Special Conference.

According to appointment, a Special Conference of this Stake of Zion assembled this morning, May 12th, 1877, at ten o’clock, in the New Tabernacle….

Second Day.
Sunday Morning, May 13th, 10 a.m.

Elder Orson Pratt addressed the Conference and commenced, by reading a portion of modern revelation, given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, in 1832, upon the nature and power of the priesthood.  It was his desire for the congregation to be as still as possible, as the only object in speaking or hearing was mutual edification.

He showed the difference between the two priesthoods—the Melchisedeck and Aaronic.  The latter, in the absence of its connection with the former, was limited in its power and blessings.

The Melchisedec priesthood held the power and privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and enjoying the communion and presence of God the Father and his Son.  The lesser, or Aaronic priesthood, was simply an appendage to the Melchisedec, and ministered in the temporal ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, &c.  Since the introduction of these two priesthoods, the Church had passed through many modifications, and the full blessings of the priesthood had not yet been entered into and enjoyed up to the present time.

Whenever a literal descendant of Aaron could be found he could act without counselors, but in his absence it required a high priest to be set apart and ordained to act as a bishop to administer in all the ordinances of the lesser priesthood, and to render his authority complete he must have two counselors, high priests, although in many of our wards and settlements this order had not been strictly carried out.  God had now revealed to his servant Brigham that the time had come to send forth the Twelve Apostles throughout the land to set those things in order and introduce the more perfect system of the Aaronic priesthood, as is revealed in the Doctrine and Covenants.  This more perfect organization, with many other changes that would be brought about, was intended to prepare us as a people for the coming of the Son of God.

He then spoke of the necessity of union in temporal matters, and the benefits to be derived by the saints in the building of temples.  He referred to several revelations in reference to the gathering together of the saints of God, that they might be educated and instructed how to accomplish the counsels and decrees of the Almighty, which we could not possibly bring about in our isolated condition, and that we might also be sanctified before God.  When that time came, the wicked would fear and tremble when no man pursued. 

[Deseret News, May 16, 1877]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]

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