- Verily I say unto you, says the Lord of Hosts, there must needs be presiding elders to preside over them who are of the office of an elder, and also priests over them who are of the office of a priest, and also teachers over them who are of the office of a teacher in like manner, and also the deacons, wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder severally, as they are appointed, according to the church Articles and Covenants. Then comes the high priesthood, which is the greatest of all.
- Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the high priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called president of the high priesthood of the church, or in other words, the presiding high priest over the high priesthood of the church. From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church by the laying on of the hands.
- Wherefore, the office of a bishop is not equal unto it, for the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal things. Nevertheless, a bishop must be chosen from the high priesthood that he may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things, having a knowledge of them by the spirit of truth, and also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors, upon testimony as it shall be laid before them according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, until the borders are enlarged and it becomes necessary to have other bishops or judges. And inasmuch as there are other bishops appointed, they shall act in the same office.
- And again, verily I say unto you, the most important business of the church and the most difficult cases of the church, inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the judge, it shall be handed over and carried up unto the court of the church before the president of the high priesthood. And the president of the court of the high priesthood shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors, and thus the president of the high priesthood and his counselors shall have power to decide upon testimony, according to the laws of the church. And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord, for this is the highest court of the church of God and a final decision upon controversies.
- All persons belonging to the church are not exempt from this court of the church. And inasmuch as the president of the high priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common court of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the high priesthood, and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus, none shall be exempt from the justice of the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before me, according to truth and righteousness. Amen.
- A few more words in addition to the laws of the church: And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a deacon is to preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them and to teach them their duty, edifying one another as it is given according to the covenants.
- And also, the duty of the president over the office of the teachers is to preside over twenty-four of the teachers and to sit in council with them, teaching them the duties of their office as given in the covenants.
- Also, the duty of the president over the priesthood is to preside over forty-eight priests and to sit in council with them, and to teach them the duties of their office as given in the covenants.
- And again, the duty of the president over the office of the elders is to preside over ninety-six elders and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants.
- And again, the duty of the president of the office of the high priesthood is to preside over the whole church and to be like unto Moses.
- Behold, here is wisdom — yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.
- Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so, amen.
A revelation given at Hiram, Ohio, 11 November 1831, through Joseph Smith Jr. to the church of Christ in the Land of Zion, in addition to the church laws respecting church business.