80 years ago today - Mar 13, 1941

President Grant said that he and his Counselors had given consideration to the matter of the need'on account of the growth of the Church and the further fact that some of the Brethren are advanced in years and some not in good health'of some provision being made whereby the Brethren of the Twelve might be given some assistance in looking after the work that comes under their jurisdiction. The First Presidency feel that five men should be ordained to the Apostleship, but not to be set apart as members of the Council of the Twelve, nor would it be expected that they would necessarily become members of that Council when a vacancy occurred. President Grant called attention to the fact that President Brigham Young had ordained a number of brethren to the apostleship, and so had Brother Heber C. Kimball, which brethren were not set apart as members of the Council of the Twelve. The President said he would like from each of the Brethren an expression as to his feelings in this matter, and told them to feel at perfect liberty to express themselves freely and frankly. Joseph Fielding Smith: I have some very decided views. If this is decided upon, of course I will accept it, but it is contrary to my feelings, and I have had these feelings, I suppose, all the time. I have thought of it a good deal since the appointment of Brother [Sylvester Q.] Cannon as he was appointed. ... The Savior appointed Twelve apostles. We have no account of his appointing more either in Palestine or on this Continent. If you will read the Book of Mormon you will find that they ordained apostles to take the place of those who passed on. Evidently their Church was much larger than the Church is today, during the two hundred years when the people were united. I would like to make this statement, which I can verify by the written word, that is by that which is written in the records of the Church: President Brigham Young held the view that the apostleship was greater than the Melchizedek Priesthood. He ordained secretly some of his sons as apostles, because he thought he was giving them something more than they could get somewhere else; that is, more than if they were ordained high priests, and that was his view. I know that my father was ordained by President Brigham Young and a number of the apostles in a meeting a year before he came into the Council, and I know that was the practice in the days of President Young, but I do not read anywhere, in any of our scriptures, that the Lord has designated assistant apostles, or that we are authorized by revelation to do it. If the Presidency say so and get the inspiration, of course that is sufficient, but I think there is a better way. A man can serve as a counselor in the Presidency of the Church as a High Priest, and he does not have to be ordained an apostle'some have done that'and while they can serve as High Priests in the Presidency of the Church they preside over the Twelve Apostles as high Priests. It seems to me that a better way would be to appoint'and I am in full accord with the idea of appointing someone to help carry the burden, but the Presidency of this Church can appoint high priests and give them all the authority that is necessary for them to hold, without ordaining them apostles. They can ordain and set apart Presidents of Stakes by the appointment they get from the Presidency of the Church, and under the direction of the Twelve they can set in order anything as High Priests, and I do not see any need at all of ordaining them to the apostleship only as they are called to go into this council. ... [Stephen L Richards agrees with the wisdom of calling assistants, but also agrees with recommendation of Joseph Fielding Smith that they be only high priests.] Elder Richard R. Lyman: I agree certainly with President Grant and the Brethren that some relief is very desirable, that the burden is getting to be pretty heavy for men who are well along in years. Brother [B. H.] Roberts explained a number of times'I am not familiar enough with the organization to explain it as Brother Joseph Fielding here can do. I am wondering, after what Brother Roberts said, if the Seventies are to be called upon first by the Council of the Twelve to render assistance, if we could not call first upon the Seven Presidents of Seventies. Brother Roberts spoke of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and I have kind of imagined that as the Church developed and developed we might have the Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and this Quorum o Seventies, seventy men. Probably they would be serving and traveling through the Stakes of the Church just the same as the Seven Presidents do now. I do not know whether that is according to the revelation and Church organization. There is another method: As men get older and want to take it a little easier, I am wondering if there would be any reasonable, honorable and profitable way of retiring us who get older, and let younger men come in an attend to the business. Brother Talmage said: 'Brother Lyman (He and I were pretty intimate), I would feel very greatly relieved if I did not have to go to those meetings in the Temple on Thursday.' We had to carry him up the steps and carry him down the steps. 'You can see the inconsistency of my belonging to a traveling council when I can not step up a half inch or step down a half inch.' I am wondering if men, as they get older, could take it easier and have a little allowance and let young men come here and do the business of the Church. I have absolute faith in the Presidency of the Church; I am for you. Whatever you say I am for it and shall give it my very hearty support. [John A. Widtsoe sees no objection to ordaining extra apostles as the presidency recommends.] [Joseph F. Merrill sees no objection whatever to ordaining extra apostles as the presidency recommends.] Elder Charles A. Callis: I believe, President Grant, that we should speak with our hearts and our mouths, speak from our hearts. I would go anywhere the First Presidency told me to go, even if I knew that it meant my death. I have never intentionally disobeyed counsel. I am not in favor of ordaining five apostles. If you say so, of course it is all right. It seems a strange procedure. I feel it is going to create confusion in the Church. When Bishop Cannon was appointed we were asked wherever we went what it meant to have an associate apostle. I am fully in accord with Joseph Fielding Smith and Stephen L. Richards; I believe the spirit of the revelations of God is that we keep this Quorum intact. Jesus Christ chose Twelve, and since the days of Brigham Young, Joseph F. Smith, Lorenzo Snow, John Taylor, and Heber J. Grant have followed this practice of holding this council intact as a separate Council. I think we have not given the First Council of Seventy enough consideration. They are apostles, the Lord says. If they are apostles why not use them? There are Seven men there, and the First Quorum of Seventies I believe that that First Council of Seventy should be invested with power to go out into the Stakes and do what we do, because God calls them apostles. Since He has given us these Seven Apostles why seek more? I hope I speak frankly but humbly. If you Brethren say to choose five apostles I am with you and shall support it publicly and privately but I do hope that we will use the apostles we have. I do hope that these five additional apostles will not be appointed, but I do hope that five assistants or six assistants if we need them will be inducted into office or placed here as assistants, but the First Council of Seventy stand out by revelation of God as apostles and I would like to see them used. I believe it in my heart. I believe it would be a departure probably from the revelation. Now I may be wrong but you have asked me to speak my mind. Those are views that I have and I speak them in the fear of the Lord without any feeling of opposition or contrariness. ... [Albert E. Bowen speaking, in part:] They could be constituted in some way that would give full effect to what is desired to be accomplished, without ordaining them apostles. I think there is a very firm, fixed feeling on the part of the people that Twelve men constitute the Apostles, and I think it would tend to lessen their confidence in the authority of the apostleship if it were multiplied in the manner suggested. I can not help feeling that it would take a certain amount of confidence, and respect and wisdom for the office out of it if they were multiplied. I know the contrary argument would be that if they go out with any lesser authority people will not feel well, they will feel that there is something lacking, but I do not think the danger of that is half so great as the danger I have already pointed out on the other side. Elder Sylvester Q. Cannon: I would like to express myself as being very appreciative of the kindness and consideration of the Brethren of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve. I realize that the conditions under which I came into this body are different from the regular conditions, and I am trying to qualify in every way. I am willing to sustain whatever the First Presidency consider desirable and necessary in this matter. [Note: Five were in favor, five opposed.]

[Minutes, as quoted in Minutes of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1835-1951, Electronic Edition, 2015]

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