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RICHARD - Just finished reading the local Ensign about the new updated version of the Gospel Principles book which I believe we are suppose to use for Priesthood lessons on the 2nd & 3rd of the Month. I also believe we are to use the Ensigns on the 4th or 5th of the Month.
My question is: What is the lesson procedure for the 1st Sunday? if there is no General business, what material do we use for the lessons?
JOEL - According to the Church website:
First Sunday: Presidency Instruction
First-Sunday quorum and group meetings provide a time for priesthood leaders "to sit in council" (D&C 107:89) with Melchizedek Priesthood holders and prospective elders and to teach them to "act . . . in all diligence" in magnifying their priesthood callings (D&C 107:99). Members of the elders quorum presidency or high priests group leadership should instruct and train on this Sunday, using the approved resource materials, and counsel together with their quorum or group.
Leaders should prayerfully prepare for first-Sunday meetings by identifying the needs of quorum or group members, their families, and others, especially single members, widows and widowers, single parents and their children, the sick and disabled, and the poor. Instruction and training should address these needs and help quorum and group members become actively engaged in the work of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
As guided by the Spirit, leaders may invite priesthood holders to report on priesthood assignments, discuss quorum or group goals, demonstrate how to fulfill priesthood responsibilities, discuss how to minister to members’ needs, and make plans and give assignments for strengthening members.
Instruction, training, and counseling together on this Sunday should increase priesthood holders’ knowledge of the gospel; strengthen their dedication to becoming better husbands, fathers, sons, and neighbors; and help them become active participants in fulfilling the mission of the Church. To help accomplish this, priesthood leaders should focus on such topics as strengthening marriages and families, performing ordinances, home teaching, missionary work, activation and fellowshipping, temporal and spiritual welfare, and family history and temple work."
Keeping all the above in mind some resources that can be used for First Sundays are:
Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders, especially sections 1, 7, 8, 9, and 16
Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders' Guidebook
Church magazines or the monthly First Presidency Message
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B
Gospel Principles or Gospel Fundamentals
A Member’s Guide to Temple and Family History Work
When I was High Priest Group leader we would sometimes have guest speakers come in and give presentations such as:
Filling Senior Missions
Home Food Storage
Temple and Family History work
Provident living subjects
Local Missionary work by the Ward mission leader
Normally the fourth Sunday is called "Teachings for our Times" and lessons are usually taken from recent General Conference talks as decided by the Stake Presidency.
The subject for the fifth-Sunday quorum or group meeting is determined by the bishopric to meet local needs. The time may be used to instruct members of the elders quorum, high priests group, and Relief Society in a combined meeting.