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1, 2 or 3 Priesthoods?

There was a talk given by Joseph Smith on August 27, 1843 where he describes three kinds of priesthood. Here is a quote from the account we have: (See TPJS, pp. 322-323)

Respecting the Melchizedek Priesthood, the sectarians never professed to have it; consequently they never could save any one, and would all be damned together. There was an Episcopal priest who said he had the priesthood of Aaron, but had not the priesthood of Melchizedek: and I bear testimony that I never have found the man who claimed the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The power of the Melchizedek Priesthood is to have the power of ‘endless lives;’ for the everlasting covenant cannot be broken.

The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out judgments and destructions.

There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to here.

First, The king of Shiloam (Salem) had power and authority over that of Abraham, holding the key and the power of endless life. Angels, desire to look into it, but they have set up too many stakes. God cursed the children of Israel because they would not receive the last law from Moses.

The sacrifice required of Abraham in the offering up of Isaac, shows that if a man would attain to the keys of the kingdom of an endless life; he must sacrifice all things. When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law.

What was the power of Melchizedek? ‘Twas not the Priesthood of Aaron which administers in outward ordinances, and the offering of sacrifices. Those holding the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, that Priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam.

Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man; so Melchizedek ordained Abraham and sent him away. Abraham rejoiced, saying, Now I have a priesthood.

Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.

How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah the prophet. The law revealed to Moses in Horeb never was revealed to the children of Israel as a nation. Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the father to the children, and the children to the fathers.

The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure.

‘Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.’ The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right from the eternal God, and not by descent from father and mother; and that priesthood is as eternal as God Himself, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.

The Second Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood.

The Third is what is called the Levitical Priesthood, consisting of priests to administer in outward ordinances, made without an oath; but the Priesthood of Melchizedek is by an oath and covenant.

I’ve explained at length how I understand these three divisions of priesthood in the talk in Orem titled “Priesthood” (which, in addition to my blog, is available as an audio on YouTube) and then supplemented the material in the chapter on Priesthood in Preserving the Restoration. I continue to receive emails asking for clarification. 

In the beginning there was one priesthood with one name. The original was called “the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.” (D&C 107:3.) Adam prophesied that this single, original form of priesthood will return at the end of the world. (Moses 6:7.)

The original form was renamed after Enoch in his day. (D&C 76:57.)

Then later, it was renamed again after Melchizedek. (D&C 107:4.) The renaming did not change the priesthood, but merely used a different title to “avoid the too frequent repetition of his [the Son of God’s] name.” (Id.)

The original, unified, singular priesthood was held by the first Patriarchs. From Adam through Melchizedek, the single form of priesthood was held by “priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.” (D&C 76:57.) The full extent of that authority and the rights it conferred were important enough that the Pharaoh claimed it, and through it the right to govern the earth. (Abr. 1:26-27.) The original Pharaoh was a “righteous man” (Abr. 1:26) but it was not his right to govern as a holder of this original priestly authority. In the beginning of the world, while men rebelled against the authority, the righteous allowed themselves to be guided by it, and through it they repented and found favor with God.

The authority was passed down through Abraham. Although the chosen line through Isaac lost it, it was preserved through Abraham and Keturah’s son, Midian. (Gen. 25: 1-2.) The man Reuel (given an “El” naming by his parents-Exo. 2:16-18) descended from Midian. He received a new name from God. (“Jethro”-Exo. 3:1.) The new name from God indicates God accepted him as His son. Moses received his ordination through Jethro. (D&C 84:6.)

Now Jethro was a righteous man, but it was through Moses that God established the rule of the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God. Therefore, it was through Moses that Egypt’s rule over Israel was overthrown, and the people liberated to follow God.

However, the Israelites were unwilling to abide this priesthood. It required too much of them and they hardened their hearts. They could not enter into God’s presence as a people. (D&C 84:22-25.)

