“Doctrine and Covenants 107,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 107,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Hiram Township, OH, 11 Nov. 1831. Featured version, titled “75 A Revalation given at Hiram Portage Co Nov 11th. 1831,” copied [between 11 and 20 Nov. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 122–123; handwriting of John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery; CHL. Includes redactions. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
In Hiram, Ohio, on 11 November 1831, JS dictated this revelation—addressed to the church “in the Land of Zion”—dealing with church administration and the responsibilities of members holding different church offices. The immediate circumstances surrounding the dictation of the revelation are unclear. A conference of elders was held in Hiram on that day to discuss Reynolds Cahoon’s question of whether he should migrate to Missouri in the spring. During that meeting, Oliver Cowdery read “Commandments concerning the duties of the Elders.”1 It is possible the revelation was dictated at that time, but the minutes do not specifically refer to it.
Addressing the Saints in Missouri, the revelation called for additional administrative positions to be established within the church, including presiding officers for deacons, teachers, priests, and elders. More generally, it discussed the necessity of appointing additional bishops for the church and designating someone to preside over the entire church as president of the high priesthood. Newel K. Whitney was appointed bishop in Ohio less than a month later, JS was designated as president of the high priesthood in January 1832, and at least two presidents were called over the elders in 1832—Orson Pratt in Ohio and Christian Whitmer in Missouri.2
This revelation was also part of a continuing unfolding of information about the high priesthood. The first individuals were ordained to the high priesthood in June 1831, and at a conference held on 25–26 October 1831 in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, JS and Sidney Rigdon spoke on the responsibilities of those holding (or desiring to hold) that office. JS, for example, explained that the high priesthood had the “power … to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.” He indicated that “it was the privilege of every Elder present to be ordained to the Highpriesthood.” Both JS and Rigdon emphasized the significance of the high priesthood, and Rigdon chastised some who were ordained at that meeting “because of their indifference to be ordained to that office.”3 This 11 November revelation also laid out a hierarchical gradation of offices in the church that began with deacon and proceeded upward to the high priesthood—“the greatest of all.”
The revelation discussed disciplinary bodies in the church as well. Prior to this time, the “Laws of the Church of Christ” directed that those accused of adultery or other transgressions be brought before “two Elders of the Church or more,” with the bishop attending if possible.4 Conferences of elders sometimes served as disciplinary bodies, though not always with the bishop in attendance.5 The bishop, however, was designated as “a Judge in Israel” who would “Judge his people by the testimony of the Just.”6 The 11 November revelation added another level to the disciplinary structure of the church: the president of the high priesthood and his court, or council. Referring to the president of the high priesthood as “like unto Moses,” the revelation declared that he was to officiate in the most important matters of the church. Just as Moses appointed judges to deal with “small matter[s]” and addressed the “great matter[s]” himself,7 bishops were to act as common judges while the president of the high priesthood and his court would deal with “the most difficult cases of the church.” In addition, the revelation designated the president of the high priesthood as the head of the church and specifically noted that the office of bishop was subordinate to him.
