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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.

Published in: Spiritual
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What is the Priesthood

  1. 1. What is the Priesthood?
  2. 2. What is the Priesthood? • The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. • God gives priesthood authority to worthy males so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. • Priesthood blessings are available to all. • The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold priesthood keys. • Any ordination to a priesthood office is a call to lifelong service. • One must be worthy in order to receive and exercise priesthood power. (True to the Faith, A Gospel Reference, p.124)
  3. 3. Which is the Priesthood? A. The light being emitted B. The light bulb C. The light switch D. The cables carrying the electricity E. The electricity itself or source • In this diagram, which represents the priesthood?
  4. 4. Which is the Priesthood? • Answer: All of the Above…depending on the context • When we use the word “priesthood” it could mean A, B, C, D, or E
  5. 5. Which is the Priesthood? A. Priesthood blessings in our lives. Healing the sick, Performing ordinances, etc. B. The priesthood holder. Men such as Apostles, Bishops, Deacons, etc. C. Priesthood keys. The power to turn on and off the use of the priesthood powers. D. The conduit to Heavenly power E. God, the source of priesthood power. • In this diagram, the priesthood could be represented by
  6. 6. What is the Priesthood? • “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. • “By priesthood authority all ordinances of the Church are administered and received.” – N. Eldon Tanner, “The Priesthood of God,” Ensign, June 1973
  7. 7. What is the Priesthood? • “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, emphasis added.
  8. 8. What is the Priesthood? • Speaking to all priesthood bearers, President Joseph Fielding Smith said: • “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.” • “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.” – Conference Report, Apr. 1971, 47; or Ensign, June 1971, 49.
  9. 9. What is the Priesthood? • “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb. 5:4.) • “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)
  10. 10. Divisions of the Priesthood • There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic— D&C 107: 1 Melchizedek Priesthood Aaronic Priesthood
  11. 11. Divisions of the Priesthood • D&C 107: 2 – 4 • “Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest. • Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. • 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.”
  12. 12. Divisions of the Priesthood • D&C 107:13 - 14 • “The second priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations. • 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.”
  13. 13. An Appendage to the Greater? Appendage: 1. a part of something larger or more important 2. a subordinate or derivative body part; especially a limb (Source: Merriam-Webster)
  14. 14. Aaronic Priesthood Restoration • May 15, 1829 • Banks of the Sesquehanna River • The resurrected John the Baptist laid his hands on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery • “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.”—D&C 13:1
  15. 15. Offices of Aaronic Priesthood • Deacon = Age 12 – Pass sacrament – Collect fast offerings • Teacher = Age 14 – Prepare Sacrament – Home teaching • Priest = Age 16 – Bless sacrament – Baptize • Bishop, a high priest who is president of the Aaronic Priesthood in a ward
  16. 16. The Preparatory Priesthood 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)
  17. 17. 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)
  18. 18. Melchizedek Priesthood Offices • Elder • High Priest • Patriarch • Seventy • Apostle
  19. 19. Principles of Righteousness • “The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and …cannot be controlled nor handled only [i.e. except] upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” – D&C 121: 36-37
  20. 20. Oath & Covenant of Priesthood • “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. …And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; …And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.” • D&C 84: 33, 35, 37-39
  21. 21. What is the Priesthood? • The End • Questions?