Teaching the children about how Joseph Smith sought answers to his questions can help them know that Heavenly Father will answer them when they seek His guidance. Consider sharing experiences when you have received answers from Him.
- Prepare the scroll. Tape or secure each end of the paper to a wooden stick such as a dowel, pencil, or ruler, or to a cardboard tube such as the one from the center of a roll of paper towels. Roll the paper up on one of the sticks or tubes so that only the first sentence shows.
- Pencil for each child
- Copy of 8th Article of Faith worksheet
Have the children stand in a line. Whisper the two- or three-sentence message (A brother and sister were skipping down the street. The brother chased after a butterfly and fell down. His sister helped him up and they ran home.) into the ear of the first child in line. Have each child in turn whisper the message to the next child. Instruct each child to say the message only once. Continue until the message reaches the last child in line. Ask the last child to repeat the message aloud. Compare the message the last child received with the original message to see how the message changed.
How had the message changed by the time it reached the end of the line? What was left out? What was added?
Why do you think the message changed as it passed from person to person?
Just as the message changed as it was passed from person to person, over many years some of the scriptures in the Bible had been changed as people translated the Bible and made copies of it by hand. Mistakes were made: some incorrect teachings had been added to the Bible, and some important teachings had been left out. The Lord commanded Joseph Smith to prepare a translation of the Bible that would restore the correct teachings.
8th Article of Faith
Help the children memorize the eighth article of faith. Discuss with the children why we believe the Bible “as far as it is translated correctly.”
Scriptural and Historical Accounts
Prepare the scroll to be used throughout the lesson. Roll the paper up on one of the sticks or tubes so that only the first sentence shows.
Show the children the scroll. Ancient writings were often kept on scrolls. Roll the paper from one stick or tube to the other as you teach the lesson, revealing each sentence as you discuss the appropriate information.
Joseph Smith Is Commanded to Translate the Bible
While translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith
learned that over the years many “plain and most precious” parts of the Bible had been taken away or lost (see 1 Nephi 13:26). Unroll Scroll to: The Bible is a sacred book that contains the word of God, but mistakes were made as it was copied and translated into different languages. Words were left out, changed, or added, changing the meaning of some of the scriptures. Unroll Scroll to: People made mistakes as they copied and translated the Bible. During the apostasy following Jesus Christ’s death, there were no prophets or apostles to make sure the scriptures were copied and translated correctly. Joseph Smith was instructed to prepare a new translation of the Bible that would restore and correct these plain and precious parts.
Unroll Scroll to: Joseph Smith was commanded to correct the errors in the Bible.
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon continued to work on making inspired corrections to the Bible. Jesus revealed to Joseph Smith the corrections that should be made, and Sidney Rigdon wrote them down (see chapter 16).
Unroll Scroll to: As Joseph studied the scriptures, his understanding of the gospel grew.
Joseph Smith didn’t understand some parts of the Bible. He prayed for understanding, and the Lord answered. Many of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants came as answers to questions the Prophet asked the Lord while translating the Bible (see, for example, Doctrine and Covenants 76, 77, and 113).
In section 78, the Lord gave specific instructions to several Church leaders that would help them “advance the cause” of the Lord (verse 4). Help the children consider what their roles might be in advancing the Lord’s cause.
Ask the children to read Doctrine and Covenants 78:4. What is the “cause” we “espoused” (accepted or chose to support) when we were baptized? Encourage them to look in scripture passages like these for possible answers: Mosiah 18:8–10; Doctrine and Covenants 20:37; Moses 1:39.
The Lord often blesses us more if we are grateful for what He has already given us. How can you help the children you teach be grateful for their blessings?
Consider contacting the parents of the children you teach and suggesting a question they could ask their children about something they learned in class.
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