Friday, February 24, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 9 Witnesses See the Gold Plates


Write on the board:
“Stand as ______ of God at all times and in all things, and in all places”

Show a bowl of jelly beans in different flavors and hand some out to each kid (no one eat them yet).
Can you tell with just your eyes what flavor this candy is?
You can guess but you don’t really know, right? Sometimes we have to experience things or feel things to know for ourselves.
Taste them!
What flavor did you get? Can you bear testimony of it?
Bearing your testimony is telling something you know to be true - you know your jelly bean was ________ so you can now bear testimony of it.

What about with the gospel, how do we come to KNOW, so we can bear testimony?

Just like with the jelly beans you had to experience something, you had to taste it. With the gospel we have a special sense, not taste or sight or hearing, but it's feeling the spirit of the Holy Ghost.

*jelly beans idea from Sugardoodle

Who has been baptized? (all raise hands)
What’s the connection between Sacrament meeting and our baptism?
When we take the Sacrament, we first hear the prayers, right? Those prayers remind us of our covenants at baptism → to witness, to always remember Him, to keep his commandments

Let’s read in Mosiah 18:9
Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
There’s a word in there that we’re going to talk about today → WITNESS (write “witnesses” in the blank space on the board quote)

What does it mean to be a witness?
Post definition on the board: a statement or other evidence that something is true, a testimony, someone who gives a statement or evidence based on their knowledge, someone who bears a testimony
Were you a witness that your jelly bean had a particular flavor?
Could you write a statement of that knowledge?

So let’s talk about the translating of the plates.
(what follows is my own summary of what's in the manual - you can do you own summary or use this one - it's paraphrasing some of it and it's leaving out some details that I know they will not pay attention to as they are 8)

(there will be drawings for all of the following because my class likes visual aids so i will draw the scenes)

Last time we talked about baptism and the priesthood.
At this point now, Joseph is almost done translating the plates!
Did you know that in all this time with his different scribes, he was still the only one who had SEEN the plates? Remember they’re behind a cloth or in some way hidden as no one else was supposed to see them?

2 Nephi 27:12 says:  Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.

So “the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it…”
→ what does that mean?

There was one thing the witnesses needed before they saw the plates:
D&C 17:2-3 → It is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of [the plates]...and after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God.

So now we are going to introduce a new guy: David Whitmer
Joseph Smith has had the plates for 2 years but his translation time was only about 3 months of that
No one else has seen the plates!
He started to worry about their safety in Harmony, Pennsylvania

Oliver wrote to his friend David, who didn’t know Joseph, and asked David to bring them to a different city, Fayette, New York, where they would be safe and could finish.

David was going to do that, but he had to prepare his fields for spring planting. Remember these trips would take a long time since it was by horseback.

He went out in the morning to start plowing, and discovered someone already had done part of it! They did a good job, and left the plow in such a way that they knew work would continue the next day.

At the end of the day, David had done twice as much work as normal for a day!

David’s father, Peter Whitmer Sr, was impressed and thought it was a miracle!

David just had one more farm task left, he needed to add something called plaster to the soil, and went the next day to add that in. But his sister told him that the day before (the day he was plowing), their family had seen 3 men adding the plaster to the soil and doing the work for him! They were strangers. She thought they must have known David, but he didn’t! David immediately knew they were helpers provided by the Lord.

He went to Harmony and met up with Joseph and Oliver.

Joseph was finished translating and learned that three others would be allowed to see the plates.

Martin, Oliver, and David all asked if they could be the ones.

Joseph prayed.
The Lord said they should be humble and then they could.

They went to the woods on a summer day in 1829 to prepare to see the plates.
They knelt in prayer and each took a turn praying. No answer!
A light appeared above them and the angel Moroni appeared. He held the gold plates in his hands and turned the plates one by one so they could see the engravings on them.

