Posts Tagged ‘Sabbath Day’


Awakening from Our Cocoon – Part I

In my last post [Draw Out Thy Soul to the Hungry], I shared a scripture from Isaiah which I had never before read, but one which very much helped in my train of thought that day.  It is the purpose of this post to discuss this scripture and what it means to me.

In this particular chapter of the Book of Isaiah [Chapter 58] we read of an experience Isaiah had with the people to whom he ministered.  The opening verse lays out exactly the purpose for this chapter, as well as the purpose Isaiah is charged with – namely, to call the people to repentance.  All true prophets call those to whom they minister to repentance and point the way to Christ and no other.  This is exactly what Isaiah must do.

The first verse reads:

“Cry aloud, aspare not, lift up thy bvoice like a ctrumpet, and dshew my people their etransgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

This is the charge.  Show the people their transgressions, show them their sins.  Since God is a God of love, we must understand why we must be shown our transgressions.  They are not shown to us to instill fear, though oftentimes we interpret those calls to repentance as fear based, but rather they are shown to us out of love, a love that yearns for us to turn away from the falsities of life and return to Christ.  To repent means nothing more than to turn around and return to God.  To sin means little more than to “miss the mark,” to miss the purpose for which we’re here on the earth.  We sin when we miss that mark, when we miss orienting our lives towards Christ.

According to several sources (though not all), there is no word in Hebrew for “sin.”  Rather, the word used to describe “sin” is chet, which has reference “to an arrow which ‘missed the target.’  The archer is not ‘bad.’  Rather, he made a mistake – due to a lack of focus, concentration or skill.”

Returning to Isaiah 58, we find the opening verses (verse 3 through 5) decrying the worship of a shallow people.

3 aWherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and  thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your bfast ye find cpleasure, and dexact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for astrife and bdebate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not cfast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

The reality of the situation presented in these verses, and this chapter, is that the people weren’t fasting with the right heart.  They were doing it out of mere ritual (sounds an awful lot like our Fast & Testimony meetings…a ritual fast which occurs 1x per month), and did it as an empty ritual.  And yet, even when they went through with this ritual, even when they did fast, they continued with strife, debate, exploitation.  There was no sincerity involved.  No true devotion existed.  They fasted to win arguments (“for debate”), to overcome people and obstacles in their path (“for strife”).  They fasted to glorify themselves (“to make your voice to be heard on high”).  All the forms and none of the Spirit.  In reality…we’re all like that.  We all have “forms” we participate in, false traditions passed down from our father’s which we continue without really thinking about them.

Only when we join with the Savior in His work will the world soon find the beauty behind what Isaiah states later on in this chapter.  Here, though, the people were complaining of unanswered prayers (haven’t we all?), complaining of the lives they were leading disconnected from God.

False worship, of which I am most certainly guilty, is made up of (a) religion that is impersonal, formal and program centered; (2) comes by habit and tradition; (2) is self-serving; (3) elitist; (4) controlled, orchestrated, predictable; and, (5) includes mere passive involvement, ignoring the reality that God is a deeply personal Being.  In short, false worship is a “religion which assumes a relationship with God while discounting relationships with [everyday] people.”

In truth, their fast was not approved of God (“Is it such a fast that I have chosen?).   They hypocrisy of these fasts (and our monthly ritual fasting) is detestable.  It’s not the kind of fasting God chooses.  And, even though we go through all the motions – the “correct” motions (“bow down … as a bulrush, … spread sackcloth and ashes…”), it was an empty ritual.  We’re empty today.  We lack devotion, sincerity.  Our egos are so full of themselves that we have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees, or the trees for the forest.  Both are applicable.  We’re blinded to our true condition because we believe – and are told – that we’re a “chosen” people (Anyone up for a Rameumptum party?).  This chapter is but a precursor for the Lord’s instructions to the Pharisee who reminded the Lord that “I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers … I fast twice a week.”  (See Luke 18:9-14.)

From this point on in the chapter, the message and tone both change.  Isaiah goes from telling the people how messed up their fasting is, to instructing them on what God really wants from them.  It’s not that fasting is bad, or to be discouraged, but rather that God loathes hypocrisy and the ease with which we go through the forms without the right spirit.

