The First Vision, by Kenneth Riley found on lds.org media library
Monthly Theme: Jesus Christ Restored the Fulness of the Gospel Through Joseph Smith.
Monthly Scripture: “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church” Articles of Faith 1:6
Week 1 Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.
* HERE is a Joseph Smith shoe-box panorama children can make. You'll need shoe boxes! (From The Friend Jan. 2001)
* HERE is an activity where children can make paper puppets of the First Vision. You'll need to print on heavy paper and have brass fasteners. (From The Friend March 2008)
* HERE is a WONDERFUL read aloud of The First Vision. You be the narrator, assign a child the part of Joseph. Give him the words ahead of time so maybe he can memorize!!! Have a simple costume and a few props. You could even assign someone to read the scripture James 1:5. You could print off the papers for children to read at night 2 times this upcoming week. Challenge them to pray to gain the knowledge that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus.
*HERE is The Restoration video. It is such a beautiful video!! However, keep in mind it is 19 minutes long. At the 10 min. 30ish second mark we start with Joseph reading James 1:5, FYI.
* "Joseph Smith’s testimony of seeing the Father and Son towers like the arching trees of that sacred setting." Elder Richard L. Anderson April 1996 Ensign
How many of us have been camping in an area with lots of trees? Is it pretty peaceful? Who has a favorite tree they like to climb in? Trees are beautiful. In one grove of trees, a sacred experience happened. Brainstorm some ideas of all the truth that came from The First Vision... have a couple children write down the ideas from primary friends on the chalkboard.
Heavenly Father and Jesus are 2 separate individuals. God still speaks to man. Jesus Christ lives. Heavenly Father knows us by name. We need to listen to Jesus. Heavenly Father will protect us from evil and He is the most powerful. Heavenly Father answers prayers.
We have a few kids who really love origami in Senior Primary! Bring in some paper and have them write down something about the first vision that is sacred or important to them. Then teach them how to make a simple origami tree. Directions HERE.
* How many of us have done Elder Anderson's challenge from last general conference?
1. "Find scriptures in the Book of Mormon that you feel and know are absolutely true. Then share them with family and friends in family home evening."
2. "Read the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith...(HERE).... Read it often. Consider recording the testimony of Joseph Smith in your own voice, listening to it regularly, and sharing it with friends. Listening to the Prophet’s testimony in your own voice will help bring the witness you seek."
I really love his visual of how if something happens in an airplane, we have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we help the person next to us. Similarly, we must be firm in our knowledge and testimony of Joseph Smith! Elder Anderson says, "There will be family members and friends who will need your help. Now is the time to adjust your own spiritual oxygen mask so that you are prepared to help others who are seeking the truth." HERE is the full talk! It's excellent!
Week 2 Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God.
* THIS is a must read to prepare for this week!! Did you know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon in 63 working days?
* Have a blow dryer unplugged and invite a child to press the on button. What happens? Now plug it in and get the power going. What happens? And so it is by the power of God that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.
* Elder Boyd K. Packer shared this story, "A 15-year-old son of a mission president attended high school with very few members of the Church.
One day the class was given a true-or-false test. Matthew was confident that he knew the answers to all except for question 15. It read, “Joseph Smith, the alleged Mormon prophet, wrote the Book of Mormon. True or false?”
He could not answer it either way, so being a clever teenager, he rewrote the question. He crossed out the word alleged (definition of alleged: said, without proof, to have taken place) and replaced the word wrote with translated. It then read, “Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, translated the Book of Mormon.” He marked it true and handed it in.
The next day the teacher sternly asked why he had changed the question. He smiled and said, “Because Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon, he translated it, and he was not an alleged prophet, he was a prophet.” He was then invited to tell the class how he knew that." (From The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, General Conference Oct. 2001)
Do we know that Joseph Smith TRANSLATED the Book of Mormon, not wrote it?? The Book of Mormon is a miracle and we love to read it! Have each primary class come up with 2 questions about the Book of Mormon. It can be questions about stories or teachings, whatever they like! Have the missionaries come in and invite the children to quiz the missionaries!!
Thank the missionaries for being good sports! The most important knowledge we can have about the Book of Mormon is knowing that it is true. Invite the missionaries to briefly share their testimony.
* Invite about 10 people in who speak a different language. See if they can bring in a Book of Mormon written in another language. Ask them beforehand to say "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ". If children would like they can try to repeat! What did all these wonderful people say? The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ! Pass around the Book of Mormons very carefully!! Take a look at the different languages and ways people write.
Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God!!
HERE is an EXCELLENT video to show!! If you still have time have a couple Book of Mormon facts written in code (first letter switched with last). See if the primary can figure them out!
Here are a few facts:
The Book of Mormon was first published in English in New York in 1830
Eht kooB fo NormoM saw tirsf dublishep ni Hnglise ni WeN KorY ni 0831
In 1851 the Book of Mormon was translated into Danish, its first translation to a non-English language.
Ni 1851 eht KooB fo NormoM saw dranslateT onti HanisD sti tirsf nranslatiot ot a hon-englisn eanguagl
3 men saw and 8 men handled the plates... they give their witness at the beginning of the Book of Mormon
3 nem was dna 8 nem dandleh eht slatep.... yhet eivg rheit sitnesw ta eht geginninb fo eht Koob fo NormoM
Weeks 3 & 4 Jesus Christ restored the gospel through Joseph Smith.