In the days of Moses it was divided, and a lesser form of priesthood was carved out from the higher form. (D&C 84:25-27.) That lesser form was called “Aaronic” and authorized to act only in administering outward ordinances. (D&C 107:14.)

Joseph explained that in the LDS Church there were two priesthoods. (D&C 107:1.) But Joseph also described three priesthoods in the talk given August 27, 1843. In an attempt to clarify, I have associated the three kinds of priesthood with the following names and qualifications: Aaronic: Priests who associate with angels and have fellowship with them. Melchizedek: Priests who associate with the Son of God and have fellowship with Him. Patriarchal: Priests who have been in the presence of Father Ahman and have been accepted by Him. I admit this is not the way the names are used in the scriptures. I have renamed them in this manner as my attempt to harmonize understanding with the talk given by Joseph and to distinguish from LDS claims.

There are important points to consider. There was originally a single form of priesthood. It was the Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God. That priesthood is prophesied to return at the end of the world. God the Father decides who will stand at the head of the Family, with authorization to govern as a father (or patriarch) following the pattern given to Adam in the beginning. As Joseph explained it, “Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood.” This will be required of us, just as it was before.

If we have any authority at all, we have some portion or degree of the original. Rather than limiting ourselves to some other form, ordain to the Holy Order and leave it to God to determine how much He decides to confer upon a man.

It is clear Jethro was approved of God. It is clear his parents worshipped the true God, and named him “Reu-El” to honor the God of Abraham. It is also clear that God did not honor Reuel with the responsibility of freeing Israel from Egypt and giving direction to them. It was in Moses that God reclaimed the original authority over His chosen people.

There will be a root of Jesse to whom the right will belong. (D&C 113:5-6.) This was never Joseph nor Hyrum. It could never be done by a “pure blooded Ephraimite” and therefore their bloodlines did not qualify to finish the House of God. Their lives were foundational for what will come next. What they accomplished is shown in the Nauvoo Temple as a metaphor. It was constructed to the second floor, and unfinished in design and construction at their passing. Although others tried to design and build what was left, it burned, and was then destroyed by a whirlwind. Only pictures and a few stones remain of the original. The House of God will return and the original authority of the Holy Order will likewise be here on earth before the return of the Son of God.

The Holy Order will submit to the Son of God, and freely acknowledge that it is His right to rule. He will be the King of kings, and the Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16) because no man with this Holy Order will compare themselves to Him.

Limiting what is said about these matters of priesthood hopefully prevents deceivers and pretenders from improving their false claims. It will not be entrusted to a fool, nor given to the proud and haughty. It will be held by the meek and lowly. True authority must persuade and invite using kindness and pure knowledge as their scepter, offering their lives as a sacrifice and not offering themselves as an idol to be honored.

Comments on “Marriage”

In response to the Recorder’s Clearinghouse article on Marriage, these are some of my thoughts:

First, a conference can be called by anyone at any time and include any group that gathers. There has not yet been a “general conference” where everyone has been invited, but that will probably happen at some point. In the meantime, there have been conferences and there will probably be more.

The article deals with two subjects: Marriage and sealing. They are two different topics.

On marriage, the transcript of the civil marriage ceremony in the 1835 D&C was not written by Joseph Smith. It was authored by Oliver Cowdery based on what he had witnessed Joseph doing when marriages were performed. It is as close an historical account of the ceremony Joseph performed during that era as we have. Between 1835 and the time Joseph died, it was the ceremony performed throughout the church. It is as appropriate as any other civil ceremony, and has the advantage of being nominally connected with Joseph Smith.

The article is not a commandment, but a suggestion. People are free to accept or ignore it. No one claims the right to issue a commandment on this subject for others to follow. It is the humble attempt of a group of people who are directly confronting this in their families to address the issue. Then that group of people provided their explanation for the possible benefit of others.

Some clarifications have been suggested by others who were in attendance, and Keith Henderson will post additions and updates based on those suggestions in the next day or two. One clarification will be to make a sharper distinction between marriage and sealing.

