January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65: “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers”

“January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65: ‘The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers,’” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)

“January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65,” Come, Follow Me—For Primary: 2021

Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith

He Called Me by Name, by Michael Malm

January 11–17

Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65

“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers”

Begin your preparation by reading Doctrine and Covenants 2 and Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65. The ideas in this outline can help you teach the truths in these passages.

Record Your Impressions

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Invite Sharing

You could begin class by asking the children to share what they know about the angel Moroni’s visit to Joseph Smith.

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Teach the Doctrine: Younger Children

Joseph Smith—History 1:27–54

Heavenly Father called Joseph Smith to help Him do His work.

The children’s appreciation for the Prophet Joseph Smith can deepen as they learn about the work God called him to do.

Possible Activities

  • Display a picture of Moroni visiting Joseph Smith (see Gospel Art Book, no. 91). Ask the children to point out things they notice in the picture. Summarize the account of Moroni’s visits to Joseph. As needed, refer to Joseph Smith—History 1:27–54 and “Chapter 3: The Angel Moroni and the Gold Plates” (Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 13–17). Invite the children to pretend to be Joseph Smith at various points in the story by folding their arms like they are praying, pretending to climb the Hill Cumorah, and so on.

  • Read Joseph Smith—History 1:33 aloud, and ask the children to stand when they hear the phrase “God had a work for me to do.” What did God want Joseph to do? What does He ask us to do? Let the children draw pictures of things God wants them to do, such as praying, serving, or reading the scriptures.

Doctrine and Covenants 2

Elijah gave Joseph Smith power to seal families together.

Learning about the sealing power restored through Joseph Smith could help the children appreciate the blessings of eternal families.

Possible Activities

  • Help the children say the name “Elijah” a few times. Ask them to listen for this name as you read Doctrine and Covenants 2:1. Explain that these are Moroni’s words to Joseph Smith, and they teach that Elijah would come to restore priesthood authority. Elijah later did appear to Joseph in the Kirtland Temple and gave the Prophet the power to seal families together.

  • Ask the children to tell you something they love about their families. Display a picture of a family next to a temple—your own family, if possible (or see Gospel Art Book, no. 120). Testify that Heavenly Father wants families to be together forever, and this is one reason He gave us temples.

  • Sing together “Families Can Be Together Forever” (Children’s Songbook, 188). What does this song say we can do to be with our families forever?

Doctrine and Covenants 2

Learning about my ancestors can bring me joy.

Even small children can become excited about and feel the joy of family history.

Possible Activities

  • Invite a parent of one of the children to come to class and share a story about an ancestor (and display a picture if available). Talk about the joy you feel when you learn about your family history.

  • Give each child a paper heart. Help them write their name and “I promise to remember my ancestors” on it. Read Doctrine and Covenants 2:2, and explain that Elijah came to turn our hearts to our ancestors.

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Teach the Doctrine: Older Children

Joseph Smith—History 1:28–29

I can pray to be forgiven.

The children you teach may sometimes feel “condemned for [their] weakness and imperfections” (Joseph Smith—History 1:29) as Joseph Smith did. Help them learn that they can turn to Heavenly Father for forgiveness.

Possible Activities

  • Read with the children Joseph Smith—History 1:29. How did Joseph Smith feel about his mistakes? What did he do about them? What can we learn from Joseph’s example that can help us when we make mistakes? Ask the children how it makes them feel to know that Joseph was called by God even though he was not perfect.

  • Why is it important to think about our “standing before [God]”? (Joseph Smith—History 1:29). Tell the children what you do when you wonder about where you stand with God.

Joseph Smith—History 1:30–54

Joseph Smith was called by God to do an important work.

Studying Moroni’s message to Joseph Smith can help the children strengthen their testimonies about Joseph’s sacred calling.

Possible Activities

  • Invite the children to act out or draw pictures of events from Joseph Smith—History 1:30–54, such as Moroni appearing to Joseph (verses 30–47), Joseph talking to his father (verses 48–50), and Joseph finding the plates (verses 51–54). What do we learn from this account about the work Joseph was called to do?

  • Read with the children Joseph Smith—History 1:33–35, and ask them to listen for what Moroni wanted Joseph to know about the work Joseph was called to do. How have we been blessed because Joseph Smith fulfilled his work as translator of the Book of Mormon? Invite the children to read the Book of Mormon regularly.

Doctrine and Covenants 2

Heavenly Father wants families to be sealed in the temple.

Moroni told Joseph Smith that Elijah would come to “reveal … the Priesthood” (verse 1). This refers to the sealing power of the priesthood that allows families to be united eternally and enables us to receive ordinances for our ancestors in the temple.

Possible Activities

  • Ask the children to read the prophecy in Doctrine and Covenants 2:1. Ask them to look for who the Lord would send in the last days and what this person would reveal. Display a picture of Elijah in the Kirtland Temple (see Gospel Art Book, no. 95), and talk about how this prophecy was fulfilled 13 years after Moroni’s visit (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–15).

  • Explain that Elijah restored priesthood keys that allow families to be sealed together eternally. Show some objects that could help the children understand what it means to seal something, such as a can of food or a plastic storage bag with a zipper lock. How do these objects help us understand what it means for a family to be sealed?

  • Display a picture of a temple, and help the children name some of the things we do in temples. Explain that baptisms for the dead, eternal marriage, and sealing families in the temple are all possible because of the priesthood keys Elijah restored.

  • Invite a young woman or young man in the ward to share an experience in which he or she found an ancestor’s name and was baptized for that ancestor in the temple.

    Palmyra New York Temple

    Families are sealed in the temple by the power restored through Elijah.

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Encourage Learning at Home

Encourage the children to ask their parents to tell them a story about one of their ancestors or help them prepare an ancestor’s favorite meal and eat it together.

Improving Our Teaching

Help young children learn from the scriptures. To help young children learn from the scriptures, focus on a single verse or even just a key phrase. You might invite the children to stand up or raise their hands when they hear that word or phrase. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 21.)