What was early priesthood like in 1830? Michael Quinn has said there are three different dates for the restoration of the Melchizedek: 1829, 1830, and 1831. I asked Michael Marquardt to weigh in on the issue of early priesthood.
Michael: The high priesthood was like the office of high priest. So an elder, if you go backwards, would be an elder in the church and according to the Articles and Covenants. An elder is an apostle. An apostle is an elder. So just like any organization, there’s a development over time.
GT: So if I remember right, there were only three offices when the church was organized on April 6, 1830: teacher, priest, and elder. And so, there’s a question as to whether elder was part of the Aaronic priesthood or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Michael: Yeah. There was no priesthood at that time.
GT: It was just “the priesthood.”
Michael: There was no priesthood.
GT: There was no priesthood?
Michael: No, it was an office in the church.
Check out our conversation….
And check out our other conversations with Michael!
April 6 marks 189 years since the founding of the Church. We know from history that Joseph Smith said there were the original 6 members. But who were they? Michael Marquardt makes some educated guesses.
Michael: Yes, well the earliest [sources] we have, because if they’re men, of course they would be ordained to an office in the church: elder, priest, teacher. And so since there was no minutes and no other church record, even though they were supposed to keep records, we don’t have that. And so the Manuscript History of the Church mentions Joseph Smith, Sr. It also mentions Lucy Mack Smith and those are Joseph Smith’s father and mother. It mentions Martin Harris. And, it didn’t have the first name, but last name was Rockwell.
GT: So was it Porter Rockwell probably?
GT: No? Oh really.
Michael: That is pretty close. It was his mother…
Find out who else was likely there! Check out our conversation….
Don’t forget to check out or previous conversation with Michael!
The day after approximately 100 immigrants from Arkansas were killed, Mormon leaders in Iron County got together to discuss how to explain the deaths. Barbara Jones Brown tells how leaders dealt with Brigham Young’s message to leave the immigrants alone, and how they decided to blame the Indians for the atrocity.
Barbara: On the day after the massacre Haight and Dame arrive at the Mountain Meadows to see what’s happened, what’s been done. Lee and Klingensmith are already there because they were major participants in the killings, in the atrocity. They come and then Lee talks about watching Haight and Dame argue over who’s to blame for this as they see the horrible, butchering, just the horrible, butchered bodies lying all across the meadows, including all of the women and children. Dame says, “We have to report this.”
And Haight says, “How? As an Indian massacre?”
And Dame says, ” I’m not sure I would report it just as that, because Dame knows he’s ordered out the Iron County militiamen to do this.
Isaac [Haight] says, “You have to report it as an Indian massacre or you’ll implicate yourself.”
Dame says, “Isaac, I didn’t think there were so many of them. You told me that most of them were already dead, that there were just a few more witnesses that had to be killed.”
Haight yells at him and says, “If you blame this whole thing on me, I will follow you to hell to make sure you pay for it,” basically. So there’s just this horrible argument going on the day after. So, Lee gets back to Fort Harmony and starts bragging to his congregation about what he’s done. He’s proud of it.
A letter from Brigham Young arrives on September 13th, two days later. It arrives in Cedar City telling Isaac Haight, “The Indians will do as they please, but you must not meddle with the immigrants. If those who are there will go, let them go in peace.”
Isaac Haight receives that letter and says, “Too late, too late.” So he forwards that message to Harmony and also to Washington. The same thing happened in Washington. The militiamen returned to Washington and they’re bragging about what they’ve done. They’re proud of it, until that message arrives, that Brigham Young had said, “No. Let them go in peace.”
So Haight calls Lee to him in Cedar City and says, “We’re in a muddle.” He says, “You need to go report this to Brigham Young and take as much of the blame for it as you can.”
So Lee says, “Why don’t you just tell him you’re the [leader.]”
He [Haight] says, “Well, you could tell him better than I.”
So he sends Lee north to report the massacre to Brigham Young.
And so the blame game begins. Check out our conversation….