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What is the oath and covenant of the priesthood?

We receive the holy priesthood by an “oath and covenant.” This means that Heavenly Father gives us His oath that we can have the power and blessing of the priesthood if we covenant with Him to magnify our callings, be faithful in keeping the commandments, and live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you study the scriptures and other resources about priesthood covenants, look for things that would help the young men magnify their callings and responsibilities as priesthood holders.

D&C 84:33–44 (Men gain eternal life through the oath and covenant of the priesthood)

D&C 121:34–40 (Why many are called and few are chosen)

D&C 121:41–46 (The priesthood should only be used in righteousness)

Henry B. Eyring, “Faith and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 61–64

Anthony D. Perkins, “Beware Concerning Yourselves,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 54–56

Preparing to Receive the Melchizedek Priesthood,” Fulfilling My Duty to God (2010), 84–87

Video: “Sanctify Yourselves”

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 each young man to draw a picture that relates to something he learned from last week’s lesson and share it with the quorum. How did they apply what they learned?
  • Bring a dictionary to the quorum meeting, and invite the young men to look up the definitions of oath and covenant. Ask one of them to briefly summarize the definitions on the board. Why do the young men think these words are associated with receiving the priesthood? (see D&C 84:40–41).

Learn together

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

  • Some of your quorum members may have completed the activity on preparing for the Melchizedek Priesthood in Duty to God (see pages 84–86). If so, consider inviting them to teach the other quorum members what they learned about the priesthood.
  • Write on the board “The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.” Beneath it write “Man promises” and “God promises.” Explain that there is a covenant that a man makes with God when he receives the priesthood. Ask quorum members to search Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44 and mark what those who receive the priesthood promise and what God promises in return. Ask them to write what they find on the board under the appropriate heading. Share personal experiences you have had that will help quorum members see the blessings that come when we magnify our priesthood.
  • Show the video “Sanctify Yourselves” and ask the young men to share what they learn about the importance of faithfulness in magnifying the priesthood. With permission from the bishop, invite a few sisters (such as mothers of the young men) to visit the quorum meeting and share with the young men how faithful priesthood holders have influenced their lives and families.
  • Give each young man a copy of President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Faith and the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood,” and invite the quorum to identify all the blessings President Eyring says priesthood holders receive as they magnify their callings in faith. Ask the quorum members to share what they find. Which blessing mentioned by President Eyring would they most want to receive, and why?
  • Share with the young men the section titled “Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood” from Elder Anthony D. Perkins’s talk “Beware Concerning Yourselves.” Invite one of the young men to draw on the board the “celestial road” Elder Perkins describes. Then invite each young man to add to the road a caution sign warning of a spiritual danger that priesthood holders should avoid. What can we do as priesthood holders to avoid these dangers?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the oath and covenant 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:

  • Tell the quorum what he plans to do to magnify his calling and responsibilities in the priesthood and invite quorum members to make plans of their own.
  • Challenge members of the quorum to look for ways in which Heavenly Father blesses them when they fulfill their priesthood duties.