, of the ecclesiastical organization of the Church, and those quorums supply a spiritual need which the world seeks to obtain in secret societies.  I think they make it more effective, however, than we do in the Church.

One day Brother {Hugh J.} Cannon and I were on the vessel leaving the northern part of Africa, and as the vessel pulled out into the ocean, I strolled along the deck.  I noticed a stranger coming toward me.  I could see by his face that he recognized me and expected me to recognize him.  For the life of me I knew I had never seen him before, but he still came forward with that recognition and grasped my hand with a special grip.  He immediately dropped my hand, and said: ‘Excuse me.’  Then I knew.  I was wearing a stick pin, a gift from Sister McKay, upon which was engraved a star and crescent.  This man recognized the sign, gave me the grip, but I could not return it.

We do not object to the world’s holding those special covenient means of soul intercourse.  It is friendly.  It is helpful.  But we have the same thing in the Church.  Every male member in the Church from twelve years up to 112 years, as one man celebrated his birthday yesterday, has a place in the quorum–twelve deacons, twenty-four teachers, forty-eight priests, ninety-six elders; and high priests gathered under the ecclesiastical group in your stake.  Where we do not have that number we have groups.  In every ward we have deacons, teachers, and priests, and in the stakes, the elders, seventies, and high priests.

Now, each quorum has a duty to perform.  The presidencies have a responsibility to sit in council with them and to teach them their duty–the quorum work.  Not the bishop, not the stake presidency–that is the duty of the quorum.

And so I saw, while Elder Lee was presenting this work of teaching correlating work, the duty of the individual members of each quorum.

I was pleased the other day to receive an old minute book.  I thank somebody for sending it to me so that I could look through it.  This minute book came from Ogden where we used to have our deacons’ quorum presidency’s meeting, talking there in a neighbor’s house, then deciding that it was our duty to chop the wood for the widows of the ward.  My point is that the responsibility of the entire Church rests upon the men who are members of these quorums.

I should just like to say a word now to the deacons, the teachers, and the priests who are present tonight.  President Brown was right when he said the officers of the Church are expecting you young men to carry on the work that is presented this night.  There are two things we should like you to do: each one keep his faith in God, and have moral courage–not just physical courage–moral courage.  I know that some of you are just like a man who wrote a letter the other day saying, ‘I have lost my faith.  Can you help me?  What is there hereafter?  I am afraid there is nothing hereafter.  Can you help me?’

Well, I know for what he is yearning.  He wants to know for sure that death does not end this life, and that the soul within will live eternally.  I shall just say to him, and to you young men, whenever you are doubting the existence of God or your own immortality, remember what the Savior said to those who doubted him:

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.  (John 7:17.)

Now, that is the keynote to every man living.  Do the will of God.  If any man will do his will he shall know for himself.  There is an opportunity every day of our lives to do that will.  Each young man has an opportunity some day to do as his Father has asked him to do.  The young men here tonight have heard the words of scripture, and you will have opportunities tomorrow to be untrue to yourself or to the instructions given today.  God will prompt you what to do.  You say, ‘Well, I do not know yet that he lives.’  Yes, you do!  You cannot prove that he does not; and if you doubt it, believe those men who know, if you have confidence in them.”  (David O. McKay, 6 Apr., 1963; IE 66:508-509, Jun., 1963)

May:  How does Home Teaching differ from Ward Teaching?

“How do we do it in 1963?  The bishop is the active head of the new approach, with the close support of the quorum leaders.  He will direct the assignments and the calls to teach, but he will call upon the presidencies of the quorums of the priesthood to direct the effort as it applies to their quorum members.  There will be a close co-ordination of this effort.

And what is the responsibility of the quorum presidency?  To visit and work with quorum members and their families.  This work has also had special emphasis during the past decades.  Presidencies and quorums have been preparing for this new unified program in the same manner and at the same time as have the welfare leaders.

Under the direction of this unified leadership, the ‘home teachers’ will be given responsibility for the families in their care.  This responsibility will cover the whole range of their spiritual, physical, and mental well-being.  This pair of home teachers carries the awe-inspiring task now to ‘watch over the church . . . and be with and strengthen them.’  In their hands is the complete program.

