Instruction on Priesthood, 5 October 1840

In order to investigate the subject <of the Priesthood> so important to this  as well as every succeeding generation, I shall proceed  to trace the subject as far as I possibly can from  the Old and new Testaments.
There are two priesthoods spoken of in the scrip tures, v[i]z, the Melchisadeck and the Aaronic or Levitical  Altho there are two priesthoods, yet the Melchisadeck  priesthood comprehends the Aaronic or Levitical  priesthood and is the grand head and holds  the highest Authority which pertains to the priesthood — The keys of the kingdom of God in all ages of the  world to the latest posterity on the earth— and is  the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine,  the plan of Salvation and every important matter truth  is revealed from heaven. Its institution was prior to  “the foundation of this earth or the morning stars  sang together or the Sons of God shouted for joy,”  and it is the highest and holiest priesthood and is  after the order of the Son [of] God, and all other priest hoods are only parts, ramifications, powers and  blessings belonging to the same and are held  controlled and directed by it. It is the Channel  through which the Almighty commenced revealing  his glory at the beginning of the creation of this earth  and through which he has continued to reveal  himself to the children of men and to the present  time and through which he will make known  his purposes to the end of time— [p. 1]
JS, instruction on priesthood, Nauvoo, IL, 5 Oct. 1840; handwriting of Robert B. Thompson; ten pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes endorsements.