They wrote about this in The Testimony of Three Witnesses (find this in the scriptures)

After this, Joseph returned home between 3pm and 4pm and Joseph told his parents, “Father, mother, you do not know how happy I am: the Lord has now caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself. They will have to bear witness to the truth of what I have said...I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which was almost too heavy for me to bear.”
→ Why would this be such a relief for him?

A few days later. Joseph invited 8 others to view the plates. There wasn’t an angel visitor this time, but they gathered around Joseph and he showed them the plates. They touched them. They also wrote a Testimony of Eight Witnesses.
Joseph Smith Sr, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H Smith, Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer Jr, John Whitmer, and Hiram Page

So how can you be a witness of the Book of Mormon?
Study it, pray to know it’s true, live its teachings, and tell others!

We're going to play a review game and review everything we have learned so far this year
Game is called "Say it or Spray It": I'll ask you a question that you have to get right to "earn" the umbrella when I spray you! (simple spray bottle set to mist so it's a very light amount of water sprayed at their stomach or legs or just in the air near them - not aiming to upset a kid getting sprayed in the face of course!)
You can ask a friend in class if they know it and want to help you.

This game is from my chorister blog - it was a HUGE hit when we played it in Singing Time:

Review questions for the game: (I wrote these up based on what I know they will likely remember and what they should remember going forward - they are only 8 so they may not have retained a lot of the details)
  1. What happened after Jesus died? (apostles killed, scriptures changed, many left the church, no more prophets, priesthood keys off the earth)
  2. What scripture did he read that told him to ask of God? (James 1:5)
  3. Where did Joseph go to pray to know which church is true? (area in the woods later called the Sacred Grove)
  4. Who visited him in the Sacred Grove and what did they say? (Heavenly Father and Jesus, no church is true)
  5. How many times did the Angel Moroni visit Joseph Smith during that first night? (3 times, then one more time in the field the next day...could also be a correct answer)
  6. How many years did he have to wait before actually getting the plates?
  7. How did Joseph meet his wife? (he lived with her father, Isaac Hale)
  8. Joseph was worried about his safety in Palmyra so he moved to what city in Pennsylvania? (Harmony)
  9. Finally after getting the plates, how was he told to treat them? (protect them!)
  10. What’s one place Joseph was inspired to hide the plates? (barrel, hollow tree, fireplace, in a loft but hid an empty box under a floor to trick the people looking for them)
  11. What language were the plates written in? (reformed Egyptian)
  12. Who first helped Joseph Smith translate? (Martin Harris)
  13. When Martin Harris took a page of translated characters to a professor, what did that professor say? (they were the most correctly translated reformed Egyptian characters he’d seen)
  14. Who was Martin Harris supposed to ONLY show the plates to? (his wife and some family)
  15. How many pages were lost? (116)
  16. What happened to the plates after Martin Harris lost the 116 pages? (taken back by Angel Moroni)
  17. Who was a teacher that lived with Joseph Smith’s parents and heard about Joseph and wanted to meet him? (Oliver Cowdery)
  18. Who did Oliver Cowdery ride with on horseback to meet Joseph Smith? (Sam Smith)
  19. What heavenly being visited them to restore the Aaronic priesthood? (John the Baptist)
  20. What 3 heavenly beings visited them to restore the Melchizedek priesthood? (Peter, James, John)
  21. The Priesthood is the _____ of God (power)
  22. Name part of the decision-making process we learned about from the Lord (pray, decide what you should do, ask if it’s right)
  23. What kind of a feeling will you get when you know you’ve made the right decision? (warm, peaceful, etc.)
  24. Name a fruit of the restored gospel (many good answers: baptism, bishops, priesthood, etc.)
  25. Who sold part of his farm to help pay for the Book of Mormon? (Martin Harris)


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 8 The Priesthood is Restored


Draw tree with chalk but just a trunk with branches (no leaves)
Write “priesthood” on the trunk

Tape up printed out definition of “restore” on the board near the tree
To put or bring back into existence or use
To bring back to or put back into a former or original state
To put again in possession of something

Have picture of Susquehanna River photo up on laptop


Kate visits our class with her Rubik's cube and shows everyone first that it's all mixed up.
“Kate is going to restore this Rubik’s cube to its original state.”
(then kate goes to her own class)

What does "restoration/restore" mean?
Can you give me an example? (something dirty or rusty made clean again)
How did Kate restore the Rubik’s Cube?

