History of the Organization of the Seventies.

Names of the First and Second Quorums.

Items in Relation to the First Presidency of the Seventies.

Also, a Brief Glance at Enoch and His City.

Embellished with a Likeness of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and a View of the Kirtland Temple.

By Joseph Young, Sen.

Salt Lake City, Utah.

Printed at the Deseret News Steam Printing Establishment.


Joseph Smith

[p. i]


We dedicate this little work to the large body, now composing the seventy Elders of the Latter-Day Saints’ Church; and to all who ever have been members of their Quorums; with the hope that it may prove of interest to them and all others who may peruse it. It is taken part from manuscript and a portion from memory, though not so discriminately detailed as to the individuals named in these pages, as might be desirable. We trust, however, that it will have the merit of saving from oblivion, and of recalling some of the important events of our history.

Joseph Young, Sen.

Salt Lake City, November 1st, 1878.


A Scrap of History.

[Note: A version of the “scrap” printed on a broadside includes the byline “From Memory by Joseph Young Sr.”]

On the 8th day of February, in the year of our Lord 1835, the prophet Joseph Smith called Brigham and Joseph Young into the chamber of his residence, in Kirtland, Ohio; it being the Sabbath day. After they were seated and he had made some preliminaries, he proceeded to relate a vision to these two brethren, of the state and condition of those men who died in Zion’s camp, Missouri. He said, “Brethren, I have seen those men who died of the cholera in our camp; and the Lord knows, if I get a mansion as bright as theirs, I ask no more.” At this relation he wept, and for some time could not speak. When he had relieved himself of his feelings, in describing the vision, he resumed the conversation, and addressed himself to Brother Brigham Young. Said he to him, “I wish you to notify all the brethren living in the branches, within a reasonable distance from this place, to meet at a General Conference on Saturday next. I shall then and there appoint twelve special witnesses, to open the door of the gospel to foreign nations, and you,” said he (speaking to Brother Brigham), “will be one of them.”

He then proceeded to enlarge upon the duties of their calling. The interest that was taken on the occasion of this announcement, produced in the minds of the two Elders present a great sensation and many reflections; having previously notified Brother Brigham Young that he was to be one of them, but said nothing to Joseph, until he had exhausted much of his feelings in regard to the Twelve, which took up some little time.

He then turned to Elder Joseph Young with quite an [p.2] earnestness as though the vision of his mind was extended still further, and addressing him, said: “Brother Joseph, the Lord has made you President of the Seventies.”

They had heard of Moses and seventy Elders of Israel, and of Jesus appointing other Seventies, but had never heard of Twelve Apostles and of Seventies being called in this Church before. It was a strange saying, “The Lord has made you President of the Seventies,” as though it had already taken place, and it caused these brethren to marvel.

The Prophet did not say that any others would be called to be the bearers of this message abroad; but the inference might be clearly drawn, that this was his meaning, from the language he used at the time.

Agreeable to his request to Elder Brigham Young, the branches were all notified, and a meeting of the brethren in General Conference was held in Kirtland, in the new school house under the printing office, on the following Saturday, February 14th, when the Twelve were appointed and ordained, and the Conference adjourned for two weeks.

Pursuant to this adjournment, the Conference convened on Saturday, the 28th of that month, when the first quorum of Seventies was appointed and ordained, under the hands of the Prophet, his Counselors, and others.

Adjourned meetings were held from time to time, and the second quorum of Seventies were appointed and ordained.


Names of the Presidents and Members of the First and Second Quorums of Seventies, ordained under the hands of the Prophet Joseph Smith, with his two Counselors, Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery, on February 28th, 1835, in the town of Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio.

First Quorum,


Hazen Aldrich,*
Joseph Young,
Levi W. Hancock,
Leonard Rich,*
Zebedee Coltrin,
Lyman R. Sherman,*
Sylvester Smith.


