Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Weekly Meetings of Ward Teachers and Aaronic Priesthood, 1928. Part 2 (of 2)
 


Weekly Meetings of Ward Teachers and Aaronic Priesthood, 1928. Part 2 (of 2)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 06, 2012

Part 1, General Assembly and Ward Teaching
Part 2, Quorum and Class Work:

Separation for Quorum Work

the time allotted for the general assembly should be conformed to as far as practicable. It is, of course, not expected that all the matters suggested above shall be considered at each meeting, but that some brief detail thereon may be presented.

It will be noted that if the suggested order of business is followed, the acting ward teachers who hold the higher Priesthood would be free for a short time while the quorums are in session, following the general assembly. As a suggestion to the bishopric: it might be desirable, if the ward is compact, to appoint these men who leave the meeting at this point to call at the homes of members of the Aaronic Priesthood whoa re not in attendance, or of those who do not attend Sunday School or Sacramental meetings, and in kindliness invite them to these gatherings. Other activities may be adopted by the bishopric for the….se brethren who may be free following the general assembly. They should, of course, return in time for Sunday School.

The Aaronic Priesthood quorums or classes should separate and proceed promptly with their department work. This important work before each quorum is to increase the training and activity of all members and promote the quorum identity.

To develop system and order, to assure consideration of every necessary phase of the work, and to save time and despatch the business promptly, a regular order of business is essential. the presiding officer should have such an order before him and follow it. The presidency of the quorum should preside and one of the presidency conduct the meeting. It is well to have a member of the bishopric or the supervisor sit with the presidency to act in an advisory capacity during the meeting.

Roll Call

An audible roll should be called of all members of the quorum. Anyone absent who is entitled to an excuse should be marked in the proper way, as indicated on the roll book.

Care, neatness and accuracy are needed in keeping the rolls. The secretary should therefore fulfil these qualifications. They are necessary not only for the correct marking of the individual attendance or absence, but also for the proper entries of assignments made and filled or unfilled. It may be necessary for the supervisor to aid the secretary by checking up the entries made.

Securing Attendance of Negligent Members

At the time the roll is called inquiry should be made of any members who have previously been assigned to invite negligent members to attend meeting as to the results. Appointments should be made of various members or of the supervisors to endeavor to secure the attendance and activity of all those who are negligent.

Report on Assignments Filled

The roll book should show for each member the assignment given to him the previous week. he should report whether it has been filled or not, and, if not, the reason therefor.

New Assignments for Ensuing Week

All members of the quorum should be given assignments of the various duties, preferably in rotation, for the ensuing week. Proper record of the same should be made in the roll book opposite each name in accordance with the instructions given in the roll book. The various duties to be performed by those holding the different grades of the priesthood are also listed therein. The Aaronic Priesthood supervisors have the responsibility of checking up on all the members of the quorums who have assignments each week in order to be assured that the duties will be performed; provided, of course, that, if any member who has been assigned is unable to fulfill the duty, someone else shall be appointed by the supervisors to do the work.

Social and Fraternal Activities

Plans should be made and carried out to have some social gathering or outing of the quorum every month or so. It should be quite informal. It should be of the kind that the members prefer, under proper supervision. The members themselves can largely prepare the program or plan. Only brief consideration need be given it in the weekly meeting. The preparation for such affairs can largely be done on the outside by committees appointed by the presiding officers.

Fraternal interest should also be given some consideration. The welcoming of new members, farewell expressions to those leaving the ward, the writing of letters to those absent from their homes, visits to those in trouble or sickness, are items needing brief but regular attention and report.

Five-Minute Discussion of Suitable Topic

One of the vital factors for the development of young men in the priesthood is proper teaching and training in the duties, responsibilities and order of the priesthood and in personal behavior and habits. It is desired that each week following the quorum business, a topic be discussed by the member of the bishopric in charge, or by the supervisor, with the members of the quorum for not to exceed five minutes. Provision has been made hereunder for four topics to be considered each month in each quorum or class. If the number of class sessions is more or less than four per month, then the topics suggested can be amplified or shortened so that those herein presented shall be considered during the month designated. this is urged in order to promote uniformity in all wards of the church and in order that all members of the Aaronic Priesthood shall be taught the matters herein suggested during the year. it is felt that these matters are all vital and timely for the various quorums. The topics should be considered in an informal way, and, so far as possible, every member present should take some part in the discussion.

