Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Teaching Girls about the Priesthood, 1955: Part Two

Teaching Girls about the Priesthood, 1955: Part Two

By: Ardis E. Parshall - June 29, 2012

Home Builder Lessons
Lesson 6: October, 2nd Week


To the Teacher

For Your Inspiration

Oh my brethren of the priesthood, no honor that will ever come to any of us conferred by men of the world, or any man-made honorable body, will ever approach in importance the great honor and blessing which came to us the day we were ordained to the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood. This is a priceless blessing, an eternal blessing, and I hope and pray that we will honor it all the days of our lives.

Wealth, power, position, are as nothing, by comparison, to the honor and blessing which comes through the priesthood of the Living God. I know that many of our brethren today are facing responsibilities as we go to the polls. Many of them will be elected to legislative bodies; others will be chosen as chief executives in municipalities, to positions of trust in counties and states. We honor you because of your interest in political affairs, and we have confidence that you will always remember that no political power or office which may ever come to you will even approach in importance the great blessing and honor which came to you when you were ordained to the holy priesthood of God. – Elder Ezra Taft Benson, October General Conference, 1952.

For Your Instruction

Remind the girls to bring their scrapbooks for this lesson.


From Primary Office

Check sheet for each girl on the 5th graduation requirement

From other sources

Two balloons (deflated()
Posting chart
The following posting strips:
– Aaronic Priesthood
– Lesser Priesthood
– Melchizedek Priesthood
– Higher Priesthood
Birthday candles and matches
Scrapbooks for each girl


To inform the girls as to what the priesthood is, how it was restored, and what the responsibility is of those who hold it.


Repeat Articles of Faith nos. 5, 6, and 7. (Use pictures.)

Hand the balloons to two of the girls to blow up. Take one and put it against the wall. Of course, it will fall to the floor. Take the other and tell the girls that you are going to perform a magic trick and you want them to see if they can figure out how it is done. Rub the balloon on your clothes or the rug for a minute or two and presto it sticks.


What caused the change in the balloon? (Electricity)

Electricity is a great power. Name some of the things it does for us.

Can you name another great power that has only recently been discovered?

The power of atomic energy. When we learn more about how to handle this great power, it can be made to do what now appear to be miracles.

When Moses commanded the Red Sea to part and let the Children of Israel pass through he used another great power. Do you know what it was?

It was the power of the priesthood. Jesus used this same power when he commanded the winds and the waves to be still.

Can you think of another incident when this great power accomplished marvelous things, either in the Bible or in modern times?

It is by this power that the sick have been healed, the lame been made to walk, the blind to see. By this power, the dead have been brought back to life.

What is the greater of these powers we have mentioned?

The power of the priesthood is the greatest of all powers. It is greater than either electricity or atomic energy, for it controls them both. It is the power of God, and it controls all things both in heaven and in earth. This power God has given to man in order that he may act in His name.

Why do you think the Lord wants man to have this great power? (In order that he might better serve His children. It is ordained of God that those who hold the priesthood must serve their fellow men.) To the teacher: because this lesson follows along the path of service, emphasize this point.

The priesthood makes a great difference in what a man can do, just as electricity makes a great difference in what a balloon can do. Can you name some things that a man who holds the priesthood can do that a man who does not hold it cannot? (Heal the sick, bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, administer in such ordinances of the priesthood as baptism, confirmation, sacrament, temple marriage.)

Do you think that it is necessary for a man to have this power before he can carry on the business of our Father in heaven? Why?

In order that you may better understand the reason why it is necessary that a man have this power before he can carry on the business of our Father in heaven, I will tell you about Sally and June.

Mr. Morton, the principal the of the school, called Sally and June into his office and said, “I want you to go into every room in the school and tell the pupils and the teachers that you have a message from me. Tell them that school will be dismissed at 12 o’clock noon on Friday, and that I want everyone to leave the school grounds promptly and go straight home.”

Why did the girls have the right to tell the teachers and the pupils that school would be dismissed at 12 noon on Friday?

What would have happened if they had done this without having the proper authority from Mr. Morton?

What if they had changed Mr. Morton’s instructions and told the teachers and pupils that school would be dismissed at 12 noon on Thursday?

Men who have been given the priesthood have been given the authority to act in the name of the Lord, just as Sally and June had been given authority to act in the name of Mr. Morton. In the Doctrine and Covenants Section 1, verse 38, the lord says:

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants it is the same. – Doc. and Cov. Sec. 1, verse 38

What does this mean?

Do men who hold the priesthood have the right to change the instructions that the Lord has given them?

What happens to the priesthood when men change the instructions that the Lord has given them concerning it?

After Jesus and his apostles died, men changed the instructions that the Lord had given concerning His priesthood. Baptism was changed, the sacrament was changed; and men began to say that miracles had disappeared from the earth. But the truth of the matter is that the priesthood had disappeared from the earth because men did not carry out the instructions that the Lord had given them concerning it. That is why Jesus told Joseph Smith that the Church that he had established when he was upon the earth in Palestine was not upon the earth. His Church could not be upon the earth unless men held the right to act in his name.

Is this power in the world today?

When was it restored?


When Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were translating the Book of Mormon, they came across some passages in the book about baptism which they could not understand. One of these passages could easily have been about Alma baptizing Helam. Before baptizing Helam, Alma said, “Having authority from Almighty God.”