Elias Hutchings,*
Cyrus Smalling,
Levi Gifford,*
Stephen Winchester,*
Roger Orton,*
Peter Buchannan,
John D. Parker,
David Elliott,*
Samuel Brown,
Salmon Warner,*
Jacob Chapman,
Charles Kelley,
Edmund Fisher,
Warren Parrish,
Joseph Hancock,*
Alden Burdick,*
Hiram Winters,
Hiram Blackman,
William D. Pratt,*
Zera S. Cole,
Jesse Huntsman,
Solomon Angel,
Henry Herriman,
Israel Barlow,
Jenkins Salisbury,
Nelson Higgins,
Harry Brown,
Jezaniah B. Smith,
Lorenzo Booth,
Alexander Badlam,
Zerubbabel Snow,
Harpin Riggs,*
Edson Barney,
Joseph B. Noble,
Henry Benner,
David Evans,
Nathan B. Baldwin,
Burr Riggs,*
Lewis Robbins,*
Alex. Whitesides,
George W. Brooks,
Michael Griffith,
Royal Barney,
Libbeus T. Coons,
Willard Snow,*
Jesse D. Harmon,
Heman T. Hyde,*
Lorenzo D. Barnes,*
Hiram Stratton,
Moses Martin,
Lyman Smith,
Harvey Stanley,
Almon W. Babbitt,*
William F. Cahoon,
Darwin Richardson,*
Milo Andrus,
True Glidden,
Henry Shibley,
Harrison Burgess,
Jedediah M. Grant,*
Daniel Stephens,
Amasa M. Lyman,*
George A. Smith.*

Second Quorum.

Elijah Fordham,
Hyrum Dayton,
Joel H. Johnson,
Daniel Wood,
Reuben McBride,
Jonathan Holmes,
Lorenzo D. Young,
Wilford Woodruff,
Jonathan Crosby,
Truman O. Angel,
Chauncy G. Webb,
Solon Foster,*
Erastus Snow,
Nathan Tanner,
John Gould,
Stephen Starks,
Samuel Phelps,
Joel McWithy,*
Selah J. Griffin,
Shadrach Roundy,*
Zera Pulsipher,*
King Follett,*
Joseph Rose,
Robert Culbertson,
John Young,*
James Foster,*
Salmon Gee,
Nathaniel Millikin,
Gad Yale,*
Josiah Butterfield,*
Elias Benner,
Ariel Stevens,
Robert Rathburn,
Giles Cook,
John E. Page,
William Tenney,*
Edmund Marvin,*
Marvel C. Davis,
Almon Sherman,*
Isaac H. Bishop,*
Elijah Reed,*
Rufus Fisher,
Dexter Stillman,*
Thomas Gates,*
Uriah B. Powell,
Amasa Bonney,*
Ebenezer Page,
Loren Babbitt,
Levi Woodruff,
William Carpenter,
Francis G. Bishop,*
William Gould,
Sherman A. Gilbert*
William Redfield,
John Herritt,*
Jonathan Hampton,*
William Perry,
Milton Holmes,
James Daley,*
Arvin A. Avery,
Charles Thompson,
Joshua Grant,*
Andrew J. Squires,
Levi S. Nickerson,*
Edmund Durphy, jr
Henry Wilcox,*
Edmund M. Webb,*
William Miller,*
Stephen Post,
William Bosley.*

The * at the end signifies deceased.


Historical Items

Pertaining to the organization of the Seventies, and their Council in particular.

In February, 1835, the First Quorum of Seventies was organized by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio. The names of the Presidents were as follows—

Hazen Aldrich, Joseph Young, Levi W. Hancock, Leonard Rich, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman Sherman, and Sylvester Smith.

Six of these were ordained Presidents at the time of the organization of the quorum. Levi W. Hancock being absent, his place was held vacant until his return.

It is here proper to remark, that it is natural in human beings, when assuming new fields of labor for the development of their talents and abilities, that they seek to ascertain the bounds of their prerogative. This was very forcibly illustrated by the different organizations of the priesthood at that time. Some of the High Priests and a number of the Seventies introduced a question, as to which is the greatest among [p.5] them, the Seventies or the High Priests. Their discussions continued to increase, with so much warmth that it amounted to jealousy.

At length it attracted the notice of the Prophet. Both parties asserted their claims of pre-eminence to his father, who took so much interest in the question that he referred it to his son Joseph to decide, and the Prophet called a council for that purpose.

