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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

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

View Glossary
. Nevertheless, a high priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
, that is after the order of Melchizedek

The greater or higher of two orders of priesthood in the church. Also known as “the holy priesthood, after the order of the Son of God,” “the high priesthood,” and “the high and holy priesthood.” This priesthood held the “right of presidency,” the responsibility...

View Glossary
, 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

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
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

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
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

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
, or in a stake

Ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. Stakes were typically large local organizations of church members; stake leaders could include a presidency, a high council, and a bishopric. Some revelations referred to stakes “to” or...

View Glossary
of Zion, or in any branch of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry, until the borders of Zion are enlarged, and it becomes necessary to have other bishops, or judges in Zion, or elsewhere: 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

An organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and other ecclesiastical organizations. A November 1831 revelation first described the office of president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
of this priesthood, to the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counsellors, except in a case where a president of the high priesthood

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
, after the order of Melchizedek, is tried; to sit as a judge in Israel.—And the decision of either of these councils

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
, agreeably to the commandment which says;
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, 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]
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

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

View Glossary
. Nevertheless, a high priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
, that is after  the order of Melchizedek

The greater or higher of two orders of priesthood in the church. Also known as “the holy priesthood, after the order of the Son of God,” “the high priesthood,” and “the high and holy priesthood.” This priesthood held the “right of presidency,” the responsibility...

View Glossary
, 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

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
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

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
who is not a literal descendant of Aaron,  but has been ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
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

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
, or in a stake

Ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. Stakes were typically large local organizations of church members; stake leaders could include a presidency, a high council, and a bishopric. Some revelations referred to stakes “to” or...

View Glossary
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

An organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and other ecclesiastical organizations. A November 1831 revelation first described the office of president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
of this priesthood, to the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
of this ministry, to  act in the office of bishop independently, without counsellors,  except in a case where a president of the high priesthood

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary
, after  the order of Melchizedek, is tried; to sit as a judge in Israel.— And the decision of either of these councils

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
, 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

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH, ca. Apr. 1835; in Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., pp. 82–89.

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