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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. He gives worthy priesthood holders authority to administer ordinances of salvation. All of Heavenly Father’s children can qualify to receive these ordinances and access the power and blessings of the priesthood.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What scriptures and talks will help the young women understand what priesthood is?

Hebrews 5:4; D&C 107:1–5; Articles of Faith 1:5 (Priesthood holders are called of God and ordained by one in authority)

D&C 84:17–22 (The power of godliness is manifest in the ordinances of the priesthood)

D&C 121:34–46 (The power of the priesthood operates only on principles of righteousness)

M. Russell Ballard, “This Is My Work and Glory,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 18–21

Neil L. Andersen, “Power in the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 92–95

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

Aaronic Priesthood,” True to the Faith, 3–4

Melchizedek Priesthood,” True to the Faith, 101–2

Video: “Priesthood Blessings Available to All”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Ask the young women what they know about the priesthood. 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.
  • Invite the young women, as a class or in pairs, to role-play a discussion in which a friend of another faith asks what the priesthood is. How would the young women describe the priesthood? Use the statement at the beginning of this lesson to help them understand what the priesthood is.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand the priesthood. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Divide the young women into groups. Assign each group to search one or more of the scriptures suggested in this outline or a section of M. Russell Ballard’s talk “This Is My Work and Glory,” looking for things they learn about the priesthood. Invite them to share what impresses them. What experiences have the young women had with the priesthood?
  • Ask the young women to list ways in which people in the world gain power (money, education, popularity, good looks, and so on). Read together Doctrine and Covenants 121:36–46, and ask the young women to list the principles upon which priesthood power is based. Contrast the world’s way of obtaining power and the Lord’s way. How does knowing about these principles affect the way the young women view the priesthood?
  • Invite some of the young women to read about the Aaronic Priesthood in True to the Faith (pages 3–4), and invite the others to read about the Melchizedek Priesthood (pages 101–2). Ask each young woman to share something she learned from what she read. Why do they feel it is important for young women to understand the priesthood?
  • Invite each young woman to read one of the sections of Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Power in the Priesthood.” Then ask each young woman to share with the rest of the class what she  learned about the priesthood and what it means to her. 
  • Invite the young women to read the section titled “Priesthood Quorums” on page 125 of True to the Faith. What are the similarities between how Aaronic Priesthood quorums and young women classes are organized? What are the differences? Help the young women see that the women of the Church are organized after the pattern of the priesthood (see Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society [2011], 138).

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand better what the priesthood is? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Prepare and teach a family home evening lesson on the priesthood.
  • Write in their journals something they have learned about the priesthood.