The Priesthood Preview
When this February I was asked to be the Primary President in the ward I belong to, I thought it would be fun. I mean, I love being with the Children each week, and I love listening to what they have to say and what they have been up to and I hope that the Children know that and know that I'm there as a sort of responsible adult if they want to talk, or have a hug or just be told how fantastic they are. That doesn't go away after they leave Primary either, when they move on to the Young Women's and Young Men's programmes I'm still there for them.
Of all the responsibilities I have there was one thing that I had no clue about and that was the Priesthood Preview. I had no clue about this because, the first priesthood holder in my family will be Dan Jon Jr, and not until he is twelve. As he is only eight right now and we're all still thinking about how his Baptism went well, all I have to think about with regards to him and Church is getting him there on time, dressed and keeping my fingers crossed that he behaves!
Secondly, until this year it had been handled by the Stake Primary Presidency so I saw nothing of the arrangements and of course had never attended not being a priesthood holder or a parent of one about to become one myself. So, I did what anyone else would do.
I googled, I searched Pinterest, I read talks on LDS.org that would help me understand what was required of the young men and of course I spoke with the Young Mens President who would be the one leading the meeting with the boys!
As we only had five boys, with the possibilty of one moving (one of them moved the Friday before our Sunday meeting!) I wanted to make it special and I wanted to make it fun for them. As there weren't that many of them I knew I had the time to do something... I just didn't know what! This is where all that googling, pinterest searching and reading talks I had done became useful. I pulled inspiration from everywhere! To start with I created some Shirt and Tie invitations for the boys and their families. These had been a Father's Day card that I'd found and I'm storing away for Father's Day next year too!
They were so simple to make, I just sealed some envelopes, cut off one end, cut a small slit down the middle of the envelope (only a centimeter or so) and folded it over to make a collar and then glued down a tie I had printed on to card and cut out. I just slotted in an invite and they were so cute! One of the boys opened the invite in front of me and he said it was really lovely, but then again he also forgot to take the invite home or give the invite to his parents and it was only when I mentioned to them about an hour before the meeting that they even knew it was happening!
The week before we held our meeting I had a strong impression to prepare a back up plan for the meeting. I had already arranged with the Young Men's President to be allowed to do them a small momento of the meeting, and a handout that they could take away with them and would help them in the next few months before they turn twelve to understand the importance of what they were going to do and to help them prepare, but again, I didn't know what or in this case why.
So, just in case I did prepare a back up plan, and my momento and handout were related to my plan. Then on the Sunday, the YM's president had to leave before the meeting could take place and at the last moment the Bishop had to step in to take the meeting. Luckily, my back up plan was a quick email away and I sat in the back of the meeting listening to the Bishop give an introduction to the boys, allowing them to ask questions and drawing on the Spirit to direct the meeting around the points I had made and his own experiences.
At the end of the meeting, the Bishop let the boys know that I had a couple of bits for them, and he had mentioned a talk I loved (and had taken inspiration from) called The Power of Light and Truth by Elder Robert R. Steuer.
I wanted the boys to have a flashlight, or as we call them here in the UK a torch and I found these really cool looking ones from Poundland, I mean seriously they were only £1 each but they were so bright (cos they were LED) and looked like they were worth way more than £1!
We did warn the boys several times, not to shine the light into their eyes, or the eyes of their family members... but seriously within seconds they forgot and two of the four boys shone the torch into their own eyes!
Boys will be boys right?!
The other item that we gave the boys was a Preparing for the Aaronic Priesthood handout. I had found it on The Mormon Home website and thought it was perfect, even after the updated version came out! Again, I put these into a shirt and tie envelope to just bring everything together and make it all cute!
The boys enjoyed their meeting, and I think have a greater understanding of what they are preparing for now. I've spoken to them to remind them that I've challenged them all to complete their Faith In God awards before they move up to Young Men's and that they can speak to me about preparing to recieve the Priesthood and I'm just so excited for them. I'm sad too however, as we won't be having another Priesthood Preview for two years as I have no boys moving up next year!