On sealing, I personally doubt the language used in LDS Temples has been preserved intact from Joseph until today. But it is as close as we have for the present, and has been handed down from earnest people through four generations. It makes sense to use the language and ask God to accept and preserve the marriages sealed using this ceremony.

Words chosen carefully should be read carefully. For example, the statement that “we know of no man on earth today claiming at this time the right to seal by virtue of the rites and ordinances he has received from on High” means just that and nothing more. That is a claim made by the LDS Church. There is no reason to concern ourselves about what will happen in due course in the future. Until there is a command to proceed with an errand assigned by God, nothing can be done with His approval. There is a lot of work left to do before the House of God returns.

Marriage

Last Saturday a group gathered to participate in a conference to discuss the upcoming marriages taking place between their children. Several were in attendance. I was there, along with Keith Henderson and other men and women whose children are preparing for marriage. Keith Henderson wrote up a description of the outcome, and a few of us helped edit and synthesize it into an article you can now find on the Recorder’s Clearinghouse website. The article is titled Marriage and could be of interest to anyone whose family includes someone contemplating getting married.

How To Fail

What if the Lord were to give the opportunity to build Zion? What if the Lord wanted it to happen now? What would be done differently than was done by those who went before and failed?

There is a model to follow if we want to fail to achieve Zion. In Missouri, those who gathered were rejected and driven out because of their “jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires.” (D&C 101:6.)

After the catastrophe in Missouri, the refugees from the failure reassembled in Nauvoo. The Lord offered another chance, promising that if they would follow Him they would receive the fullness of the priesthood He had taken from them. (D&C 124:28.) He made the offer in January 1841.

The work on the Nauvoo Temple proceeded haltingly and was never finished before the building was struck by lightning, burned, knocked over by a tornado, and the remaining fragment disassembled by the town because of safety concerns. It was foreseeable the offer in January 1841 would not be meaningful. Over a year later the Times and Seasons printed a letter from the Nauvoo High Council describing how they viewed the population working on the temple:

[We rejoice at] “the willingness to aid in the building of the ‘House of the Lord,’ we are grieved at the conduct of some, who seem to have forgotten the purpose for which they have gathered. Instead of promoting union, appear to be engaged in sowing strifes and animosities among their brethren, spreading evil reports;  …We feel to advise taking the word of God for our guide, and exhort you not to forget you have come up as Saviors upon Mount Zion, consequently to seek each other’s good, -to become one: inasmuch as the Lord has said, ‘except ye become one ye are none of mine.'” (Times and Seasons, February 15, 1842, Vol. 3, No. 8, The High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ, to the Saints of Nauvoo.)

It is easy to fail. Just gather people who will contend with each other and there will be failure EVERY time. It makes sense to try something new rather than repeat the pattern that will never work. First, provide an opportunity for those who are interested to display who they are, whether they can live peaceably with others. Once we know one another’s hearts then the Lord can gather only those who will avoid contentions, jealousies, strifes, envyings, and jarring. Like the pattern in Abraham, first men are “proven” and then they are gathered, or spared.

Prophecy, not Publicity

The most surprising thing to me is the Lord’s utter indifference to whether the world takes note of what He is doing. Prophecy was never intended to be the same thing as publicity. He works in obscure, unnoticed ways to bring His work to pass. The Book of Mormon calls it “small means.” He describes His labor force as “the weak things of the world.”

The people who expect something big, noteworthy and earth-shaking before recognizing God’s hand have never noticed His message or messengers. The world expects publicity. It expects God will always work through the “chief seats” when He rarely does.

The Lord will return as a “thief in the night” because He is unwanted, unwelcome, and although He gives many signs and sends a message, men choose darkness instead of light. For mankind it is always nighttime. They do not notice the dawn. They remain asleep, with eyes closed.

