Consider inviting a few children to share something they learned this week, at home or in Primary, that they believe is true.
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Consider how the Lord’s words to David Whitmer can help the children understand how they can participate in God’s work.
David Whitmer Comes to Help Joseph Smith
By May 1829 the work of translating the Book of Mormon was almost complete. Although Joseph Smith had possessed the gold plates for about two years, he had only worked on the translation a total of about three months. Joseph
had been careful to protect the plates and had not shown them to anyone, but he became concerned about their safety in Harmony.
Oliver Cowdery, who was acting as Joseph’s scribe, wrote to his friend David Whitmer
, who did not know Joseph Smith, and asked David to bring him and the Prophet to Fayette, New York, where they would be safe and could finish the translation.
Before he could take his wagon to pick up Joseph and Oliver, however, David had to prepare his fields for the spring planting. When he went out to start plowing the soil in the morning, David discovered that someone had plowed part of the fields already. This person had done a very good job and left the plow in a furrow, ready for the work to continue. At the end of a day of plowing, David found he had accomplished in one day what normally would have taken two days to do. David’s father, Peter Whitmer Sr., was impressed with this miracle and said, “There must be an overruling hand in this, and I think you would better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is sown” (quoted in Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p. 148). Farmers in that area added plaster of paris to the soil to make it less acidic. The next day David went to the place he had left the plaster, near his sister’s house, but the plaster was gone. His sister told him that the day before, she and her children had seen three strangers spreading the plaster with great speed and skill. She had assumed they were men David had hired, but David knew they were helpers provided by the Lord.
David was grateful for this divine help, and he hurried off to Harmony. Joseph and Oliver came out to meet him as he neared the town, which surprised David because he had not told them when he was coming. Oliver told David that Joseph had seen David’s trip in a vision and thus knew when he would arrive. David had never met Joseph Smith before, but he soon became sure that Joseph was a true prophet, and they became good friends.
John Whitmer and Peter Whitmer Jr. were David Whitmer’s brothers. Like David, they wanted to know how they could help the Lord. He asked them to help “bring souls unto” Him.
Ask the children to describe something that is important or valuable to them (such as a toy, book, or game). Read Doctrine and Covenants 15:6 or 16:6, and ask the children to raise their hands when they hear what the Lord said is of “most worth.”
David Whitmer became one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and four of his brothers were among the Eight Witnesses. Like David and his brothers, each of us can “stand as a witness” of the truth (Doctrine and Covenants 14:8).
Invite the children to stand as a witness of something they learned in class today. Ask them to share how they did this in next week’s class.
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