Thursday, June 29, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 27 The Saints Are Expelled From Jackson County


Write on the board the chorus from Hymn 44 "Beautiful Zion, Built Above"
"Zion, zion, lovely Zion;
Beautiful Zion;
Zion, city of our God!"

Baking soda and vinegar activity from the manual


Bring in a few different knots already tied with rope
(you can find some that are very intricate and beautiful)

Today we're going to be talking about how the Lord not only always keeps his promises, but how He is bound to keep them when we follow what He wants us to do.

We're going to hear a lot of stories today about how the early Saints encountered trials and struggles and had to endure to the end.

There is a lot of material to this lesson! So draw as many things as you can.

Prophets in Book of Mormon prophesied that a holy city called Zion where everyone would be righteous, would be established on the American continent!
Have you heard that word before? Zion?
There are hymns that talk about Zion.
Do you know what it means? The pure in heart
The D&C describes Zion as a place of peace and safety for everyone, where Jesus shall dwell after he comes again and where the bad people will not come.
Doesn’t that sound nice?

In July 1831 Joseph Smith received a revelation that Zion would be located in Missouri!
Remember a lot of church members were already in Missouri?
The revelation said it would be in a part of Missouri called Jackson County.
What county do we live in right now?
What is a county?
Not only that, but a temple would be built in a city in Jackson County, a city called Independence.

In August 1831, so one month later, Sidney Rigdon dedicated the land of Jackson County for the gathering of the saints and Joseph Smith dedicated the temple site.
Remember we learned about what it means to “dedicate” something?

As part of the dedication of the land, the members attending the dedicatory service promised to keep the laws of God and to help their neighbor do the same.

Many church members wanted to move there to help build Zion!
Wouldn’t you too? What if you were living somewhere else and you heard about this great city that was going to be created with a lot of good things for church members, including a temple?

So they bought as much land as they could for farms and homes!
At this time, there was peace there.
No thieves or crime, etc. and everyone was worshipping God.
Parley P Pratt said, “There has seldom, if ever, been a happier people upon the earth than the Church of the Saints now were.”

Time passed and some became disobedient.
Some were disappointed Joseph hadn’t moved to Missouri too and they began to criticize him.
Some argued with their leaders or ignored their leaders.
They thought they could do a better job!
Doesn’t this remind you of the man who thought he could write a revelation better than Joseph?

The Saints allowed jealousy and disobedience to enter their lives.

They were told to repent and remember to read the Book of Mormon and obey the commandments.
Most did repent.
They pledged to keep the commandments.
When they repented, the Lord told Joseph Smith that “the angels rejoiced over them.”

Remember how the people in Missouri were mad at the church members?
They wanted them to leave?
They were still mad. They were afraid of them, and sometimes when you get afraid it can turn into anger and people do things they wouldn’t normally do.

When they began to move into Jackson County, the city of Independence was just a little town with only about 20 houses and just a few stores.
So think about maybe your street with a few stores added in, and that’s a town!
Not many could read or write!

Most Church members who moved in, however, could read and write.
Some people were hearing the Saints say that God had given them land in Jackson County.
So people were fearing that members were going to take over and drive everyone out!
The preachers were also afraid! They thought their church members would join the Saints.
The preachers tried to stir up fear and contention among the people.
Do you think it was easy to get them to be afraid? Yes, because they already were!

Now in 1833, a large mob of about 300 men met in Independence to plan how to get rid of the Saints.
Leaders heard about this! They prayed for the Lord to stop their plans.
Their prayers were answered!
The mob, unable to agree on a plan, got drunk and ended up fighting each other!

However, later in 1833 they met again in Independence.
This was the mob we had talked about before, remember 400-500 met and wanted the Saints to leave?
Do you remember what happened?
They pledged to get rid of the Saints “peaceabley if we can, forcibly if we must”
They formed a mob and destroyed William W Phelps’ printing press.
Remember you wanted to know what happened next after Mary Elizabeth and Caroline gave the pages to his wife?

