RS/MP Lesson 14: “Priesthood Organization” (Gospel Principles Manual)

This lesson is particularly long and it would be difficult to adequately address all aspects of this lesson in the short time that is usually available for a priesthood or relief society lesson. While the last lesson deals with what the priesthood is, this contains much of the nuts and bolts of how the priesthood is organized today. For the new member it is going to introduce a lot of terms with definitions that don’t always align well with what their experience may have been in other churches. For a priesthood quorum of seasoned members of the church this will be a repeat of what is often a yearly lesson. Good luck to those with the task of leading a discussion on this topic.

Since this is a long chapter, and some of the material is sufficient to itself, I’ll simply point out some things that struck me as I read through the lesson.

On the first page we learn that the first priesthood is called the Melchizedek Priesthood out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being and to avoid too frequent repetition of his name, the priesthood originally being called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. This is accompanied by at least 5 references to the name of deity. I am often left wondering where we stand today on the frequent usage of the name of deity. Is there something being lost in translation from former times in the name of the priesthood? We seem pretty liberal today in the usage of names of deity, but they were concerned about saying the Son of God too frequently.

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