Throughout the year of 2013, the combined quorums of the First Presidency, the Quorum of Twelve and the Quorum of Seventy held several joint council meetings for the purpose of discussing and clarifying procedures and operational standards affecting these three major leadership quorums of the Remnant Church. In November of that year, at the specific request by the Quorum of Seventy, President Frederick N. Larsen sought the mind and will of the Lord for further insight and direction. On February 20, 2014, he presented this document as the response from God relating to the points of concern identified within message itself. Due to the nature of what was shared with these three quorums, and the impact this document has upon the Remnant Church as a whole, it was recommended that this insight be presented to the April 2015 General Conference as the mind and will of God and, if so accepted, to be included in the Remnant Revelations as binding upon the Church as a whole. That action was taken and approved on April 4, 2015. The preface to the document provides President Larsen’s narrative as to the full intent of the insight he received from our Heavenly Father.
STATEMENT ON PRIESTHOOD OFFICE AND RELEASE ISSUES
February 20, 2014
As I sit here in my den this evening, contemplating the burden to bring the Spirit of revelation to this Joint Council, my Scriptures and my mind are open to the leading of the Spirit from on high. I have been reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 12, speaking of the unity of the body of Christ and the officers of the Church: “For the body is not one member, but many…now they are many members, yet but one body…there should be no schism in the body;…Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Also from the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 136:3b: “Contentions, bickerings, and strife are unseemly, hinder the work of the church, and should not find place among the Saints. Only in the peace of fraternity and unity of those caught up in the spirit of Zionic redemption can the work of the Lord be accomplished. To this task let the church devote its energies.”
How absolutely important is it for us to consider unity within the Remnant Church?
How absolutely important is it for us to find peace, not strife?
And then I read from the Remnant Revelations, R-147:5a: “The Spirit directs further: I have set in my Church those offices of priesthood necessary to bring to pass the building of my earthly kingdom-even Zion.”
And from R-151:4b: “Differences between those whose duty and special calling is to spread my Gospel must be reconciled. If they will go forth in humility and meekness, my power and endowment will be upon them.”
We, the First Presidency, Twelve and Seventy, have met several times with discussions on our quorum callings, authority, responsibilities and prerogatives, not always coming to a common understanding.
To this situation now before this Council, I have taken that counsel and declaration found in our Doctrine and Covenants, Section 122:1, 2: “My servants have been harsh with one 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.
“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.
“The burden and 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; and they shall teach according to the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and as they shall be directed by revelation, from time to time.”
In 1894, the Joint Council of the First Presidency, Twelve, and High Priests, which had been holding sessions during this conference, presented the following report which was thereupon adopted by that conference:
“Members of the Presidency are leading interpreters and teachers of the laws of revelations of God, and are of right presidents of the General Assemblies of the Church.” (GCR 386:9)
As I closed my preparation, and sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit, the following was given.
1. Thus saith the Spirit to the brethren of the Quorums of Twelve and Seventy: You have indeed, in the past, been harsh with one another and I have withdrawn My Spirit on many occasions from you. It is now that you must reconcile yourselves, preferring your brothers, and go forth, hand in hand, with each other and with My Son who desires to lead and direct you to those waiting lost souls around you.
2. Lay down your attempts to wrestle with my words in the Scriptures and governing rules of my Church and be about the work whereunto you have been called. You have lost precious time in seeking for he who is the greatest among you. All are of one priesthood, but different offices. Priesthood is that which you receive from me to minister with authority. Your offices of apostle and seventy are what you use in your different labors to men on earth. Your priesthood is eternal; your office can be lifetime, but often is transient.
3. The various quorums and orders of the Church are set in place to meet various needs of my people and are to function as “…the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” and not to act independently.
4. As clearly stated in Church law (the Doctrine and Covenants), the office of apostle is under the direction of the First Presidency and the office of seventy is under the direction of the apostle. Authority in the Church organization must be recognized or confusion and misunderstanding will exist. To that end let the brethren of the twelve and seventy recognize and accept that the right to call and to release all General Church Officers resides within the First Presidency of the Church. Release from a particular office means the loss of a specific area of labor but does not necessarily mean silencing from priesthood authority.
5. It is equally inherent for the Quorum of Seventy, under the direction of the Council of Presidents of Seventy, to release men from their quorum. However, for the present time, let GCR 996 stand as it is, but let the First Presidency, together with consultation from the twelve and the seventy, prepare a policy for the “Release of General Officers from Specific Offices,” including honorable release, release for just cause, administrative release, reconciliation procedures, etc., to be brought before the conference of 2015.
6. This ends the counsel given. Much more could be said but let the above suffice for
the present. Let us truly be brought together as one and join hands in that blessed fraternity of peace, humility, and meekness.
Frederick N. Larsen
President of the Church