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How was the priesthood restored?

The priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith by the laying on of hands by those who held it anciently. In May 1829, John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood, and shortly thereafter, Peter, James, and John, three of the Savior’s original Apostles, restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. On April 3, 1836, Moses, Elijah, and Elias restored additional priesthood keys.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What inspires you about the restoration of the priesthood?

Hebrews 5:4; Articles of Faith 1:5 (A man must be called of God to receive the priesthood)

D&C 1:20 (The gospel was restored that every man might speak in the name of the Lord)

D&C 2 (Elijah is to reveal the priesthood; promises to the fathers are planted in the hearts of the children)

D&C 13; Joseph Smith—History 1:68–72 (John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood)

D&C 27:12–13 (Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood)

D&C 110 (Moses, Elijah, and Elias restored additional priesthood keys)

David A. Bednar, “The Powers of Heaven,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 48–51 (see also the video “Priesthood Authority and Power”)

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Our Most Distinguishing Feature,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 43–45.

Video: “Restoration of the Priesthood”

Video: “Elder Perry on the Priesthood, Part 4: Restoration Makes Authority Clear”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Ask a few young men to write one sentence on the board that summarizes an important truth they learned last week.
  • If possible, share your priesthood line of authority with the quorum and explain what it is (or invite a young man to share his). What does the line of authority teach the young men about the restoration of the priesthood? (Melchizedek Priesthood holders can request a copy of their line of authority by sending an email to lineofauthority@ldschurch.org.) Consider researching the people in the line of authority. What do you learn that inspires you to honor the power of the priesthood?

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand the restoration of the priesthood. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite a quorum member to teach a portion of this lesson. He could do this as part of his Duty to God plan to learn and teach about the restoration of the priesthood (see “Understand Doctrine,” page 18, 42, or 66).
  • Display pictures depicting events of the restoration of the priesthood (see Gospel Art Book, 93–95), or watch the video “Restoration of the Priesthood.” Have the young men identify key participants in these events (such as Joseph Smith, John the Baptist, Elijah, and so on). Read scriptures about the events (such as those suggested in this outline), and ask young men what questions they have. Ask each young man to share one way the priesthood has blessed him.
  • Give the young men the questions that Elder L. Tom Perry answers in “Elder Perry on the Priesthood, Part 4: Restoration Makes Authority Clear.” Have the young men write down answers to the questions before they watch the video; then show the video and invite them to share any additional insights they gain from Elder Perry’s answers. Ask them to share how they felt when they received the priesthood. 
  • Divide Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Our Most Distinguishing Feature” among the young men. Ask the young men to search their sections of the talk, looking for answers to the questions “How is the priesthood conferred?” and “Why is the priesthood given in this way?” As part of this discussion, invite the young men to read Hebrews 5:4 and Articles of Faith 1:5. Why is it important for Aaronic Priesthood holders to know about the restoration of the priesthood?
  • Show the video “Priesthood Authority and Power,” and discuss as a quorum the questions Elder David A. Bednar’s father asked (or invite the young men to read about this experience in the talk “The Powers of Heaven”). In what ways should we be different from other men in the world because we hold the priesthood?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the restoration of the priesthood better? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his feelings about the restoration of the priesthood or invite others to do the same.
  • Invite quorum members to create an outline to teach others about the restoration of the priesthood (see Duty to God, 18, 42, or 66).