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´╗┐Title: Items on the Priesthood presented to the Latter-day Saints
Author: Taylor, John M. (John Metcalf)
Language: English
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ITEMS ON THE PRIESTHOOD

PRESENTED TO

THE LATTER DAY SAINTS

BY

PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR

* * * *

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

* * * *

1899



THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ON PRIESTHOOD ARE PRESENTED

TO THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR.

* * * *

As there is more or less uncertainty existing in the minds of many of
the Bishops and others in regard to the proper status and authority
of the Bishopric and what is denominated the "Aaronic or Levitical"
Priesthood, I thought it best to lay before the brethren a general
statement of the subject, as contained in the Bible and Book of
Doctrine and Covenants.

With this view, I have made copious extracts from both of the above
sacred records, and so arranged them that they can be readily
comprehended by those who hold the Priesthood and are conversant with
the holy order of God; adding only such remarks, for explanation, as
the plain statements warranted; preferring to give generally the simple
quotations, and to let them speak for themselves.

In the elucidation of this subject I have necessarily had to refer,
more or less, to the Melchizedek Priesthood, as the two Priesthoods are
inseperably united, the one with the other. I have also given a brief
Scriptural synopsis of the Levitical Priesthood, as recorded in the Old
Testament.

The following views have been submitted to the Council of the Twelve
and have received their sanction; they were also laid before the
Priesthood Meeting at the Semi-Annual Conference, held in the Assembly
Hall, Salt Lake City, October 9th, A. D. 1880, and were unanimously
accepted by the large body of Priesthood present on that occasion.

* * * *



THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD.

AS CONTAINED IN THE BIBLE.

First.--The Aaronic, or Levitical Priesthood, spoken of in the
revelations as being "lesser" than the Melchizedek; Aaron was made the
mouthpiece of Moses, while Moses was as a God to Aaron. The Lord having
called Moses to deliver Israel, the Prophet realized his weakness and
plead to be excused. We quote from the Scriptures:

"And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is
not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And
also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he
will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words
in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and
will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the
people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee _instead of a mouth_
and thou shalt be to him instead of God."--Ex. iv, 14-16.

It would seem from the foregoing that the Lord was angry with Moses,
because he doubted the ability of God to sustain him and to enable him
to speak: "And the Lord said unto him. Who hath made man's mouth? or
who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I
the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach
thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O, my Lord, send, I pray thee,
by the hand of _him whom_ thou wilt send."--Ex. iv, 11-13.

The Lord further says: "And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand,
wherewith thou shalt do signs."--Ex. iv, 17.

"And the Lord said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And
he went, and met him in the Mount of God, and kissed him. And Moses
told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the
signs which he had commanded him."--Ex. iv, 27-28.

"These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the Lord said, Bring out the
children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies.
These are they which spake to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to bring out the
children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron."--Ex.
vi, 26, 27. "And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of
Egypt."--Ex. xii, 1.

It may be noticed that Aaron was with Moses, that God called him and
spake to him and Moses, and that he assisted in bringing the message
to Pharaoh, and was a prophet to Moses before he held the Aaronic
Priesthood, or before that Priesthood known to us as the Aaronic or
Levitical Priesthood was given. But it would seem also that the Lord
spake to Aaron himself;--how and on what principle? The Lord also said
to Moses, "I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach
you what ye shall do." And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had
spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. The
Lord had before spoken to Moses on this subject; he now spake to Aaron.
Hence Paul says, "No man taketh this honor unto himself: but he that
is called of God as was Aaron." What did the Lord say to him? "Go into
the wilderness to meet Moses." And then Moses told Aaron all the words
of the Lord, who had sent him. Moses was thus his instructor and guide,
or in other words, acted as a God to him. Thus, Aaron being selected
to assist Moses and to be his mouthpiece, went with him to Egypt, and
was with him in his intercourse with Pharaoh, and in the deliverance
of the children of Israel from Egypt. But Moses always took the lead,
and when Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, met him, "Moses sat to judge the
people [not Aaron]: and the people stood by Moses, from the morning
unto the evening." And when Jethro saw the excessive labors of Moses,
he counseled him, If _God should command him_ to choose able men to be
rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens; to judge the
smaller cases, while Moses should have charge of the most important.
Thus Moses, and not Aaron, was the most prominent personage in these
matters.

We further find that Aaron was permitted to go up to Mount Sinai. "And
the Lord said unto him [Moses], Away, get thee down, and thou shalt
come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the Priests and the
people break through to come up unto the Lord, lest he break forth upon
them."--Ex. xix, 24. It may be here asked, Who were these Priests? for
the Aaronic Priesthood, as we know it, was not then introduced. But
Moses was his leader, and it was he who obtained the word of the Lord,
and it was he with whom the Lord conversed. For we find, "And Moses
went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain,
saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the
children of Israel. * * * And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on
the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the
mount; and Moses went up. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go down, charge
the people lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze, and many of
them perish."--Ex. xix, 3, 20, 21. Moses always took the lead: "And he
said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and
Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.
And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh;
neither shall the people go up with him."--Ex. xxiv, I, 2. They _saw
God_ and did eat and drink: "And upon the nobles of the children of
Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink."
(v. 11.) And afterwards Moses was with the Lord forty days. "And Moses
went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and
Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." (v. 18.) By what
power did Aaron see God? May we not suppose it was by the power of the
Melchizedek Priesthood? for without that no man can see the face of God
and live. It, the Melchizedek, holds the keys of the mysteries of the
Kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. (Doc. and Cov., sec. 84,
p. 290.) Moses had these keys; but Aaron also saw God, as well as the
seventy Elders of Israel, and the people saw his glory and heard his
voice.--Ex. xx, 22; Deut. iv, 36.

It would seem that Aaron and the seventy Elders of Israel then had
the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the Aaronic was about being combined
with it, as we have them now. Moses held the keys of the Melchizedek
Priesthood, and presided over the whole. Aaron was then in possession
of the Melchizedek Priesthood; but another or lesser Priesthood was
about to be conferred upon him, which was done soon after. We quote,
"And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him,
from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the
Priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar,
Aaron's sons. And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother,
for glory and for beauty."--Ex. xxviii, 1, 2.

Does it not seem probable that Aaron, when he received this lesser
Priesthood, was in the same position (as to Priesthood) that our
Presiding Bishop is, holding the Melchizedek and lesser Priesthoods,
but presiding over the latter, and Moses presiding over all--the
Melchizedek as well as the Aaronic or Levitical, the latter being an
appendage to the former? For we read that the law was added because of
transgression; added to what? Was there anything but the Gospel to add
it to? The children of Israel, at this time, had the Gospel and the
pattern of the ark, and the commandments were given under its auspices.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, "And look that thou make them
after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount."--Ex. xxv, 40.
(See also the whole chapter.) And further, the words of the Lord, the
book of the covenant or law of the Lord were given under the Gospel.
(See Ex. xxiv, 1-8.) And the sacrifices and burnt offerings were also
performed under the Gospel; and as the great Presiding High Priest,
Moses, gave directions concerning the sacrifices, and himself sprinkled
half of the blood upon the altar, and put half into basins, hence we
have the following:

"And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half
of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the
covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All
the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the
blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said. Behold the blood of
the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these
words."--Ex. xxiv, 6-8. Moses was with the Lord forty days in the mount
receiving these things, viz., the laws and covenants, the pattern of
the ark and tabernacle, and the tables. (See Ex. xxiv to xxxii.)

