This year the Aaronic Priesthood restoration date (May 15, 1829) is on a weekday, and I have been planning to have a little commemoration party during Seminary. After the results of the basic doctrines survey, I may instead do an activity on the essential nature of temple covenants. Or I may do both. We’ll just see…
Anyway, I did a little research today, and the information on Priesthood commemmoration activities is pretty much nonexistant. Men just don’t do activities on the level that women do, nor do they talk about it, and really, what can be said about a “Father/Son/Aaronic Priesthood/ActivityThatKillsTwoBirdsWithOneStone” campout anyway? Back in the day, Aaronic Priesthood activities seem to have been slightly different. The Deseret News used to have a Presiding Bishop’s corner, and on April 7 1945, the Presiding Bishopric, the church’s presiding officer over the Aaronic Priesthood, gave some suggestions on the types of activities to hold at a Priesthood Commemoration:
I haven’t been to a sacrament meeting like the one described above before. It would be fun to see the Young Men singing and giving all the talks. This sacrament meeting is themed about faith (probably because it’s easy for young men to talk about), but there are plenty of other ideas you could use. I wouldn’t mind seeing this given by parents of Aaronic priesthood holders, either.
There was a really good article by then Elder Hinckley on his experience when the 1978 revelation on extending the Priesthood to all worthy males was given. It’s pretty great. I may have a student read this story during our class.
The wiki has a pretty decent article that I may use to make up an Aaronic Priesthood quiz. One question to ask might be about the roles of Bishop and Young Men president. How do they relate?
There is also a MormonChannel article by David L Beck on the Aaronic Priesthood (The Aaronic Priesthood–Greater than you Might Think) that shares some experiences of young men in the church. I’m not sure if it’s useable for my purposes, but I’m linking to it here in case I use it later. President Beck also gave a General Conference talk titled The Magnificent Aaronic Priesthood that is also good. It has a special emphasis on Duty to God. Even with the improved program, too few young men are working to achieve this award. I am not sure that we leaders have done a good job “selling” the program. Scouts have their song and dance about how the Eagle award gets jobs, but what does DTG do for our boys? Why do they need it? We’ve gotta do better.
Stepping off the soap box.
Anyway, I’m just getting started, but I think that these are some good resources. I think that Seminary is a good time to start a conversation with students about the blessings of the priesthood and to share our testimonies of it’s restoration through Joseph Smith. What a blessing the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration is!