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What was Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration?

After centuries of apostasy, the Lord restored His Church and the fulness of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. This Restoration began with Joseph’s First Vision, in which Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared. Through the Prophet Joseph, the Lord brought forth the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, restored priesthood authority, and established His Church.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prayerfully study these scriptures and resources, what do you feel inspired to share with the young men?

2 Nephi 3:3–25 (Ancient prophets foresaw Joseph Smith’s mission as prophet and seer)

D&C 35:17–18 (Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord restored the fulness of the gospel)

D&C 76:22–24 (Joseph Smith’s testimony of Jesus Christ)

D&C 135:3 (Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord gave us additional scripture)

Joseph Smith—History 1:11–25 (God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith)

Craig C. Christensen, “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 27–30

Neil L. Andersen, “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 65–68

Neil L. Andersen, “Joseph Smith,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 28–31

Joseph Smith,” True to the Faith (2004), 89–90

Videos: “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas, or think of your own, to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite a young man to draw a picture on the board that symbolizes what the quorum learned last week, and have the other young men guess what he has drawn.
  • In advance, perhaps two or three weeks before quorum meeting, invite the young men to accept Elder Neil L. Andersen’s challenge: “Gain a personal witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Let your voice help fulfill Moroni’s prophetic words to speak good of the Prophet.” Encourage the young men to follow Elder Andersen’s counsel to share scriptures in the Book of Mormon with their friends and family, “acknowledging that Joseph was an instrument in God’s hands,” and to read the Prophet’s testimony. (See “Joseph Smith,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 30.) At the beginning of quorum meeting, ask them to share the scriptures they chose and any impressions they had as they read Joseph Smith’s testimony.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members understand Joseph Smith’s role in the Restoration. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best with your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to read Elder Craig C. Christensen’s talk “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up,” searching for blessings we have because of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Ask them to write what they find on the board. What other blessings can the young men think of that we have because of Joseph Smith? Consider sharing how you gained your testimony of Joseph Smith and how the Restoration of the gospel has been a blessing in your life.
  • Ask quorum members to imagine that a friend of another faith asks, “Why is Joseph Smith so important in your Church?” Invite them to look for possible answers to this question in the video “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration.” You could also read the section titled “Honest Questions” from Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice” to help them learn how they can respond to criticism about Joseph Smith.
  • Invite quorum members to make a list of the things the Lord gave us through Joseph Smith. For ideas to add to their list, ask them to read Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 and pages 89–90 in True to the Faith. How are our lives different because of the work the Lord did through Joseph Smith?
  • Invite the young men to read Joseph Smith—History 1:7–20, looking for truths Joseph Smith learned through the First Vision. What did Joseph learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? about himself? about the adversary? Why are these truths important for us to understand today?
  • Show the video “Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration,” and ask the young men to share something they learn or something that impresses them about the Prophet Joseph Smith. Consider relating how you gained your testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand the role of Joseph Smith in the Restoration of the gospel? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his feelings about why Joseph Smith is important to his life and invite other quorum members to do the same.
  • Discuss with the quorum their priesthood duty to teach others about the mission of Joseph Smith.