Sharing Time: Jesus Organized His Church


We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth (A of F 1:6).

Jesus Organized His Church

What would happen if you went to church on Sunday and no one was there to greet you? There was no one to conduct Primary and no one to help you sing the songs. When you went to your class, no teacher was there to give you a lesson. In sacrament meeting, there were no members of the bishopric on the stand, no one to bless the sacrament and to pass it, and no one to give a spiritual message. Without people to help, everything would be confused and disorganized, and few would learn about Jesus and Heavenly Father.

Jesus organized His Church so that we could receive important ordinances and learn to live the gospel; He asks people to help Him. Through the authority of priesthood leaders, members are called to serve in Church positions.

The primitive Church, or the Church as Jesus organized it when He lived on the earth, had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists to lead and serve the people. (See Eph. 4:11.) Today the Church is organized in the same way. Some of the names for priesthood offices that we have today are different from the names that were used in Jesus’ time, but the responsibilities are much the same. For example, a pastor can be compared to a bishop or a stake president, an evangelist to a patriarch. One way to tell the true Church of Jesus Christ is to compare it to the primitive Church that Jesus organized.

Instructions

Read the riddles that tell of some of the responsibilities of different priesthood callings in the Church. Unscramble the letters to find out what these callings are.

Riddles

  1. 1

    My duty is to preach, teach, baptize, administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member. (See D&C 20:46–49.)

    I am a STRIPE

    ____________________________.

  2. 2

    I am one of twelve special witnesses of Jesus Christ. Peter, James, and John each held my office in Jesus’ day. Those holding this office today include Howard W. Hunter, Boyd K. Packer, and Marvin J. Ashton. (See D&C 107:23.)

    I am an TOSLAEP

    ____________________________.

  3. 3

    I preside over a ward or a stake and am responsible for it. Today I am known as a bishop or a stake president. (See James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1984 edition, page 193.)

    In Jesus’ day, I was known as a STROPA

    ____________________________.

  4. 4

    I am appointed to watch over the Church and to warn, teach, and invite all to come unto Christ. I often pass the sacrament. (See D&C 84:111; D&C 20:58–59.)

    I am a NODECA

    ____________________________.

  5. 5

    I am the only one who can receive revelations for the whole Church. (See D&C 43:2–3.)

    I am the HORTPEP

    ____________________________.

  6. 6

    I have the duty and privilege of giving blessings to the people of the Church. There is at least one of me in each stake. In Jesus’ day, I was called an evangelist. (See Talmage, page 189.)

    I am a CARPIRATH

    ____________________________.

  7. 7

    I am called to preach the gospel to all the world. I am an especial witness of Jesus Christ, and I work under the direction of the Apostles. (See D&C 107:25.)

    I am a TEVYSEN

    ____________________________.

  8. 8

    I have been ordained to officiate, when directed by those in authority to do so, in all the ordinances and blessings of the Church. (See Talmage, page 189.)

    I am a GIHH TRIPES

    ____________________________.

  9. 9

    I can confirm those who are baptized, bless children, administer to the sick, teach, and watch over the Church. (See D&C 20:38–45; D&C 107:12.)

    I am an DREEL

    ____________________________.

  10. 10

    I am appointed to watch over the Church always, strengthen the members, and see that they do their duty. (See D&C 20:53–56.)

    I am a RATEECH

    ____________________________.

Sharing Time Ideas

  1. 1.

    Discuss how Church callings today differ from those of the primitive Church: modes of travel, scriptures, challenges, kinds of illnesses requiring blessings, etc.

  2. 2.

    Invite men who hold the different offices in the priesthood to talk with the children about their duties: how called, special experiences, etc. Have the children draw the men’s pictures and make an authority chart.

  3. 3.

    Compare the Church to a perfect body. (See 1 Cor. 12:12–27.) Have the children role play what would happen if a body didn’t have eyes, hands, or feet, or if a ward didn’t have a bishop, Primary president, visiting teacher, etc. Be sensitive to those with handicaps.

  4. 4.

    Prepare a game by putting a button or empty spool on a long piece of string tied in a circle. Children hold the string and pass the button to one another. The person who is holding the button when the leader says “stop” tells the name of one of the priesthood offices in the Church.

  5. 5.

    List as many callings in the Church as the children can think of and what some of the responsibilities are. Include auxiliary leaders and teachers, librarians, family history extractors, missionaries, temple workers, etc. Children could write thank-you letters to these people for helping in the Church.

Answers:

[illustrations] Illustrated by Bradley Teare

(1) priest, (2) apostle, (3) pastor, (4) deacon, (5) prophet, (6) patriarch, (7) seventy, (8) high priest, (9) elder, (10) teacher.