Priesthood keys lesson

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2bizE
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Priesthood keys lesson

Post by 2bizE » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:01 pm

I’ve been asked to teach a YM lesson on priesthood keys.
Any ideas on how to breach this subject with a bit of nuance?
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RubinHighlander
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:12 pm

That's pretty tough. You could talk about how interesting it is in how the priesthood evolved...er was restored...after the church was organized, after JS started polygamy. The priesthood was basically a more militaristic/misogynistic/exclusionary structure needed to help the white old guys govern the church and groom the younger generation for church brokenness. Use a metaphor that the keys basically represent levels of access in the church, just like all the keys to all the doors in the church building - janitor closets, bishops offices, the basements, etc. I guess priesthood keys are supposed to give the holder access to more things, like more advanced hand books of instruction from the COB. Whatever you do, don't show the old Restoration of the Priesthood video because that just aint how it happened!

My apologies that this post didn't help you in any way! :?
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Linked
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by Linked » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:25 pm

I don't think this can be nuanced. It's kind of the definition of the capital T in the church is True.

Can you skip it and do the next one; say you got it mixed up? Or find a portion of the prep material in Come Follow Me that allows you to branch into something else?

Maybe you could do a hands on portion of the lesson where you make a simple lock and key, then "run out of time" before you can tie it into priesthood keys...

Good luck!
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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:29 pm

I think it would be an interesting experiment to bring up with the boys that this is quite an extraordinary claim and that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to back them up. But say nothing further about evidence. Maybe the smart ones will pick up on it.

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blazerb
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by blazerb » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:52 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:12 pm
Whatever you do, don't show the old Restoration of the Priesthood video because that just aint how it happened!
This is the real problem with trying to nuance this. Almost nothing that the church teaches about this happened.

You could spend the time just talking about church organization. When the first presidency was organized, when the Q12 was picked by the 3 witnesses, changes in the quorums of the 70, creating and dropping the office of presiding patriarch, etc. Maybe that last one will get you in trouble.
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:29 pm
I think it would be an interesting experiment to bring up with the boys that this is quite an extraordinary claim and that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to back them up. But say nothing further about evidence. Maybe the smart ones will pick up on it. Image
I like this idea.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:39 pm

Get one of those really big padlocks and maybe 200-300 random keys that don’t open it.

Spend the entire time passing around the lock and have the boys grab a random key out of the pile. Continue passing it around for the entire time while you read them the manual.

At the end of the time, tell everyone you had the one true key the whole time in your pocket but do not show them. Tell them they must believe you on faith alone.
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Fifi de la Vergne
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by Fifi de la Vergne » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:31 pm

Maybe you could talk about service. I no longer have any belief in the authority of the Mormon priesthood, but the good leaders my sons had in YM who took them out on service projects and made it fun and built camaraderie gave them a real gift.

In particular, I remember a winter when we had one massive snowstorm after another. The YM president would go around early in the morning gathering all the ward's YM and they would head off to all the houses in the ward where there were single moms or widows or older, feebler members and have the driveway shoveled in fifteen or twenty minutes. After a couple of hours, finished, they'd get hot chocolate and doughnuts, and come home glowing with the exercise and the joy of fellowship in serving others. When I think of things the church does right, or of "priesthood" I remember things like that. I still believe in service as a principal that will add meaning and joy to life.
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græy
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by græy » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:49 am

Linked wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:25 pm
...Or find a portion of the prep material in Come Follow Me that allows you to branch into something else?

Maybe you could do a hands on portion of the lesson where you make a simple lock and key, then "run out of time" before you can tie it into priesthood keys...

Good luck!
Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:39 pm
Get one of those really big padlocks and maybe 200-300 random keys that don’t open it.

Spend the entire time passing around the lock and have the boys grab a random key out of the pile. Continue passing it around for the entire time while you read them the manual.
Fifi de la Vergne wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:31 pm
Maybe you could talk about service. I no longer have any belief in the authority of the Mormon priesthood, but the good leaders my sons had in YM who took them out on service projects and made it fun and built camaraderie gave them a real gift.
I like all of these suggestions. Do a lock/key game or "object lesson." Then spend the rest of the time either talking about service or branching off into a tangentially related nuance-able topic. Frame priesthood as the "key-card" to join a group of individuals who support each other and serve those around them regardless of their individual belief or perceived righteousness. Don't mention one word about authority, restoration, or ordinances.
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2bizE
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by 2bizE » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:42 am

Thank you all for your ideas. I am taking them under consideration as I prepare the lesson. I don’t want to shirk from the assignment and not speak about keys. I believe what JS taught and what the magical, invisible concept of Keys today has changed drastically. I believe JS taught more about key words and today it is about some magical power only quorum presidents have. Is not what is taught in the temple a key?
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Corsair
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by Corsair » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:57 am

Claims of priesthood keys are the last things that the LDS church can hold onto without slipping into epistemic irrelevance. You can actually tell the YM that because it's undebateable. Without claims of exclusive priesthood authority to perform the necessary ordinances of salvation, we're just a boring, restoration era, American church.

