General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
LDS Videos
Critics' Questions
Submitted Questions
Scriptures/LDS Literature
LDS Temples
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Site Map

Suggest a Site
Now accepting banner ads!

IVAN - Who sets apart the newly ordained Prophet, for example, who ordain/set apart President Monson? How does that go about and where does it say?

JOEL - First of all the Quorum of Twelve and First Presidency are all ordained Apostles who share equally in authority in the priesthood. According to the Doctrine and Covenants:
"Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.
The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.
And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned." (D&C 107: 22-24)

Upon the death of a President, as was the case when President Hinckley died, the First Presidency is disolved; the counselors, if they are Apostles, return to their respective positions in the quorum of Twelve; and the Quorum of twelve now becomes the governing body of the Church with the president of the quorum acting as President of the Church until a new Presidency is called. Because all Apostles are "equal in authority", it gives them the right and responsibility to choose and ordain the the most senior Apostle (eg. Pres. Monson) and two counselors into the Presidency position. It also means that anyone of them could act as voice during the ordination. In reality all of the apostles perform the ordination. The one who acts as voice is not so important, but traditionally it has always been the next most senior apostle, keeping in line with the idea that the most senior person is the one who is in charge. In the case of President Monson that would have been Elder Boyd K. Packer, who is now President of the Quorum of Twelve.

IVAN - Who ordained/set apart The Prophet Joseph Smith? Where can I find something in writing that says who did it?

JOEL - At the organization of the Church on 6 April 1830 there were no priesthood quorums or First Presidency. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were designated by the Lord and sustained by the Church as Apostles of Jesus Christ and as “first elder” and “second elder,” respectively.

"Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church;
And to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand;" (D&C 20: 2-3)

At the 1830 organizational meeting a small congregation, made up of about fifty men and women, unanimously voted approval to organize a new church and elected Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith, and David Whitmer as trustees. They also unanimously elected Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery as teachers and first and second elders of the newly organized Church of Christ. Smith ordained Cowdery as an elder of the Church, and in turn Cowdery ordained Smith, even though they had previously ordained each other to the priesthood office of elder following the visit of Peter, James, and John. The second ordination signified that the two elders were empowered to act in the new Church.

Later on in March, 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation indicating that The First Presidency of the Church should be organized (D&C 81:1-2). On March 18, 1833 The First Presidency was formally organized although Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams had been acting in the capacity as counselors to Joseph Smith for several months. The formation of the First Presidency did not require Joseph Smith to be ordained again. The title "first elder" literally meant the "first President" of the Church.

Return to top
Return to Questions