Joseph Smith jr. rose and spoke on the subject of the . The , 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 , 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 , 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 , is a member of the same Melchisedec priesthood, with the presi dency, but not of the same power or authority, in the church. the are also members of the same priesthood, are a sort of travelling , 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 and are not to be high priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the , who have the 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 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 , 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 , 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 and . 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]