Section 147: Legislative Matters and Basic Principles


Previous Editions

Earliest Source

1970 D&C 147

1990 D&C


Date: March 11th, 1964




With the needs of the church constantly before me I have made these matters the burden of my prayers. In seeking the will of my heavenly Father as a guide to the church I was awakened early on the morning of March 11 and was directed by the Spirit to write the following as instruction to you who are assembled in Conference and to the church at large.

To the Councils, Quorums, and Orders of the Church and to the General Conference:


My servant, Charles R. Hield, who has served in the Council of Twelve with devotion and in the spirit of sacrifice, is relieved of his duties as a member of the quorum, but his apostolic witness is to be extended to the church through continued research and translation. He will also continue to make his ministry felt among my people by bearing his testimony of the restored gospel through preaching and writing ministries as a high priest in my service.


My servant, Roscoe E. Davey, has served faithfully in the councils of the church for many years. His contribution made in these positions is acceptable and will be rewarded accordingly. He has been blessed by the presence of my spirit in ways and at times of great need known to him and will continue, if faithful, to receive direction as he continues his witnessing ministry in the Order of Evangelists to which office he is now called and should be ordained.


Arthur A. Oakman has magnified the gift of communicating the beauties of the gospel through the spoken word as he has served in the councils of my church. In order that he may have more freedom to advance my work through his special talents in ministry he is relieved of his duties as a member of the leading missionary quorum and should be give an assignment within the patriarchal order, as an evangelist, to which order he is called, to carry on revival witnessing in key centers of church establishment and expansion.


To fill two of the vacancies thus created my servants Russell F. Ralston and William E. Timms are called from their present positions to become apostles in the Council of Twelve of my church. They should be ordained and take their place with the others of the council as soon as practicable.


A. Stewardship is the response of my people to the ministry of my Son and is required alike of all those who seek to build the kingdom. The spiritual authorities are urged to so teach with renewed vigor in recognition of the great need, and let nothing separate them from those who have more specific responsibilities in the temporal affairs of the church.

B. In this regard you are reminded of the instructions given to you through one of my servants at an earlier time. Repression of unnecessary wants is in harmony with the law of stewardship and becomes my people.


A. As your leader I have sought diligently for light on the question of representation in the General Conferences of the church. As a result of the prompting of the Spirit I bring the following as guidance to the church in this important matter:

B. Nothing which has been given hitherto by way of instruction should be so interpreted as to restrict the right of the General Conference to determine its own membership or to exercise its best judgment on legislative matters. It is required only that the body shall act according to the basic principles already made known: leadership by the general presiding authorities of the church, and common consent according to covenants of the church and the prayer of faith.


I am further permitted to say by the Spirit: Instruction which has been given in former years is applicable in principle to the needs of today and should be so regarded by those who are seeking ways to accomplish the will of their heavenly Father. But the demands of a growing church require that these principles shall be evaluated and subjected to further interpretation. This requisite has always been present. In meeting it under the guidance of my spirit, my servants have learned the intent of these principles more truly.

W. Wallace Smith
President of the Church
Presented this sixth day of April in the year of our Lord, 1964.