In the past there have been many ‘watchers.’  And because there were many watching, being everybody’s business, became nobody’s business.  If the members of a whole community are appointed to watch out to sea for storms and wrecks, they soon grow tired.  But place the safety of those at sea on the lone guardsman, tramping his lonely beat and knowing that lives are in his hands, he faithfully performs his task.  Because he is ever alert, he is on hand the moment danger threatens, or need is manifest.

Such a one is the home teacher.  To him and his companion is assigned the guardianship of the family on the sea of life, attempting to find safe entrance into the harbor.  Let him not fail to keep his vigil.

As for us, this coming season, detail of how to proceed and when to start will be taught and demonstrated by the authorities at conferences to be held.  Every presidency of the priesthood will want to be present at these meetings to learn the new application of the revelation given in 1830.”  (“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 66:405, May, 1963)

15 May:  “The fundamental basis for Home Teaching.”

“Brethren and Sisters, I take great pleasure in meeting with you on this historic occasion–the first meeting of this kind ever held in the Church.

I feel impressed this morning to say just a few words on the authority of the priesthood.  When visiting the missions of the Church in 1921 with President Hugh J. Cannon, a fellow passenger and his wife, strangers to us, introduced themselves to us soon after we left the harbor.  As we conversed, the woman, somewhat apologetically, said: ‘May I ask you a question?’  ( replied, ‘Certainly, and I will answer it before you ask it; I have only one wife.’  With curiosity, she queried, ‘If plural marriage isn’t the purpose of your religion, what is?’  ‘We are Christians,’ I replied.  She answered, ‘So are we.’

And then she asked the important question: ‘What are the distinguishing features of your church?  What is the difference between your church and my church?’  ‘There are several,’ I responded, ‘divine authority by direct revelation being a principal one.’

I should like to say something about that–not divine authority as that would not be a distinctive feature.  The Roman Catholics claim divine authority by direct line from Saint Peter who they unwisely assert was Bishop of Rome.  The Orthodox Greek Catholic Church claims divine authority from five apostles who survived Peter.  They claim authority and so do the Coptics in Northern Africa.  Thus, the Romans, Greeks, Coptics, and others claim divine authority, but there is only one church that has divine authority by direct revelation.

He was right who said several hundred years ago, as he resigned the position as head of the first Baptist Church in America {Roger Williams}, ‘There is no regularly constituted church on earth nor any person authorized to admininster church ordinances, nor can there be until new Apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am waiting.’

In 1820 divine messengers did come.  God himself and his Beloved Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the boy Prophet heard the divine voice saying, ‘This is My Beloved Son.  Hear Him.’  Subsequently, divine messengers restored the priesthood.  John the Baptist, who had been taught from birth, and also was recognized by the Savior himself, restored the Aaronic Priesthood.  Peter, James, and John, whose authority no Christian can question, came and restored the Melchizedek Priesthood to the Prophet Joseph Smith.

In the Aaronic Priesthood we have priests, teachers, and deacons, under the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood held by the Presiding Bishop.  The Melchizedek Priesthood is presided over by three high priests, a president, and two counselors.  There are also high priests, seventies, and elders, in keeping with the statement of Paul of old–

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.  (Eph. 4:11-13)

We are speaking to a group of men today whose duties will be to help those who visit to perfect the Saints, who will go about teaching ‘for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.’

In the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums, we have, as I have named, high priests in the quorum; seventies specially called; and elders who are under the direction of the presidency of the stake.

We have the quorum, as I have named, as a distinct organization in the Church–separate from the ecclesiastical part of the Church; in the ecclesiastical phase there are stakes and missions–the two great divisions of the Church.  In the stakes we have the president of the stake, two counselors, and several bishops of wards.

The High Priesthood consists of apostles, high priests, seventies, elders, who are directly under the First Presidency of the Church.  The seventies have a special presidency appointed by revelation.  The elders are directly under the direction of the ecclesiastical head known as the stake presidency.  The Aaronic Priesthood is under the direction of the bishopric who holds the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the bishop, by ordination, holds the office of president of the priests’ quorum, the presidency of which goes with the ordination of a bishop.  The teachers and also the deacons are under the bishopric of the ward.

Thus, there are two sources of authority–one from the quorum, and the other from the ecclesiastical division.  Each quorum is presided over by three men officially appointed and ordained.  The president of the high priests from now on will be the president of each stake.  It is fitting that the president of this quorum should also be the president of the ecclesiastical group known as a stake.  The seventies have their own organization; and the presidency of the elders’ quorum will be under the presidency of the stake.

