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In the LDS faith, the offices of the Aaronic Priesthood are Deacon, Teacher, Priest, and Bishop. Current practice in the LDS church is to ordain most teenage boys in the church to the first three offices as they progress through their teenage years.

Do LDS Aaronic Priesthood Teachers have actual teaching duties in a practical sense in the 21st century, or are they teachers in an abstract or theoretical sense (e.g. if all priesthood holders except for 15 year old Billy were killed or incapacitated, he would be allowed to take over classrooms, but until then, he is expected to be quiet and let the adult professionals do the actual teaching)? Do they design curricula, lecture, hold office hours, grade papers, administer exams, evaluate students, or otherwise engage in practices associated with professional educators nowadays? Do Aaronic Teachers have divine authority to teach a wide variety of courses, content, or curricula but in practice don't because there are usually more qualified, professional teachers available at whatever level is being discussed (e.g. college, high school, etc.), or are their actual teaching competencies sharply limited in both theory and practice (e.g. they are authorized only to teach Sunday School, and that only for Grade 5 and below, anything else requires a further ordination, and/or a non-priesthood teaching certification).

  • "if all priesthood holders except for 15 year old Billy were killed or incapacitated" or if its a youth only meeting, and there's no priests (which is much more likely than everyone else getting killed (I hope)). Although, he would only "preside" over the meeting, which doesn't mean he will teach the meeting (unless he is also giving the lesson). – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 4:04
  • "Do Aaronic Teachers have divine authority to teach a wide variety of courses, content, or curricula ... anything else requires a further ordination, and/or a non-priesthood certification)." I think you are thinking of teachers in terms of academia. Teaching in the LDS Church is very different. Many teaching situations have a wide variety of age levels, and it usually isn't sharply divided into different courses. – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 4:10
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    The Church Educational System provides more academic learning, but this is different from the teaching done on Sundays, for example. They usually have to have professional credentials, especially at higher levels or competitive areas. – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 4:10
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    A good follow up question might be "who is responsible for teaching what to who in the LDS Church". – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 4:20
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    okay, it might need to narrowed, but something like that. – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 5:04
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EDIT: As of this annoucement, some parts of this answer are out of date. I'll keep it as it is now though for historical purposes.

Yes

Teachers usually do not teach on Sunday (unless assigned to teach a class), but are assigned as home teachers.

All teachers are assigned one or more families to home teach. A new teacher is usually assigned a more experienced Priesthood holder (such as an Elder or High Priest) to mentor them, but they usually give the lesson half of the time. (This lesson could be considered a "lecture"). For example, in the New Era (a magizine for the youth of the Church), in Watching over the Church

One of the most important parts of a successful home teaching visit is preparing and sharing a lesson. Every other month Brandon Stewart gives the lesson. Brandon has learned how to prepare a lesson by watching his senior companion, his father. Thanks to his dad’s good example, giving the lesson is Brandon’s favorite part of home teaching.

They might even create the lesson themselves (under the direction of the older Priesthood holder), although usually they do not. Home teachers also have other duties, which can be said to be "teaching by example", although I guess you would consider this more "abstract".

Some teachers are also assigned as the president of a teacher's quorum (in particular, one per quorum). This will usually be a 14 or 15 year old. They also might teach (in particular, they would teach other teachers), again under the direction of older priesthood holders.

It should be noted as well than any member can be assigned to give a talk on Sunday.

Is a teacher in the Aaronic teacher the same as college professors? Sadly no. Do they teach? Yes.

  • Yes, "teaching by example" would be an example of an "abstract" teaching duty as written in my OP, as opposed to something more concrete like "Teach Content X to Person Y according to Pedagogy Z, exercise professional judgment as to whether to use Assessment H, J, or K as a final exam. The required textbook is A." – Robert Columbia Feb 6 '18 at 3:55
  • @RobertColumbia they usually don't create the content, or give assessments, but they do teach. They also might give assignments. – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 4:00
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    And while I wasn't expecting an answer claiming that Aaronic Teachers can just walk onto the campus of BYU and start giving lectures and exams, I was wondering how much of a gulf actually exists in theory and practice, e.g. whether Aaronic Teachers theoretically have divine authority to teach any class but in practice don't because there are usually more qualified, professional teachers available at whatever level is being discussed (e.g. college, high school, etc.). – Robert Columbia Feb 6 '18 at 4:01
  • "whether Aaronic Teachers theoretically have divine authority to teach any class but in practice don't" Aaronic Teachers actually don't have authority to teach any class (although that would be a pretty cool authority to have). – PyRulez Feb 6 '18 at 4:06
  • Is home teaching the only teaching authority that they have, or are there other things that they are authorized to teach? For example, if an LDS ward wants to offer an adult ESL class, would it be a church policy or divine commandment violation (as opposed to an impractical idea) to assign a 16 year old Aaronic Teacher with no other qualifications as its instructor? – Robert Columbia Feb 6 '18 at 4:15

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