The council was called together in the month of November, 1835. After it was assembled he asked the newly organized quorum if any of their number had been ordained to the High Priest’s office, previous to their ordination as Seventies. It was not ascertained how many from the Seventies’ quorums had previously been ordained High Priests; five out of the seven Presidents however, acknowledged that they were High Priests before they were ordained Seventies. These were Hazen Aldrich, Leonard Rich, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman Sherman and Sylvester Smith. Accordingly, the Prophet invited them to take their places in the High Priests’ quorum again, which was complied with, thus leaving Joseph Young and Levi W. Hancock in the council. He thought that this was the best way to settle the difficulty and remove all feelings, without deciding the question as to which was the greatest.

A few weeks after this a new second selection was to be made; the Prophet met Elder Joseph Young, and said: “Bro. Joseph, we have taken five of your council away, but will supply their places with others.” And he appointed the following brethren, viz., Elders James Foster, Josiah Butterfield, John Gould, John Gaylord, Daniel S. Miles and Salmon Gee.

Shortly after this the Prophet met Joseph Young again, and told him six brethren, instead of five, had been chosen to fill the vacancy in the council of the Seventies, at the same time requesting him to see Bro. John Gould, and signify to him the desire of the Prophet to have him placed in the High Priests’ Quorum. Bro. Gould complied with the wishes of the Prophet, and he was ordained a High Priest. When [p.6] Bro. Levi W. Hancock returned, he was ordained a First President of the Seventies, and took the position assigned him in the council in the fall of 1835.

This council stood intact until the month of May, 1838. The Prophet had departed from Kirtland and had journeyed as far as the State of Missouri, the place of his destination, the previous year. The brethren in Kirtland received a message from him, giving all the councils of the priesthood, remaining in that place, instructions to have them filled up. At this time the council of the Seventies convened for this purpose. Elders Salmon Gee and John Gaylord were absent from the council, but sent word that they wished to be excused from any further services in the council. Consequently, pursuant to their request, they were excused and were dropped by the council, and Zera Pulsipher and Henry Herriman were chosen in their places, and were ordained First Presidents and members thereof.

This organization took the lead in the “Kirtland Camp,” in their journey to Missouri, where they remained until the winter of 1838 and 1839, at which time they were driven with the Saints from the State, by mob violence, and the destruction of life and the loss of much of their property. The Church located in Hancock Co., Illinois, in 1839, where they built the city of Nauvoo. At this place a Conference of the Church was held, in the Spring of 1840.

During this period the Prophet called together the council of the Seventies, and gave them instructions, for the purpose of organizing new quorums. Some of its members were not present at the council. Among those absent was James Foster. It appears that he had settled in Jacksonville, Morgan Co., in the State of Illinois, and had no direct communication with his brethren. It was reported, however, that he had lost his faith; that he took sick and died. He was born April 1st, 1775, and died December 21st, 1840, in the 66th year of his age, and was buried in Morgan Co., Illinois, near the Illinois River.

Elder Albert P. Rockwood succeeded Bro. Foster in the [p.7] Presidency of the Seventies, and was ordained to that office during the April Conference, in 1845.

Elder Daniel S. Miles was in the council of the Seventies, as one of the First Presidents, five or six years. He was a man of good faith; constant in his attendance at the meetings of the council, until the time of his death, which occurred at quite an advanced stage of his life. He died in Hancock Co., Illinois.

The vacancy occasioned by his death was filled by Elder Benjamin L. Clapp.

Elder Josiah Butterfield retained his standing as one of the First Presidents of the council until a misunderstanding arose between himself and the Prophet. There being no definite terms of reconciliation between them, he lost his confidence, in consequence of which he absented himself from the meetings of the council, and was dropped, under the presumption that he would not retain his standing therein. He left Nauvoo, removed to California, and died in Monterey Co., in that State, in the month of April, 1871.

The vacancy occasioned thereby was filled by Elder Jedediah M. Grant, who was subsequently ordained a First President of the Seventies, in Salt Lake City.

