This revelation addressed the need for changes in the presiding leadership of the church. Apostles Holmes, Ettinger, and Higdon were released from the Council of Twelve. Roy A. Cheville was succeeded by Reed M. Holmes as Presiding Patriarch.
Vacancies were filled by William T. Higdon, serving as President of Graceland College at the time of his call, Lloyd B. Hurshman and Paul W. Booth, both of whom had served in field assignments and in church-wide functions as Director of Administrative Services and Director of Program Planning.
The church was admonished to explore differences over procedure and program materials in the spirit of reconciliation.
The Conference approved the revelation on April 3, 1974, after supporting action was reported by quorums, councils, and orders.
To the Councils and Quorums and Orders of the Church and to the World Conference:
After serious and prayerful consideration and in the spirit of inspiration and wisdom I bring the following word regarding changes in the general leadership of the church as well as counsel and advice to the membership as a whole.
1a. Roy A. Cheville, who has served as Presiding Patriarch for the past sixteen years, is relieved of this responsibility and should be given the honor of superannuation and the title of Presiding Patriarch Emeritus to the church.
1b. Thus in retirement he can make his contribution but in a less demanding way and without the stress of presiding authority in the order or assignment to the field.
2. Reed M. Holmes, having served acceptably as an apostle—an especial witness—for many years, is called and, if willing, will become the Presiding Patriarch, assuming the duties and responsibilities of that office as soon as arrangement for his ordination can be made and consummated.
3a. Cecil R. Ettinger, having prepared himself educationally and spiritually, has served as an apostle and has contributed much to the progress of the church in this capacity.
3b. His apostolic witness is to be extended as a high priest in the Order of Melchisedec with specific responsibilities assigned and adjusted from time to time by the presidency of the high priesthood.
4a. Earl T. Higdon responded to the call to become an apostle and serve with his brethren in the Council of Twelve knowing that his contribution in that capacity would be limited in time.
4b. The time has come for him to be relieved of the arduous tasks imposed on him by the demands of travel and administrative detail. He will be given the honor of retirement in due time without further specific assignment.
To fill the vacancies thus created I am—under what I interpret as the direction of the Holy Spirit—calling upon the following brethren to accept positions in the Council of Twelve as apostles and especial witnesses of their Lord Jesus Christ, under whose leadership and guidance we all have our commission and derive our authority.
5a. Elder William T. Higdon has the demonstrated capacity to be an especial witness to peoples throughout the world regardless of color, race, or creed. For this and other significant reasons he is called to become an apostle and is to be ordained and set apart to that office.
5b. The call was made known at a previous time but, because of circumstances having such far-reaching importance to the youth of the church in his capacity as president of Graceland College, it was withheld from consideration. His ordination is now timely and should be consummated and arrangements made to relieve him of his duties at the college as expeditiously as possible.
6. Elder Lloyd B. Hurshman is called to be an apostle. He will extend his outreach to a wider circle of influence as he makes his contribution, continuing in various ways now assigned to him but with the added authority bestowed upon him by ordination and setting apart as an apostle in these latter days.
7. Elder Paul W. Booth has demonstrated his ability to serve the church in various capacities. He is now called to be an apostle. He will be ordained and set apart to that office that he may make his contribution in concert with his brethren as a member of the Council of Twelve.
I have strong feelings regarding the future of the work which according to the word of God “has been entrusted to all.” Those feelings can be articulated under the influence of my heavenly Father as direction to the church.
8a. Do not let pride of personal accomplishment turn you away from my purposes in you as brothers and sisters in Christ and objects of my creation. You are called apart to do the will of your heavenly Father in whose name you serve.
8b. Seek to be reconciled one with another. Let not your differences over procedures and program materials separate you and thus vitiate my influence for good in the world which is torn asunder by the devastating powers of evil.
9. You who are my disciples must be found continuing in the forefront of those organizations and movements which are recognizing the worth of persons and are committed to bringing the ministry of my Son to bear on their lives.
10. Working together to this end will promote unity, resolve conflicts, relieve tensions between individuals, and heal the wounds which have been sapping the strength of the church, spiritually and materially. This you must do in the spirit of love and compassion as revealed in my Son during his journey in your midst.
In the spirit of humility but with the authority of my office and the confirmation of the power of God motivating my action I submit this document to the church through its councils, quorums, orders, and delegates for consideration and final action.
Your servant in Christ,
W. Wallace Smith
President of the Church
April 1, 1974