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the abands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go bfree, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the ahungry, and that thou bring the bpoor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from cthine own flesh?

In order to truly benefit from anything we do, we have to get right with our fellow men, we have to stop oppressing others, to reach out and help others.  We have to stop being so self-centered, self-congratulating, self-aggrandizing.  “To loose the bands of wickedness,” we have to stop acting wickedly towards others (“undo the heavy burdens,” “let the oppressed go free,” “break every yoke”).  The only way we can truly be right with God is to remove the beams from our own eyes.  Living a self-centered life will never, ever bring about Zion, bring about the Spirit, or bring about peace.  Ever.

In the New Testament, the 4th chapter of the Book of James describes the very fruits of a self-centered life.  Those fruits are wars, fightings and lustings.  Our self-centered lives are the very source of the madness that pervades or lives, homes and world.  False religion and false worship do not work because God simply cannot be present when we’re being false with ourselves, with others or with Him.

From this point, we start sharing our bread with the hungry, bringing in the poor into our houses, feeding them, relieving their burdens, covering the naked and, most poignantly, stop hiding ourselves from our brothers and sisters.  Instead of crossing the street to avoid the beggar, instead of turning our eyes away from those dressed poorly, instead of avoiding the dirty and downtrodden, God is telling us stop hiding ourselves.  We can’t really hide anyway.  It’s not like God can’t see our hearts and what we’re doing.  Take off those fig leaves (who gave them to us anyway?) and get right with God and start treating humanity with respect.

8 ¶ Then shall thy alight break forth as the morning, and thine bhealth shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy crereward.

9 Then shalt thou acall, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the bputting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the ahungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light brise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

11 And the Lord shall aguide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in bdrought, and cmake fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a dspring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Now, we turn to the blessings God promises those who throw away their hypocrisy and start acting like a “true” worshiper.  True worship results in “light break[ing] forth as the morning.”  True worship results in the “glory of the Lord [being our] rereward.”  True worship includes the promises of the Lord answering our calls.

Verse 9 includes four things which we must stop doing:  (1) treating others like animals worthy of our yokes, (2) oppressing others, (3) pointing the finger at others, and (4) boasting in our vanity.  This list is indicative of things we do.  We commit these things.  They are acts of commission.  This isn’t a list of things we overlook, things we just happen to do.  If we want to walk with God, as did Enoch and all his people, we have to stop feeding our egos and start feeding the hungry.

Verse 10 continues with another list.  This time, however, it’s a list of things God wants us to do.  (1) Minister more to the hungry and afflicted and (2) draw out our souls towards them.  Failing to do these things, in contrast to the list given in verse 9, are largely acts of omission.  We forget to satisfy and help the hungry and afflicted soul because we’re too caught up in ourselves, too caught up in the distractions of life.  The blessing that comes with doing this is that our light will rise in obscurity (again, not in vanity, but in obscurity) and our darkness and vanity will be as the noonday.  Instead of being darkness at noonday, we will be living in light at noonday.  Christ’s very presence will be with us, to light our minds, our hearts and our lives.

In a day where many of us yearn to be led more constantly by Christ, verse 11 states that we will be guided continually.  Our souls will be satisfied from their drought, our bones will become fat with life-giving marrow.  We will be like a flowering garden, like a spring of water, whose waters “fail not.”  Ascending beyond the rituals of life, ascending above the shallowness of our egos, we’re promised the Lord’s very presence.

Verse 12, then, is quite pertinent.  In a day of degeneracy and apostasy from Christ, a day when the foundations have become cracked because of the teaching of the commandments of men, we’re promised a couple of things:  (1) waste places will be rebuilt, (2) a new foundation will be built for “many generations,” (3) we’re repair the breaches and (4) restore the paths wherein we can safely dwell here in mortality and beyond.  This verse will become the prelude to my next post.  Imagine the beauty of these promises.  In a day where many decry the general apathy and apostasy existing among all religions, the Lord is promising us that the foundations will be rebuilt for “many generations.”  Sounds reminiscent of the beauty the Nephites experienced after Christ ministered to them.