Now Joseph and Oliver had not received any special instructions about baptism nor had they received authority to baptize. So they went into the woods to pray for understanding. While they prayed, a messenger came down from heaven. He introduced himself as John, the same John who lived on the earth at the time of Jesus, the same John who baptized Jesus and who has since been known to the world as “John the Baptist.” John held the authority from God to baptize, and he laid his hands upon the heads of Joseph and Oliver and said:

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. – Doc. & Cov. 13.

The priesthood that John conferred upon Joseph and Oliver was the Aaronic Priesthood or the lesser priesthood. (Put the words Aaronic Priesthood in the posting charge and immediately underneath put the words lesser priesthood.) He told them that some time later, other messengers would come from our Father in heaven to give them the Melchizedek Priesthood, or the higher priesthood. (Put the words Melchizedek Priesthood in the posting chart and immediately underneath put the words higher priesthood.)

Sometime that summer on the banks of the Susquehannah River, Peter, James, and John, the same Peter, James, and John whom Jesus ordained as his apostles, appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver cowdery and ordained them to the Melchizedek Priesthood. After hundreds of years the priesthood of God was again upon the earth.


Are these two divisions of the priesthood in the Church today?

Why is the Aaronic Priesthood called the lesser priesthood?

The Aaronic Priesthood is called the lesser priesthood because those holding it have only limited powers. It prepares those who hold it for the greater responsibilities of the Melchizedek Priesthood. In the home a mother does not give her daughter the most difficult jobs to do right at first. Instead, she gives her very simple jobs, and as she learns to do these well, her mother adds others with more responsibility. For example, long before a girl can iron her father’s shirts, she must learn to iron simple things like dish towels, pillow cases, sheets, and aprons. Finally when she has proved that she is a good ironer, she is given the privilege of ironing her father’s shirts. So it is with graining the boys in the priesthood.

At first a boy is ordained a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood and is given the opportunity of passing the sacrament, collecting fast offerings, helping widows, and helping in welfare projects.

Later, when he has proved himself in this calling, he is ordained a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. In this office he still retains the authority to do all the things he was commissioned to do while he was a deacon, and in addition is given the responsibility of ward teaching.

Later, if he performs these duties well, he is ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood and given the authority to administer to the sacrament and to baptize. Step by step he learns how to appreciate and use the power of the priesthood which has been given to him. When a boy has proved himself worthy of the aaronic Priesthood by officiating in all of its different offices, he is given the Melchizedek, or the higher priesthood. With this priesthood a man has the authority to officiate in all of the ordinances of the Church.


To the teacher: Show the girls the picture of the 5th Article of Faith.


What does this picture tell you about how men and boys obtain the priesthood?

What article of Faith does it remind you of?

Let us repeat it together –

We believe a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

The only way a person can receive the priesthood is by the laying on of hands by one who holds the priesthood himself. This is the way Joseph and Oliver received it, and it is the way that every man and boy since that time has received it.

to the teacher: Give each girl an unlighted birthday candle and ask her to light her candle. Of course she cannot. Then light a candle yourself and give a light to one of the girls from your candle. Let each girl in turn get a light from the girl preceding her. Ask the girl whose candle was the last to be lighted to name the girl next to her who gave her the light, and so on back to the teacher. Point out that a candle must be lighted before it can give a light to another candle and draw the analogy that a man must hold the priesthood before he can give it to another, and that any man who holds it can trace it back to Jesus Christ. Give the following example:

Ralph Cannon was ordained by
Bruce R. McConkie, who was ordained by
Rufus K. Hardy, who was ordained by
John Henry Smith, ho was ordained by
Joseph Young, who was ordained by
Joseph Smith, who was ordained by
Peter, James, and John, who were ordained by


Last week we talked about Elinor and her new baby. When Elinor’s baby was a few weeks old, Elinor and her husband, Tom, took him to fast meeting. At the appointed time, Tom was called by the bishop to bless his baby. he took him to the front of the chapel and blessed him and gave him the name of Russell Jerome.


Could Elinor have done this for her child? Why not?

Because blessing a baby and giving it a name is one of the ordinances of the priesthood, and must be performed by one holding the priesthood. Tom had the right to do it because he held the Melchizedek Priesthood and had the right to officiate in all the ordinances of the priesthood.

Can you name some other ordinances of the priesthood? (Baptism, confirmation, bestowing the Holy Ghost, temple marriage, administering to the sacrament, healing of the sick, blessing of babies.)

Why are ordinances of the priesthood important?

Ordinances of the priesthood are included in the instructions that our Father in Heaven has given concerning his priesthood. Without such ordinances as baptism, confirmation, and marriage in the temple, we cannot go back to live with our Heavenly Father. Other ordinances, such as healing the sick, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the sacrament, are ordinances ordained for the blessing of mankind while upon the earth. They help us to live nearer to our Father in heaven and to receive guidance and inspiration from him.

One of the graduation requirements is to name the lesser and the higher priesthoods and to name at least five of the ordinances of the priesthood. Today I will give you a “check sheet” for your scrapbook on which you may write this information. When it is completed, you will receive a seal by the 5th graduation requirement. Of course, you must remember the information you learn so that you can tell it to the bishop when he interviews you. Before filling out the “check sheet” you can study the information about the priesthood on your Graduation Requirement Study Sheet which you have in your scrapbook. Of course you will not use this study sheet while filling out the check sheet. It should only be used to prepare yourself so you will be able to fill it out.

NOTE: During the remainder of the class have the girls study the information given in the study sheet on the priesthood, then just before time for the girls to go home, give them the “check sheet” to put in their scrapbooks.


No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI