The teaching materials for the learning experience on “Priesthood and Priesthood Keys” are divided into four parts. In part 2, students will study this doctrinal topic using the information in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document. They will learn about the connection between priesthood authority and personal righteousness, and they will study the doctrinal mastery passage Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41–42. This lesson also contains a cumulative review activity that will help students review the doctrinal mastery passages they have studied so far this year.
Note: You could teach the “Understanding the Doctrine” segment and the cumulative review activity in a single class session or in two different class sessions. If you choose to teach them in two class sessions, share class time between Doctrinal Mastery and a regular sequential scripture lesson.
Display an object or a picture of an object that can be controlled with your hands (for example, a television remote control, a radio-controlled airplane or drone, or a mobile device).
What is necessary for a person to be able to control or handle this object correctly and effectively? (Point out that we are not the source of the power, but we can direct or control it.)
After students respond, write Priesthood power on the board.
What do you think is necessary for a person to be able to control or handle priesthood power correctly and effectively?
Invite students to mark the following key statement of doctrine in paragraph 6.4 in their copies of the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document: Priesthood authority can only be exercised in righteousness.
Ask students which doctrinal mastery passage is associated with this key statement of doctrine. After students respond, ask them to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41–42, and invite them to consider marking this passage in a distinctive way in their scriptures so that they will be able to locate it easily.
To help students understand the context of this passage, explain that Doctrine and Covenants 121 contains portions of letters that the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote to the members of the Church while he and other Church leaders were imprisoned in Liberty Jail. They had been confined there for months in bitter conditions while awaiting a court trial, and their repeated requests for help from legal authorities had gone unanswered. Invite a few students to take turns reading Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41–42 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for phrases that help teach the key statement of doctrine they marked in paragraph 6.4 in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document. Invite students to report what they find.
What is necessary in order to control or handle the power associated with the priesthood? (“The principles of righteousness.”)
What principles of righteousness can you find listed in Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–42? (Write students’ responses on the board. The list should include: persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness, pure knowledge.)
Ask students which of these principles they would like to learn more about. You may need to explain that long-suffering is patient endurance of a trial, injury, or provocation and being slow to anger, punish, or avenge. Meekness is humility and submission to God’s will. Love unfeigned refers to love that is sincere or genuine and not counterfeit in any way.
How might the Lord’s admonition that “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” (D&C 121:41) apply to all who have been called to serve in the Church? (Those with assignments in the Church cannot and should not try to exert power or influence over others because of his or her position of authority).
How would demonstrating the qualities listed on the board be more effective in influencing others than trying to use one’s position of power and authority unrighteously?
How might the principles of righteousness help those with callings in the Church to guide and influence the people over whom they have responsibility?
Invite students to think about a Church leader they know who is a good example of one or more of the qualities listed on the board. Ask several students to talk about this person and how he or she exhibits these qualities. You may want to ask some of the following questions after student responses:
In what ways has this person influenced you?
Why do you think the qualities of this person influenced you positively?
Why do you think the Lord would encourage us to influence others in this way?
Testify that these qualities are the way that Heavenly Father encourages us to live righteously and that they are the way we ought to influence others to do the same. Invite students to think about people over whom they might have some influence. Ask them to consider which of the qualities written on the board they feel they might need to improve. Invite them to write a goal in their journals about how they plan to improve on one of these principles of righteousness.
Note: This doctrinal mastery cumulative review is optional, and it can be added to this lesson if there is time. You may alternately choose to spend class time to complete Doctrinal Mastery lessons or sequential scripture lessons that you previously did not have enough time to complete.
Give each student a small piece of paper. Invite the students to select one of the doctrinal mastery passages they have studied so far this year. Ask them to write down a thought, a feeling, or a question someone might have that could be helped or answered by the doctrinal mastery passage they selected. For example, if a student chooses Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–11, he or she might write something like the following: “A friend has been feeling worthless, like he has no value to anyone. Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–11.” Students may need several minutes to do this. As students think and write, you may want to walk around the room and look for those who may need help. After students have had sufficient time, gather the papers.
Read aloud from the papers one at a time, without telling students which doctrinal mastery passage they might use to help the problem or answer the question. As you read from each piece of paper, invite students to turn to a doctrinal mastery passage they feel might help. Call on a student to report which passage he or she selected, and ask why that passage would be helpful in this situation. Students may think of passages other than those written on the paper that apply equally well. Continue the activity as long as time allows.
Note: The following review activity is not intended to be taught during the same class session as this lesson—“Priesthood and Priesthood Keys, Part 2.” Please present this activity during a seminary class session that takes place after you have taught this lesson, but before you teach “Priesthood and Priesthood Keys, Part 3.” This short review can be taught at the beginning or end of a class in which you teach a regular sequential scripture lesson from the Doctrine and Covenants. Be sure that this review takes no longer than five minutes, so as not to take away from the scripture block students will be studying in class.
Invite students to review paragraph 6.4 in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document for the key statement of doctrine that is supported by Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41–42. (Students should identify the following: Priesthood authority can only be exercised in righteousness.)
Ask students to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41–42 and to read these verses aloud.
How does this passage help teach the identified key statement of doctrine?
Invite students to form small groups and discuss their ideas for how they can remember what Doctrine and Covenants 121:36, 41–42 teaches. After sufficient time, invite several groups to share their ideas with the class.