During the General Conference of 1894 the First Presidency, the Quorum of Twelve, and the Quorum of High Priests held a joint meeting at which they discussed their respective callings and responsibilities. A report of this Council was submitted to the Conference, but since the Twelve felt that the report did not cover all the issues under consideration they adopted a resolution requesting President Smith to “ask for further revelation in explanation of the authority and duties of the several quorums and their members, also for instruction providing for filling the vacancies in the leading quorums, including a designation of the Patriarch, if it shall be the pleasure of our heavenly Father to so enlighten us.”
The revelation given to President Smith, April 15, 1894, at Lamoni, Iowa, in answer to the petitions of the Saints, was endorsed by the quorums and the Conference, but it was not until the General Conference of 1897 that its inclusion in the Doctrine and Covenants was authorized.
I was, on the fifteenth day of the fourth month, of the year 1894, in fasting and prayer before the Lord, and being commanded of the Spirit I arose from my praying and wrote:
Thus saith the Spirit unto the elders and the church:
1a My servants have been harsh one with another; and some have not been sufficiently willing to hear those whose duty it is to teach the revelations which my church has already received.
1b Until my people shall hear and heed those who are set in the church to teach the revelations there will be misunderstanding and confusion among the members.
2a The burden of the care of the church is laid on him who is called to preside over the high priesthood of the church, and on those who are called to be his counselors;
2b and they shall teach according to the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and as they shall be directed by revelation, from time to time.
3a It is the duty of the Twelve to preach the gospel, and administer in the ordinances thereof, as is directed in the Scriptures which ye have received.
3b They are called and set apart to this duty; and are to travel and preach, under the direction and counsel of the Presidency.
4a It is not yet expedient in me that the Quorum of the Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles shall be filled, for reasons which will be seen and known unto you in due time.
4b My servant David H. Smith is yet in my hand and I will do my will in the time for its accomplishment. Be not troubled or fearful in this matter for it shall be well for my work in the end.
5a When I said unto mine apostles, “The Twelve will take measures in connection with the bishop, to execute the law of tithing; and let them before God see to it, that the temporal means so obtained is truly used for the purposes of the church, and not as a weapon of power in the hands of one man for the oppression of others, or for purposes of self-aggrandizement by anyone, be he whomsoever he may be”;
5b the one whom I had called to preside over the church, had not yet approved himself unto the scattered flock; and I gave this command unto the quorum next in authority in spiritual things that the scattered ones, and those who had been made to suffer might have assurance that I would not suffer that he whom I had called should betray the confidence of the faithful, nor squander the moneys of the treasury for the purposes of self.
5c And for the reason that the law of tithing was but little understood, and would not be observed, unless it should be taught, and enforced by the precepts of the chief missionaries of the church.
5d It was not then intended, nor is it now, to burden them with the duty of looking after the disbursements of the moneys in the treasury, or the management of the properties of the church;
5e except as it may be at times necessary to do so in council with the Presidency, the high council in case of exigency, the Bishopric, bishops, or bishop’s agents abroad, or the conferences; and in accordance with the agreement hitherto made.
5f Whatever burden the quorum may have felt rested upon them in this regard, they are now absolved from, the end designed by it having been reached;
5g except that should it become apparent to the quorum that there was abuse in the administration of the temporal affairs of the church, they shall at once make such inquiry and examination through the proper officers of the church as will correct the evil and save the church from injury.
6a And further the Spirit saith unto you, that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day”;
6b therefore, the law given to the church in section forty-two, over the meaning of some parts of which there has been so much controversy, is as if it were given today;
6c and the bishop and his counselors, and the high council, and the bishop and his council, and the storehouse and the temple and the salvation of my people, are the same to me now that they were in that day when I gave the revelation;
6d nevertheless, that portion of that commandment which made it the duty of the high council to assist in looking after the poor and needy of the church, was not intended to put the high council over the bishop in the administration of the affairs of his office and calling,
6e except as they might do so in an advisory manner, and in such way that no one of the poor and the needy should be neglected;
6f nor was it designed that the high council should dictate in the matter of purchasing lands, building houses of worship, building up the New Jerusalem, and the gathering of the people,
6g these last named being within the province of the Presidency, the Twelve as a quorum, the councils or other officers of the branches or stakes where houses of worship are to be built, the conferences and the general assembly of the church, and the direction of the Lord by revelation.
6h The high council could not in justice dictate to the Bishop in direction in any of these matters and then try and condemn and punish him if he did not obey.
