Instruction on Priesthood, between circa 1 March and circa 4 May 1835 [D&C 107]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

SECTION III.
ON PRIESTHOOD.
1 There are, in the , two , namely: the , and the , including the Levitical priesthood. Why the first is called the Melchizedek priesthood, is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest: before his day it was called the holy priesthood, after the order of the Son of God; but out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek priesthood.
2 All other authorities, or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood; but there are two divisions, or grand heads—one is the Melchizedek priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic, or Levitical priesthood. [p. 82]
3 The office of an comes under the . The Melchisedek priesthood holds the right of , and has power and authority over all the offices in the church, in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.
4 The , after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the .
5 , after the order of the Melchizedek priesthood, have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, , (of the ,) , and member.
6 An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.
7 The high priest, and elder, are to administer in spiritual things, agreeably to the and of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.
8 The second priesthood is called the priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations. Why it is called the lesser priesthood, is because it is an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek priesthood, and has power in administering outward . The is the of this priesthood and holds the , or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a litteral descendant of Aaron. But as a high priest, of the Melchizedek priesthood, has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found; provided he is called and set apart and unto this power by the hands of the presidency of the Melchizedek priesthood.
9 The power and authority of the higher or Melchizedek priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven—to have the heavens opened unto them—to commune with the general assembly and church of the first born, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the Mediator of the .
10 The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic priesthood, is, to hold the keys of the ministring of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances—the letter of the gospel—the of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeably to the covenants and commandments. [p. 83]
11 Of necessity there are , or presiding offices growing out of, or appointed of, or from among those who are to the several offices in these two . Of the , three presiding , chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the church, form a of the . The twelve travelling counsellors are called to be the , or special witnesses of the name of Christ, in all the world: thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum equal in authority and power to the three presidents, previously mentioned. The are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the and in all the world. Thus differing from other officers in the in the duties of their calling: and they form a quorum equal in authority to that of the twelve especial witnesses or apostles, just named. And every descision made by either of these quorums, must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other. -[A majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it impossible to be otherwise.]- Unless this is the case, their decisions are not entitled to the same blessings which the decisions of a quorum of three presidents were anciently, who were ordained after the order of Melchizedek, and were righteous and holy men. The decisions of these quorums, or either of them are to be made in all righteousness; in holiness and lowliness of heart; meekness and long suffering; and in faith and virtue and knowledge; temperance, patience, godliness brotherly kindness and charity, because the promise is, if these things abound in them, they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. And in case that any decision, of these quorums, is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church, otherwise there can be no appeal from their decision.
12 The twelve are a travelling, presiding , to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the presidency of the church, agreeably 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.
13 The seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the twelve, or the travelling high council, in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the [p. 84] same, in all nations: first unto the and then to the Jews:—the being sent out, holding the , to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ; and first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews.
14 The standing , at the of , form a equal in authority, in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the , or to the travelling high council.
15 The high council in , forms a quorum equal in authority, in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the councils of the twelve at the stakes of Zion.
16 It is the duty of the travelling high council to call upon the , when they need assistance, to fill the several calls for preaching and administering the gospel, in stead of any others.
17 It is the duty of the twelve in all large branches of the church, to evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation.
18 The order of this was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:
19 From Adam to Seth, who was by Adam at the age of 69 years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam’s) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth, because he -[Seth]- was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father’s, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things; and could be distinguished from him only by his age.
20 Enos was ordained at the age of 134 years, and four months, by the hand of Adam.
21 God called upon Cainan in the wilderness, in the fortieth year of his age, and he met Adam in journeying to the place Shedolamak: he was eighty seven years old when he received his ordination.
22 Mahalaeel was 496 years and seven days old when he was ordained by the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
23 Jared was 200 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
24 Enoch, was 25 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, and he was 65 and Adam blessed him—and he saw the Lord: and he walked with him, and was before his face continually: and he walked with God 365 years: making him 430 years old when he was translated. [p. 85]
25 Methuselah was 100 years old when he was under the hand of Adam.
26 Lamech was 32 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Seth.