In the year 1846 the Church was again driven from Illinois. Being disinherited of their homes, the Saints fled to the valleys of the Rocky Mountains, which flight was accomplished in the year 1847; and in a few years those who lingered succeeded in reaching the body of the Church.

Upon the demise of President Willard Richards, a vacancy occurred in the First Presidency of the Church. Elder Jedediah M. Grant was selected by President Brigham Young, and ordained to fill the office, as his Second Counselor, leaving also a vacancy in the council of the Seventies.

Elder Horace S. Eldredge succeeded Jedediah M. Grant, and was ordained a First President in the council of the Seventies in the year 1855.

Elder Benjamin L. Clapp, after living some years in Salt Lake City, removed his family to Ephraim, Sanpete County. [p.8] He had some difficulty with Bishop Warren S. Snow of that place, who preferred a charge against him before his brethren of the council of Seventies. An investigation of his case was had before that body, and by instructions of President Brigham Young he was dropped from his position in the council. He removed to California, and settled in that State until his death. He died with a settled conviction of the truth of the latter-day work.

Elder Jacob Gates filled the vacancy occasioned by the removal of Elder Clapp, and was ordained a First President in the council of the Seventies during the Fall Conference of 1862.

Elder Zera Pulsipher transcended the bounds of his priesthood in the ordinance of sealing, for which he was cited to appear before the First Presidency of the Church, and was dropped, by the instructions of President Brigham Young. He was subsequently ordained a Patriarch.

Zera Pulsipher was born June 24th, 1789, in Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont; he moved to Kirtland in 1835, and was ordained a First President of the Seventies in the latter part of January, 1838; he moved with the Saints to Missouri, and from thence to Nauvoo, and came with the Church to the valleys of the mountains, and died in full faith of the Gospel, at Hebron, in Southern Utah, January 1st, 1872, aged 82 years, 6 months, and 8 days.

Elder John Van Cott was called to fill the vacancy occasioned by the removal of Elder Zera Pulsipher and was ordained one of the First Presidents of the Seventies.

The foregoing is a short history of the First Presidents of the Seventies, from the first organization until the present time. The council now stands as follows:

Joseph Young, sen., Levi W. Hancock, Henry Herriman, Albert P. Rockwood, Horace S. Eldredge, Jacob Gates, John Van Cott.

Kirtland Temple

Kirtland Temple


Enoch and His City

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, stands among the greatest spirits of antiquity, and foremost among those whom the Lord declared should be his rulers. One of the mightiest for the work he was destined to perform. Predisposed from his infancy to accept of everything that was revealed from God; and it being instinctively incorporated in his very nature to be eligible to every divine manifestation, he finally grew to be a God in humanity, and he received this testimony from his heavenly Father that he pleased Him.

We read, from modern revelations given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, that Enoch was born in the 622d year of the world; was 25 years old when ordained under the hands of Adam, and was blessed (by God) at the age of 65. He walked with him 365 years, making him 430 years old when he and his city were translated. He obtained much favor with the Lord, that at his voice the mountains shook from their foundations, the rivers were turned out of their courses, and the lands came up out of the depths of the sea, upon which his enemies took refuge through fear.

The City of Enoch implies a problem, which is difficult of solution. It stands alone, without precedent or succession to the present period. The author is not advised that there is any published history, or any manuscript brought forth, which has survived the antediluvian dispensation, leaving any details of such extraordinary events as the gathering together of a righteous people called Zion, and of the building of so large and beautiful a city. Indeed, such an one as the Lord called “His abode for ever.” The knowledge of such events must therefore have been the productions of inspired men.


From these revelations it may be inferred that the disciples of Enoch were gathered together. At his suggestion they built a city, on the site which he had selected. He had seen the heavens opened; had gazed upon cities that were celestial; had been familiar with the gorgeousness of the heavenly mansions, and the splendor of their architecture. Acquiring thereby a superior intelligence and that spirit of refinement and taste, which enabled him to instruct his brethren to build after the pattern of the heavenly.

