To give class members an opportunity to talk about what they learned in their personal and family scripture study, you could write on the board Doctrine and Covenants 10 and Doctrine and Covenants 11. A few class members could write, under either heading, the number of a verse where they found an important truth. Select a few of the verses, and invite class members to share the truths they found there.
*I have been in the Primary for 10+ years, but truth be told I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else:) I have taught this lesson many time and each time I do, I go through inner turmoil. “Should I or Shouldn’t I show this video.” After much prayer some years the answer is “Yes” and some years the answer is “No”. This is where I am turning the turmoil to you. You know the needs of your Primary class and if they would respond positively to it. The last time I used it was 4 years ago and I asked a former primary child about it today and he remembered all about the 116 lost pages.
It says in the manual: “Humbly seek the Spirit through prayer. The Lord has said, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10). If we are humble we will be blessed to know how the Lord wants us to teach his children.”https://www.lds.org/manual/primary-5-doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history/helps-for-the-teacher?lang=eng
Doctrine and Covenants 10 can help class members recognize and resist Satan’s efforts to destroy their faith. To give some historical context for this section, you might invite a class member to share the account of Martin Harris losing 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation (see the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 3
. As Joseph read out loud from the plates, Martin Harris wrote down the words Joseph read. After two months of work, Joseph had translated the first part of the plates. The translation was written on 116 pages of paper.
translated pages back to Palmyra with him. Martin’s wife and friends had criticized him for leaving his farm to help Joseph, and Martin wanted to show them the pages so they would believe he was doing the Lord’s work.
Joseph asked the Lord for permission to let Martin take the translated pages, but the Lord said “no.” Martin asked Joseph to ask the Lord a
third time. This time the Lord said Martin could take the translation if he agreed to show it only to his wife and certain other members of his family. Martin promised that he would not show the pages to anyone else. He took the 116 pages of translation to his home in Palmyra.
Why did Martin Harris persist in asking Joseph Smith to seek permission when he had already been told “no”? How did Joseph fear man more than God?(D&C 3:7.) Why are we sometimes afraid of what others might think of us if we obey Heavenly Father’s commandments?
A few days after Martin left, Emma Smith gave birth to a baby boy who lived only a few hours. Emma was very sick and almost died. For two weeks Joseph
stayed by Emma’s side and helped care for her. When Emma became stronger, Joseph became concerned about Martin Harris, who had been gone with the translated pages for three weeks. Emma encouraged Joseph to go to Palmyra to find Martin.
Joseph went to his parents’ home in Palmyra and sent a message for Martin to meet him. When Martin arrived, he cried out, “Oh, I have lost my soul! I have lost my soul!” Joseph jumped up from where he was sitting and exclaimed, “Martin, have you lost that manuscript? Have you broken your oath, and brought down condemnation upon my head as well as your own?” (quoted in Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p. 128). Martin admitted that he had broken his promise and had shown the translated pages to other people. The 116 pages had been lost or stolen.
Joseph exclaimed, “All is lost! all is lost! What shall I do? I have sinned—it is I who tempted the wrath of God. I should have been satisfied with the first answer which I received from the Lord; for he told me that it was not safe to let the writing go out of my possession” (quoted in Smith, p. 128).
Joseph and Martin suffered greatly because of the loss of the translation. Joseph returned to Harmony, where he prayed for forgiveness. The angel Moroni
took the gold plates and the Urim and Thummim for a while. Later, because of Joseph’s sincere repentance, the Lord forgave Joseph, and Moroni returned the plates and the Urim and Thummim. During this time Joseph received the revelations found in Doctrine and Covenants 3 and 10.
The Lord told Joseph that Satan had influenced some wicked people to take the pages. These people intended to change the words so people would not believe the Book of Mormon. Joseph was told not to retranslate the first portion of the plates. Because the Lord knows all things, he knew that this incident would happen. He had therefore commanded the ancient prophet Mormon to include a similar account of what was included in the 116 pages in another part of the gold plates. Joseph translated this part instead of retranslating the lost part. Joseph learned that Satan and wicked people could not stop Heavenly Father’s work.
The Lord’s “wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.”
When we feel discouraged about our sins, we can find hope in knowing how the Lord compensated for the sin that Joseph Smith and Martin Harris committed when they disobeyed the Lord and lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation. Consider how you can help class members find hope
. Such questions might include “What does it mean to cleave unto Christ with all of your heart?” (verse 19) or “How do we obtain God’s word?” (verse 21). Class members could put their questions at the top of a piece of paper and pass their papers around the room, adding thoughts and possible answers to each other’s questions. (It might help to divide the class into small groups first.) Class members could then share with the class some of the insights that others wrote about their question.
If so, you might begin a discussion by inviting them to imagine that they were asked to write some truths about how to receive personal revelation. What would they include from Doctrine and Covenants 11:8–26? For example, what would they write about preparing to receive guidance for our lives and answers to our questions? What would they say about how to recognize answers when they come? Invite class members to ponder how they will apply what they have learned as they strive to seek personal revelation.
As part of this activity, you could share this statement from Sister Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society General President
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