Sturge-Weber Disorder

A neighbor’s granddaughter (“Emery”) was born with Sturge-Weber syndrome and the family is asking for help with the costs of medical care. They set up a website to sell t-shirts, help raise money and raise awareness of this birth defect. Their website is called:

Emery’s Army

Emery’s grandfather and I served in an elders quorum presidency about twenty-years ago. He was later bishop of our ward while I served on the high council. Our families have been friends for years.  Our kids have grown up together. My wife has been Joy’s YW leader. We are happy to post this appeal in an effort to help the family.

FYI: The t-shirt sales will end on Saturday.

Correcting the Record

Jana Riess has posted a new portion of the interview I did with her a few weeks ago. It is titled: Did Joseph Smith Practice Polygamy–Denver Snuffer Says No.

Earlier I put a corrected version of the interview here and emailed Jana explaining that there were some errors needing to be corrected. I just got off the phone with Jana and her earlier version has now been updated and corrected. There was an honest mistake made and she has made the correction.

I appreciate that Jana has taken the time and trouble to get it correct.

Ephesians 4:29-5:16; 6:12:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

…For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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Given the nature of our fight (which is spiritual), we ought to resist the culture of conflict that poisons our time, and rise above disputing among ourselves to show by our godly example what it means to follow Christ.

Rebaptism

Edwin Wilde provided me some excerpts taken from his review of 178 early Mormon journals mentioning the widespread practice of rebaptism. Here is some, but not all, of the information he uncovered:

From the journal of Milo Andrus, (1814-1893): “In the spring of 1854, I was sent to Saint Louis to preside over the stake there. Stayed there one year, rebaptized and confirmed about 800 saints.”

From the journal of Elizabeth Brotherton: “March 19 1851 Mr. Pratt was appointed on a mission to the Pacific Coast to organize and set in order the Saints that had gone there not knowing where the church would locate. They went in the ship Brooklyn. I went with him to San Francisco, we traveled in company with A. Lyman, and C.C. Rich when they were going to San Bernerdino with a company of Saints. After a tiresome journey we arrived in San Francisco. Mr. Pratt remained there and rebaptized quite a number in about two months time.”

From William Clayton’s diary: “May 9, 1841 Joseph preached on his side on baptism for the dead (see Record.) Afterwards a number was baptized both for remission of sins and for the dead. I was baptized first for myself and then for my Grandfather Thomas and Grandmother Ellen Clayton, Grandmother Mary Chritebly and Aunt Elizabeth Beurdwood.” (Clayton was previously baptized October 21, 1837.)

From the journal of Warren Foote: “24th. [March 1842] This is the day that I have appointed to go down into the waters of baptism and thereby fulfill the covenant I made to the Lord when I was near death’s door. The meeting was at Elder Jacob Myers house about one mile from Father’s. I walked down there and in company with Amos Kimmins, Franklin Allen, and his wife, Samuel Myers, and Lovina Myers, was baptized by Daniel A. Miller, President of this branch, between five and six o’clock P.M. The foregoing named persons, had been baptized before, and now felt to renew their covenants. As it was concluded to have an evening meeting I thought that I would stay to it. The wind blew up from the north very cool and in going home, I took cold.”

Other entries in Warren Foote’s journal: “8th. [May 1842] Sunday. A very large congregation assembled to meeting. Sidney Rigdon preached. In the afternoon there were many baptized in the font in the basement of the Temple and forty three in the Mississippi River. They were mostly rebaptisms.” “[MAY, 1844] 26th. Attended meeting at Bro. J. Clark’s. After meeting I rebaptized Elihu Allen, Joseph Clark, and John B. Carpenter. We ordained E. Allen [a] priest, and Joseph Clark [a] teacher. It is so wet that we cannot plant corn.” “[JUNE, 1844] 9th. Sunday. My wife with five others were rebaptized by Elder J. B. Carpenter.”

From the autobiography of Joseph Holbrook: “On Saturday, January 5, 1833…I told Brother Lyons and Rich I would like to be baptized if they thought I was worthy as I had brought my clothes for that purpose. So after breakfast I was baptized with my Aunt Phebe Angel by Leonard Rich…My wife was taken very sick on the 7th of July [1842] and grew worse until she died, being taken sick nine days (July 16, 1842), aged 37 years, 11 months and two days…After my wife’s death, I was rebaptized in the Mississippi River by Brigham Young.”