We here have a statement of the manner in which Aaron and his sons were
set apart to administer in the Aaronic Priest's office, while yet under
the Gospel; for we read, "And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto
the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them
with water. And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the
coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate,
and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod: and thou shalt put
the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre. Then
shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and
anoint him. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them.
And thou shalt gird them with the girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put
the bonnets on them: and the _Priests office shall be theirs for a
perpetual statute:_ and THOU shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons." Ex.
xxix, 4-9.

Further, "And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their
father, that they may minister unto me in the Priest's office: for
their anointing shall surely be _an everlasting Priesthood throughout
their generations._"--Ex. xl, 15. We find that in all this Moses was
the chief actor. Sometime after, for certain reasons specified, Aaron
was to be gathered to his people, and not be permitted to enter the
land, as stated. "Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall
not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel,
because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. Take Aaron
and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto Mount Hor: and strip Aaron
of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be
gathered unto his people, and shall die there. And Moses did as the
Lord commanded: and they went up into Mount Hor in the sight of all the
congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them
upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and
Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount."--Num. xx, 24-28.

What the sin was that Moses and Aaron committed does not distinctly
appear, except it was in taking glory to themselves instead of giving
God the glory. For God had commanded Moses to take the rod, he and
Aaron, and smite the rock, which he did. In doing this, however,
Moses said: "Hear now, ye rebels: must we fetch you water out of
this rock? * * * And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye
believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel,
therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I
have given them."--Num. xx, 10-12. This is the water of Meribah (or
strife) because the children of Israel strove with the Lord and he was
sanctified in them. David, in referring to this, says: "They angered
him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses
for their sakes: because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake
unadvisedly with his lips."--Psalm cvi, 32, 33.

The same judgment afterwards overtook Moses, and also for the same
reason. For, "The Lord said unto Moses, get thee up into this mount
Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of
Israel. And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto
thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. For ye rebelled against
my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation,
to sanctify me at the water before their eyes, that is the water of
Meribah, in Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin."--Num. xxvii, 12-14.
Deut. xxxii, 48-52.

Moses plead with the Lord to have this sentence reversed, but the Lord
would not grant his prayer. He said "I pray thee, let me go over, and
see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and
Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would
not hear me: and the Lord said unto me. Let it suffice thee; speak
no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah,
and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and
eastward, and behold it with thine eye; for thou shalt not go over this
Jordan."--Deut. iii, 25-27. And when Moses found that the Lord would
not permit him to go to the goodly land, he still felt interested about
the welfare of the people. For we read: "And Moses spake unto the Lord,
saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man
over the congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go
in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them
in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no
shepherd. And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua, the son of
Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; and set
him before Eleazer the Priest, and before all the congregation; and
give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put _some_ of thine
honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may
be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the Priest, who shall
ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his
word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, _both_ he,
and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And
Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him
before Eleazar the Priest, and before all the congregation: and he laid
his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the
hand of Moses."--Num. xxvii, 15-23.

In his day Moses was the law-giver and leader of the children of
Israel. When he died some of Moses' honor was conferred upon Joshua,
not all; Joshua then was to be under the priestly direction of Eleazar,
the son of Aaron, who was to ask counsel for him after the judgment
of Urim. Thus the lesser Priesthood began to bear rule in the person
of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, although in operation it did not bear
rule in Aaron's time. And while the keys and powers of the Melchizedek
Priesthood were withdrawn in the person of Moses, the Aaronic
Priesthood was maintained in all its powers in the person of Eleazar.
Joshua indeed led the people, but had not the gifts and powers of the
Priesthood which Moses had, holding indeed the Melchizedek Priesthood,
but possessing only _some of Moses' honor_.

Moses died, according to the chronological record of the Bible, in the
year B. C. 1451. Upwards of three hundred years afterwards we find
Eli officiating as Priest; and although he was a good man, he did not
control his sons, nor stop their iniquitous practices; for which he and
his sons were reproved by the Lord. And Samuel took his place, and he
selected and anointed Saul, who had, as Joshua, part of Moses' honor.
And the Aaronic Priesthood continued to exercise its priestly power,
more or less, until Christ; of which as appears John was the _last
legitimate High Priest_.

In the new translation the removal of the Melchizedek Priesthood is
clearly defined as follows: "And the Lord said unto Moses: Hew thee
two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon
them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at
first on the tables which thou brakest: but it shall not be according
to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst;
therefore my holy order [or the Melchizedek], and the ordinances
thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in
their midst, lest I destroy them. But I will give unto them the law as
at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment;
for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my
presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage."--Ex. xxxiv,
1, 2.

The Lord said unto Moses: "Thou canst not see my face at this time,
lest mine anger is kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee and
thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time and
live; for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any
time; neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see
my face and live."--N. T. Ex. xxxiii, 20. He did, however, place him in
the cleft of a rock, and covered him with His hand, and permitted him
to see His back parts; but not His face. A little while before this,
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel
saw God, and did eat and drink.--Ex. xxiv, 9-11. But now Moses even,
could not see his face, nor any of the people go near him, and when
Moses had been a second time on the mount and his face shone so that
they could not look upon him, Moses had to put a vail on his face.--Ex.
xxxiv, 29-35.

Paul in referring to this says: "And not as Moses, which put a vail
over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look
to the end of that which is abolished: but their minds were blinded;
for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading
of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even
unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken
away."--II. Cor. iii, 13-16.

From the foregoing and from the whole history of the Aaronic Priesthood
until the coming of Christ, it appears that, with the exception of
some prominent prophets who held the Melchizedek Priesthood, as the
direct gift of God, without, it would seem, the power to confer it
upon others--not having an organization--there was very little of the
manifestation of the gift and power of God among the people of the
Jews, so that it might truly be said, "There arose not a prophet since
in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the
signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of
Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; and in
all that mighty hand, and in all that great terror, which Moses showed
in the sight of all Israel."--Deut. xxxiv, 10-12.

From the foregoing it is evident:

First.--That the Melchizedek Priesthood was greater than the Aaronic,
and that while it ruled, it controlled all matters pertaining to the
government and instruction of the people, and that it organized and
directed the Aaronic Priesthood, which was in reality an appendage to
the greater.

Second.--That when the Melchizedek Priesthood was in a great measure
withdrawn, as there was no regular organization of that Priesthood, it
was left to a great extent to the guidance and direction of the Lord,
who, from time to time, inspired different men as Prophets, who came
to the people with the word of the Lord, receiving their inspiration
and calling directly from him, as Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and
others. But that a portion of Moses' spirit rested upon Joshua, upon
the seventy Elders of Israel, upon the Prophets in the days of Elijah,
Elisha and others.

Third.--That the Aaronic Priesthood continued in its full force, having
a complete organization, which it received under the hands of Moses, or
through the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Fourth.--That the Aaronic Priesthood, being continued, it held the Urim
and Thummim, and gave direction to Joshua, who was set apart by Moses,
and to Saul, David, Solomon and others, who were anointed and set apart
to their kingly power, and to rule over and to lead and direct Israel,
and that this state of things continued until Christ. The High Priests
of the Aaronic Priesthood being the acknowledged representatives of
God, holding the priestly power: whilst the kings were anointed by
them, or by their priestly authority, and the kings and rulers had to
get the word of the Lord from the Aaronic Priesthood, or through the
Urim and Thummim.

