His complete candor in admitting human frailties and in declaring the loving discipline of God offers powerful proof of his honesty and probity [uprightness]. Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65. His statements stand on more solid footing because they were declarations against human nature and admissions against self-interest” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, 107; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, 77). If he were intending to fabricate a great falsehood or wanted to perpetrate a fraud or practice deceit, would he have been so truthful about his own humanness? Discuss guidelines students should follow in sharing their spiritual experiences with others. Invite students to imagine that they have been assigned to teach someone to do a task that is difficult and complex, such as building a house or performing surgery. Write the following five statements on the board: God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have appeared to mankind in modern times. Would your class benefit from reviewing the story in Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65? God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. You may want to review with students some of the stories about Joseph Smith’s family and his early life under “Joseph Smith—History 1:3. Next, have students read Joseph Smith—History 1:1–2 and tell Joseph’s reasons for writing this history. Tell students that the endnote that follows Joseph Smith—History is an additional witness to the early events of Church history from someone who was there. Joseph Smith was an American religious leader and the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement whose current followers include members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, and other Latter Day Saint denominations. Events leading up to the First Vision help explain the Apostasy and the loss of the true Church of Jesus Christ from the earth (see Joseph Smith—History 1:5–10; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3; 2 Timothy 3:1–5; 2 Peter 2:1–2; 1 Nephi 13:23–29; D&C 1:15–16). Not until arriving at the Whitmer residence in Fayette did Joseph translate the small plates of Nephi, which contain 1 Nephi through the Words of Mormon. Testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and invite students to share their testimonies of it. Ask: How would you respond to those who say that all churches are about the same, or that all churches are true and can lead us to heaven? Read what the Savior said about John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11 and ask students why they think John the Baptist should be on their lists of the greatest prophets. The text of Joseph Smith–History was excerpted from the first five chapters of the first volume of Joseph Smith's History of the Church (also known as Documentary History of the Church), edited by B. H. Roberts and published in its current format in 1902. Make sure students understand the importance of asking in faith and of accepting the will of the Lord when asking for any kind of inspiration or divine manifestation. In 1832 he looked back on this period and wrote: “‘I had been tempted of the advisary and saught the Plates to obtain riches and kept not the commandment that I should have an eye single to the glory of God therefore I was chastened and saught diligently to obtain the plates and obtained them not until I was twenty one years of age’ (D. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, p. 7). John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood to the earth, conferring it upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who then baptized and ordained each other (see Joseph Smith—History 1:68–72; see also Hebrews 5:4; D&C 13 section heading; 13:1; 27:8; 84:18, 26–28). In its current form, the narrative ends with Smith translating the Book of Mormon, shortly before the foundation of Smith's Church of Christ, though the original Times and Seasons serial it is based on continued the story until the mid-1830s. Ask if any of them have ever had such experiences or feelings. Those who act with the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood do so under the direction of those who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood (see Joseph Smith—History 1:72; see also D&C 107:13–20). Have students read Joseph Smith—History 1:21 and find another person Joseph told. Satan circulates false reports through “evil-disposed and designing” people to distort the true nature of the Church and its inspired leaders (Joseph Smith—History 1:1–2; see also Helaman 16:22; 3 Nephi 1:22; D&C 10:22–27, 28; Moses 4:4). How did Joseph Smith feel about these years? So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. Oliver’s testimony helps establish the truthfulness of the account of the Prophet Joseph Smith (see Joseph Smith—History endnote; see also Matthew 18:16; 2 Nephi 11:3; Ether 5:4; D&C 6:20–28; 17:1–9; 18:1–5; 24:10–12; 28:1). Have students list the major events of their lives in the past four years. His brother William affirmed, ‘We all had the most implicit confidence in what he said. The incidents described in Joseph Smith–History include the First Vision and the visitation of the angel Moroni. Point out what a great blessing it is to be able to describe one’s life in this way. In the preface of the first edition of the Pearl … Joseph Smith’s Family” in the student manual (pp. Tell students that Joseph naively believed that the minister would welcome his great news from heaven. 26). In response to that prayer, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him, initiating the Restoration of the Gospel . Have students study Isaiah 29:11–12 and 2 Nephi 27:9–10, 15–20 and tell how these scriptures relate to what happened in Joseph Smith—History 1:63–65. Write God, Satan, and Joseph Smith on the board. Invite students to mark Joseph Smith’s questions in Joseph Smith—History 1:10. “By the time we get to Nauvoo, Joseph Smith is teaching that the priesthood is also about bringing the power of … (Answers might include that Satan is a real being who seeks to stop the work of God; God appears to man; man is made in the literal image of God; Jesus is a personage, separate and distinct from Heavenly Father; there was an apostasy of the Church that Jesus Christ established during His mortal ministry; the true Church was not on the earth in 1820; the Lord keeps the promise found in James 1:5; direct revelation from the heavens has not ceased.) Review with students Joseph Smith—History 1:36–41. … Whenever the Lord set His hand to perform any work, those powers [of the devil] labored to overthrow it” (in Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses Delivered by President Wilford Woodruff, His Two Counselors, the Twelve Apostles, and Others, 5 vols. Ask: What do all of these scriptures have in common? Read Joseph Smith—History 1:27–29 and discuss the habits Joseph Smith said he “fell into” during these years. Give students a telephone book and have them look up and list the names of several churches in your area. Have students read Genesis 39:9; Revelation 2:14–15, 20–23; and Doctrine and Covenants 59:21 looking for what offends God. His Name Should Be Had for … Share this quotation from President Wilford Woodruff: “There are two powers on the earth and in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth—the power of God and the power of the devil. Joseph Smith’s Journal, Church History Library. Joseph Smith—History 1:33–35. Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Foreordained of God. Tell students that the angel Moroni had such an assignment with young Joseph Smith. Invite students to read this testimony of Oliver Cowdery (or you may want to read it together as a class). He worked on the family farm in Vermont and later in western New York. 53–54). Discuss possible reasons why the Lord would want Joseph to keep a record. Listen and follow along as I read the D&C aloud one section at a time. A revised edition appeared in 1971, and on the … Joseph returned the plates to the angel Moroni when his work with them was completed (see Joseph Smith—History 1:59–61; see also Jacob 1:3; Enos 1:15–16; Alma 37:4, 14; Mormon 5:12; 8:14–16; D&C 42:56). Any person who sincerely studies, ponders, and prays about the truthfulness of the accounts given by the Prophet Joseph Smith may know by the power of the Holy Ghost that they are true (see 2 Nephi 32:3–5; Alma 5:45–47; Moroni 10:3–5). Joseph shared and documented the First Vision, as it came to be known, on multiple occasions. Book of Mormon Video presentation 1, “For Our Day” (11:38), can be used to teach the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the influence this sacred book has had in the lives of Latter-day Saint youth around the world (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions). Referring to Joseph Smith—History 1:25, President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the First Presidency, commented: “There is no lack of certitude in that statement. BYU Professor, Historian, and Editor, Dr. Steven Harper, takes us on a deep-dive into Joseph Smith History. In 1829 and 1830, Joseph Smith’s understanding of the priesthood as shown in the Doctrine and Covenants was about Church administration and priesthood authority and offices, McBride continued. The First Vision: Chiasmus in “Joseph Smith—History” | Latter-day … Read the following to students: “Eventually [Joseph] confided his theophany [vision of God] to other family members. ‘He will believe every word you say to him,’ said the angel” (The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, ed. Read Joseph Smith—History 1:49–50 and tell students that the history written by Lucy Mack Smith (Joseph’s mother) states: “The messenger whom he had seen the night before came to him again and said, ‘Why did you not tell your father what I told you?’ Joseph said he was afraid his father would not believe him. Invite students to tell about times they have told the story of the First Vision to people who are not members of the Church. Read or sing “The Morning Breaks” (Hymns, no. He had just begun the book of Mosiah when Oliver Cowdery was sent to him in early April of 1829. Scot. Have students search Joseph Smith—History 1:22–23, 27 for who else eventually heard about Joseph’s vision, and how. (They had not, because it is only given by Melchizedek Priesthood holders when confirming people as members of the Church.) tells of the Prophet’s experiences from his early years through May 1829. Read Joseph Smith—History 1:42, 46 and share this quotation from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “When the young prophet first went to Cumorah, in 1823, the angel refused to give him the plates containing the Book of Mormon, saying it was not yet time (Joseph Smith—History 1:53). Disclaimer. They are to be guarded with care and shared only when the Spirit itself prompts you to use them to the blessing of others” (“The Candle of the Lord,” Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53; see also Matthew 7:6; D&C 6:12; 10:37; 41:6). Ask: In Joseph Smith—History 1:25, what did Joseph Smith say would have been offensive to God? The First Vision. Franklin D. Richards, an early apostle, extracted this part of Joseph Smith's history from the much longer History of the Church printed in the times and seasons (T&S 3:726), and published the extract in 1851. Satan uses ridicule, false doctrine, lies, and prejudice to persecute the humble followers of God (see Joseph Smith—History 1:21–25; see also Isaiah 32:6–7; 1 Timothy 4:1–2; 3 Nephi 1:6, 22; D&C 109:29–30). (1 Nephi 21:3).” KnoWhy 24 (February 2, 2016). Ask: How does Satan tempt people? (If any who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood do not raise their hands, ask them why they did not; and if any Melchizedek Priesthood holders do raise their hands, ask them why. During the four years he had to wait before receiving the plates, young Joseph struggled with his motives. Show students pictures of temples that have a statue of the angel Moroni on top, and invite them to tell what they know about Moroni’s mortal and postmortal life. Regular, repeated, inspired instruction and interviews regarding how to fulfill our callings are an important part of conducting the affairs of the kingdom of God. Elder Marvin J. Ashton said: “Joseph Smith placed commitment ahead of life itself. From the time of his first vision until his martyrdom, he was a victim of bitter persecution, reviling, and ridicule, but never did he falter” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 62). He wrote or assigned scribes to write four different accounts of the vision. Father and Mother believed him, why should not the children?’ [in J. W. Peterson, “Another Testimony, Statement of William Smith, Concerning Joseph the Prophet,” Deseret Evening News, 20 Jan. 1894, p. 11]” (in Church History in the Fulness of Times [Religion 341–43 student manual, 1993], 34). 2, Special Issue on the First Vision, 2020 “Hear Him,” Saints, Volume 1: The Standard of Truth Primary Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision of Deity, Joseph Smith Papers … Did you know that the story of the First Vision is the second greatest story ever told? (Answers might include that they are all prophecies of the last days, soon to be fulfilled; they all predict the Restoration of the gospel; and they all speak of Christ.). Invite students who would like to share what they thought and felt when they first heard about the First Vision to do so. Had they received the gift of the Holy Ghost? Ask: How did Joseph Smith demonstrate these traits in his life? [1987–92], 5:198). 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