Remember our cups activity (lesson 2)? Who can tell me what that was about?
The apostles were killed, the scriptures were changed, the truth was taken away
There needed to be a restoration!
Refer to the empty trunk/branches on the board --> when the apostasy happened, it was like all the fruit died off the tree.

The restoration of the gospel started with Joseph Smith praying, Heavenly Father and Jesus visiting him in the Sacred Grove, and the Angel Moroni and the golden plates.
Their translation was a start. Many truths had been restored that were lost.
But something very important needed to be restored to the earth.
The Priesthood → the power of God
They couldn’t organize a church without the priesthood.
Without the priesthood there could be no baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost etc

Who knows the 5th Article of Faith? (have it printed out and hold it up for them to read/sing)
There’s two parts to the priesthood: Melchizedek and Aaronic (part of Melchizedek)
We’re going to learn about how both parts of the priesthood were restored!

In Spring of 1829, they were translating still and they came to the part of the Book of Mormon where Jesus had been resurrected and visited the Nephites. He was teaching them about baptism.

Baptism was a topic of confusion at the time of Joseph Smith. Was it needed? How to do it? How old?

Joseph and Oliver decided to go pray in the woods along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to find out. They were visited by an angel, John the Baptist
- He had baptized Jesus
- He gave them the Aaronic Priesthood (show image of this)
- The Aaronic Priesthood are the deacons, teachers, priests, and bishop

Read JS 1:69 for more about the Aaronic Priesthood:
1/keys of ministering of angels
2/gospel of repentance
3/baptism by immersion for the remission of sins
4/also can baptize, bless and pass the sacrament, etc
Joseph baptized Oliver and then Oliver baptized Joseph

They then were each ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood

They were very happy and felt the Spirit strongly

Read verses 73-74 in full

Soon after, Joseph and Oliver took a trip to New York.
On the way back, Peter James and John appeared to them on the edge of the Susquehanna River.
They were apostles of Jesus when he lived on the earth & had the Melchizedek Priesthood
There at the river, they were ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood (show image of this)

Now Oliver and Joseph had the authority to act for the Lord upon the earth!
→ holds keys to all the blessings, can seal in the temple, can give the gift of the Holy Ghost, etc
→ elder, high priest, patriarch, seventy, apostle

So what new things have you learned about restoration/restoring?
It takes special people to restore the Priesthood
It takes worthy people to receive it
It was required to organize the church
We should all support it and be excited about it in our lives

We’re now going to see restoration in action!

4 Tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp salt → into a jar, stir around a little
Drop a dirty penny in and let it sit for about a minute
Sing “The Priesthood is Restored” while waiting!
Talk about how shiny the penny is now and how it was restored
Repeat if time (bring a dozen pennies or so)

So what are the fruits of the restored gospel? What do we have in our life because of the priesthood?
Write them on each blank paper apple as we say them (have at least 9-10 apples)

Tape them up to the tree
baptism, confirmation, sacrament blessing, giving a blessing, temple sealings, endowment, missionaries, bishops, the prophet, setting apart in callings, dedicating a temple/building

Cut fruit to pass around while watching: (depending on how much time, make this short or long)
1/Restoration of the Priesthood (church movie found on
2/Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood (church movie found on
3/Power of God (church movie found on

Fruit leather with note on it: “...the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors.” Alma 36:25

* “fruits of the restored gospel” concept from a 1991 Conference talk by Elder Wirthlin