Fifth.--It is further evident that this Priesthood became, in many
instances, very corrupt, and incurred the displeasure of God, and that
many of the kings also, though anointed, perverted their office and
calling, and instead of being the protectors and saviors of Israel,
helped to lead them astray.

Sixth.--It is evident that all the Aaronic Priesthood did not have the
Urim and Thummim, nor did they call, anoint and direct kings, or bear
rule in the nation. But only the High Priest--one man--and that one man
presided over and directed the action of the kings, telling them when
to go out to war, and when not to go, and giving unto them the word of
the Lord through the Urim and Thummim.

Seventh.--That they only had one tabernacle, one ark of the covenant,
or one temple at one time; and not as we, many stakes, many temples,
and many services. But then they, when Moses left, were under the
Aaronic, and we are under the Melchizedek Priesthood; they were under
the law and the Mosaic dispensation; we are under the Gospel, and in
the dispensation of the fullness of time, and have consequently labors
and duties to perform which did not belong to them.

It may be proper here to remark that there was a council, called a
"senate of the children of Israel."--Acts v, 21. The High Priest called
this council together. The council, it is said, was composed of seventy
men or judges, and to have taken its rise from the installment of the
seventy Elders spoken of in Num. xi, 16, 17. They were to be known by
Moses to be Elders of the people and officers over them--"Able men,
such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness"--a portion of
Moses' spirit was to be given unto them, and they were to help him to
bear the burdens of the people. As Saul was anointed by Samuel to be
captain over the Lord's inheritance, and the Spirit of the Lord was to
come upon him, and he was to prophesy and be turned into another man.
(See I. Samuel x, 6.) And God gave him another heart, and all the signs
came to pass that day, and he prophesied.

This senate or council was known by the name of the Sanhedrim, and
it is said, sat in the form of a half moon. This council is spoken
of in John xi, 47-52. "Then gathered the Chief Priests and Pharisees
a council. * * And one of them named Caiaphas, the High Priest, said
* * it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people. *
* And this spake he not of himself; but being High Priest that year,
he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation, and not for
that nation only; but that also he should gather together in one the
children of God that were scattered abroad." "Now Caiaphas was he
which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man
should die for the people."--John xviii, 14. This council had not the
power of death, (ver. 31.) (See also Acts iv, v and vi.) About this
Sanhedrim there is little or nothing said in the Old Testament nor of
the organization of this court. It is thought by some it existed after
the captivity, or in the days of the Maccabees only.

There is another remarkable thing about the Aaronic Priesthood, or at
least about the early action of Aaron, as an associate of Moses. When
Moses was first called upon to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage,
he told the Lord that they would not believe him, nor hearken unto
his voice, and Moses was told to cast his rod upon the ground, and it
became a serpent, and he fled from before it; but when the Lord told
Moses to take it by the tail, and he caught it, it became a rod again.
Then the Lord told him to put his hand into his bosom, and when he took
it out it was leprous. He was told to put it into his bosom again, and
it was restored and like his other flesh. Still, Moses was unconvinced
and said, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since
thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but I am slow of speech and of a
slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him. Who hath made man's mouth? or
who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I
the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach
thee what thou shalt say."--Ex. iv, 10-12. Yet Moses was not satisfied
and shrank from his mission, and said: "O my Lord, send, I pray thee,
by the hand of _him_ whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the Lord
was kindled against Moses, and he said. Is not Aaron the Levite thy
brother? I know, that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh
forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his
heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and
I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what
ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he
shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt
be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand,
wherewith thou shalt do signs." (See the whole of chap. iv, Ex.)

From the above it would seem that if Moses would have done as the Lord
requested him, Aaron would not have been called. Moses shrank from the
responsibility; and though the Lord was angry with him yet he gave unto
him a helper in Aaron. A revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith,
says: "Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the
wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they
might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could
not endure his presence, therefore the Lord in his wrath (for his anger
was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter into his
rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of his glory.
Therefore he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood
also; and the lesser Priesthood continued, which Priesthood holdeth
the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory Gospel, which
Gospel is the Gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission
of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his
wrath, caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children
of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy
Ghost from his mother's womb; for he was baptized while he was yet in
his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was
eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews,
and to make straight the way of the Lord, before the face of his people
to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given
all power."--Doc. and Cov. Sec. 84, pars. 23-88. pp. 290-1. Again,
Paul says, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical Priesthood,
(for under it the people received the law,) what further need was
there that another Priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek,
and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the Priesthood being
changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law."--Heb.
vii, 11, 12. (See also chapters viii, ix and x.) John the Baptist
came as the forerunner of Christ, and baptized him as stated. "Then
cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and
comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him. Suffer it to be
so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he
suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out
of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the
spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo, a
voice from heaven, saying. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased."--Matt, iii, 13-17. On inquiry being made, Jesus said of John
the Baptist, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women,
there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding
he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."--Matt,
xi, 11. Again Jesus said, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias
which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
(vers. 14, 15.) But they would not receive it: they beheaded John
and crucified Jesus; hence the restoration, the mission of Elias was
postponed until he appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the
Kirtland Temple. (Doc. and Gov. Sec. ex, p. 405.) At which time Elijah
came, as Malachi says: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he
shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of
the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a
curse."--Mal. iv, 5, 6.

It seems from the foregoing that Moses had the greater or Melchizedek
Priesthood; that when he was taken, the keys went with him; that the
Aaronic Priesthood ruled until Christ, and the people were under the
law; that when Christ came he introduced a better covenant and restored
the Gospel; and that the Bishopric was, and the Aaronic Priesthood
is, under the Melchizedek, and an appendage thereto, as are also all
Elders appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and it is also evident
that the Presidency of that Priesthood presides over all, as did
Melchizedek, Moses, Joseph Smith, etc., with Jesus at the head, as the
great Presiding High Priest.

But if, as Paul says, the Priesthood being changed, then is made of
necessity a change also of the law; or in other words, a change from
the law of carnal commandments and ordinances to the law of the Gospel.
Yet the Aaronic Priesthood, as the Melchizedek, is an everlasting
Priesthood, as before exhibited, and continueth forever as an appendage
to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and hence in the old apostolic days,
when under an organization of the Melchizedek, the latter is the most
prominent, and very little is said about the Levitical or Aaronic:
probably on account of the peculiar traditions and superstitions of
the Jews, which made it almost impossible for them to comprehend the
greater or Melchizedek. Yet the Aaronic cannot be ignored, and in the
dispensation of the fullness of times it again comes forth, as one of
the grand aids or appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood; and hence
in the ushering in of this dispensation, John the Baptist appears on
the stage and confers the Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery.

Having therefore traced out these two Priesthoods, principally from the
old Scriptures, we how turn to the revelations given by Joseph Smith
in the introduction of the Priesthood, as revealed by the Latter-day
Prophet in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fullness of times.



PRINCIPALLY ON THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD OR BISHOPRIC.

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD CONFERRED.

