Thursday, January 26, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 5 Joseph Smith Receives the Gold Plates


WRITE ON BOARD and put up the manual picture of him:
“I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it.” - Joseph Smith

4/HAND OUT POPCORN BAGS WITH NOTE: D&C 14:7 about enduring to the end

Start singing “popcorn popping” out of nowhere (they’ll likely join in)

Have a brown lunch bag (so they can’t see what’s inside) with kernels inside
Who likes popcorn? Raise your hand. (count out a few kernels into each kids’ hand)
Yum, let’s eat this up! Looks yummy right? (no)
Wait, we can’t eat these? Why not? (they’ll break our teeth, we might feel sick from the hard shell)

Hold up a kernel
We are a lot like this tiny piece of dried corn. What’s inside?
It’s the potential to become something else, but we have to choose the right. Choosing the right means making good decisions, and being obedient. We’ll learn how this makes sense with the popcorn later on.

Let’s talk about Joseph Smith and what he did when he received the gold plates. It’s all about obedience.

Joseph Smith 1:59
the time arrived in September 1827/ Urim and Thummim / breastplate / plates
Description of plates 6” wide and 8” long, 6” thick, three rings bound them
Bring a ruler and show them how big this was
He’s now responsible for them
If he should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of his, he should be cut off
If he uses all his endeavors to preserve them, they should be protected

Joseph Smith 1:60
He soon found out why! People wanted to take them from him!
“Persecution more bitter and severe than before…”
“multitudes on alert continually to get them from me.”
By wisdom of God they remained safe until Moroni got them back in May 1838

Read the below accounts (summarize if needed for time) in the lesson manual about how he kept them safe: (have a drawing for each to put up on the board)

After Joseph and Emma left the hill where the plates had been buried, Joseph stopped and took the plates into the woods. There he found a large fallen tree that was soft and decayed inside. He cut back the bark of the tree, dug out a hole, and hid the plates inside, covering them up again with the tree bark.

A few days later, while Joseph was working several miles away from Palmyra, his family learned that some men were coming to search for the gold plates. Emma immediately got a horse and rode to warn Joseph about the men. Joseph had also been warned through the Urim and Thummim that the plates were in danger. Joseph returned to Palmyra and took the plates from the tree, wrapped them in a linen cloth, and started for home with them. He thought it would be safer to travel through the woods rather than on the road, but in the woods someone hit him from behind with a gun. Joseph knocked down the man who attacked him and ran away as fast as he could. He was attacked twice more, but was able to escape each time and bring the plates safely to his home.

On another occasion, Joseph learned that a mob was coming to look for the plates. He pulled up some stones in front of the fireplace and hid the plates underneath. As soon as the stones were put back into place, a group of men came up to the house. Joseph and his father and brothers ran out the front door yelling. The mob thought that there were many men helping Joseph and ran away frightened.

A few days later Joseph was inspired to take the plates, along with the wooden box in which he kept them, from under the fireplace stones. He carried the bundle across the street to a workshop on the Smith farm. He took the gold plates out of the box, wrapped them in cloth, and hid them in the loft of the shop. Then he pulled up some floorboards, hid the empty wooden box under the boards, and nailed the boards back down. When night came, a mob came and hunted for the plates. The mob pulled up the floorboards and found the empty wooden box, but the gold plates remained safe where Joseph had hidden them in the loft.

Because of all the persecution and the people trying to steal the gold plates, Joseph knew that he would not be able to work on their translation in Palmyra. Joseph and Emma decided to move to Harmony, Pennsylvania, where Emma’s parents lived. Joseph was worried about how to get the gold plates safely to Harmony. He put the plates in a box and put the box at the bottom of a barrel. Joseph then filled the barrel with beans and nailed down the lid. With the barrel and their other belongings in a wagon, Joseph and Emma set off for Harmony. Although they were stopped along the way and their wagon was searched by people looking for the plates, the plates were not found.

