It's time for priesthood preview
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It's Priesthood Preview time for 10- and 11-year-old Blazer A boys throughout the Church, and leaders are encouraged to plan programs that will help boys "feel the sacredness of the priesthood they will soon receive."
Planned and conducted under the direction of the bishop, the Priesthood Preview is to strengthen each Blazer A boy's commitment to preparing himself to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. It is recommended that the program be held on the ward level. An outline entitled, "Priesthood Preview" (31457) provided by Church headquarters suggests that the "program should focus on each boy's personal responsibility to learn and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ."According to Primary Gen. Pres. Michaelene P. Grassli: "The Priesthood Preview will help the boys understand more fully the value of the priesthood in their lives and the responsibilities that will be theirs as they receive the priesthood. The Priesthood Preview should be a time to build unity between a boy and his father, and help give them a sense of shared joy in the priesthood."
Pres. Grassli added that helping boys gain the correct understanding of priesthood principles at an early age will bless their lives and the lives of many others during their forthcoming years of priesthood service.
"The boys and their fathers need to understand that the priesthood is not power to rule, but power to bless in love and service, and to do for our Heavenly Father's children that which He would do if He were here personally upon the earth," she said.
The bishop, bishopric adviser to the Primary, ward Primary president and Blazer A teacher should plan for the Priesthood Preview. Boys should not participate in the planning, but are to attend the program as "honored guests," according to the outline.
It is suggested in the outline that the program be held in November on an evening other than Sunday or Monday. Blazer A boys and their fathers should attend. Where a father is unable to attend, a priesthood leader (family member, home teacher or another ward member) who can help the boy in his personal priesthood preparation should go with him. The bishop, bishopric adviser to the Primary and Blazer A teacher, if a man, should also attend. Because the Priesthood Preview provides a glimpse of what it is like to attend priesthood meetings, only men and boys are to be included, the outline states.
Besides songs and prayers and a greeting by the bishop, the program should include presentations on the following: "Priesthood: power to serve man"; Priesthood: living a Christlike life"; Priesthood: personal preparation"; `I can help my son prepare to receive the priesthood"; and "I can prepare to receive the priesthood."
One of the benefits of a Priesthood Preview is the time it gives a father and a son to be together to contemplate their responsibilities as priesthood holders.
Erik Steele, 11, of the Ridgecrest Ward, Puyallup Washington Stake, reflected on the evening spent with his father at their recent Priesthood Preview: "It was really nice to go with my dad by myself. We talked about what our responsibilities are when we get the priesthood. It was neat to learn about the things we get to do. I'm excited to hold the priesthood and pass the sacrament."
"I enjoyed going and sharing the time with Erik," added his father, Dennis. "We talked about Aaronic Priesthood responsibilities and how they prepare us for the Melchizedek Priesthood. It reminded me of when I received the priesthood when I was a young boy. I'm grateful to have boys this age because they are valiant spirits."