“We live in a broken world. In every direction there are breaches which are wide and deep. There are broken hearts and broken homes, and that which once was sacred is but a waste place … The wall of protection is in ruins, and life has lost all its meaning.” (Redpath)

From the same source as the above quote, this passage of scripture provides us a glimpse of a life which is right in the sight of God:

It is an enlightened life: Your light shall shine in the darkness.

It is a guided life: The Lord will guide you continually.

It is a satisfied life: The Lord will satisfy your soul in drought.

It is a fragrant life: Your life will be like a watered garden.

It is a freshly sustained life: Your life will be like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

It is a productive, healing life: You shall build up the old waste places, [repair the breaches and rebuild the foundations which have been eroded over time].

This chapter continues on with two more verses about the Sabbath day, the blessings of keeping the Sabbath day holy, which I have discussed elsewhere.  We, in our limited minds, tend to view the Sabbath as merely a day of the week.  In the closing verses of this chapter, it appears as though Isaiah is stating that the Sabbath is more an attitude of the heart reflecting true devotion.   Paul, in Hebrews 3 and 4, describes entering God’s rest:

“He who has entered God’s (sabbath) rest has ceased from his own efforts as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10, emphasis added.)

That is to say, all too often our focus on the Sabbath relates to resting from our day’s labors.  Kicking our feet up and laying around all day.  Another, deeper meaning of this is can be read this way:  “the Sabbath Day of the Old Testament points to an invisible reality – to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  Our Lord calls His people to stop serving Him in the energy of the flesh and to allow Him to live His endless life through them (see Galatians 2:20-21).”

The focus of this post should be on true worship and living the spirit-filled life that Isaiah so eloquently described in the closing verses of Isaiah 58.  Worship that is lacking sincerity, honesty and truthfulness with God will never bring about Zion.  Only when we replace our forms with the Spirit, when we cease to participate in “vain oblations,” will Zion come about.  It is time to start worshipping the Savior in both mind and spirit and time to do away with our “multitude of sacrifices.”

10 ¶ Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of aSodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

11 To what purpose is the multitude of your asacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I bdelight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

13 Bring no more avain boblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and csabbaths, the calling of dassemblies, I cannot eaway with; it is finiquity, even the gsolemn meeting.

14 Your new amoons and your appointed bfeasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am cweary to bear them.

15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many aprayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of bblood.

Isaiah 58 is nothing more than a practical application of a life led in Christ.  It is nothing more, nothing less, than advice on how to escape the dead forms and practices of a church and born out of rituals, and how to get away from the ego.  Service to God is the only answer.  How you choose to serve God is up to you.  That is not the point of this post.  Service is individual.  Service for the public eye has its reward.  Service in private also has its reward.  I might even suggest service for service sakes.  Don’t do anything merely for a reward.  You choose how you want to serve God, if at all.  As always, the application is intensely individual.

***A special thanks goes out to the following websites for aiding me in understanding this chapter:  (1) http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/2358.htm; and (2) http://ldolphin.org/isaiah58.html.***

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What does it mean to confess the Lord’s hand in all things?  Does it mean that the Lord’s hand is literally in all things, that all things are done in his wisdom and with his foresight?  Does it mean that the Lord condones and approves everything because it brings about the world that he envisions for all of us?  Those are just a few of the questions I have had recently in reading some of the comments by some friends of mine.  Some of these friends seem to indicate that the Lord truly is behind everything, that everything that happens, happens with his knowledge and approbation.  Whether it’s the natural events that happen across the earth like earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards, etc., or whether it’s gospel curriculum we study on any given Sunday in church.  No matter the event or subject, the Lord’s hand is behind all things.

Justification for such reasoning stems, largely, from reading D&C 59:21, which states, “And in nothing doth man aoffend God, or against none is his bwrath ckindled, save those who dconfess not his hand in all things, and eobey not his commandments.”  The wrath of God is kindled, seemingly, solely against those who confess not his hand in all things.  Sure seems to make sense, from this verse.  However, is there another way to look at this verse, another way to interpret this “confess not his hand in all things?”  I think there is and think it merits a discussion of its own.