Adjournment

The business of the various quorums, as previously suggested, should have been so despatched that all matters needing attention would have been considered and the quorum would be ready for adjournment at the time specified. If this weekly Priesthood meeting is held just prior to Sunday School, the closing exercise should consist of benediction in each quorum. Adjournment should then be had direct to Sunday school. if the weekly Priesthood meeting is held at some other time, then the quorums should reassemble under the direction of the bishopric for the closing song and prayer.

Aaronic Priesthood Standards

The Presiding Bishopric are very desirous that the following standards be fully met, so far as possible, in all stakes and wards:

(1) Ordinations. – Advancement – Based on their diligence, boys to be ordained to and in the Priesthood as follows:

Deacons – 12 years (3-year course).
Teachers – 15 years (2-year course).
Priests – 17 years (3-year course).

Candidates to be individually prepared, under direction of ward supervisors, for at least six months before advancement. boys to be ordained, if prepared, as near their birthdays as possible.

(2) Meeting. – Ward Priesthood meetings weekly throughout year, if possible. Lesson outlines for each year to be completed by December 31st, ready to begin following year’s outlines.

(3) Stake Supervision. – Committee of High council with other assistants. Organize somewhat as a stake auxiliary board. Visit somewhat as a stake auxiliary board. Visit all quorums in wards regularly. Make weekly visits, if possible. See that these standards are met. Get monthly reports from all wards. occasional stake gatherings. Prepare summary of ward reports for stake presidency and Presiding Bishopric.

(4) Ward Supervision. – Bishopric, assisted by Board of Supervisors – three suitable men, with one as chairman. They may also act as class supervisors. Each member of the bishopric has general charge of one grade of the Priesthood, the bishop as president of the Priests’ quorum and each or the counselors in charge of another grade.

(5) Supervisors’ Duties. – Act individually as class supervisors in quorums. Hold weekly committee meetings as a board, preferably after priesthood meeting. Follow up (a) attendance of members; (b) weekly assignments of duties to all members in rotation; (c) prepare monthly reports to stake committee; (d) prepare young men for orientation and advancement; (e) direct social and fraternal activities; and (f) consider general welfare of quorums. Best fitted men in ward to be selected as supervisors.

(6) Quorum Meetings Class Work. – Each quorum or class to meet separately. Arrange definite order of business. Presidency of quorum in charge (aided by member of bishopric). Only one roll of all members.

Prayer, roll call, consider ways and means of getting attendance of absent members, report on previous assignments, assignments for ensuing week, social and fraternal activities, brief talk by member of bishopric or supervisor.

(7) Assignments of Duty. – Every member of each quorum or class should have assignments in rotation, preferably each week. (See List of Assignments, Roll Book). Assignments made to be noted in Roll Book at the time; if performed, mark (1) through letter indicating assignment at meeting following that in which assignment was made; if unfilled, mark (0). Supervisor’s business to see that all assignments are performed. Short weekly meetings of supervisors, as indicated under (5), to check up on assignments, etc.

(8) Fraternal matters. – Quorums to visit and assist members in sickness or distress. Welcome new members. Farewell to members leaving ward. Letters to absent members.

(9) Social Gatherings, Outings. – Gatherings that will promote sociability and refinement. At suitable times, every month or two. Let presidency and members suggest and carry out plans and fix rules, with advice of supervisors and bishopric.

(10) Union Meetings – Monthly Reports. – Monthly union meeting of (bishoprics), ward supervisors, class leaders, and presidencies and secretaries of quorums, under direction of stake committee, are very advantageous. However, at least systematic weekly visits, if possible, by stake committee members and the securing of monthly reports from all wards should be carried out.

