- What duties are incumbent upon an elder?
- What separates having priesthood authority from having priesthood keys?
- What steps should I take to research the Melchizedek Priesthood and prepare for it?
Help the Member Feel Comfortable and Safe
When they meet with a Church leader, some members have encountered encounters that make them feel anxious or overwhelmed. Look for ways to make them feel at ease, secure, and at home. Ask the member what you can do to assist.
Always provide the member the choice to have a substitute attend a meeting or interview. Ensure that a parent or other adult is present when you are meeting with a person of the opposing sex, a kid, or a young person. Depending on the preferences of the member you are meeting with, he or she may enter the meeting or wait outside the space.
Choose a separate location to meet if the member feels uneasy about doing so in the meetinghouse. Find a spot where you can store secrets and the Holy Ghost can be present. Think about the member’s safety as well as your own. See 31.4 for details on virtual meetings with members.
Keeping secrets is crucial in ensuring the safety of members. Assure the participant that your communication will be kept private.
Unless the member specifically consents, do not disclose sensitive information to anybody, even your spouse or other Church authorities. Even after you’ve been let go, keep these things private. Breaking confidences can be detrimental to a member’s witness, faith, and trust. If members are satisfied that their information will be kept private, they are more likely to ask Church officials for assistance.
Other Opportunities for Leaders to Meet with Members
Leaders have many opportunities to meet with members individually. For example:
- Members may ask to meet with a Church leader when they need spiritual guidance or have weighty personal problems. In some cases, the leader may feel prompted to arrange a meeting with a member. Members are discouraged from contacting General Authorities about personal matters (see 38.8.24). In order to spend more time with youth, the bishop may delegate some of these meetings to other leaders in the ward. Members of the Relief Society, elders quorum, and Young Women presidencies can be particularly helpful. However, the bishop may not delegate matters that require his role as a common judge, such as repenting of serious sin.
- The bishop or someone he assigns meets with members who have temporal needs (see 31.3.4 and 22.6).
- The elders quorum president meets with each quorum member individually once a year. They discuss the well-being of the member and his family. They also discuss his priesthood duties. (See 22.214.171.124.)
- The Relief Society president meets with each Relief Society member once a year. They discuss the well-being of the sister and her family. (See 126.96.36.199.)
- A member of the bishopric meets with each 11-year-old as he or she moves from Primary to the deacons quorum or a Young Women class. During this meeting the bishopric member also interviews young men to receive the Aaronic Priesthood (see 18.10.2).
- A member of the bishopric meets with members who are entering military service (see 38.9.2).
- A member of the bishopric meets with each youth twice a year (see 31.3.1).
- A member of the bishopric meets with each young single adult at least once a year (see 31.3.2).
- Members of the stake presidency, bishopric, and other leaders meet regularly with leaders who serve under their direction (see 31.3.3).
When leaders meet with members, they follow the principles in 31.1.
For helpful information about specific topics that may arise when meeting with members, see Counseling Resources in the Gospel Library. Leaders can also refer members to the information in Life Help.
The bishop’s foremost responsibility is to help the rising generation in his ward progress spiritually. One important way he does this is by meeting with the youth individually (or with another adult present; see 31.1.4). The bishop or one of his counselors meets with each youth twice a year. At least one of these meetings each year should be with the bishop. Beginning the year the youth turnsÂ 16, both meetings during the year should be with the bishop if possible.
In addition to these meetings, youth should feel free to counsel with the bishop whenever they need guidance or support. The bishop strives to build strong, trusting relationships with the youth so they feel comfortable counseling with him.
The Young Women president also has a responsibility to minister to individual young women. She can do this by meeting with young women one on one (or with another adult present; see 31.1.4).
When they meet with youth, leaders follow the principles in 31.1. Many of these principles are especially important when meeting with youth.