It is the duty of each presidency of a quorum to meet with the members, to sit in council, and teach them their duty.  I repeat–to sit in council with them and to teach them their duties.

Now, when they sit as a group in a quorum, the ecclesiastical authority has nothing to do with them except as the president of the stake.

It is the duty of the presidency of quorums, whether high priest, seventy, or elder, to teach, to sit in council with quorum members, and teach them their duty and see that they are attending to all regular duties.  This is a distinctive organization throughout the Church–the meaning or full import of which the Church does not comprehend today.

What the secret orders are to the world, the quorums are to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The quorums should foster fellowship, fraternity, brotherhood, and love as a group.  Individually, they should give service to the organizations in the Church.  They are subject to the ecclesiastical authority as members of the Church, but not as quorum members.  Each quorum member is subject to his presidency, and it is the duty of the presidency to bring about unity in the membership of the quorum.  Let me illustrate further: Referring again to an instance on board the vessel, I had never before seen the man.  As he came toward me I knew he recognized me, but I did not recognize him.  He grasped my hand with some kind of grip, and then quickly dropped it, and said: ‘Excuse me.’  His eye was on a stick pin I was wearing, a pin my wife had given me.  It was a star and crescent.  He recognized this as a symbol of his order.  He gave me the grip, but when I did not acknowledge it, he dropped my hand immediately.  A total stranger, but he recognized a symbol and wanted to foster fellowship.  In some way we should have that same spirit in our quorums.  The quorum should be so united that we can help one another, not only spiritually but also financially and in every other way.  If we can get that spirit of unity in our quorums, then we are beginning to understand the full meaning of our priesthood organization in the Church.

I repeat, while the bishop has no authority to go to the elder, seventy, or high priest to dictate, quorum members are still under his ecclesiastical control and guidance.  As ward members, they are subject to him as to the payment of tithes, and they may be called to an ecclesiastical position, such as superintendent of Sunday School, MIA, and so forth, but in the quorum work, they are subject to the presidency of the quorum, and it is the right of that quorum to disfellowship a member if he is not living up to the standards of the quorum.  I recall one instance where a quorum of seventies withdrew the hand of fellowship in the quorum because a man was unworthy.  They had no right to excommunicate him, but they did have the right to withdraw the hand of fellowship until he made himself worthy.

I remember a conversation with Mr. Charles Zueblin, an authority on civic organizations.  I was taking him out to show him the Davis and Weber County Canal System.  Before we had gone far, we were talking not about canals but about the organization of the Church.  I pointed out to him: ‘On our right side is the First Ward, on our left the Ninth Ward.  In these wards, we have priests, teachers, deacons, each presided over by a presidency.’  I explained the organization of the Church ecclesiastically, and through the quorums.

He asked: ‘How do you keep your people in these wards?’  He associated the term ‘ward’ with some kind of institution.

I explained each had its responsibility.

He exclaimed: ‘How can we introduce this into every city in the United States–this idea of carrying responsibility by each group in the city?’

‘I do not know.  You will have to have some common interest,’ I replied.

‘I agree, but must that common interest be a religious one?’ he said.

And I answered, ‘I do not know–it is a religious one with us, and it works very well.’

The organization of the Church is divinely appointed, and if we can just get it to work, it will be effective in a ward of three hundred, in a stake of five thousand in any country in all the world.

How are you going to apply this to home teaching?–the director of the ecclesiastical authority, the bishop of the ward, the high priests, seventies, elders participating?  Just the same as we have emphasized the importance of the members of the quorum teaching their members, but with these brethren having the assistance of the Lesser Priesthood and all members working 

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all com in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.  (Eph. 4:12-13.)

It is right to have the home teacher carry his responsibility of looking after the welfare of each individual.  Assignments can properly be made so that every man who holds authority, which comes by direct revelation, may recognize his ecclesiastical duties by exercising the authority which he holds.

I leave my blessings with you.  God bless you and give you inspiration in bringing the spirit of this new program, new assignment, to the entire Church, rejuvenating all our ward teaching with this Home Teaching Plan, that every individual will be brought to a consciousness of the priesthood which comes direct from the Son of God.