LIST OF TOPICS

TOPICS FOR JANUARY

(1) Understanding of Gospel Principles. – Suggestions: The members should have been instructed in advance to read over and learn the articles of Faith. Have the various members recite these Articles one by one. They should all be learned by the members. Comment on the same.

Note: Have the members prepare the following lesson.

(2) Code of Proper Conduct. – Suggestions: have the various members recite the Ten Commandments one by one. They should be learned by all. Comment on the same, and the conditions under which they were given.

(3) Prayerfulness. – Suggestions: Have the various members recite the Lord’s Prayer. This should be learned by all members.

members should pray every night and morning, if possible on bended knees. Praying vocally and inwardly. Ask the Lord as a loving Father for assistance and blessing. Express gratitude to Him for present favors. Pray wisely.

(4) Deportment. – Suggestions: Have the various members recite one by one the Beatitudes (part of the Sermon on the Mount), Matthew 5:1-2. Comment on the same.

TOPICS FOR FEBRUARY

(1) Character – Integrity. – Character is what you really are. Reputation is what people think you are. Integrity means being genuine, whole-souled, thorough. A person may be of good, bad or indifferent character. The word character, when used alone, ordinarily indicates good character. Character and integrity are prime essentials to real success in anything. Every one bearing the priesthood should develop these qualities. Don’t make loose promises. But, when you make a promise, keep it. Be true to yourself. be dependable. Whatever you have to do, do it the very best you can. It isn’t the “fuss and feathers” that count; it is the hard, steady effort than makes the grade.

Illustrations: George Washington, Joseph Smith, Abraham Lincoln.

(2) Virtue – Purity of Life. – Moral conduct is the very foundation of society. Where immorality prevails, the community fails. Those who bear the priesthood should be clean in mind and action. Don’t tell improper stories. Don’t listen to them. Put such things away from your mind. Don’t think of unclean or immoral things. Put your mind and thoughts on uplifting, profitable ideas. Realize that immoral thoughts and actions demoralize and degenerate anyone.

(3) Will Power – Self Mastery. – The priesthood requires the training of the will to accomplish the duties devolving upon the members. A noted psychologist says: “Will is a system of habits. You can, of course, greatly strengthen these habit systems. Call them will power if you like. Your self-mastery grows by exercising a long series of choices of the right action. By thus acting a great many times in the right way, you develop these habit systems. In time these habit systems grow so strong they literally head off any thoughts of doing any other way.” Elbert Hubbard says: “it is a great thing to be a man; but it is finer to be a master – master of yourself.” Solomon, the wise king, said: “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Proverbs 16:32. avoid mass or crowd action. Cultivate judgment. learn to sacrifice pleasure for work. Cultivate the habit of making yourself do what you should do.

(4) Tithepaying. – Every member of the priesthood should be fully converted to the principle of tithepaying. Refer to Doc. & Cov., Sec. 119; Genesis 14:18-20; 28:16-22. the members should be encouraged to earn some means in order that they may pay tithing on the same, and be placed on the annual church records. Every member of the priest hood should be encouraged to try to do all he can for the church and for himself in improving conditions. he should try to help the church by earning all he can, and paying a faithful tithing.

TOPICS FOR MARCH

(1) Word of Wisdom. – Every priesthood member is expected to be temperate and wise in his habits and actions. He should learn to think, and choose for himself those things which are most helpful toward development and lasting success. he should learn to look behind the efforts of selfish men to fasten bad habits upon young people under false pretenses. He should discern the sham in all the cigarette and tobacco advertisements. He should realize that tobacco in any form is bad for the body, injurious mentally, weakening morally, expensive, and contrary to the instructions of the Lord. In like manner liquor, tea and coffee are all more or less alike in the results.

