Lesson 1: The Book of Mormon, a Gift from a Loving Heavenly Father

Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997), 1–4


Purpose

To help the children love and value the Book of Mormon.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study the Introduction and the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, located in the front of the Book of Mormon (or Joseph Smith—History 1:29–35, 42–54, 59–60). Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Title page of the Book of Mormon,The Testimony of Three Witnesses, The Testimony of Eight Witnesses, Mormon 6–7.

  3. 3.

    Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Book of Mormon for each child.

    2. b.

      A gift-wrapped Book of Mormon.

    3. c.

      A bookmark for each child, if possible (see the sample at the end of the lesson).

    4. d.

      Pictures 4-1, Mormon Abridging the Plates (Gospel Art Picture Kit 306; 62520); 4-2, Moroni Hides the Plates in the Hill Cumorah (Gospel Art Picture Kit 320; 62462); and 4-3, Joseph Smith Receives the Gold Plates (Gospel Art Picture Kit 406; 62012).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Show the children the gift-wrapped Book of Mormon.

  • Why do we give gifts?

  • How do you feel when someone enjoys a gift you have given?

Explain that because of Heavenly Father’s great love for us he has given us a gift to help us achieve eternal life. This gift has an important message for each of us. It teaches us about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and how to live so we can return to Heavenly Father. Ezra Taft Benson, the thirteenth President of the Church, said: “This is a gift of greater value to mankind than even the many wonderful advances we have seen in modern medicine. It is of greater worth to mankind than the development of flight or space travel” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, p. 3; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 4).

  • What do you think this gift is?

Have the children help unwrap the gift. Testify of how studying the Book of Mormon has blessed your life and helped you become more like the Savior.

Scripture Account

Teach the account of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon from the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Use the introduction to the Book of Mormon to help the children understand the value this book of scripture has for us today. Use the pictures at appropriate times.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.’

  • What is the Book of Mormon? Who wrote it? (Introduction, paragraphs 1–2. Ancient prophets in America.)

  • Why is it called the Book of Mormon and not the Book of Moroni or the Book of Joseph Smith? (Introduction, paragraph 2. The prophet Mormon wrote most of what was on the gold plates, quoting and summarizing what other prophets had written.)

  • What is the most important event in the Book of Mormon? Why? (Introduction, paragraph 3. The visit of Jesus Christ to the Nephites.)

  • What did Joseph Smith say about the Book of Mormon? (Introduction, paragraph 6.) (See enrichment activity 3.) How do you think reading and studying the Book of Mormon can help you?

  • Many prophets (Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, Joseph Smith) have gone through great suffering and hardships so we can have the Book of Mormon. What are three things you need to do to know that the Book of Mormon is true? (Introduction, paragraph 8. Read it, ponder its message, ask God if it is true.)

  • What else will we know when we gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon? (Introduction, paragraph 9. That Jesus Christ is the Savior, Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the Church is true.)

  • What was Joseph Smith doing when the angel Moroni first appeared to him? (Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, paragraphs 2–3; Joseph Smith—History 1:29–30.)

  • What did the angel Moroni tell Joseph Smith? (Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, paragraphs 6–9; Joseph Smith—History 1:34–35, 42.)

  • What happened to Joseph the next day as he was working with his father? (Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, paragraphs 15–16; Joseph Smith—History 1:48–49.)

  • The angel Moroni called Joseph Smith by name when he visited him. How do you feel knowing that Heavenly Father knows your name?

  • The angel Moroni commanded Joseph to tell his father about the vision. Who would you tell if you had an experience like Joseph’s? Why?

  • What did Joseph do after he told his father? (Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, paragraphs 17–19; Joseph Smith—History 1:50–52.)

  • Why did it take four years before Joseph was able to get the gold plates? (Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, paragraph 20; Joseph Smith—History 1:54.)

  • What warning did Joseph receive after he was given the gold plates? (Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, paragraph 22; Joseph Smith—History 1:59.)

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Invite the children to read the title page of the Book of Mormon. Suggest that they mark in their own copies of the Book of Mormon the purposes of the book stated on the title page and in the Introduction.

  2. 2.

    Help the children memorize Moroni 10:4.

  3. 3.

    Discuss and help the children memorize the following statement from the Prophet Joseph Smith:

    “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Introduction, paragraph 6).

  4. 4.

    Help the children understand and memorize the eighth article of faith.

  5. 5.

    Act out some of the events that led to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

  6. 6.

    Sing or read the words to “The Books in the Book of Mormon” (Children’s Songbook, p. 119), “Book of Mormon Stories” (Children’s Songbook, p. 118), “The Golden Plates” (Children’s Songbook, p. 86), or “Search, Ponder, and Pray” (Children’s Songbook, p. 109).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear your testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true.

(Optional.) If possible, give each child a bookmark with the testimony of President Ezra Taft Benson printed on it (see the sample at the end of the lesson).

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith at home as a review of this lesson. Show them where they can find this account at the beginning of the Book of Mormon or in Joseph Smith—History 1:29–35, 42–54, 59–60.

Encourage each child to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon to class each Sunday.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.