A few days later, a mob of armed men burned the Saints’ crops and destroyed some of their buildings.
Six church leaders were very brave and offered to surrender if the mob would leave everyone else alone.
The mob refused.
The church leaders signed an agreement to leave Jackson COunty if the mob would leave them alone.

The Saints were angry and they were afraid.
They were not happy they had been persecuted and they wanted to get revenge.
Joseph Smith received a revelation that they should not seek revenge.
Instead they should patiently endure and work within the laws of the land.
The Saints did obey the laws of the land.
They asked the government to stop the persecution.
Things just got worse.
The government didn’t help and even some government people were in the mob!
They did have some friends who wanted to help them but they were afraid of the mob too.

In November 1833, a small group of the mob and church members began to battle.
The mob was bigger and had more weapons than the church members.

During a battle with the members of the mob in Jackson County, Church member Philo Dibble was shot in the abdomen.

He was not expected to live—in those days people wounded this way usually bled to death or died from infection.

The Saints were fleeing Jackson County, and Philo Dibble’s friends did not want to leave him, but he was too injured for them to take him with them and it was too dangerous for them to stay.

One friend, Newel Knight, sneaked past members of the mob into Philo Dibble’s home, quickly gave Philo a priesthood blessing, and then rode away.

The next day Newel Knight met Philo Dibble, nearly recovered, ten miles from his home.

Philo told Newel that when he received the blessing, the pain left and his body “discharged a large amount of infected fluid, along with the bullet and even some cloth from his shirt.”

Because of the priesthood blessing, Philo recovered completely.

He crossed the plains to Utah and was a faithful member of the Church for the rest of his life.

However, with all the Church said all Church members should leave the county for safety.
Over the next two days, more than 1000 Saints fled.
It was very cold!
They were getting hurt as they fled, but they knew Heavenly Father still loved them.
One night they saw amazing meteor showers in the sky.
It was very beautiful as the streaks of light curled into shapes through the night.
They thought this was a sign that Heavenly Father would take care of them.
Members of the mob heading to chase the Saints were also seeing those meteor showers and were so surprised that they turned back to their homes and didn’t bother them for 10 days!

The Saints were never able to return back to Jackson County.
They knew if they were faithful and obedient, they would eventually receive all the blessings promised.

While they couldn’t establish Zion, it will be built at one point to prepare for the Savior's second coming.

Idea from here
How do you think the Saints were able to keep a good hopeful attitude in the midst of so much heartache and sadness?

We’re going to do an activity where we will try it out.
Hand out a pebble for each child and give each child a lollipop (or other candy that takes awhile to eat).
Go on a little walk outside.
Ask how they’re feeling after, what was their experience like on the walk?
Anticipate they will focus on the discomfort from the pebble etc.
Some may say they focused on the candy etc.
Discuss how we can try to overlook difficulties and be grateful for what we do have!
And discuss how sometimes we only focus on our difficulties and forget the good stuff!

Have D&C 82:10 on the board
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

Choose one child to “bind” with a roll of toilet paper
First have everyone work to wrap them up in toilet paper like a mummy so the child can’t move their arms or legs (don’t cover the face). Make sure the child is going to be ok with this before starting!

After they are all bound, then start memorizing the scripture.
Use the chalkboard method where it’s written on the board or it’s on the board with each word on its own paper or index card, taped or up with a magnet.
Read through it a few times out loud. Then erase or take away a word. See if everyone remembers that word.
The more you memorize, the more they are slowly unbound (take off some of the toilet paper, but only a little at first so they stay really bound for most of it!

Because I Have Been Given Much

Dayton's Legs

God Will Lift Us Up

Sharing the peace and happiness we feel with others can help us focus on our blessings.

Extra time? Use thin rope for them to practice some knot tying!
Many different knots online.
If you have Cub Scouts or 11 year old Scouts in class, they may know some they can teach.