From the autobiography of Joseph Hovey: “I, Joseph, for the first time bowed myself before God in secret and implored his mercy and asked him if what I had read out [of] the Book of Mormon was true and if the man, Joseph Smith, was the one who translated these marvelous records. I, Joseph, asked God for a testimony by the Holy Spirit and truly I got what I asked for and more abundantly. Therefore, my wife, Martha, and I did truly rejoice in the truth we had found in those records. We also searched the Bible daily and found that it did corroborate with the Book of Mormon. We were, therefore, born again and could see the kingdom. Hence, July 4, 1839, we were baptized with water and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. One brother, Mr. Draper, baptized us…there was a committee appointed by the God of Israel to superintend those houses in the fall of 1840. The fund to commence the building of the temple were raised through tithing, that is every man put in a tenth of his property and thereafter his earnings every tenth day. …I, Joseph, did prosper well in good health but my wife, Martha, was not so well as myself. I, Joseph, did go to work in the stone quarry and I labored exceedingly for the Nauvoo House. I got out several hundred feet of stone during the season. I also worked on the Nauvoo temple cutting stone. In the meanwhile, my wife, Martha, was sick, even abortion took place and she was very low. But she was healed by going to the baptismal font and was immersed for her health and baptized for her dead.”

This is from the journal/autobiography of William Huntington Sr.: “In 1833, I found the Book of Mormon. I read the book, believed in the book that it was what it was represented to be. My mind thus being prepared to receive the gospel accordingly, in the month of April 1835, myself and my wife both united with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. …April 11th, 1841  Joseph [Smith] and Sidney [Rigdon] baptized each other for the remission of their sins as this order was then instituted in the Church. Accordingly, on the 27th of April [1841], I was baptized for the remission of my sins. Also, on the same day, was baptized for my brother Hyrum Huntington.”

