How exciting was the announcement of the restructuring of the Elders Quorum?! I love that the men now meet together. There will be so much good that comes from it.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson answers many questions about the changes in his talk, "The Elders Quorum." If you have any questions left, Elder Ronald A. Rasband continues with some clarity in "Behold! A Royal Army" while President Dallin H. Oaks encourages the continual magnifying of the priesthood in his talk, "The Powers of the Priesthood." The following helps work with several of the talks.
The changes to the priesthood were prayerfully discussed for a long time, and then our prophet revealed the will of the Lord. What other similar examples that have happened throughout church history?
- What are some of the benefits of having one united Elders Quorum?
- What do you think President Boyd K. Packer meant when he said, "The priesthood is not divisible"?
- Why should we avoid saying "advanced to" another office in the Priesthood? What's a more accurate way to say it?
- "What are the purposes of the adjustments to Melchizedek Priesthood quorums?"
- How can we create greater unity in our quorum or class?
- How can we help all feel welcomed and included?
- What might this combined effort in a new structure of Elders Quorum mean for temple and family history work?
- Why is it good for the Elders Quorum to be with the High Priest and vice versa? What can we offer one another? How has the all the women being in the Relief Society been a blessing?
- How do these changes to the priesthood bless the Relief Society?
- How do these changes help the Bishop?
- How do these changes bless the membership of the church throughout the world?
- How do you feel knowing these changes are implemented to hasten the work of the Lord?
- How do these changes help you see the role of a prophet more clearly?
- Priesthood authority comes from setting apart and ordination, but where does real priesthood power come from?
- How can a unified priesthood quorum bring unity to the entire church?
- How does any change from our Heavenly Father reveal His love for us?
- How do you see the priesthood holders and Relief Society sisters harmonizing more in ministering under this new organization of the priesthood?
- What keeps us from becoming more unified? How can we overcome these obstacles?
- What is the Melchizedek Priesthood?
- How do we mistakenly use the Melchizedek Priesthood as as status or label?
- How are the keys of the priesthood and the priesthood different?
- Why is it important to remember that priesthood keys were received "line upon line"?
- Why is it not appropriate to refer to "the priesthood and the women?"
- How do we become "thoroughly awakened to the requirements made of us?"
- What do you think is the most important principle for all priesthood holders? What principle does President Oaks mention as the most important?
- How can men magnify the priesthood? How can women magnify their callings?
- Are we willing to sacrifice everything for the "love of God, salvation of men, and the triumph of the kingdom of God"?
- How would you view your calling differently if you served as if you were on the Lord's errand with His promised help?
- Why is personal righteousness important for holders of the priesthood and all who hold callings in the church?
- What blessings come to those who magnify their callings?
- How have you or your family been blessed through the priesthood?
- What is an Elder? How is an Elder the same as the President of the Church?
- What are the responsibilities of the High Priest s and Elders?
- How does a father magnifying his calling at home help further the mission of the Church?
- How do priesthood blessings help families?
- Why is the priesthood important in your family and church calling?
The Church suggests the following for this talk, "In elders quorum, you might invite quorum members to read the section of Elder Christofferson’s message titled “The Purpose of These Changes.” What can we do to ensure that we accomplish these purposes? In Relief Society, you could ask someone to summarize the changes to Melchizedek Priesthood quorums that Elder Christofferson describes. Sisters could then identify principles implied in these changes that can apply to the work of your Relief Society. In elders quorum or Relief Society, members could discuss what they learn from the story of Brother Goates and how it applies to their work."
The Church suggests the following for this talk, "Perhaps singing, listening to, or reading the words of “Behold! A Royal Army” (Hymns, no. 251) together might inspire discussion about Elder Rasband’s message. How are priesthood quorums and Relief Societies like a royal army? Members could also look for and discuss the 'multitude of blessings' Elder Rasband mentions will come from the restructuring of priesthood quorums. What other blessings have we received—or do we hope to receive—from implementing these changes? How can Relief Societies also more fully receive blessings such as 'diversity of gifts' and 'mentoring'?"
The Church suggests the following for President Oaks, "To start a discussion, you could write the titles of the four sections of President Oaks’s message on the board. Then invite each member to read one section silently and then write on the board one sentence that summarizes the main message of that section. Members could then share what they feel inspired to do because of what they read. How will our service as priesthood holders or Relief Society sisters improve as we apply the teachings in President Oaks’s message?"
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class. Remember you are leading a discussion, not teaching a lesson so you may only need one of these ideas.
- Under the headings for Elder Christofferson's talk, he asks a question first. Divide into groups, giving each a different question. Review the answers as whole to better understand what this adjustment means for Elders Quorum. You can also reference the Frequently Asked Questions. Take a poll on your ward's Facebook page to see which questions you should be focusing on first.
- As you go through some of the questions of restructuring, consider drawing a diagram on the board to help the more visual learners understand these changes.
- Allow time to discuss some of the positive changes you have already seen by having one united Elders Quorum. Discuss what impact this has for your whole ward. Encourage your class members to discuss this with their families before class so you can get a bigger picture of the effects already.
- Go through President Nelson's announcement and discuss the main reasons for this change. How do you think these things will happen because of this change?
- President Nelson said the key reason for the change to the priesthood quorums was more effective ministering. Discuss how ministering can be more effective with these changes.
- I love that Elder Rasband quotes the hymn, "Behold! A Royal Army." Consider ending your discussion by standing and singing this song together. You can give the above handout to those that can't attend your class due to other callings or sickness.
- Under the new organization of the priesthood, men from all ages and backgrounds will benefit from meeting and learning together. Relief Society sisters have always met this way. If you teach Relief Society, ask for examples of how sisters of different ages and backgrounds have grown in love and wisdom from each other. How can you continue to encourage this unity? If you teach Elders Quorum, consider having a sister share her story or asking beforehand for examples. How have you been blessed already by this unity?
- Focus on the blessings that Elder Rasband said will come through this restructuring. Write on the board before class "Blessings of One Elders Quorum" and pass around a marker for people to write their answers on the board before you start. Then go through Elder Rasband talk and add to it as you discuss the answers already given. If you are in Relief Society, you can discuss if you have realized these blessings already and if not, what is holding you back.
- Discuss the importance of continual revelation and how this sets us apart from other churches.
- Watch "Why Do We Have Prophets" and discuss how the Lord has a pattern for everything. What pattern is the Lord showing us with the new organization of the priesthood?
- President Oaks says, "In the Lord's church, the offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood have different functions. Discuss the different functions of Elders and High Priests and how they bring people to Christ.
- Show the video "Sanctify Yourselves" from LDS.org and discuss the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood and how righteousness plays a part.
- Discuss the story of Elder Jeffrey D. Erekson and how a priesthood leader blessed his life. Ask your class if they have had similar experiences in their life.
- Bring a magnifying glass to class and discuss its purpose. What does this object lesson teach us about magnifying our callings?
- How does your family encourage priesthood blessings? Discuss examples and traditions you might have in your family of using the priesthood power to bless each member of your family.