Lesson 9: Priesthood Blessings and Ordinances

Primary 3, (1994), 40–45


Purpose

To help each child understand the importance of priesthood blessings and ordinances.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study James 5:14–15 and Doctrine and Covenants 42:44, 48–52. Although these scriptures are not used in the lesson, they will give you a scriptural background for teaching this principle.

  2. 2.

    Prepare a paper windmill for use in the attention activity. To make a paper windmill, prepare a square piece of paper as shown below. Cut on the dotted lines, and fold alternate points into the center. Then put a pin through the points at the center, and push the pin into a pencil or stick.

    paper windmill
  3. 3.

    Prepare to help the children sing or say the words to the song “The Priesthood Is Restored” (Children’s Songbook, p. 89); the words are included at the back of this manual.

  4. 4.

    If you are able, prepare a copy of the following letter for each child to take home. Have or help each child fill in the blank as appropriate for that child (such as “Mother and Father”). Be sensitive to those children who do not have both parents in the home.

    Dear ____________________ ,

    Have I ever had a priesthood blessing? Please tell me about it.

    Love,

  5. 5.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A bottle of consecrated oil.

    2. b.

      Crayons or pencils for children to sign letters.

    3. c.

      Picture 3-11, John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood (62013; Gospel Art Picture Kit 407); picture 3-12, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration (62371; Gospel Art Picture Kit 408); picture 3-20, Father Preparing to Bless His Sick Child; picture 3-21, Father Blessing His Baby.

  6. 6.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.

Priesthood Ordinances Have Been Restored

Attention activity

Show the children the paper windmill that you have made (you might make the windmill in class to show them how it is done if you feel it is appropriate for your class). Have each child come to the front of the class and blow on the windmill to make it turn.

  • What makes the windmill turn? (The power of the wind.)

  • What would happen if there were no wind?

Explain that wind can be a powerful force. It can draw water up from the ground, or it can give power to large machines. Tell the children that today they will learn about a power much stronger than the wind. Remind them about their recent lesson on the restoration of Jesus Christ’s true Church (see lesson 6). An important reason for the restoration of the gospel was to restore the priesthood to the earth.

  • Why is the priesthood so important? (Help the children understand that it is the power to act for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.)

  • What does it mean to act for Heavenly Father and Jesus? (To do the things that they would do.)

  • What are some of the good things Jesus Christ did on earth? (He was baptized, healed the sick, made the blind see, blessed the children, prepared the sacrament for the first time, and so on.)

  • Can these things be done today? (Yes, they can be and are done today. Help the children understand that such things can be done only through the righteous use of the priesthood and our own faith.)

  • What then is the priesthood? What can someone who righteously honors his priesthood do? (Explain to the children that we need to receive certain ordinances to return to our Father in Heaven. These ordinances can be performed only by the authority and power of the priesthood.)

  • What are some of these priesthood ordinances? (The sacrament, baptism, confirmation, ordination to the priesthood, sealings in the temple, and so on. If necessary, provide hints such as, “What can happen when you turn eight years old?”)

    Other ordinances give us blessings to help us during this life.

  • What blessings can we receive from those who hold the priesthood? (Answers might include administration to the sick, father’s blessings, and naming and blessing of babies. You might need to provide hints.)

    Explain that these ordinances and blessings are available to us through our faith, prayers, and proper priesthood authority.

Pictures

Display picture 3-11, John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood, and picture 3-12, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration. Express thankfulness to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for allowing these blessings to be restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Tell the children that they will have more lessons on baptism, confirmation, the sacrament, and temples this year. Assure the children that Heavenly Father has planned for them to be with a loving family forever, and that through these ordinances they can return to him.

The Priesthood Can Bless Everyone

Discussion

  • Has your father or another priesthood holder ever put his hands upon your head and given you a blessing? (Encourage the children to share their experiences. Find out who gave them the blessing and what the blessing was for.)

Discuss with the children the following points about blessings:

  1. 1.

    A blessing is given by someone who bears the Melchizedek Priesthood. A person who holds the priesthood has the power to act for Jesus Christ. This person might be your father, your brother, your grandfather, the bishop or branch president, the missionaries, your home teachers, or any worthy Melchizedek Priesthood bearer.

  2. 2.

    All blessings given by the authority of the priesthood are to help us.

  3. 3.

    There are different kinds of blessings.

Tell the children that next they are going to learn about two kinds of special priesthood blessings.

Priesthood Bearers Can Bless and Name Babies

Picture

Display picture 3-21, Father Blessing His Baby.

  • What is happening in this picture? (A baby is being blessed and given a name.)

    Ask the children to think about the last time they saw a baby being blessed.

  • How did you feel while the baby was being blessed? (Encourage the children to share their experiences and feelings.)

Priesthood Bearers Can Administer to the Sick

Article of faith

Tell the children that as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in another type of blessing called administering to the sick. Explain that to administer a blessing is to give a blessing. Read aloud the seventh article of faith and help the children repeat the phrase “We believe in the gift of healing.” Remind the children that healings can take place following such a blessing when it is the will of Heavenly Father.

Picture

Display picture 3-20, Father Preparing to Bless His Sick Child. Explain that whenever someone is sick, priesthood holders can give him or her a special blessing. It is a good thing to ask for a blessing when we are sick. Explain the following about blessings for the sick:

  1. 1.

