Heres a lesson I did on the Priesthood for my mission prep class. It supposed to be directed at "investigators." Hopefully this can help you better understand the Priesthood or help you find somethings to put in future lessons! :D
Sorry if parts are hard to understand. lol.
"What do you understand of the priesthood?"
What is the priesthood?
The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of our Heavenly Father. Grants it to worthy men of the church for the Salvation of his children.
*What does Authority mean? (been given the power to help others, right, permission)
police officers are given authority, to protect, keep the peace.
Ice Cream truck/police officer speeding, ticket story.
The church is led by prophets and apostles who have Authority
who are righteous men, called of God, who run the church thru the priesthood
When Christ was on the Earth, he established his church and similary ordained apostles and gave them the priesthood. But the priesthood authority was lost from the Earth when the apostles were killed.
But because we have a loving Heavenly Father that priesthood was restored.
(Show john baptising christ picture. Who is this? whats happening)
In 1829 John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry and ordained them to the Aaronic Priesthood. Later Peter, James and John, of the original 12 apostles, conferred the Melchezidek Priesthood upon them
2 kinds of priesthood.
All Priesthood comes from God put, as mentioned earlier, there to two kinds.
Aaronic: lower, there are 3 levels within the Aaron Priesthood, Deacons, teachers and Priests, depening on which on they are, they can prepare and pass the sacrament, and Priests, administer the ordinance of baptism (show john pic again),
Melchizidek: higher, over 18, aaronic abilities, plus, conferring the holy ghost, blessings, including of healing and guidance, conferring the priesthood on others, temple ordinances.
When a man is ordained to the Priesthood he enters into a covenant to fulfill his duties, serve others and build up the Kingdom of God. The power can only be excersized in love and righteousness and in the name of Jesus Christ.
*"What do you think it means to act in the name of jesus christ?" (by his permission, do the things he would do)
Men are called to use their Priesthood in all these ways, and recieve other callings where they excersize their priesthood. A few in particular are...
Home teaching is the responsibility of all Melchizedek Priesthood holders and of those who are teachers and priests in the Aaronic Priesthood. Home teachers visit assigned families at least once each month to teach them, and help them in any way that is needful. Homes without a Priesthood holder can call on their home teachers to provide them with blessings of the Priesthood. All homes and members can be blessed by the Priesthood regardless of whether or not they hold it or have it in their home.
Former Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson taught "Home teaching is not just another program. It is the priesthood way of watching over the saints and accomplishing the mission of the church. Home teaching is not just an assignment. It is a sacred calling."
-Bishops: quote from Elder Robert D. Hales "All members of the church can turn to their bishops when they are in need of help and can feel secure in his love for them and can have confidence in following his counsel."
-The Bishop is the Presiding officer and Father of the Ward, cares for the needs of those in the ward, the physically and spiritually the sick and the needy, helps people repent of serious sins and grow closer to Heavenly Father.
Prophets: Are the mouth peice for Heavenly Father to the whole World. Though we can all recieve promptings, guidance and answers to prayers, for ourselves and those we are close to and have stewardship over, the Prophet recieves those things for the whole world and church. They teach us how to strengthen ourselves and our families by showing us how to follow Jesus Christ, walk in His light and warn us of dangers.
*"What are some specific things you can think of that a Prophet might teach or warn us about?"
Prophets counsel us to: pray, study the scriptures, keep the commandments, have family night, honor our parents, pay tithing, go to church, love on another. And many things that are pertinent to our time.
Can you see how much the Priesthood helps us in just these few callings alone?
Righteous exercise of Priesthood:
(have someone read) D&C 121: 36-37 (what does that mean?) unless a man honors and uses his priesthood correctly, he cannot use it.
It is very important for a Priesthood holder to live righteously. All men who are ordained the Priesthood have that Authority, but only have the real power as they serve in love, humility, seeking the guidance of our Heavenly Father and acting upon the promptings of the spirit.
The Priesthood is not for men to forcefully rule over anyone, but the work with the Women of the Church to bless others and build up the Kingdom.
Women and the priesthood
It is important for us to understand that men holding the Priesthood doesnt make them more superior or loved, or trusted by God. Men and woman are both important to the church and to Heavenly Father
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church said
“Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program. Women have a very prominent place in this Church. Men hold the priesthood offices of the Church. But women have a tremendous place in this Church. They have their own organization...called the Relief Society, because its initial purpose was to administer help to those in need. It has grown to be...the largest women’s organization in the world... They have their own offices, their own presidency, their own board. That reaches down to the smallest unit of the Church everywhere in the world...
In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise.”
Men and women have different but equally important responsibilities in the home and the Church.
(have someone read) 1 corinthians 11: 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. (what does that mean?)
We need each other and the Lord needs us to work together.
*What are important ways to do you think woman contribute to the Church?
Women have power and gifts given to us thru our womanhood. We inherently have gifts within us that Heavenly father wants us to use to bless His children. Of course all women are different, but inherently most women have traits, like nurturing, teaching, protecting, serving, empathy. We all have different amounts of each of these, some of us have less or more of one or the other. But like the men of the Priesthood, when we seek Gods help and follow the path that Christ has set for us, we are able to us our gifts to help bless others and grow the Kingdom of God, and as we do that our gifts are being refined, and we develope new ones.
“So with woman: Her special gifts are to be exercised for the benefit and uplift of the race. This equally shared responsibility makes men and women real ‘team-mates’ in that which makes for human progress. Each one is a complement to the other and neither sex alone may function completely in the world’s work”