27 Noah was 10 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah.
28 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch and Methuselah, who were all , with the residue of his posterity, who were righteous, into the valley of , and there bestowed upon them his last blessing. And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the Prince, the Archangel. And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him, I have set thee to be at the head: a multitude of nations shall come of thee; and thou art a prince over them for ever.
29 And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation, and notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation. These things were all written in the book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time.
30 It is the duty of the , also, to ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church, agreeably to the revelation which says:
31 To the in the land of , in addition to the , respecting church business: Verily, I say unto you, says the Lord of hosts, There must needs be presiding , to preside over those who are of the office of an elder; and also , to preside over those who are of the office of a priest; and also to preside over those who are of the office of a teacher, in like manner; and also the : wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, according to the and of the church; then comes the , which is the greatest of all. Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed, of the high priesthood, to preside over the priesthood; and he shall be called , or, in other words, the presiding high priest over the high priesthood of the church. From the same comes the administering of and blessings upon the church, by the .
32 Wherefore the office of a is not equal unto it; for the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal things: nevertheless, a bishop must be chosen from the high priest [p. 86]hood, unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron; for unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron he cannot hold the keys of that . Nevertheless, a , that is after the , may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things, having a knowledge of them by the Spirit of truth, and also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the to sit in judgment upon transgressors, upon testimony, as it shall be laid before him, according to the laws, by the assistance of his counsellors, whom he has chosen, or will chose among the elders of the church. This is the duty of a who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been to the high priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.
33 Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of , or in a of Zion, or in any of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry, until the borders of Zion are enlarged, and it becomes necessary to have other bishops, or judges in Zion, or elsewhere: and inasmuch as there are other bishops appointed they shall act in the same office.
34 But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the of this priesthood, to the of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counsellors, except in a case where a , after the order of Melchizedek, is tried; to sit as a judge in Israel.—And the decision of either of these , agreeably to the which says;
35 Again, verily, I say unto you: The most important business of the church, and the most difficult cases of the church, inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the bishop, or judges, it shall be handed over and carried up unto the council of the church, before the presidency of the high priesthood; and the presidency of the council of the high priesthood shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to assist as counsellors; and thus the presidency of the high priesthood, and its counsellors shall have power to decide upon testimony according to the laws of the church. And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of the church of God, and a final decision upon controversies, in spiritual matters.
36 There is not any person belonging to the church, who is exempt from this council of the church.
37 And inasmuch as a president of the high priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve [p. 87] counsellors of the ; and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God; that all things may be done in order and in solemnity, before him, according to truth and righteousness.
38 And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a , is to preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty—edifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants.
39 And also the duty of the president over the office of the , is to preside over twenty four of the teachers, and to sit in council with them—teaching them the duties of their office, as given in the covenants.
40 Also the duty of the president over the , is to preside over forty eight , and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the covenants. This president is to be a ; for this is one of the duties of this priesthood.
41 Again, the duty of the president over the office of is to preside over ninety six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants. This presidency is a distinct one from that of the , and is designed for those who do not travel into all the world.
42 And again, the duty of the is to preside over the whole , and to be like unto Moses. Behold, here is wisdom—yea, to be a , a revelator, a and a prophet—having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.
43 And it is according to the vision, showing the order of the , that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the seventy, and the seventh president of these presidents is to preside over the six; and these seven presidents are to choose other seventy besides the first seventy, to whom they belong, and are to preside over them; and also other seventy until seven times seventy, if the labor in the vineyard of necessity requires it. And these seventy are to be travelling ministers unto the , first, and also unto the Jews, whereas other offices 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.
44 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 [p. 88] that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved, shall not be counted worthy to stand; even so. Amen. [p. 89]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    A September 1832 revelation had previously noted that there was a greater priesthood and a lesser priesthood. Similarly, in a history he prepared in summer 1832, JS wrote that he had received two different kinds of authority: one that allowed him “to adminster the letter of the Gospel,” and another that was “the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:19, 26]; JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 1.)  