7a The work now lying before the missionary quorums of the church is of such increased magnitude and importance–the field so white unto the harvest, and the need for laborers so great–that the Twelve and the Seventy under their direction, together with such high priests, and elders as can travel and preach as missionaries, shall be free to wait upon their ministry in gospel work,
7b leaving the branches and districts where organization is effected to the care and administration of the standing ministers, high priest, elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, so far as possible;
7c thus freeing these spiritual authorities and leaving them at liberty to push the preaching of the word into the new fields now widening before them;
7d in which work, if they will but now take counsel, saith the spirit, they shall feel a peace and vigor of mind surpassing what they have enjoyed in the past.
8a That part of the law which says: “It is the duty of the Twelve, also, to ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church,” is to be understood by the revelation which went before and in accordance with which it was written; and which follows after it in the book;
8b and when those officers are ordained and set in their order, in the church, they should be left to administer in the things unto which they were ordained, having charge of the affairs over which they are called and set apart to preside;
8c the Twelve and Seventy administering as those prosecuting the work of preaching with the warning voice, baptizing, organizing and setting in order, then pushing their ministry into other fields until the world is warned.
8d It is the will of God that they do this; yea, verily, thus saith the Spirit, If they will now enter upon this work, leaving the burden of care in organized districts, or conferences to the standing ministry, under the Presidency of the church;
8e observing the law already given to ordain and set high priests or elders to preside in large branches and in districts, and also evangelical ministers, then will those officers set in the church be useful and he who gave the law be honored;
8f the differences between the quorums be healed, confidence be restored and good will and peace come to the people as a cherishing fountain.
9a The quorums in respect to authority are designed to take precedence in office as follows: The Presidency, the Twelve, the Seventy in all meetings and gatherings of the membership, where no previous organization has been effected.
9b Where organization has been arranged and officers have been ordained and set in order; the standing ministry in their order; high priests, elders, priests, teachers, and deacons.
9c the parallels are: in the Presidency, the President and his counselors; in the second presidency, the Twelve; in the missionary work, first the Twelve, second, the Seventy; in the standing ministry, the Presidency, second, the high priests; third, the elders, then priests, teachers, and deacons in their order.
10a Should the church fall into disorder, or any portion of it, it is the duty of the several quorums of the church, or any one of them to take measures to correct such disorder; through the advice and direction of the Presidency, the Twelve, the Seventy, or a council of high priests, in case of emergency;
10b and in case the Presidency is in transgression, the Bishop and his council of high priests, as provided in the law; and the Presidency and high council if the bishop, or his counselors, if high priests, are in transgression.
10c The Scriptures and the church articles and covenants, with the rules adopted by the church, shall govern in procedure.
11 The Spirit saith further: That it is wisdom that the Presidency and Twelve in council together make such appointments as may be necessary to provide for the fields not named in the appointments made by the Presidency and recommended to the Twelve, as may be agreed by them.
12a The Spirit saith further: That Lamoni, Iowa, having been made by the agreement of the church under the law of the land the principal place of business of the church, it is wise and expedient that it should be considered and declared by the conference to be the seat of the Presidency of the church, and in due time be made a stake.
12b In the meantime the district may be left to the care of its districts organization subject to the direction of the Presidency, no one of the missionary force being appointed to the charge thereof for the conference year, or longer if it shall be found advisable.
13a The Spirit saith further: The Twelve should remain at Lamoni, and continue in council with the Presidency and the Bishop, and his counselors if practicable, a sufficient time after the adjournment of conference to counsel together, and agree on the things of the law and the general affairs of the church,
13b so that when the traveling council shall separate for their several fields, there may be no longer reason for distrust, suspicion, or dissension;
13c and if these officers will so counsel together in the spirit of moderation and mutual forbearance and concession, my law will be more perfectly understood by them and a unity of sentiment and purpose will be reached by them.
13d It is the will of your Lord and your God that this should be done. It should have been done before, but the adversary hath hindered, desiring to prevent the success of my work in the earth.
14 For the same reasons in me that it is not expedient to fill the quorums of the First Presidency and the Twelve, who are apostles and high priests, it is not expedient that a patriarch for the church should be indicated and appointed.
15 My servant Thomas W. Smith is in my hand; and his bishopric shall be continued for a season; if he fully recover he will enter again into the work; if I take him unto myself, another will be appointed in his stead when the quorum is filled.
16a And now I say unto you mine elders, apostles and high priests of my church, Continue ye in the ministry unto which you have been called; and if ye cannot fully agree on all the points of the law, be patient and be not contentious; so far as you can agree work together without heat, confusion, or malice.
16b Ye are equal in worth of position and place in the work of the church; and if in honor ye shall prefer one another, ye will not strive for precedence or place in duty or privilege, and shall be blessed of me.
17a Yea, verily, thus saith the Lord, unto the elders of the church: continue in steadfastness and faith.
17b Let nothing separate you from each other and the work whereunto you have been called; and I will be with you by my Spirit and presence of power unto the end. Amen.