"Words of the Angel, John, (the Baptist,) spoken to Joseph Smith, Jr.,
and Oliver Cowdery, as he (the angel) laid his hands upon their heads
and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood, in Harmony, Susquehanna
County, Pennsylvania, May 15th, 1829:

"Upon you, my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the
Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels,
and of the Gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth,
until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in
righteousness."--Doc. and Cov., Sec 13, p. 108.

We quote from some of the first revelations given to the Prophet Joseph
Smith upon this subject. "Every President of the High Priesthood (or
Presiding Elder,) Bishop, High Councilor, and High Priest, is to be
ordained by the direction of a High Council or General Conference.
Presiding Elders, Traveling Bishops, High Councilors, High Priests, and
Elders, may have the privilege of ordaining where there is no branch
of the Church."--Doc. and Cov., Sec. 20, pars. 67, 66, p. 127. At this
time Presidents of the High Priesthood, Presiding Elders, Bishops, High
Councilors, and High Priests were placed on the same footing. It may be
observed that Traveling Bishops are here referred to. These were given
for the regulation of the newly organized branches or churches.

From the above we learn: That before the appointment of Bishops there
were revelations given and arrangements made for this office. Whilst
the following teaches us:

That certain men among the Saints should be appointed by the voice of
the Church, to look after the poor and needy, and to govern the affairs
of the property of the Church. "And now I give unto the Church in these
parts, a commandment that certain men among them shall be appointed,
and they shall be appointed by the voice of the Church; and they shall
look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that
they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have
commanded them."--Sec. 38, pars. 34, 35, p. 163. The place referred to
at that time was Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. (par. 32.)

Edward Partridge was ordained a Bishop--the first Bishop in the
Church--and was called Feb. 4, 1831. He was to _spend all his time
in the labors of the Church_. We quote: "And again, I have called my
servant Edward Partridge, and give a commandment, that he should be
appointed by the voice of the Church, and ordained a Bishop unto the
Church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the
labors of the Church: to see to all things as it shall be appointed
unto him, in my laws in the day that I shall give them."--Sec.41, pars.
9, 10, p. 168. He was to "see to all things, as it _shall be appointed
unto him, in my laws_" [Who was to give these laws?] "in the day that I
shall give them."

Newel K. Whitney was the second Bishop--called _to be_ a Bishop, Dec.
4, 1831. "And now, verily I say unto you, my servant Newel K. Whitney
is the man who shall be appointed and ordained unto this power. Even
so. Amen."--Sec. 72, par. 8, p.257. "And again, I say unto you, that
my servant Edward Partridge shall stand in the office wherewith I have
appointed him. And it shall come to pass, that if he transgresses,
another shall be appointed in his stead. Even so. Amen."--Sec. 42, par.
10, p. 169; Feb. 9, 1831.

Property was to be consecrated for the poor, and laid before the Bishop
and his counselors, who are to be two Elders or High Priests. (See sec.
42. pars. 30, 31, p. 171) The residue was to be kept in a storehouse
for the poor and needy, as shall be appointed by the High Council and
the Bishop and his Council and for _purchasing Church lands, building
houses of worship_, building up the New Jerusalem; of course he was to
act as a general Bishop of the Church, (he was not confined to a ward,)
to receive and distribute property, appoint stewardships, etc. It will
be perceived that the High Council then had a voice in these matters.
It is written:

"And inasmuch as ye impart of your substance unto the poor ye will do
it unto me, and they shall be laid before the Bishop of my Church and
his Counselors, two of the Elders, or High Priests, such as he shall
or has set apart for that purpose. And it shall come to pass, that
after they are laid before the Bishop of my Church, and after that
he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the
properties of my Church, that they cannot be taken from the Church
agreeable to my commandments; every man shall be made accountable unto
me, a stewart over his own property, or that which he has received by
consecration, inasmuch as is sufficient for himself and family. And
again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the Church, or any
individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support, after
this first consecration, which is a residue to be consecrated unto the
Bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from
time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied, and
receive according to his wants. Therefore the residue shall be kept in
my storehouse, to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be
appointed by the High Council of the Church, and the Bishop and his
Council. And for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit
of the Church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the
New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed."--Sec. 42, pars.
31-35, PP. 171-2.

The Bishop was to receive his support, and also his Counselors,
or a remuneration for services. We read: "And the Elders, or High
Priests who are appointed to assist the Bishop, as Counselors in all
things, are to have their families supported out of the property
which is consecrated to the Bishop, for the good of the poor, and for
other purposes, as before mentioned; or they are to receive a just
remuneration for all their services, either a stewartship or otherwise,
as may be thought best or decided by the Counselors and Bishop, and the
Bishop, also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all
his services in the Church."--Sec. 42, pars. 71-73, P. 175. (See also
p. 257.)

"And unto the Bishop of the Church, and unto such as God shall appoint
and ordain to watch over the Church, and to be Elders unto the Church,
are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts."--Sec.
46, par. 27, p. 193. Certain gifts were here referred to. Not only
Bishops but Elders were to have this power. We further find that Edward
Partridge was to appoint unto this people their portion--every man
equal, giving him a writing--and every man was to deal honestly, and
be and receive alike; one Church must not use the money of another
Church without making arrangements to pay it. A storehouse was to be
appointed. The Bishop was to receive unto himself and family what was
needed for his wants, and for those of his family. This was to be an
example unto Edward, Partridge, and to all Churches.

"And let my servant, Edward Partridge, when he shall appoint a man
his portion, give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his
portion. * * And let that which belongeth to this people not be taken
and given unto that of another Church; wherefore, if another Church
would receive money of this Church let them pay unto this Church
again according as they shall agree; and this shall be done through
the Bishop or the agent, which shall be appointed by the voice of
the Church. And again, let the Bishop appoint a storehouse unto this
Church, and let all things, both in money and in meat, which is more
than is needful for the want of this people, be kept in the hands of
the Bishop. And let him also reserve unto himself for his own wants,
and for the wants of his family, as he shall be employed in doing this
business. And thus I grant unto this people a privilege of organizing
themselves according to my laws; and I consecrate unto them this
land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them
otherwise, and command them to go hence; and the hour and the day is
not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for
years, and this shall turn unto them for their good. Behold this shall
be an example unto my servant Edward Partridge, in other places, in all
Churches."--Sec. 51, pars. 4, 10-18, pp. 203, 204.

First.--From the above we find that bishops were first spoken of as
early as April, 1830. (See sec. 20, p. 121.)

Second.--Certain men were to be appointed to look after the poor and
administer to their relief and govern the affairs of the property of
the Church. (See sec. 38, pars. 34-36, p. 163, January 2, 1831.)

Third.--Edward Partridge was called to be the first Bishop, (See sec.
41, par. 9, p. 168, February 1831,) "and to spend all his time in the
labors of the Church."

Fourth.--That Newel K. Whitney was called and appointed to this office
as the second Bishop of this Church.

Fifth.--After this, besides Bishops' agents, there were other Bishops
appointed. George Miller was appointed to the Bishopric, and had it
sealed upon his head.

"I therefore say unto you, I seal upon his head the office of a
Bishopric, like unto my servant Edward Partridge, that he may receive
the consecrations of mine house, that he may administer blessings upon
the heads of the poor of my people, saith the Lord. Let no man despise
my servant George, for he shall honor me."--Sec. 124, par. 21, p. 431.

Also, "He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is
worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to
administer in temporal things."--Sec. 70, par. 12, p. 254.

