Discharging Priesthood Duties


I hold both the priesthood of Aaron and that of Melchizedek and have been ordained to four offices. Each office comes with specific duties, which I will enumerate:

  • As an elder of the Melchizedek priesthood, I have a duty to baptize, to ordain elders, to ordain priests, to ordain teachers, to ordain deacons, to administer the sacrament, to confirm those who are baptized into the church by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, to teach, to expound, to exhort, to watch over the church, to confirm the church by the laying of the hands and the giving of the Holy Ghost, and to take the lead in all meetings, conducting all meetings as I am led by the Holy Ghost. (See D&C 20: 38-45.)
  • As a priest of the Aaronic priesthood, I have a duty to preach, to teach, to expound, to exhort, to baptize, to administer the sacrament, to visit the house of each member (exhorting them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties,) to ordain priests, to ordain teachers, to ordain deacons, to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present, and to assist an elder if occasion requires . (See D&C 20: 46-52.)
  • As a teacher of the Aaronic priesthood, I have a duty to watch over the church always, to be with and strengthen them, to see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking, to see that all the members do their duty, to see that the church meet together often, to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the elder or priest, to be assisted always in all my duties in the church by the deacons (if occasion requires,) to warn, to expound, to exhort, to teach, to invite all to come unto Christ, and to be a standing minister unto the church. (D&C 20: 53-57, 59; 84: 111.)
  • As a deacon of the Aaronic priesthood, I have a duty to warn, to expound, to exhort, to teach, to invite all to come unto Christ, to watch over the church and to be a standing minister unto the church. (See D&C 20: 59; 84: 111.)

So, here are my questions: How do I (and others who hold these offices) discharge all these duties? In other words, what are the various ways that these duties can be legitimately discharged? Do I need to be directed by my priesthood leader to discharge each duty, or can I perform some of these duties (say, for example, warning, exhorting or preaching) without the okay from the one who holds the keys over these two priesthoods (the bishop, the elders quorum president and ultimately the stake president?) How does one go about discharging a duty to warn, expound, exhort and teach without offending the person or people being warned, expounded to, exhorted or taught? How do I see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking without offending people? If I see this iniquity or backbiting, etc., do I approach the person doing it or do I just report it to the priesthood key holder? What if it is the one holding the keys that is iniquitous or lying? Then what does one do? Is it my duty to personally correct him? If I do correct him personally or if I report him to the priesthood key-holder above him, will I put my membership in jeopardy and be seen by the leaders as being critical of the leadership, or will I be seen as merely discharging my duties? Should I worry about the consequences of correcting a leader and not correct him or should I just fulfill my priesthood duty and let the consequences follow? What are your thoughts on this matter?

One last question, are we (the deacons quorums, teachers quorums, priests quorums and elders quorums,) as priesthood holders of the church (or to speak more locally, of your ward,) discharging the above listed duties, or are they being neglected? I extend a special invitation to the sisters to add your two cents according to your personal observations.

Next Priesthood article: The oath and covenant of the priesthood

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Let the Spirit be your guide. There is no one who can answer these questions for you as rules to follow. As a Priesthood holder it is your ‘duty’ to guide and I feel the key word is ‘invite’. The charge to see that there is no iniquity in the church is as nearly as large a task as asking you to see that there is peace in the world. I will tell you how it is accomplished though – – it begins in your own heart, and then it pours out to those around you, your own home, your own family, your own neighbors. (The Anatomy of Peace is a good read on the subject). Start there, it grows. In my own home growing up I cannot count the number of times I listened to my mother complain about priesthood leaders and the way they filled (or didn’t fill) their callings. Likewise I cannot count the number of times the priesthood leader in our home tried to discourage her from saying those things but was ineffective in his attempts. I think he would have been more successful if he’d used a soft voice to invite the Spirit back into the conversation and gently invite her to remember humility and forgiveness. For anarchy to succeed, people would be ‘invited’ to behave a certain way instead of forced by violence to do so. View it as practicing ground for a future society.

    As a woman in the Church I have recently come to a level of understanding of the equal but different roles of men and women in the church. I have a great respect for the title of Motherhood and feel it closely compares to the title of Priesthood. A woman who honors her Motherhood would have very similar duties but they would apply to her own family. To warn, to teach, to expound, to exhort, to invite her children to come unto Christ. To love, to nurture, to encourage, to share, to help her children learn the gospel and love each other. I would be interested in further conversation about this topic. Without having researched it much, it seems to me that over the past several years women of the church have often been told what a good job they’re doing. However in the most recent General Relief Society Meeting we were encouraged that we are capable of more. I feel that sometimes the women of the church get caught up in the ‘Martha Stewart’ side of homemaking instead of the Zion side of homemaking. How much time and resources do we women of the church spend decorating our homes for various holidays as compared with that spent building Zion? A time and place for everything, but I know that personally I can do better.

  2. Hello everyone! I do not know where to start but hope this site will be useful for me.
    In first steps it is really nice if somebody supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
    Thanks in advance and good luck! 🙂


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s