God bless you, I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.”  (David O. McKay, synopsis of remarks at a meeting for Home Teaching Representatives, held in the Church Administration Building, Wednesday, May 15, 1963; IE 66:580-581, 614-615, Jul., 1963)

Jun.:  Could MP be taken away from Israel?

“Question:  There is some misunderstanding among the members of our class regarding the statement in the Doctrine and Covenants where we read that the Melchizedek Priesthood was taken away from Israel after the departure of Moses, and the house of Israel was left with the Aaronic Priesthood which holds ‘the keys of the administering of angels and the preparatory gospel,’ and the carnal commandments.  (D&C 84:25-26)  What we are troubled about is how could Israel exist with only the Aaronic Priesthood and the law of Moses or carnal commandments?  Now if we understand correctly it requires the Melchizedek Priesthood in order to confirm members of the Church.  If the statement is correct, then there was no one left to officiate in the bestowal of the Holy Ghost.  Yet Peter states ‘For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’  (2 Peter 1:21.)  We were unable to understand how Israel could continue without ministers who could officiate in the ordinances of the gospel in the offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Is there a clear statement in relation to this problem?

Answer:  When the Israelites left the land of Egypt, the Lord offered to give them the full powers of the priesthood if they would obey his commandments and be faithful to their covenants.  They did not prove themselves worthy or prepared for such a blessing.  Therefore the Lord withdrew the blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood from male members of the tribes of Israel and left with them the Aaronic Priesthood, and this likewise was confined to the tribe of Levi which tribe officiated in sacrifices for Israel.  This is a very interesting story and should prove to be a lesson to modern Israel.

All through the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, the Lord gave them an abundance of blessings and poured out upon them many miracles, showing his kindness and consideration for all of which they manifested ingratitude.  Their wanderings reveal a very interesting history which should be a benefit and a lesson to us in our journeyings and responsibilities in this the final dispensation so that we will not bring down upon us the displeasure of the Lord.

All through their sojourn in the wilderness, Israel showed the disposition of spoiled children.  They evidently failed to comprehend the teachings of the Lord that were given to Moses.  Therefore when the time came for Israel to cross the Jordan and enter into their inheritance, the prophetic warning the Lord had given them was fulfilled as recorded in the book of Numbers.

And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me?  I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.

Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,

Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.

But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.

And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.  (Num. 14:26-33.)

Therefore when the time came for the crossing of the Jordan, the adults who had left Egypt had had perished, all except two men who had maintained their integrity.  Even Moses and Aaron were denied the privilege of entering the promised land.

For forty years the Israelites murmured and showed the spirit of rebellion.  They failed to comprehend the great manifestations of the Lord from time to time in their behalf.  The Lord blessed them with manna in the wilderness, with quail when they clamored for meat, for srpings of water miraculously discovered, and in a thousand ways manifested his love and power in their behalf.  Notwithstanding all of this the Lord still loved them and made great promises to them.

When Moses went into the mountain and remained for forty days, they rebelled and turned to the false worship of the Egyptians.  On that visit into the mountain the Lord gave to Moses certain commandments written on tables of stone.  When Moses discovered the rebellion and idolatry of Israel, he threw down these tables and broke them.  What did they contain?  Commandments pertaining to the fulness of the gospel!  After this act the Lord called Moses back into the mountain and gave him other commandments on the second tables of stone.  Did the second tables contain the same things which were written on the first?  No!  Not in all things!  In the Bible translations that are current it is stated that these tables contained the same things which were written on the first, however through the revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith we have learned that the second tables did not contain all of the things that were on the first.  The first contained the authority of the gospel which pertained to the blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Had Israel accepted the first plates in sincere faith, Israel would have had the blessings of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the clear principles of the gospel.  The Lord substituted the commandments, and we have them as they are recorded in the book of Exodus and the blessings of the universal bestowal of the Melchizedek Priesthood was withdrawn.

We read in the translation, or inspired revision which was given by divine commandment to the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning the second tables, the following:

And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew these two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.