Recycled from Previous Posts:
* HERE is an excellent resource from The Friend. It talks about a mom and child restoring a piece of furniture. There is a puzzle activity included that you could attach questions, scriptures, and songs to about The Restoration. You could put pieces under primary friends' chairs. Have primary friends try to put the puzzle together one piece at a time as they come to the front and answer the question on back. (Or scripture...etc.)
* HERE is a ready to use sharing time!! It is called "Partial Pictures". Have the children look up the scripture and match it to the picture. You can always show them the complete picture after!
Some questions to go along with the #'d pictures:
1.What priesthood did Peter, James, and John restore?
How does the Melchizedek priesthood bless our lives?
2. Sing An Angel Came to Joseph Smith (CS #86 )
Why do you think Heavenly Father sent the angel Moroni to Joseph?
What would you do if an angel came to you? Can you think of any scripture stories where an angel came to deliver a message from Heavenly Father?
3. How does it make you feel to know that God appeared to a young boy?
Why do you think Joseph Smith was chosen to help restore the church?
(Look carefully at that question, why do "you"- this isn't about being right or wrong, encourage the children to really think about things and value their answers!)
What did Heavenly Father say to Joseph?
4. What temple did Elijah appear to Joseph?
What did Elijah restore to Joseph and Oliver?
Sing The Hearts of The Children ( CS #92)
5. Read James 1:5
What are things we can do to gain wisdom?
Can anyone give ideas or tips on how to make scripture study meaningful?
6. What are some of your favorite stories from The Book of Mormon?
Why do you read The Book of Mormon?
What knowledge did The Book of Mormon restore?
* Invite a primary friend to the front. Ask them if you are standing in front of them. Are they sure? Well, that isn't the only thing we can be sure of!! Elder Holland in our last conference said, "I bear witness of that gospel and that Church, with a particular witness of restored priesthood keys which unlock the power and efficacy of saving ordinances. I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit before me in this conference." (The Cost & Blessings of Discipleship, April 2014, such a great talk!!)
Time to play... Are you sure?? Have about 20 statements, either fact or fiction/true or false, in regards to The Church being restored!! Make sure to have plenty of visuals to go along with statements. Have a child come up front and draw a statement from a bag. Then have the primary stand up if they are sure the statement is right!
Some sample statements:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized April 6, 1830. (true)
Joseph Smith had a vision of only an angel. (FALSE!!! He saw God the Father and Jesus)
Why is this so important to know??
The Aaronic Priesthood was restored by John the Baptist. (True)
Could you be baptized if this hadn't have happened?? Read D&C 22:2
It's OK if we aren't sure about some things in life. But if we seek, we will find. Bear testimony! I am sure that God the Father lives and that He loves us. I am sure as the keyboard I type on that Christ is my best friend. The Gospel is restored!!
* What does the dictionary define restored as? Ask a child to come and help you demonstrate. Give them a book or a toy. Now have them give it back and return it to you. Key words: "Give back and Return". Now have the child hold a picture of the earth. Have a sign that says "TRUTH". Have the child with the earth picture hold the truth sign, then you take it away. (Apostasy!!) Return the truth or restore it back.
* Joseph Smith and The Restoration Jeopardy!!
Categories and ?'s :
He was a child too!!
100 When Joseph was small (7 years old) he had to have surgery on this part of his body. He wouldn't drink alcohol to ease the pain and held his father's hand while enduring the hurt. His leg
200 What month was Joseph Smith born? December (right before Christmas, the 23rd!)
300 How many brothers and sisters did Joseph have? 10
400 What was the name of Joseph's mother? Lucy
500 True or False: Joseph had to work hard as a child on the family farm. True!
The Early Church
100 Sing the 6th Article of Faith Song
200 After the church was organized on April 6, a miracle happened! The Prophet Joseph met a man named Newel who was possessed of a devil. Acting on Newel's faith as well as his own, Joseph cast out the devil in this name? Jesus Christ
300 At the first conference of the church, the sustained leaders by doing what we do today. What do we do? We raise our right hand to the square in support.
400 Emma Smith, Joseph's wife was called "An Elect Lady" of the Lord. She was commanded to do something special and put together this book. A hint: It's often green! The first hymn book.
500 True or False: When Brigham Young was introduced to the church he immediately joined. False!! He studied and pondered the church for 2 years before joining.
Truth Restored!100 Read 2 Nephi 3:24
200 True or False: The church started in 1830. False!! The church started with Adam and was restored many times, including the last dispensation with Joseph Smith.
300 Sing the Priesthood is Restored (CS pg. 89)
400 Name a witness of the Book of Mormon. Answers can include the 8 witnesses from the beginning of the Book of Mormon, to prophets to even children who have a testimony it's true.
500 True or False: All truth has been revealed!! False: Much truth has been revealed, but there is a lot more that is yet to come!
Final Jeopardy Question: What is something you've learned about Joseph Smith or the Restoration?