The Iron Rod Podcast
The Iron Rod Podcast
Iron Rod 016 - The Succession Crisis (Part 1)

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 20:67
D&C 107:22, 64-66, 91
D&C 84:63
D&C 43:1-6
D&C 35:17-18
D&C 90:3-6
D&C 124:94-95
D&C 112:16-18
D&C 102:9-11
Isaiah 30:9-11

“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.”

Richard S Van Wagoner, The Making of a Mormon Myth: The 1844 Transfiguration of Brigham Young,

Reid L. Harper, The Mantle of Joseph: Creation of a Mormon Miracle

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7 comments on “Iron Rod 016 – The Succession Crisis (Part 1)

  1. Thanks for the great work guys! It’s always nice to have a refresher on church history. It’s also amazing to see how the records are coming forth in the last days, so that we can see how our history has been falsified, and better understand what really happened during Joseph’s first ministry. I also love how you quoted sections 102 and 43 where they literally tell us how prophets will be appointed by God, and yet we don’t follow, and never have followed what the Lord gave us in the scriptures. Apparently William Marks was the only one who had bothered to read the revelations. It’s quite amazing that we as latter day Israel chose a king rather than a prophet just like our ancient ancestors rejected Samuel and chose Saul. We really never learn, despite the fact that we all have access to God’s word. May we choose to follow the true prophet when he returns, third time’s the charm hopefully. Also, I was reading 3 Nephi recently and I found it interesting that Christ gives the words of Malachi to the Nephites when he comes, and verse 4 of chapter 25 (Malachi 3:4) really stood out to me because it says that we must, “Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgements.” First, I thought to myself that’s interesting since the Law of Moses had just been fulfilled, and Christ specifically told the Nephites they didn’t need to follow it anymore, but then he gives them the words of Malachi telling them to remember the Law. So, it made me think that there is much more symbolism in the statutes and judgements for our day that we need to look into like the atonement statute and apparently other things as well.

  2. Mr. Finch Mar 30, 2019

    Thank you for being great teachers.

  3. One Who Is Thirsting Mar 30, 2019

    Brigham knew EXACTLY what he was doing.

    The power moves he maneuvered were brilliant.

    Check out this podcast about it:

    It’s about 4 hours of content.

    If you prefer to read the transcript with all the references Rock Waterman did an excellent job detailing that out on his blog.

  4. Can you list the scriptures cited for these 2 Podcasts? They are very helpful. Also would you be able to list the other references you cite in journals, church history, ensign, and others? Thanks for what you guys do.

    • I grabbed the references I had it my notes and put them in the description for part 1.

  5. Susan Aug 30, 2021

    What happened to episodes 7-15? Will they be replaced? Are there any other gaps? Thanks!

    • We’ve been re-recording some of the first episodes. We’ve been distracted the last couple months, but will soon get back to recording those earlier episodes to fill in the gaps.