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 administer 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 descriptions that tell of some of the responsibilities of different priesthood callings in the Church. Choose the correct answer from the list below, and fill in the blanks.

apostle

prophet

pastor

patriarch

priest

teacher

deacon

 

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 ______________.

I preside over a ward or a stake and am responsible for it. Today I am known as a bishop or a stake president.

In Jesus’ day, I was known as a ______________.

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

I am a ______________.

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 ______________.

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

I am the ______________.

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 ______________.

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.

I am a ______________.

Sharing Time Ideas

  1. 1.

    Discuss how Church callings differ today from those of the primitive Church: methods of travel, scriptures, challenges, 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.

  3. 3.

    Compare the Church to a perfect body. (See 1 Cor. 12:12–27.) Help the children understand 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.

    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, missionaries, etc.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Virginia Sargent