- When God delivers a dispensation of the gospel to the earth, the head of that dispensation is granted the right and privilege of organizing the dispensation. As the head organizes their dispensation according to righteous principles and receives God’s approval of the pattern, the dispensation is established and remains in effect until apostasy necessitates another restoration.
- Adam was given the first dispensation, and he patterned it after the order of Heaven.
- Abraham was also given a dispensation, which he patterned after Adam’s dispensation.
- Moses was given a dispensation, but established a different pattern for the children of Israel according to the hardness of their hearts, which dispensation John the Baptist brought to a lawful close.
- Jesus Christ began a new dispensation which he patterned in a manner to reflect Abraham’s family, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob mirrored in Peter, James, and John; the twelve tribes led by twelve sons of Jacob reflected by the twelve disciples; the seventy children of Jacob who entered Egypt at the time of father Joseph reflected by the seventy. And thus, Christ used his right to honor the family of Abraham.
- Joseph Smith Jr. was given a dispensation, which he organized to honor the pattern Christ established.
- Such is the right and privilege granted to those who stand at the head of dispensations of the gospel.
- Adam, when given dominion over the whole earth by the word of God, received the Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God.
- The order of this Priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:
- From Adam to Seth, who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam’s) death, and received the promise of God, by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth, because he (Seth) was a perfect man. And his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things and could be distinguished from him only by his age.
- Enos was ordained at the age of one hundred and thirty-four years and four months by the hand of Adam.
- God called upon Cainan in the wilderness in the fortieth year of his age, and he met Adam in journeying to the place Shedolamak. He was eighty-seven years old when he received his ordination.
- Mahalaleel was four hundred and ninety-six years and seven days old when he was ordained by the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
- Jared was two hundred years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, who also blessed him.
- Enoch was twenty-five years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam, and he was sixty-five and Adam blessed him. And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated.
- Methuselah was one hundred years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam.
- Lamech was thirty-two years old when he was ordained under the hand of Seth.
- Noah was ten years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah.
- Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah, who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessing. And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the Prince, the Archangel. And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him, I have set you to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of you, and you are a Prince over them for ever.
- And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation, and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being full of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation. These things were all written in The Book of Enoch, and are to be testified of in due time.
- Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall be in the end of the world also — or in other words, at the end of the world the final dispensation will restore again the pattern of the first, or Adam’s, dispensation.
An extract from Section 3 of the 1835 DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, received by Joseph Smith Jr. at Hyrum, Portage Co. 11 November 1831, with additional explanatory material written by Michael Hamill on 4 February 2017, in consultation with Denver Snuffer.
THE PROVERBS OF JOSEPH SMITH JR.