After the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the church was uncertain who should take charge. Several candidates presented themselves as the right person, but the biggest challenge was between Sidney Rigdon, member of the First Presidency, and Brigham Young, member of the Quorum of the Twelve. On August 8, both men addressed the church and a vote was held, with Brigham the victor. Within a month, Sidney would be excommunicated by Brigham.
In this episode, we discuss the succession parameters given by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants and how there would have been no crisis if the scriptures and laws of the church had been followed. We also review the words of William Marks, president of the stake in Nauvoo, who defended Sidney during his excommunication trial.
D&C 107:22, 64-66, 91
“Now will it cause some of you to marvel that I was not ordained a High Priest before I was ordained an Apostle? Brother Kimball and myself were never ordained High Priests.” Journal of Discourses 1:136, April 6, 1853
“I do not profess to be a Prophet. I never called myself so.” Journal of Discourses, 5:177
Elder Sidney Rigdon has been ordained a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. HC 4:364
“Those present then laid their hands upon the head of Elder Rigdon, and confirmed upon him the blessings of wisdom and knowledge to preside over the Church in my absence” HC 2:50-51
“The Twelve are not subject to any other than the First Presidency, ie. Myself, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams, who are now my counselors” HC 2:374. Later these words were retroactively added: “and where I am not, there is no First Presidency over the Twelve.”