But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage.  Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me, in the top of the mount.  (Ex. 34:1-2; JST)

So we see that Israel through rebellion lost the blessings that were first offered to them.  Let it be remembered that it was the intention of the Lord, had Israel been faithful, to give them the fulness of the priesthood.  This blessing they could not receive, and therefore they were given the lesser priesthood and the carnal, or temporal law.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that all through the history of Israel until the coming of our Redeemer, the blessings of the Holy Priesthood were restricted.  It was not given universally to the tribes, but of necessity there had to be some faithful men upon whom the Melchizedek Priesthood was conferred.  All of the prophets held the Melchizedek Priesthood, but the Prophet Joseph Smith has informed us that in eacy case it was by special divine appointment.  (TPJS p. 181)  There was never a time in Israel when the4re was not a prophet with divine authority with power to confirm and perform other ordinances.  We are informed that Elijah was the last of the ancient prophets upon whom the fulness was bestowed.  He had power to seal the heavens that it did not rain.  He had power to call down fire from heaven, to increase the widow’s meal, and to raise the widow’s son; the son had died.  So other prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were blessed with the Melchizedek Priesthood.  They could officiate among the people, but there was no universal bestowal of authority among the tribes, from the time of the entrance of Israel into the promised land, until the coming of our Savior.  When he came, the fulness of the gospel and of divine authority was restored.”  (Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” IE 66:446-447, Jun., 1963)

Jul.:  Where did Alma get his authority?

“Question:  Where did Alma get his authority: All we can find is that he received it from God, but there is no detail, and we are left to wonder if it was before he was baptized.  We are confused about the whole matter and would appreciate any information you can give us.

Answer:  We should take into consideration in the study of the Book of Mormon the fact that it is an abridgement taken from the records or history that had been kept by the prophets among the Nephites.  Therefore, many of the details are lacking.  This is equally true of the history of Israel as it has come down through the years to us in the Bible.  We are left to accept the fact that Lehi, when he left Jerusalem, held divine authority and that this divine power was handed down from generation to generation until the time of the visitation of the Savior.  Moreover, while the detail is lacking, the evidence is very clear that the Melchizedek Priesthood was possessed by the Nephites.  There were none of the tribe of Levi among them, therefore it was by virtue of the Melchizedek Priesthood that they officiated.  There are many passages in the Book of Mormon in which reference is given to the Holy Priesthood which they held, not the Aaronic Priesthood.  We should also remember that the record that we have received is an abridgment, and therefore many of the details are of necessity missing.  Moreover, we are informed that many important things have been withheld from us because of the hardness of our hearts and our unwillingness, as members of the Church, to abide in the covenants or seek for divine knowledge.

In the case of Alma and his priesthood, we are left to surmise that he legally and divinely received it before the days of King Noah.  We read that Zeniff, the father of Noah, was a righteous man.  Alma evidently received the priesthood in the days of Zeniff, and at no time did he fully accept the teachings nor with full purpose follow the counsels and procedure of Noah and his wicked priests.  It was Alma who was deeply touched at the scathing denunciation of the Prophet Abinadi.  Moreover it was Alma who recorded them, for he believed thoroughly in what Abinadi had declared, and he turned from whatever transgression he had committed and set forth with a repentant spirit to gather together all those who were willing to accept the teachings of the martyred prophet.  In order to save their lives, Alma and those who followed him were forced to flee into the wilderness.  In relation to this, Elder George Reynolds in his valuable work, Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. II, has written:

Alma wrote down all the words he had heard the prophet speak.  When Abinadi was condemned to death, Alma became his defender, and, thereafter championed his cause.  He went to King Noah and plead for Abinadi’s life, that it be spared.  We may assume that Alma, from this time forth, kept, or caused to be kept, the records of the Nephites in the Land of Lehi-Nephi; also that he, in like manner, kept the record of the people of the Lord, who were driven into the wilderness by the people of King Noah.

Just at what time Alma received the priesthood is not clearly stated, but we may presume that it occurred before Noah came to the throne.  Moreover, we must also conclude that Alma at no time truly entered into the wickedness of this wicked king.  To Alma the plea made by the martyred Abinadi pierced his heart, and, believing, he wrote down the words of the martyred prophet and went forth among the people gathering all who were willing to believe.  Because of the edict of the king, Alma and his followers were forced to flee to a private and remote spot which they named the ‘Waters of Mormon.’  In this secluded place Alma baptized all who truly repented of their sins.  The first person baptized was a man named Helam.  As Alma baptized Helam he also immersed himself, no doubt feeling the need of repentance, for the spirit of humility was upon him.  As he baptized Helam he said:

Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.

