Each young woman will understand more about the priesthood and the blessings that come through priesthood power.
Picture 8, Prepared Sacrament Table; picture 9, Young Woman Being Baptized; picture 10, Girl Being Confirmed. All are located at the back of the manual.
Make a poster of the priesthood circle shown in the lesson.
With the approval of your priesthood leader, ask the father of one of the class members or another Melchizedek Priesthood holder, to discuss a few ways in which he has used his priesthood to bless others.
Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
If it is available in your area, prepare to show “The Blessings of the Priesthood,” on Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).
Suggested Lesson Development
What is the priesthood?
Read the following quotation or summarize the information in your own words:
“The priesthood is the power and authority of God. It existed with Him in the beginning and will continue to exist throughout all eternity (see D&C 84:17). By it He creates, sustains, governs, redeems, and exalts.
“God gives priesthood power to worthy male members of the Church, who receive it by prophecy and the laying on of hands by His authorized servants (see Articles of Faith 1:5; Hebrews 5:1, 4). The priesthood enables mortals to act in God’s name for the salvation of the human family. Through it they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern God’s kingdom on earth” (Melchizedek Priesthood Leadership Handbook, p. 1).
We Have Two Priesthoods: Aaronic and Melchizedek
What are the names of the two priesthoods in the Church?
What are some of the differences between them?
Have the young women read Doctrine and Covenants 107:1, 6–8.
What are the offices in the Aaronic Priesthood?
Explain that the offices of the Aaronic Priesthood are deacon, teacher, priest, and bishop. However, bishops are chosen from the Melchizedek Priesthood because those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood have authority to function in all the offices of the lesser priesthood (see D&C 68:14–15; 107:14–17).
What are some of the responsibilities of Aaronic Priesthood holders?
Have the young women read Doctrine and Covenants section 13.
Explain that Aaronic Priesthood holders pass the sacrament, collect fast offerings, and assist the bishop in watching over the members of the ward. Those who are priests can bless the sacrament and baptize new members.
What are the offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood?
Explain that the offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood are elder, high priest, patriarch, Seventy, and Apostle. Those who hold this priesthood have the power to administer the spiritual blessings of the Church (see D&C 107:18). When working under the direction of a presiding authority, they may baptize, bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordain men to the offices of the priesthood, and perform sealing ordinances in temples. They may also administer to the sick and perform other ordinances. They can perform all the functions of the Aaronic Priesthood.
Those men who are qualified to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood take upon themselves a solemn obligation, which is called the oath and covenant of the priesthood.
Have the young women read Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44 and discuss the passage. Put the following information on the chalkboard.
Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood
God Promises Priesthood Holders
They will be sanctified by the Spirit
Their bodies will be renewed
They will become God’s chosen heirs
They will receive the Father and the Son
They will receive all that the Father has and become gods
Priesthood Holders Promise God
To receive the priesthood and magnify it
What does the priesthood bearer promise the Lord?
What does the Lord promise the priesthood bearer who honors the oath and covenant of the priesthood?
What do you think the Lord means when he promises the faithful “all that my Father hath”? (He is promising eternal life.)
Great Blessings Come to Men and Women through the Priesthood
Explain that priesthood holders can provide great blessings to others when they honor their priesthood covenants.
Chalkboard and pictures
Ask the class to consider the question: What blessings of the priesthood are available to every woman in the Church? Show the pictures of priesthood ordinances as appropriate during the discussion.
Write the young women’s ideas on the chalkboard. Be sure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute. The answers may include the following: baptism for the remission of sins, confirmation and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the sacrament, the temple endowment, temple marriage, temple ordinances for the dead, a baby’s name and blessing, a father’s blessing, administration for illness, patriarchal blessings, being set apart for Church service, receiving home teachers, personal interviews with bishopric members.
Help the young women to see that many of the most valuable blessings in our lives come through the priesthood.
Display the poster of the priesthood circle. Explain that the sections of the circle represent the channels through which our Heavenly Father extends priesthood blessings to the members of the Church.