(2) Administration of sacrament. – Priests are the only members of the Aaronic Priesthood authorized to administer the Sacrament. Teachers and deacons may assist in preparing the Sacrament table and in passing the Sacrament. All priests and teachers should learn by heart the blessings on the bread and the water. Have them recite them in a natural, clear, articulate manner. Priests should break the bread and pour the water. Bread to be broken in suitable size pieces. Cold water for trays. Sterilizing of glasses. Provision for cleaning hands. Neat, clean appearance of all who take part. Simple, quiet dignity in the preparation and passing of Sacrament. Care in handling bread plates and water trays. remember that this ordinance emulates the example of the Savior. Keep in mind the purpose as outlined in the prayer.

(3) Ordinance of Baptism. – Priests are the only Aaronic Priesthood members authorized to perform this ordinance. But all members should learn how it is to be performed, the necessity, and the purpose of it. Have all priests and teachers learn the words used in the ordinance. Have various members describe the mode of baptism.

(4) Ordinations. – Everyone who receives the authority of the priesthood must obtain it by ordination through the laying on of hands of those who have already received proper authority. it is a good thing to trace the authority of the one who ordained you. Priests have the authority to ordain other priests, teachers and deacons, when called upon to do so by the bishop; but neither teachers nor deacons have authority to lay on hands. Remember, that while a person may have the authority to ordain others, it must only be done under the sanction and approval of the presiding officers, such as the bishop of the ward.

TOPICS FOR APRIL

(1) Ward Teaching. – An important duty of the Aaronic Priesthood. This is placed, particularly, upon the priests and teachers. The Lord has revealed (Doc. & Cov. 20:47, 53-55) that one of the priest’s duties is to “visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all the family duties,” and that “the teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; and see that there is no iniquity in the church … and see that the church meet together often, and also see that all the members do their duty.” Learn how to do ward teaching most effectively, so as to make friends of all members, and encourage them to active service. Deacons should prepare for this duty.

(2) Offering Prayer and Speaking in Meetings. – Every member of the Aaronic Priesthood should learn how to offer the opening or the closing prayer in public meetings. Not necessary to make long prayers. Appropriate prayers are desirable. Opening prayer should essentially express gratitude to the Lord for the opportunity of meeting together and pray for the guidance by the Holy Spirit of those in charge and those who take part. Closing prayer should express appreciation for what has been said and done. Address the Lord as “Our Father who art in Heaven.” All prayers should be offered “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The members should seek the spirit of prayer – not merely to utter the words. Members should prepare themselves to speak in sacramental meetings. Very appropriate to have a priest or teacher speak for about five minutes in every sacramental meeting on suitable topic, preferably a Gospel principle. such topic could be studied in advance. speaker should cultivate habit of using his mind and memory.

(3) Ushers and Doorkeepers. – Important duty of Aaronic Priesthood, often neglected. ushers and doorkeepers add dignity, quiet and order to meetings. Such duties require headwork. Ushers should invite people to take front seats. If meeting is crowded, they should note any vacant seats and conduct those entering to such places. One usher or messenger could sit near the bishopric (or stake presidency ins take meetings) and convey instructions to others. If ushers are in charge of ventilation, they need good judgment. Thermometers should be suitably located. Temperature in winter should not exceed 70 Fahr. Windows should not be opened in such a way as to cause drafts. System in making appointments as ushers and doorkeepers.

(4) Collecting Ward Funds. – Aaronic Priesthood members often called upon by bishopric to collect fast offerings and ward maintenance fund. Envelope system should always be followed. The saints should enter the amounts paid, and seal the envelopes. Members of the priesthood should only be expected to deliver and collect the sealed envelopes. They should cultivate courtesy and kindliness in their visits. Great care should be exercised to take care of and deliver accurately all funds collected. Members should cultivate habit of strict care in accounting for any money placed in their hands. Keep it separate from personal funds.