Candy or licorice rope with the D&C 82:10 printed out

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 26 The Kirtland Temple is Dedicated



  • Have a photo of the Kirtland Temple on display either printed out, laptop, etc.
  • Post up the words to the song “The Hearts of the Children,” Children’s Songbook 92
  • Bring in a photo/print/model of your local temple to have on display

Have an older Primary child or a youth come in, dressed as Elijah to role-play. Or use a child in your class, dressed up in a white robe/sheet and possibly a white beard.

He will say:
“Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that I Elijah should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.”

Who is this ancient prophet? Elijah

We are going to learn who Elijah was, who he appeared to, where he appeared, when he appeared, and why he appeared

Play the Children’s Songbook song “The Hearts of the Children”
Sing along using the words on the board

I think this is one of the most beautiful songs in the Children’s Songbook.
What do you think it’s about?

Take out the Old Testament.
You know we have the Bible with the Old Testament and the New Testament, right?
Remember what the Old Testament talks about?  
It talks about the creation of the world, Adam and Eve, Noah, David, and a lot of great prophets and everyone is ready for and waiting for Jesus to be born.

Guess what the very very very last scriptures are in the Old Testament?
They’re about Elijah!
The prophet who just visited us!

Post Malachi 4:5-6 up on the board
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

So let’s talk about what those scriptures mean!

Hand them each a small print out of the scripture, and a colored pen.
On the print out, underline or highlight the phrases as you talk about them
  • Great and dreadful day - Second Coming of Jesus Christ
  • Hearts  - desires
  • Fathers - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or our ancestors
  • Children - people who live on earth in this generation
  • Turn - bind or seal

So the scripture is saying Elijah will be sent before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And essentially we will desire to be sealed to our ancestors!

It was expected that one day the prophet Elijah would return to the earth to restore keys.

What is a key? Show my keys
Priesthood keys are not like these.
They aren’t made of metal and can’t be held in your hand or pocket.
A priesthood key is power and authority given to the prophet and other leaders
It's used to direct God's work on earth.

Show picture of President Monson
The President of the Church holds all the keys of the priesthood.
Other priesthood leaders hold some of them.

For a priesthood holder to perform an ordinance, like baptize a child, he must be authorized by the person who holds those keys.

Show a picture of a child from class at their baptism with their father
So a father to baptize his child must receive permission from the bishop

Remember the Apostasy and how the priesthood wasn’t on the earth?
So the priesthood needed to be restored.

Who restored the Aaronic Priesthood? John the Baptist (show picture)
Who restored the Melchizedek Priesthood? Peter, James, and John (show picture)
Where did these things happen? In the woods, and by a river

One reason the Kirtland Temple was built was to provide a place where the Lord and his servants could restore other keys of the priesthood

It was a place that was sacred for heavenly beings to visit and restore priesthood keys
It was also a meetinghouse where early church members could gather

Have as many illustrations as possible to hold their attention

Something special happened in March 1836.
The Kirtland Temple had been finished!
It had been 3 years of hard work!
Now it was time for it to be dedicated.

What does dedicated mean?
When you read the first page of a book and it says “dedicated to my parents” what does that mean?
Given for a purpose, set apart for an intended purpose

Dedicating a temple means the church leaders are offering a special prayer asking the Lord to accept the temple and bless it and everyone who enters it to also be blessed

Guess how many people came to the dedication? Hundreds!
Some had to travel from far away.
More people came than there were seats inside!

Guess how long the dedication service lasted? 7 hours!
They sang hymns, bore testimonies, passed the sacrament, and there was a 2.5 hour talk by Sidney Rigdon! And Joseph Smith and others were sustained.

The Prophet read a prayer (D&C 109) that he received in a revelation.
In the prayer, the Prophet thanked Heavenly Father for blessing them and he prayed the temple would be a place of prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and order and that people attending would grow in faith and wisdom.

He asked the Lord to accept the temple and make it a holy place.

Then the choir sang The Spirit of God which was written by WW Phelps for the dedication!
Play that song on your phone/laptop/etc.

