Each young woman will understand more fully what the priesthood is and the blessings she can enjoy through its power.
Pictures 6, John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood (62013); 7, Blessing the Sacrament (62343); and 8, A Father’s Blessing. If you wish, also use other pictures showing the priesthood in use.
Obtain a pencil and paper for each young woman.
If it is available in your area, prepare to show “The Blessings of the Priesthood,” from Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).
Assign young women to present any scriptures, stories, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
The Priesthood Is the Authority and Power of God
Display pictures depicting the restoration of the priesthood and priesthood ordinances being performed, such as blessing the sacrament, administering to the sick, or baptism.
Begin class by sharing the following experience of Wilson P. Lauritzen:
“We were fighting in the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ near the town of Ammonius, Belgium. By that time the Germans were on the defensive. We had just succeeded in cutting off or surrounding a sector of the German line. They were surrendering in large numbers. As we were disarming the soldiers, one of them said to me in broken English: ‘Would you know if there are any Mormon soldiers in your unit?’ I replied, ‘Yes, I am a Mormon.’ He asked, ‘Do you hold the priesthood?’ ‘Yes, I do,’ I answered. ‘I was married in the temple.’ ‘Would you be so kind as to come with me to that shell hole over there and administer to my buddy? He is pretty well shaken up, and pretty badly wounded.’ Of course I consented to go. We found that his buddy was in a bad condition and was suffering much pain. Then the two of us, who a few short hours before had been on opposite sides in the bitter struggle, knelt down and administered to the wounded lad. And as we did so, I felt the spirit of the Lord very strongly. I know that that feeling was shared by them, too. As we finished, the litter-bearers were there. We lifted the broken body to the stretcher. Then our ways parted: the wounded boy was taken to the hospital; the German soldier was sent back with the other prisoners, and I went on with my other duties” (as quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, in Albert L. Zobell, Jr., Storyteller’s Scrapbook [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1948], pp. 112–13).
What power united these two men from different countries?
What is the priesthood? (The power and authority given by our Heavenly Father to all of his sons who accept and live the gospel.)
Pictures and scripture discussion
Refer to the pictures and ask the following question:
When a worthy holder of the priesthood performs an ordinance, does it have the same importance to us as if the Lord were doing it?
After the young women respond, ask one of them to read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38. Explain that priesthood holders can act with the power of God. For further discussion of this principle, you may wish to read 3 Nephi 12:1–2, which describes how Jesus called his twelve Nephite disciples and gave them power to act in his name.
Ask the young women to imagine that they are outside on a beautiful clear evening looking at the stars. Point out that some of the stars may be much like our own sun and that many of them also have planets. (See D&C 76:22–24; 88:45–47; and Moses 1:33–35 for background information.)
Ask the young women to explain by what power all of these other planets, as well as our own earth, were made.
To clarify this idea, read Doctrine and Covenants 88:45–47. Point out that all of these planets were made by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the power of the priesthood. It is a power great enough to control worlds, yet gentle enough to bless a newborn baby.
Young Women Enjoy Great Blessings through the Priesthood
Explain that many of our blessings come through the priesthood. The priesthood can have great power in our lives.
Explain that the Savior raised a young girl the same age as the class members from the dead by the power of the priesthood. Ask if anyone knows which story you are referring to. Read together Mark 5:22–43 to review the story of the daughter of Jairus.
Many of the young women and members of their families may have been blessed by priesthood power. Ask the young women to share experiences they have had with the priesthood.
Explain that priesthood power blesses our lives in many ways. Ask the young women to think of as many ways as possible in which the priesthood has blessed their lives or will bless them. Briefly list their responses on the chalkboard. You may need to give them a few examples from the following list to get them started.
Blessings I Receive through the Priesthood
My first blessing as a baby
Membership in the Lord’s Church
The gift of the Holy Ghost
Priesthood guidance in my present and future home
Guidance from living prophets and Apostles
Priesthood blessings when I’m sick or need help
Father’s blessings on special occasions
A bishop who cares
The temple endowment
You may wish to share an experience you have had or know of that illustrates the priesthood’s influence. If you are a new member of the Church, you might tell about your conversion. If priesthood holders helped in your conversion, express your feelings toward them. If you are married, you might tell of the influence of the priesthood in your own home and family. Let the young women know of your appreciation for the priesthood. You may choose to share the following story.
Bishop H. Burke Peterson related the following personal experience:
“Some years ago, when I was serving as a bishop in a ward in Arizona, we had an unusual group of teenagers. Most of them had the courage to do what was right. They stayed close to each other and helped each other when things got tough. Most of them went to a high school close by. In numbers, they were really only a handful of the total student body. They met a girl at the school who was not a member of the Church. Her circumstances were unusual, for she was deaf. She also had a defective heart. The only way she could know what you were saying was to watch your lips and read them. She sat in the front of each class so she could see the teachers speak. She was a good student, but when you can’t hear and can’t be active, it’s hard for you to be a part of what is going on. You’re sort of a spectator rather than a participant. She was a spectator watching from the sidelines.
“The young people from the ward were friendly to her and invited her into their circle. She responded to their kindness. One step led to another, and with her parents’ permission she was finally invited to receive the missionary lessons in one of the homes. She was taught by two nineteen-year-old elders not much older than she. She liked what she heard; she believed what she heard; she felt good inside. The day was set for her baptism. We were all invited to go. Dressed in white, she and one of the missionaries entered the water, and she was baptized as he said, calling her by name, ‘Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ (D&C 20:73.)
“The next step was for her to be confirmed. Some of us stood in the circle as priesthood hands were placed on her head. I was aware that she couldn’t see the lips of the one confirming her. And she wouldn’t be able to hear the blessing he might give. I listened carefully because I wanted to invite her into my office later, where she could see me talk, and tell her what had been said.
“A nineteen-year-old elder was the voice as she was confirmed a member of the Church. He then continued with a blessing. As he spoke, he began to make her promises that I thought were unusual. In fact, I became a little uneasy at his words. He continued the blessing, and I began to feel a calm spirit of peace as he spoke. Later, I sat in front of her and said, ‘I want to tell you of the blessing the elder gave you. It was tremendous.’
“She paused, and with moistened eyes said, ‘Bishop, I heard the blessing.’
“She had been healed. She could now hear, and her heart was beating normally. She could now participate more fully in the gospel and in the blessings of life” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, p. 51; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, pp. 35–36).
Have the young women express their feelings about the story.
How did this young woman prepare herself to receive the blessings of the priesthood?
Distribute paper and pencils to the young women. Ask them to write ways in which they can prepare themselves to receive the blessings of the priesthood. Encourage each to prepare herself in those ways she has identified.