Whitney and her mother were cleaning out Whitney’s great-grandfather’s attic after he died. Mother pulled a large tarp off of a dresser, and her eyes filled with tears.
“What’s wrong?” Whitney asked.
“Nothing really is wrong,” Mother responded. “I just remember that when I was about your age, I would watch my grandmother take her hat out of this armoire.”
“What’s an armoire?” Whitney asked.
“That’s what this is,” Mother said, pointing. “It’s a large chest where Grandmother hung her clothes.” Mother lovingly ran her finger over the wood, and Whitney noticed that one of the doors was broken and that the varnish was chipped.
“It’s broken now, isn’t it?” Whitney asked.
Mother got a twinkle in her eye. “It is. But you know, Whitney, I think that I would like to restore this armoire. We could refinish it and make it as good as new.”
Whitney was excited. “We could paint it white and put fancy new handles on the doors!”
Mother shook her head. “No, I want to restore it. Restore means to bring something back to the way it was originally. I want it to look just the way it did when my grandmother used it. Can you think of something that is restored?”
Whitney was puzzled. “I’ll give you a hint,” Mother said. “You learn about the restoration of something when you go to church.”
“The gospel!” Whitney said. “But how was the gospel restored?”
“And Jesus is still the head of the Church,” Whitney added.
“I think you understand quite a bit about restoration,” Mother said with a smile.
Jesus Christ is the head of His Church, just as He was when He lived on the earth. When we understand that He called Joseph Smith to restore the gospel and bring back the original true church, our faith in Jesus Christ will grow.
Mount page 14 on heavy paper. Cut out the puzzle pieces and then put them together to form a picture. When you have all of the pieces in the right places, the picture will be “restored”!
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied or printed from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Write the words of Isaiah 29:14 on the board, leaving out all of the vowels. Have the children take turns adding one vowel (a, e, i, o, u) to the scripture and then have them look up, mark, and memorize Isaiah 29:14. While the children have their scriptures open, ask them what they think the “marvellous work and a wonder” is. (The Restoration of the gospel.) Invite them to use the footnotes to discover the meaning. Using questions and answers as well as pictures from the Gospel Art Picture Kit, present the story of the Restoration of the gospel. Use Elder Mark E. Petersen’s talk “More than a Farm Boy,” (New Era, Dec. 2004, 33) to add details to the story. For example, ask the children how big they think the gold plates were. To illustrate the size of the gold plates, simulate them by using paper that has the same dimensions. (Approximately 7 x 8 inches [18 x 20 cm] and 6 inches [15 cm] thick.) Ask what kind of box would protect the plates from the weather for hundreds of years (a stone box). Ask what we call the record that Moroni gave to Joseph Smith (the Book of Mormon).
Consider teaching “An Angel Came to Joseph Smith” (p. 86). You can use the song to either present the story of the Restoration or to review the story. Sing “The Golden Plates” (p. 86) and testify of Joseph Smith.
2. On the chalkboard write BOOK OF MORMON in a simple code. For example, use a code where you replace each letter with the next letter in the alphabet. Give the children hints until they figure out the phrase. Divide the children into groups and hand out other phrases in different codes. Invite them to decode words such as “Joseph Smith,” “gold plates,” “Urim and Thummim,” “Oliver Cowdery,” “Emma Smith,” “Moroni,” and “power of God.” After each group deciphers their words, explain the significance that their phrase has in the translation of the Book of Mormon. Emphasize that the plates were translated by the power of God.
For younger children: Invite a member of the bishopric or other priesthood holder approved by the bishop to portray Oliver Cowdery. Provide a simple costume such as a black ribbon to be used as a tie. Have him tell the story of the translation of the Book of Mormon by using the material printed on the back of GAK 416 (Translating the Book of Mormon). Have him refer to a notebook or letter to read the closing paragraph that begins, “These were days never to be forgotten.” Have him show the children where they can find Oliver Cowdery’s words in the footnote to Joseph Smith—History 1:71 in the Pearl of Great Price. Ask the guest to remove the ribbon tie and bear his own testimony of the Book of Mormon. Invite the children to turn the page and use their scriptures to sing “The Eighth Article of Faith” (p. 127). The phrase “as far as it is translated correctly” applies to the Bible but not to the Book of Mormon because the Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God through Joseph Smith.
