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Book review: 'The Aaronic Priesthood: A Guide for Young Men' is a helpful guidebook

"The Aaronic Priesthood: A Guide for Young Men" is by Thomas E. Johnson.
"The Aaronic Priesthood: A Guide for Young Men" is by Thomas E. Johnson.
Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD: A Guide for Young Men,” by Thomas E. Johnson, Cedar Fort, $10.99, 80 pages (nf)

“The Aaronic Priesthood: A Guide for Young Men” by Thomas E. Johnson is a helpful guide to those who are curious about the path a young man traditionally takes in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Boys as young as 7 can use the guide to understand the path from baptism to Melchizedek Priesthood holder. Older boys will find the guide useful for its concise descriptions of duties for all Aaronic Priesthood quorums. The language is simple and clear, and includes in-text definitions for concepts that might be unfamiliar. This paperback book is intended to be a guide for young men to write in, and it has several color pictures. There is also a section for notes at the end of the book.

The book begins with a letter to the reader explaining why it is important to become a righteous man of God. In the “Where Do I Start” section, Johnson explains that the initial step is baptism, and the importance of that step. In the next section, “Receiving the Priesthood,” he encourages young men to attend Priesthood Preview, which is usually put on for 11-year-olds by local stakes or wards, and then he explains the process of meeting with the bishop and what occurs when you receive the Aaronic Priesthood. He explores the differences between the Melchizedek and the Aaronic priesthoods and how they are connected to Jesus Christ.

Johnson dedicates three chapters to each of the young men quorums: deacon, teacher and priest. He explains the duties of each office and why it is important for young men to fulfill these duties. The structure of each quorum, the Boy Scout program, seminary and the Venturing program are discussed. He references LDS Church materials such as “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet. Priesthood ordinances and blessings are written out with an explanation of proper execution. The book concludes with “Preparing for the Melchizedek Priesthood.” In this section, Johnson goes into detail about how the Aaronic Priesthood connects to the Melchizedek Priesthood and why it is important to become a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He concludes his letter by encouraging young men to complete this journey.

Johnson is a Utah native who has served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in several positions, including as a missionary in Japan, a bishop, a high councilor and a stake president.

Christie Betzer can be contacted at