    If you were sick and needed a blessing, you could tell your parents. If your father held the Melchizedek Priesthood, he would probably ask another worthy Melchizedek Priesthood bearer in the Church to help him give you a blessing. If your father did not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, you could ask your home teachers, grandfather, uncle, the bishop or branch president, or the missionaries for a blessing.

  2. 2.

    Those who administer to the sick, or give the blessing, use pure olive oil that has been consecrated (given a special blessing) by two members of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Show the children the bottle of consecrated oil.

  3. 3.

    There are two parts to an administration to the sick: First, one of the priesthood bearers would put a small amount of oil on the top of the sick person’s head and say a brief prayer. Second, the two priesthood holders would then lay their hands on the sick person’s head, and one would seal the anointing by saying another special prayer, giving with it a blessing inspired by Heavenly Father.

Explain to the children that when we have faith and receive a priesthood blessing, Heavenly Father will bless us according to his will. He will always do what is best for our lives.

Teacher experience

Share a personal experience you have had or know about when a sick person has been healed after receiving a blessing. Tell the children how grateful you are for the priesthood and for the gift of healing.

A Father’s Blessing

Story

Tell the children about another special kind of priesthood blessing by telling the following story (in telling the story and then discussing the principle involved, be sensitive to those children who do not have a father who could give them a priesthood blessing):

Melissa was worried about starting school, even though she had looked forward to it for a long time. Melissa had never been to school before, and she did not know what it would be like. She did not know her teacher, and she did not know who the other children would be.

The night before school was to start, Melissa laid out the clothes she was going to wear and then got ready for bed. Soon she came out into the living room, rubbing her tummy. She said, “I don’t feel very well. I think I’m sick.” Melissa’s parents told her they wanted to help her feel better. Her mother gave her a hug. Her father told her that he understood that she was worried about going to school.

He told her that there was something he could give her that would help her have a happy experience at school. He explained that he could give her a special father’s blessing by the power of the priesthood.

Melissa said she would like him to give her a father’s blessing. So Melissa’s father put his hands on her head and gave her a blessing. He blessed her that she would make many friends and that she would have a kind teacher who would love her and help her to learn.

After the blessing, Melissa put her arms around her father and thanked him for giving her a father’s blessing. She said that she already felt better.

  • What problems have you needed help with?

  • Can any of you tell about a time you received a father’s blessing?

Encourage the children to ask their father for a father’s blessing whenever they have a special need. Explain that if their father does not hold the priesthood, any worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holder, such as home teachers, the bishop or branch president, the missionaries, or other relatives like uncles or grandfathers who hold the priesthood could give them a special blessing when they have a need. (Be very sensitive to those children who come from homes where the priesthood may not be welcomed.)

Song

Sing or say the words to the song “The Priesthood Is Restored.”

Summary

Letters

Pass out the letters you have prepared. Tell the children what the letters say.

Help each child to appropriately address it and sign his or her name at the bottom of the letter. Encourage the children to talk to their parents about the priesthood blessings they have received and about the blessings they have learned about in Primary.

Teacher testimony

Bear your testimony to the children that the priesthood with its power has been restored on earth and is a special gift from Heavenly Father to bless our lives. Through priesthood authority and power, we can receive the ordinances and blessings necessary to live again with Heavenly Father and live better lives here on earth.

Invite the child giving the closing prayer to thank Heavenly Father for special priesthood blessings.

Enrichment Activities

Choose from the following activities those that will work best for your children. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”

  1. 1.

    Allow the children to trace around their hands with a crayon on a piece of paper. Remind them that when we are sick, a priesthood holder can place his loving hands on our heads to give us a blessing. When else are hands placed on our heads? (Older children might want to write on each of the fingers of the traced hand an answer such as confirmation, priesthood ordinations, and father’s blessings. For younger children, simply talk about these other blessings.)

  2. 2.

    Arrange for a father and his new baby to come to the class to talk with the children. Have the father tell about the baby’s blessing; then ask the following questions:

    • Was the baby’s full name used in the blessing? What is it?

    • Who blessed the baby, and what authority did he hold?

    • Who helped with the blessing, and how did they help?

    • Why was this a special day for the baby?

    • What special blessings did the baby receive? (Discuss this only as appropriate.)

  3. 3.

    Make and cut apart simple drawings, such as those on the next page, representing the answers to the following riddles. Pass out the drawings you have made. Have each child hold up his drawing and tell what it represents.

    Explain that you are going to read some riddles, and the children are to decide which drawing answers the riddle. Have the child holding the answer to the riddle place it by the appropriate blessing picture. (Some drawings can go with more than one blessing.)

    1. a.

      I am used when someone who is sick is given a blessing. The priesthood holder puts a small amount of me on the sick person’s head. What am I? (Consecrated oil.)

    2. b.

      I can’t walk. I can’t talk. I am very young. I need to be given a name and a blessing. What am I? (A baby.)

    3. c.

      I need a special blessing. I have a high fever. I asked my father to give me a blessing to help me feel better. What am I? (A sick child.)

    4. d.

      I have been given a special power called the priesthood. I have children. I can give my children a father’s blessing. What am I? (A father.)

    5. e.

      When a sick person asks for a blessing, at least a certain number of men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood are called in to give the blessing. I am that number. What am I? (The number 2.)

    6. f.

      When the men holding the priesthood bless a baby, bless the sick, or give a father’s blessing, they use me. They put me on the person’s head or use me to hold the baby. What am I? (Hands.)