Priesthood Advancement

In my stake, there used to be a 'Priesthood Preparation' class taught by the High Council. They've recently set this aside and asked each ward to put together something similar on their own. (They did provide their materials, but several of the leaders in my ward felt we could improve on them.) I've started to put together my ideas for such a class and wanted to share them here where I could get feedback on them.

I'm hoping to keep the class to five sessions of one hour. Each lesson will be built around one or two recent conference talks, supplemented with scriptures, and topped of with (a lot of) discussion. I expect that the talks and scriptures referenced in the lesson plan/handout will more than fill a one hour lesson, and hope that it will provide study material for the paricipants. I also intend to pass out each lesson plan at least one week ahead to allow people to read over and think about the material before we meet.

Lesson one will cover the importance and development of a testimony of Jesus Christ and the importance of being ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. I'm thinking about using The Key of the Knowledge of God for one of the talks for this one.

Lesson two will cover Perfecting the Saints (our roles as husbands and fathers, service, and performing ordinances). I haven't settled on any talks yet for this one.

Lesson three will cover Proclaiming the Gospel (being a member missionary and doing home teaching). No talks yet for this one.

Lesson four will cover Redeeming the Dead (the importance of temple ordinances for ourselves and our families). No talks yet for this one either.

Lesson five will cover enduring to the end. I'm thinking about using Press On for this one.

I'm not committed to either of the talks above, but they both seemed to fit well with the theme of that lesson.

How can you help? I'd love feedback about the basic ideas, suggestions for talks that I might use, or specific recommendations for the individual lessons. As I get feedback, and work through my own thoughts, I'll post outlines for each of the lessons.

Comment away. Please.


Devin said...

I think lesson one ought to contain the history of the priesthood from Adam to the restoration, where it came from, why its called the Aaronic and Melchezidec priesthood etc.

Lesson Two: How to live worthy to recieve the power of the priesthood.

Lesson Three: Duties of Deacons, Teachers, Priests, Elders, etc

Lesson Four: How to use the priesthood and how to perform priesthood ordinances properly

Lesson Five: How to incorporate the priesthood in the home.

And I think we should Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part A as the classroom guide. No sense in reinventing the wheel.

Dave said...

I like both pat's and devin's outlines. Different approaches, both good. Devin's historical introduction feels better to me, but pat's whole outline feels very official and from a current manual, like a missionary discussion on the priesthood.
I'm curious who the target audience is? I must admit I have no recollection of any priesthood preparation class that I ever attended, but would have benifited from one. Is this a class for young men in the ward, or perhaps for converts? I ask because pat's outline feels like it would be aimed at converts to the church, and devin's feels like it would be more for the young men coming of age.

J. Stapley said...

I would spend alot of time on the Oath and Covenant of the Prisethood. This is a big deal. They are covenanting to go to Hell if they slack off for heavens sake.

I would also spend a fair amount of time on priesthood keys and Church Government.

Then I would spend a hefty amount of time on faith and the administration of the priesthood (blessings, miracles, etc.) JST Genesis 14:30-33, Moroni 7 etc.

Lastly I would briefly talk about the temple, potentially alluding to the fullness of the priesthhod.

pate said...


My outline is aimed more at converts and long term prospective elders (guys in their 30s with kids) than at young men who are progressing normally through the Aaronic Priesthood curiculum (where I assume that they're going to learn some of the stuff Devin has laid out.

pate said...

As I mentioned in my response to Dave, I hope that some of the things you've pointed out would be covered in either the Aaronic Priesthood curriculum, the Gospel Principles class, and/or in the missionary discussions.

I do like the points you've called out in lessons two, four, and five. It's this "practical" priesthood info that I really want to focus on during this course.

There are a couple of reasons I've shied away from the Blessings and Duties of the Priesthood manual.
1) that the manuals are meant as a year long course and it seems difficult to extract a five hour course from them
2) I'd like to use recent quotes/talks from general authorities because I think these seem 'more real' to a lot of people

I do think the manual could be a good supplement for the brethren in the class though. Especially if we were to give them each a copy and recommend that they use it for personal study during the coming year. (It certainly wouldn't hurt to cross check out lesson plan against the manuals either.)

I'm still thinking through all of this though, so I'm open to suggestions about why I'm wrong.

pate said...

J. Stapley,
I like the points you've mentioned. Do you think they should be folded into my proposed outline, Devin's outline, or be built into an outline of their own?

I think they'd fit well into mine:
lesson 1) Oath and Covenant and priesthood keys (discussion of keys could also happen in lessons 2 and 3)
lesson 2) Faith and performing ordinances
lesson 4 & 5) the temple and temple ordinances

J. Stapley said...

Essentially, these are all different narratives that we are talking about. Different stories on how the government of God works. Obviously different narratives will emphasize different things.

So I guess what I am saying is that more so than combining lessons, it is making sure that the overall narrative is consistent.

And yes, my suggestions should be taken as a lesson plan of their own - and be adopted church-wide :)

El Genio said...

Some useful talks:

Why do we Serve
Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Feed My Sheep
Elder Boyd K. Packer

Also if you want to find talks relating to specific scriptuers, check out http://scriptures.byu.edu