Presidency of the high priesthood 

Summary

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church.1 In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood.2 The individual holding this office would serve as “the Presiding high Priest over the high Priesthood of the Church” and would “preside over the whole church.”3 He would also serve as “a Seer, a revelator, a translator, & a prophet, having all the gifts of God, which he bestoweth upon the head of the church.”4 After JS’s ordination as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832, his position was sometimes referred to as “the office of the presidency of the high Priesthood.”5 In March 1832, JS selected two men as his counselors.6 Around that same time, further revelations stated that the “keys of the Kingdom” belonged to the presidency of the high priesthood, meaning JS, and that God had given him the “authority to preside with the assistance of his counselors over all the Concerns of the church.”7 In March 1833, JS’s counselors were made equal to him “in holding the keys of the Kingdom” and specifically granted authority to “preside over the affairs of the Church.”8 After this time, the counselors were also referred to as presidents, and the term presidency applied more to JS and his counselors than to just JS himself.9 By 1834, the presidency of the high priesthood was sometimes referred to as the “first Presidency.”10 At times, additional counselors or assistant presidents were appointed to assist the presidency of the high priesthood in managing the affairs of the church.11 See also “Presidency.”