Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 23 The Prophet Receives a Vision of the Three Degrees of Glory


Post up the words to Families Can Be Together Forever

Post also these words with lines following (to be filled in later)
WHO ____________
WHAT ____________
WHERE ____________
WHEN ____________
HOW ____________

Get out a Ziploc bag and small dolls that represent a family (Lego Minifigures, Little People, etc.) and make sure beforehand that they all fit in the bag.

Start singing “I have a family here on earth…” while you put them in the bag one by one, and seal the bag. Sing slowly enough that by the time you’re finishing the first verse, they’re all in and sealed. (“...through all eternity…”)

Then as you start the chorus, tip the bag upside down and shake it around as you’re singing the chorus.

Then stop and ask them “What was I doing there? What's the bag? Who are the people?"

If they need help, explain that sealing the bag represents a family being sealed together for eternity.

How can families be sealed together? What did the chorus say? “Through Heav’nly Father’s plan...and the Lord has shown me how I can…”

Today we’re going to learn about eternal families!

Have you guys heard of the “celestial kingdom”?
What do you know about it? How would you describe it? Use this information to gauge misconceptions, or information they already know.

How would you define “glory” - what does that mean?
There’s songs we sing:
“Called to serve Him, heav’nly king of glory
“Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king!”

So what do you think “glory” means? Great beauty and magnificence, or worthy of honor/praise

Heavenly Father has provided three different places for people to live after they’re resurrected. These places are called the kingdoms of glory in heaven.

So do you think these places are going to be pretty amazing if they are kingdoms of "glory"?

Have drawings of stars/moon/sun for these
Telestial - glory compared to brightness of stars
Terrestrial - glory compared to brightness of moon
Celestial - glory compared to brightness of sun

Which one do you think is the most amazing, magnificent, and has the most glory? celestial

Heavenly Father wants all of us to live with Him and Jesus Christ.
To do so, we must keep their commandments and receive important ordinances (like baptism, something we've all chosen).

The Church has been restored in order for us to receive these ordinances.
Before it was restored, remember, the priesthood wasn’t on the earth. So no baptisms.

Have illustrations/artwork to help hold their attention here
While Joseph and Sidney were working on the translation of the New Testament in 1832, they read John 5:29 which talks about resurrection.
Joseph and Sidney were wondering about heaven.
They realized if God rewards people after they die based on how they acted on earth, then surely there’s more than one place since everyone acts differently?

They received a vision of Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the three degrees of glory.
This is found in D&C 76.

In the telestial kingdom, the Holy Ghost and angels will be there.
But Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will not dwell in this kingdom.

In the terrestrial kingdom, Jesus Christ will visit.
He won’t live there, but He will visit.

In the celestial kingdom, those who have been baptized and kept the commandments, etc. will live here and will be worthy to be in the presence of not only Jesus Christ but also Heavenly Father and not only spend time with them but live with them!

They received this vision at John Johnson’s home in Ohio where Joseph and Emma were living. There were about 12 other men in the room who saw them receive this vision.

Joseph continued to receive revelations about the three degrees of glory.

In 1843 he taught friends that the celestial kingdom has three levels, and the very highest level is for people who have been sealed in the temple.

So let’s fill in what’s on the board:
WHO Us and our families
WHAT Live eternally together
WHERE Celestial kingdom
WHEN Plan now, earn the reward later
HOW ___________

We need to talk about the “HOW” still!

If we think about the Savior as the center of our Church and of our gospel, what is another main central symbol in our church that represents eternal families?

The temple!

Get out a temple model, sculpture, photo, poster, etc. whatever you have at home.
Set it at the end of a small table or on the floor and leave room around it.

What are the steps that we take to be worthy of the celestial kingdom?
- Have small papers or something else flat and proportionate to your temple display
- Lay them out like stepping stones as you say each step (papers could have words on them too) and have them get closer and closer to the temple

First, we must be baptized
Second, we must receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands
Third, we must receive our own endowment in the temple (make our own covenants)
Fourth, we must be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity
Fifth, we must endure to the end…so keep the commandments, be loving and kind, forgive, have faith, etc.

Which of these have you already done?
Which of these are still left for you?

In order to help ourselves and our families stay strong and choose the right, we need to do our part.

We’re going to watch a video about a family in Australia trying to do this!!


How were the kids trying to strengthen their family?
How did it make their parents feel?
How did it make themselves feel?

Adapted a bit from:

Who has ever gone on a long trip in the car?
How did you know where to go?
Did your parents follow a map or GPS?
Did they follow road signs too?

We’re on an important journey here on earth - we’re trying to get back to live with our Father in Heaven. We need help to know which way to go! The commandments are like our road signs.

