In early Church history, several men were designated by the title of Assistant President, or Associate President, but only Oliver Cowdery, and later Hyrum Smith, held the actual office which is the subject of the present study. That office is properly titled Associate President.
The office of Associate President fulfilled the requirements of the law of witnesses, and was a priesthood office. The Associate President assisted in bearing the keys of the last dispensation, and was acknowledged as the second ranking member of the First Presidency. The Associate President held the keys of the kingdom of God militant, and presided over the entire Church in the absence of the Prophet. It was the privilege and calling of the Associate President to act as a spokesman for the Prophet, in reflex of the same relationship that Aaron bore to Moses. Finally, the Associate President was appointed to succeed, by rank and by ordination, to the Presidency over the whole Church, in the event of the Prophet's death.
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Mouritsen, Robert Glen, "The office of Associate President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" (1972). All Theses and Dissertations. 4966.
Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, 1800-1844, Mormon Church, Government, Mormon Church, Presidents