To be fair to this piece, I must confess that I have been doing a fair bit of reading lately on subjects which can be viewed as less than favorable, in at least one context, on the mainstream LDS Church.  Many people might read the same things and take a different spin on the topics, but I seem to be taking a different approach.  While I do not – as of yet – know where this road will lead, I have had my eyes opened by a number of things which make this essay all the more important.  Important for me, that is.  These write-ups help me understand, process and digest information and put them into a format which helps my interpretations.  The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I confess that one of the ways He teaches me is through these labors.  This may not work for you and that is probably how it should be – differences are like that.

The first place I turned to in trying to understand D&C 59:21 was Section 59 in its entirety.  While we should endeavor to liken the scriptures to ourselves[1], we should also try and understand the context of when and where a verse occurs.  Nephi’s experience with locating the tools to build a ship may mean one thing when we liken that verse to us, but understanding what was happening in his life at this time can also take the meaning of the scripture to new depths[2].  It is in this framework that I will try to understand Section 59 and the comment on confessing the hand of the Lord in all things.

Section 59 was given to Joseph Smith in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri on August 7, 1831.  The land of Zion was already dedicated at this point, as had been directed by the Lord, and the site of the future temple had also previously been dedicated.  According to the section heading in the Doctrine & Covenants, we read, “The Lord makes these commandments [Section 59] especially applicable to the saints in Zion.[3]”  This, likewise, is especially applicable to those saints who want to be in Zion.  Zion, as an actual physical location today, is a mere figment of our imaginations and yet someday in the future the gathering principle will once again be in full effect.  When that day comes, we would be wise to heed the counsel given in Section 59.

The Section heading breaks Section 59 into four distinct, yet complementary, parts, which follow:

Verses 1-4:  The faithful saints in Zion shall be blessed;

Verses 5-8:   They are to love and serve the Lord and keep his commandments;

Verses 9-19:  By keeping the Lord’s day holy, the saints are blessed temporally and spiritually;

Verses 20-24:   The righteous are promised peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.

The section this article focuses on, while acknowledging the other parts of this section, is the latter half, verses 9-24.  Verses 9 through 14 speak specifically of some of the reasons why we must keep the Sabbath day holy and what it means to keep it holy while verses 15 through 19 talk about the blessings that flow from keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Specifically, if we keep it holy, we are promised the fullness of the earth, beasts of the field, fowls of the air, and pretty much anything that climbs in the trees or walks on the earth.  We are further promised herbs, good things which come from the earth, which can and should be used for food and clothing, buildings, gardens, orchards and vineyards.  The Lord promises, in describing these verses, that “all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and gladden the heart.[4]

The Lord gives us these things that we might have clothing, food, delicious tastes, pleasing aromas, and that we might have strong bodies and enlivened souls.  The Lord, quite literally, is describing the benefits of the earth, why it was created, what all things found on the earth are for and how we should view them.  Knowing the nature and mindset of man, the Lord then provides a gentle reminder in verse 20, reminding us that God was pleased to give these things to men, to us, but that all things were to be used with “judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.”  This verse, then, brings us to the heart of this essay.  It is in this context that we read verse 21 of Section 59.  It will prove useful to read it again:

“And in nothing doth man aoffend God, or against none is his bwrath ckindled, save those who dconfess not his hand in all things, and eobey not his commandments.”

Now, with that in mind, I will discuss what I think this means, what it applies to, and what it does not apply to.  Where I stray, I invite feedback and correction.

This verse simply does not apply to a fatalistic view of the world, that everything that happens is condoned and approved by the Lord, or that the Lord’s hand is in all things.  That may indeed prove to be the case, but this verse does not grant such an interpretation.  This verse does not apply to a view that all the manuals, periodicals, statements or official pronunciations of the LDS church with the Lord’s will in mind, or with his “hand in all things.”  This verse does not suggest approval for the actions of an institution or body of people to do whatever they will, in a unified voice while they profess it to be the “mind and will of the Lord.”