So let’s practice, and go on a road trip right now!

Pass out a paper plate steering wheel to each kid.
Bring with you a STOP sign and a GO sign, as well as the signs below.

Walk reverently to one of the doors and stop there (use your STOP sign)
Tell them that this door represents a baptism.
Nephi said the “strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate”
What is a gate? A door that you use to enter somewhere, like a garden, etc.
Nephi is saying baptism is the gate - is the first step - towards eternal life

Now head outside!
(follow your church building’s walkway around the building)

Walk a little and then stop (use your STOP sign)
Hold up one of the signs below and discuss.
Then use the GO sign to move a little further down the path before you STOP again
And so on until you're done!

Road Signs:
1/SERVICE (do you serve around your house? do you help when asked? do you thank your parents for service they do for you?)
2/KINDNESS (do you say kind words to your siblings? friends? even if you’re mad?)
3/PRAYER (are you reverent when your family prays? do you offer to pray?)
4/SCRIPTURES (do you read them on your own? do you help remind your family to read?)
5/CHURCH (are you reverent, even when you want to wiggle and be loud? do you complain about having to go to bed early saturday nights? or about having to get dressed early sunday morning?)
6/FAMILY HOME EVENING (do you remind your family to have family home evening? do you offer to help with the lesson or music or prayers?)
7/LOVE (do you try to show love to everyone in your family? what about forgiveness?)
8/OBEDIENCE (do you try really hard to listen to your parents? are you quick to obey?)
(you can add more to this list)


We’ve each made covenants with our Heavenly Father at baptism (to follow our Savior, to remember Him, to keep His commandments, etc.) and that’s only the beginning of our journey. We need to continue on our path and we need to also help support our family members too!

Pass out a small card of your own local temple to give them.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 22 The Latter-Day Revelations are Published



Write or post on the board:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Isaiah 55:8-9

What if I were to tell you that I could make a hole in a piece of paper big enough that I can walk through it?
Hand out a piece of white printer paper and see if they can figure it out.

They'll express disbelief and think they know how to do it, but after 30-60 seconds or so, tell them you'll talk about it later on and to put the paper under their chair.

Draw as many pictures as possible (or use church artwork) to hold their attention while you read the stories.

Early church members were instructed to teach each other about the revelations the Lord had given them through Joseph Smith, but they didn’t have access to them.

You know how we have General Conference?
They had some conferences in Ohio in 1831.
They discussed that some of the revelations already received by Joseph were going to be published!
Why would this be exciting to everyone?
Why do you think it was exciting when The Book of Mormon was published? Everyone could have a copy
With the publication of the revelations, everyone could read them whenever they wanted!

But during these conferences, some people were complaining about how the revelations were written.
They thought they could do a better job!

D&C 67 testifies that the revelations were true and challenges anyone who would like to try to write a revelation!

Someone named William McLellin tried

Joseph Smith wrote down that Brother McLellin thought he was smart enough to write a revelation, but he couldn’t do it.

The prophet said it’s a [great and important] responsibility to write in the name of the Lord.

Everyone who saw that failure had their testimonies strengthened that the revelations were true and from the Lord!

William left the church later.
Why do you think he may have left the church later? He needed to repent and be humble enough to recognize the power of God

Oliver Cowdery was assigned to take around 70 revelations to Independence, Missouri where William W. Phelps had a printing press. He also took money to help LDS people in Missouri.

John Whitmer was told to go with him for safety

It was a long, cold journey but they arrived safely and delivered the revelations, and Brother Phelps started to set the type to publish them. Remember our lesson about setting type and how you have to pick out each letter...and remember those letters were a mirror image? Remember how long it took for you to just typeset your name letter by letter?

It took 1.5 years to get the first 160 pages printed!

Missouri was becoming a place that a lot of new latter-day saints were moving to!
This made the people who were already living there a little worried.
Why do you think they’d worry? They thought LDS people would take over and make them leave!

Sometimes when people get worried about something, they do things they wouldn’t normally do. Like be mean and bully. That’s what happened here too. They joined together in a mob of 400-500 people! They were all against the Church members. They met together and decided that the LDS people had to leave their homes, the homes they’d just moved into, or they would be killed!

