Jun 6, 2014

Priesthood Organization (FHE)

This week's family home evening lesson was based on the Gospel Principles manual chapter 14:  Priesthood Organization.  I wish I had my brothers here to help me teach this lesson, as I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as they are about priesthood organization.  The priesthood has always been an area I hadn't studied, so this lesson gave me an opportunity to learn more.

Song: We sang song #89 from the primary Children's Songbook, The Priesthood is Restored.  It goes as follows:

The priesthood is restored,
The truth made known to man,
That God has spoken to the earth,
His pow'r is here again.

Lesson:  The Priesthood is on the earth today.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is governed by the priesthood.  There are two divisions of priesthood:  Melchizekek and Aaronic (D&C 107:1).  The Melchizedek priesthood is the higher priesthood, where those who hold it have the power and authority to lead the church, direct the preaching of the gospel, administer all spiritual work of the church, direct temple work, and preside over congregations (D&C 84:19-22; 107:8).  The Aaronic priesthood is an appendage to the Melchizedek priesthood.  Those who hold this priesthood have authority to administer the outward ordinances of sacrament and baptism (D&C 20:46; 107:13-14, 20).  This is the priesthood Aaron and his sons held during the time of Moses.  The Aaronic priesthood has three offices and each office has their own set of duties.  Every office in the priesthood is held by a male who has been baptized into the Church and found worthy to hold the priesthood.

Deacons are young men ages 12 and 13.  Their duties include passing the sacrament to members of the Church, keeping Church buildings and grounds in good order, acting as messengers for priesthood leaders, and fulfilling special assignments such as collecting fast offerings.  Teachers are young men age 14 and 15.  They have all the duties, rights, and powers of deacons.  Additionally, they are to help Church members live the commandments, serve as home teachers, and prepare the bread and water for sacrament (D&C 20: 53-59; D&C 42:12).  Priests are men ages 16 and older.  They have all the duties, rights, and powers of deacons and teachers. Additionally, they may baptize, administer the sacrament, ordain other Aaronic priesthood holders, take charge of meetings when there are no higher priesthood holders present, and preach the gospel.

The bishop is a High Priest and Melchizedek priesthood holder who presides over the Aaronic priesthood in a congregation (D&C 107:87-88).  He is also a judge in Israel and presides over members in a congregation (D&C 107:71-74; 68:15).

The Melchizedek priesthood has five offices. All Melchizedek priesthood holders have all the duties, rights and powers of the Aaronic priesthood with additional ones.  Elders are called to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church (D&C 20:42).  They have the authority to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost (D&C 20:43) and conduct meetings of the church, administer to the sick, and bless little children (D&C 20:43, 45, 70).  All Melchizedek priesthood holders are elders.  High priests are given the authority to officiate in the church and administer spiritual things (D&C 107:10, 12).  Patriarchs are authorized to give patriarchal blessings to members of the church, which give us some understanding of our callings on the earth and are  the word of the Lord personally to us (D&C 107: 39-56).  Seventies are special witnesses of Jesus Christ to the world and assist in building up and regulating the Church (D&C 107:25, 34, 38, 93-97).  An Apostle is a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all things and in all the world (D&C 107:23).  They administer the affairs of the Church throughout the world and act under direction of the President of the Church, who is the senior Apostle.

Priesthood holders are organized into quorums, a body of brethren holding the same priesthood office.  Quorums help to encourage, bless, fellowship, and teach the gospel to its members.  Membership in a quorum should be regarded as a sacred privilege.

All organizations in the Church work under direction of priesthood leaders and help them carry out the work of the Lord.  The auxiliaries of the Church include:  Relief Society (women's organization), Young Women, Young Men, Sunday School, and Primary.  The president of each auxiliary is blessed with priesthood power to perform their leadership duties, whether they be male or female.

Activity:  June and I made a cup tower.  I wrote the priesthood offices on the cups and we made a huge pyramid with it.  June really enjoyed making her tower.  As we placed each cup in its place, I would tell her what that Priesthood office was and who we know that holds that office.  Each [] is a cup.  Here is how the tower was organized:

[Apostles]     [Apostles]
[Seventies]     [Seventies]     [Other General Authorities]
[Stake President and Presidency]     [Patriarch]     [Stake Offices]     [Stake Offices]
[Bishop and Bishopric]      [Ward Offices]      [High Priests]       [Elders]       [Elders]
[Deacons]     [Deacons]     [Teachers]     [Teachers]     [Priests]     [Priests]

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