In their efforts to strengthen the youth, leaders work closely with parents. They seek to support parents in their responsibility for teaching their children the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Leaders share the following information with the youth and his or her parents before their first meeting:
- Parents have the primary responsibility to teach and nurture their children.
- The bishop or one of his counselors meets with each youth at least twice a year. The Young Women president may also meet periodically with each young woman. In these meetings, leaders may answer questions, give support, extend assignments, and discuss topics listed in 188.8.131.52.
- To help youth prepare spiritually, interviews are required for sacred matters such as temple recommends, priesthood ordinations, and mission calls. Leaders work with parents to help youth prepare for these interviews.
- Parents encourage their children to counsel with the bishop or another Church leader when they need help with spiritual guidance or with repentance.
- When a youth meets with a Church leader, a parent or another adult must be present. The youth may invite the adult to join the meeting or wait outside the room.
The main purpose of meetings with youth is to build faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and help the youth follow Them. These meetings should be uplifting spiritual experiences. Leaders strive to help each youth feel loved, encouraged, and inspired to become more like the Savior.
The youth and the leader could discuss:
- Spiritual experiences that are building the youthâs testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the restored gospel.
- How the youth is keeping his or her baptismal covenants.
- The youthâs preparations to make and keep temple covenants.
- The youthâs personal goals to become more like the Savior in all areas of life (see âChildren and Youthâ).
- The importance of personal and family prayer and scripture study.
- How to strengthen relationships with parents and other family members.
- The principles and standards in the booklet For the Strength of Youth.
- Ways the youth can participate in Godâs work of salvation and exaltation (see 1.2).
- With a young man, his experiences fulfilling his priesthood duties and his preparation to be ordained to the next priesthood office.
- The blessings of participating in seminary.
- Preparing to serve a full-time mission (see 24.3). The Lord expects each able young man to prepare to serve. Young women who desire to serve should also prepare. Leaders should be sensitive toward those who may be excused from full-time missionary service (see 24.4.4). For information about service missions, see 24.2.2.
When discussing obedience to the commandments, leaders may refer to temple recommend interview questions and the booklet For the Strength of Youth. They ensure that discussions about moral cleanliness do not encourage curiosity or experimentation.
The bishop places high priority on the spiritual progress of young single adults in his ward. He or an assigned counselor meets with each young single adult at least once a year.
The bishopric member and young single adult may discuss relevant items in 184.108.40.206. They could also discuss matters of special importance to young adults, such as developing self-reliance.
Interviews for Ordination to an Office in the Melchizedek Priesthood
The stake president holds the priesthood keys for conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood. He also holds the keys for ordaining to the offices of elder and high priest.
With the approval of the stake presidency, the bishop interviews the member using the questions below. Before doing so, he verifies that the person’s membership record does not include an annotation, an ordinance restriction, or a Church membership restriction.
If, after the interview, the bishop feels the member is prepared to be ordained, he completes and submits the Melchizedek Priesthood Ordination Record. Then a member of the stake presidency interviews the member, also using the questions below.
When a man is granted the Melchizedek Priesthood, he takes on the priestly oath and covenant. In Doctrine and Covenants 84:33–44, this is explained. The bishop and a stake presidency member confirm the member’s understanding of this oath and covenant and agreement to uphold it during the interview process. The facilitator then poses the following inquiries:
- Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?
- Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer?
- Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
- Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?
- The Lord has said that all things are to be âdone in cleanlinessâ before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41). Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior? Do you obey the law of chastity?
- Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?
- Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
- Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
- Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
- Are you a full-tithe payer?
- Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
- Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
- Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
- Do you consider yourself worthy to be ordained to an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood?
What is the main role of the Melchizedek Priesthood?
How do you receive the Melchizedek Priesthood?
What are the five offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood?
- Elder. Elders are called to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the Church (see D&C 20:42). …
- High Priest. …
- Patriarch. …
- Seventy. …
What is the Melchizedek Priesthood in the Bible?