Lesson 27: Reverence

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002), 95–98


Objective

Each young man will have more respect for sacred things.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      (Optional) Picture 6, Jesus Christ; picture 7, a meetinghouse; picture 8, a loving family; picture 9, the scriptures; and pictures 10, 11, and 12, temples.

    2. b.

      A pencil for each young man.

  2. 2.

    Prepare nine wordstrips with the following written on them:

    1. (1)

      Reverence in our prayers

    2. (2)

      Reverence in meetinghouses and temples

    3. (3)

      Reverence in sacrament meeting and in the classroom

    4. (4)

      Reverence in our homes

    5. (5)

      Reverence in our speech

    6. (6)

      Reverence for our family and friends

    7. (7)

      Reverence and respect for our leaders

    8. (8)

      Reverence for our bodies

    9. (9)

      Reverence toward nature

  3. 3.

    Make a copy of “My Reverence Scorecard” for each young man (see page 98).

Suggested Lesson Development

Reverence Is Respect for Sacred Things

Chalkboard and discussion

Write on the chalkboard: Reverence is …

  • How would you complete this statement?

After the young men share their ideas, complete the statement on the chalkboard to read: Reverence is respect for sacred things.

Emphasize that reverence is a feeling or attitude of deep love and awe for something sacred.

  • For what or whom do we feel reverence? Listen to the young men’s answers without being critical.

Optional picture display

Display the pictures of sacred things to help the young men be aware of some areas of God’s kingdom that deserve reverent consideration. You may display them as a group or as you mention each of them during the discussion.

Quotation

Read the following statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith:

“Reverence is a sacred principle. It is a principle of the gospel. We show reverence to our Father in Heaven, to the Lord Jesus Christ. We would not be boisterous in his presence. If he happened to be in this meeting, I am sure we would all go in quietly and take our places. Why cannot we think, when we enter the place of worship, that he is there?” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Seek Ye Earnestly [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970], p. 117).

Discussion

  • What might you have done differently as you came into class today if you had expected Jesus Christ to be here?

  • How do you think Heavenly Father feels when we fail to show respect and reverence for him and his buildings?

We Can Show Reverence by Our Attitudes and Actions

Chalkboard, wordstrips, and discussion

Write on the chalkboard: We need to show reverence.

Distribute the nine wordstrips to the young men. Group the class if you have more members than wordstrips.

Give the young men a minute or two to think about how they can show reverence in the area mentioned on their wordstrip. Have the young men share their ideas. Allow the other young men to share additional thoughts they may have on the subject. Use the time carefully so the class can briefly discuss each topic. Add any thoughts you have, or use the following information as needed.

Call on the young man with the first wordstrip.

Quotation

(1) Reverence in our prayers (see also Alma 46:13)

“In our rush these days, many of us hardly have time enough to pray. And many do not pray at all. But when we do—must we do it in a hurry? Put yourself in the Lord’s position, as one who would listen to a prayer. Would you pay much attention to a few hastily uttered words spoken by some person who offered his prayer so fast that he could hardly give it expression? If [you were a parent] and your own child hurried into your presence, and breathlessly asked a favor and then rushed out to other interests, would you be impressed?” (Mark E. Petersen, Your Faith and You [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1953], pp. 14–15).

Call on the young man with the second wordstrip.

(2) Reverence in meetinghouses and temples (see also Doctrine and Covenants 109:21)

Adviser presentation

Explain that meetinghouses and temples are dedicated to the Lord. While in them, we pray for his Spirit to be with us. Listening to the speakers, singing the hymns, and saying “Amen” at the close of prayers show reverence. Coming on time, quietly taking our places, and staying until after the closing prayer are all ways to be reverent.

The Prophet Joseph Smith stated: “It is an insult to a meeting for persons to leave just before its close. … No gentlemen will go out of meeting just at closing” (History of the Church, 5:338–39).

Explain that they should treat all books, fixtures, and rooms in Church buildings with care and respect. Mistreating or writing in hymnbooks or on walls or furniture is irreverent.

Call on the young man with the third wordstrip.

(3) Reverence in sacrament meeting and in the classroom (see also Hebrews 12:28)

Explain that coming dressed appropriately with a sincere desire to listen and learn shows a reverent attitude. How we dress affects the way we act. When we are clean and dressed neatly, we act our best. Bothering others while a speaker is speaking or during a lesson is distracting and rude. The Spirit of the Lord will not remain when we do this. We also should set an example of reverence while we are administering the sacrament. After the sacrament we should return quietly to sit with our families.

Call on the young man with the fourth wordstrip.

(4) Reverence in our homes (see also Psalm 89:7)

Explain that homes should be a “heaven on earth.” Cleanliness and order show love and respect for our homes. Gratitude for shelter and food show reverence. Respecting the possessions and privacy of other family members is important.

Call on the young man with the fifth wordstrip.

(5) Reverence in our speech (see also Doctrine and Covenants 107:4)

Explain that loud voices and crude speech are neither pleasant nor reverent. Choosing proper words, avoiding profanity and vulgar speech, and speaking calmly with a respectful tone of voice show respect to the listener.

Story

The following incident happened to President Spencer W. Kimball in a Salt Lake City hospital after an operation on his throat. He was being wheeled on a table back to his room after surgery.

“Still drugged, Spencer sensed his table stop by an elevator and heard the orderly, angry at something, profaning the Lord’s name. Half-conscious, he pleaded with labored sounds: ‘Please don’t say that. I love Him more than anything in this world. Please.’ An absolute silence. Then the orderly answered softly: ‘I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry’” (Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr., Spencer W. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1977], p. 264).

Call on the young man with the sixth wordstrip.

(6) Reverence for our family and friends (see also Exodus 20:12)

Explain that some people think they are being funny or clever by saying cutting and mean things to family members and friends. Remind the young men that all people are created in the image of our Heavenly Father. They are his children and deserve love and respect. Stopping ourselves from saying unkind remarks that may come to our minds shows a proper attitude. Stopping to weigh our thoughts helps us realize there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (see Ecclesiastes 3:7).

Call on the young man with the seventh wordstrip.

(7) Reverence and respect for our leaders (see also D&C 84:35–38)

Heavenly Father chooses the authorities and leaders of the Church to lead and teach us. Because these leaders are chosen by God, we should show them respect.

Chalkboard and discussion

Call on the young men to list Church leadership positions on the chalkboard. These should include bishop, stake president, prophet, apostle, seventy, and quorum president.

Call on the young man with the eighth wordstrip.

(8) Reverence for our bodies (see also 1 Corinthians 3:16–17)

Explain that we are all very important. We are children of God, and we are here for definite and important purposes. Our body is an important, wonderful creation, and we should treat it with respect. We must be careful that we treat it with reverence, for it is sacred. What we read, see, and hear is as important as what we eat in keeping our body clean.

Call on the young man with the ninth wordstrip.

(9) Reverence toward nature

Scripture and discussion

Call on someone to read Doctrine and Covenants 59:18–20 as the others follow in their scriptures.

  • For what purposes did Heavenly Father create the plants, trees, and animals?

Explain that if we have a reverent attitude toward these creations, we will be sad when they are destroyed or marred. Those who write names on rocks or carve on trees destroy nature’s beauty and enjoyment for others.

Conclusion

Activity

Give each young man a scorecard and a pencil. Explain that he is to read each statement and put a score on the appropriate line. This will be a personal evaluation. He should answer each statement by how he actually performs, not how he thinks he should perform. Have each young man add up his own score and give himself a rating.

Challenge

Encourage each young man to choose one or more areas to work on during the coming week that will help him develop more reverence in his attitudes and actions. Suggest that each young man set his highest priority for improvement in the areas where he gave himself the lowest scores.