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How can using scripture study skills help me learn more about the priesthood?

One of the best ways to learn about the priesthood is to study the scriptures. Studying the scriptures involves more than just reading. In order to understand scriptures that teach about the priesthood, we can learn and apply scripture study skills such as defining difficult words and using footnotes and other study aids.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the youth you teach?

D&C 20:46–59 (Duties of the Aaronic Priesthood)

D&C 121:34–46 (The power of the priesthood is dependent upon principles of righteousness)

D&C 84:33–44 (The oath and covenant of the priesthood)

Melchizedek Priesthood,” Bible Dictionary

Boyd K. Packer, “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well,” Ensign, Feb. 1993, 7–13

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

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 youth to ask any questions they have about the priesthood or priesthood keys.
  • Ask the youth what they do when they come across a scripture that they do not understand. What scripture study aids are available to help them? What else do they do to deepen their understanding of the scriptures?

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth understand how to use scripture study skills to learn more about the priesthood. Following the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Invite the youth to read Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46 and identify words that they do not understand, such as dominion, betimes, compulsion, pricks, unfeigned, and so on. Ask the youth to look up the definitions of the words they identified in a dictionary and read the scripture verses again. What additional insights do the youth gain after defining these words? Invite the youth to choose an additional scripture about the priesthood to study and define unfamiliar words (for example, they could look up scriptures found in the section titled “Priesthood” in True to the Faith or in President Boyd K. Packer’s article “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well”). Ask them to share what they learn with the class.
  • Assign each youth to study a few of the verses from Doctrine and Covenants 20:46–59 or 84:33–44. Invite them to use the footnotes of these verses to find additional insights about the priesthood. Invite them to share what they learn. How did the footnotes help them understand the scriptures better?
  • Invite the youth to imagine telling a friend that a relative recently received the Melchizedek Priesthood. How would they explain the Melchizedek Priesthood to their friend if he or she was unfamiliar with the Church? What scriptures could they share if their friend had questions? Ask the youth to read “Melchizedek Priesthood” in the Bible Dictionary and identify scriptures they could use as they talk with their friend.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand how to use scripture study skills to help them learn more about the priesthood? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Encourage the youth to use the skills they learned today as they study about the priesthood and priesthood keys and other gospel topics. In future classes, invite them to share things they are learning.

Tell the youth about the blessings you have received from your study of the gospel.