The gathering of the people and the building of the city increased and continued for a great length of time, until it was consummated. The form, the order and the architecture of the buildings of the City of Enoch, presented to the eye a glory and splendor surpassing our sublimest conceptions of art. The gardens, orchards and vineyards; the lawns, shades and floral fields, partaking of the best selections of fruits, flowers and evergreens that could be collected, from far and near. Such had been the perfection attained by the favored persons who had listened to the voice and preaching of Enoch, and who comprised the inhabitants of his city.

Since the period of the first acquaintance of the author with Joseph Smith, the Prophet, he occasionally referred particularly to this subject, which transpired in the author’s hearing. Once in Kirtland, and once in Nauvoo. At the former place, in a meeting held in the year 1832, on the occasion of Elder Brigham Young speaking in tongues, the Prophet being present; it was the first time that the exercise of this gift had come under his notice. The congregation was at the time in a kneeling posture. As soon as Brother Brigham had concluded his prayer, the Prophet rose to his feet and invited them to rise and be seated. Joseph then addressed them, and said: “Brethren, this tongue that we have heard is the gift of God, for He has made it known unto me, and I shall never oppose anything that comes from Him. I feel the spirit that Brother Brigham has manifested in this gift of tongues, and I wish to speak myself in the tongue that it will please the Lord to give me.” He accordingly spoke in what may be called an open [p.11] and fluent language; more so than was commonly heard. He occupied some minutes in the exercise of the gift. After he had concluded he said, “Brethren, this is the language of our Father Adam while he dwelt in Eden; and the time will again come, that when the Lord brings again Zion, the Zion of Enoch, this people will then all speak the language which I have just spoken.”

Ten years subsequently, at Nauvoo, while naming historical incidents of antiquity, he alluded to the Church, or Zion of Enoch, and discoursed some time upon the nature of its organization, order and progress. He spoke with a view of correcting the teachings of some of the elders who had maintained the doctrine that the people of that church had passed through the ordeals necessary to consummate the work of complete immortality, and that they would be prepared to enter into the presence of the Father and the Son. This idea the Prophet took up, and revealed it in a different light—in what may be styled a divine philosophy. He declared of the Church of Enoch “that they did not die; that they had not then gone through their last changes and greatest refinement; and that they had, nevertheless, triumphed over death. That the people, and the city, and the foundations of the earth on which it stood, had partaken of so much of the immortal elements, bestowed upon them by God through the teachings of Enoch, that it became philosophically impossible for them to remain any longer upon the earth; consequently, Enoch and his people, with the city which they occupied, and the foundations on which it stood, with a large piece of earth immediately connected with the foundations and the city, had assumed an aerial position within the limits of our solar system; and this in consequence of their faith.”

He further said, “that inasmuch as they did not pass through all the refinement which was necessary, as the Lord lives, they would return to the earth, when they and the city would pass through the same fiery ordeals that yet await the earth; when it shall be transformed into a sea of glass, mingled with [p.12] fire, and their preparations for a celestial abode of the glorified Saints shall be perfected.*

The reader will naturally ask, What are the keys of the commencement of this city of Zion? The Scriptures say, in Paul’s address to the Saints, “Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost?” and modern revelation says, “This is Zion—the pure in heart.” Who can doubt, then, that Zion is within us; a temple adorned with all the attributes of our Father in heaven. In that view of it, the recipient thereof beholds within himself the work of his Father, and hears the voice of His Spirit; obeys all of His commandments, spiritual and temporal, without the least hesitation or mental reservation. When this spirit is fully established in the hearts of all the Saints, then there will be no idol in the way of their progress. One word, or command, is just as easy for them to hearken to and obey as another; and they realize the saying, “God is love; he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” Then they have a Zion first within their hearts; a germ of an abiding inheritance upon the new earth.

The Saints are looking for a modern Zion which shall be after the identical order of the ancient one; and for a time when the Apostles, with their President at their head, will rise up and thunder so loud, that if they do not shake the mountains from their foundations, they will have the effect of shaking pride and covetousness out of the hearts of the Saints, who will be filled with righteousness—Their only motive, the building up of Zion; making their faith and their works, their means and substance to bow to that end, and that only; and so continuing their labors in this good work, answering to the Zion within them, and erecting and adorning temples [p.13] and mansions; building cities, and spreading abroad, until they shall become a model of the Zion of old, built by Enoch.