→ why do you think people wanted them? (gold worth a lot, Satan would not want them translated)
→ why do you think people wanted the plates but didn’t believe he was a prophet? They didn’t have faith and only believed in things they could see with their eyes, they were also blinded by greed

Joseph Smith 1:61
People still persecuted him, lied about his family...he had to leave
Martin Harris was a friend who gave them $50 to help

Joseph Smith 1:62-63
Arrived in PA and copied characters off the plates, Martin Harris took them and gave them to a professor who said they were translated correctly. Martin Harris told the professor that an angel of God had given the plates to him. That professor didn’t believe in angels and said he wanted to see the plates. Martin Harris told him that they were sealed and he couldn’t. The professor said “I cannot read a sealed book”
→ In Isaiah, thousands of years before Joseph Smith’s time, there was a prophecy about this!
Isaiah 29:11-12
→ Do you think this strengthened Martin Harris’ testimony of Joseph Smith being a prophet?

Joseph Smith was obedient to Moroni’s warning so the plates were kept safe. He followed the Spirit in knowing how to protect them.

Let’s see what I mean.

Go into the kitchen and plug in our small popcorn maker from home with the right ingredients
As the popcorn is popping, discuss:
How are we like a popcorn kernel? Remember, there’s a lot of potential in it.
Potential to become what? What does the kernel turn into? (a piece of fluffy popcorn)
What do we add to the kernel? (heat and oil)
Some kernels use that heat and oil for their benefit and turn into yummy popcorn.
They magnify themselves and find their true potential
Some kernels don’t take advantage and just lie there and do nothing. They enjoy the heat and the oil but they don’t do anything with it.

What happens to the ones who turn into yummy popcorn? They make people happy (let’s ignore the fact that they are eaten, haha). They find their true purpose.
What happens to the ones that don’t take advantage of the heat and oil? They just stay a hard kernel and are considered kind of gross and are thrown away.

So we want to be like those kernels that pop and become something better .
We want to endure to the end (explain what that means) of the popping!

Take the made popcorn back to the classroom
Review what how being obedient and enduring to the end helps you reach your potential!

4/HAND OUT MICROWAVE POPCORN BAGS WITH A NOTE ATTACHED with D&C 14:7 (about enduring to the end)

Object Lesson: Adapted from:

Friday, January 20, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 4 Joseph Smith Prepares to Receive the Gold Plates



“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax”
Abraham Lincoln

“To be PREPARED means we show that we CARE”

→ “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear. D&C 38:30”

Pass around muffin mix, tell them to study it and tell me what they think about it
("it’s a muffin mix box")

Pass around the baked muffins in a basket, tell them to study them
→ what’s the difference?
("we want these, they smell good, they are baked and ready")

→ with the box/mix, I didn’t do anything other than just buy it, it took me barely any time and effort, you guys weren’t super excited about it. I didn’t spend any time preparing.

→ with the muffins, I spent time and effort, I thought carefully about what you guys would want to eat, allergies, and I ended up with a finished product that you are happy with. I spent time preparing.

If we want a good outcome, we need to put time and thought and effort into it.
We need to be prepared.
We can’t just show up to something and expect everything to go well.
We need to use the Spirit to help us be prepared, inspired, and show that we care.

Joseph Smith spent 4 years showing that he cared!

Joseph Smith History 1:54-58
  • He went at the end of each year and met with the Angel Moroni and learned more
  • What else happened during this 4 year time period? (draw pictures or print out pictures for each element)
    • Joseph’s family didn’t have a lot of money so they had to work hard
    • His oldest brother Alvin died
    • He went to work for Josiah Stoal to get money for his family
    • He stayed with Isaac Hale and met his daughter, and they got married

So let’s talk about being prepared.

What are all the things you need for: (show them pictures drawn for each topic)

  • A new school year (shop for supplies, clothes, meet your teacher, receive a blessing)
  • A big test (study, go to school/class, do your homework, get sleep)
  • A birthday party (send invitations, plan food, plan a cake, plan games)

What are the ways Heavenly Father helps us prepare?
  • We have the scriptures, the Holy Ghost, prophet, parents, teachers, Primary, General Conference talks

What are ways we can prepare ourselves?
  • Say our prayers, keep our baptismal covenants, keep the commandments, read the scriptures, share our testimony, have faith, trust Heavenly Father, go to church, obey our parents

Tell stories of survival found online (one option is at the bottom)

Talk about what they did right in order to survive

What are all the essentials for outdoor survival? And how can we relate them to be prepared in this life to serve Jesus?

