Special Conference at Ogden.
The Special Conference held at Ogden for the purpose of more completely organizing the Stake at Zion at that place, commenced on Saturday, May 24th, at 10 o’clock a.m.
On the stand were Presidents Brigham Young, John W. Young, and D.H. Wells, of the First Presidency; Elders John Taylor, Orson Pratt, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, F.D. Richards and Geo. Q. Cannon, of the Twelve Apostles; also Bishop Farr, of Ogden, and President Moses Thatcher, of Logan….
2 o’clock p.m.
After the usual opening exercises Elder Orson Pratt, referring to the object of the Conference, namely, to more completely organize the priesthood in that Stake of Zion, pointed out the facilities that this change would afford its central officers in the discharge of their several duties. The Lord intended to raise up in the latter-days a kingdom of priests, and it was doubtless the will of God to bestow the high priesthood, which was after the order of the Son of God and of endless lives. The fact of this being done would not do away with the appendages of the lesser priesthood, for men holding the higher priesthood could be appointed to officiate in any of the lesser callings. There were some who claimed membership in this Church who were addicted to absenting themselves from the meeting, who spoke evil of their neighbors, who broke the Sabbath and otherwise committed sin, which persons heretofore had not been dealt with according to the laws of the Church as revealed and contained in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. In ancient times the anger of the Lord was enkindled against the whole congregation of Israel if transgressors were permitted to go unpunished. This was strikingly manifested in the case of Achan whom the Scriptures inform us stole a Babylonish garment and a wedge of gold. Although this act of theft was performed secretly, the whole people were severely chastened until the transgressor was found out and dealt with. But while ancient Israel had the power to execute the penalties of broken laws, both civil and religious, we, according to a revelation given in Feb., 1831, dealt with transgressors only so far as their Church membership was concerned. The organization of the priesthood, in its more perfected state, would have a tendency to correct any existing evils, as it was expected that the laws of the Church would be more strictly enforced than heretofore.
[Deseret News, June 6, 1877]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]