There seems to be a difference in the duties of Bishops; Brother
Miller's was to be like Edward Partridge's whose duties are distinctly
marked out as follows: "And again, verily I say unto you, my servant
George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the
integrity of his heart; and for the love which he has to my testimony
I, the Lord, love him."--Sec. 124, par. 20 (see also par. 21), p. 431.

At the same time and in the same manner Vinson Knight, Samuel H. Smith,
and Shadrach Roundy were appointed to preside over the Bishopric.

"And again, I say unto you, I give unto you Vinson Knight, Samuel H.
Smith, and Shadrach Roundy, if he will receive it, to preside over the
Bishopric; a knowledge of said Bishopric is given unto you in the Book
of Doctrine and Covenants."--Sec. 124, par. 141, p. 446. Vinson Knight
was a Bishop, the two others were of course his Counselors.

We find from the foregoing and from what follows that there were
several kinds of Bishops, as well as Bishops' agents. Bishop Edward
Partridge was appointed to preside over the Saints in Zion, to purchase
lands, divide inheritances, and sit as a judge in Israel, as a general
Bishop to that district of country, and he had a special agent to
assist him, viz., Sidney Gilbert.

Bishop Whitney was appointed Bishop in Kirtland, Ohio, yet he had
charge of all the Churches in the eastern country, as a general
Bishop. Neither of these, at that time, were presiding Bishops over
the Bishopric. George Miller was appointed to fill the place of Edward
Partridge and officiate in the same order of Bishopric. Vinson Knight
was appointed to preside over the Bishopric with Samuel H. Smith and
Shadrach Roundy for counselors, and at the same time that George Miller
was appointed to take the place of Edward Partridge. Then there were
Alanson Ripley and others. Sidney Gilbert was to be an agent unto this
Church in the place that shall be appointed by the Bishop. (Sec 53,
par. 4, p. 209.)

"And let my servant Sidney Gilbert stand in the office which I have
appointed him, to receive moneys, to be an agent unto the Church,
to buy land in all the regions round about, inasmuch as can be in
righteousness, and as wisdom shall direct. * * And again, verily I say
unto you, let my servant Sidney Gilbert plant himself in this place,
and establish a store, that he may sell goods _without fraud_ that he
may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the Saints, and that he
may obtain whatsoever things the disciples may need to plant them in
their inheritances."--Sec. 57, pars. 6, 8, pp. 215-16.

The Lord says Edward Partridge was also to "stand in the office
which I have appointed him, to divide the Saints their inheritance,
even as I have commanded; and also those whom he has appointed to
assist him."--Sec. 57, par. 7, p. 215 * * "Let the Bishop and the
agent make preparations for those families which have been commanded
to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their
inheritance."--Sec.57, par, 15, p. 216. "I have selected my servant
Edward Partridge, and have appointed unto him his mission in this land;
but if he repent not of his sins, which are unbelief and blindness of
heart, let him take heed lest he fall. Behold his mission is given unto
him, and it shall not be given again. And whoso standeth in his mission
is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days,
to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children, and to
judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of
his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by
the Prophets of God; for verily I say unto you, my law shall be kept
on this land. Let no man think he is ruler, but let God rule him that
judgeth, according to the counsel of his own will; or, in other words
him that counseleth or sitteth upon the judgment seat."--Sec. 5 8 pars.
14-20, p. 218. "Let the residue of the Elders * * hold a conference;"
and Edward Partridge was empowered to direct the conference which
should be held by certain Elders. (Sec. 58, pars. 61, 62, p. 222.)

"And let my servant Edward Partridge impart of the money which I
have given him, a portion unto mine Elders who are commanded to
return."--Sec. 60, pars. 10, 11, p. 226. If not able, they were not
required to return it.

"Let my servant Newel K. Whitney retain his store, or in other words,
the store yet for a little season. Nevertheless let him impart all the
money which he can impart, to be sent up unto the land of Zion. Behold
these things are in his own hands, let him do according to wisdom.
Verily I say, let him be ordained as an agent unto the disciples that
shall tarry, and let him be ordained unto this power."--Sec. 43, pars.
42-45, pp. 236-7. It would seem from the above that Bishop Whitney was
not yet a Bishop when he was ordained to be an agent.

"And even the Bishop, who is a judge, and his Counselors, if they are
not faithful in their stewardships, shall be condemned, and others
shall be planted in their stead." Sec. 64, par. 40, p. 243.

We find from the following that Bishops must be selected from the High
Priests and be set apart to the Bishopric.

"There remaineth hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other Bishops
to be set apart unto the Church, to minister even according to the
first; wherefore they shall be High Priests who are worthy, and
they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek
Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron. And if they be
literal descendants of Aaron, they have a legal right to the Bishopric,
if they are the first born among the sons of Aaron; for the firstborn
hold the right of the _Presidency_ over this Priesthood, and the _keys_
or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office to
hold the _keys_ of this Priesthood, except he be a literal descendant
and the firstborn of Aaron; but as a High Priest of the Melchizedek
Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may
officiate in the office of Bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron
can be found, provided he is called, and set apart and ordained unto
this power under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek
Priesthood. And a literal descendant of Aaron, also, must be designated
by this Presidency, and found worthy, and anointed, and ordained
under the hands of this Presidency, otherwise they are not legally
authorized to officiate in their Priesthood; but by virtue of the
decree concerning their right of the Priesthood descending from father
to son, they may claim their anointing, if at any time they can prove
their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under
the hands of the above named Presidency. And again, no Bishop or High
Priest who shall be set apart for this ministry, shall be tried or
condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the
Church; and inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, by
testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned."--Sec. 68,
pars. 14-23, pp. 249-250.

We may here notice, as elsewhere referred to, that it is the Presidency
of the Aaronic Priesthood that is above spoken of, that must be set
apart by the First Presidency, and also tried by them, whether of
lineal descent or High Priests. Newel K. Whitney was appointed and
ordained a Bishop. (See sec. 72, par. 8, p. 257) "Let my servant Newel
K. Whitney, and my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., and my servant Sidney
Rigdon, sit in council with the Saints which are in Zion."--Sec. 78,
par. 9, p. 281. Thus it seems that though Bishop Whitney was Bishop
of Kirtland, he sat in council with the Saints which were in Zion,
associated with Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, thus showing that he
was not a ward but a general Church Bishop.

"Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servant
Alam, and Ahashdah, (Newel K. Whitney,) Mahalaleel, and Pelagoram,
(Sidney Rigdon,) and my servant Gazelam, (Joseph Smith,) and Horah,
Olihah, (Oliver Cowdery,) and Shalemanasseh, and Mehemson, (Martin
Harris,) to be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be
broken by transgression, (_except judgment shall_ immediately follow,)
in your several stewardships, _to manage the affairs of the poor, and
all things pertaining to the Bishopric_, both in the land of Zion and
in the land of Shinehah (Kirtland.)"--Sec. 82, pars. 11, 12, p. 286.

This proves that President Joseph Smith and his Counselor Sidney Rigdon
were authorized to supervise temporal matters in the Church as well
as the Bishop or with him. Here the Melchizedek Priesthood is united
with the Aaronic to manage the Bishopric in both lands. We continue our
quotations: "Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing
all things with an eye single to the glory of God."--Sec. 82, par. 19,
p. 287.