Rather, this verse applies directly and specifically to gratitude for temporal blessings which come from the fullness of the earth.  It is true that nothing is strictly temporal[5].  Nevertheless, this verse is specifically relating to the fullness of the earth, which the Lord makes clear in this section to be the fullness of blessings which come from the earth – food, plants, trees, herbs, beasts, wildlife, gardens, vineyards, orchards, etc.  These verses describe those things which come from the earth – either as a fruit of the earth or something we can create (i.e. building) from earth’s abundance – things specifically given to us to “strengthen the body and … enliven the soul.[6]

To be fair to the argument at hand, I must acknowledge that I do agree with the idea that the Lord is in control of all things, that the Lord can and does use both the natural and unnatural flow of life to achieve his purposes.  Regardless of what happens in the world –whether it is an orchestrated financial depression, or a man-made blizzard, or the pronouncements of apostate religions – the Lord will use those events to achieve his purposes to teach his sheep.  I believe this is self-evident.  What this does not mean, however, is that the Lord approves of all the actions which precipitate such events.  I likewise think this to be self-evident, but nevertheless believe that the distinction must be made in light of the way D&C 59:21 can be used when used outside of the context in which it was revealed.

From an LDS perspective, I find it hard to believe that the Lord would approve of some of the actions of the leaders of the Church, especially when contrasted with the revelations given to Joseph Smith which are all too frequently contradict modern or past protocol and pronouncements.  It is true that the Lord uses man for his purposes and understands that the “natural man is an enemy to God,[7]” but that does not mean that the Lord approves of the actions in and of themselves.

To provide a specific example, let us discuss the role of the Presiding Patriarch within the LDS Church.  Originally, with Joseph Smith, Sr., and Hyrum Smith, the role Presiding Patriarch held a position which ranked ahead of the Twelve Apostles in authority[8].  The authority held by the Presiding Patriarch seemed to ebb and flow, depending on who held the position and who was President of the Church at the time.  Originally, the Presiding Patriarch served simultaneously as both a church patriarch and a member of the First Presidency.[9] Even as late as the 1890s, Wilford Woodruff stated that the Presiding Patriarch was “the next man to him in authority in the Church.[10]”  This viewpoint continued into the early 1900s with Joseph F. Smith, who was actually set apart as church president by the Presiding Patriarch on 17 Oct 1901, an ordinance which “presupposed that the Patriarch to the Church had authority at least equal to the church president’s[11]”, a tacit statement which exceeded what Woodruff stated in 1894.  Even through the late 1910s, the Presiding Patriarch’s chair in the Salt Lake temple’s council room was situated next to the First Presidency’s chairs and ahead of the senior apostle’s chair[12].

Then, Heber J. Grant became the president of the church and the role of the Presiding Patriarch was forever altered.  At a meeting on 2 Jan. 1919, the First Presidency ruled that the “President Patriarch ranked after the Quorum of the Twelve[13]” in authority.  Grant further “demoted” the Patriarch by stating that the Patriarch only attended temple council meetings “as a matter of courtesy” and that the Presiding Patriarch’s vote was insignificant and could not even be a “tie-breaking” vote of the First Presidency and apostles.  The Patriarch could no longer ordain other patriarchs, except by the courtesy of the First Presidency, and the Patriarchs chair in the Salt Lake temple’s council room was moved so that it came after the junior apostle’s.  As Quinn notes in Extensions of Power, “In Grant’s view the patriarch had flown too high during Joseph F. Smith’s administration.  As new church president he was determined to clip the patriarch’s wings.[14]

Later, the office of Patriarch stood vacant for ten years while Grant tried to get his son-in-law ordained as Patriarch.  From the time Grant was ordained as President of the Church in 1918, through today, the office of Presiding Patriarch has dwindled in importance and, largely, authority.  As Quinn concludes his discussion on the role of the Presiding Patriarch, he adds this statement:

