To help each child understand that the true Church of Jesus Christ has been restored.
Study Amos 3:7.
If it is available in your area, arrange to show Joseph Smith: The Man (9 minutes), on the videocassette Moments from Church History (53145).
Prepare to sing or say the words to
“The Priesthood Is Restored” (Children’s Songbook, p. 89); the words are included at the back of this manual.
An attractive object or picture, such as a flower, a seashell, or nice picture from the meetinghouse library.
Chalk, chalkboard, and eraser.
Sheets of paper to be rolled into trumpets.
Picture 3-10, The First Vision (62470; Gospel Art Picture Kit 403); picture 3-11, John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood (62013; Gospel Art Picture Kit 407); picture 3-12, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration (62371; Gospel Art Picture Kit 408); picture 3-13, Boy Being Baptized (62018); and picture 3-14, Girl Being Confirmed (62020).
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.
The True Church Was Restored
Read Revelation 14:6–7 to the children. Explain that the angel in this scripture is the angel Moroni, who appeared to Joseph Smith and announced that the gospel would be restored. Have the children roll up sheets of paper into “trumpets.” Let each child have a turn pretending to be an angel announcing that the Church has been restored.
Picture and discussion
Show picture 3-13, Boy Being Baptized.
What would happen if no one could be baptized? (No one could join Jesus Christ’s Church.)
Tell the children that when Jesus lived on the earth, he wanted the people to learn and obey his teachings. These teachings would help the people learn what they must do to return and live with him and Heavenly Father again. Jesus organized his Church to help the people learn to live his teachings. After Jesus and his Apostles died, the people did not live by what Jesus taught. People changed his teachings so that the true Church was lost. Jesus took his priesthood from the people on the earth. This meant that people could no longer be baptized with the proper authority. Also, without that priesthood authority, people could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, be sealed in the temple as a family, or have a prophet to speak for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on earth.
Picture and discussion
Display picture 3-10, The First Vision.
Who is in this picture? (Heavenly Father, Jesus, and Joseph Smith.)
What happened when Joseph Smith prayed to find out which church was true? (Heavenly Father and Jesus appeared to him. Jesus told him not to join any of the churches because none of them were true.)
Explain to the children that the true Church was not on the earth at that time. Jesus wanted his teachings and his Church restored to the earth.
What does the word restore mean? (To bring something back the same as it was before.)
After the children respond, give the following example:
Display the object or picture that you brought. Discuss why you feel this item is attractive and worth having, and ask the children to share their feelings. Then invite a child to take the item and hold it where the other children cannot see it.
Do you wish that we could have this beautiful object or picture back where we can look at it?
Have the child bring the object back into view and display it for the class once again. Explain that the object has been restored to its former place. Point out that restore means to make something the same as it used to be. Remind the children that even though Jesus had organized his Church the way he wanted, people had taken truths away after Jesus and his Apostles died. Jesus wanted his teachings, his Church, and his authority to baptize people restored just as he had them when he was on earth.
Tell the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ chose a young man who was obedient and could be trusted to help them restore the true Church.
Who was this young man? (Joseph Smith.)
Point to the picture of the First Vision again, and explain that whenever the true Church is on earth, the Lord chooses a prophet to lead it. Jesus chose Joseph Smith to become the first modern-day prophet.
Videocassette and discussion
If it is available, show Joseph Smith: The Man.
What is a prophet?
Explain that a prophet is a person to whom Jesus gives instructions for his Church.
Help an older child read aloud Amos 3:7 or read it yourself. Explain that “revealeth his secret” means to give his prophet instructions through visions, dreams, or other revelation.
To whom does Jesus Christ give his instructions? (To the living prophet.)
Explain that the prophet tells the people what Jesus wants them to do. The prophet helps us choose the right so we can return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus.
Show the children a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Explain that Jesus gave to Joseph Smith many of the words written in this book. Some of these words told Joseph about Jesus’ true Church. From these scriptures, we can learn that Jesus restored the true Church through Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith Received the Priesthood
Explain to the children that before Joseph Smith could help restore the Church, he had to be given special power—the right to act for Jesus.
Do you know what this power is called? (The priesthood.)
Picture and story
Tell the following story of how Joseph Smith received the priesthood:
Joseph Smith and his friend Oliver Cowdery learned about baptism while translating the Book of Mormon. They wanted to be baptized into the true Church. They knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father. Soon a messenger from heaven appeared to them.