LIST - Get them to guess the bold term through either Pictionary on the board or through Charades, then talk about how it relates to the gospel:
  • Water → baptism
  • Food → bread of life/sacrament
  • Rain Jacket → worthiness to have the holy ghost
  • Navigation - compass and map → scriptures
  • Illumination - headlamp/flashlight → personal revelation
  • Knife/Tool → prayer
  • First aid kit → atonement
  • Fire (Matches/firestarter) → gift of the holy ghost
  • Emergency shelter → worthiness to enter the temple

SURVIVAL STORY OPTION BELOW -- many others found online
A Story of Survival: The Importance of Being Prepared
Last week, we heard news of a 62 year old Californian hiker who survived 9 days with a broken leg in the rugged Sierra Nevada wilderness. While hiking with the Sierra Club, Miyuki Harwood left her hiking group and headed back to camp because of her low water supply. On the way, she slipped and fell about 6 feet, breaking her leg.
After two days of waiting in place, Harwood crawled about 150 yards down a ravine to a source of running water. She was able to use her water bottle’s filter to make the water safe to drink and waited for help to come.  Unfortunately, a nearby wildfire clogged the air with smoke, making it difficult for searchers in aircraft to be of use. While she waited, she took shelter under a tree and drank from the nearby creek. She had no food to eat or pain relief from her broken leg. Nine days after her initial fall, Harwood made contact with search and rescue groups by using her emergency whistle.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 3 The Angel Moroni Visits Joseph Smith


On the chalkboard: “...his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning”
(if they ask what “countenance” means = a person’s face or expression)

Play the game "telephone"
  • First person → you have an important message, what do you say?
    • (final message is likely to be messed up)
      • What happens if we trust in man only for important messages?
      • Why do you think we need inspired leaders of God?

1/Slideshow of the Angel Moronis (found on on my phone/laptop and show where they are on a map

2/Actual lesson (below)

3/Sing “The Golden Plates” with BOM covered in gold foil as a prop

4/Go on a treasure hunt for the Golden Plates around the church building → what is the treasure when we follow the Lord’s messenger?
    • Hand out printed illustration of a shovel with the below scripture references written on each one

    • Final treasure is golden plates (gold wrapped graham crackers)

Relief Society Room (elect lady)D&C 25:3 Joseph Smith
GymD&C 89:20 Joseph Smith
Library D&C 109:7 Joseph Smith
Microphone in the Chapel (loud voice)Revelation 14:7 John about Angel Moroni
Sacrament TableD&C 59:9 Joseph Smith
Bishop’s OfficeD&C 64:40 Joseph Smith
Water FountainRevelation 14:7 John about Angel Moroni
Kitchen – D&C 89:16 Joseph Smith (have hidden the gold wrapped crackers in the kitchen upon arriving at church)

ACTUAL LESSON JS History 1:27-53
Show little Moroni statue - who is this? Why do you think he’s shown with a trumpet?
Revelation 14:6-7 (john)
Mormon 8:1 and 4

It's been 3.5 years after the First Vision
During those years, Joseph continued to work on his family farm, planting/harvesting crops, clearing trees, tapping maple trees to get sap for syrup.
Sometimes he did jobs for his neighbor Martin Harris.

He was persecuted for his vision as people didn’t believe him.

When he was 17, one evening he prayed for forgiveness and asked to know if God forgave him. Angel Moroni appeared
  • 1:30-32 READ OUT LOUD (description of Moroni)
  • He called him by name, said his name was Moroni, said God had a work for Joseph to do
  • There’s a book on book plates giving an account of people from years ago who lived there
  • It contained the fulness of the everlasting Gospel
  • Also two stones and a breastplate - Urim and Thummim - that would help him translate

Moroni quoted many prophecies from the Bible including Malachi’s about Elijah

Who was Elijah and what priesthood power would he restore?
  • The sealing power / what is bound on earth is bound in heaven

Once he gets those plates, he can’t show them to anyone

While hearing this, JS had a vision and could see where they were buried

The angel left, returned and said the same things, left again, returned again (3 times)
  • Post up the above illustration 3x on the chalkboard so they see the visual of how many times he visited
The next day he went to go do his chores and work but felt very tired → the angel came again!!
  • Do we hear repeated lessons and talks sometimes?
  • Why is this helpful?

He told his father, who told him to go find them….he knew where it was because of his vision

The next day, Joseph Smith went to the hill where Moroni said the plates were buried.
The messenger said it isn’t time yet to take them out. It would be in 4 years and every year he should go to that spot and meet with Angel Moroni until it was time.