In their weekly assignments, students were not asked to study Doctrine and Covenants 107:60–100 in depth. This lesson will give them that opportunity. It can help them become familiar with priesthood offices and better understand their duties as members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Students will also learn from the counsel given to Lyman Sherman recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 108.
In studying the offices of the priesthood in this lesson, it is important to help students understand that while men fill these various offices as priesthood holders, the blessings of the priesthood are available to everyone. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “The priesthood is the power of God used to bless all of His children, male and female. Some of our abbreviated expressions, like ‘the women and the priesthood,’ convey an erroneous idea. Men are not ‘the priesthood.’ Priesthood meeting is a meeting of those who hold and exercise the priesthood. The blessings of the priesthood, such as baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, the temple endowment, and eternal marriage, are available to men and women alike. The authority of the priesthood functions in the family and in the Church, according to the principles the Lord has established” (“Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 25–26). Men and women have equally important roles in the family and the Church (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129).
As a brief review, write the headings Melchizedek Priesthood and Aaronic Priesthood on the board. Invite students to list the offices of the priesthood under the appropriate headings. Ask one student to write one office of the priesthood and then pass the chalk or marker to another student, continuing this process until students have listed all of the offices of the priesthood. Encourage students to help one another as needed. (The offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood are elder, high priest, patriarch, Seventy, and Apostle. The offices of the Aaronic Priesthood are deacon, teacher, priest, and bishop.)
What is a priesthood quorum? (An organized group of brethren who hold the same priesthood office.)
Invite a student to come to the board and circle the priesthood offices that are organized into quorums. Encourage the class to assist as needed. (The following offices have quorums: Apostle, Seventy, high priest, elder, priest, teacher, and deacon. You may want to explain that each stake has one high priests quorum, with the stake president as the quorum president. In each ward, high priests are organized into a high priests group.)
Ask a few students to take turns reading aloud from Doctrine and Covenants 107:60–63, 85–89, 93–94. Invite the class to follow along and identify what the quorums mentioned in these verses have in common.
According to these verses, what do these priesthood quorums have in common? (Students may use different words, but be sure they identify the following truth: A president is appointed to preside over and direct the work of each priesthood quorum.)
According to verses 87–88, how is a priests quorum different from deacons and teachers quorums? (The bishop of the ward presides over the priests quorum. He also presides over all Aaronic Priesthood holders in the ward. In a branch, the branch president acts as the president of the priests quorum.)
Why do you think it is important that each priesthood quorum has a president? How can the president of a priesthood quorum help the members of his quorum?
Ask a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:65–66 aloud. Invite the class to follow along and identify the Church leader who presides over all priesthood holders. Invite students to report what they find. Ensure that students understand that these verses refer to the President of the Church.
Ask another student to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:67, 91–92 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for words and phrases that describe the authority and responsibilities of the President of the Church.
Based on what you learn in these verses, how would you summarize the authority and responsibilities of the President of the Church? (Although students may use different words, they should identify the following truth: The President of the Church holds the authority to administer all ordinances and blessings and presides over the whole Church. Invite a student to write this principle on the board.)
You may wish to further clarify some of the terms in verse 92 with the following definitions from Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“A prophet is a teacher of known truth; a seer is a perceiver of hidden truth, a revelator is a bearer of new truth. In the widest sense, the one most commonly used, the title, prophet, includes the other titles” (Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham, 3 vols. in 1 , 258).
Display a picture of the current President of the Church.
What are some ways you are blessed because of the priesthood authority held by the President of the Church?
Ask students to read Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100 silently.
According to these verses, what must we do to stand worthy before the Lord? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following principle: To stand worthy before the Lord, we must learn our duty and act in all diligence to fulfill it.)
Although these verses were originally directed toward priesthood holders, the principle they teach applies to all Church members.
Divide students into pairs. Invite them to discuss the following questions. Read the questions one at a time, or write them on the board.
How have you been blessed by the service of a Church member who has diligently fulfilled his or her duty?
What are you doing to learn your duty and act in all diligence to fulfill it?
Give students the opportunity to testify of the importance of doing our duty in the Church and in our families.
Remind students that Doctrine and Covenants 108 contains a revelation of the Lord’s will to Lyman Sherman, who had approached the Prophet Joseph Smith and requested to know more concerning his duty.
Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 108:7–8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the instructions the Lord gave to Lyman. Ask students to report what they find. You may need to explain that exhortations are advice or encouragement.
In what ways did the Lord want Lyman Sherman to strengthen his brethren?
Ask students to identify a principle from the Lord’s instruction to Lyman in verses 7–8. They may identify a variety of principles, including the following: We are to strengthen others in all our conversations and actions. (You may want to suggest that students mark this principle in their scriptures.)
How can you strengthen those around you in your conversations?
How can you strengthen those around you by your actions?
Ask students to describe an experience they have had when someone strengthened them by doing one of the actions listed in Doctrine and Covenants 108. Consider sharing an experience of your own. Invite students to think of a person they can strengthen today and a specific action they will take to do so.
To help students prepare to study Doctrine and Covenants 109–112, invite them to consider the following: Why are temples important? Have you ever participated in a temple dedication? Explain that in the next unit they will learn about the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. They will learn more about what occurred and who appeared there and how what was revealed there can bless them and their families forever.