3. A week or two before Primary, ask a child who responded to President Hinckley’s request to read the Book of Mormon during 2005 to be prepared to share his or her feelings about the book. Write “is WORD OF GOD is” on a large wordstrip at the front of the room. Tell the children that you want them to find out more about the word of God by using the scriptures. Show half of the children another wordstrip that reads “1 Nephi 11:25” and ask them to look up the scripture. Do not let the other half see that wordstrip. Similarly, show the other half of the children a wordstrip that says “Eighth Article of Faith.” Tell the children that when they know what the word of God is, they should look up and smile. When all of the children are smiling, hold up the Book of Mormon. Ask the children who had that scripture to raise their hands. Have a child hold the Book of Mormon on one side of the “is WORD OF GOD is” wordstrip. Then show a picture of the iron rod leading to the tree of life from the Primary 4 picture packet (4-12, 4-13, or 4-14). Ask the children who had that scripture to raise their hands. Have a child hold the picture of the iron rod on the other side of the wordstrip. Explain that the iron rod is the word of God and leads us to eternal life. Explain that the Book of Mormon is also the word of God.
Invite the teachers and leaders to sing the chorus of “The Iron Rod” (Hymns, no. 274). Encourage the children to join in singing the song when they know the words. Tell each child to hold their copies of the Book of Mormon while they sing. Likewise, they can hold to the teachings of the Book of Mormon in their lives. Invite the previously assigned child to share his or her feelings about the Book of Mormon.
4. Ask the children to use their eyes and ears to discover an important message. While the pianist plays “The Priesthood Is Restored” (p. 89) show four pictures, one for each phrase: GAK 407 (John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood), GAK 408 (Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration), GAK 601 (Baptism), and GAK 603 (Blessing the Sacrament). Ask the children what the message is. (The priesthood is restored.)
Explain that our living prophet holds all of the priesthood keys and authority in the Church today. Hold up a picture of the prophet. Explain that he leads the Church under someone else’s direction. Hold up a picture of Jesus Christ and place it above the picture of the prophet, signifying that the prophet works under His direction. Show the children the most recent issue of the conference edition of the Ensign or Liahona. Explain that when our prophet speaks to us at general conference, he is teaching us what Jesus Christ wants us to hear and do. Carefully select four sentences from the prophet’s recent messages and invite older children to read them. List four things that children can do to follow the prophet’s words. Invite the children to draw a picture of one of the ideas that they want to work on to better follow the prophet (see “Drawing Activities,” TNGC, 166–67). Choose a song from the Children’s Songbook to go along with each of the four principles that the prophet has recently spoken of. Invite the children who drew pictures of that particular principle to hold up their pictures while the Primary sings that song. Bear your testimony about the importance of the priesthood.
5. Song presentation: “An Angel Came to Joseph Smith” (p. 86). Before teaching this song, practice conducting the unique rhythm. Post the following wordstrips in random order—“Moroni,” “Hill Cumorah,” “Nephites,” and “Book of Mormon.” Tell the children that this song is about these four things, but none of these words is mentioned in the song. Ask them to help you put the wordstrips in the same order that the song is in. Sing the song for them and then ask which wordstrip comes first. Because the first phrase is “an angel came to Joseph Smith,” the correct wordstrip is “Moroni.” Have the children sing that phrase with you. Sing the song three more times, putting one wordstrip in place each time. Explain that Joseph Smith took the gold plates from Hill Cumorah, that the plates are a record of the Nephites, and that the precious, holy book is the Book of Mormon. Because the song is short, sing the entire song each time that you ask a question. Bear testimony that the story told in the song is true.
6. Friend references: “Translation of the Book of Mormon,” Apr. 1997, 48; “Joseph and Oliver Receive the Priesthood,” July 1984, 27–29; “The Book of Mormon,” Mar. 2004, 43; “Classic Thoughts: The Restoration of the Priesthood,” May 2003, 39; “Truth Restored,” Dec. 2005, 7; “Scavenger Hunt,” Oct. 1999, 28–30.