The Purposes of Each Organization and Auxiliary
Families, Aaronic Priesthood quorums, and Young Women, Sunday School, and seminary classes have unique purposes in helping youth to become converted to the gospel. Knowing about these purposes can help you understand the experiences your youth are having as they learn the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father established families as a central part of His plan to help His children learn the gospel in a loving atmosphere and prepare for eternal life. Parents have the primary responsibility to teach their children (see D&C 68:25–28), which includes preparing them to receive the ordinances of exaltation. No one can take the place of parents in this God-given responsibility. Priesthood quorums, auxiliaries, and Church programs exist to support and strengthen families.
Aaronic Priesthood holders are to become converted, fulfill their sacred priesthood duties, be “standing ministers” (D&C 84:111), prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and temple ordinances, and become worthy missionaries, husbands, and fathers. They meet together in a Sunday quorum meeting, which is more than just a class. Each meeting is prayerfully planned by the quorum presidency with the assistance of advisers, but always under the direction of the quorum president, who holds priesthood keys. As instructed in the Doctrine and Covenants, the quorum president presides in the quorum meeting, sits in council with quorum members, and teaches them their duties (see D&C 107:85–87, 99–100). Quorum meetings also provide an occasion to conduct quorum business, which may include making assignments, reporting and following up on previous assignments, and communicating and coordinating activities. These meetings also provide an opportunity for young men to encourage and support each other in their Duty to God efforts, especially as they share what they are learning.
Young Women Sunday classes provide unique learning experiences that help young women become worthy to enter the temple and prepare for their eternal roles as covenant women, wives, and mothers. Each lesson begins with sharing the Young Women theme and focuses on the Book of Mormon and teachings of the living prophets. Lessons also provide opportunities to learn and live the Young Women values and the standards in For the Strength of Youth. As young women exercise their agency to participate in learning experiences that invite the Holy Ghost, they are enlightened, encouraged, and strengthened to live the gospel personally and in their families. Personal Progress and Mutual activities play an integral role in the conversion process as young women practice what they are learning. To ensure that each young woman has sufficient opportunity to accept and act on the doctrine, multiple weeks may be spent on one lesson topic.
Sunday School strengthens faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by providing opportunities for young men and young women and their teachers to learn and teach the doctrine of the gospel together and to strengthen one another in living it. Sunday School provides a unique and essential opportunity for youth to make connections between what they are learning in their personal study and their experiences at home, in seminary, in other Church meetings and classes, and in daily life. In Sunday School, special emphasis is given to helping youth develop skills and confidence to become Christlike learners and teachers. Members of the ward Sunday School presidency serve as specialists in efforts to improve learning and teaching in the ward (see Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 12.5).
Seminary provides weekday religious education for the youth. Its purpose is to help youth understand and rely on the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare themselves, their families, and others for eternal life with their Father in Heaven. Seminary teachers and students study, and are encouraged to apply, the principles of the gospel as found in the scriptures and words of the prophets. They seek to teach and learn by the Spirit in an environment of love, respect, and purpose and in a way that leads to understanding and edification. Students are expected to take an active role in the learning process and are given opportunities to explain, share, and testify of gospel doctrine and principles. They are encouraged to study the scriptures daily, read the scriptural text for the course, and master key scripture passages and basic doctrinal principles.