Monday, December 10, 2012

Joseph Smith Saw and Testified of Jesus Christ Sharing time


Sharing time - Joseph Smith Saw and Testified of Jesus Christ
December 2012 Week 4
 
Many people give gifts to celebrate birthdays (Hold up a wrapped picture of “The First Vision”, Gospel Art kit 403 or http://www.mormonchannel.org/sites/default/files/PI-02-first-vision-01_0.jpg).  Whose birthday do we celebrate at Christmas time?  That’s right we celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  Another important person’s birthday is in December.  Let’s open the present and discover who it is! (Have a child open the present to reveal the picture).  December 23rd is the prophet Joseph Smith’s birthday.  (Taken from the 2012 Sharing time outline, “Choose the Right”, p. 25, http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/language-materials/08710_eng.pdf?lang=eng)

Joseph Smith at age 14 was confused about what church was true and he prayed to Heavenly Father for the answer.  He had a vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and was instructed that none of the churches on the earth were true and he was going to restore or bring back the true church.  “We are given important gifts because Joseph Smith saw and testified of Jesus Christ” (http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/language-materials/08710_eng.pdf?lang=eng).  We are going to discover some of these gifts today.  Let’s open the first two presents!  

PRESENT PREPARATION

Have 2 smaller boxes, 2 medium boxes, and 2 larger boxes, plus one other box – Shirt boxes work well.  Wrap the top of each box, so you can open the box without having to unwrap it (otherwise you would need another group of boxes for Senior Primary).  You can use different wrapping paper, but the boxes of the same size should look the same.  One set of presents (a small, medium and large box set) indicates “How the Gift Came to Earth”, and the other set indicates “How We Are Blessed Today Because of the Gift”.  The small present will be put inside the medium present, which will be put inside the large present.  (Thanks to my friend, Susan Jones for the wrap a box inside a box concept!).  Each present will also have a picture or item in it (in addition to containing the next smaller present).
 

PRESENT SET #1 – HOW THE GIFT CAME TO EARTH:

·         Small Present – Label it “Joseph Smith helped organize the true church”.  Put the picture the “Organization of the church” from Primary picture packet 5-20 or use https://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/images/gospel-library/magazine/en09jan40b_mays.jpg inside it.

·         Medium Present – Label it “The priesthood was restored through Joseph Smith”.  Put the picture of “Joseph Smith receiving the Aaronic Priesthood” from Primary packet 3-11 inside it, as well as the Small Present.

·         Large Present – Label it “Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon”.  Put the picture of the “Golden Plates” from Gospel Art Kit 325 or http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_6jyXS5hC13U/SbkhZdOfZTI/AAAAAAAAALc/5nEYzOlSLlg/s400/GoldPlatesPainting.jpg inside it, as well as the Medium Present.

PRESENT SET #2 – HOW WE ARE BLESSED TODAY BECAUSE OF THE GIFT:   

·         Small Present – Label it “We have the true church on the earth today!”  Put a picture of an “LDS meetinghousehttp://lifebeforelife.org/files/2011/05/chapel.jpg inside it.

·         Medium Present – Label it “We have the priesthood today!”  Put the picture of “Blessing the sick” from Primary picture packet 1-40 inside it, as well as the Small Present.

·         Large Present – Label it “We have the Book of Mormon today!”  Put a copy of The Book of Mormon inside it, as well as the Medium Present.

SETUP OF FINAL PRESENT:  The last present is labeled, “Because Joseph Smith saw and testified of Jesus Christ, we know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers.”  It contains the picture “Seeking Answers”, Friend April 2010, p.  16 http://www.lds.org/churchmagazines/FR_2010_04_00___09264_000_000.pdf

Large Presents – “Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon” & “We have the Book of Mormon today!”

(Have a Primary child open the “Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon” present and reveal a picture of the “Golden Plates” from the “Golden Plates” from Gospel Art Kit 325 or http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_6jyXS5hC13U/SbkhZdOfZTI/AAAAAAAAALc/5nEYzOlSLlg/s400/GoldPlatesPainting.jpg )

 “One night, 17-year-old Joseph Smith went to his bedroom and prayed.  The angel Moroni appeared to Joseph three times during the night and told him about a book of gold plates hidden in a hillside.  Joseph went to the Hill Cumorah the next day.  He… “found a stone box containing the gold plates and the Urim and Thummim—“seer” stones fastened to a breastplate.  Moroni appeared to Joseph and told him not to remove anything but to come back each year for the next few years.  Joseph returned every year and was taught by Moroni.  Four years later…Moroni told Joseph to take the plates and Urim and Thummim”.  Joseph used the Urim and Thummim to translate some of the plates.  At different times he asked… other people to write down what he said as he translated from the gold plates.  In 1830, Joseph Smith took the Book of Mormon to a printer in Palmyra, New York.”  (Taken from Friend, 2004 “Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon” http://www.lds.org/friend/2004/09/coming-forth-of-the-book-of-mormon?lang=eng&query  (Have a child put the picture of the “Golden Plates” on the left side of the chalkboard)

(Have a child open the “We have the Book of Mormon today!” present and reveal a Book of Mormon)

 “…Joseph Smith, the Prophet, the instrument whom God used to translate this record, testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, 4:461.)  The Book of Mormon was written for us today.  The authors were God-inspired and God-directed in their work.  It is a record compiled by inspired men for our blessing.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Liahona May 1988 https://www.lds.org/liahona/1988/05/the-book-of-mormon-is-the-word-of-god?lang=eng&query="the+most+correct+book)  In 2011 “…the Book of Mormon [had] been fully translated into [more than] 82 languages and partially translated in 25 more…  The 150 millionth copy of the Book of Mormon was recently printed, passing another milestone in the book’s 181-year history.” http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/book-mormon-150-million

(Have a child put the Book of Mormon under the picture of the “Golden plates” on the chalkboard.  Put the two large Present lids side by side on the table.)

