The General Conference of 1909 observed Thursday, April 15, as a day of fasting and prayer for divine direction. The following revelation was given through the prophet Joseph Smith III at Lamoni, Iowa, and dated April 18, 1909. It was endorsed by the Conference, and provision was made for its inclusion in the Doctrine and Covenants.
To the Church: After constant meditation and prayer, both before and after coming to conference and during the sessions, so far as the peculiar conditions obtaining in our sittings had permitted, I was in the Spirit during the nights of the 15th and 16th of the month and the day passing between at such times during the calm that occasionally ensued and the quiet of the night when the burden of my care forbade sleep. My dreams also have been enlightening and encouraging.
1a The voice of the Spirit to me is: Under conditions which have occurred it is no longer wise that my servant R. C. Evans be continued as counselor in the Presidency;
1b therefore it is expedient that he be released from this responsibility and another be chosen to the office. He has been earnest and faithful in service and his reward is sure.
2a My servant Joseph Luff cannot fulfill the duties of a member of the Quorum of Twelve in actively looking after and caring for the missionary work in the field and discharge the duties of his calling as a physician ministering to the many seeking his advice and aid with safety to himself and others.
2b It is wise therefore that the church release him from the responsibilities of the active apostleship as a member of the quorum, that he may act unreservedly in his calling.
2c Another may be chosen to the office in the quorum. He has been faithful, and his record and reward are in my hand.
3a That the historian of the church, my servant Heman C. Smith, may more freely and efficiently pursue his duties and privileges as historian, the church may release him from the burden attendant upon him as an apostle in the quorum and choose another to occupy therein.
3b He has been long in the service, has done his duties well in the spirit of self-sacrifice, and his reward is with me. He will be blessed in diligent service in his calling as historian when relieved of the double responsibility.
4 These my servants who are relieved from their responsibilities of the quorum work have wrought well in their service with their fellow-servants, and must retain their right to labor in the ministry, holding the high priesthood and entitled to all that appertains to that calling when need requires or wisdom directs.
5 The Spirit saith further to me: To fill the vacancy caused by the releasing of Counselor R. C. Evans, present the name of my servant Elbert A. Smith, the son of my servant David H. Smith, who was taken and who awaits his reward, to be chosen, appointed, and ordained as counselor to my servant Joseph Smith and to be one of the Presidency.
6a The Spirit saith further: In order that the places of those taken from the Twelve may be supplied and the quorum filled that it may act as a whole, my servants J. F. Curtis and Robert C. Russell may be chosen and set apart to the office of apostles and be enrolled and sustained in the quorum.
6b Other servants there are who will be called and appointed ere long, but not now.
7a Those who are holding the office of patriarchs are to be enrolled with the high priests, the same as the bishops, who are acting in their office by virtue of their being high priests.
7b These men in their office are an order in the priesthood, the same as the high councils of the church and the stakes and as the bishops who hold as high priests, as the quorum of the twelve, and as the presidency are but orders in the priesthood, there being but two priesthoods; and these are orders in the Melchisedec priesthood.
7c There is no difference in the priesthood, though there may be and is in the office in which the several orders may occupy and act.
8a The Spirit saith further: The attention of the church is called to the consideration of the revelation, given in answer to earnest supplication, with regard to temporal things.
8b The word has been already given in agreement with revelations long since delivered to the church, that the temporalities of the church were to be under the charge and care of the Bishopric, men holding the office of bishop under a presiding head acting for the church in the gathering, caring for, and disbursing the contributions gathered from the Saints of moneys and properties under the terms of tithing, surplus, free will offerings, and consecrations.
8c The word which has been given at a late period should not have been so soon forgotten and disregarded by the church or any of its members.
8d “I am God; I change not”; has been known to the church and the eldership since the coming of the angel with the message of restoration.
8e Under it the church has sought the Lord and received from time to time that which was deemed sufficient for the time to govern the church and its ministers, both of the spiritual and the temporal divisions of the work.
8f The church has been directed to accede to the rendition of the Bishopric with respect to the temporal law;
8g and until such heed is paid to the word which has been given, and which is in accordance with other revelations given to the church, which had been before given, the church can not receive and enjoy the blessings which have been looked for when Zion should be fully redeemed.
8h Therefore, hearken once again unto the voice of inspiration, in warning and instruction, and conform to that which is given and receive what is awaiting the upright and the pure in heart.
9a The Spirit saith further unto the church: The Lord is well pleased with the advancement which has been made in approaching unity during the conference year;
9b and though there may have been differences of opinion, these differences have been held in unity of purpose and desire for the good of my people, and will result in helping to bring to pass a unity of understanding.
9c So be ye encouraged and press on to the consummation designed of God for his people–unity, honor, sanctification, and glory. Amen.
LAMONI, IOWA, April 18, 1909