"Which Abraham received the Priesthood from Melchizedek, who received
it through the lineage of his fathers, even till Noah; and from Noah
till Enoch, through the lineage of their fathers; and from Enoch to
Abel, who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother, who received the
Priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father Adam,
who was the first man--which Priesthood continueth in the Church of God
in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years.
And the Lord confirmed a Priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed,
throughout all their generations--which Priesthood also continueth
and abideth forever with the Priesthood, which is after the holiest
order of God. And this greater Priesthood administereth the Gospel
and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of
the knowledge of God; therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power
of Godliness is manifest, and without the ordinances thereof, and the
authority of the Priesthood, the power of Godliness is not manifest
unto men in the flesh; for without this no man can see the face of
God, even the Father, and live. Now this Moses plainly taught to the
children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify
his people that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened
their hearts and could not endure his presence, therefore the Lord in
his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they
should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness; which rest is
the fullness of his glory. Therefore he took Moses out of their midst,
and the Holy Priesthood also."--Sec. 84, pars. 14-25, pp. 290-1.

We have already shown that there was a Priesthood conferred upon Aaron
and his seed throughout all their generations. It becomes a question
what Priesthood Aaron had before he had bestowed upon him what is
termed the Aaronic Priesthood, when he administered with Moses? "The
greater Priesthood administereth the Gospel and holdeth the key of the
mysteries of the Kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God."

Frederick G. Williams was called and appointed a High Priest and
Counselor to Joseph Smith. His call reads as follows:

"Verily, verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams,
listen to the voice of him who speaketh, to the word of the Lord your
God, and hearken to the calling wherewith you are called, even to be a
High Priest in my Church and a Counselor unto my servant Joseph Smith,
Jr., unto whom I have given the keys of the Kingdom, _which belongeth
always unto the Presidency of the High Priesthood_: therefore, verily,
I acknowledge him and will bless him and also thee, inasmuch as thou
art faithful in counsel, in the office which I have appointed unto you
in prayer always vocally and in thy heart, in public and in private,
also in thy ministry in proclaiming the Gospel in the land of the
living, and among thy brethren."--Sec. 81, pars. 1-3, p. 284.

From the following we find that God took Moses from the midst of the
children of Israel and also the Holy or Melchizedek Priesthood, leaving
the lesser, or the Aaronic Priesthood. "Therefore, he took Moses out of
their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; and the lesser Priesthood
continued, which Priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of
angels and the preparatory Gospel, which Gospel is the Gospel of
repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of
carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath, caused to continue
with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom
God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's
womb; for he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was
ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto
this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight
the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for
the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power. And again,
the _offices of Elder and Bishop_ are necessary appendages belonging
unto the High Priesthood." Sec. 84, pars. 25-29, p. 291. From this, it
would seem that the law of carnal commandments was a curse. Paul said
the law was added because of transgression. ("It was added because
of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was
made." Gal. iii, 19.) And that it was a yoke which neither they nor
their fathers were able to bear; and that Christ came to fulfill the
law and introduce the Gospel which was greater--a higher law and a
greater Priesthood, viz: the Melchizedek.

Both Elders and Bishops are appendages to the High Priesthood. "And
again, the offices of Teacher and Deacon are necessary appendages
belonging to the lesser Priesthood." (Sec. 84, par. 30, p. 291);
thus Elders and Bishops are appendages to the High Priesthood, while
Teachers and Deacons are appendages to the lesser, which lesser is
an appendage to the higher or Melchizedek. "Therefore, as I said
concerning the sons of Moses--for the sons of Moses, and also the
sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the
house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this
generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed."--Sec. 84,
par. 31, p. 291. When both of these Priesthoods are carried out and
united in their purity, the glory of the Lord will be manifested upon
Mount Zion, in the Lord's house, both operating according to their
callings, position and authority. For it is written, "And the sons of
Moses and Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, upon Mount
Zion, in the Lord's house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have
called and sent forth to build up my Church; for whoso is faithful unto
the obtaining these two Priesthoods, of which I have spoken, and the
magnifying their calling are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing
of their bodies; they become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the
seed of Abraham, and the Church and Kingdom, and the elect of God; and
also all they who receive this Priesthood receiveth me, saith the Lord;
for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth
me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my
Father's Kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto
him; and this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth
to the Priesthood. Therefore, all those who receive the Priesthood,
receive this oath and covenant of my Father which he cannot break,
neither can it be moved; but whoso breaketh this covenant, after he
hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have
forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. And all
those who come not unto this Priesthood which ye have received, which I
now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of
the heavens, and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels
charge concerning you."--Sec. 84, pars. 32-42, p. 292.

"And let all those who have not families, who receive moneys, send it
up unto the Bishop in Zion, or unto the Bishop in Ohio, that it may be
consecrated for the bringing forth of the revelations and the printing
thereof, and for establishing Zion."--Sec. 84, par. 104, p. 298.

In the same revelation "unto Joseph Smith, Jun., and six Elders," it
is written: "Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the
lesser Priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and
prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not
able to fill. Behold, this is the way that mine Apostles, in ancient
days, built up my Church unto me.[A] Also the body hath need of every
member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept
perfect."--Sec. 84, pars. 107, 108, no, p. 299.

[Footnote A: Why should not this be the way now?]

We further quote: "For the body is not one member, but many. * * And
the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the
head to the feet, I have no need of you."--I Cor. xii, 14, 21.

"And the Bishop, Newel K. Whitney, also, should travel round about
and among all the Churches, searching after the poor to administer
to their wants by humbling the rich and the proud; he should also
employ an agent to take charge and to do his secular business as he
shall direct."--Sec. 84, pars. 112, 113, p. 299. Thus High Priests,
Seventies, Elders, Bishops, and all men holding the Priesthood were to
be actively engaged in magnifying their Priesthood.

"It is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep
a history, and a General Church Record of all things that transpire
in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive
inheritances legally from the Bishop; and also their manner of life,
their faith, and works; and also of all the apostates who apostatize
after receiving their inheritances. It is contrary to the will and
commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by
consecration, agreeably to his law, which he has given, that he may
tithe his people, to prepare them against the day of vengeance and
burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God;
neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be
found on any of the records or history of the Church; their name shall
not be found, neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the
children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of
Hosts. Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through
and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake
while it maketh manifest, saying: And it shall come to pass that I, the
Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power
in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter
words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to
set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances
of the Saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers,
and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God: while
that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his
hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like
as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; and all
they who are not found written in the book of remembrance, shall find
none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their
portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing
and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore,
as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfill. And they who are of the
High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the
law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off
from the Church; as well as the lesser Priesthood, or the members, in
that day, shall not find an inheritance among the Saints of the Most
High; therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the
Priest, as will be found in the second chapter and sixty-first and
second verses of Ezra."--Sec. 85, pp. 300-2.

"And let the Bishop search diligently to obtain an agent, and let it
be a man who has got riches in store, a man of God, and of strong
faith, that thereby he may be enabled to discharge every debt; that the
storehouse of the Lord may not be brought into disrepute before the
eyes of the people."--Sec. 90, pars. 22, 23, p. 325.

"Nevertheless, I am not well pleased with many things, and I am not
well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin, neither with my
servant Sidney Gilbert, and the Bishop also, and others have many
things to repent of; but verily I say unto you, that I, the Lord,
will contend with Zion, and plead with her strong ones, and chasten
her until she overcomes and is clean before me; for she shall not be
removed out of her place. I, the Lord, have spoken it. Amen."--Sec. 90,
pars, 35-37, p. 326.

