Priesthood Perspectives

From the Presiding Bishopric and Young Men General Presidency

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Strengthening Aaronic Priesthood Quorums

In an address commemorating the restoration of the priesthood, President Gordon B. Hinckley observed: “The Lord God of heaven organized His priesthood into quorums. These are superior to any organization created by men. They come of the genius of God. We are so organized to support and sustain one another, to build and strengthen one another, to multiply our individual capacities in service to others, and to coordinate our individual strengths to move forward the kingdom of God in the earth” (satellite fireside, 6 May 1990).

Aaronic Priesthood quorums provide opportunities for service, for building unity and brotherhood, and for receiving instruction in gospel doctrines and priesthood duties (see Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2 [1998], 177).

Bishoprics can help Aaronic Priesthood quorums fulfill these purposes by following these guidelines:

  • Work closely with the young men’s parents, helping the parents teach their sons to obey the commandments and honor their priesthood.

  • Call exemplary young men to serve as quorum presidents or assistants.

  • Attend quorum presidency meetings regularly.

  • Instruct quorum leaders in their leadership duties.

  • Attend Sunday quorum meetings and ensure that they are effective in preparing young men for priesthood service, instructing them in priesthood duties (such as gathering fast offerings, administering the sacrament, and participating in home teaching), teaching gospel principles, conducting quorum business (such as organizing reactivation efforts), and building unity.

  • Use quorum instruction to help young men understand and apply the principles outlined in the mission of the Aaronic Priesthood.

Each young man should be able to say proudly, “I belong to a priesthood quorum.” To that end, bishoprics need to help quorum officers “see that [their] quorum provides the strength of brotherhood which is needed by every member. Help the quorum be what the Lord intended it should be, a body of men who support and sustain one another, who know their duty and do it, [and] who love the Lord and walk in His ways” (satellite fireside, 6 May 1990).

[photo] Photo by Steve Tregeagle

Improving Gospel Understanding through Study and Discussion

In late 1997 the First Presidency announced that Melchizedek Priesthood brethren and Relief Society sisters would have a parallel schedule for curriculum and instruction. This parallel schedule was designed to improve gospel understanding by encouraging gospel study and discussion in family settings as well as in Sunday services.

To achieve these purposes, it is important that the Melchizedek Priesthood groups in each ward or branch discuss the same lesson topics as the Relief Society classes on the second, third, and fourth Sundays of each month. Stake presidencies and bishoprics should coordinate the lesson topics discussed.

On the second and third Sundays, instructors should focus discussion on the principles and doctrines taught by President Brigham Young in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young—rather than bringing in outside materials. The text provided in the manual, accompanied by the scriptures, is sufficient for instruction. Questions at the end of each lesson encourage thoughtful contemplation, personal application, and meaningful discussion of President Young’s teachings. Members should refer to and carefully read President Young’s words on the gospel doctrines and principles being discussed. The publication of Brigham Young’s teachings reflects the desire of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to deepen the doctrinal understanding of Church members and to awaken within them a greater desire to know the things of God. This manual and others that will follow in a series will be significant additions to each home library.

On the fourth Sunday, instructors should choose only from the resources designated in Teachings for Our Time. These resources are adequate for the topic being discussed.

Members are encouraged to discuss these Sunday lessons in their homes following the classroom instruction. As we reflect together on the doctrines and principles addressed in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young and in Teachings for Our Time, gospel understanding will increase and we will be inspired to greater dedication and spirituality.

[photo] Photo by Robert Casey