The original manuscript of the revelation is not extant. John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1, likely before their departure to Missouri on 20 November 1831.8 A Missouri council discussed this revelation in July 1832, indicating a copy had made it to Missouri and had come to the attention of church leaders at least by that time.9
To the Church of Christ in the Land of Zion in addition to the Church Laws respecting Church business13 verily I say unto you saith the Lord of hosts there must needs be
presiding presiding Elders to preside over them who are of the office of an Elder & also Priests over them who are of the office of a Priest & also Teachers over them who are of the office of a Teacher in like manner And also the deacons wherefore from Deacon to Teacher & from Teacher to Priest & from Priest to Elder severally as they are appointed, according to the Church Articles & Covenants14 then cometh the high Priest hood which is the greatest of all wherefore it must needs be that one be appointed of the high Priest hood to preside over the Priest hood & he shall be called President of the hood high Priest hood of the Church or in o other high words the Presiding high Priest hood over the high Priesthood of the Church from the same cometh the administring of ordinances & blessings upon the Church by the Laying on of the hands wherefore the office of a Bishop is not equal unto it for the office of a Bishop is in administering all things temporal things nevertheless a Bishop must be chosen from the high Priesthood15 that he may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things having a knowledge of them by the Spirit of truth & also to be a Judge in Israel to do the business of the Church to sit down in Judgement [p. 122] upon transgressors upon testimony it shall be laid before them according to the Laws by the assistance of his councillors whom he hath chosen or will choose /16among the Elders of the church17 thus shall he be a judge even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion until the borders are enlarged & it becomes necessary to have other Bishops or judges & inasmuch as there are other Bishops appointed they shall act in the same office18 & again verily I say unto you the most important business of the church & the most difficult cases of the church inasmuch as there is not sufficient satisfaction upon the decision of the judge it shall be handed over & carried up unto the court of the church before the president of the high Priesthood & the president of the Court of the high priesthood shall have power to call other high priests even twelve to assist as counsellors & thus the president of the high priesthood & his councellors shall have power to decide upon testimony according to the laws of the church & after this desision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord for this is the highest court of the church of God & a final desision upon controvers[i]es all persons belonging to the church are not exempt from this court of the church & inasmuch as the president of the high priesthood shall transgress he shall be had in remembrance before the common court of the church19 who shall be assisted by twelve counsellors of the high Priesthood & their desicision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him thus none shall be exempt from the justice of the Laws of God that all things may be done in order & in solemnity before me in according to truth & righteousness Amen A few more words in addition to the Laws of the church And again verily I say unto you the duty of a president over the office of a Deacon is to preside over twelve Deacons to set in council with them & to teach them their duty edifying one another as it is given according to the covenants20 And also the duty of the president over the office of the Teachers is to preside over twenty four of the Teachers & to set in council with them teaching them the duties of their office as given in the covenants Also the duty of the president over the priesthood21 is to preside over forty eight priests & to set in council with them & to teach them the duties of their office as given in the covenants And again the duty of the president over the office of the Elders is to preside over ninety six Elders22 & to set in council with them & to <teach> them according to the covenants And again the duty of the president of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church & to be like unto Moses23 behold here is wisdom yea to be a Seer a revelator a translator & a prophet having all the gifts of God which he bestoweth upon the head of the chuch24 Wherefore now let every man learn his duly duty & to act in the office in which he is appointed in all diligence he that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand & he that learneth not his duty & sheweth himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand even so Amen [p. 123]
Instruction on Priesthood, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835. Featured version titled “On Priesthood”; typeset ca. mid-May 1835; in Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., pp. 82–89. For more information, see the source note for the Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 edition, on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
In early 1835, twelve men were called to serve as apostles in the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and numerous elders were appointed as members of the Seventy.25 In March 1835, JS and the Twelve Apostles decided that because of “the many pressing requests from the eastern churches,” the apostles would conduct a series of conferences in the eastern United States.26 These conferences were held “for the purpose of regulateing all things necessary” for the welfare of the branches of the church in those areas.27 It appears that sometime before the Twelve departed on 4 May 1835 to begin holding these conferences, JS presented them with this instruction, which outlined information about priesthood and church governance. The document indicated that there were two major divisions of priesthood in the church—the Melchizedek priesthood and the Aaronic priesthood—and explained the responsibilities of the Twelve Apostles, the Seventy, bishops, and other officers in the church. This instruction was apparently meant to aid the Twelve in their regulation of the eastern branches, while also providing detailed information about the responsibilities of priesthood officers.28 Like the earlier “Articles and Covenants” of the church, the instruction became an important document establishing significant doctrines on the governing bodies of the church and on the priesthood itself.
The Instruction on Priesthood compiled information from previous JS revelations. Much of the instruction came from a revelation JS had dictated in November 1831.29 According to some observers, JS dictated other parts of the instruction as an 1835 revelation.30 Some of the instruction also elaborated on ideas first presented in a September 1832 revelation, indicating that JS was gaining new understanding into concepts of priesthood and leadership.31 Oliver Cowdery, who assisted in calling the Twelve and giving them their “charge” as apostles,32 was probably involved in the instruction’s preparation; Brigham Young later remembered JS spending “two hours laboring with Elder Cowdery to get him to write” what Young called a “Revelation on Priesthood”—probably this instruction.33 Indeed, when the instruction was published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, it was designated as an instruction “On Priesthood.” Church members saw the instruction as coming from God. Heber C. Kimball, for example, referred to the instruction as something “the Lord” had “bestow[ed] upon” the Saints through “Brother Joseph” and explained that the Twelve Apostles “praised the Lord” for its contents.34
Exactly when in 1835 the instruction appeared in its complete form is unclear. Although it may have been prepared directly after the Twelve’s calling on 14 February 1835,35 it was probably presented in written form no earlier than 1 March. At a meeting of the Twelve on 27 February 1835, JS asked the apostles to discuss the question, “What importance is attached to the callings of these twelve apostles differrent from the other callings and offices of the chu[r]ch,” suggesting that he had not at that point instructed them on this matter. JS explained during this meeting that it was “all important that the twelve should understand the power and authority of the priesthoods, for without this knowledge they can do nothing to profit.” JS also proclaimed that the Twelve were “called to a travelling high council to preside over all the churches of the saints among the gentiles when there is no presidency established.” The Twelve were “to travel and preach among the Gentiles until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews.” They were also to hold “the keys of this ministry— to unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven unto all nations and preach the Gospel unto every creation.”36 Similar explanations appear in the featured instruction. In addition, the instruction contains detailed information about the office of Seventy, which was first instituted in the church at meetings held on 28 February and 1 March 1835. It is unlikely that the instruction was completed before this office was formally introduced into the church.
Heber C. Kimball remembered that JS dictated the instruction on priesthood at a meeting of the Twelve one evening after the apostles had been called and most of them had been ordained. Kimball’s account places the meeting sometime before the first week of April 1835.37 A later JS history placed this dictation on 28 March 1835 and referenced a document recounting a meeting of the Twelve where, after a period of “general confession,” they made a written request that JS obtain for them a revelation of God’s “mind and will concerning our duty the coming season.” The history states that JS then dictated this instruction.38 However, this appears to be based on a misdating by the history’s compilers since the request to JS, which was copied into Minute Book 1, is dated 28 March 1836, not 1835. In fact, JS was not in Kirtland, Ohio, on 28 March 1835. On that day, five members of the Twelve—William E. McLellin, Lyman or Luke Johnson, David W. Patten, Parley P. Pratt, and John F. Boynton—were with JS in Huntsburgh, Ohio, preaching and baptizing.39 Another five apostles were presumably in Kirtland.40 Huntsburgh is about seventeen miles from Kirtland, and according to McLellin’s diary, JS, and presumably the apostles with him, did not leave Huntsburgh until 30 March.41
It is possible that JS formally presented the instruction to the Twelve on 26 April 1835. The minutes of a meeting held on that date state, “This day, pursuant to previous appointment, the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy (a part of whom had already been chosen,) assembled in the temple (altho’ unfinished.) with a numerous concourse of people in order to receive our charge and instructions from President Joseph Smith Jun relative to our mission and duties.”42 The minutes, however, do not provide more detail on the instruction JS gave. Another possibility is that the featured instruction was presented in a 28 April 1835 meeting of the Twelve. At that meeting, a motion was carried that each apostle “forgive one another every wrong that has existed among us,” which may have been the “general confession” mentioned in the later JS history.43 In any case, this instruction was likely given to the Twelve before they left Kirtland on 4 May 1835, and it was certainly prepared by 26 May 1835, when William W. Phelps sent his wife, Sally Waterman Phelps, printed copies of “the Six first forms of the Doctrine and Covenants,” which included the instruction.44
Although not covering all operations of church administration,45 the instruction captures information about the coordination of church governance between bishops, the presidency of the high priesthood, and newer offices such as the high council, the Twelve Apostles, and the Seventy. It also gives specific names for the two priesthoods in the church—Melchizedek for the higher priesthood and Aaronic for the lower—and explains why those two names were applied to these priesthoods.46 The instruction explains that the presidency of the high priesthood has the right to officiate in all offices of the church and further illuminates the role of the bishop in the church, explaining that the bishopric is the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood. Essentially, this document updated the Articles and Covenants and other revelations on church administration and codified the roles of the new offices.
No manuscript copies of the complete instruction are extant.47 The featured version was published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was issued in September of that year.48 The volume includes two sections: one containing lectures on the doctrine of the church;49 and the other containing the church’s “Covenants and Commandments,” or JS’s revelations. This instruction is the third document in the “Covenants and Commandments” portion, directly following a revelatory preface and the foundational Articles and Covenants of the church.50 It is likely that at least some members of the Twelve took copies of the instruction with them to the eastern United States to use in their conferences. Minutes of a conference held in Westfield, New York, in May, for example, mention the Twelve providing “much explanation” about “the nature and principles of church government,” items that the instruction addresses.51 An August 1835 letter from Kirtland church leaders to the Twelve also contains a reference that suggests the Twelve had an advanced copy of the published version of the instruction at that time.52
1 There are, in the church, two priesthoods,53 namely: the Melchizedek, and the Aaronic, including the Levitical priesthood.54 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;55 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.56 [p. 82]
3 The office of an elder comes under the priesthood of Melchizedek.57 The Melchisedek priesthood holds the right of presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the church, in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.58
4 The presidency of the high priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the church.59
5 High priests, 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, priest, (of the Levitical order,) teacher, deacon and member.60
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 covenants and commandments 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.61 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 ordinances. The bishopric is the presidency of this priesthood and holds the keys, or authority of the same.62 No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a litteral descendant of Aaron.63 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 bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found; provided he is called and set apart and ordained 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 new covenant.64
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 baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeably to the covenants and commandments.65 [p. 83]
11 Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding offices growing out of, or appointed of, or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods. Of the Melchizedek priesthood, three presiding high priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the presidency of the church.66 The twelve travelling counsellors are called to be the twelve apostles, 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.67 And they form a quorum equal in authority and power to the three presidents, previously mentioned. The seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and 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 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.]-68 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.69 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 high council, 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.70
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 Gentiles and then to the Jews:— the twelve being sent out, holding the keys, to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ; and first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews.71
14 The standing high councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority, in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the travelling high council.72
15 The high council in Zion, 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.73
16 It is the duty of the travelling high council to call upon the seventy, 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 ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation.74
18 The order of this priesthood 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,75 who was ordained 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]-76 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 Enos77 was ordained at the age of 134 years, and four months, by the hand of Adam.
21 God called upon Cainan78 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 Mahalaeel79 was 496 years and seven days old when he was ordained by the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
23 Jared80 was 200 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
24 Enoch,81 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,82 and was before his face continually: and he walked with God 365 years: making him 430 years old when he was translated.83 [p. 85]
25 Methuselah84 was 100 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam.
26 Lamech85 was 32 years old when he was ordained under the hand of Seth.
27 Noah86 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 high priests, with the residue of his posterity, who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-ahman, 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.87 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.88
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 twelve, also, to ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church, agreeably to the revelation which says:
31 89To the church of Christ in the land of Zion, in addition to the church laws, respecting church business: Verily, I say unto you, says the Lord of hosts, There must needs be presiding elders, to preside over those who are of the office of an elder; and also priests, to preside90 over those who are of the office of a priest; and also teachers to preside91 over those who are of the office of a teacher, in like manner; and also the deacons: wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, according to the covenants and commandments of the church;92 then comes the high priesthood, 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 president of the high priesthood of the church, or, in other words, the presiding high priest over the high priesthood of the church. From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the laying on of the hands.
32 Wherefore the office of a bishop 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,93 unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron; for unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron he cannot hold the keys of that priesthood. Nevertheless, a high priest, that is after the order of Melchizedek, 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 church 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.94 This is the duty of a bishop who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained to the high priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.95
33 Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a stake of Zion, or in any branch of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry,96 until the borders of Zion are enlarged, and it becomes necessary to have other bishops, or judges in Zion, or elsewhere:97 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 presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counsellors, except in a case where a president of the high priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, is tried; to sit as a judge in Israel.— And the decision of either of these councils, agreeably to the commandment which says;98
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,99 it shall be handed over and carried up unto the council100 of the church, before the presidency101 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.102
36 There is not any person belonging to the church, who is exempt from this council of the church.103
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,104 who shall be assisted by twelve [p. 87] counsellors of the high priesthood; 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,105 according to truth and righteousness.106
38 And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a deacon, 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.107
39 And also the duty of the president over the office of the teachers, 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 priesthood of Aaron,108 is to preside over forty eight priests, 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 bishop; for this is one of the duties of this priesthood.109
41 Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders 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 seventy, and is designed for those who do not travel into all the world.110
42 And again, the duty of the president of the office of the high priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses. Behold, here is wisdom—yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet—having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.111
43 And it is according to the vision, showing the order of the seventy,112 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 Gentiles, 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.113
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.