I was talking to my belieiving brother some time ago about the fate of the first apostles like our favorite "First" Presidency, Peter, James, and John. Peter went to Rome with Paul and trained Clement and Ignatius (among others). James the Just stayed in Jerusalamen as the local bishop. John went to Anatolia (Turkey) and trained Polycarp, who was revered as the last living man to have ever met one of the original apostles. So, why don't we talk about "Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp" after "Peter, James, and John?"

My brother responded that they must not have held or retained the priesthood.

I responded, "Really? How would you tell that they did or did not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood?" Seriously, these are the known, documented men that the three leading apostles trained and worked with. And they don't have any priesthood? How do you materially "test" that anyone actually holds the priesthood? This is probably not what you would teach a group of Young Men.

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Hagoth
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by Hagoth » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:28 am

You might talk about the origins of the concept of keys, that keys are magical spells and objects discussed in occult literature and apocrypha that Joseph was Smith probably was familiar with, possibly through his apprenticeship to an itinerant wizard. These keys were supposedly used by occult practitioners (notably Solomon and Enoch) to control demons and spirits. You might speak of Joseph's Jupiter talisman, his family's occult parchments and magical daggers, and the spells they used to try to trick treasure-guarding spirits away from their booty, and how the same kinds of techniques were probably employed to get some gold plates buried in a hill.

I'm being sarcastic of course, but I guarantee that the Young Men would find this lesson about a billion times more interesting than the official pablum.
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by fetchface » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:42 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:28 am
I'm being sarcastic of course, but I guarantee that the Young Men would find this lesson about a billion times more interesting than the official pablum.
Sorry, Hagoth, you are wrong. It would be at least a trillion times more interesting. :lol:
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moksha
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by moksha » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:13 pm

Priesthood keys? You know a great visual to demonstrate that concept would be on the lock of a medieval chastity belt.
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jfro18
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by jfro18 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:35 pm

So if I was teaching this lesson on priesthood restoration I wouldn't focus on it being made up (it is, but that's beside the point), but maybe talk about how early members knew of it.

In other words, you could give a timeline of how it evolved from 1829-1834 and discuss how Joseph Smith wasn't even ordained to the high priesthood until 1831 and the Aaronic/Melchizedek priesthood concepts did not even appear until years later.

I need to beef this up a lot (I've been meaning to do it for some time), but this rough timeline shows how it evolved to the story it is today: https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/priesthood-timeline

That said, I know it would be difficult to teach this in a church class, but you could do it in a nuanced way to show how members understood it at the time vs how we see it today... it's really eye opening and can be done without implying he made it up.

edited to add: If you REALLY want to blow their minds, talk about how Joseph claimed the sealing keys in the Kirtland temple from Elijah AND Elias even though they are the same person with a different translation. :lol:

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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:45 pm

jfro18 wrote:So if I was teaching this lesson on priesthood restoration I wouldn't focus on it being made up (it is, but that's beside the point), but maybe talk about how early members knew of it.

In other words, you could give a timeline of how it evolved from 1829-1834 and discuss how Joseph Smith wasn't even ordained to the high priesthood until 1831 and the Aaronic/Melchizedek priesthood concepts did not even appear until years later.

I need to beef this up a lot (I've been meaning to do it for some time), but this rough timeline shows how it evolved to the story it is today: https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/priesthood-timeline

That said, I know it would be difficult to teach this in a church class, but you could do it in a nuanced way to show how members understood it at the time vs how we see it today... it's really eye opening and can be done without implying he made it up.

edited to add: If you REALLY want to blow their minds, talk about how Joseph claimed the sealing keys in the Kirtland temple from Elijah AND Elias even though they are the same person with a different translation. Image
Fantastic timeline and summary of the issues. Greg Prince's book "Power from on high" and Charles Harrell's book "This is my doctrine" also have some good references on priesthood evolution.

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jfro18
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by jfro18 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:55 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:45 pm
Fantastic timeline and summary of the issues. Greg Prince's book "Power from on high" and Charles Harrell's book "This is my doctrine" also have some good references on priesthood evolution.
Dan Vogel and Christopher Smith did an amazing job going through the timeline on a recent Sunstone History podcast that I need to incorporate because it just highlights both the times that it evolved and why Joseph had to evolve it to establish his authority. It's a great podcast if anyone ever is interested: https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/episod ... arratives/

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blazerb
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by blazerb » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:33 pm

Along with the timeline jfro has created, you might find the documented reports about the restoration of the priesthood useful. Brian Cannon has usefully compiled all the comments made while JS and OC were still alive in this BYU Studies paper: https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/prie ... -documents. There is one more useful quote in the footnotes that was made after OC died that appears to place the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood in the year 1831.

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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:58 pm

You mean apart from, "ok class, everything we are going to talk about today is make believe."

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2bizE
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Re: Priesthood keys lesson

Post by 2bizE » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:56 am

So, I taught the lesson. It went really well. I related the keys to someone needing a license to practice medicine or to perform certain functions in society. The keys are given to the leaders of quorums to preside over members. Left out all of the magic involved in keys.
~2bizE

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