Lesson 5: Performing Priesthood Ordinances   Leave a comment

“Lesson 5: Performing Priesthood Ordinances,”  
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, 41


The purpose of this lesson is to teach us how to perform priesthood ordinances.

Introduction

The Lord has told us, “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty,and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence” (D&C 107:99).Priesthood holders should know how to perform priesthood ordinances andbe worthy to have the guidance of the Holy Ghost in performing them.
Our ability to bless the lives of others through priesthoodordinances is determined by our faithfulness and obedience. JosephFielding Smith stated, “I am sure … that we would see moremanifestations of the Spirit of God, for instance in the healing of thesick, if we would live just a little nearer to these fundamental truths[of exercising faith in God by performing our duties as members of theChurch]” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:311–12).
Our effectiveness as priesthood holders can also be enhanced byprayer. Before we perform priesthood ordinances we should seek the Lordin prayer. Even fasting may sometimes be necessary in specialcircumstances. (See Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A, lesson 31, “Prayer and Fasting.”)If we approach the Lord in the spirit of prayer and fasting and liveHis teachings to the best of our ability, the Spirit will direct us inour priesthood work.

What Ordinances Can We Perform?

  • • What ordinances can we perform through the priesthood offices wehold? (Use the following information to direct the discussion.)

Deacons

Deacons participate in the sacrament ordinance by passing the bread and water to members of the Church.

Teachers

Teachers participate in the sacrament ordinance by preparing thesacrament. They may also pass the sacrament in the absence of deacons.

Priests

Priests participate in the sacrament ordinance by blessing the breadand water. They may help prepare and pass the sacrament when needed. Ifauthorized by the bishop or branch president, priests can perform theordinance of baptism, confer the Aaronic Priesthood, and ordain othersto offices in the Aaronic Priesthood.

Melchizedek Priesthood Holders

Melchizedek Priesthood holders may perform all the ordinances of theAaronic Priesthood. In addition, they may bless and name children,confirm members of the Church and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost,consecrate oil, administer to the sick, dedicate graves, give father’sblessings to their children, give blessings of guidance and comfort,and confer the Melchizedek Priesthood when authorized by the stake ormission president. Elders may ordain others to the office of elder, andhigh priests may ordain others to the office of high priest or elder.

  • • For more complete information about the ordinances performed by the priesthood, see Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A, lessons 5, 6, 7, and 9.

How to Perform Ordinances

Brethren who perform priesthood ordinances should prepare themselvesto be guided by the Holy Spirit. They should perform each ordinance ina dignified manner, making sure it meets the following requirements:

  • 1. All ordinances must be performed in the name of Jesus Christ.When a person performs priesthood ordinances, he should realize that heis acting on behalf of the Savior.
  • 2. All ordinances must be performed by the authority of thepriesthood. Only brethren who hold the necessary priesthood and areworthy should perform or stand in the circle for an ordinance.
  • 3. The following ordinances must be authorized by the presidingauthority who holds the proper keys (normally the bishop or stakepresident): naming and blessing children, baptizing, confirming,administering the sacrament, conferring the priesthood and ordaining toan office, and dedicating graves. Consecrating oil, administering tothe sick, and giving father’s blessings do not need to be authorized bythe presiding authority. A man is authorized to perform theseordinances if he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and is worthy.
  • 4. All ordinances must be performed with their necessary procedures such as using specified words or laying on hands.

“Priesthood leaders teach brethren how to perform ordinances andblessings. Leaders also help fathers be prepared and worthy to performordinances and blessings for family members” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders [1998], 171).

  • • The following information concerns the basic ordinances of thegospel administered by the priesthood. Under the direction ofpriesthood leaders, select some of the following ordinances to reviewwith class members.