Whether these designs of the Saints will be consummated in a very short period of time, or at a “set time” still more remote, it will and must be the fruits of their faith in the Lord God, or they will not be acknowledged as His people, according to the revelations which He has given concerning Zion. Taking this view of the subject, the Seventies and the Elders of Israel will be endowed with the power of their calling, in preaching the Gospel and gathering the people from the uttermost parts of the earth. Their words will be as the words of God to the people, in strengthening their hands and cheering their hearts to persevere, until Zion is built up and perfected on the earth, and the Lord shall appear in his glory and acknowledge it His abode, as He did the Zion of old.


* Joseph Smith said, on another occasion, in the hearing of some of the saints still surviving, that the City of Enoch would again take its place in the identical spot from which it had been detached, now forming that chasm of the earth, filled with water, called the Gulf of Mexico.



The Following Sentiment

Was delivered by the Prophet Joseph Smith in an address to the Elders, assembled in Kirtland, soon after the Seventies were organized.

He said, “Brethren, some of you are angry with me, because you did not fight in Missouri; but let me tell you, God did not want you to fight. He could not organize his kingdom with twelve men to open the gospel door to the nations of the earth, and with seventy men under their direction to follow in their tracks, unless he took them from a body of men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice as did Abraham.

“Now, the Lord has got his Twelve and his Seventy, and there will be other quorums of Seventies called, who will make the sacrifice, and those who have not made their sacrifices and their offerings now, will make them hereafter.”


Vocal Music

Man of himself is an instrument of music; and when the chords of which he is composed are touched, and salute the ear, the sounds appeal to his spirit and the sentiment to his understanding. If the strains are harmonious, he endorses and enjoys them with supreme delight; whether the tones are [p.15] from a human voice or from an instrument, they arrest his attention and absorb his whole being.

This subject came under the especial notice of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, who organized the first choir in the church, and who was a constant attendant at their singing schools. He recommended the Saints to cultivate as high a state of perfection in their musical harmonies as the standard of the faith which he had brought was superior to sectarian religion. To obtain this, he gave them to understand that the refinement of singing would depend on the attainment of the Holy Spirit. That the combined talent of the sainted compositors, when united with those inspirations, will bring compositions of tunes, that have their origin with the sacred choirs that sing the new song, in the presence of God and the Lamb, who join their symphonies with the compositors, that dwell with the Saints on earth; and when the music performed here, is acceptable to their spirits, they then co-operate with the choirs, in our earthly courts.

“When this subject is studied and sought after by the singers of the Saints, with their whole hearts, their songs and anthems, and their minstrelsy, will soften into celestial melody, melt the hearts of the Saints and draw them together, as the magnet needle is drawn to the loadstone. When these graces and refinements and all the kindred attractions are obtained that characterized the ancient Zion of Enoch, then the Zion of the last days will become beautiful, she will be hailed by the Saints from the four winds, who ‘will gather to Zion with songs of everlasting joy.’ Then Zion will be free, and to God and the Lamb will be the glory, to Saints the boundless joy.”



By the Author.

Hark, ye heralds, hear the whisp’ring,
     Of the spirit from on high;
Gently hov’ring o’er your vision,
     Showing you the hour is nigh:

When the Gospel trump of gladness,
     You will publish far and near;
And the meek who sit in sadness,
     Wait to hail the Jubilee year.

To the islands and the nations,
     Lo, your wayward steps you’ll bend;
Publishing your proclamations,
     Sweeping earth from end to end.
          Chorus—When the Gospel trump, etc.

In the cities, on the mountains,
     Spirit waking trumpet blow;
Bathing in baptismal fountains,
     All that will to Zion go.
          Chorus—When the Gospel trump, etc.

Let not trifles e’er prevent you;
     Pride, nor lust, to dim your sight;
Leaning on His arm, who sent you,
     He will always guide you right.
          Chorus—When the Gospel trump, etc.

Flaming heralds of salvation;
     All who’re faithful shall return.
Glean the wheat from ev’ry nation,
     While the tares are left to burn.
          Chorus—When the Gospel trump, etc.