AARONIC PRIESTHOOD ORDINATION
BY THE ANGEL JOHN THE BAPTIST
Received Friday, May 15, 1829
By Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery
Along the banks of the Susquehanna River
Near Harmony, Pennsylvania
We still continued the work of the translation, when in the ensuing month, we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the LORD respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates.
While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the LORD, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying:
Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of the Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter;
And he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptize me.
Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me, after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthood-- for so we were commanded.
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The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood he said would in due time be conferred on us.