TOPICS FOR MAY

(1) Care of Meeting-House Property. – the Aaronic Priesthood members have to do with temporal things. Consequently, the care of the meetinghouse and grounds is part of their labor. Even though the ward may have a janitor, much can still be done by the priesthood members. They should feel the direct responsibility of seeing that everything connected with this property is in good order, and that no vandalism is permitted nor anything else that would detract from the good appearance or the peacefulness of the Lord’s house. They should set the example in all ward gatherings of orderliness and care. Every effort should be made to protect church property from damage or destruction. Extra cleaning, burning of rubbish, cutting of lawns, trimming of trees, placing seating in order and many other things can be done by quorums as a whole under systematic assignment. Discuss what needs to be done in your ward; and how you can be most helpful.

(2) Attendance at Meetings. – Members of the priesthood are expected to attend regularly the sacramental meetings, as well as the weekly priesthood meeting. They should also attend Sunday School, and, where their studies are not interfered with, other auxiliary organization meetings. The purpose in attending these meetings is not merely to be present, but to learn more of the gospel, to learn to discern the influence of the Spirit of God, and to get training in church government. Later on, through their progress in the priesthood, they may have to take charge of all such meetings whether at home in Zion or abroad in the mission field. A thorough training of this kind, through regular attendance and taking part in the various exercises, will be very helpful, as well, for civic activities and responsibilities.

(3) Helping Widows and Others in Distress. – this is an activity that can very well be performed by a quorum as a whole. it is being done very effectively from time to time by various quorums. Care must be taken, however, to so arrange it that those whoa re benefited will not feel embarrassed. In other words, they should not be made to feel that they are getting charity, but that they are getting a welcome service. Consider in your quorum what might be done from time to time in this direction.

(4) Meaning of Priesthood – Authority given to men from the Lord to act in His name in building up His work. priesthood is not confined to this life. It endures with us, if we are faithful. It is “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.” In the beginning of this dispensation, men received this authority by ordination from heavenly messengers who held the “Keys” of power. Explain “Keys.” Thereafter, those who have been ordained, have certain authority which they may confer by ordination, under proper direction. But, there can be only one church having the true priesthood. the true priesthood is recognized by the offices and the doctrines taught, which conform to those in the Bible.

TOPICS FOR JUNE

(1) Priesthood Organization at Time of Christ and His Apostles. – When Jesus came forth to perform His mission, the Jewish priesthood had practically apostatized from the truth. Jesus rejected them. Therefore, John the Baptist, forerunner of Jesus, who baptized him, had been ordained to the priesthood “by the angel of God.” In due time the Savior chose twelve apostles and ordained them to this power. (Matt. 10:1-4; John 15:16). He called the seventy also. (Luke 10:1). High priests are referred to by the Apostle Paul. (Hebrews 5:1, 10). Elders were ordained by the apostles. (Acts 14:23). Bishops and deacons are referred to by the Apostle Paul. (1 Timothy 3:1-7; 8-10). Priests and teachers are likewise mentioned as being in the church. (Hebrews 8:4; Acts 6:7; 1 Corinthians 12:28).

(2) Present Order of Priesthood. – When Joseph Smith received his first great vision of the Father and the son, there was no true priesthood upon the earth. There had been an apostasy from the truth since the time of Christ and His apostles. Consequently, it was necessary that the true order be restored from Heaven, by those who had previously held the keys of authority. So, the heavenly messenger, John the Baptist, appeared on May 15, 1829, laid his hands upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and ordained them to the4 Aaronic Priesthood. Some time thereafter, the messengers Peter, James and John appeared to them and ordained them to the Melchizedek Priesthood. In each instance the keys or full powers of the priesthood were conferred upon them. Later on, special authority was conferred upon them in the Kirtland Temple for the gathering of the tribes of Israel and for the work of the dead, by the angels Moses and Elijah. The Melchizedek Priesthood administers the Gospel, and holds the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.

(3) Authority of Deacons. – Deacons are primarily assistants to the teachers, priests and those of the Melchizedek Priesthood in their duties. It is their opportunity to be learning of the duties and authority of the higher offices of the priesthood, while assisting. They have no particular authority to perform ordinances nor to carry responsibility directly. These come later. But in the performance of the duties in which they are authorized to assist. Therefore, be very observant and very willing. A quorum of deacons consists of twelve members, of which three form the presidency.