And after Alma had said these words, both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit.  (Mosiah 18:13-14)

The question is: Where did Alma get his authority?  Evidently he obtained it when he received the priesthood, which through his repentance he had not lost.  There can be no serious question in relation to his authority, for it is written:

And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  (Mos. 18:18).”

(Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Question,” IE 66:582-583, Jul., 1963)

4 Oct.:  Priesthood is not for women.

“The subject of this talk could well be–For Men Only.  Priesthood is for men only–it is not conferred upon women.  The sisters may be set apart as officers in the priesthood auxiliaries, but they are never ordained to office in the priesthood.  They do not share the priesthood with their husbands, fathers, or sons.  They do share the blessings of the priesthood with their husbands, fathers, or sons.  They do share the blessings with their husbands; sealed in a temple, they go along hand in hand with them toward exaltation, finally reigning as ‘queens and priestesses’ with their husbands who become ‘kings and priests.’  (D&C 94:41.)  Infrequently a sister asks: Why can’t we (sisters) hold the priesthood?  My answer: If and when he whose business priesthood is wants you to hold it, he will let his prophet know.  Until then there is nothing we can do about it.”  (William J. Critchlow, Jr., 4 Oct., 1963; CR Oct., 1963, p. 29)

Nov.:  What is Home Teaching?

“January 1964 will see the home teaching program introduced to the entire Church.  What is home teaching–and how does it function?  Here are just a few examples.

Most people in the Church see the bishop of the ward at the meetings they attend.  He sits on the stand, directing the meetings; he receives their tithes and offerings.  He has the problem of finance and another problem of keeping the auxiliaries organized.  He administers the church welfare.  All of this is his public image.  But he has another most important function, that of the spiritual growth of the people of his ward.  In this activity few know of the kindness, charity, love, forebearance, tolerance, and firmness demanded of him as he watches over the Church.

This responsibility until now, he and his counselors have carried, with the help from ward teachers.  But with the inauguration of the home teaching program on January first, the home teachers will truly become his assistants and representatives.  In this most vital work each pair of home teachers becomes, in a sense, the bishop to the families they are assigned.  They are responsible for the bishop’s work to increase the activity and spirituality of the people.  It has been said that in some wards there are not enough jobs to go around to all of the available men.  Home teaching wil give a most important job to every available worthy man.

The home teachers set forth with humble faith to visit the families they are assigned.  In their hearts they know of the importance of their work.  As they meet the various families in their care, they expand their activity into many fields.

Of first importance is the monthly home visit.  This is the key to their activity.  This visit forms the basis of the report they will make to the group leader who assigned them.  (Imagine a bishop with two hundred families in his ward receiving regularly the ‘all well’ signal for each family, knowing that the signal is true, or knowing that if all is not well, he will know it without fail.)

The observing home teachers may notice situations, as a result of the regular monthly visit, which require further personal visits and conversations with the head of the home.  This man may be a member of the same quorum as the home teacher, so they have a common bond.  Or perhaps the son of the family is not very happy in his teacher’s quorum.  A junior home teaching companion may do more to discover the difficulties of this boy of his own age, than the senior companion.  Home teacher visits may be several during the month.

Activity in the home is most important to the spiritual growth of the family.  Of utmost importance in its effects is family prayer.  Home nights, interest in school, family discussions of their problems, their activities, and the doctrines of the Church, all have their place.  The home teachers may assist in these with suggestions and example.  It could be, for example, that if a family isn’t having family prayer, it might be persuaded to if a tactful and appropriate approach could be found.  The home teacher could invite this family to his home for supper.  Casually, as a matter of course, they kneel in prayer, with the visiting family being invited to participate.  So simple and easy is it that this family decides to do it, too.  Nothing has been said, but example leads the way.

Among the families assigned to the home teachers will be new members of the ward.  These need to be introduced to others, and their children led to the various auxiliary activities.  Or a family is newly baptized and feels strange in its new association.  The home teachers have a greater responsibility here, for, in addition to social assimilation, this family will have many questions on procedure and doctrine.  The spirit, newly awakened in their hearts, must be fanned into the steady burning flame of faith and works.

