“Lesson 7 Teacher Material: Restoration of the Priesthood,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material (2019)
“Lesson 7 Teacher Material,” Foundations of the Restoration Teacher Material
Consider displaying the following question before students arrive and then asking them to share their thoughts about it as class begins.
When have you recently felt blessed because of the priesthood?
Display the following statement of doctrine by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
The priesthood of God, with its keys, its ordinances, its divine origin and ability to bind in heaven what is bound on earth, is as indispensable to the true Church of God as it is unique to it and without it there would be no Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Our Most Distinguishing Feature,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 43; bolded emphasis added)
What words or phrases stand out to you in Elder Holland’s statement? Why?
As you facilitate student sharing and discussion, you might use some of the following topics and questions to help students understand a few elements of Elder Holland’s statement more deeply. It may be more important to thoroughly discuss one or two questions rather than try to cover all the questions. Your discussion can be enhanced as students share what they learned from the preparation material, as well.
Note: You will discuss ordinances in the second half of this lesson. Remember to leave sufficient time for that discussion so students can come to better know and understand the importance of ordinances.
The priesthood is indispensable to the Lord’s Church (see section 1 of the preparation material).
Why do you think the priesthood is indispensable to the Lord’s Church? What knowledge and keys would we be missing if the priesthood had not been restored?
In what ways is the priesthood indispensable to your own life?
The priesthood is of divine origin (see section 1 of the preparation material).
How was the priesthood restored?
What does the restoration of the priesthood teach you about your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
Priesthood keys are essential to the Lord’s Church (see section 2 of the preparation material).
What are priesthood keys?
How have priesthood keys been a blessing in your life?
As students share experiences and bear testimony of the priesthood and its restoration, you might also share your gratitude and testimony of how the restoration of the priesthood has blessed your own life.
Explain that in September 1832, about two years after receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John, Joseph Smith received a revelation that helps us better understand the priesthood. It included the truth that saving ordinances administered through priesthood authority help prepare us to return to God’s presence. Invite students to study Doctrine and Covenants 84:18–22, looking for how ordinances prepare us to return to God’s presence.
According to these verses, what vital blessing is received through the ordinances of the priesthood?
What are some possible meanings of the phrase “power of godliness”? (After students respond, you might suggest that “godly” means “godlike.” The power of godliness includes God’s power to help us become like Him.)
Display and read the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and invite students to look for possible meanings of the phrase “power of godliness”:
Priesthood ordinances open the door and provide access to the power of godliness. … The human mind and mortal languages simply cannot define accurately or adequately the meaning of the scriptural phrase, “the power of godliness.” But the totality of the blessings of the Atonement—redemption from sin; strength to do and to become good; the spiritual gift of personal peace; the compensating capacities that helps us face disappointment, injustice, unfairness, inequity, and so much more—certainly constitute at least a portion of the power of godliness. … To come unto the Savior, an individual must first pass through the gate of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost—and then continue to press forward along the path of covenants and ordinances that leads to the Savior and the blessings of His Atonement (see 2 Nephi 31). Priesthood ordinances are essential to fully “come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him” (Moroni 10:32; see also vv. 30–33). Without the ordinances, an individual cannot receive all of the blessings made possible through the Lord’s infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice (see Alma 34:10–14)—even the power of godliness. (David A. Bednar, Power to Become , 75–77)
What do we learn from Elder Bednar’s statement about the “power of godliness”? What do we learn about the purpose of priesthood ordinances? (Using students’ words, write or display a truth similar to the following: Through priesthood ordinances and covenants, we can access the blessings of the Lord’s Atonement, which gives us power to become like God.)
In what ways do you think the specific ordinances of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood connect us to the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement? (If needed, give students time to review the statements in section 3 of the preparation material.)
Give students a few minutes to ponder the priesthood ordinances they have most recently participated in. Ask them to think about how they felt and what those ordinances mean to their eternal progression. Then display the following questions for students to consider:
What ordinance might become more meaningful to you by applying what you have learned today? (Encourage students to record and act on their impressions.)
What have you learned and felt today that has increased your desire to participate in the ordinances of the priesthood?
As appropriate, invite students to share their testimony of how priesthood authority, keys, and ordinances have helped them feel Heavenly Father’s love.
Invite students to consider what role the Church plays in their lives. As they study the preparation material for the next lesson, encourage them to look for blessings the Lord makes available to faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.