At the beginning of the meeting, repeat together the Young Women Theme or the Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Theme. Then, in addition to counseling together about specific class or quorum business, you may want to discuss impressions and themes from general conference. The following questions may help.
What themes or messages stood out to us? What strengthened our faith in Jesus Christ?
What strengthened our testimonies of living prophets? What did we feel prompted to do because of what we learned or felt?
What do we need to do as a class or quorum to remember and act on counsel we heard in general conference?
At the end of the lesson, as appropriate, do the following:
Testify of the principles taught.
Remind quorum or class members about the plans and invitations made during the meeting.
Just months after the restored Church was organized on April 6, 1830, in Fayette, New York, the Lord began calling missionaries to gather the “elect from the four quarters of the earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 33:6). What started as the efforts of a handful of new converts in a limited geographical area has grown into an army of missionaries proclaiming the gospel throughout the world. But missionary work isn’t limited to those serving full-time missions. The Lord wants each of us to invite those around us to come unto Him.
What experiences have you had with inviting others to learn about the Savior’s gospel? What can you do to inspire quorum or class members to fulfill their duty to bring souls to Jesus Christ? As you prepare to teach, consider reviewing “What Is My Purpose as a Missionary?” in Preach My Gospel (, 1–16) and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s message “Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 15–18).
*As you talk about each person hold up the domino with their picture on it. When you are finished talking about them place them on end just far enough apart so that if one is knocked down, it will knock down the next one.
Samuel Smith, the First Missionary
was one of Joseph Smith’s younger brothers. He was the first person to be baptized after Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and was one of the six original members of the Church. He was also one of the Eight Witnesses. Soon after the Church was organized, Samuel Smith became the first full-time traveling missionary. Samuel, who was twenty-two years old, took several copies of the Book of Mormon and started out on foot to preach the gospel.
He walked twenty-five miles the first day and stopped at many houses to teach the people about the Church. But the people treated him unkindly and did not listen to him. When night came he stopped at an inn and tried to sell a book to the innkeeper. When the man heard that the Book of Mormon was translated from gold plates, he shouted, “You liar! Get out of my house” (quoted in Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith, p. 169). Sad and discouraged, Samuel spent the night sleeping on the ground under a tree.
The next day Samuel came to the house of John P. Greene
, a minister in another church. Mr. Greene did not want to buy a book, but he said he would try to find someone who did. Samuel came back to Mr. Greene’s house a few weeks later and found that no books had been sold. But the Spirit told him to give a book to Rhoda Greene
, John’s wife, and ask her to pray to find out if the book was true. Mr. and Mrs. Greene read the Book of Mormon and were converted. Earlier Samuel had sold a book to Rhoda Greene’s brother, Phineas Young
. He read it and believed it was true, and he gave his copy to his younger brother, Brigham Young
, who also read and believed it. Brigham Young then passed the book on, and eventually it reached Heber C. Kimball
. Within two years these people and their families all became members of the Church, thanks to the Book of Mormon and the missionary efforts of Samuel Smith (see enrichment activity 4). Later, these men became leaders in the Church.
Hyrum Smith Meets Parley P. Pratt
Doctrine and Covenants 11 contains a revelation that was given through Joseph Smith to his brother Hyrum. In this revelation Hyrum was told to seek wisdom, teach people to repent, and study the gospel (see D&C 11:7, 9, 20–22).
One evening as Hyrum Smith
was herding his cows home, a stranger approached him and asked where he might find Joseph Smith, the translator of the Book of Mormon. Hyrum told the man that Joseph lived about a hundred miles away but he was his brother. He invited the man to come in. The man’s name was Parley P. Pratt
, and he was a preacher for another church. He told Hyrum that he had obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon and had stayed up all night reading it. Parley had read the Book of Mormon completely in one week and knew it was true, and he wanted to learn more about the Church. Hyrum spent all night teaching Parley the gospel and bearing his testimony. A few days later Parley and Hyrum walked twenty-five miles to have Oliver Cowdery baptize Parley. Parley then went to visit relatives. Soon his brother, Orson Pratt
, was baptized. Both Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt later became leaders in the Church.