Then they gave a Hosanna Shout! (a special ancient saying that means “please save us”, said when Jesus entered Jerusalem and people waved palm branches at him, also in Old Testament Times)

Today, temple dedications are similar.
The prophet or someone he chooses gives a prayer
They sing The Spirit of God
They give the Hosanna Shout


We’re going to watch a video about a temple dedication that happened recently in Arizona!

Use illustrations

Everyone felt a holy joyful feeling at this dedication in Kirtland!
Many saw or heard angels singing
Many saw visions
Some people saw the Apostle Peter as a heavenly messenger!

That evening a priesthood meeting was held.
Over 400 men attended.
In the prayer earlier, the Prophet asked that the temple “be filled as with a rushing mighty wind” to show that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were pleased with the temple.

This happened at the meeting!

Have this printed out and have a kid in class read it out loud:

“A noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place. This continued until the meeting closed at eleven P.M.”

A week later, Joseph and Oliver went into the temple and lowered the curtains around the Melchizedek Priesthood area so they could pray privately.
As they prayed, they had a wonderful vision.
They saw the Savior, Moses, Elias, and Elijah!

Moses and Elias came to give keys and other things for latter-day ordinances and preparation for the coming of the Lord!

Elijah came to give Joseph and Oliver priesthood keys authorizing them to do missionary and temple work. Our Elijah visitor earlier said to us what he said when he visited Joseph and Oliver.

The keys Elijah gave are keys of sealing power.
They allow us to perform temple work for living and dead, to seal together husbands and wives and families.

Before Elijah came, Joseph Smith had the priesthood but he did not yet hold the keys given to him by Elijah.
He could not perform a temple marriage sealing or seal children to parents in the temple.

Why Elijah?
He was the last Old Testament prophet to hold the keys of the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Because of Elijah’s coming to the Kirtland temple, Joseph could now perform those ordinances!

Let’s talk about what Elijah said.
That we would desire to be sealed to our ancestors. We need to know them, to know their stories, to feel a desire to have them as part of our family...even if we never met them.
I never met my mom's parents. They both had died before I was born.
I never met my dad's mom. She lived in Australia.
I only met my dad's dad once when he came to the United States to visit. I was 3. I don't really remember him.
But I wrote letters to his mom and dad until they died when I was in high school.
I enjoyed getting to know them through those letters.
We can get to know the family members in our lives.

At the end of our lesson, I will be giving you a card and stamp to write to a family member of yours who lives far away!

Let's think more about how we are connected to our families.

Pass out a piece of paper to each child that says:

I love __________________________________
I got this from my __________________________

Examples to help you:
I love my green eyes that I got from my mom
I love my sense of humor that I got from my dad
I love that I like to read, just like my grandma

Instruct them to take a few minutes and fill it out
Talk about what everyone has filled out

Talk about how we come from those before us.

We have traits and characteristics from our parents or grandparents, and they also have things that they got from their parents and grandparents, and so on all the way back many many years.

When we think about our ancestors (parents, grandparents, great grandparents), and how much we appreciate them, love them, want them to know about the gospel, want to live with them again after this life….that’s turning our hearts towards them. That’s the hearts of the children turning to their fathers. But more specifically, it’s wanting to be sealed together for eternity.

What do you know about your grandparents?
How do you feel when you hear stories about your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your parents’ childhood?

Do you feel closer to them? A warm peaceful happy feeling because you feel connected to them?

When people start learning about their ancestors, they start to feel really good inside.
Why do you think that is?

Here’s one lady’s experience with how family history work brought her closer to Heavenly Father and wanting to join the Church.

Why do you think she felt the Spirit so strongly while doing family history work?

This is a great story of a man and the connection he felt to his grandfather.
Think about your ancestors as you watch this...

I have a testimony of family history work, of the blessing of temples here on the earth.
I know that we are supposed to get to know our ancestors and to do their temple work for them.

Make a paper chain family to remind them of family history work
Something with a heart-shape to snack on or take home.
A card and stamp(s) for them to write to a family member far away.