[George F. Richards]
Attended Council meeting in the temple from 10 A.M. until 3 P.M. Question.
Was Moses Thatcher's Priesthood taken from him? Ans[wer]--
Pres[iden]t. Smith Jos[eph]. F. said his understanding is that the only way one's priesthood can be taken from him is by
excommunication from the Church. Parley P. Pratt held that in trying an elder in the Sandwitch [sic] islands who was charged with attempted rape. Pres[iden]t Geo[ge] Q. Cannon was present there and entertained a different view & contended later for same. Pres[iden]t. Smith's understanding is that a man may be silenced and prohibited from the exercise of his Priesthood and such is the Case of Moses Thatcher. Geo[rge] Albert Smith testified that that is the idea Moses has as he Geo[rge]. A[lbert]. had heard Moses express himself.
From the above I deduce the fol[lowing]--A man can be deprived of his priesthood only by excommunication from the Church.
[George F. Richards, Diary]