Are you ready to dive into Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 15: The Holy Priesthood? I like that the last lesson was about losing ourselves in service because as a Priesthood holder, that is exactly what you have to do. I also appreciated the story at the beginning of the chapter about President Hinckley seeking a Priesthood blessing. It's not like a certain calling gives a blessing for the sick more power than one given to you by your brother. It's the same Priesthood and works the same way.
One of my favorite quotes from the manual is "With it, nothing is impossible in carrying forward the work of the kingdom of God." Nothing is impossible with the Priesthood. Do we remember that? Do we believe it? I find as imperfect beings we often grossly underestimate God. His power, His willingness to help, His love for us. The Holy Priesthood is such an enormous blessing for us individually and as a church yet it often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. This is a great lesson to remember what role it plays in each of our lives and why that matters to us.
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- How did you gain a testimony of the priesthood?
- How does the priesthood govern in stakes, wards, quorums, Relief Society?
- How has priesthood authority strengthen your service in God's kingdom?
- How have you experienced the power and blessings of the priesthood?
- What is the difference between priesthood authority and priesthood power? (section 4)
- What do you think it means for a priesthood holder to "be true to the very best that is in [him]"?
- Why must priesthood holders "not live only unto [them]selves"?
- What impresses you about President Hinckley's descriptions of priesthood quorums and Relief Society in section 5?
- What can you do in your ward or branch to follow President Hinckley's counsel in section 5?
- Why do men and women need to work together as "co-equals" to accomplish the Lord's work?
- How can you support the priesthood?
- What can you do to gain a stronger testimony of priesthood power?
- How is the priesthood an anchor in your ward or branch?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
Here's a great page to study if you want to further understand Race and the Priesthood.
"The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood" by Elder Bruce R. McConkie
"Power in the Priesthood" by Elder Neil L. Andersen
"The Why of Priesthood Service" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well" by Elder Richard G. Scott
"Power of the Priesthood" by President James E. Faust
"Our Most Distinguishing Feature" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Here's another great page on LDS.org that goes into the Priesthood and sites several references for further study.
Blessings of the Priesthood (about 3 minutes)- What the priesthood is and how it blesses us
Restoration of the Priesthood (about 2 minutes)- Reenactment
This page has several Priesthood and Priesthood Keys videos to look through.
This is page of videos dedicated to the topic of Race and the Priesthood.
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Build two towers of cups to represent the church. You can use the cup idea as an your building blocks for one set of cups. Build this set against a wall or something that will protect it from falling. Build another set of cups with organizations of the church but this will be the set without priesthood power. Discuss section 2 ending with the quote, "Without the priesthood there might be the form of a church, but not the true substance." Then throw something at each stack of cups. The idea is one will easily tumble over because it has the form of a church but not the priesthood. The one against the wall with be stronger because it has the priesthood which allows you to segway into section 3 or 5.
- The Red Headed Hostess has a free Quiz to Understanding the Priesthood that may be helpful for your lesson. Pass it out at the beginning and discuss some of the answers as you jump into the quotes and sections of the lesson. I also like her Priesthood teaching packets.
- How can the priesthood quorum be an anchor for your ward members? Use my anchor handout to discuss this point and how it directly applies to your ward. Use the boats to write your own answers. I put organizations on my example, however, more specific blessings would be even better such as the Priesthood anchors us during trials.
- Dive deeper into the anchor analogy with a little research about different types of anchors and what type of anchors your Priesthood quorums need to be and how you can help it be that.
- Of course, there is always this Priesthood handout from Older and Wisor to go with Reese's (scroll to the bottom).
- I really like the comparison of the blessings of the Priesthood to a umbrella. All who stand underneath are blessed- not just the one holding the umbrella. See this post on Sugardoodle for further explanation.
- The Visiting Teaching message for June was all about the Priesthood so you can find some cute Visiting Teaching handouts to use with this lesson as well like this one from Marci Coombs.
- Watch Maria Eckersley's video ideas for teaching about Priesthood Keys.
- Use these cute poster prints and York handout tag from My Computer Is My Canvas to keep your lesson organized, participation high, and send everyone home with a sweet treat.
- As you discuss the restoration of the priesthood keys, use some of the photos and resources on the Priesthood Restoration site.
- Courtney Aitken has a few free handouts as well- Honoring the Priesthood and Priesthood Blessings.
- Discuss ways to support the Priesthood and those who hold the Priesthood. For example, jokes about the Elders Quorum being incompetent isn't helpful.
- Hand out the free handout cards in my Primary 5 Lesson 8 helps to several individuals and challenge them match everything appropriately on the board. You could do this before class starts or during your lesson as a quick recap. Not everyone knows so it's helpful to review it.
- Have the scripture from D&C 121:41-42 written on the board. Go through each quality and talk about its importance in our lives as well as for the Priesthood. You could even have people rate themselves on each quality (privately, of course). Then discuss how to further develop it as well as encourage that quality in others. As stated in section 4, "Each of us is responsible for the welfare and the growth and development of others. We do not live unto ourselves."