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Why is it important to follow the counsel given by priesthood leaders?

Priesthood leaders receive inspiration from the Holy Ghost to counsel those they are called to lead. Learning how to listen and follow the counsel given by our priesthood leaders will help us be protected from spiritual and physical danger, and it will help us make wise choices.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Use the resources below to understand for yourself why it is important to follow the counsel of priesthood leaders. Then consider how the activities in the rest of this outline can help you plan ways to engage the youth in learning. Your own experiences following counsel will help you teach effectively.

Ephesians 4:11–14 (Blessings that come from Church leaders)

D&C 1:38; D&C 21:4–5 (The Lord speaks through His servants)

D&C 124:45–46 (Hearken to the Lord’s servants)

Dallin H. Oaks, “Two Lines of Communication,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 83–86

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between things they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Invite the young men in the class to teach the young women something they’ve learned about the priesthood in their Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Then invite the young women to teach what they’ve learned about the priesthood in their classes.
  • Invite the youth to make a list of counsel they’ve received recently from local priesthood leaders (such as the bishop or stake president). What blessings have they received for following this counsel? As you feel inspired throughout the lesson, bear testimony of the blessings that come from following priesthood leaders.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth understand the importance of following the counsel of priesthood leaders. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Ask the youth to share examples from the scriptures of someone who sought and followed the counsel of a priesthood leader (such as 2 Kings 5:1–14, Mosiah 28:1–8, or Alma 16:5–8). Invite the youth to discuss what they learn from these examples about receiving counsel. How did the leaders in these stories receive inspiration to guide those they served? Invite the youth to share experiences that have strengthened their testimonies that our priesthood leaders are inspired.
  • Invite the youth to read Ephesians 4:11–14 and Doctrine and Covenants 1:38; 21:4–5; 124:45–46 and answer the following question: Why is it important to follow the counsel of priesthood leaders? Ask the youth to share experiences in which they followed the counsel of a priesthood leader and were blessed.
  • Hand out copies of Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk “Two Lines of Communication.” Ask half of the class to read section I, “The Personal Line” and work together to draw a chart that represents what Elder Oaks teaches. Ask the other half of the class to do the same with section II, “The Priesthood Line.” After the two groups share their charts with each other, read together section III, “The Need for Both Lines,” and ask the youth how they and their families have been blessed by personal revelation and revelation through priesthood leaders.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand why it is important to follow the counsel of priesthood leaders? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

What have the youth learned today about seeking counsel from priesthood leaders? Invite them to record in their journal the counsel they receive and the blessings they are given when they follow it.