Explain that priesthood blessings extend to every woman in the Church, whether or not there is a priesthood holder in her home. Every blessing mentioned in this lesson is available through the priesthood holders listed in the priesthood circle.
Tell the following story of a young woman who received great blessings through the power of the priesthood.
Jane Snyder Richards was born in 1823 in the United States. Her brother, Robert, at a time when he was near death, read in the New Testament about baptism by immersion and prayed to know who could properly perform this ordinance. He distinctly heard the name “John E. Page” spoken in his mind. Only later did he discover that John E. Page was a missionary from the Church who came to preach in that area. After requesting baptism and receiving a priesthood blessing from Elder Page, Robert recovered his health and went on to baptize hundreds of people.
By the time Jane was sixteen, most of her family had been baptized, but Jane had not.
She became extremely ill, and no doctor could find a cure. Robert returned from his missionary work to visit her. In Jane’s words:
“When he returned and found me so ill, he felt very anxious and fasted and prayed for me … without water or food for three or four days. … He came into my room and laying his face beside mine on the pillow, said, ‘Oh, sis, I wish you were baptized.’
“The next morning … I was paralyzed and apparently dying. I could not speak nor move, though I was able to understand everything and to nod my head. My brother wept beside me and again said he wished I was baptized. Then he asked if he could administer oil and pray for me. … While he was praying light came into my mind, and I saw as plainly as if a book was opened before me with it written in it my need of baptism. If Christ who was sinless needed to be baptized, should I hold myself as better than He?
“At that moment, all pain left me. The paralysis was gone. I was only weak. As my brother rose from his knees, I … begged for baptism. He remonstrated for it was now midwinter and ice would have to be broken and the exposure might be fatal. But death I was not afraid of—only I must be baptized.
“In consequence of my persistence I was carried to the lake the next day where ice a foot thick had been broken. The people had congregated in large numbers. Some had told us that my brother would be arrested if he should immerse me in the critical situation I was in. However it was done, and I was well from that time. … I told [the people] that all this was of my own free will, that I was not constrained to do it, … and that they must not do harm to my brother because he was doing God’s work and God would punish them if they interfered.” Robert was not arrested, and Jane, who did not suffer from exposure, was miraculously healed. (Autobiographical sketch of Jane Snyder Richards, in LDS Historical Department, pp. 1–7.)
In what ways did the priesthood bless Jane? (Her brother administered to her when she was sick. He baptized her, and she was healed and received a testimony of the gospel.)
What impresses you about Jane? What can you learn from her life?
Summarize by reading the following quotations:
“The priesthood is for the blessing of all—men, women, and children. Through the priesthood we receive and administer the ordinances of the gospel, which include baptism, confirmation, the sacrament, all temple ordinances, including sealings for time and all eternity, and work for the dead. By the power of the priesthood the sick are healed, the lame made to walk, the blind to see, and the deaf to hear, according to their faith and the will of our Father in heaven. Blessings of the priesthood comfort those who mourn, and give aid to the stricken” (N. Eldon Tanner, “The Priesthood of God,” Ensign, June 1973, p. 6).
“Young women, as well as young men, have cause to rejoice in the restoration of the [priesthood]. We rejoice … because the priesthood was restored to bless the entire human family. Priesthood power, when exercised righteously, unites men and women, sons and daughters, and families. We have a reason to rejoice together. Togetherness in righteousness is at the very heart of our Father in Heaven’s plan for his sons and his daughters. It is a glorious plan in which we all have a part” (Ardeth G. Kapp, “Together in Righteousness,” New Era, June 1986, p. 20).
Ask the assigned father to discuss some ways he has used his priesthood to bless those around him.
How can a woman become better able to receive the blessings of the priesthood?
Emphasize that if we live worthily, we can receive wonderful blessings through the priesthood.
Bear your testimony about the blessings the priesthood can bring into our lives. Emphasize that since the power and blessings of the priesthood are so important in our lives, each young woman has the responsibility to understand the priesthood and encourage all young men to magnify their callings. It is very important that she live worthily herself and choose a worthy Melchizedek Priesthood bearer for a husband.
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