There are two kinds of activity in the Church, one, assigned activity, the other, voluntary activity.  The home teachers will be alert to inform the bishop of available talent for assignment, but their main function will be to assist in the voluntary activity.  Attendance at meetings is one of these, but there are others, such as genealogical research.  In this, for example. a family will need some helpful guidance.  The home teachers will see that experts are available at the right time.

As the home teachers visit the families in their care, they are concerned that each member should be active.  A twelve-year-old boy needs to be in the Scount troop in addition to his deacon’s quorum.  A young child should be having the advantage of Primary; an adolescent young man could gain from being a regular Sunday School and MIA attender.  The home teachers may ask for aid from the auxiliaries, and interested leaders from these organizations may, if requested by the bishop, call on the home of a young person concerned and explain to the parents the advantages of this activity, and at the same time encouraging the young person to attend.

Gaining the confidence of the family and its head is a most important function of the home teachers.  This must be of such a nature that the messages from the bishop to the home through the home teachers must be accepted as if it were the bishop himself speaking; and in reverse, the messages, doubts, troubles which the head of the home would convey to the bishop, he may safely entrust to the home teacher to deliver to the bishop.  This is a necessary function of home teaching.  Visiting without communication is a barren effort, but with the wires open in both directions faith is increased and trouble averted.

If a ‘hot wire’ is necessary to keep two nations from getting in trouble with each other, adequate communication between the bishop and the home could add to joy of living and bring quick help in times of distress.  The home teachers can and should be the means of such communication.”  (IE 66:911, Nov., 1963)

Nov.:  Role of 70s in revised stake missionary program.

“In the stake missionary program to be followed by the Church, beginning January 1, 1964, the seventies are to receive some special assignments.  Peculiar to this quorum of the priesthood is the fact that each quorum has seven presidents.  Because each of the seven is a president, not a counselor to a president, each may exercise initiative in his assignment and may make decisions within the limits of that assignment.  This is an advantage in the special work of the seventy to now carry their assigned responsibility in the stake missionary work.

Here are the responsibilities now to rest on the quorum of Seventy, for which each president is to be assigned a part:

Newly assigned by the Church Missionary Committee:

1. Find investigators.

2. Teach, convert, and baptize investigators.

3. Fellowship new members.

4. Provide financial help for needy full- time missionaries.

5. Prepare couples for full-time missionary service.

6. Assist the Aaronic Priesthood missionary committee.

Other permanent assignments:

7. Be home teachers to their own quorum members.

8. Conduct a program of social activity in the quorum.

9. Promote genealogical work and temple attendance.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 66:992, Nov., 1963)

Nov.:  7 functions of the Home Teacher.

“Home teaching has seven fundamental functions:

1. The home teacher must visit the homes to which he is assigned.  There is no other way.  One should not have to ask how often, for that implies a minimum (and a minimum soon becomes the maximum). But many do ask, and for these we point out that once monthly is the absolute zero of minimum effort.  This applies particularly to the completely active family.  But the home teacher will discover that it will take an increasing number of visits as the prospect of helping the family increases.

2. As the home teacher calls at the homes in his care, he will be in harmony with the head of the home–the father.  The teacher and the father of the family are usually fellow quorum members; they attend the weekly group meetings together; they are at the monthly quorum meetings, and they enjoy happy association at the social functions of the quorum and of the ward.  The home teacher does not usurp the position of the father; he supplements him and constantly consults him as to how he can be of greater assistance.

3. All work in the church should strengthen the home and the relationships of parents and children.  The home teacher will best serve when he knows these relationships and the practices which will improve them.  Then wise consultation with father and mother will point to ways to help enlarge spirituality and love of the Lord.

4. Some home teachers will be challenged to fellowship newly baptized members.  The teachers will realize that these new members feel strange, and new.  Being new they will be fearful of exposing their ignorance of our customs in public worship.  The home teacher will be there to help them practise the normal methods of procedure.  They will need to be guided and helped to search out the riches of the doctrine, and to find new friendships, each at his own age level; in this the home teachers will be invaluable.  But important, too, is the necessity of establishing social enjoyment with new friends.  This is most difficult of all to accomplish, but it is the factor which brings earthly satisfaction and must not be neglected.