"My servant Newel K. Whitney, also a Bishop of my Church, hath need
to be chastened and set in order his family, and see that they are
more diligent and concerned at home, and pray always, or they shall be
removed out of their place."--Sec. 93, par. 50, p. 332.

"Therefore let my servant Newel K. Whitney take charge of the place
which is named among you, upon which I design to build mine holy house;
and again, let it be divided in lots according to wisdom, for the
benefit of those who seek inheritances, as it shall be determined in
council among you."--Sec. 96, pars. 2, 3, p. 337.

"And again, I say unto you, it is contrary to my commandment and my
will, that my servant Sidney Gilbert[B] should sell my storehouse which
I have appointed unto my people, into the hand of mine enemies. Let not
that which I have appointed be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent
of those who call themselves after my name; for this is a very sore
and grievous sin against me, and against my people, in consequence of
those things which I have decreed and are soon to befall the nations.
Therefore, it is my will that my people should claim, and hold claim
upon that which I have appointed unto them, though they should not be
permitted to dwell thereon."--Sec. 101, pars. 96-99, pp. 358-9.

[Footnote B: This was the Bishop's agent.]

"There are, in the Church, two Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek,
and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. Why the first
is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was
such a Great High Priest. Before his day it was called _the Holy
Priesthood after the order of the Son of God_; but out of respect or
reverence 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.
_All other authorities or offices_ in the Church _are appendages_ to
this Priesthood: but there are two divisions or grand heads--one is
the Melchizedek Priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic or Levitical
Priesthood. The office of an Elder comes under the Priesthood of
Melchizedek. The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency,
and has power and authority over all the offices in the Church, in all
ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things. _The Presidency
of the High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to
officiate in all the offices_ in the Church."--Sec. 107, pars. 1-9, pp.
383-4.

Thus the Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency, and has
power and authority over all the offices in the Church, to administer
in spiritual things, while the Presidency of the High Priesthood has a
right to officiate in all the offices in 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. 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, until the
borders of Zion are enlarged, and it becomes necessary to have other
Bishops or judges in Zion, or elsewhere."--Sec. 107, pars. 73-75, p.
391. (See all of this section.)

He was to be a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a
Stake of Zion, or in a branch of the Church, _when he shall be set
apart unto his ministry_. His Bishopric is sufficient for any of these
places when set apart: and he can only fill those offices for which he
is set apart. 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, without Counselors, except in a case when
a President of the High Priesthood is tried.

We have the following on tithing: "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I
require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the
Bishop of my Church of Zion, for the building of mine house, and for
the laying of the foundation of Zion, and for the Priesthood, and
for the debts of the Presidency of my Church; and this shall be the
beginning of the tithing of my people: and after that, those who have
been thus tithed, shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually;
and this shall be a standing law unto them for ever, for my Holy
Priesthood, saith the Lord. Verily I say unto you, it shall come to
pass, that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed
of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall
not be found worthy to abide among you. And I say unto you, if my
people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify
the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept
thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it
shall not be a land of Zion unto you; and this shall be an ensample
unto all the Stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen."--Sec. 119, pp. 418-19.

"A revelation making known the disposition of property tithing:

"Verily, thus saith the Lord, the time is now come, that it shall
be disposed of by a Council, composed of the First Presidency of my
Church, and of the Bishop and his Council, and by my High Council; and
by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord. Even so. Amen."--Sec. 120,
pp. 419-20.

"That when he shall finish his work, I may receive him unto myself,
even as I did my servant David Patten, who is with me at this time,
and also my servant Edward Partridge, and also my aged servant Joseph
Smith, Sen., who sitteth with Abraham at his right hand, and blessed
and holy is he, for he is mine."--Sec. 124, par. 19, p. 431.

First.--We find from the above that there are two distinctive general
Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the
Levitical Priesthood.

Second.--That they are both conferred by the Lord; that both are
everlasting, and administer in time and eternity.

Third.--That the Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of Presidency,
and has power and authority _over all the offices in the Church_, in
all ages of the world, _to administer in spiritual things_.

Fourth.--That the second Priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron;
because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed throughout all their
generations.

Fifth.--That the lesser Priesthood is a part of, or an appendage to the
greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering
outward ordinances. The lesser or Aaronic Priesthood can make
appointments for the greater, in preaching, can baptize, administer
the sacrament, attend to the tithing, buy lands, settle people on
possessions, divide inheritances, look after the poor, take care of the
properties of the Church, attend generally to temporal affairs; act as
common judges in Israel, and assist in ordinances of the Temple, under
the direction of the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood. They hold the
keys of the ministering of angels and administer in outward ordinances,
_the letter of the Gospel_, and the baptism of repentance for the
remission of sins.

Sixth.--That there is a Presidency over each of these Priesthoods, both
over the Melchizedek and the Aaronic.

Seventh.--That while the power of the higher, or Melchizedek is to hold
the keys _of all the_ spiritual _blessings of the Church_; to have the
privilege of receiving the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, to have
the heavens opened to them, to commune with the general assembly and
Church of the Firstborn and to enjoy the communion and presence of God
the Father, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to preside
over all the spiritual officers of the Church, yet the _Presidency_
of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right
to officiate in _all the offices in the Church_, both spiritual and
temporal.

"Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all;
wherefore it must needs be that one be appointed of the High Priesthood
to preside over the Priesthood, and he shall be called President of the
High Priesthood of the Church; or, in other words, the Presiding High
Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church."--Sec. 107, pars. 64-66,
p. 390.

It is thus evident that this Priesthood presides over all Presidents,
all Bishops, including the Presiding Bishop, over all Councils,
organizations and authorities in the whole Church, in all the world.

That the Bishopric is the Presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood, which
is "an _appendage_ to the greater or Melchizedek Priesthood," and that
no man has a legal right to hold the KEYS of the Aaronic Priesthood,
which presides over all Bishops and all the lesser Priesthood, except
he be a literal descendant of Aaron. But, that "as a High Priest of the
Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser
offices, he may officiate in the office of Bishop" * * * if "_called,
set apart and ordained unto this_ power by the hands of the Presidency
of the Melchizedek Priesthood."

We may here notice that John the Baptist conferred this Priesthood upon
Joseph Smith, and that therefore, as he held it, he had the power to
confer it upon others.

Eighth.--That there are Bishops holding different positions: Bishop
Partridge was a general Bishop over the land of Zion; while Bishop
Whitney was a general Bishop over the Church in Kirtland, Ohio, and
also over all the eastern Churches until afterwards appointed as
Presiding Bishop. That there are also ward Bishops, whose duties are
confined to their several wards. That there are also Bishops' agents,
such as Sidney Gilbert and others.

That the position which a Bishop holds, depends upon his calling and
appointment, and that, although a man holding the Bishopric is eligible
to any office in the Bishopric, yet he cannot officiate legally in any,
except by selection, calling and appointment.

Ninth.--That the power and right of selecting and calling of the
Presiding Bishop and general Bishops is vested in the First Presidency,
who also must try those appointed by them in case of transgression,
except in the case of a literal descendant of Aaron; who, if the
firstborn, possesses a legal right to the keys of this Priesthood;
but even he must be sanctioned and appointed by the First Presidency.
This arises from the fact that the Aaronic is an appendage to the
Melchizedek Priesthood.

