Ordaining Young Men at the Appropriate Age
Ordaining worthy young men to Aaronic Priesthood offices at the appropriate age requires the best efforts of the young men, their parents, and Church leaders.
What each young man should do. Young men should be actively engaged in pursuing their own advancement in the priesthood. They should faithfully perform their priesthood duties, recognize the blessings of priesthood service, and live worthy of progressing in the priesthood.
What parents may do. Parents may discuss the purposes and blessings of the priesthood in family home evenings and other family settings. They may bear testimony of the importance of the priesthood in their own lives and use the scriptures to teach the duties of each priesthood office.
What Church leaders should do. Quorum presidencies should visit the home of each young man, welcoming him to the quorum shortly before he is of age to enter that quorum. They may encourage all quorum members to take part in quorum activities and service projects. They can also show respect for each quorum member and foster quorum unity.
Quorum advisers should be positive role models for young men, including the less active, and teach them by the Spirit. They should build relationships of trust with each young man and help him cope with life’s challenges.
Bishoprics should teach the young men, hold regular interviews with each, and ensure that every teacher and priest is assigned to a devoted home teaching companion.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has said: “The Lord God of heaven organized His priesthood into quorums. … 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” (satellite fireside, 6 May 1990).
The Role of Priesthood Quorums in Conversion and Retention
President Gordon B. Hinckley has explained that member-missionary work involves (1) finding investigators, (2) teaching investigators, (3) baptizing worthy converts, and (4) fellowshipping and strengthening new members (see “Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep,” Ensign, May 1999, 105).
Priesthood quorums and groups have exceptional opportunities to assist in this work. Quorum leaders should teach their members to do missionary work and share their experiences. Quorum leaders should also visit new converts and assign them dedicated home teachers. They can organize ways for converts to participate with strong members in service projects and other activities. They can provide quality instruction in quorum meetings and help prepare converts to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. They can assist those struggling to overcome difficulties and challenges. Leaders can also organize committees to help with missionary work.
Quorum members can prayerfully focus on finding investigators for the missionaries to teach. They can help nonmembers learn about their ancestors through the resources at Church Family History Centers™. They can accompany investigators to Church meetings and activities. President Hinckley has said: “In this process we need not be offensive. We need not be arrogant. The most effective tract we will carry will be the goodness of our own lives” (Ensign, May 1999, 107).
Quorums exist to serve others, to build unity and brotherhood, and to instruct members in gospel principles and duties. These purposes are achieved as quorum members provide new converts with friendship and opportunities to serve and grow spiritually.
Priesthood quorums should resolve “to arise to … a new sense of responsibility, a new shouldering of obligation to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of His sons and daughters throughout the earth” (Ensign, May 1999, 110).