Medium Presents – “The priesthood was restored through Joseph Smith” &
“We have the priesthood today!”
 

(Have a Primary child open the “The priesthood was restored through Joseph Smith” present and reveal a picture of “Joseph Smith receiving the Aaronic Priesthood” from Primary packet 3-11)

“When Joseph Smith was translating the Book of Mormon, he and his scribe Oliver Cowdery had a question.  They went into the woods to pray about it.  While they were praying, “a messenger from heaven descended…” This messenger was John the Baptist.  He laid his hands on Joseph’s and Oliver’s heads and gave them the Aaronic Priesthood.  John the Baptist then commanded Joseph and Oliver to baptize each other.  A short time later, the Apostles Peter, James, and John came to earth and ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Melchizedek Priesthood.  God’s priesthood was on the earth again.” http://www.lds.org/friend/2012/10/blessings-of-the-priesthood-are-available-to-all?lang=eng&query="priesthood"

(Have a child put the picture of the “Joseph receiving the Aaronic priesthood” next to the “Golden Plates” picture on the chalkboard)

(Have a child open the “We have the priesthood today!” present and reveal a picture of “Blessing the sick” from Primary picture packet 1-40)

 “Through the priesthood we can receive wonderful blessings and ordinances.  Such blessings include those given to newborn babies, to the sick, and to children by their fathers or other worthy priesthood holders.” The priesthood is on the earth today.  “Blessings of the priesthood are available to all!” http://www.lds.org/friend/2012/10/blessings-of-the-priesthood-are-available-to-all?lang=eng&query="priesthood"

(Have a child put the picture of the “Blessing the sick” under the picture of the “Joseph receiving the Aaronic Priesthood” picture on the chalkboard.  Put the two medium Present lids on top of the corresponding large Present lids.)

Small Presents – “Joseph Smith helped organize the true church” & “We have the true church on the earth today!”
 

(Have a Primary child open the “Joseph Smith” present and reveal a picture of the “Organization of the church” from Primary picture packet 5-20 or use https://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/images/gospel-library/magazine/en09jan40b_mays.jpg)

“After the Book of Mormon was translated and the priesthood authority restored, the Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to organize His Church on April 6, 1830.” (https://www.lds.org/new-era/2008/06/the-true-and-living-church?lang=eng&query="april+6+1830).  On that day, “…about 60 people met in the home of Peter Whitmer Sr.  The members sustained Joseph as the prophet and took the sacrament.  Though the Church started out with just a few members, Joseph later told some brethren in Kirtland about its destiny.  “It is only a little handful of priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.” (https://www.lds.org/friend/2009/01/the-publication-of-the-book-of-mormon?lang=eng&query="april+6+1830")

(Have a child put the picture of the “Organization of the Church” next to the “Joseph receiving the Aaronic Priesthood” picture on the chalkboard)

(Have a child open the “We have the true church on the earth today!” present and reveal a picture of an “LDS meetinghouse” from  http://lifebeforelife.org/files/2011/05/chapel.jpg )

There are now more than 14 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints_membership_history).  There are more members of the church living outside the United States than members living inside the United States.  There are over 140 temples around the world and the church continues to grow through missionary work.  (http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-stats )

(Have a child put the picture of an “LDS Meetinghouse” under the “Organization of the Church” picture on the chalkboard.  Put the two small Present lids on top of the corresponding medium Present lids.)
 

Final Present – Labeled “Because Joseph Smith saw and testified of Jesus Christ, we know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers.”
 

(Open the final present while reading the label)  Because Joseph Smith saw and testified of Jesus Christ, we know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers.  (Show the picture in the Present of Joseph Smith and the Boy from “Seeking Answers”, Friend April 2010, p. 16 http://www.lds.org/churchmagazines/FR_2010_04_00___09264_000_000.pdf  Point back and forth between Joseph Smith and the boy as you read)

Joseph sought his answer in a grove.
I kneel by my bed.
Joseph saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.
I listen to the whisper of the Holy Ghost.
Joseph’s prayer began the restoration of the gospel.
My prayer taught me Joseph’s answer was true.
We are two boys with two prayers.
Answered by the same listening Father.

CONCLUSION
I know that we can pray to Heavenly Father and ask if this church is true just like Joseph Smith did.  If we do, we will receive an answer that it is and we will also be able to testify of Jesus Christ.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks so much! This is a great detailed sharing time. I really appreciate your effort!

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  2. i really appreciate this. thank you so much.
    noelle
    heber city

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  3. You are a genius! Thank you! If I get blank stares with this one, I will know it's definitely NOT me! Week 2 Jan next please! ;)

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  4. Thank you for a great sharing time idea; I'm using it! =)

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  5. Thank you so much for all of your work, this is exactly what I wanted to do you saved me alot of time. Merry Christmas

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  6. This is perfect!!! Thank you thank you!!!

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  7. Thank you for all your work putting this lesson together! I revised it a little bit to fit my primary, but this really was an inspired lesson. Merry Christmas.

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  8. This is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing it and your talent.

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  9. This is a very powerful sharing time. I really appreciate this. I am humbled to have this and know it was inspired!

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  10. WOW! I am in total awe. I am SO NOT creative, so I really appreciate your attention to detail. You have just made my life easier this week. Your idea has been an answer to my prayers. I am so grateful you are inspired.

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  11. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this.

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  12. Thank you so much! As the secretary I don't often give the Sharing Time lesson and I feel overwhelmed and completely intimidated. I appreciate your creativity and generosity in sharing your ideas.

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