This is from the autobiography of Benjamin F. Johnson: “In the spring of 1835 before I was baptized, my mother and all her children met at the house of my sister, Delcena Sherman, to receive from Patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr., our patriarchal blessings. He blessed all according to age until be came to Joseph E. and myself, when he placed his hands first upon my head. My mother told him I was the youngest, but he said that mattered not–to me was the first blessing; and in blessing me, among other great and glorious things, he told me the Lord would call me to do the work of brother Seth, who had been called away by death. In this promise there was to me more joy than ever before I had known; my dear brother was not to be robbed of his blessings, and if I could only live faithfully his work would be done, and I should do it for him. I felt this was the greatest boon the Lord could bestow upon me. …Soon after this, I overstepped my father’s objections and was baptized by Elder Lyman Johnson… On the 13th of October [1838] we crossed the Mississippi at Louisiana, and began to hear of great troubles among the Mormons at Far West, and we were warned of the great danger of proceeding, but our camp was only stirred to greater desire to go on. Here I remembered my former purpose to renew my covenant by baptism, and as one of my associates, D. D. McArthur, was to be baptized, I went with him and was baptized by Henry Hariman. [Harriman]”
From the autobiography of Joel H. Johnson: “At the October [1856] Conference the heads of the Church preached the necessity of a reformation among the saints by confessing their own sins against God and their brethren and forsaking the same and by forgiving the sins of others and making restitution for all wrongs as much as possible. This glorious work of reformation and restitution soon commenced in Great Salt Lake City and spread with rapidity to all the branches of the Church; and all who confessed and restored were rebaptized for the last time for the remission of their sins.” “Thursday, September 18th [1856], I started with my wife Susan and little child accompanied by my son Nephi, with an ox team to go and visit our friends at Summit Creek in Utah County, and also in Salt Lake City, and attend the October conference, and to purchase and drive home a few sheep. We arrived at Summit Creek and Friday the 26th, and found our friends as well. We had a good visit with them and started on Tuesday the 30th for Salt Lake City, and arrived onFriday the 3rd of October, attending conference and done our business and started homeward on Friday the 10th. On our way we called at Lake City in Utah County and purchased 26 sheep, one of which died at Chicken Creek. We arrived safely home with the rest on the 25th and found all well, and was rebaptized on Wednesday, 29th [October 1856], at Fort Johnson by Issac C. Height, President of the Stake of Cedar City.”
The following comes from the autobiography/journal of Lyman O. LittleField: “My mother lingered for four or five days after my arrival. In the warmest terms she expressed her thankfulness to her Heavenly Father that I had come to be with her through her sickness. I conversed with her freely concerning the doctrines and principles of the Church, in relation to all of which she expressed her firm belief, and spoke of her great desire to get well that she might renew her covenant by being rebaptized. She felt that this would be a great satisfaction inasmuch as she had been absent from the Church for several years. She said this had been her desire for a long time, but she had put it off from time to time. “But now,” she said, “if the Lord permits me to get well, I will attend to it, and nothing shall hinder me.'” Also there was this not later in the journal: “While there [Kirtland] I made the acquaintance of Brother Luman Heath and wife and rebaptized her mother in the Shagrin River for the renewal of her covenant, according to her desire. I also made the acquaintance of Brother and Sister Kent and many others.”
From the autobiography of Nathan T. Porter “My brother Lyman Wight Porter, took passage on… the Union Pacific, to the state of Missouri to visit our eldest sister Melinda (Malinda) Chipman, whom we had not seen for many years… A disposal was soon made of the property she had for sale, so that she, with her son Sanford, was on their way with him for Salt Lake Valley… She soon renewed her covenants by rebaptism and received her endowments in which she had much joy and consolation.”
This from an early excerpt of Parley Pratt’s autobiography: “After we had arrived on the ground of Great Salt Lake City we pitched our tents by the side of a spring of water; and, after resting a little, I devoted my time chiefly to building temporary houses, putting in crops, and obtaining fuel from the mountains. …Having repented of our sins and renewed our covenants, President John Taylor and myself administered the ordinances of baptism, etc., to each other and to our families, according to the example set by the President and pioneers who had done the same on entering the valley. These solemnities took place with us and most of our families, November 28, 1847.”

This is from a letter from Parley Pratt to Brigham Young, August 28, 1851; while he was in San Francisco: “Since I have arrived here I have been diligent in the duties of my calling every hour, and have called upon God for His Spirit to help me with all the energy I possessed, and without ceasing. The result is, the Spirit of the Lord God has been upon me continually, in such light, and joy, and testimony as I have seldom experienced. Brothers A. Lyman and C. C. Rich have been here with me some of the time; we have called together the old members and others, and preached repentance and reformation of life. We have re-baptized many of them, and have re-organized the Church.”