That the Presiding Bishop, who presides over all Bishops, and all of
the lesser Priesthood, should consult the First Presidency in all
important matters pertaining to the Bishopric.

Tenth.--That in regard to the appointment and trial of ward Bishops, it
appears that they stand in the same relationship to the Presidents of
Stakes as the early Bishops did to the First Presidency, who presided
over the Stake at Kirtland; but that those Presidents should consult
with the First Presidency on these and other important matters, and
officiate under their direction in their several Stakes.

That in regard to the office and calling of Bishops it is very much
like the office and calling of High Priests. All High Priests are
eligible to any office in the Church, when called, ordained and
appointed to fill such office. The First Presidency are High Priests.
The Twelve are High Priests, High Councilors are High Priests,
Presidents of Stakes are High Priests, and all their Counselors;
Bishops and their Counselors are High Priests: but it does not follow
that all High Priests are First Presidents, members of the Twelve
Apostles, Presidents of Stakes, High Councilors, Bishops or Bishops'
Counselors, they only obtain these offices by selection and appointment
from the proper source, and when not appointed to any specific calling,
they are organized in a Stake quorum, under a President and Council.
So although the Bishopric is eligible to fulfill any office to which
they may be appointed, all are not presiding Bishops, all are not
general Bishops, or special Bishops, or ward Bishops, or even Bishops'
agents; they occupy their several offices, as do the High Priests, by
selection, appointment, as well as ordination, and that the Presidency
of the Melchizedek Priesthood presides over, calls, directs, appoints
and counsels all. It is further evident that as the Melchizedek
Priesthood holds the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the Church,
and that the Presidency thereof has a right to officiate in all the
offices of the Church, therefore that Presidency has a perfect right
to direct or call, set apart and ordain Bishops, to fill any place
or position in the Church that may be required for that ministry to
perform in all the Stakes of Zion, or throughout the world. Thus, after
going through the whole matter, we come back to a term frequently used
among us: Obey counsel.



THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD.

As the Levitical Priesthood is referred to in the Old Testament
scriptures, as well as in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, the
following quotations and remarks may throw some light upon the subject:

LEVITES AND LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Bring the tribe of Levi near,
and present them before Aaron the Priest, that they may minister unto
him. And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole
congregation, before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the
service of the tabernacle. And they shall keep all the instruments of
the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of
Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. And thou shalt give the
Levites unto Aaron and to his sons, they are wholly given unto them out
of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons,
and they shall wait on their Priest's office: and the stranger that
cometh nigh shall be put to death."--Num. iii: 5, 10.

Aaron and his sons held the Aaronic Priesthood, and the Levites were
given unto them to minister unto them to keep his charge, the charge
of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle, keep the
instruments of the tabernacle, and the charge of the children of Israel.

"And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of
Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the
children of Israel; therefore the Levites shall be mine; because all
the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn
in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel,
both man and beast: mine they shall be: I am the Lord."--Num. iii, 12,
13.

All the firstborn the Lord claimed as belonging to him, because when he
destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians, he spared the firstborn of
the Israelites. But the Levites were appointed to fill the place of the
firstborn of all Israel, and they were commanded to be numbered, viz.,
all the males from a month old and upward, to assist Aaron and his sons
in the service of the tabernacle; at that time there were twenty-two
thousand of them. (Ibid, ver. 39.)

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Take the Levites instead of
all the first born among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the
Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am
the Lord." (ver. 44, 45.)

The remainder of the Israelites had to redeem their firstborn, and
the money for the redemption was given by Moses to Aaron and his sons
according to the word of the Lord. (ver. 50, 51.)

They seemed to have been an appendage to the Aaronic Priesthood to
assist in the service of the tabernacle and other duties. Aaron and
his male descendants were selected for the Priesthood, and the other
Levites as assistants, or an appendage.

The Levites had forty-eight cities and their suburbs provided for them
from among the possessions of the other tribes: First came by lot the
children of Aaron: "And the children of Aaron the Priest, which were of
the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe
of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities."--Josh,
xxi, 4. (See the whole of the chapter for a division of cities to the
remainder of the Levites, or the tribe of Levi, who were thus provided
for as distinct from the other tribes.) "All the cities of the Levites
within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight
cities with their suburbs."--Josh, xxi, 41.

It may here be observed that both Moses and Aaron belonged to the tribe
of Levi, and that the Levites had a tithing given to them. "And the
Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land,
neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine
inheritance among the children of Israel. And, behold, I have given the
children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their
service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the
congregation."--Num. xviii, 20, 21. (See also the chapter.)

There is a peculiarity about this tithing, for while one-tenth was
given to the Levites, they, the Levites, were commanded to give
one-tenth of the tithe to Aaron.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying. Thus speak unto the Levites,
and say unto them. When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes
which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall
offer up an heave offering of it * * * for the Lord, even a tenth part
of the tithe * * and ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to
Aaron the Priest." Num. xviii, 25-28.

It would seem that while the Levites were called "to do the service
of the tabernacle of the congregation" (ver. 6), that the Priest's
office belonged especially to Aaron and his family. The Lord, in
speaking to Aaron, says, "And I, behold, I have taken your brethren
the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given
as a gift for the Lord, to do the service of the tabernacle of the
congregation."--Num. xviii, 6.

It furthermore appears that while the Levites were given to Aaron, that
Aaron and his sons were to hold the Priest's office. "Therefore thou
and thy sons with thee shall keep your Priest's office for everything
of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given
your Priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger
that cometh nigh shall be put to death."--Num. xviii, 7.

In the case of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, whom the earth opened and
swallowed up for assuming the Priest's office, "Moses said unto
Korah, hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small
thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the
congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service
of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation
to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all
thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: _and seek ye_ the Priesthood
also?"--Num. xvi, 8-10. And also the whole chapter, in which is
depicted the terrible judgment of God upon them for assuming the
Priest's office.

From the above it would seem--

First.--That the Levites were selected in the place of the firstborn
whom the Lord called his own.

Second.--That they were given to Aaron to assist him in the minor or
lesser duties of the Priesthood; but that Aaron and his sons officiated
in the leading offices of the Priesthood, and not the Levites.

Third.--That there was a tithing paid to them by the whole house of
Israel for their sustenance.

Fourth.--That they paid a tithe of this to Aaron.

Fifth.--That on assuming the higher duties of the Priesthood of Aaron,
the judgments of God overtook them.

Sixth.--That their Priesthood was only an appendage to the Aaronic
Priesthood, and not that Priesthood itself as held by Aaron and his
sons.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:
  Where the original reads "peolpe," this edition reads "people."
  Where the original reads "thh," this edition reads "the."
  Where the original reads "Willaims," this edition reads "Williams."
  Where the original reads "Aopostles," this edition reads "Apostles."
  Where the original reads "authotities," this edition reads "authorities."
  Where the original reads "too frequent repetion," this edition reads "too
   frequent repetition."
  Where the original reads "Was there anything but the Gospel to add it to
   to?," this edition reads "Was there anything but the Gospel to add it to?"
  A case of a quotation mark appearing without a partner has been corrected
   by adding the partner, after comparison with the original quoted material.





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