“Whenever a patriarch after 1844 tried to magnify his presiding office, the Twelve and First Presidency recoiled in apprehension.  However, when individual patriarchs seemed to lack administrative vigor, the Twelve and First Presidency criticized them for not magnifying their office.  Few men could walk such an ecclesiastical tightrope.  For various reasons the First Presidency and Twelve were in conflict with seven out of eight successors of the original Presiding Patriarch, Joseph Smith, Sr.  The hierarchy finally resolved the situation on 6 Oct 1979 by making Eldred G. Smith an “emeritus” general authority without replacing him.  This permanently “discontinued” the office of Patriarch to the Church.  … Vacating the office in 1979 ended the conflicts.  However, according to Brigham Young’s instructions, the 1979 action made the church vulnerable:  “It was necessary to keep up a full organization of the Church all through time as far as could be.  At least the three first Presidency, quorum of the Twelve, Seventies, and Patriarch over the whole Church … so that the devil could take no advantage of us.[15]”  It is beyond the scope of this analysis to assess such metaphysical vulnerability.  Administratively, however, the decision to leave the patriarch’s office vacant after 1979 streamlined the hierarchy and removed a source of nearly constant tension.[16]

Was the Lord’s hand in the vacating of the Patriarch’s office in 1979?  Did the Lord then, or does he now, approve of such a move?  My answer to that question is that the Lord likely does not approve of such a move, nor did He likely approve of the near constant tension between the Twelve and First Presidency and those ordained as Presiding Patriarchs, tensions which put the church in a “vulnerable” position according to Brigham Young.

Likewise, other structural, administrative and ecclesiastical changes have occurred with the Presiding Bishopric[17] and the Quorums of the Seventy[18].  The reader is left alone to decide whether these changes represent the will of the Lord, and necessitate confessing “his hand in all things,” or whether these changes represent the struggles of the natural man as he grapples with power and authority, or something else entirely.

This much is true, Doctrine and Covenants 59:21 relates very specifically to gratitude within the context of obtaining a fullness of the earth and obtaining blessings from the Lord through our keeping of the Sabbath day as holy.  To project that verse and its implications forward onto geo-political machinations is one each individual must determine, but the determination must rest upon a knowledge of the Lord’s usage of this verse in its appropriate context.  What is equally true, in my mind, is that the Lord will use the situations in which we find ourselves to teach us lessons and instruct us when we are humble and willing enough to listen.  This method of teaching and instructing the natural man, however, does not mean that the Lord approves of each decision we make in this life.  We must be careful not to assume as much.

Rather, in conclusion, I think this verse is a simple example of the Lord reminding us that once we come unto Him, once we accept Him for who he truly is, once we learn to love Him for unselfish reasons, that the “fullness of the earth is [ours].”  The blessings he would pour out upon us should we choose to love Him as we must are unfathomable.  Let us truly confess His hand in everything we’re given on this earth…the food, clothing, beasts, fowl, water, houses, barns, etc.


[1] See 1 Nephi 19:23.

[2] See 1 Nephi 17:9-10, 16.

[3] See D&C 59, Section heading.

[4] See D&C 59:18.

[5] See D&C 29:31-32, 34-35.

[6] See D&C 59:19.

[7] See Mosiah 3:19.

[8] Heber C. Kimball and Lyman Wight to Joseph Smith, 24 June 1844, in History of the Church7:157.

[9] See Quinn, Michael D.  The Mormon Hierarchy:  Extensions of Power, pages 116-131, for a more detailed analysis of what became of the role of Presiding Patriarch.

[10] Heber J. Grant journal, 7 Oct 1894; Salt Lake Tribune 8 Oct 1894.

[11] Quinn, Extensions of Power, page 122.

[12] Minutes of meeting of First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve, and Presiding Patriarch, 2 Jan. 1919.

[13] Quinn, Extensions of Power, page 125.

[14] Quinn, Extensions of Power, page 125.

[15] Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 27 December 1847.

[16] Quinn, Extensions of Power, page 131.

[17] See Quinn, Extensions of Power, pages 132-140 for a discussion of some of these changes.

[18] See Quinn, Extensions of Power, pages 140-148 for a discussion of some of these changes.