An extract from Joseph Smith’s history recounting the ordination of the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic Priesthood near Harmony, Pennsylvania, May 15, 1829. The ordination was done by the hands of an angel who announced himself as John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament. The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient Apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time this higher priesthood would be conferred upon them. (See section 27:7–8, 12.)
The keys and powers of the Aaronic Priesthood are set forth.
1 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I aconfer the bPriesthood of Aaron, which holds the ckeys of the ministering of dangels, and of the gospel of erepentance, and of fbaptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the gsons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in hrighteousness.