Aaronic Priesthood Service
August 1998

“Aaronic Priesthood Service,” Ensign, Aug. 1998, 73

Aaronic Priesthood Service

Wilford Woodruff, fourth President of the Church, testified of the importance of the Aaronic Priesthood: “It does not make any difference whether a man is a priest or an apostle, if he magnifies his calling. A priest holds the key of the ministering of angels. Never in my life, as an apostle, as a seventy, or as an elder, have I ever had more of the protection of the Lord than while holding the office as a priest. The Lord revealed to me by visions, by revelations, and by the Holy Spirit, many things that lay before me” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham [1946], 300).

Under the bishop’s direction, holders of the Aaronic Priesthood represent the Savior by fulfilling temporal and spiritual responsibilities.

Deacons pass the sacrament, collect fast offerings, provide service to members needing assistance, serve as the bishop’s messenger during sacrament meeting and on other occasions, and help care for the meetinghouse. In some areas of the world, young men also serve in their communities through weekday Scouting activities.

Teachers retain all duties of deacons. In addition, they prepare the sacrament, and ensure that enough bread and water are available. With experienced companions, they also serve as home teachers. In this assignment, they serve as active participants—watching over and caring for members to whom they are assigned, making appointments, sharing gospel messages, offering prayers, and rendering service.

Priests retain all duties of deacons and teachers. In addition, they bless the sacrament, perform baptisms, and, when called upon to do so by the bishop, may ordain other priests, teachers, and deacons.

Bishops and branch presidents serve as president of the Aaronic Priesthood in the ward or branch. They help Aaronic Priesthood holders learn the value of the home, family, and priesthood quorum by encouraging participation in quorum instruction, quorum activities, Scouting (where applicable), and service opportunities. The bishop’s counselors, quorum advisers, and other Young Men leaders assist the bishop in these responsibilities.