Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

I will soon turn 12 and receive the priesthood. I know this means I will have more responsibilities even though I’m not sure yet what those responsibilities are. What should I do to prepare?

New Era

  • The most important thing you can do to prepare to receive the Aaronic Priesthood is to live worthily.

  • Prepare yourself mentally by learning as much as possible about what the priesthood is and the responsibilities of priesthood holders.

  • You may want to ask your parents to have a family home evening lesson about preparing for the priesthood.

  • Before you receive the priesthood, your bishop will interview you. This is a great time to ask any questions you have.

Receiving the priesthood means receiving the greatest power on earth. It is the authority of God delegated to man to act in His name for the salvation of His children. With the priesthood comes great responsibility, something you must prepare to receive.

The most important thing you can do to prepare to receive the Aaronic Priest-hood is to live worthily. “Your authority comes through your ordination; your power comes through obedience and worthiness,” said President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Power in the priesthood comes from doing your duty in ordinary things: attending meetings, accepting assignments, reading the scriptures, keeping the Word of Wisdom” (Ensign, Nov. 1981, 32–33).

Preparing for the Aaronic Priesthood, just like holding the Aaronic Priesthood, requires the same obedience in the “ordinary things.” Daily scripture study, prayer, and striving to follow the commandments will prepare you spiritually. You should also prepare yourself mentally by learning as much as possible about what the priesthood is and the responsibilities of priesthood holders.

The scriptures are a great resource. Using the Topical Guide and other study resources, you will find lots of information. We also suggest reading Doctrine and Covenants section 13, an account of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood. Section 20 describes the duties of the priesthood, and section 84 contains the oath and covenant of the priesthood.

You may want to ask your parents to have a family home evening lesson about preparing for the priesthood.

Many conference talks have been given about the Aaronic Priesthood. You can search for these talks on the Internet at www.lds.org, or you can look up “priesthood” in the index of a conference edition (May or November) of the Ensign. Once you are ordained a deacon, you will be able to attend the priesthood session of general conference where Church leaders speak directly to priesthood holders.

Before you receive the priesthood, your bishop will interview you. This is a great time to ask him any questions you have.

One of the most important things you can do to prepare to receive the priesthood is to learn to serve others. “We often define priesthood as the power and authority to act in the name of God upon the earth,” said Elder Keith K. Hilbig of the Seventy. “But service to our Savior, our family, and our fellowman also defines our priesthood. The Savior intends that we exercise our priesthood primarily for the benefit of others” (Ensign, Nov. 2001, 45).

No matter how much you study, you won’t be able to understand everything about the priesthood all at once. But as you learn about and fulfil your priesthood duties, you will understand more.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin

“In the eyes of God, there is more power and authority in the hand of an Aaronic Priesthood bearer than there is among all of the world’s rich, famous, and influential people. Their works will end; his will not. They can do nothing in the name of the Lord; he can do whatever the Lord requires of him, for he is on the Lord’s errand” (Ensign, Nov. 1997, 41). —Bishop Keith B. McMullin Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

Readers

To know what your responsibilities are, read about them in the Doctrine and Covenants, sections 20 and 84. To prepare, honor your parents, so you will know how to honor your leaders. Read the scriptures, say your prayers, and try to stay worthy to receive answers by obeying God’s laws. You will learn about the priesthood more in your quorum meetings.

Scott Haslam, 15 Magna, Utah

Our bodies are temples of God. The Spirit of God cannot dwell in unclean places. As you are preparing to receive the priesthood, keep the Lord’s temple clean and holy so the Spirit can guide you to use your priesthood authority.

Etukudo Essien Silas, 19 Akwa, Nigeria

Before my 12th birthday, I thought that all a deacon did was pass the sacrament and gather fast offerings. Before I was ordained, my father and I read together about the duties of a deacon and an Aaronic Priesthood holder in D&C sections 13 and 20. I found out there is much more to being a deacon than passing the sacrament and collecting fast offerings. Being a deacon makes me feel like I’m getting ready to serve a mission!

Kevin C. Smurthwaite, 12 Boise, Idaho

You should first talk to your father, bishop, or your Young Men leader to help you learn about your responsibilities. You should then pray and ask for strength to be able to carry out your responsibilities. Reading your scriptures is an excellent way to prepare for the priesthood. If you still feel a little confused on how to start preparing, you can certainly ask for a father’s blessing.

Megan Curtis, 16 Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela

[photo] Photography by Welden C. Andersen. Posed by model