(4) Authority of Teachers. – Teachers are charged with one great responsibility, – that of watching over the church always; being with and strengthening them; encouraging them to avoid evil speaking, scandal and iniquity, by teaching and setting a good example; seeing that they meet together often, and that all members do their duty. In the absence of members of higher authority, they are to take the lead of meetings. But neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, nor lay on hands. They can, of course, assist the priest or others of higher authority to some extent in certain of these ordinances. They, also, should carefully observe, and manifest promptness in their duties in order to qualify for higher responsibilities. There should be twenty-four teachers to form a complete quorum, with three of the members forming the presidency.

TOPICS FOR JULY

(1) Authority of Priests. – Priests receive practically the full authority of the Aaronic Priesthood. they may, under the direction of the bishopric, be appointed to perform baptisms, administer the Sacrament, and lay on hands and ordain other priests, teachers and deacons. They are called to “preach, teach, expound, exhort … and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and attend to all family duties.” Priests are authorized to conduct meetings in the absence of those of higher authority. With such authority and responsibility, the priests need to approach these duties in all seriousness, humility, and prayerfulness. A complete quorum of priests consists of forty-eight members, presided over by the bishop.

(2) Authority of Elders. – members of the Aaronic Priesthood need to learn the authority and the duties of the elder and of other offices in the Melchizedek priesthood, in order that they may quality therefor. The elder is appointed to do spiritual things. Under proper direction he may confirm those whoa re baptized, “by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost”; ordain other elders, priests, teachers and deacons; he may anoint and bless the sick by the laying on of hands; preach the gospel at home and abroad, and administer the ordinances thereof. He is authorized to conduct meetings under proper direction; and may do all that the priest may do. A complete quorum of elders comprises ninety-six members, of which three form the presidency. There are now 491 quorums of elders in the church.

(3) Authority of Seventies. – The order of the seventy is a special calling of elders for the traveling and preaching of the Gospel in all the world under the direction of the Twelve Apostles. A quorum consists of seventy members, of which seven are chosen as presidents. There are now about 200 quorums of seventy. The difference between the seventies and the elders is that the first named are “traveling ministers” and the second are “standing ministers”; the seventies are to travel in the preaching of the Gospel, whereas elders and other officers have the responsibility chiefly of building up the church in the wards and branches. they have the same authority as the elders in the performing of the ordinances.

(4) Authority of Bishops. – The office of bishop, like that of elder, is a necessary appendage belonging to the high priesthood. Bishops are ordinarily ordained high priests also, since high priests have the authority to officiate in all lesser offices. The first-born among literal descendants of Aaron have a legal right to the bishopric, if they can prove their lineage, and are designated, found worthy, and ordained by the First Presidency. the bishop presides over the Aaronic priesthood. he has to do with the temporal things of the church. He has two counselors, who are high priests. They together form the bishopric. The bishop is called “the father of the ward.” he presides over all of the members as such in his ward. he is a “judge in Israel,” to sit with his counselors as a Bishop’s Court in cases of transgression.

TOPICS FOR AUGUST

(1) Authority of High Priests. – High priests have the particular responsibility of presiding. All bishoprics, high councilors, stake presidencies and the first Presidency are high priests. there is one high priests’ quorum for each stake of Zion. It is expected of those whoa re ordained to this office in the priesthood, especially, that they shall have proven their stability, faith and devotion to the church in such a way that they can be depended upon to stand firm and true under all circumstances.

(2) Authority of Patriarchs. – Patriarchs, evangelical ministers, or evangelists, as they are sometimes called, have a special calling in the church. It is that of declaring the lineage of the church members and of pronouncing blessings upon them. “It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers (patriarchs), as they shall be designated unto them by revelation.” “The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.”

(3) Authority of Apostles. – They hold “the keys to open up the authority of God’s kingdom upon the four corners of the earth.” it is their duty, also, “to ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church.” They ‘are a traveling presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of Heaven; to build up the church and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations; first unto the Gentiles, and secondly unto the Jews.” They are “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world.” “They form a quorum, equal in authority and power” to the First Presidency. Apostles have full authority to perform any and all ordinances in the church.

(4) President of the Church. – he holds all the keys of authority of the priesthood and of the church upon the earth. He acts as the earthly head of the church of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal head. There is only one man at a time upon the earth who holds these keys. he is the Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the Church. The only one authorized to receive revelation for the church. President Heber J. Grant is the present President of the Church. He is the seventh president of the church. The members of the priesthood should know of him, his responsibilities, and something about his life and his preparation for his great position.

TOPICS FOR SEPTEMBER

(1) First Presidency. – Consists of the President of the Church and his two counselors. At the head of all affairs of the church. They are “three presiding high priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the church.” Their united decision in any matter is binding upon the church. The first presidency is a symbol of the unity of the church. it is a symbol of the holy Trinity or the Godhead. Have the members give the names of the First Presidency and tell something about each one personally.

(2) Twelve Apostles.– The twelve apostles or special witnesses of the Lord have the authority to regulate the affairs of the church among all nations. The quorum or council consists of twelve members. They gravel throughout the missions as well as among the stakes of Zion. In case of the disorganization of the First Presidency by the death of the President, the Council of the Twelve Apostles have full authority to preside pending the new organization of the First Presidency. Have the members name the present members of the Council of the Twelve in the proper order. Indicate some of the travels and missions performed by various members of this Council.

(3) Presiding Patriarch. – There is one presiding patriarch for the church, whereas there are patriarchs in practically all of the stakes of Zion. Their authority for the giving of blessings is restricted to the members of the stakes in which they reside. The Presiding Patriarch has the authority to pronounce blessings upon the heads of members of the church anywhere. This authority is the only order of the priesthood that descends from father to son, with the exception of the bishopric in the case of the lineage of Aaron. of course, in this instance, also, the selection of the patriarch must be made by the First Presidency, and is contingent upon his faith and worthiness. Have the members name the present patriarch and give his lineage.

(4) Prophets, Seers and Revelators. – As already stated, the President of the Church is the Prophet, Seer and Revelator for the Church. But, in addition thereto, the Counselors in the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Patriarch, are sustained as prophets, seers and revelators. Have the members explain the meaning of these words.

TOPICS FOR OCTOBER

(1) First council of Seventy. – Seven men, forming this council, preside over all the seventies in the church. Their special duties are to organize the seventies’ quorums throughout the church, of men who are in a position to be “called to preach the Gospel and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles.” The members of the First Council, under the direction of the Council of the Twelve, travel abroad as presidents of missions and otherwise. At the present time, four members of the council have charge of various missions. Have the members of the quorum give the names of the First Council of Seventy and tell something about them.

(2) Presiding Bishopric. – The quorums of the Presiding Bishopric consists of the Presiding Bishop and two counselors. All three are high priests as well as bishops. They preside over the Aaronic Priesthood. They administer the temporal things of the church under the direction of the First Presidency. They supervise the handling of the tithes, the transfer of membership certificates, all financial and statistical reports, etc. Have the members of the quorum give the names of these men and tell something about them. The quorums herein mentioned from the First Presidency to the Presiding bishopric inclusive, form the General Authorities of the Church.

(3) General Officers of the Church. – The General Officers of the Church consist of the General and Assistant Church Historians, the General Church Board of Education, the Superintendent of Church Schools, and the Church Auditing Committee. The Historians have to do with all matters of church history, including articles about the church from outside persons, photographs and other information concerning the church. The general Board of Education determine the general policy and extent of church school education; the Superintendent is the executive in carrying out the policies and instructions of the board, and directing all church school activities. The Church Auditing Committee examine and audit all church financial accounts, to check their accuracy and determine the propriety of the expenditures. have the members learn the names of these men.

