Restoration of the Priesthood and the Translation of the Book of Mormon
The past couple of weeks we have talked about the loss of many of God’s truths on the earth. We’ve done a great job remembering many of those things like baptism by immersion, the priesthood, missionary work and the gift of the Holy Ghost to name a few. Last week we talked about when Joseph Smith had his first vision.
Which church did Heavenly Father tell him he should join?
If he wasn’t supposed to join any of the churches, what was he supposed to do?
Joseph Smith was patient and he waited for further instruction from Heavenly Father. Eventually he was shown the Golden Plates. But he wasn’t allowed to take them. For 4 years he had to return each year to see them and receive more instruction. Finally he was given the plates.
There was a problem though. The plates were not in English!!
What is English?
I’d like to read you something.
Read the first line of the introduction of the Book of Mormon in Russian…
Книга Мормона — это собрание Священных Писаний, которое можно сравнить с Библией. Это летопись дел Бога с древними жителями Америки, и она содержит, как и Библия, полноту Вечного Евангелия.
Even those in this room who speak Russian may not have understood my poor Russian. (A sure sign I need to practice more).
Who could tell me exactly what I just read?
Here is what I said, now in a language we will all understand…The Book of Mormon is a volume of Holy Scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel.
For Joseph Smith, I’m sure he felt very similar to the way you just felt listening to me. Joseph needed some very important things to be able to translate the Golden Plates.
Hand out a puzzle piece to each class and have them discuss the item on the back. Have one representative come up and share with the group what the item is and why it was important and put the puzzle piece on the board. (The Puzzle should say “Joseph Smith Translated the Book of Mormon and restored gospel truths”)
(For junior primary have a short description of the item. For senior primary just list the item and have them discuss or locate in the Joseph Smith History why it is important).
- Joseph Smith – a young boy who had to ask the question in order to be given the answer
- Urim and Thummim – An ancient instrument or tool prepared by God and used by Joseph Smith to aid in the translation of the Book of Mormon. God provided a Urim and Thummim to His prophets in ancient times
- Angel Moroni – God sent him to talk to Joseph and show him the Golden Plates
- Golden plates – The scriptures that were written by prophets of old that were hidden from the earth until it was the right time to have them uncovered
- Power of God – Only through His power could the Book of Mormon be located
- Oliver Cowdery – the man that was called upon to help Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon
Not only did Joseph Smith translate the Book of Mormon but through him the power to act in God’s name was also restored.
I want to help you understand that there are many powers but only one power of God. For example, here is a car key. Out in the parking lot there are dozens of cars but this key only opens one of them.
The Priesthood is just like the car. There is only one key to the priesthood and that key was restored to Joseph Smith
While Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon, he learned about baptism for the remission of sins. He wanted to know more about that so he and Oliver Cowdery went into the woods to pray. A messenger came and blessed them and gave them the Aaronic Priesthood.
Who was that messenger? John the Baptist
What can you do with the Aaronic Priesthood? Bless the sacrament. Pass the sacrament. Baptism.
Baptism is what they went to the woods to pray about and John the Baptist gave them that power. He also told them to do something. Based on who gave them the priesthood and what you can do with the Aaronic priesthood. What were they asked to do?
Joseph Smith baptized Oliver Cowdery and then Oliver baptized Joseph.
They were told they needed to wait for a time before they would be given the next priesthood power.
The other one is called the Melchizedek. It restored the power to bless the sick and also give the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The Melchizedek Priesthood was given to Joseph Smith not by one messenger like the Aaronic but by three. They were Peter, James and John.
Who were Peter, James and John? They were given the priesthood by Jesus Christ and then in turn gave it to Joseph Smith.
In closing I would like to say that I am grateful for each of the prayers that Joseph Smith was thoughtful enough to say. That he was prompted by the Spirit and listened so that today we can have the truths restored that we are in need of. I know that John the Baptist blessed him with the Aaronic Priesthood and that Peter, James and John returned to give him the Melchizedek Priesthood when he was ready. I know that God lives and loves us and wants us to know all of His truths.
Link to the puzzle and the words to put on the back