The priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith by the laying on of hands by those who held it anciently. In May 1829, John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood, and shortly thereafter, Peter, James, and John, three of the Savior’s original Apostles, restored the Melchizedek Priesthood. On April 3, 1836, Moses, Elijah, and Elias restored additional priesthood keys.
These resources are to help you prepare for the “Learn together” section of the meeting.
Doctrine and Covenants 2 (Elijah is to reveal the priesthood; promises to the fathers are planted in the hearts of the children)
Doctrine and Covenants 27:12–13 (Peter, James, and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood)
Doctrine and Covenants 110 (Moses, Elijah, and Elias restored additional priesthood keys)
Articles of Faith 1:5 (The priesthood is conferred by the laying on of hands by one who has authority)
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Our Most Distinguishing Feature,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 43–45
“Restoration of the Priesthood” (video)
How does our claim to priesthood authority make Latter-day Saints unique? How has the priesthood blessed your life?
What do the young women already know about the restoration of the priesthood? How can you help them understand the blessings they have received because of the restoration of the priesthood?
What can the young women do to prepare to learn? For example, they could read a talk, watch a video, or study a scripture related to this doctrine.
Lead a discussion about items such as the following:
Our class: Who is missing today? What visits do we need to make? Who should we invite to an upcoming activity? Who needs our help and prayers?
Our responsibilities: What assignments do we need to make? What assignments have we fulfilled? How have we invited others to come unto Christ, and how can we invite others now?
Our lives: Remind the class of the discussion from the last meeting. What experiences have we had with applying what we learned? What experiences have we had in the past few weeks that strengthened our testimonies of the gospel?
If possible, discuss these items beforehand in a class presidency meeting.
After studying the above resources and following the inspiration of the Spirit, you may select one or more of the activities below to help class members understand the doctrine.
Write on the board several scripture references about how and why the priesthood was restored (such as Doctrine and Covenants 13; 27:12–13; Joseph Smith—History 1:66–72; Articles of Faith 1:5). Invite the young women to read the scriptures, individually or in small groups, and write on the board a summary of each passage. What do these scriptures teach the young women about the restoration of the priesthood? How has the restoration of the priesthood influenced their lives?
Divide Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Our Most Distinguishing Feature” among the young women. Ask the young women to search their sections of the talk, looking for answers to the questions “How is the priesthood conferred?” and “Why is the priesthood given in this way?” As part of this discussion, invite the young women to read Hebrews 5:4 and Articles of Faith 1:5. Why is it important for young women to know about the restoration of the priesthood?
Display pictures depicting events of the restoration of the priesthood (see Gospel Art Book , nos. 93–95), or watch the video “Restoration of the Priesthood.” Ask the young women to identify key participants in these events (such as Joseph Smith, John the Baptist, and Elijah). Read scriptures about the events (such as those suggested in this outline), and ask the young women what questions they have. Invite the young women to discuss how the restoration of the priesthood can bless their lives now and in the future. How does the priesthood bless women and mothers?
With permission from the bishop, invite the father of one of the young women or another priesthood holder to visit the class and share his priesthood line of authority with the young women and explain what a line of authority is. What does the line of authority teach the young women about the restoration of the priesthood? Bear your testimony of the restoration of the priesthood, and invite the young women to bear their testimonies.
Ask the young women to discuss any feelings or impressions they had during the meeting. What was meaningful to them? Is there something they can do personally or as a class to apply what they have learned?
Give the young women a few minutes to record what they will do in the coming weeks to act on their impressions. Invite them to share their ideas.
Remind the young women that they will have the opportunity to share their experiences at the beginning of the next meeting.