Revelation on the priesthood, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, about April 1835. Although this section was recorded in 1835, the historical records affirm that most of verses 60 through 100 incorporate a revelation given through Joseph Smith on November 11, 1831. This section was associated with the organization of the Quorum of the Twelve in February and March 1835. The Prophet likely delivered it in the presence of those who were preparing to depart May 3, 1835, on their first quorum mission.
1–6, There are two priesthoods: the Melchizedek and the Aaronic; 7–12, Those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood have power to officiate in all offices in the Church; 13–17, The bishopric presides over the Aaronic Priesthood, which administers in outward ordinances; 18–20, The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys of all spiritual blessings; the Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels; 21–38, The First Presidency, the Twelve, and the Seventy constitute the presiding quorums, whose decisions are to be made in unity and righteousness; 39–52, The patriarchal order is established from Adam to Noah; 53–57, Ancient Saints assembled at Adam-ondi-Ahman, and the Lord appeared to them; 58–67, The Twelve are to set the officers of the Church in order; 68–76, Bishops serve as common judges in Israel; 77–84, The First Presidency and the Twelve constitute the highest court in the Church; 85–100, Priesthood presidents govern their respective quorums.
4 But out of arespect or breverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
5 All other authorities or offices in the church are aappendages to this priesthood.
6 But there are two divisions or grand heads—one is the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic or aLevitical Priesthood.
7 The office of an aelder comes under the priesthood of Melchizedek.
9 The aPresidency of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to officiate in all the offices in the church.
10 aHigh priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a bright to officiate in their own cstanding, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, dpriest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.
11 An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.
12 The high priest and aelder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.
13 The second priesthood is called the aPriesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations.
14 Why it is called the lesser priesthood is because it is an aappendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering outward ordinances.
17 But as a high priest of the aMelchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of bbishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and cset apart and ordained unto this power by the hands of the dPresidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the akeys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—
19 To have the privilege of receiving the amysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the bheavens opened unto them, to commune with the cgeneral assembly and church of the dFirstborn, and to enjoy the communion and epresence of God the Father, and Jesus the fmediator of the new covenant.
20 The apower and authority of the lesser, or bAaronic Priesthood, is to hold the ckeys of the ministering of angels, and to dadminister in outward eordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the fremission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.
21 Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding aofficers growing out of, or appointed of or from among those who are ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods.
22 Of the aMelchizedek Priesthood, three bPresiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and cupheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.
23 The atwelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve bApostles, or special cwitnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.
24 And they form a quorum, aequal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned.
25 The aSeventy are also called to bpreach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.
26 And they form a quorum, equal in aauthority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.
27 And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the aunanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other—
28 A majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it impossible to be otherwise—
29 Unless this is the case, their decisions are not entitled to the same blessings which the decisions of a quorum of three presidents were anciently, who were ordained after the order of Melchizedek, and were arighteous and holy men.
30 The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all arighteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and blong-suffering, and in cfaith, and dvirtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity;
31 Because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be aunfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord.
32 And in case that any decision of these quorums is made in unrighteousness, it may be brought before a general assembly of the several quorums, which constitute the spiritual authorities of the church; otherwise there can be no aappeal from their decision.
33 The aTwelve are a bTraveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the cGentiles and secondly unto the Jews.
34 The aSeventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the bTwelve or the traveling high council, in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews—
35 The Twelve being asent out, holding the keys, to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews.
36 The standing ahigh councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the traveling high council.
37 The ahigh council in Zion form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the councils of the Twelve at the stakes of Zion.
38 It is the duty of the traveling high council to call upon the aSeventy, when they need assistance, to fill the several calls for preaching and administering the gospel, instead of any others.
40 The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.
42 From Adam to aSeth, who was bordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam’s) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be cpreserved unto the end of the earth;
43 Because he (Seth) was a aperfect man, and his blikeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age.
44 Enos was ordained at the age of one hundred and thirty-four years and four months, by the hand of Adam.
45 God called upon Cainan in the wilderness in the fortieth year of his age; and he met Adam in journeying to the place Shedolamak. He was eighty-seven years old when he received his ordination.
46 Mahalaleel was four hundred and ninety-six years and seven days old when he was ordained by the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
47 Jared was two hundred years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
48 aEnoch was twenty-five years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam; and he was sixty-five and Adam blessed him.
49 And he asaw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he bwalked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated.
50 Methuselah was one hundred years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam.
51 Lamech was thirty-two years old when he was ordained under the hand of Seth.
52 Noah was ten years old when he was aordained under the hand of Methuselah.
53 Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all ahigh priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of bAdam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing.
54 And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed aAdam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.
55 And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him: I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a aprince over them forever.
56 And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, apredicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation.
57 These things were all written in the book of aEnoch, and are to be testified of in due time.
59 To the church of Christ in the land of Zion, in addition to the church alaws respecting church business—
60 Verily, I say unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts, there must needs be apresiding elders to preside over those who are of the office of an elder;
61 And also apriests to preside over those who are of the office of a priest;
62 And also teachers to preside over those who are of the office of a teacher, in like manner, and also the adeacons—
63 Wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, according to the covenants and commandments of the church.
64 Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all.
65 Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the aHigh Priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church;
66 Or, in other words, the aPresiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church.
67 From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the alaying on of the hands.
70 For unless he is a aliteral descendant of Aaron he cannot hold the keys of that priesthood.
71 Nevertheless, a high priest, that is, after the order of Melchizedek, may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things, having a aknowledge of them by the Spirit of truth;
72 And also to be a ajudge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in bjudgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his ccounselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church.
73 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.
74 Thus shall he be a ajudge, 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 bset 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.
75 And inasmuch as there are other bishops appointed they shall act in the same office.
76 But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the presidency of this priesthood, to the akeys of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counselors, 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.
77 And the decision of either of these councils, agreeable to the commandment which says:
78 Again, verily, I say unto you, the most important business of the church, and the most adifficult 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 bPresidency of the High Priesthood.
79 And the Presidency of the council of the High Priesthood shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors; and thus the Presidency of the High Priesthood and its counselors shall have power to decide upon testimony according to the laws of the church.
80 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.
81 There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church.
82 And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the acommon council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood;
83 And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him.
85 And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a adeacon is to preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them, and to bteach them their duty, cedifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants.
86 And also the duty of the president over the office of the ateachers is to preside over twenty-four of the teachers, and to sit in council with them, teaching them the duties of their office, as given in the covenants.
87 Also the duty of the president over the Priesthood of Aaron is to preside over forty-eight apriests, and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the covenants—
88 This president is to be a abishop; for this is one of the duties of this priesthood.
89 Again, the duty of the president over the office of aelders is to preside over ninety-six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants.
90 This presidency is a distinct one from that of the seventy, and is designed for those who do not atravel into all the world.
93 And it is according to the vision showing the order of the aSeventy, that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the seventy;
94 And the seventh president of these presidents is to preside over the six;
95 And these seven presidents are to choose other seventy besides the first seventy to whom they belong, and are to preside over them;
96 And also other seventy, until seven times seventy, if the labor in the vineyard of necessity requires it.
98 Whereas other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all nations, but are to travel as their circumstances shall allow, notwithstanding they may hold as high and responsible offices in the church.