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“Gaining a Testimony of
the Prophet Joseph Smith”

INDEX:

 

A simple story of a young girl and a fun puzzle game with questions help families come to understand and love the Prophet Joseph Smith. Make “Grove-y Leaves” out of gelatin and enjoy the activity pages. The music MP3, “I’ll Ask in Faith” is also included.

 

 

SONG

SCRIPTURE

VIDEO CLIP


LESSON SUMMARY

POINTS TO PONDER

 

STORY

TREAT
TIME

ACTIVITY

ACTIVITY PAGES

MUSIC MP3

 

VIDEO CLIP:
The Animated Stories
from the Book of Mormon:
The Joseph Smith Story

PRINCIPLES:
Testimony

 

 

PRINT THIS ENTIRE LESSON

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

   

SONG

 
 

Children’s Songbook #87 “The Sacred Grove”

If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/churchmusic

SCRIPTURE

Joseph Smith History 1:13–19

 

13. At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God. I at length came to the determination to “ask of God,” concluding that if he gave wisdom to them that lacked wisdom, and would give liberally, and not upbraid, I might venture.

14. So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.

15. After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

16. But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

 

17. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

18. My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

19. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

VIDEO CLIP

Watch chapter 12 from the Animated Complete Learning System, The Joseph Smith Story DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP

 

LESSON SUMMARY

 
 

For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:

 

Gaining a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith takes desire, work, faith and prayer.

When Joseph Smith was a boy, he had a desire to know which church was true. After studying the various religions, reading the scriptures, and praying with faith he received an answer. What a blessing it is that Joseph Smith prayed to Heavenly Father. Through study and prayer we can gain a testimony from Heavenly Father that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

 

A testimony is knowing something is true through revelation from the Holy Ghost.

This is the blessing that is given to all of us. “If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4). Moroni was talking about the Book of Mormon, but receiving revelation from the Holy Ghost works for all truth.

You cannot gain a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ without having a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “An acquaintance said to me one day: ‘I admire your church very much. I think I could accept everything about it—except Joseph Smith.’ To which I responded: ‘That statement is a contradiction. If you accept the revelation, you must accept the revelator.’”

Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, June 1995, © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc.  All rights reserved.

 

POINTS TO PONDER

 
 

Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph’s mother, knew the truth through revelation from the Holy Ghost:

“When I heard this experience from my son’s trembling lips, knowing he wasn’t one for wild imaginations, and also knowing him to be true of character, I searched his face, his eyes, and studied his countenance. There was no doubt that this incredible tale was the truth... My boy was the instrument through whom the Lord had chosen to bring His message... We now knew without doubt that God lived and He was personally involved in our lives and He was going to see that the truth was brought back to the earth!”

History of Joseph Smith, by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith, ed. Preston Nibley, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1979.

How can you know, as Lucy Mack Smith did, that Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith?

Read D&C 35:17: “And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph.”

 

Why is it important to know that Joseph Smith helped restore the gospel?

 

End with your testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith.

 

STORY

"My Own Testimony"

 

Father and Mother had counseled the girls to prepare spiritually for tomorrow’s activity. That night when Judy said her prayers she asked Heavenly Father to bless her with his spirit as she visited the Church sites. Sleep evaded her as she tossed and turned in the hotel bed. Just as she was finally drifting off to sleep she was awakened by a soft voice, “Have you done everything you can to prepare?”

Judy sat up and looked around the room. Katie was sleeping soundly in the bed next to her. The door to Father and Mother’s adjoining room was closed and the light was off.

“Was I dreaming?” she thought as she laid back down. Then the familiar scripture, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” filled her thoughts. Kneeling, Judy prayed, “Father, I’ve asked, but now tell me what I need to do to have thy spirit with me tomorrow...”

After contemplating for some time Judy had her answer. She quietly picked up her scriptures and began to read Joseph Smith–History. She read verse fourteen: “So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.” Judy knew what she would do.

The next morning the family loaded into the rental car and headed towards Palmyra New York. After visiting the Smith log home, where Judy got goose bumps while standing in the upstairs bedroom where the Angel Moroni had appeared to Joseph Smith Jr., they walked down the trail to the Sacred Grove.

It was a beautiful spring morning and they felt a sense of reverence as they entered the grove. In a quiet voice, Judy asked her mother if she could walk alone for a while. Mother normally wouldn’t allow the girls to go anywhere alone, but she had a comforting feeling inside and knew that Judy would be safe. “Promise you’ll be careful and that you won’t go too far,” she said, “and meet me back here in half an hour.”

Judy hugged her mother, “Thanks Mom. I will. I promise!”

