Discourse, 6 April 1837

Joseph Smith jr. rose and spoke on  the subject of the Priesthood. The  Melchisedec High priesthood, he said  was no other then the priesthood of the  Son of God. There are certain ordi nances which belong to the priesthood,  and certain results flow from it.
The presidents, or presidency are  over the church, and revelations of the  mind and will of God to the church are  to come through the presidency. This  is the order of heaven and the power  and privilege of this priesthood. It is  also the privilege of any officer in this  church, to obtain revelations so far as  relates to his particular calling or duty  in the church. All are bound by the  principles of virtue and happiness, but one  great privilege of this priesthood is to  obtain revelations, as before observed,  of the mind and will of God. It is also  the privilege of the Melchisedec priest hood, to reprove, rebuke and admonish,  as well as to receive revelations.
He here remarked something con cerning the will of God, and said,  that what God commanded, the one  half of the church would condemn.— A high Priest, is a member of the same  Melchisedec priesthood, with the presi dency, but not of the same power or  authority, in the church. the seven ties are also members of the same  priesthood, are a sort of travelling coun cil, or priesthood, and may preside  over a church or churches until a high  priest can be had. The seventies are  to be taken from the quorum of elders  and are not to be high priests. They  are subject to the direction and dictation  of the twelve, who have the keys of  the ministry. All are to preach the  gospel, by the power and influence of  the Holy Ghost, and no man, said he,  can preach the gospel without the Holy  Ghost.
The Bishop was a high priest, and  necessarily so, because he is to preside  over that particular branch of the church af fairs that are denominated the lesser  priesthood, and because we have no di rect lineal descendent of Aaron to  whom it would of right belong. He  remarked that this was the same, or a  branch of the same priesthood; and il lustrated his position by the figure of  the human body, which has dfferent  members, which have different offices  to perform: all are necessary in their  place, and the body is not complete  without all the members. From a  view of the requirements of the ser vants of God to preach the gospel, he  remarked that few were qualified even  to be priests, and if a priest understood  his duty, his calling and ministry and  preached by the Holy Ghost, his en joyment is as great as if he were one  of the presidency; and his services are  necessary in the body, as are also those  of teachers and deacons. Therefore  in viewing the church as whole, we may  strictly denominate it one priesthood.
He remarked that he rebuked and  admonished his brethren frequently,  and that because he loved them; not  because he wished to incur their dis pleasure or mar their happiness.
Such a course of conduct was not  calculated to gain the good will of all,  but rather the ill will of many, and  thereby the situation in which he stood  was an important one. So you see,  brethren the higher the authority, the  greater the difficulty of the station.  But these rebukes and admonitions be came nccssary from the pcrverseness  of brethren, for their temporal as well  as spiritual welfare. They actually  constituted a part of the duties of his  station and calling.
Others had other duties to perform  that were important and far less envi able, and might be just as good, like the  feet or hands in their relation to the  human body, neither could claim prior ity, or say to the other I have no need  of you. After all that has been said  the greatest duty and the most impor tant is, to preach the gospel.
He then alluded to the temporal aff airs of the church in this place, stating  the causes of the embarrassments of a  pecuniary nature that were now press ing upon the heads of the church. He  observed they began poor, were needy,  destitute, and were truly afflicted by  their enemies; yet the Lord command ed them to go forth and preach the [p. 487]
JS, discourse, Kirtland, OH, 6 Apr. 1837; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Apr. 1837, pp. 487–8.