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Duty to God

How does worthiness affect priesthood power?

Priesthood authority comes through ordination, but priesthood power requires personal righteousness, faithfulness, obedience, and diligence. Even if we receive priesthood authority by the laying on of hands, we will have no priesthood power if we are disobedient, unworthy, or unwilling to serve.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the young men?

D&C 38:42 (Priesthood holders are commanded to be clean)

D&C 121:34–46 (Priesthood power is dependent upon one’s righteousness)

Neil L. Andersen, “Power in the Priesthood,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013

David A. Bednar, “The Powers of Heaven,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 48–51

“Live Worthily,” Fulfilling My Duty to God (2010), 16–17 (deacons), 40–41 (teachers), 64–65 (priests)

Videos: “Sanctify Yourselves”; “Priesthood Power and Priesthood Authority”

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:

  • During the week, invite several young men to come to quorum meeting prepared to share experiences they had that are related to last week’s lesson.
  • Have a young man turn off the lights in the classroom. How useful is a light bulb without electrical power? How does this relate to a priesthood holder? Read together Doctrine and Covenants 121:36–37, and ask the young men to discuss how righteousness affects priesthood power.

Learn together

The purpose of this lesson is to help each young man understand how their worthiness affects their priesthood power. As part of this lesson, quorum members should make plans in their Duty to God books to study and live the standards in For the Strength of Youth. Before quorum meeting, invite the young men to bring their Duty to God books with them to church. In future quorum meetings, invite them to share experiences they are having as they fulfill their plans.

  • Invite the young men to read Doctrine and Covenants 38:42; 121:34–46 and answer the following questions: How does sin affect priesthood power? What are the principles that govern the use of the priesthood? Invite the young men to talk about priesthood holders they know who exemplify the principles governing priesthood power. (See Duty to God.) Ask them to turn to the “Act” section of their Duty to God books (page 17, 41, or 65) and make plans to live more worthy of the priesthood by studying and following the standards in For the Strength of Youth.
  • Invite one quorum member to tell the story of Joseph resisting Potiphar’s wife (see Genesis 39, 41) and another to tell the story of David giving in to temptation (see 2 Samuel 11–12). As a quorum, discuss what these stories teach about the connection between priesthood power and personal worthiness. How was Joseph blessed for his faithfulness? What could David have done to avoid his tragedy? (See Duty to God, 64.) Invite the young men to turn to the “Act” section of their Duty to God books (page 17, 41, or 65) and make plans to live more worthy of the priesthood.
  • Ask the young men to read Mosiah 4:30 and Doctrine and Covenants 63:16 and identify the consequences of having unclean thoughts. Have them contrast these warnings with the blessings of letting “virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly” (D&C 121:45). (See Duty to God.) Invite the young men to turn to the “Act” section of their Duty to God books (page 17, 41, or 65) and make plans to live more worthy of the priesthood.
  • Write on the board, “How does worthiness affect priesthood power?” and invite quorum members to share their answers to this question. Invite them to think about this question as they read the seven paragraphs from Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Power in the Priesthood” starting with the phrase “We know that the power of the holy priesthood.” What additional thoughts do the young men have about the effect of personal worthiness on priesthood power? What are some things that can limit our priesthood power? What can we do to gain access to greater priesthood power?
  • Invite the young men to search Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “The Powers of Heaven” or watch the video “Priesthood Power and Priesthood Authority,” looking for statements that teach them about worthiness and priesthood power. Then invite them to share with the quorum what they find.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand how worthiness affects priesthood power? 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 with the quorum the plans he has made to study and apply standards in For the Strength of Youth. He could also explain that for the next several weeks, quorum members will be asked to share how fulfilling their plans is helping them live worthy to exercise their priesthood.