Excerpt from The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, Vol. 65: September 3, 1903
Now, in relation to the government of our Church; a word or two in order that we may understand it. In the first place, I lay down the principle, which I think is an infallible one - one that we must be governed by, - that is, that the priesthood after the order of the Son of God is the ruling, presiding, authority in the Church. It is divided into its various parts - the Melchizedek and the Aaronic - and all the quorums or councils are organized in the Church, each with special duties and special callings not clashing with each other, but all harmonious and united. In other words, there is no government in the Church of Jesus Christ separate and apart, above, or outside of, the holy priesthood or its authority. We have our Relief Societies, Mutual Improve ment associations, Primary associations, and Sunday schools, and we may organize, if we choose, associations for self-protection, and self-help among ourselves, not subject to our enemies, but for our good and the good of our people, but these organizations are not quorums or councils of the priesthood, but are auxiliary to, and under it; organized by virtue of the holy priesthood. They are not outside of, nor above it, nor beyond its reach. They acknowledge the principle of the holy priesthood. Wherever they are they always exist with the view of accomplishing some good; some soul's salvation temporal or spiritual.
When we have a Relief Society, it is thus organized. It has its president and other officers, for the complete and perfect accomplishment of the purposes of its organization. When it meets, it proceeds as an independent organization, always mindful of the fact that it is such, by virtue of the authority of the holy priesthood which God has instituted. If the president of the stake comes into a meeting of the Relief Society, the sisters, through their president, would at once pay deference to him; would consult and advise with him, and receive directions from the presiding head. That head is the Bishop, in the ward, the president, in the stake, the presidency of the Church, in all the Church. The Young Ladies' and Young Men's associations, the Primary associations, and the Sunday schools are the same. All are under the same head, and the same rules apply to each.
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