5. If we speak of duty we speak of activity.  If one is ‘active’ he is usually doing his duty.  It will take some observation to discover where the need for help lies.  Consider one factor, the genealogical work of the family.  If the family needs help in this field the home teachers suggest the experts in the ward who can call on the family and show them how to start and where to look for information.  In the same manner if the child ten years of age seems aimless, the primary workers are called upon to assist.  By ‘watch care’ one helps the members to be active.  One of the greatest needs in the field of activity is the stimulation of parental responsibility for children and their development.

6. The church provides excellent auxiliary organizations whose programs of study and activity provide spiritual and social development by practice in organized work and play.  These supplement the work of the priesthood.  If all of these sent representatives at once to the home, confusion would result.  Alone the auxiliary has only its own backing, but under the home teacher not only does the auxiliary become effective but often organizations add their strength to the effort.  The home teacher guides the efforts of these important organizations to help the family.  He correlates the work of recruiting and satisfying the needs of the various members of the family.

7. The home teacher will regularly report to his priesthood leader, who in turn will keep the bishop informed.  Through the ward council meeting the auxiliaries will be informed of their part and the priesthood made alert to their responsibilities and opportunities.  It is this communication system in both directions which keeps order and prevents confusion.”

(“Melchizedek Priesthood,” IE 66:993, Nov., 1963)

Monthly meetings between bishoprics and stake presidency.

“Among other things, the members of the Stake Presidency will:

1. . . . hold regular monthly meetings with bishoprics, branch presidencies, and clerks . . .”

[Addition to GHI 1960.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 8)

Added setting apart duties for 1st Council of 70.

“All stake presidents, stake clerks and presidencies of high priests quorums are to be set apart and all bishops ordained and set apart by a member of the First Presidency or one of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, one of the Assistants to the Twelve, or one of the First Council of Seventy.”  [GHI 1960 only specified Twelve and Asst’s to 12.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 9)

Prospective High Councilors to be interviewed by GA.

“Both regular and alternate members of a stake high council are chosen by the stake presidency, approved by the high council, interviewed by a member of the First Presidency, Council of the Twelve, Assistants to the Twelve, or of the First Council of Seventy; and, if approved, sustained in a stake conference or stake priesthood meeting and set apart by one of the General Authorities above mentioned.  Where there will not be one of the above General Authorities in that stake in the near future, the stake president may, if authorized to do so by one of the above-named General Authorities, interview the nominee, have him sustained in a stake conference or stake priesthood meeting and set him apart.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 10)

New authority to set apart given to High Councilors.

“The stake president may authorize members of the high council or alternate members of the high council to set apart presidents and counselors of priesthood quorums, officers in the auxiliary organizations and ordain elders or members of the Aaronic Priesthood.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 13)

Added setting apart duties for GA’s.

“Bishops’ counselors may be set apart, following the sustaining vote of the ward, by members of the Council of the Twelve, Assistants to the Twelve, or the First Council of Seventy, or in their absence by the stake president personally, after obtaining proper authorization.”  [GHI 1960 did not allow for 1st Council of 70 to do this.]  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 40)

Home Evenings.

“In order to permit parents to hold a family or home evening with their children, auxiliaries will not hold their special meetings or annual conferences on the evening of Fast Sunday.  The only exception will be the Primary Association, which may hold meetings on the first Sunday of May and September to demonstrate to ward members what the Primary is doing.  Authority has also been given for bishops to hold the annual Boy Scout meeting on the first Sunday evening of February.  Other than these three evenings, no meetings will be scheduled on the evening of Fast Sundays.  Parents should be encouraged to hold a home evening with their children.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 48)

“Undesirable Marriages” not to be held in chapel.

“Use of Recreation Hall for ‘Undesirable’ Marriages:  Wedding receptions may be held in our recreation halls for couples who are forced to get married because of moral transgressions.  Such marriages should be encouraged, although we do not offer them the same privileges that are given to those married under the right conditions.  In other words, the Church does not sanction the act.  The responsibility of what is best to be done is left to the stake president and the bishop.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 83)

Record keeping following restoration of blessings.

“Where an individual has been brought back into the Church after excommunication and has had his blessings restored, the entries on the original record would not be disturbed, but in addition it would show the date of excommunication, the date of rebaptism after excommunication and the date the blessings are restored and by whom.  If the membership is transferred to another ward that information would be transmitted.”  (General Handbook of Instructions, No. 19, 1963, p. 119)