Aaronic Priesthood Leader Training

Dear Young Men Leaders:

We want to help all our young men become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live by its teaching, including preparing to fulfill their divine roles. We invite you to carefully study the following three principles that will help achieve this purpose.

1. Be with them.
2. Connect them with heaven.
3. Let them lead.

In addition, we hope you will use the following methods to help you plan meaningful experiences with the young men.

4. Counsel together
5. Identify needs and resources
6. Plan and Calendar

With gratitude for your service and example to young men,

The Young Men General Presidency

1. Be with them. Promote trusting relationships that will anchor young men to the gospel.

  • Leaders of young men “get to know each young man and become familiar with his talents, interests, and challenges. Then look for ways to strengthen young men individually” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 8.3.4). What can you do to follow this counsel?
  • Read President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “That He May Become Strong Also” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 75–78), and consider what you feel inspired to do to strengthen Aaronic Priesthood holders.
  • Elder Robert D. Hales taught that young people “measure our love by how much devoted time we give them” (“‘Come, Follow Me’ by Practicing Christian Love and Service,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 23). How do you feel this applies to your relationship with the young men? 
  • Ponder the following statement by President Howard W. Hunter, and consider which young men in your care come to your mind: “Give special attention to those who may be struggling, and go out as necessary to find the lost sheep. . . . Personal attention to a young person just beginning to stray may save hours and hours—indeed, years and years—of effort later in our attempt to reclaim that person to activity” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter [2015], 287).
  • Real activities with meaningful outcomes are more likely to encourage young men to build close relationships with leaders and with each other. How can you plan and use activities to help the young men build strong relationships? What impresses you about the relationship between Helaman and his 2,000 young warriors? (see Alma 53:19–23; 56:43–48, 55–56; 57:19–27).
  • Watch the following videos, looking for what they teach you about how you can build relationships with young men that help bind them to Jesus Christ: “Just Take Some Time,” “Help Others Move toward the Savior,” “He Cared, He Listened,” “The Master Teacher” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

2. Connect them with heaven. Focus on deep and lasting conversion for the young men.

  • When Joseph Smith was the age of the young men in the Church, what did he do to be connected with heaven? What do his experiences suggest about ways you might help young men be connected with heaven? (see Joseph Smith—History 1:5–29).
  • Ponder the experience that Moses had with the Lord, found in Moses 1:1–26. What thoughts do these verses inspire about the importance of helping young men understand their divine identity?
  • President Boyd K. Packer taught, “True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior” (“Little Children,Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7; see also Alma 31:5). Do the young men you serve understand the doctrine of Christ? How might this understanding help them connect with heaven? Ponder this question as you read 2 Nephi 31; 32; 3 Nephi 11.
  • With your young men in mind, read Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “Converted unto the Lord” (Ensign, Nov. 2012, 106–9). What does the Spirit teach you about your role in helping them become converted? 
  • The Savior said, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25). Do the young men you serve have regular opportunities to serve others? How can you help them understand that “when [they] are in the service of [their] fellow beings [they] are only in the service of [their] God”? (Mosiah 2:17).
  • How might you use the following videos to help the young men strengthen their connection with heaven? “2017 Mutual Theme: Ask,” “Sanctify Yourselves,” “Stay within the Lines,” “Help Us Discover the Gospel” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

3. Let them lead. Help young men lead Aaronic Priesthood quorums with power.

  • Search Doctrine and Covenants 121:34–46; 42:61; 8:2–3, looking for principles of priesthood leadership that you feel the young men need to understand. How will you help them learn these principles?
  • “Aaronic Priesthood quorum leaders ‘sit in council’ with quorum members, ‘teaching them the duties of their office’ (see D&C 107:85–86). They seek inspiration in fulfilling their responsibilities. They also receive instruction and guidance from the bishopric and quorum advisers. Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidents hold the priesthood keys to direct the work of the quorums over which they preside” (Handbook 2, 8.3.2; see also D&C 107:58–63 and the video “Ministering in the Aaronic Priesthood” [ChurchofJesusChrist.org]). How well are the Aaronic Priesthood quorums in your ward following this counsel? What could you do to help them improve?
  • “A leader who extends a Church calling explains its purpose, importance, and responsibilities. He encourages the member to seek the Spirit of the Lord in fulfilling the calling” (Handbook 2, 19.2). How can extending calls to members of Aaronic Priesthood presidencies in this way help them lead their quorums?
  • “The bishop or an assigned counselor interviews the deacons quorum president, the teachers quorum president, and the priests quorum assistants regularly” (Handbook 2, 8.3.1; see also the video “Empowering Aaronic Priesthood Leadership” [ChurchofJesusChrist.org]). How might such interviews bless quorum leaders and quorum members?
  • What do you notice about the young men described in 1 Samuel 3; 1 Nephi 2:16–22; and Mormon 1? How do these scriptures influence the way you see the young men you serve?
  • Think about the Aaronic Priesthood quorum leaders in your ward as you read or watch one of the following: Brother Stephen W. Owen, “The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Followers,Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 70–76; or Brother Tad R. Callister, “The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). What can you do to help quorum leaders fulfill their duties as priesthood leaders?

Leader Resources