Lesson 15: The Melchizedek Priesthood

Young Women Manual 1, (2002), 61–65


Objective

Each young woman will understand the duties and obligations of those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Picture 10, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration (62371), located at the back of the manual.

  2. 2.

    If possible, make a copy for each class member of the handout “Offices and Responsibilities in the Melchizedek Priesthood” on page 65.

  3. 3.

    Assign young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

Suggested Lesson Development

Introduction

Quotation

“The priesthood is the power of God delegated to men to act for the blessing and salvation of all mankind. While we sometimes refer to priesthood holders as ‘the priesthood,’ we must never forget that the priesthood is not owned by or embodied in those who hold it. It is held in a sacred trust to be used for the benefit of men, women, and children alike. Elder John A. Widtsoe said, ‘Men have no greater claim than women upon the blessings that issue from the Priesthood and accompany its possession’ (Priesthood and Church Government [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 83). For example, our young women should have just as many opportunities for blessings from priesthood leaders as our young men” (Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Apr. 1992, p. 51; or Ensign, May 1992, p. 36).

The Melchizedek Priesthood Has Been Restored

Teacher presentation

Show the picture of the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Explain that Peter, James, and John hold the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood. They appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery near the time of the organization of the Church to restore the powers of this priesthood to the earth.

Melchizedek Priesthood Holders Have Specific Duties

Chalkboard activity

Explain that the Lord has organized the priesthood so that his kingdom can spread throughout the world and bless each member of the Church. Each office in the Melchizedek Priesthood has been given specific responsibilities so the Lord’s purposes and work can be carried out as he intends.

Explain that you will read various clues to identify an office or quorum in the Melchizedek Priesthood. As soon as one of the young women thinks she knows the office or quorum you are describing, she should raise her hand. Read all clues even if the young women know the answer on the first clue. After reading the clues, ask the young women to give the correct answer.

As correct answers are given, write each one on the chalkboard.

  1. 1.

    (a) The members of my quorum are special witnesses for Jesus Christ to the whole world. (b) The members of my quorum are sustained by Church members everywhere as prophets, seers, and revelators. (c) I usually give a talk at general conference. To what quorum do I belong? (The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.)

  2. 2.

    (a) My quorum has a special responsibility to do missionary work and administer the Church throughout the world. (b) There can be up to seven of these quorums in the Church. (c) When fully organized, my quorum will contain seventy members. Who are we? (Members of the Quorums of the Seventy.)

  3. 3.

    (a) There may be ninety-six members in my quorum. (b) I can both baptize and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost on people entering the Church. (c) You often see me with a companion on a mission. (d) I am often called to administer to the people who are sick. What is my priesthood office? (Elder.)

  4. 4.

    (a) I hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. (b) You usually see me at general conference. (c) I am the presiding high priest in the Church. (d) Only one man holds this office in the Church at any one time. What is my calling? (The President of the Church.)

  5. 5.

    (a) I am a high priest. (b) Serving with me are two counselors and twelve other representatives. (c) I am responsible for all priesthood activities in several wards of the Church. (d) I usually speak at stake conference. What is my calling? (The stake president.)

  6. 6.

    (a) I am the presiding high priest in a ward. (b) I am the president of the priests quorum in my ward (see D&C 107:87–88). (c) Much of my work is with the young people in my ward. (d) One of my important assignments is to interview young women. What is my calling? (The bishop.)

  7. 7.

    (a) There is no limit to the number of members in my quorum. (b) I may be a bishop or a bishop’s counselor. (c) The stake president is the president of my quorum. What is my priesthood office? (High priest.)

Teacher presentation and discussion

To strengthen the young women’s understanding of the duties and obligations of Melchizedek Priesthood holders, review together the information found in “Offices and Responsibilities in the Melchizedek Priesthood.” Use the scripture references as needed to answer questions the young women may have.

Offices and Responsibilities in the Melchizedek Priesthood

Office

Number in Quorum

Responsibilities

Scripture References

Elder

96

  1. 1.

    Teach

  2. 2.

    Preach

  3. 3.

    Baptize

  4. 4.

    Confirm

  5. 5.

    Conduct meetings

  6. 6.

    Administer to the sick

  7. 7.

    Function in Church disciplinary councils

  8. 8.

    Act in the duties of the Aaronic Priesthood

  9. 9.

    Ordain other elders or priests, teachers, or deacons

D&C 20:39, 41–45; D&C 42:43–44, 80

High Priest

All high priests in the stake

  1. 1.

    Fulfill all the responsibilities of an elder

  2. 2.

    Can be ordained to the office of bishop, stake president, etc.

D&C 20:67 and 107:10; D&C 84:111 and 68:19

Patriarch

No quorum; patriarchs are also high priests

  1. 1.

    Fulfill the responsibilities of elder and high priest

  2. 2.

    Give patriarchal blessings

D&C 107:39–53

Seventy

70

  1. 1.

    Is a General Authority or Area Authority Seventy

  2. 2.

    Preach to all the world

D&C 107:25, 34, 38, 93–97

Apostle

12

  1. 1.

    Serve as special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world

  2. 2.

    Build up and regulate the affairs of the Church

  3. 3.

    The Quorum of the Twelve holds the keys of the kingdom of God on the earth

  4. 4.

    Is a prophet, seer, and revelator

D&C 18:26–27; D&C 107:23, 33

Receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood Is a Great Blessing

Teacher presentation

Explain that the Melchizedek Priesthood is one of the most important blessings God has ever given to his children. The Melchizedek Priesthood gives men the power to perform the saving ordinances needed for each person to obtain eternal life and all of God’s greatest blessings. Because this higher priesthood is vital to our eternal progression, receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood is a very important step in the life of a man.

Explain that every young man in the Church should prepare himself to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. He will be interviewed by his bishop and stake president, and they will evaluate his dedication to the Lord and the Church. If they find him worthy, he will be ordained to the office of elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. He receives this priesthood with an oath and covenant (see D&C 84:33–44).

Quotation

Elder Marion G. Romney has taught us of the responsibilities that come to those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. He said:

“The status of one who receives the priesthood and then breaks the covenant is explained by the Lord in this language: ‘… whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.’ [D&C 84:41.]

“With such a penalty prescribed for breaking it, one might be prompted to question the advisability of accepting the obligations of the covenant; that is, he might question it until he reads the verse which follows the statement of the penalty. There he learns that those who do not receive the oath and covenant are not much, if any, better off than are those who receive it and break it. For in that verse the Lord says: ‘And, wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received. …’ [D&C 84:42.]

“Such is the sober import of ‘the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1962, p. 18; or Improvement Era, June 1962, p. 416).

Scriptures

Review and discuss Doctrine and Covenants 84:41–42 as needed to help the young women understand the great responsibility men take upon themselves when they receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Discussion

Discuss the following questions as a class to help the young women understand their need to show respect for the Melchizedek Priesthood and those who bear it.

  • Without the Melchizedek Priesthood, would our eternal progression be possible?

  • How is our respect for the Melchizedek Priesthood reflected in our thoughts, words, and actions?

  • When we treat priesthood bearers with respect, how are we honoring the Melchizedek Priesthood?

  • What can we do to encourage priesthood bearers to honor their priesthood?

Conclusion

Teacher presentation

Conclude by emphasizing how important it is to honor the Melchizedek Priesthood and those who hold it. Those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood have committed to obey our Father in Heaven and use his priesthood to bless his children. They, like us, are in the process of trying to become like God. Our trust in them will inspire them to honor their priesthood fully.