What is the Priesthood


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An outline for a lesson on What is the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood. This presentation was prepared for my 11-year-old Scouts.

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  • D&C 84:20 Therefore, in the ordinances (of the priesthood), the power of godliness is manifest.
  • D&C 124:128 The Twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth. D&C 132:7 there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred D&C 107: 18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church D&C 107: 20 The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.
  • D&C 121: 36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven
  • McConkie: Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939 ed.], pp. 139-40. N. Eldon Tanner, “The Priesthood of God,” Ensign, June 1973
  • What is the Priesthood

    1. 1. What is the Priesthood?
    2. 2. Which is the Priesthood?
    3. 3. Which is the Priesthood? <ul><li>Answer: All of the Above </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the context, when we use the word “priesthood” it could mean A, B, C, D, or E </li></ul>
    4. 4. A: The Light Emanating <ul><li>Priesthood blessing in our lives: Healing the sick, Performing ordinances, etc. </li></ul>
    5. 5. B: The Light Bulb <ul><li>Priesthood holders: Men such as Apostles, Bishops, Deacons, etc. </li></ul>
    6. 6. C: The Light Switch <ul><li>Priesthood keys: The power to turn on and off the use of the priesthood powers. </li></ul>
    7. 7. D: The Connecting Wires <ul><li>Priesthood: The conduit to Heaven </li></ul>
    8. 8. E: The Battery <ul><li>Priesthood: The Power Source </li></ul>
    9. 9. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>The priesthood is the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family—Bruce R. McConkie, Gospel Doctrine p. 139-40. </li></ul><ul><li>By priesthood authority all ordinances of the Church are administered and received—N. Eldon Tanner, “The Priesthood of God,” Ensign, June 1973 </li></ul>
    10. 10. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>“ When we [act] in the name of the Lord, as holders of the priesthood, we are doing it in the name and in behalf of our Heavenly Father. Priesthood is the power by which our Heavenly Father works through men” (Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Apr. 1973, 128; or Ensign, July 1973, 98). </li></ul>
    11. 11. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>Speaking to all priesthood bearers, President Joseph Fielding Smith said: </li></ul><ul><li>“ We are the Lord’s agents; we represent him; he has given us authority which empowers us to do all that is necessary to save and exalt ourselves as well as his other children in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We are ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our commission is to represent him. We are directed … to do what he would do if he were personally present” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 47; or Ensign, June 1971, 49). </li></ul>
    12. 12. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>“ And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb. 5:4.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.” (Art. of Faith 5) </li></ul>
    13. 13. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. </li></ul><ul><li>God gives priesthood authority to worthy males so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. </li></ul><ul><li>Priesthood blessings are available to all. </li></ul><ul><li>The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold priesthood keys. </li></ul><ul><li>Any ordination to a priesthood office is a call to lifelong service. </li></ul><ul><li>One must be worthy in order to receive and exercise priesthood power. </li></ul><ul><li>(True to the Faith, A Gospel Reference, p.124) </li></ul>
    14. 14. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>These verses teach us that the Priesthood: </li></ul><ul><li>Comes directly as a call from God </li></ul><ul><li>Must be conveyed by the laying on of hands </li></ul><ul><li>Must be conferred by someone in authority </li></ul><ul><li>Is needed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ </li></ul><ul><li>Is necessary to administer the ordinances of the Gospel </li></ul>
    15. 15. Divisions of the Priesthood <ul><li>There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic—D&C 107: 1 </li></ul>Melchizedek Priesthood Aaronic Priesthood
    16. 16. Divisions of the Priesthood <ul><li>D&C 107: 2 – 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest. </li></ul><ul><li>Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. </li></ul><ul><li>But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Divisions of the Priesthood <ul><li>D&C 107:13 - 14 </li></ul><ul><li>The second priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations. </li></ul><ul><li>Why it is called the lesser priesthood is because it is an appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power in administering outward ordinances. </li></ul>
    18. 18. an appendage to the greater? <ul><li>Appendage: </li></ul><ul><li>1. a part of something larger or more important </li></ul><ul><li>2. a subordinate or derivative body part; especially a limb </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: Merriam-Webster) </li></ul>
    19. 19. Aaronic Priesthood Restoration <ul><li>May 15, 1829 </li></ul><ul><li>Banks of the Sesquehanna River </li></ul><ul><li>The resurrected John the Baptist laid his hands on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery </li></ul><ul><li>Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.—D&C 13:1 </li></ul>
    20. 20. Offices of Aaronic Priesthood <ul><li>Deacon </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Priest </li></ul><ul><li>Bishop </li></ul>
    21. 21. The Preparatory Priesthood <ul><li>As a priesthood holder serves in the Aaronic Priesthood, he prepares to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, to receive the blessings of the temple, to serve a full-time mission, to be a loving husband and father, and to continue in lifelong service to the Lord. (True to the Faith, A Gospel Reference, p.4) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration Joseph Smith recorded that Peter, James, and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood on him and Oliver Cowdery and ordained them to be apostles and special witnesses of Jesus Christ to bear the keys of his kingdom in these last days. (D&C 27:12-13)
    23. 23. Melchizedek Priesthood Offices <ul><li>Elder </li></ul><ul><li>High Priest </li></ul><ul><li>Patriarch </li></ul><ul><li>Seventy </li></ul><ul><li>Apostle </li></ul>
    24. 24. Priesthood Quorums <ul><li>Priesthood holders are organized in groups of brethren who hold the same priesthood office. </li></ul><ul><li>The primary purposes of quorums are to serve others, build unity and brotherhood, and instruct one another in doctrines, principles, and duties. </li></ul><ul><li>(True to the Faith, A Gospel Reference, p.125) </li></ul>
    25. 25. oath & covenant of priesthood <ul><li>When a man receives the Melchizedek Priesthood, he enters into the oath and covenant of the priesthood, found in the 84 th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. He covenants to be faithful, magnify his calling, “give diligent heed to the words of eternal life,” and “live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” Those who keep this covenant will be sanctified by the Spirit and receive “all that [the] Father hath.” (True to the Faith, A Gospel Reference, p.102) </li></ul>
    26. 26. Priesthood Keys <ul><li>The exercise of priesthood authority in the Church is governed by those who hold priesthood keys. </li></ul><ul><li>Keys give the right to preside over and direct the Church within a jurisdiction. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: A bishop within the ward and a Stake President within a Stake. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Priesthood Keys <ul><li>Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood. </li></ul><ul><li>He has given His Apostles the keys that are necessary for governing His Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Only the President of the Church, may use (or authorize another person to use) these keys for governing the entire Church. </li></ul>
    28. 28. What is the Priesthood? <ul><li>The End </li></ul><ul><li>Questions… </li></ul><ul><li>Comments… </li></ul>