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Why was a restoration necessary?

During His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ established His Church with priesthood authority. It was led by prophets and apostles who taught true doctrine and received revelation that was recorded as scripture. With the death of the apostles, priesthood authority was taken from the earth, revelation ceased, and essential doctrines were lost or corrupted. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Church that Jesus Christ established was restored.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources.

Amos 8:11–12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3; 1 Nephi 13:24–29; Joseph Smith—History 1:5–6 (The Church was lost through apostasy)

Isaiah 29:13–14Acts 3:20–21 (The Apostasy and Restoration were foretold anciently)

D&C 1:17–23, 30 (Jesus Christ restored His Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith)

Apostasy,” “Restoration of the Gospel,” True to the Faith (2004), 13–14, 135–39

Robert D. Hales, “Preparations for the Restoration and the Second Coming: ‘My Hand Shall Be over Thee,’” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 88–92

Videos “A Search for Truth,” (available on DVD)

Video: “The Message of the Restoration”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Write the following definitions on the board: “Turning away from the true principles of the gospel” and “Returning something to its former state or condition.” Prepare four slips of paper with the following words or scripture references: Apostasy, Restoration, Isaiah 29:13, and Isaiah 29:14. Give each young woman a slip of paper, and ask her to match it with one of the definitions on the board.
  • Ask each young woman to write an answer to the question “Why was a restoration necessary?” Collect their answers, and discuss them as a class.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the young women understand why the Restoration of the gospel was necessary. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best in your class:

  • Write the words Apostasy and Restoration on the board. Ask the young women what these words mean (see True to the Faith, 13–14, 135–39). Write the scripture references listed in this outline, or others you may find, on the board. Invite the young women to read each one and decide whether it belongs with Apostasy or Restoration. Ask the young women how their lives might be different if the gospel had never been restored.
  • Divide the class in half and ask one group to teach about the Apostasy and the other group to teach about the Restoration. Give them time to prepare using True to the Faith and the scriptures suggested in this outline. You may want to make these assignments a few days before class.
  • Show pictures of events from the Restoration (for some examples, see Gospel Art Book, 90–95). Ask the young women to read “Restoration of the Gospel: Events of the Restoration,” found in True to the Faith (pages 136–38), and match the picture with the events. Invite each to share an event and what was restored. How are we blessed because of the restoration of these things?
  • Give each young woman the name of a person mentioned in Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “Preparations for the Restoration and the Second Coming: ‘My Hand Shall Be over Thee’” (such as William Tyndale, Johannes Gutenberg, and Martin Luther). Ask the young women to read or watch the talk and find out what the person did to prepare the world for the Restoration. Invite them to share what they found. How have the sacrifices these people made affected the lives of the young women today?
  • Read Joseph Smith—History 1:5–6 as a class. Ask the young women to name some false or incomplete doctrine people believe today (for example, that God does not have a body, that infants should be baptized, that we do not need prophets today, and so on). Ask them to share how the truths of the Restoration can help them overcome confusion. 

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand the need for 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?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Make a list of blessings they have received because the gospel was restored and share their lists with their families.
  • Write in their journals what they will do to help their families, now and in the future, receive the blessings of the restored gospel.