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What is the priesthood?

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of our Heavenly Father. Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children. God grants the use of His priesthood to worthy men to bless and serve His children. Men who honor the priesthood can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer ordinances of salvation, and lead the Church.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel impressed to share with the quorum?

Matthew 3:1–6; 28:19; John 15:16 (Priesthood holders preach the gospel)

Acts 3:1–8; James 5:14–15 (Priesthood holders give blessings to heal the sick and afflicted)

Hebrews 5:4 (Priesthood holders are called of God)

3 Nephi 11:1218:1–5; D&C 107:20 (Priesthood holders administer ordinances)

D&C 20:38–67 (Duties of priesthood holders)

D&C 65:2; 124:123 (Priesthood holders help govern the Church)

D&C 121:34–41 (The authority of the priesthood operates only on principles of righteousness)

Thomas S. Monson, “Willing and Worthy to Serve,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 66–69

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Joy of the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 57–60

M. Russell Ballard, “This Is My Work and Glory,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013

Priesthood,” True to the Faith (2004), 124–28

Video: “Priesthood Blessings Available to All”

Video: “Power of God”

Video: “Blessings of the Priesthood”

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 young man to come to quorum meeting prepared to share what he learned from last week’s lesson. Encourage him to share his feelings and testimony.
  • Invite the young men to role-play a discussion in which a friend of another faith asks, “What is the priesthood?” How would they describe the priesthood? What experiences could they share? Share with them the paragraph at the beginning of this outline or the video “Priesthood Blessings Available to All,” and ask them what additional truths they learn about the priesthood.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help quorum members understand 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 priesthood and priesthood keys (see “Understand Doctrine,” page 18, 42, or 66).
  • Give the young men copies of President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Willing and Worthy to Serve.” Ask each young man to read the first seven paragraphs and find words or phrases President Monson uses to explain what the priesthood is, and have him write the words or phrases on the board (some examples may include channel, power of God, and opportunity to bless). What do these words mean? What else did they learn about the priesthood? What experiences have they had that have strengthened their testimonies of the priesthood?
  • Divide the quorum into small groups. Assign each group one or more of the scriptures suggested in this outline, and ask them to look for the duties of priesthood holders in those scriptures. Invite them to search through the Gospel Art Book to find pictures of individuals performing priesthood duties, and ask them to explain how others are blessed through this service. Invite the young men to share their experiences fulfilling their priesthood duties and to describe how their services affects others.
  • Write on the board “What blessings have come into your life because of the priesthood?” Invite the young men to ponder this question and share their answers. Show one of the videos listed in this outline, or read together the first nine paragraphs of Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “This Is My Work and Glory.” Invite the young men to look for answers to questions such as “What is the priesthood?” and “How does the priesthood bless us?” Invite the young men to record stories about how the priesthood has blessed their families in their My Family booklets. They could ask their parents or family members to help.
  • Invite the young men to find examples in the scriptures of people who were blessed by the priesthood (for some ideas, they could refer to the scriptures suggested in this outline). Ask them to share the examples they find and their own experiences witnessing the power of the priesthood. As a quorum, read the first four paragraphs of the last section of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “The Joy of the Priesthood.” How does President Uchtdorf feel about the priesthood? Invite the young men to share their own feelings about what it means to hold the priesthood.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand 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 priesthood and what it means in his life.
  • Challenge quorum members to share with a family member or friend what they learned and felt about the priesthood in today’s class.
  • Encourage members to share stories about how the priesthood has blessed their families on the family history website.