Judy walked until she came to a tree with a marker at its base. The marker verified that the tree was over 200 years old and had been there when Joseph Smith was a boy. Judy knelt down under the magnificent tree and prayed aloud, “Heavenly Father, I have believed the account of Joseph Smith’s First Vision all my life.

I know Father that if it is true, then the Church is true and the Book of Mormon is true. Father, is it true?”

Judy’s heart felt like it was going to burst and tears of joy spilled down her cheeks as the spirit bore witness to her. She now had her own testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God!

 

by Margie Nauta Lee © 2006 Living Scriptures, Inc.

 

TREAT TIME

CLICK TO PRINT “Grove-y Leaves” recipe

Grove-y Leaves

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Chill Time: 2 hours

 

Directions:

  1. Dissolve unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of cold water. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl stir lime flavored gelatin into boiling water until completely dissolved (approximately 3 minutes).
  3. Add unflavored gelatin mixture.
  4. Cool for 5–10 minutes.
  5. Pour milk into a medium size bowl.
  6. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk for 1 minute.
  7. Quickly pour pudding mixture into gelatin mixture.
  8. Stir with wire whisk until well blended.
  9. Pour into 13 x 9 inch pan. (For thinner leaves use a 12 x 18 inch pan.)
  10. Refrigerate until firm (approximately 2 hours).

Ingredients

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • 1 Cup of cold water
  • 1 3/4 Cups of boiling water
  • 3 (3.4 oz.) Lime flavored gelatin
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 Cup of milk, evaporated milk, or half-n-half
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) Pistachio or vanilla flavored instant pudding

Treat Time:

Let children help cut into leaf shapes with cookie cutters or make your own leaf pattern and cut out with knife. (We purchased our cookie cutter for 60 cents at a local craft store.)

 

ACTIVITY

 

Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.

 

Activity:

Explain that there are many things we can learn and do to help us gain our own testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith.

Have the children take turns choosing a puzzle piece, reading the question on the back, then answering the question (with help if necessary), and placing the puzzle piece in its correct position.

 

What you need:

A copy of the of the “First Vision Puzzle” (artwork included with this lesson) scissors and glue.

Optional: card stock or poster board for added durability.

 

Preparation:

1. Print out the “First Vision Puzzle” game.

2. Line up the matching puzzle pieces on the picture side and the question side.

3. Glue picture and questions together.

Optional for added durability glue to front and back of poster board.

3. Allow to dry.

4. Cut out puzzle pieces along solid black lines.

5. Mix up puzzle pieces and place question side up on table.

 
 

ACTIVITY PAGES

 
       
 

 

 

   
         

MUSIC MP3

Listen to the song, I’ll Ask in Faith, from the Animated Stories from the Book of Mormong, The Joseph Smith Story DVD or CLICK FOR MP3

 

20-MINUTE LESSON

CLICK TO PRINT "20-MINUTE" LESSON NOTES

 

1. Watch chapter 12 from the Animated Complete Learning System, The Joseph Smith Story DVD. (Also available for viewing online.)

 

2. Can you gain a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ without having a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith?

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “An acquaintance said to me one day: ‘I admire your church very much. I think I could accept everything about it—except Joseph Smith.’ To which I responded: ‘That statement is a contradiction. If you accept the revelation, you must accept the revelator.’”

Gordon B. Hinckley, Liahona, June 1995, © 2006 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

3. Gaining a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith takes desire, work, faith and prayer.

When Joseph Smith was a boy, he had a desire to know which church was true. After studying the various religions, reading the scriptures, and praying with faith he received an answer. What a blessing it is that Joseph Smith prayed to Heavenly Father. Through study and prayer we can gain a testimony from Heavenly Father that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

 

 

4. Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph’s mother, knew the truth through revelation from the Holy Ghost:

“When I heard this experience from my son’s trembling lips, knowing he wasn’t one for wild imaginations, and also knowing him to be true of character, I searched his face, his eyes, and studied his countenance. There was no doubt that this incredible tale was the truth... My boy was the instrument through whom the Lord had chosen to bring His message... We now knew without doubt that God lived and He was personally involved in our lives and He was going to see that the truth was brought back to the earth!”

History of Joseph Smith, by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith, ed. Preston Nibley, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1979.

 

5. How can you know, as Lucy Mack Smith did, that Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith?

This is the blessing that is given to all of us. “If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4.) Moroni was talking about the Book of Mormon, but receiving revelation from the Holy Ghost works for all truth.

 

6. What are some of the things we can do and learn to gain our own testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith?

(See activity for ideas)

 

7. End with your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith.