John Taylor states that he thought Abel's ordination was a mistake.

Jun 4, 1879
Meeting Minutes / Notes
John Taylor
Scribed Summary
2nd Hand

Meeting Minutes, June 4, 1879, Box 10, Folder 3, Lester Bush Papers, University of Utah Marriott Special Collections

Lester E. Bush, Unknown
Elijah Able, Joseph Young, John Taylor, Zebedee Coltrin, Lester E. Bush, Joseph Smith, Jr., Albert Perry Rockwood
First Presidency

Brother Joseph F. Smith said he thought Brother Coltrin's memory was incorrect as to Brother Abel being dropped from the quorum of Seventies, to which he belonged, as Brother Abel has in his possession, (which also he had shown J.F.S.) his certificate as a Seventy, given to him in 1841, and signed by Elder Joseph Young, Sen., and A.P. Rockwood, and a still later one given in this city, Brother Abel's account of the persons who washed and anointed him in the Kirtland Temple also disagreed with the statement of Brother Coltrin, whilst he stated that Brother Coltrin ordained him a Seventy. Brother Abel also states that the Prophet Joseph told him he was entitled to the priesthood. (Brother Abel is understood to be an octoroon).

President Taylor said it seemed that in his case it was probably like many other things done in the early days of the Church, such as baptism for the dead; at first, persons were baptized without records being taken and as the Lord gave further light and revelation things were done with greater order; but what had been done through lack of knowledge, that was not altogether correct in detail, was allowed to remain. He thought that probably it was so in Brother Abel's case; that he, having been ordained before the word of the Lord was fully understood, it was allowed to remain.

BHR Staff Commentary

The original primary source records on this matter are closed to research. Historian Lester E. Bush had access to the records when they were still open to research, and so his summaries are the best data available today.

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