6/13/2005

Lesson on The Priesthood

As I've mentioned before, I'm the R.S. teacher in our ward for the David O. Mckay lessons. This week's lesson is on the Priesthood, and I am not sure where to go with it. Yes, I know, follow the manual, but the manual seems to favor heavily things like actions you should do with the priesthood, why you should remain worthy of the priesthood, and how to honor priesthood, etc, etc, etc. In other words, it's a lesson that would be great for deacons and new male converts, but I've having a hard time envisioning the same kind of benefit for the women. So what do women want to hear about the Priesthood? From previous bloggernacle discussions (let's face it, this is not a new topic), it's clear that many women have very strong opinions about the Priesthood, particularly women not having it, and how gender roles in the church affect the decision making process in individual units. I know that many women feel frustrated and powerless in the church when it comes to dealing with this topic, and that there is a lot of pain and anger associated with it. Needless to say, I like to keep the pain and anger in the Relief Society to a minimum when I teach, but I can't stand the thought of getting up there and delivering the same tired lines like, "Women support the priesthood by giving their husbands opportunities to use it in the home." I actually believe that, but I also believe there's got to be a lot more to this whole thing than thoughts that border on empty platitudes. So if you were sitting in a Relief Society, and you heard that the topic was The Preisthood, what would you want to hear? What would you want to talk about? What are things that you feel never get discussed, or get sugar-coated with meaningless cliches? And also, what are things that would just make you want to vomit right there on the teacher's shoes? In addition to keeping the pain and anger meter low, I also like to reserve cleaning up bodily fluids for the comfort of my own home, where a good priesthood holder presides who is more than capable of wielding a broom and a mop!

7 Comments:

Anonymous Erin said...

I get confused about the actual organization of Priesthood officers and need to know more about that. I can handle deacon, teacher, priest in the Aaronic priesthood, but why is Bishop an office in the Aaronic priesthood? What are the differences between the two Priesthoods? Are they actually 2 different priesthoods or just divisions among the same? It's all the power to act in God's name, so why the division? I guess I just gave myself an assignment for personal study.

6/14/2005 12:47:00 AM  
Anonymous claire said...

Heather, good for you for putting so much thought into preparing your lesson. Do you have many new members or recently reactivated members? Lately when I teach I've been making a special effort to give background on everything so no one feels like everyone else knows what I'm talking about except them. Ering's is a good suggestion.

All I can say is I'm glad that this week is Stake Conference and we are skipping this lesson (I'm the RS President).

6/14/2005 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous wbpraw said...

Heather, I gave a talk a couple of years ago on father's day about the priesthood and it's effect on my life. I drew heavily from Robert D. Hales talk, Blessings of the Priesthood. (avail. on lds.org). About half way thru his talk he lists every event in a man OR woman's life that has involved the priesthood. This was quite enlightening to me since evidently I had taken the priesthood for granted in my life. Read the talk, but some of the highlights: I was blessed as an infant by priesthood authority, I partake of the sacrament each week by priesthood authority, I serve in callings set apart by a priesthood holder in organizations that were organized by the hand of the Lord through the power of the priesthood. In high school, I counseled with my bishop and received a testimony of his mantel and stewardship, not as a man, but as my priesthood leader. The list goes on and on and is clear that the blessings of priesthood are available and necessary to every member of the church, married, single, male, female, or otherwise. Women don't have the priesthood because there is no scriptural teachings that says we should have the priesthood - it isn't the Lord's way. We as women need to get over it and realize the blessings we are receiving daily because this power has been restored to the earth. We're members of this church, right? Couldn't be without the priesthood.

Okay, I'm done preaching, but seriously, read Elder Hales talk, it was like a light bulb for me and I'm so glad.

Happy lesson, Heatho!

6/14/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Liesl said...

Oh great! I am the gospel essentials teacher in my ward (in Provo, so there are no actual new or struggling members who attend, only people bored with traditional GD and looking for a smaller, more tangential environment -- I specialize in tangents) and my lesson this week is also on Priesthood and so I've been thinking a lot about it in the shower and other solitary places (few & far between).

I am thinking of taking it from the angle of what Priesthood is and how we can harness it individually to bless our lives instead of talking about what the members of the Priesthood do in their exercise thereof (next wee's lesson is on Priesthood organization). I need to actually buckle down and do some research to see if this can be an interesting perspective and I'll be sure to pass on anything I come up with.

6/14/2005 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have not read the lesson. I assume the lesson is on the Priesthood, the authority of God, and not the Priesthood, the body of men who hold it. Now THAT would be interesting.....

6/14/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going along with what erin said about the organization, an important concept is the difference between holding the priesthood and having priesthood keys. Not all priesthood holders have keys. Only those that are called to preside have keys (i.e. deacon's quorum presidents, teacher's quorum presidents, bishops, etc.)

6/15/2005 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

I think I would begin by sharing my story about how I had evil spirits in my house, but I didn't tell anybody because I thought they'd think I was nuts. They went away when my husband came home and came right back when he left.

I asked the bishop to come over and give me a blessing for a health issue and in the blessing he rebuked the evil spirits and cast them out.

I asked him, "how did you know?" He said, "I felt it as soon as I came in your house. I had a run-in with evil spirits when I was on a mission, so I knew." Those evil spirits never came back.

Then I would sit back and let the sisters share. We have been through the technical stuff, it might be fun to just speculate on weird spiritual stuff. And I'm nothing if not fun. I find the priesthood such a boring subject.

I'd probably get scolded, but you know, forgiveness instead of permission works for me.

6/17/2005 10:43:00 AM  

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