Naming and Blessing of Children

Under the direction of the presiding authority, only brethren whohold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in the ordinance ofnaming and blessing children (see D&C 20:70). Worthy fathers who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should be encouraged to bless their own children.
When blessing a baby, brethren gather in a circle and place theirhands under the baby. When blessing an older child, brethren placetheir hands lightly on the child’s head. The person who gives theblessing:

  • 1. Addresses Heavenly Father.
  • 2. States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 3. Gives the child a name.
  • 4. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
  • 5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Baptism

The ordinance of baptism is performed only by a worthy priest orMelchizedek Priesthood holder under the direction of the presidingauthority. The priesthood holder:

  • 1. Stands in the water with the person to be baptized.
  • 2. (For convenience and safety) holds the person’s right wrist withhis left hand; the person being baptized holds the priesthood holder’sleft wrist with his or her left hand.
  • 3. Raises his right arm to the square.
  • 4. States the person’s full name and says, “Having been commissionedof Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of theSon, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” (D&C 20:73).
  • 5. Has the person hold his or her nose with the right hand (forconvenience); then the priesthood holder places his right hand high onthe person’s back and immerses the person completely, including theperson’s clothing.
  • 6. Helps the person come up out of the water.

Each baptism must be witnessed by two priests or MelchizedekPriesthood holders, who make sure it is performed properly. The baptismmust be repeated if the prayer was not stated accurately or if part ofthe body or clothing of the person being baptized was not immersedcompletely.

Confirmation

A person receives the ordinance of confirmation after he or she has been baptized (see D&C 20:41).Under the direction of the bishopric or branch presidency, one or moreMelchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in this ordinance. Theyplace their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the person whoperforms the ordinance:

  • 1. States the person’s full name.
  • 2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 3. Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • 4. Bestows the gift of the Holy Ghost by saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”
  • 5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
  • 6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Sacrament

The sacrament is a very sacred ordinance and is administered underthe direction of the bishopric or branch presidency. Aaronic Priesthoodholders usually perform these duties. However, Melchizedek Priesthoodholders may bless and pass the sacrament when there are not enoughAaronic Priesthood brethren or if the bishop or branch presidentoccasionally invites them to do so.
Every priesthood holder who participates in this ordinance shouldunderstand that he is acting on behalf of the Lord. The personalappearance and attitude of all who participate should reflect thesacred nature of the ordinance. Priesthood holders should wash theirhands before preparing, blessing, or passing the sacrament.
Worthy teachers, priests, and Melchizedek Priesthood holders mayprepare the sacrament. Before the meeting begins, those who prepare thesacrament should make sure that clean bread trays with unbroken bread,clean water trays with cups filled with fresh water, and clean whitetablecloths are in place.
Worthy priests and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may bless thesacrament. Worthy deacons, teachers, priests, and MelchizedekPriesthood holders may pass the sacrament.
During the sacrament hymn, the priesthood holders who will bless thesacrament should break the bread into bite-sized pieces. Following thehymn, the person who blesses the bread kneels and offers the sacramentprayer for the bread (see D&C 20:77).The sacrament prayers were revealed by the Lord. The bishop or branchpresident makes sure that they are spoken clearly, accurately, and withdignity. If the bishop or branch president must correct an error, heshould be careful to avoid causing embarrassment or distracting fromthe sacred nature of the ordinance.
After the prayer, deacons or other priesthood holders pass the breadto the congregation in a reverent and orderly manner. The presidingofficer receives the sacrament first. When brethren finish passing thebread, they return the trays to the sacrament table. Those officiatingat the sacrament table replace the cloth over the bread trays anduncover the water trays. The person who blesses the water kneels andoffers the sacrament prayer for the water (see D&C 20:79), substituting the word water for wine.After the prayer, deacons or other priesthood holders pass the water tothe congregation. When they finish, they return the trays to thesacrament table, wait for the officiators to cover the trays, thenreverently take their seats.