From pg 118-119 of the journal/autobiography of Joseph Lee Robinson: “Now, prior to this, after we had fairly gotten up there we called a meeting of the people for it was a nice inviting country and a good many had come upon the lands. We talked to them some, inquiring if they were able and agreeable that I should be their president and bishop and that I should select two of their members and set them apart as my counselors and would they uphold us by their prayers and faith. I wished them to make it manifest by the show of the right hand and there was a clear vote, yes… Our ward was bounded at that time north of Cherry’s settlement and south of Weber River, a very large ward, but a few people. Suffice it to say, we met together often and preached and prayed and sang songs and sometimes, spoke in tongues. We were counseled to be rebaptized as we had been a long time traveling and all that wished to be Saints they should make it manifest. Consequently, there was a number baptized on the first of July, 1849 by John Harris, Joseph L. Robinson, Susan and Laurinda M., two of his wives, Daniel A. Miller, Hannah Miller, and Jacob, Lovica, James S., Susanna, Millers, and John and Olive Garner, Seth Dustin, Susanna Harris, William Harmison, all of which were confirmed by Joseph L. Robinson and Daniel A. Miller.  Also on September 9th, 1849, there were baptized by Joseph L. Robinson, Maria Robinson, Oliver Lee, Ebenezer J., Anna Maria, Robinsons, William P. and Sidney R. Burton, Elizabeth, David and Alma Hess, and Clarica Jane Miller all of which were confirmed by Daniel A. Miller and John Harris. Also onSeptember 9th were baptized by Daniel A. Miller, Benjamin and Rosanna Matilda Cross, Joel Ricks, Eleanor, Louis, and Sally Ann Ricks and Amanda Tomkins—all confirmed by Joseph L. Robinson and John Harris.”  Also there is this excerpt from that same book, pgs 420-421: “November 1891. Aunt Jane Slade died November 21st, 1891. She is gone. We tried to save her from death. The Lord told me he would forgive her and that I might bless her and if she would believe she should remain for a season and enjoy her new home and the society of her friends and have time to reflect and prepare to meet her God, We were really in hopes we could get her well enough that she could come and stop with us awhile, that we might get sufficient faith in her that she might get rebaptized, renew her covenants and baptized for her health. ”

From the autobiography/journal of Allen Russel: “Some time in the Summer, I think before Joseph Smith the Prophet and his brother Hiram were killed in Carthage Jail in 1844. Father, Mother, my sister Sally, my brother Horace, and myself, went to the creek where Patriarch John Smith was baptizing, and we were all were re-baptized by Patriarch John Smith and confirmed by his son George A. Smith at waters edge. Baptized about May 10, and confirmed some time in the month of June.” Also from the same journal: “Thursday [May 1899] 11 – I did work for William and was baptized for my health and a man for Brother Ashman, then I was administered too.” Also he wrote: “Tuesday [October 1899] 24 – We went to the temple and Brother Ashman set as a witness. I was baptized for my health and administered to Horace Thorton being mouth and Brother Van Stewart baptizing me.” Still later he recorded: “Saturday [February 1906] 10 – I received $1.50 for temple worker. Preached the gospel to Ted Davis. He said he had been baptized but did not think it would hurt him to be again and said he desired to have his wife sealed to him. I preached to Albert Day and he said he was convinced of his error.”
Daniel Tyler recorded some teachings that he learned from Joseph Smith: “About the time the doctrine of rebaptism for members in the Church was first revealed in Nauvoo, Joseph, the great seer and revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made some remarks on the subject: On one occasion he read, among other scriptures, Hebrews, 6th chapter, 1st and 2nd verses, as follow: Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. The Prophet said the first verse should read: “Therefore, not leaving the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, etc.”  This explanation not only made the entire subject of the two verses clear but reconciled them with other scriptures. Notwithstanding Paul is made to say “leaving,” etc., the inference is clear that if the foundation of repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands should be relaid they would have to perform those works over again, as every careful reader of the text must see. This also corroborates a revelation to the Church of Ephesus: Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works. All latter-day Saints know that the first works after repentance are baptism and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. Here we find a presiding elder of a branch or ward of the Church commanded to perform these works over again, under pain of removal if he failed to obey the divine behest. Many more passages might be quoted to the same effect, but these are sufficient for my purpose. Joseph’s translation not only reconciles the text with itself, but also with other scriptures, as already shown, and as was explained by the Prophet.'”
Helen Whitney’s diary recorded: “The evening of the 16th, after witnessing the death of Brother William Gheen, who died at 7 o’clock in the evening, father took Sarah and Sister Winchester to the river and baptized them for their health.”
A statement by Orson Pratt found in the Journal of Discourses 18:156-61: “I will here state that Martin Harris, when he came to this [Utah] Territory a few years ago, was rebaptized, the same as every member of the Church from distant parts is on arriving here. That seems to be a kind of standing ordinance for all Latter-day Saints who emigrate here, from the First Presidency down; all are rebaptized and set out anew by renewing their covenants.”