John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1839

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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Chapter 13

CHAPTER XIII.
 
The Priesthood described—Zion and her stakes—Manner of dealing with transgress ors—Ordinations—Reflections on the subject.
 
There are in the church two priesthoods. First, the Melchisedec [Melchizedek],  or high priesthood, also called the greater priesthood; second, the  Aaronic, or lesser priesthood. In the first, or Melchisedec priesthood,  were ordained high priests and elders; in the second were ordained  priests, teachers, and deacons. Each different grade chose one of its  number to preside over the rest, who was called president, and whose  duty it was to call together those over whom he presided, at stated  times, to edify one another, and receive instruction from him. The first,  or high priesthood, was to stand at the head of and regulate the spiritual  concerns of the church; the second, or lesser priesthood, was to ad minister in the ordinances, and attend to the temporal concerns of the  church. Three of the high priests were chosen and set apart by the  church to preside over all the churches, of that order, in all the  world, and were called Presidents, and constituted what is called the  first presidency. Joseph Smith, Jun. , and , are the persons at present. The church that was to be estab lished in was called Zion, the centre of gathering, and  those established by revelation, in other places, were called Stakes of  Zion, or Stakes; hence the Stake at , the Stake at ,  the Stake at , &c. Each Stake was to have a presi dency, consisting of three high priests, chosen and set apart for that  purpose, whose jurisdiction was confined to the limits of the Stake  over which they took the watch care. There was also to be a high  council, consisting of twelve high priests, established at each Stake,  also a bishop, who stood at the head of the lesser priesthood, and ad ministered in temporal things; he had two counsellors who, with  himself, formed a court to try transgressors. If two members had a  difficulty, they were to settle it between themselves, or by the assis tance of another, according to the scriptures; but if they could not do  this, then it went before the bishop’s court for trial, but if either party  was dissatisfied with the bishop’s decision, he could appeal it to the  high council. There was also a travelling high council, consisting of  twelve high priests, called the twelve apostles, or the twelve, whose  duty it was to travel and preach the gospel to all the world. They  were also to regulate the church in all places where it was not pro perly organised. One of their number presided over the rest in their  councils. There were other bodies formed called the seventies, con sisting of seventy elders each, (not high priests,) seven of whom pre sided over the rest in their councils. These seventies were to travel  and preach in all the world, under the direction of the twelve, who  were to open or lead the way, and then call upon the seventies for  assistance. There were three of these bodies formed, called the first,  second, and third seventies. The first presidency, the high council,  the twelve, and each of the seventies, were equal in power, that is to [p. 24]

Chapter 13

CHAPTER XIII.
 
The Priesthood described—Zion and her stakes—Manner of dealing with transgressors—Ordinations—Reflections on the subject.
 
There are in the church two priesthoods. First, the Melchisedec [Melchizedek], or high priesthood, also called the greater priesthood; second, the Aaronic, or lesser priesthood. In the first, or Melchisedec priesthood, were ordained high priests and elders; in the second were ordained priests, teachers, and deacons. Each different grade chose one of its number to preside over the rest, who was called president, and whose duty it was to call together those over whom he presided, at stated times, to edify one another, and receive instruction from him. The first, or high priesthood, was to stand at the head of and regulate the spiritual concerns of the church; the second, or lesser priesthood, was to administer in the ordinances, and attend to the temporal concerns of the church. Three of the high priests were chosen and set apart by the church to preside over all the churches, of that order, in all the world, and were called Presidents, and constituted what is called the first presidency. Joseph Smith, Jun. , and , are the persons at present. The church that was to be established in was called Zion, the centre of gathering, and those established by revelation, in other places, were called Stakes of Zion, or Stakes; hence the Stake at , the Stake at , the Stake at , &c. Each Stake was to have a presidency, consisting of three high priests, chosen and set apart for that purpose, whose jurisdiction was confined to the limits of the Stake over which they took the watch care. There was also to be a high council, consisting of twelve high priests, established at each Stake, also a bishop, who stood at the head of the lesser priesthood, and administered in temporal things; he had two counsellors who, with himself, formed a court to try transgressors. If two members had a difficulty, they were to settle it between themselves, or by the assistance of another, according to the scriptures; but if they could not do this, then it went before the bishop’s court for trial, but if either party was dissatisfied with the bishop’s decision, he could appeal it to the high council. There was also a travelling high council, consisting of twelve high priests, called the twelve apostles, or the twelve, whose duty it was to travel and preach the gospel to all the world. They were also to regulate the church in all places where it was not properly organised. One of their number presided over the rest in their councils. There were other bodies formed called the seventies, consisting of seventy elders each, (not high priests,) seven of whom presided over the rest in their councils. These seventies were to travel and preach in all the world, under the direction of the twelve, who were to open or lead the way, and then call upon the seventies for assistance. There were three of these bodies formed, called the first, second, and third seventies. The first presidency, the high council, the twelve, and each of the seventies, were equal in power, that is to [p. 24]
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