Orson Hyde's story of Joseph correcting Francis Bishop on the need for earthly vs. heavenly priesthood administrators.

Nov 20, 1846
Orson Hyde

Orson Hyde, “Although Dead, Yet He Speaketh: Joseph Smith’s testimony concerning men being ordained by angels, delivered in the school of the prophets, in Kirtland, Ohio, in the Winter of 1832–3,” Millennial Star 8, no. 9 (November 20, 1846): 138–139, accessed September 22, 2021

The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star
Joseph Smith, Jr., Orson Hyde, Francis G. Bishop
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

One Francis G. Bishop, an Elder in our church, was very anxious to be ordained a High Priest, but he was not considered a proper candidate to fill the office at that time; and his urgent solicitations to be promoted to the High Priesthood, confirmed the Saints in the opinion that he wanted a high station without meriting it, or without being called by the [p. 139] Spirit of God to that work. He was sent forth into the world to preach in capacity and calling of an Elder; but he was not long out before he declared himself to be a High Priest—and that he was ordained from heaven. This made much stir in the branches of the church and also in the world. But when the news of his proceedings reached the prophet Joseph, he called Bishop home forthwith. He was introduced into the school of the prophets, and there closely questioned upon his course. He said he was ordained by an angel to the High Priesthood; yet, on a more close examination, he crossed his own testimony and statements–became confused, and blushed with shame and guilt–he fell down upon his knees and confessed that he had lied in the name of the Lord–begged to be forgiven and cried aloud for mercy. We all forgave him, but we could not give him our confidence, for he had destroyed it. Elder Sidney Rigdon was present at that meeting, and though he has since fallen, still he knows that my statements are correct. Zebedee Coultrin was also present, and many others that I might name.

Brother Joseph observed to Bishop that he knew that he had lied before he confessed it; that his declarations were not only false in themselves, but they involved a false principle. An angel, said Joseph, may administer the word of the Lord unto men, and bring intelligence to them from heaven upon various subjects; but no true angel from God will ever come to ordain any man, because they have once been sent to establish the priesthood by ordaining me thereunto; and the priesthood being once established on earth, with power to ordain others, no heavenly messenger will ever come to interfere with that power by ordaining any more. He referred to the angel that came to Cornelius and told Cornelius to send for Peter; but if there had been no Peter with keys and power to administer then angel might have done it himself ; but as there was, the angel would not interfere. Saul was directed to go to Ananias for instruction to be administered to by him ; but if there had been no Ananias with power and authority on the earth to administer in the name of Christ, the Lord might have done it himself. You may therefore know, from this time forward, that if any man comes to you professing to be ordained by an angel, he is either a liar or has been imposed upon in consequence of transgression by an angel of the devil, for this priesthood shall never be taken away from this church.

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