“Sharing Time: The Priesthood Is Restored,” Friend, Apr. 1990, 12
How much light does a light bulb give when it is not screwed in? How much work does a windmill do when there is no wind? How much energy does a waterwheel produce when there is no water to make it move? These man-made inventions need a source of power in order to function.
Jesus knew that men could not direct His church on earth without power from God. He said that this power would be given by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority.
When He lived on the earth, Jesus laid His hands on the heads of His apostles. He gave them the priesthood, the power and authority to act in God’s name, so that they could “preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.” After the apostles died, this authority was eventually taken from the earth.
In 1829, under the direction of the ancient apostles Peter, James, and John, John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. He laid his hands upon their heads and conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon them. Oliver Cowdery said, “Think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing?) when we received under his hand the Holy Priesthood” (JS—H 1:71 footnote).
Later, along the banks of the Susquehanna River in New York or Pennsylvania, Peter, James, and John, the same apostles who had received their authority from Jesus Christ, conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood on Joseph and Oliver.
Without the priesthood, the Church could not have been organized, no one could be baptized or receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, no one could receive the blessings of the temple, and no one could return to live with Heavenly Father. How wonderful it is that a kind and loving Heavenly Father restored the priesthood so that His servants on the earth could have the power to act in His name!
You can make a diorama that shows Jesus giving the priesthood to Peter, James, and John; then Peter, James, and John conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. You will need: a shoe box with a lid, wrapping paper, tape, glue, scissors, and heavy paper.
Cover the outside of the box and the lid with wrapping paper.
Cut out a long hole in the box lid for light (see illustration).
Divide the box into two sections by taping a piece of heavy paper down the middle of it (see illustration).
Cut an eyehole on one side of each section (see illustration).
Carefully cut out the figures from the magazine, mount them on heavy paper, then trim them.
Arrange and glue the figures inside the box to show the two different events. Cut out the labels identifying the events and glue them below the appropriate eyehole.
Put on the lid and look inside.
Find inspirational stories about instances where priesthood power has blessed the lives of others. Have the children tell or dramatize those stories.
Have the children find scriptures detailing the qualities that men need to qualify for the priesthood, and read the scriptures to each other. (See Topical Guide—Priesthood, Qualifying for.) A crossword puzzle or a word search could be made from the words found.
Diorama figures could be enlarged, cut into puzzle shapes, and put together by the younger children.
Print “Priesthood—the authority to act in God’s name” on large squares of cardboard, one letter per square, and place them facedown. Divide into groups and take turns guessing which letters of the alphabet are on the squares. When a correct letter is guessed, the corresponding square is turned over. The first group to guess the phrase wins.
Invite a priesthood holder to trace his priesthood authority back to Jesus Christ. Children could represent the priesthood holders in this line as he talks about them.
Explain the offices of the priesthood and the different responsibilities that come with each. (See D&C 107.) Assign the names of people that the children know as examples of men who hold the various priesthood offices.