  2. 2

    Other religious leaders around this time also posited the existence of different types of priesthood. Alexander Crawford, a Scottish minister living in Canada, believed that three priesthoods existed anciently: a patriarchal priesthood after the “order of Melchizedec,” an Aaronic priesthood, and a priesthood held by Jesus Christ. Alexander Campbell of the Disciples of Christ also believed that the tribe of Levi held one priesthood and that Aaron and his sons held a “high priesthood.” (Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 148–151; Campbell, Delusions, 11.)  

    Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.

    Campbell, Alexander. Delusions. An Analysis of the Book of Mormon; with an Examination of Its Internal and External Evidences, and a Refutation of Its Pretences to Divine Authority. Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1832.

  3. 3

    According to a September 1832 revelation, “the offices of Elder & Bishop are necessary appendages belon[g]ing unto the high Priesthood.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:29].)  

  4. 4

    The September 1832 revelation also explained that the “greater Priesthood adminestereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the misteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:19].)  

  5. 5

    By June 1835, the presidency of the high priesthood was also being called “the first presidency of the Melchisedek priesthood.” (“Revelations,” Evening and Morning Star, Oct. 1832 [June 1835], 73.)  

    Evening and Morning Star. Edited reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star. Kirtland, OH. Jan. 1835–Oct. 1836.

  6. 6

    Member here may refer to an “official member” of the church, a term used around this time to refer to a man who held any priesthood office in the church. (See, for example, JS, Journal, 12 Nov. 1835; 24 Feb. 1836; 3 Mar. 1836.)  

  7. 7

    See Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:18].  

  8. 8

    A September 1832 revelation stated that the lesser priesthood held “the keys of the ministring of Angels and the preparitory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentence and of Baptism, and the remission of sins, and the Law of carnal commandments.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:26–27].)  

  9. 9

    The earliest extant copy of the November 1831 revelation states that “a Bishop must be chosen from the high Priesthood” and does not include the information here about literal descendants of Aaron or about the bishopric holding the keys of the lesser priesthood. In the March 1835 issue of the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Oliver Cowdery stated that the priesthood of Aaron was “conferred upon Aaron and his seed throughout their generations” and that “if the literal descendants of Aaron” were “no more, then this priesthood” was “lost from Israel, unless God bestows it upon another family.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:69]; “Delusion,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Mar. 1835, 1:91.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  10. 10

    See Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:19–22]; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:53–54]; and Seventh Lecture on Faith, in Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., 71–72.  

  11. 11

    See Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:26–27].  

  12. 12

    At this time, the presidency of the high priesthood consisted of JS, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, Hyrum Smith, and Joseph Smith Sr. Apparently the presence of only three of these men was necessary to form a quorum of the presidency. (Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 Dec. 1834.)  

  13. 13

    See Minutes and Discourses, 27 Feb. 1835.  

  14. 14

    See 2 Peter 1:5–8; and Revelation, Feb. 1829 [D&C 4].  

  15. 15

    See Minutes and Discourses, 27 Feb. 1835.  

  16. 16

    In the charge Oliver Cowdery gave to the Twelve, he said that they were “equal in bearing the keys of the kingdom to all nations” and that they were “called to preach the gospel of the son of God to the nations of the earth.” Similarly, JS informed the Twelve on 27 February that they held “the keys of this ministry, to unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Minutes and Blessings, 21 Feb. 1835; Minutes and Discourses, 27 Feb. 1835.)  

  17. 17

    At this point, the church at Kirtland was the only stake of Zion. The Kirtland high council was organized in February 1834. (Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:13]; Minutes, 17 Feb. 1834; Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102]; see also “Stake” in the glossary.)  

  18. 18

    JS organized a high council in Missouri in July 1834. (Minutes, 3 July 1834; Minutes and Discourse, ca. 7 July 1834.)  

  19. 19

    “Evangelical ministers” likely means the office of patriarch, which Joseph Smith Sr. held. In a blessing recorded by Oliver Cowdery in September 1835, the “patriarchal priesthood” is referred to as the “evangelical priesthood.” In addition, paragraph 28 of this instruction is included almost word for word in a recorded blessing that JS gave Joseph Smith Sr., which states that as one ordained to the “patriarchal priesthood,” Joseph Smith Sr. was to gather together his posterity just as Adam had done. There is no record of the Twelve ordaining any evangelical ministers while preaching in the eastern United States and Upper Canada. (Blessing to Hyrum Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835; Blessing to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835.)  

  20. 20

    See Genesis 4:25–26; and Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 10–11 [Moses 6:2–3].  

  21. 21

    See Genesis 5:6–11; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 11 [Moses 6:3, 13, 17–18].  

  22. 22

    See Genesis 5:9–13; and Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 11–12 [Moses 6:17–19].  

  23. 23

    See Genesis 5:12–17; and Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 11–12 [Moses 6:19–20].  

  24. 24

    See Genesis 5:15–19; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 12 [Moses 6:20–21].  

  25. 25

    See Genesis 5:18–24; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 12 [Moses 6:21].  

  26. 26

    See Old Testament Revision 1, p. 13 [Moses 6:39].  

  27. 27

    See Genesis 5:24; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 19 [Moses 7:69; 8:1].  

  28. 28

    See Genesis 5:21, 25–27; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 19 [Moses 8:2–7].  

  29. 29

    See Genesis 5:25–31; and Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 19–20 [Moses 8:5–11].  

  30. 30

    See Genesis 5:28–32; and Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 19–20 [Moses 8:8–13].  

  31. 31

    See Jude 1:9; Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:26]; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:112–115].  

  32. 32

    This paragraph is included almost word for word in a blessing JS gave to Joseph Smith Sr., which was recorded by Oliver Cowdery in September 1835. (Blessing to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835.)  

  33. 33

    Here begins the portion of the instruction taken from a November 1831 revelation. Differences between the revelation as it was originally recorded in Revelation Book 1 and as it appears here are noted. A reprint of the November 1831 revelation in the June 1835 Evening and Morning Star includes the changes noted here. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107 (partial)]; “Revelations,” Evening and Morning Star, Oct. 1832 [June 1835], 73–74.)  

    Evening and Morning Star. Edited reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star. Kirtland, OH. Jan. 1835–Oct. 1836.

  34. 34

    “To preside” is not present in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:61].)  

  35. 35

    “To preside” is not present in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:62].)  

  36. 36

    The Revelation Book 1 version has “according to the Church Articles & Covenants” here. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:63]; see also Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20].)  

  37. 37

    The Revelation Book 1 version does not include the words from the first instance of “unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron” to “the order of Melchizedek.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:69–71].)  

  38. 38

    At this time, there were two bishops in the church, both assisted by counselors. In February 1831, Edward Partridge was appointed bishop, and in June 1831, John Corrill and Isaac Morley were designated his assistants. Newel K. Whitney was appointed bishop in Kirtland in December 1831. Hyrum Smith and Reynolds Cahoon became counselors to Whitney in February 1832. (Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:9]; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–A [D&C 72:8]; Cahoon, Diary, 10 Feb. 1832.)  

    Cahoon, Reynolds. Diaries, 1831–1832. CHL. MS 1115.

  39. 39

    This sentence is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version of the November 1831 revelation. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:73].)  

  40. 40

    The phrase “or in a stake of Zion, or in any branch of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry” is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:74].)  

  41. 41

    The phrase “in Zion, or elsewhere” is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version. In June 1833, JS, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and Martin Harris instructed church leaders in Missouri to ordain Isaac Morley and John Corrill, counselors to Bishop Edward Partridge, as bishops in Zion. They foresaw a time when Zion would have a bishop appointed for every city square, thereby making Zion “properly regulated.” However, soon after this letter was written, violence began in Jackson County, Missouri, eventually resulting in the Saints being ejected from the county in November 1833. Consequently, Morley and Corrill were never ordained to these positions. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:74]; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:18–19; Jan. 1840, 1:33–36.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  42. 42

    This paragraph is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:76–77].)  

