This is the official lesson used in the Bee Hive program in 1933 to teach young girls about the priesthood:
Priesthood as It Affects Women
There is nothing more essential to the girlhood of to-day than a proper conception of the Priesthood of God as existing upon the earth, and an understanding of her relation and responsibility thereto. As part of a wonderful self-development program Bee-Hive girls give consideration to this subject.
Priesthood is delegated authority to act for God. All men in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receive the Priesthood if they are worthy. There are 137,540 men holding it in the Church to-day, of whom 68,000 are youths of the lesser Priesthood. The Aaronic or lesser Priesthood is first conferred upon them; this includes power to officiate in temporal activities. As they increase in wisdom and understanding, greater advancement is given them, and, if faithful, the higher Priesthood called after Melchizedek is conferred upon them. The latter gives the right to officiate in all the spiritual offices of the Church.
Women do not hold the Priesthood, but they do share equally in its blessings and gifts bestowed in temple courts, in civic, social and domestic life. “The man is not without the woman in the Lord, nor the woman without the man.” So said Paul, and so taught Joseph Smith.
Office and Priesthood carry heavy responsibilities requiring constant labor and time. No woman could safely carry the triple burden of wifehood and motherhood, and at the same time function in priestly orders. Yet her creative home labor ranks side by side, in earthly and heavenly importance, with her husband’s Priesthood responsibilities. His is in the market place – hers at the hearthstone. He is the leader and she follows, not because she must, but because she wills. She is as happy in her sphere as he is in his. That he would bungle and spoil home life if he sought to enter woman’s sphere is as sure as it is that she would emasculate his affairs if, or when, she attempts to prove her equality by crowding man out of his place. Exceptions to both rules there are and may be. Exceptions prove nothing. Man can do women’s work, women can do men’s work. What then? Does it pay? Will individuals or the race be any better off?
Whenever this order of living has been reversed in individuals or in national life, the loss to women and to society is far more tragic than the loss to man himself. Moreover, in the Church, men can and do share faithfully the burdens of home life when necessary, and women happily enter the market place of public activity whenever or wherever she desires, or has any special gift therefor. But Mormon women generally choose home life as their major occupation, making public activities incidental.
The people of this Church could never be “priestridden,” because every man holds a certain portion of that sacred authority to “act for God on earth.” This is a kingdom of priests, such as Moses dreamed of establishing when he came down from the Mount with the tablets of stone, only to find Israel worshipping false gods.
The Priesthood holds the power to officiate in the ordinances of the Gospel, but functioning in priestly offices does not affect its power or increase its resultant divine status. The humblest man or woman who has received blessings in the Temples may and will, if faithful, achieve the same glory and exaltation accorded to the presiding high priest. Glory is intelligence self-controlled – as taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Girls should use their mighty influence to help a father, brother or sweetheart to attend Priesthood meetings, to honor his calling and to magnify his great responsibility. Women and girls share the blessings of the Priesthood and should delight to honor all those who hold this God-given power.