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Instruction on Priesthood, circa April 1835 [D&C 107]

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 priesthood. Nevertheless, a high priest, that is after  the order of Melchizedek, may be set apart unto the minis tering of temporal things, having a knowledge of them by the  Spirit of truth, and also to be a judge in Israel, to do the busi ness 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. 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.
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, un til the borders of Zion are enlarged, and it becomes necessary  to have other bishops, or judges in Zion, or elsewhere: and in asmuch 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;
35 Again, verily, I say unto you: The most important busi ness 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]
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Instruction on Priesthood, Kirtland, OH, ca. Apr. 1835; in Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., pp. 82–89.

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