Show picture 3-11, John the Baptist Conferring the Aaronic Priesthood.
Explain that the messenger was John the Baptist, the same person who baptized Jesus. When he appeared to Joseph and Oliver, he taught them about baptism. He gave them the power to baptize. This power is called the Aaronic Priesthood. Next, John the Baptist told them to baptize each other in the same way he had baptized Jesus. First, Joseph baptized Oliver in a nearby river, and then Oliver baptized Joseph.
The true method of baptism had been restored to the earth, exactly as Jesus had taught it.
Pictures and discussion
Show picture 3-12, Melchizedek Priesthood Restoration.
Explain that a few weeks later, three other heavenly messengers appeared to Joseph and Oliver. These men were three of Jesus’ Apostles when he lived on the earth and were named Peter, James, and John. They placed their hands on Joseph’s head and Oliver’s head and gave them the Melchizedek Priesthood. This priesthood is greater than the Aaronic Priesthood and gives men the authority to do many wonderful things in the name of Jesus Christ, such as give blessings to sick people, give father’s blessings to children, and perform temple ordinances.
Priesthood power allows us to be baptized and confirmed members of the Church and be given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Show again picture 3-13, Boy Being Baptized, and picture 3-14, Girl Being Confirmed. This power can also be used to heal those who are sick and to seal families in the temple so they can remain as families forever if they live right.
Sing or say the words to the song, “The Priesthood Is Restored.”
Bear witness to the children that the priesthood is on the earth again. The power to act for Jesus was restored through Joseph Smith. Joseph used this power to organize Jesus’ true Church. This priesthood has remained with the true Church ever since.
What is the true Church of Jesus Christ called? (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
Have the children repeat the name of the Church. Explain that it is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is Jesus’ true Church that he has restored in the latter days. Latter days means now, or the times in which we are now living.
Article of faith
Explain that we have the privilege of becoming members of the same Church that Jesus organized when he was on the earth. Sometimes we call the Church that Jesus organized then the “Primitive Church” (see Articles of Faith 1:6).
State the sixth article of faith, and have the children repeat it with you. Encourage those who are able to memorize all or part of it.
Ask the children to think of some special reasons why they want to become members of the only true Church on the earth. List their responses, such as the following, on the chalkboard:
To obey Heavenly Father.
To have Jesus’ teachings to guide us.
To be forgiven for our sins.
To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
To return and live with Heavenly Father and Jesus.
To be a member of God’s kingdom on earth.
Express your testimony to the children about why you feel it is a privilege to be a member of Jesus’ true Church. Describe for the children the happiness the Church has brought into your life and your gratitude that you belong to the Church.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for your children. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”
Tell the children that since Jesus’ true Church has been restored to the earth, we can learn the same things Jesus taught when he was on earth. We all have the privilege of being a member of his Church.
Tell the following story in your own words, or have the children role-play it:
“My name is Ila Marie Goodey. I am fourteen years old and I have had polio for eleven years. … I’m staying in the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. …
“Ever since I can remember, my parents have instilled the thought in my mind that the most important thing in my life is my Church and my Heavenly Father. … I have learned to love [the] Church with all my heart. …
“My parents taught me how important baptism is, so I looked forward eagerly to my own baptism. When I finally turned eight, I was in the hospital and it was the doctor’s opinion that I couldn’t leave the hospital even long enough to be baptized. I was heartbroken and I begged Dad to have me baptized while I was still eight. But it looked as though I would have to wait until I was well enough to get out, and no one knew when that would be.
“Then, [before my ninth birthday], my parents … and other relatives and friends came to the hospital, and I was baptized … in the [water] tank of our physical therapy room. I was confirmed a member of the Church I loved. …
“Now, six years later, I have been asked to write this story to show others how very important being baptized was to me.
“… I would like … to tell all of you how thankful I am to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Ila Marie Goodey, “I Was Baptized in a Hubbard Tank,” Children’s Friend, Jan. 1963, p. 30).
Have the children tell about a baptism that they have seen, such as that of an older brother or sister.
Allow the children to draw and color something that will remind them of the restoration of the Church, such as a trumpet to announce the Restoration or Joseph Smith praying in a grove of trees.