  43. 43

    The Revelation Book 1 version has “judge” instead of “bishop, or judges.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:78].)  

  44. 44

    The Revelation Book 1 version has “court” instead of “council” throughout this paragraph. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:78–80].)  

  45. 45

    The Revelation Book 1 version has “president” instead of “presidency” throughout this paragraph. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:78–80].)  

  46. 46

    The phrase “in spiritual matters” is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:80].)  

  47. 47

    In the Revelation Book 1 version of the November 1831 revelation, this sentence is rendered as “all persons belonging to the church are not exempt from this court of the church.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:81].)  

  48. 48

    That is, a council headed by the bishop, who was the “common judge.”  

  49. 49

    “Him” is rendered “me” in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:84]; see also 1 Corinthians 14:40; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 165 [Mosiah 4:27]; and Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:13].)  

  50. 50

    At this point, the Revelation Book 1 version contains the word “Amen,” followed by “A few more words in addition to the laws of the church.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:84].)  

  51. 51

    The duties and responsibilities of deacons, teachers, priests, and elders were outlined in the church’s “Articles and Covenants.” (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:38–59].)  

  52. 52

    “Of Aaron” is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:87].)  

  53. 53

    This sentence is not in the Revelation Book 1 version. While a bishop was to preside over the priests, William Cowdery, who was not a bishop, was ordained on 15 January 1836 “to preside over the priests of the Aaronic priesthood in Kirtland.” The practice of calling a president over the priests who was not a bishop continued in Nauvoo. However, as this instruction outlines, the bishop was still the presiding authority over the whole priesthood of Aaron. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:88]; JS, Journal, 15 Jan. 1836; Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841, in Book of the Law of the Lord, 14 [D&C 124:141–142]; Hartley, “Nauvoo Stake,” 63.)  

    Hartley, William G. “Nauvoo Stake, Priesthood Quorums, and the Church’s First Wards.” BYU Studies 32, nos. 1–2 (1992): 57–80.

  54. 54

    This sentence is not in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:90].)  

  55. 55

    In an account of a 5 December 1834 meeting of the presidency of the high priesthood, Oliver Cowdery provided an explanation of the office of the president of the high priesthood. He stated, “The office of the President is to preside over the whole Chu[r]ch; to be considered as at the head; to receive revelations for the Church; to be a Seer, Revelator and Prophet— having all the gifts of God:— taking Moses for an ensample. Which is the office and station of the above President Smith, according to the calling of God, and the ordination which he has received.” JS was ordained president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. (Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 Dec. 1834; JS History, vol. A-1, 180; “History of Orson Pratt,” 11, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; Cahoon, Diary, 25 Jan. 1832; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; see also Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:29].)  

    JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. 1882. CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

    Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.

    Cahoon, Reynolds. Diaries, 1831–1832. CHL. MS 1115.

  56. 56

    At the 14 February 1835 meeting where the Twelve Apostles were designated, JS stated that the meeting had been called because “God had commanded it and it was made known to him by vision.” Joseph Young, who was called as one of the presidents of the Seventy, later remembered that a week before that 14 February meeting, JS had told him and Brigham Young that he had received a revelation to appoint twelve apostles and to designate the Seventy. (Minutes, Discourse and Blessings, 14–15 Feb. 1835; Young, History of the Organization of the Seventies, 1–2.)  

    Young, Joseph, Sr. History of the Organization of the Seventies: Names of First and Second Quorums. Items in Relation to the First Presidency of the Seventies. Also, a Brief Glance at Enoch and His City. Embellished with a Likeness of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and a View of the Kirtland Temple. Salt Lake City: Deseret News Steam Printing Establishment, 1878.

  57. 57

    This paragraph is not in the Revelation Book 1 version. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:93–98].)