Lesson 13

Joseph Smith—History 1:27–75

The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.

Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.

Complete all of the following assignments:

1.   Joseph Smith—History 1:27–54. The Angel Moroni Appeared to Joseph Smith

Read Joseph Smith—History 1:27–29 and the institute student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1:28: The Weakness of Youth” (page 58). Write brief answers to the following questions:

  • How does Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s statement help explain why Joseph Smith “often felt condemned for [his] weakness and imperfections” even though he was not “guilty of any great or malignant sins”?
  • In what ways is Joseph Smith an example of what to do if we feel guilty or unworthy about something we have done? (verses 28–29).
  • What does Joseph Smith’s honesty in admitting his human frailties suggest about his overall uprightness and truthfulness? Explain your answer.

Review Joseph Smith—History 1:33, and read the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1:33: ‘My Name’” (page 58). Write brief answers to the following:

  • What prophecy did Moroni make about Joseph Smith’s name?
  • In what ways have you seen this fulfilled? Give some specific examples.

Study one of the Bible passages that Moroni quoted to Joseph Smith: Malachi 3:1; 4:5–6; Isaiah 11:1–16; or Acts 3:22–23; Joel 2:28–32. Also study the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1:36–41: What Is the Significance of the Bible Verses Moroni Quoted to the Prophet Joseph Smith?” (page 59). Then write answers to the following:

  • What do all of the scriptures Moroni quoted to Joseph Smith have in common?
  • How does the scripture you selected apply to the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the latter-day work?
  • How do The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Book of Mormon prepare the world for the Savior’s Second Coming?

Read Joseph Smith—History 1:30–54 and the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1:42–49: A Comparison of Moroni’s Four Visits to Joseph Smith on 21–22 September 1823” (pages 59–60). Then write responses to the following:

  • What do you think are the three or four most important things repeated by Moroni to Joseph Smith at each of his visits? Why was it important for Joseph Smith to have been told those truths at that time?
  • What were the differences between the visits?
  • What value is there in repetition?
  • In what ways have you seen the Lord use repetition as He works with His children?

Review Joseph Smith—History 1:46–54, and read the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—History 1:50–53: Joseph’s First Visit to the Hill Cumorah” and “Joseph Smith—History 1:54: Joseph’s Annual Visits to the Hill” (pages 60–61). Then write answers to the following:

  • Why do you think it was important for Joseph Smith to tell his father about the visitations of Moroni?
  • What experiences did Joseph Smith have that helped him to refine his motives in obtaining the plates?
  • According to these verses as well as Doctrine and Covenants 137:8–9, how do our motives affect our actions and God’s judgment of us?

2.   Joseph Smith—History 1:55–65. Joseph Smith Received the Gold Plates

Read Joseph Smith—History 1:55–58 and the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1: 57–58: Emma Hale” (pages 61–62). Make a list of significant events, both good and bad, that happened to Joseph Smith between the time Moroni first told him about the gold plates and the time that he received them. In writing, describe how you think Joseph Smith grew from these experiences. How have you grown from the significant events of your life?

Read Joseph Smith—History 1:59–62 and the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—History 1:59–60: Joseph Received the Plates”; “Joseph Smith—History 1:60: Attempts to Get the Plates from Joseph”; and Joseph Smith—History 1:61–62: Preserving the Plates” (pages 62–63). Create a chart like the one below, and fill it in with details you find in your reading:

  • Review your chart in light of the warning and the promise Moroni gave in Joseph Smith—History 1:59. Write a few sentences explaining how Moroni’s warning and promise were fulfilled.
  • When have you seen evidence that the Lord helped you as you endeavored to fulfill sacred responsibilities He has given you?

Study Joseph Smith—History 1:63–65; Isaiah 29:11–12; 2 Nephi 27:9–10, 15–20 and the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1:63–65: Prophecy Fulfilled” (page 63). Then answer the following questions:

3.   Joseph Smith—History 1:66–75. Joseph Smith Received the Priesthood of God

Read Joseph Smith—History 1:66–67; the student manual commentary “Joseph Smith—History 1:67: The Translation of the Book of Mormon” (page 64); and Doctrine and Covenants 1:29; 20:8. Based on what you have read, write how you would answer a non–Latter-day Saint friend who asked you, “How did Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon?”

Read Joseph Smith—History 1:68–74 and the student manual commentaries “Joseph Smith—History 1:68–74: Aaronic Priesthood Restored” and “Joseph Smith—History 1:72: Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood” (pages 64–65), and then write short answers to the following questions:

  • What do you learn from these verses about the Aaronic Priesthood?
  • What do you learn from these verses about the Melchizedek Priesthood?
  • In what ways has having the priesthood of God on the earth blessed your life?
  • According to President Wilford Woodruff, what important events could not have taken place without the restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods?

c.       Read Joseph Smith—History 1:73–74, and then write short answers to the following questions:

  • How did the Holy Ghost increase the capacities and understanding of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery following their baptism?
  • How have you experienced the Holy Ghost strengthening and increasing your capacities and understanding?

d.      Read the statement by Oliver Cowdery in the endnote following the last verse in Joseph Smith—History. Then complete the following:

  • List information from Oliver Cowdery’s account that you did not know about before.
  • List words and phrases in Oliver Cowdery’s account that indicate how he felt about these experiences.

Describe how you think it might have affected you if you had been able to accompany Joseph Smith and experience the miracles he and Oliver Cowdery experienced.