Conferral of the Priesthood and Ordination to a Priesthood Office

Ordination to an office in the Aaronic Priesthood is done by orunder the direction of the bishop or branch president. Ordination to anoffice in the Melchizedek Priesthood is done by or under the directionof the stake or mission president. To perform a priesthood ordination,one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly onthe person’s head. The priesthood bearer who performs the ordination:

  • 1. Calls the person by his full name.
  • 2. States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).
  • 3. Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood unless it has already been conferred.
  • 4. Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or MelchizedekPriesthood and bestows the rights, powers, and authority of thatoffice.
  • 5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
  • 6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Consecration of Oil

One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders must consecrate olive oilbefore it is used to anoint the sick or afflicted. No other oil may beused. To do this, a priesthood holder:

  • 1. Holds an open container of olive oil.
  • 2. Addresses Heavenly Father.
  • 3. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 4. Consecrates the oil (not the container) and sets it apart for anointing and blessing the sick and afflicted.
  • 5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • • Have each Melchizedek Priesthood holder consecrate some olive oilfor himself and for others in the class who may need some in theirhome.

Administering to the Sick

Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick orafflicted. Administering to the sick has two parts: (1) anointing withoil and (2) sealing the anointing.
The anointing is done by one Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He:

  • 1. Puts a small amount of consecrated oil on the person’s head.
  • 2. Places his hands lightly on the person’s head and calls the person by his or her full name.
  • 3. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 4. States that he is anointing with consecrated oil.
  • 5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Normally, two or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders place theirhands lightly on the person’s head. The one who seals the anointing:

  • 1. Calls the person by his or her full name.
  • 2. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 3. Seals the anointing.
  • 4. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
  • 5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

If a person requests more than one blessing for the same illness,the priesthood holder usually does not need to anoint with oil afterthe first blessing. Instead, he gives a blessing by the laying on ofhands and the authority of the priesthood.

Dedication of Graves

Graves should be dedicated by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, asauthorized by the priesthood officer who conducts the service. Todedicate a grave, he:

  • 1. Addresses Heavenly Father.
  • 2. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 3. Dedicates and consecrates the burial plot as the resting place for the body of the deceased.
  • 4. (Where appropriate) prays that the place may be hallowed and protected until the Resurrection.
  • 5. Asks the Lord to comfort the family and expresses thoughts as the Spirit directs.
  • 6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Father’s Blessings and Blessings of Comfort and Counsel

Fathers and others who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may giveblessings of comfort and counsel. Fathers may give their childrenblessings on special occasions such as when the children enter militaryservice or leave home to go to school or on missions. A family mayrecord a father’s blessing in family records, but it is not preservedin Church records.
To give a father’s blessing or other blessings of comfort andcounsel, one or more worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders place theirhands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood leader whogives the blessing:

  • 1. Calls the person by his or her full name.
  • 2. States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  • 3. Blesses the person as the Spirit directs.
  • 4. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

As priesthood holders, we should prepare ourselves for times when weneed to perform ordinances. Being ready to perform priesthoodordinances means that we are living the commandments to the best of ourability and that we understand how to perform the ordinances. Suchpreparation will bless ourselves and others.

Challenge

Study the procedures for performing ordinances. Set a goal to studyone each week. Think of one area in your life in which you can improveyour worthiness to perform priesthood ordinances. Resolve to improveyour life in that area.

Additional Scriptures

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Lubbock Stake + Plainview Branch Announcements:

September 17th, 2009: 4:30pm-9:00pm Blood Drive(58th)
September 17th, 2009: 7:00pm Stake Presidency
September 17th, 2009: 8:00pm High Council

September 18th, 2009: 7:00pm Young Adult BBQ (Stake)
September 18th, 2009: 8:30pm Young Adult Barn Dance

September 19th, 2009: 8:30am Stake Merit Badge Clinic (At Stake Center: Communications & Citizenship)
September 19th, 2009: 5:00pm Stake Youth Com. Orientation and Dinner (Stake Center)

September 20th, 2009: High Council Speaker

September 21st, 2009: Family Home Evening

September 24th, 2009: 7:00pm Stake Presidency
September 24th, 2009: 8:00pm Elders-HP Interviews

September 26th, 2009: 7:00pm General Relief Society Telecast (At Stake Center)

September 27th, 2009: Fast Sunday

September 28th, 2009: Family Home Evening

September 30th, 2009: 7:00pm Priest/Laurel Activity (4th Ward – Stake Center)

Posted September 17, 2009 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

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