Hyrum Smith was not serving an official mission when he taught Parley P. Pratt the gospel. How can you share the gospel with people you know right now? (Answers may include telling people about the Church, inviting people to Church meetings, and setting a good example through righteous behavior.)
The Mission to the American Indians
About six months after the Church was organized, four men—Oliver Cowdery
, Parley P. Pratt
, Peter Whitmer Jr.
and Ziba Peterson
—were called to preach the gospel to the American Indians living near the Missouri border (see D&C 32). These missionaries walked more than 1,500 miles during their missions.
They first visited the Indians on the Cattaraugus Reservation near Buffalo, New York. Then they traveled through the state of Ohio, where Parley P. Pratt had been a preacher. The men stopped to visit Sidney Rigdon
, another preacher Parley knew in Kirtland, Ohio. Parley told Sidney about the gospel, and Sidney read the Book of Mormon and was converted to the Church. He and Parley Pratt taught the gospel to his followers and were able to baptize almost the entire congregation. The branch in Kirtland soon became one of the strongest branches of the Church and later became the Church headquarters.
The missionaries left Kirtland in the middle of winter and traveled through snow and ice toward other Indian tribes. They were joined by Frederick G. Williams
, a new convert from Kirtland.
The missionaries reached Independence, Missouri, in February. Three of them traveled farther west to visit the Delaware Indians. The leader of these Indians, Chief Anderson
, called a meeting of all the chiefs of his people. Oliver Cowdery told the chiefs about the Book of Mormon. Chief Anderson was thankful to the missionaries for coming so far to tell them about the book. He wanted his people to hear about this book that was a record of their ancestors, the Lamanites. But missionaries of other churches were jealous and asked the United States government to keep the Latter-day Saint missionaries out of the Indian territory. The elders were soon forced to leave Chief Anderson’s people. They returned to Independence and taught white settlers in that area.
These five missionaries opened the way for the Church to move westward. The area around Independence, Missouri, soon became another gathering place for members of the Church.
Set up a row of dominoes (or similar items such as thin blocks of wood, slender boxes, or small books). Place them on end just far enough apart so that if one is knocked down, it will knock down the next one. As you knock the first domino down, ask the children to observe the chain reaction. Call attention to the effect of one domino upon all the others. Explain that we too may affect the lives of others in a chain reaction. By sharing the gospel with even one person, we sometimes touch the lives of many others. (You may want to remind the children of how Samuel Smith sold a Book of Mormon to Phineas Young, who gave it to his brother Brigham, who passed it on yet again. Samuel Smith’s small action of selling one Book of Mormon affected many people.).
Come unto Christ
Do those you teach understand what it means to come unto Christ? You could ask them to share their thoughts. If it would be helpful, you could share this explanation:
“To come to the Savior, people must have faith in Him unto repentance—making the necessary changes to bring their life into agreement with His teaching” (Preach My Gospel, 2). Quorum or class members could also read scriptures that include phrases like “come unto me” or “come unto Christ” to help answer this question
Why do we want people to come unto Christ?
What are some simple things we can do to help them?
Quorum or class members could make plans to invite someone they know to come closer to Christ.
Learning about how others have shared the gospel is a great way to inspire those you teach. You could show one or more of the videos found under “Supporting Resources” or invite quorum or class members to read the counsel and examples found in Sister Cristina B. Franco’s message “Finding Joy in Sharing the Gospel”
(Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 83–86).
What do we learn from these examples?
Discuss together what your quorum or class could do to invite others to come unto Christ.
When it comes to sharing the gospel, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said that some of us may “feel uncertain about how to do it. Or we might feel timid about going outside our comfort zone” (“Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 16). If quorum or class members feel this way, the five simple suggestions Elder Uchtdorf gave in his message could help them. You could invite each class member to read about one of his suggestions and share what they learned.
Encourage quorum or class members to ponder and record what they will do to act on the impressions they received today. How does today’s lesson relate to personal goals they have made? If they would like, quorum or class members could share their ideas.
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