Home Builder Lessons
Lesson 8: October 4th Week
THE BLESSINGS OF THE PRIESTHOOD
To the Teacher
For Your Inspiration
Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson – That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. – Doc. & Cov. 121:34-37.
For Your Instruction
During the last three lessons, you have been telling the girls about the priesthood – what it is, who is entitled to hold it, and what the responsibility of a girl is concerning it. Today you are going to talk about the blessings of the priesthood, to try and make the girls feel that the blessings of the priesthood are the most desirable blessings in the world. This can only be done if you, yourself, have a strong feeling about the blessings of the priesthood.
Blackboard and chalk
New Testaments, red pencils and bookmarks
To give the girls an understanding and appreciation of the blessings of the priesthood.
Repeat Articles of Faith nos. 11, 12, and 13. (Use pictures.)
What am I?
I was given to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, and to Moses.
I was given to Jesus’ apostles by Jesus Christ himself.
I was taken away from the earth because men did not follow the instructions that the Lord had given them.
I was restored again to the earth through Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
I am the power to act in the name of the Lord.
What am I? (The priesthood.)
Who can hold the priesthood?
Why is the priesthood important to women?
What are some of the blessings that women enjoy through the priesthood? List on the blackboard those that the girls suggest and add others that they miss. (Baptism, confirmation, the gift of the Holy Ghost, partaking of the sacrament, administration of the sick, eternal marriage, patriarchal blessings, blessing a baby.)
Which of these blessings have you already received?
Do you consider being baptized a great blessing? Why? (It is only through baptism that you can become a member of the Church and can enter the celestial kingdom of our Father in heaven.)
The Gift of the Holy Ghost
The Holy Ghost can only be given by those holding the priesthood of God. Let us turn to Acts 8:15-20, and underline. (Put reference on blackboard.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. but Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. – Acts 8:15-20
Why do you consider the gift of the Holy Ghost a great blessing?
Before Jesus died he spoke to his apostles and told them what a great blessing the Holy Ghost would be to them. He said:
… he shall teach you all things … (Help you when you have something hard to do.) John 14:26.
… bring all things to your remembrance … (Help you remember what you have learned.) John 14:26.
… he will guide you into all truth … (Help you know this Church is true.)( John 16:13.
… he will shew you things to come. John 16:13.
Can you think of some incidents when the promptings of the Holy Ghost have helped you?
Sometimes we, who have the blessings of the priesthood with us all of the time, take some of the blessings for granted, that those who do not have them value ver highly. For example, a young missionary who had just returned from South Africa told about two women who lived in a little out-of-the-way town. Because of the shortage of missionaries, no one holding the priesthood had visited that town in over a year. During that time these two women were not privileged to partake of the sacrament. Finally the young missionary who told the story and his companion were sent to visit these women, for they were the only members who lived in that town. The first request that these ladies made of the missionaries was that they administer to the sacrament for them. When they partook of it, tears of joy streamed down their faces, and they said, “No one knows what a blessing the sacrament is until one has to do without it. We have missed so very much the spirit that partaking of the sacrament gives to us.”
Marriage in the Temple
A girl who throws away her chance to be married in the temple is somewhat like the shopkeeper who failed to recognize the value of the paintings which he had in his shop. In all other ceremonies, even those performed in our Church outside of the temple, the words “until death do you part” are included. It is almost the same as if you were handed a divorce along with your marriage, for with this type of a ceremony the marriage ends with death. Only in the temple ceremony does it say, “for time and eternity.” This is the only marriage ceremony that continues on into the next life.
Julia lived a long way from the central stakes of Zion and was able to meet very few Latter-day Saint boys. Naturally she went out occasionally with boys who were not members of the Church. One day she met a boy whom she liked very much. His name was David Steffans. The more she went with David, the more she liked him. Finally David asked her to marry him. Julia knew that David would not be able to take her to the temple unless he became a member of the Church, and so she tried to convert him. But the more she talked about the Church, the more resentful he became.
“I’ll never interfere with your Church,” he told her, “but neither do I want you to interfere with mine. I know we can be happy that way.”
Julia was not so sure. She loved the Church, and she knew that unless she married a man who held the priesthood and could take her to the temple to be married, she would never be happy. She went to David and said, “It will be better for both of us if I don’t marry you.”
