To the Adviser

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002), v–vii

These lessons are intended to help young men learn about the gospel and help make Aaronic Priesthood meetings enjoyable and meaningful to them. You may use this manual to teach individual quorums of priests, teachers, and deacons; or you may use it to teach a group of all three quorums. By prayerfully preparing each lesson, you can help the young men learn how to magnify their callings in the Aaronic Priesthood and truly become sons of God (see D&C 84:26–42 and John 1:12–13).

This manual contains fifty lessons—more than you will be able to teach during the year. Prayerfully select lessons that will meet the needs of the young men you teach. Some lessons may be more appropriate for priests, while others may be more appropriate for deacons and teachers.

Keys to Successful Teaching

To make the best use of the lessons in this manual, use the following keys to successful teaching:

  1. 1.

    Focus on the Savior. You are teaching young men to be disciples of Christ. It is not enough merely to teach them a priesthood duty or a true principle; they need to understand that this is what the Master wants them to do as his disciples, out of their faith in him and love for him.

  2. 2.

    Seek the Spirit. Ask for Heavenly Father’s help as you prepare and present these lessons. The Lord promised, “The Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach” (D&C 42:14). The Spirit will be strongest when you are testifying of Christ, teaching discipleship, and teaching and testifying from your own experience as his disciple.

  3. 3.

    Involve the quorum president. The Aaronic Priesthood quorum president is to teach the members of his quorum the duties of their office (see D&C 107:85–87). The quorum president, with your assistance, should help decide which lessons should be given and in what sequence. The quorum secretary should keep a record, perhaps on a calendar, to avoid repeating lessons.

  4. 4.

    Love the young men. Develop a genuine love for each young man you teach. Show your love in all you do both in and out of the classroom. Get to know each member of the quorum, his interests, and his challenges.

  5. 5.

    Be prepared. Read each lesson at least two or three weeks before presenting it. If you delay preparing these lessons until the Saturday before giving them, your class will be much less effective. Note especially the “Preparation” section at the beginning of each lesson.

    When appropriate, use the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth (36550) to enhance your lessons. Help the young men become familiar with the standards in the pamphlet. Encourage the young men to read it often and keep the standards explained in it.

    Where stories are included, read them several times while preparing the lesson so you will understand them and be able to present them well.

Additional Suggestions

The following suggestions will help make each lesson more interesting and effective:

  1. 1.

    Use the scriptures. Encourage the young men to bring their scriptures to priesthood meeting each week. Have marking pencils available for them to use during each lesson.

  2. 2.

    Encourage quorum discussion. Invite the young men to respond freely and to ask questions. Recognize each young man’s contribution so he will want to participate in the future.

  3. 3.

    Adapt the lessons to your circumstances. Use teaching methods that interest the young men. Watch for events and experiences in the lives of the young men or in the lives of people with whom they are familiar that will help make your lessons relevant to the young men. Occasionally, you may need to adapt the stories and examples to fit your cultural circumstances.

    You may find that some of the lessons contain too much material to teach in one class period. In these cases, choose materials that are needed most by the young men or use more than one meeting to present the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Use the pictures included in the manual. Keep the pictures at the back of this manual intact with the manual. Do not tear them out. Use them with the appropriate lessons. The meetinghouse library may contain pictures that you can use to enhance scripture stories. Pictures in the manual that are available from the meetinghouse library are followed by their item number. See your meetinghouse librarian for assistance.

  5. 5.

    Use chalk and the chalkboard. Before each class consider how you can best use the chalkboard to enhance your lesson. When using the chalkboard, write only the key words from longer statements.

  6. 6.

    Give challenges and follow up on them. Conclude each lesson with a specific challenge. Follow up with the young men and encourage them to meet the challenge. Invite them to report on their successes in meeting challenges.

  7. 7.

    Use available Church magazines. The New Era contains many outstanding stories and articles written for youth. The Liahona, which is the Church’s international magazine, also has a section of material for youth. In addition, the general conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona are useful in teaching youth (see lesson 50 in this manual for suggestions about how to organize lessons from general conference addresses). The conference issues of the Ensign and Liahona, along with the May and November issues of the New Era, also contain a resource guide for use with this manual. The guide includes references to Church magazine articles and other materials that can be used to update and enrich each lesson.

  8. 8.

    Use the handouts. Handouts are located at the end of some lessons to help the young men learn and remember the principles of the gospel. When appropriate make copies of the handouts to use with each lesson.

  9. 9.

    Use the following resources to help you improve as a teacher:

    “Gospel Teaching and Leadership,” section 16 of the Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2 (35209 or 35903)

    Teaching, No Greater Call, 1999 edition (36123)

    Teaching Guidebook (34595)

Presidency Visits to Primary Class

The deacons quorum presidency has a responsibility to help prepare other young men to receive the priesthood. Encourage the presidency to make one or two short presentations to the Primary class these younger boys attend. These presentations should:

  1. 1.

    Give the deacons quorum presidency the experience of instructing younger boys.

  2. 2.

    Help younger boys who are preparing to receive the priesthood realize the duties and blessings of the Aaronic Priesthood. The quorum presidency should also emphasize the joy and satisfaction that come through service and the importance of being a good example.

  3. 3.

    Help the younger boys realize that they will be welcome in the quorum.

You and the deacons quorum presidency should meet with the Primary teacher to plan the presentations before the presidency gives them. Visits to Primary classes should be coordinated with the Primary president. The deacons quorum presidency might give presentations similar to the two suggested on page vii.

“A Deacon Serves Others”

The deacons quorum presidency might prepare a brief presentation that explains how deacons serve others by performing their priesthood duties and share the joy and satisfaction that come through this service. The quorum presidency could explain how passing the sacrament and gathering fast offerings blesses the lives of ward members; they could also report on specific service projects.

“Be an Example”

The deacons quorum presidency might prepare a brief presentation about the importance of being a good example as a priesthood bearer who represents Jesus Christ. They could explain the importance of setting a good example in dress and conduct, particularly when passing the sacrament and gathering fast offerings.