Thursday, September 7, 2017

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 5 Lesson 36 Joseph Smith Writes the Articles of Faith



Write on the chalkboard:

Have a print-out of each of the 13 Articles of Faith, and tape them in order around the perimeter of your classroom on the walls.


Bring in a manual for a car (already have found sections in it that you want to refer to).
Hand the manual to a student.
I need help putting gas in my car - can you help me find where the gas tank opening is using this manual? give them time to do so

And I really need to check my oil, can you help me find where that part is? give another child time to do so and help if necessary

Do you think having this manual is helpful? Why?
What if I didn't have this? How would I know how to do those things?
Because I have it and I know a lot about my car, can I feel pretty confident driving my car places?

What do you think is another manual that is in our classroom right now? The scriptures
A lot of people say the scriptures are like a manual for life.

If someone hadn't read the scriptures and they wanted a short quick version, would that be pretty handy to be able to tell them?

Well guess what, we DO have a summary!
Can you guess what it is? motion towards the Articles of Faith on the walls if they haven't already guessed

So to learn and understand the gospel, we must first learn the basic principles of the gospel.

Joseph Smith wrote 13 statements that summarize the basic principles and beliefs of the gospel.
Anyone who is a member or learning about our Church can study these!

Today we’re going to learn about when and how and why these were written!

Illustrate as much as possible to hold their attention

In 1842 in New Hampshire, a state near New York, a man named George Barstow was writing a history of his state.
He knew members of the Church were living in New Hampshire, so he wanted to include a chapter about them. But he didn’t know much about the Church, and wanted to find out what they believed.
The headquarters were in Nauvoo, Illinois at this time so he contacted his friend John Wentworth. John was the editor of a newspaper in a big city in Illinois, named Chicago.

John Wentworth asked Joseph Smith about the beliefs and history of the Church.
The Prophet wrote back with a letter that’s been called the “Wentworth Letter.”

In it, he told about the First Vision and the gold plates, how the Church was organized, how their members were persecuted, the mobs, etc.

In the last part of the letter, he listed the basic beliefs of the Church.
That list of 13 basic beliefs came to be known as something...can you guess? Articles of Faith

He meant it for people who aren’t members of the Church to understand how we are different from other churches.
They don’t contain all of our teachings and beliefs, but they explain our most important beliefs.
The Articles of Faith can help build faith, understanding, and a testimony of the gospel, and also can help us share the gospel with others.

That list wasn’t ever published in the history that George Barstow was writing, or in the newspaper that John Wentworth ran. But they were published in a Church newspaper that year.

In 1880, members of the Church in their October general conference raised their hands to agree to accept it as scripture. They’re now in the Pearl of Great Price!


Why do you think teachers, leaders, parents, etc. often ask us to memorize the Articles of Faith?
Why would this help us?  

Why would knowing the Articles of Faith help us share the gospel with others?

In order to play the game after this, walk around as a group (depending on your size, perhaps you want to split up) and read each one and talk about it, then move onto the next, and the next. Make sure they know it’s to prepare for a game so you get better attention!

Adapted from this site

- masking tape
- slips of paper with a clue for each Article of Faith written on it*
- a sock filled with beans, pennies, something sturdy/heavy

*have another full set prepared if time allows, but keep separate so you for sure go through all the Articles of Faith at least once

Need help with ideas for the clues?
Clues could simply be key words and they have a few seconds to remember which Article of Faith or to find it on the wall

My list:
We claim (11)
Faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, laying on of hands (4)
Subject to kings, presidents…. (12)
Called of God by prophecy (5)
Reveal…. (9)
God the Eternal Father (1)
Benevolent (13)
Adam’s transgression (2)
Pastors, teachers, evangelists (6)
Word of god (8)
All mankind may be saved (3)
Gift of tongues (7)

Christ will reign personally upon the earth (10)

Or use this site:

Another option is to use those bingo boards instead of the Sock-o Bingo game

- With their help, move all the chairs away and tape a big grid on the floor (4 x 4)
- Pick three random squares and mark and “X” to indicate a free space (16 squares but only 13 AoF)
- Place the papers written-side-down, one in each square
- Have the first person throw the sock-o to a square and read that clue
- See if they can figure out which Article of Faith it’s talking about and if they get it,
- Continue on until everyone gets Bingo (I like to play as a whole class rather than teams)

At this point you could give everyone a little snack, then continue on (leave everything on the board and see if you can get another BINGO).


A man was traveling by bus across the United States to California. When the bus stopped in Salt Lake City, a young girl got on and sat next to the man. They started talking, and he asked her if she was a Mormon. When she answered, “Yes, sir,” he asked her what Mormons believe. The girl recited the first article of faith and explained it to the man. She then recited and explained the rest of the Articles of Faith. The man was very impressed with the young girl’s knowledge, and when she got off the bus, he kept thinking about what she had told him. When he arrived in California, he called the local mission president. The mission president sent missionaries to teach the man, and eventually the man’s entire family was baptized, thanks to a young Primary girl who understood and shared the Articles of Faith. (See “Primary Days,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, pp. 67–68.)


For fun, we’re going to learn the Fourth Article of Faith using Sign Language!

How to do it:

Follow along with the same person singing it with this video:

The Articles of Faith allow us to learn the principles of our restored gospel!
Memorizing them helps us not only share them more easily, but helps us remember our own beliefs.
What about after you've learned how to open the gas on your car, would you always need to go to the manual to look it up?
The Articles of Faith are something we should read, learn, and know, and by knowing them by heart we are then able to share with others! We can drive the car! We can bring others into our car just like we can bring others unto Christ!

Take home ideas could be:
- related to their hands (ASL)
- a printout of the Articles of Faith
- a printout of the bingo game with something to mark the spots

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