Five years passed, and sometimes Julia wondered if she had made the right decision. Then one day as she was going home from work, a boy in the ward where she lived stopped and gave her a ride home. He had with him a young man from Salt Lake City, and he introduced her to him. His name was Gordon Bishop. Almost immediately she was attracted to him and he to her. It was not long before he asked her to marry him.
“We will be married in the temple, of course,” he said.
Julia was thrilled. Here was a man she had been waiting for all these years. Preparations were made, and Julia and Gordon left for Salt Lake City. In the little marriage room in the temple, they knelt with their hands clasped across the altar and listened to an apostle of the Lord say, “I pronounce you man and wife for time and eternity.”
Tears filled Julia’s eyes as she realized how near she had come to forfeiting this blessing. After the ceremony, the man who married them said, “Look into the mirrors on each side of you, how far can you see?”
Julia and Gordon looked. The mirrors were mirrored into each other until they seemed to be without end.
“That is the way your marriage will be, not even death can stop it; it will be without end.”
Patriarchal Blessings and Healing of the Sick
Perhaps some few of you have had a patriarchal blessing, but I am sure that the most of you have this to look forward to. A patriarchal blessing is a blessing of the priesthood. It cannot be had anywhere outside of the Church. It is given by a man especially set apart to do this work. There is at least one patriarch set apart for each stake. do you know the name of the man who has been set apart to be the patriarch of your stake?
A patriarch is given the power, through the priesthood of God, to tell you the blessings to which you are entitled throughout your life if you are worthy.
PEARL’S PATRIARCHAL BLESSING
As a girl, Pearl was a very faithful Latter-day Saint and worked hard in the Church. She met a boy who was not a member of the Church and tried to convert him, but he joined the Church more for Pearl than for the Church. From then on Pearl’s life was a sad one. Her husband proved unfaithful and finally left her. She had no children and felt that she had nothing to live for. For five years she did not go to church; she even stopped praying. During that time she met and married a fine man who was not a member of the Church. She thought she was doing a smart thing for she felt that somehow the Lord had failed her. Finally her mother said, “Pearl, I wish you would have a patriarchal blessing. Maybe there is something in store for you if you would but reach for it.”
Pearl thought it was foolish but consented mostly to please her mother. The Patriarch said:
“Pearl, the Lord has many blessings in store for you if you will soften your heart. You will have a son, and this son will be a joy to you and a light to the world. Furthermore, the time will come when your husband will join the Church, and you will take him to the house of the Lord to be sealed to him for time and all eternity.”
At first Pearl could not possibly make herself belief that these blessings could be for her, but one thing came to her over and over again. The patriarch had said, “Pearl, the Lord has many blessings in store for you if you will soften your heart.” Finally Pearl did soften her heart, she fell to her knees and said, “Father, forgive me, and help me. Help me to believe.” Soon after that she knew that she was going to have a baby, and in her heart she knew that it would be a boy, for had not the patriarch said that it would be so?
When pearl’s son was born she was very ill. The doctors told her husband that she could not live. One doctor in particular said, “It will take a greater power than I have to save her.” Pearl’s mother clung to the promise that Pearl had received in her patriarchal blessing. it said, “The time will come when you will take your husband to the house of the Lord and there be sealed to him for time and all eternity.” How could His promise be fulfilled if Pearl died?
Pearl’s mother called in the elders of the Church and they administered to her. In telling about this administration, Pearl said, “It was as if my head were held in a strong mask like a baseball catcher wears. I could not move it. When the elders administered to me, the one who sealed the anointing said, ‘Remove the mask that is holding the pressure on her head.’” Pearl said, “Nobody but me knew that my head felt like it was in a mask, and yet he knew it. When he said those words, it was as if someone lifted the mask from the back of my head and removed it.”
From then on Pearl began to recover. Her little boy is now seven years old and is a delight to everyone who knows him.
Pearl has not yet taken her husband to the temple, do you think she ever will?
Besides her patriarchal blessing, pearl received another blessing of the priesthood. What was it? (She was healed by the laying on of hands.)
Would you like to tell an incident of healing in your home? (Give each girl an opportunity to relate incidents of healing, or if she desires, other blessings that she has received through the priesthood. When the girls have finished, have them turn to James 5:14-`5, and underline. (Put references on the blackboard.)
Is any sick among you? Let him call or the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. – James 5:14-15
Conclude the lesson with a strong testimony of your own concerning the blessings of the priesthood. Conclude with the thought that those who hold the priesthood can bring these blessings to us only if they are willing to serve – to serve God and to serve mankind.