May 30, 2014

The Priesthood (FHE)

This week's family home evening lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual, chapter 13: The Priesthood.

Song: We sang song #190 from the primary Children's Songbook, Love is Spoken Here.  It goes as follows:
I see my mother kneeling with our family each day.
I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.
Her plea to the Father quiets all my fears,
And I am thankful love is spoken here.
Mine is a home where ev'ry hour 
is blessed by the strength of priesthood pow'r,
With father and mother leading the way,
Teaching me how to trust and obey;
And the things they teach are crystal clear,
For love is spoken here.
I can often feel the Savior near
When love is spoken here

Lesson: The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.  Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.  Heavenly Father delegates His priesthood power to worthy male members of the Church.  This priesthood power enables them to act in His name for the salvation of the human family.
We must have priesthood authority to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel:  baptism, confirmation of the Holy Ghost, administration of the sacrament, baby blessings, administering to the sick, and temple ordinances.  Men need the priesthood to preside in the Church and to direct the work of the Church (D&C 20:38-67).  The prophet, holding all keys of the priesthood on the earth today, uses the priesthood to understand the will of the Lord for everyone on the earth and to carry out His purposes.

A worthy male member of the Church receives the priesthood by the "laying on of hands by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof" (Articles of Faith 1:5).  This is the same way men received the priesthood in ancient times (Hebrews 5:4).  Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood (Acts 8:20).

The power of the priesthood cannot be controlled except in righteousness (D&C 121:36).  If a man tries to exercise unrighteous dominion by forcing their families and others to obey them, or to gain wealth or fame or other selfish purpose, "behold the heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man" (D&C 121:37).  Everything he has will be taken away and given to one who is righteous and worthy, whether it be in this life or in the next.  And wo be unto that man if he does not repent.

The priesthood should be used to bless the lives of those on the earth.  Priesthood holders should preside in love and kindness, "by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness and meekness, by love unfeigned" (D&C 121:37).  Using the priesthood, a man can do many wonderful things for his family and for others like blessing the sick, give priesthood blessings of protection and guidance, and participate in the ordinances of the gospel.  Every man who uses the priesthood in righteousness "will find his life sweetened, his discernment sharpened to decide quickly between right and wrong, his feelings tender and compassionate, yet his spirit strong and valiant in defense of right; he will find the priesthood a never failing source of happiness--a well of living water springing up into eternal life" (David O. McKay).

Activity: I found this great Priesthood Keys game from LDS Family Fun.  To make it more toddler-friendly, I glued pictures that summed up each "key" to their backs.  Then, I read the questions off the card and helped June to answer them.  Once we went through each question, she got to put the corresponding key on her keyring.  After she collected all the keys, she placed them by a picture of Christ since all priesthood keys are His.


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