The Church leaders didn’t like hearing this, of course, and they tried to be peaceful about it.
They asked for three months to talk with their leader, Joseph Smith. He was in Ohio, and remember they didn’t have phones or internet. They had to probably try to reach him by letter sent by horse or something!
The mob said no.
Guess how long they said the Church leaders could have instead of 3 months? 15 minutes

But they weren’t even that nice. Before the 15 minutes were over, the mob broke into William W Phelps’ house where he had the printing press, and where the Book of Commandments were being printed.
He wasn’t home. His wife took their children and fled into the woods.  show image from manual

Two young girls aged 14 (Mary Elizabeth) and 12 (Caroline) were nearby and saw this happening!
They saw the mob throw the furniture and belongings of the Phelps family into the street.
They threw the printing press out the window and a lot of the Book of Commandments.

The girls were brave and saved the pages even though the mob was close by.
They ran away, and the mob spotted them and yelled at them to stop.
So they ran into a cornfield and lay down among the tall cornstalks.

How do you think they were feeling? Scared, worried, brave, courageous

Show this beautiful painting by Al Young

They heard the men from the mob looking for them but they lay quietly and listened.
After awhile the sound of the footsteps stopped and they thought it was safe to leave.
They gathered the pages and left the field.
They heard sounds inside a stable and saw Sister Phelps and her children trying to be quiet and hide too.

They gave her the pages, knowing that she and Brother Phelps would know what to do.

Later some of these original sheets were bound into books and these brave girls Mary Elizabeth and Caroline were given a copy! They treasured these books for the rest of their lives.

Why do you think they treasured them? They remembered how they helped, they had faith

Joseph Smith and his First Presidency made the Book of Commandments longer and added more revelations in, and it was published in 1835 as the Doctrine and Covenants.

How exactly does the Doctrine & Covenants fit in with the rest of our scriptures?
Show them my quad.

Let's go over what our scriptures are.
Listen carefully...I’m going to ask you to repeat them back!
  • We have the Bible, the New and Old Testament
  • We have the Book of Mormon
  • We have the Doctrine & Covenants
  • We have the Pearl of Great Price

Who can say all four of them from memory?
Let’s say them all together in unison.
Now each of you take turns saying all four.

What do all four have in common? They all testify of Jesus Christ.

Post up the summaries of each (from the manual) up on the board.
Give them each four index cards or piece of paper - one that says The Bible, one that says The Book of Mormon, and so on.

I’m going to ask some questions and you’re going to hold up the one with the right answer!

Use questions from the manual Enrichment Activity 1 (you can also add more questions to make this a longer part of your lesson)

Did you know that William W Phelps not only helped with the printing of the Book of Commandments and Doctrine and Covenants, but also actually wrote many of the hymns in our hymnbook?

Show in a hymnbook (have one with you) where his name is found on the bottom of the pages and play on a phone or laptop clips of:
Praise to the Man, Now Let Us Rejoice,  The Spirit of God,  Gently Raise the Sacred Strain, Redeemer of Israel, If You Could Hie to Kolob, O God, the Eternal Father

See how many they recognize!

List of his hymns:

There was a game that kids like Mary Elizabeth and Caroline (from the historical accounts) probably played.

It’s called I Have a Basket.
  • Everyone sit in a circle
  • The first player says “I have a basket”
  • The next person asks “What’s inside?”
  • The first player says something that starts with an A.
  • The second player says, “I have a basket.”
    The third player asks “What’s inside?”
  • The second player says something that starts with a B.
  • Continue on through the alphabet.

We’re going to say all church things - things we have learned about in church history and the Doctrine and Covenants!

Be ready with alphabet words to help them in case of frustration:
Apostasy or Angel Moroni
Book of Mormon or Book of Commandments or barrel of beans (where the plates were hidden)
Cowdery or commandments or covenants
David (Whitmer) or doctrine
Edward (Patridge) or Emma (Smith), etc.

Use cities you've talked about, people you've talked about, gospel principles, key words from stories so far, etc.)

So remember how I said I could make a hole in this paper big enough to walk through?

Here’s a piece of paper - let’s see if you can figure out how to make a hole big enough. Give them a few minutes to try

Remember how William McLellin said he could write revelations himself? But he couldn’t do the Lord’s work that the Prophet can do.

So us trying to figure out something like that, and not knowing how, is kind of like William trying to write his own revelations. When you’re faced with something hard that seems impossible, you need help from the Lord. Joseph was a prophet and had the true guidance and help.

Show them how you cut the paper a special way to make a hole big enough.

We know these revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants are truly from the Lord. We can’t do things ourselves - we need the Lord’s help and guidance. In order to do things that seem impossible, like walking through a piece of paper, we need to have faith and let the Lord help us! He knows how to do amazing things!


Corn-related (could be popcorn, could be a package of microwave popcorn, etc. etc.) with a note about remembering the example of faith and testimony of Mary Elizabeth and Caroline.
I try to help them share what they've learned with their families to help remember the lesson and to help strengthen their family.