This weeks lesson was at the request of the ward Young Men’s president.

As usual, I overprepared so I had to cut a lot out of what I was planning to teach.  Here’s the original lesson plan, plus what I taught, plus some of their comments

We first turned to D&C 88, known as the Olive Branch, where the Lord describes the beginning of the School of the Prophets.  Verse 117 describes this school as one of a Solemn Assembly, which is called for very specific holy meetings.  The calling of a new prophet is a solemn assembly, the calling to build a temple, or other desires that the Lord has for the Church.  Obviously, this concept of a school was important.

Verse 122 got a laugh out of the boys, especially with them being 12-13 years old, and having some very talkative boys who have moved on to the teachers quorum.

“Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.”

Verse 123 and 125 is where I wanted to focus:

“See that ye love one another; cease to be covetous; learn to impart one to another as the gospel requires.”

“And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace. “

I then wrote the following words on the board:

MAN             HOOD
GOD              HOOD

We all know what these words mean together.  When someone asks you what is “priesthood,” what would you respond?

I received many variations of the answer “The power of God given to man to act in his behalf”

But have you ever considered what those words MEAN?  Why would you add “hood” to priest?
(this drew many responses of “Growing up in da ‘hood,” and one random comment about the KKK..why?  “Because they wear hoods too?”  Ah, the mind of a 12 year old…)

The suffix of “hood” means multiple things: It could be a condition or state of being the thing or being in the role denoted by the word it is suffixed to
IE, Child -> Childhood

It could also be an order, a quality, or a group

What about priesthood?

The -hood part is in reference to us being part of an order, or us having the same quality.  But what does the “priest” quality mean?

According to Merriam Webster, it is “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God”

That is a mighty calling.  That is a mighty body we belong to.  And that is a mighty brotherhood we should be a part of.

Back to the School of the Prophets.  When Joseph Smith greeted his brethren into the School of the Prophets, according to historian Richard Bushman, he would say:

“Art thou a brother or brethren? I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token, or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship in a determination that is fixed, immovable and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God, in the bonds of love.”

The brethren, in turn, were to lift up their hands and repeat the covenant, or say amen.
(Bushman, Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling, p. 211)

These brethren were a brotherhood.  They treated their calling very seriously, and their kinship with each other at points was so strong, they felt it could never be broken.

What about our quorum?  Here’s what I told them…

“You are a brotherhood.  You should look at your fellow Deacon, and see him as a brother in Christ.  You should love your fellow Deacon, fellow Teacher, and fellow Priest as a brother in the Aaronic Priesthood.  It is so important that you become a brotherhood now, because high school is difficult.  I know, from personal experience, in the same high school that you will go to.  You will be confronted with every type of temptation in high school, and having a strong brotherhood of your quorum is so important.  I would not have gone on a mission, I would not have married in the temple, and I would not be here in this church teaching you today if it weren’t for my brotherhood of my quorums.  We hung out together.  We got in trouble together.  We had our crushes on the Laurels and they on us.  It was such a wonderful experience, and we had that experience becaue we were a brotherhood who loved each other.  Do not talk badly about each other.  Lift each other up.  This brotherhood is ordained of God, and He will support you in your trials through your brotherhood.”

I then closed with my testimony.

I think they got the picture.  I have such a wonderful group of boys who, as wild as they are, give some utterly astounding insights.  We’ve had some problems with this concept, and I wanted to stress to them (from my own personal experience, and from the secondhand experience that I’ve seen of others) how important their brotherhood is.  I think they think of each other as friends, and the brotherhood will come as they progress through their Aaronic Priesthood, but I wanted to get the thought in their mind now how we should be treating each other.