(4) Stake Authorities. – The church is so well and systematically organized through the revelations of the Lord, that just as the First Presidency presides over the whole church, so the stake presidency provides over a stake or division of the church. The stake presidency consists of thee high priests, a president and two counselors, who preside over all affairs and activities of the stake. They are assisted by twelve high councilors. Also, laboring under their direction are the stake officers and boards of the auxiliary organizations. They also preside over ward bishoprics. There are now ninety-nine stakes in the church. have the members name the stake presidency and high councilors of your stake.

TOPICS FOR NOVEMBER

(1) Ward Authorities. – Just as the First Presidency preside over all of the Church, and the Stake Presidency over a division, consisting of several wards, so the bishopric preside over a ward – a till smaller division. In like manner, the bishopric consists of a bishop and two counselors – three high priests. The bishopric have direction of all affairs of the ward and preside over all of the members. To assist them in their labors they have the acting teachers and the quorums of priests, teachers and deacons. Also, they have the officers of the auxiliary organizations to assist them by directing these organizations. There are about 1,000 wards and independent branches in the Church at present. all members of the quorum should, of course, be very well acquainted with the members of the bishopric and other ward officers.

(2) Auxiliary Organizations. – The auxiliary organizations are helps in government to the Priesthood in the training and development of the members in different lines, with the teaching of the Gospel as an essential. They are: the Relief Society, the Sunday School, the Young Men’s and Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, and the Primary Association. Under this head might also be considered the Genealogical Society, and the Church School system consisting of a university, colleges, seminaries, teacher-training, and religion classes. Each of the auxiliary associations has a general presidency or superintendency of three at the head, under the direction of the First Presidency, with a general board of membe4rs who are appointed to visit the various stakes. In like manner, the stake auxiliary associations are organized. The stake board, however, consists of fewer members. Also, the ward organization consists of the presidency of three, with the teachers associated. have the members describe the particular activities of the various auxiliaries.

(3) Priesthood Training Makes for Good Citizenship. – A good citizen is one who lives a positive, moral life; who sets an example of progress and thrift; who is a good neighbor and friend; who attends to the duties imposed upon him as a citizen in attending political primaries of one or the other party; who helps to select upstanding delegates to the party convention; and who never fails to vote according to his best judgment on election day. the Priesthood training is most effective in fitting a young man to become a citizen of this type. have the members indicate wherein the Priesthood training produces the results specified.

(4) Priesthood Training Stimulates to Vocational Training.– The members of the Priesthood are, or should be, taught and trained in a systematic way to perform certain specified duties in the most approved manner. These duties become more intricate and develop greater responsibility with advancement from one grade to the other. They become more specialized. So, this training, if carried out with thoroughness and in the spirit of the Priesthood, stimulates the desire in young men to qualify in some particular trade or profession. The effect is to learn something about everything, but a great deal about some particular activity in which one is engaged present or prospectively.

TOPICS FOR DECEMBER

(1) Priesthood Activity Makes Better Sons, Husbands and Fathers. – The Priesthood develops obedience, willingness, kindness and promptness. It makes upright, straight-forward men. It promotes clean, moral habits. it teaches men to carry responsibility, to be energetic and industrious. It shows the importance of the home. Have the members indicate how this training promotes desired qualifications in family relation.

(2) Priesthood Training Makes Better Business Men. – Good business practice nowadays is based upon fair dealing and the realization that there are two sides to any bargain. Both sides should benefit by the exchange. Integrity is a prime essential in business life. Business success requires will power, energy, purpose, vision, thrift, keeping proper records, progressiveness, ways and means of overcoming difficulties, and solving of problems. Let the members indicate how Priesthood training is helping in these respects.

(3) Priesthood Activity as an Influence in the Community Morals. – Morals of the community are the summation of the morals of the families and individuals. A minority, active and organized, may be destructive of good morals, due to inactivity of the majority. Proper moral sentiment is expressed through active interest by citizens generally in promoting culture, public safety, health, morals and general welfare of the community. This is in opposition to immorality, crime, obscenity or vulgarity in public places and performances. Promotion of community morals requires active, wise cooperation of all persons and agencies in favor of progress. Let the members indicate in some detail how Priesthood activity is a positive influence in this respect.



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