Jul 5, 2014

The Restoration of the Gospel (FHE)

I know I'm getting this up late, but we did do Family Home Evening on Monday.  This week's lesson was based on the Gospel Principles Manual chapter 17, The Church of Jesus Christ Today.

Song: We sang song #87, the The Sacred Grove, from the Primary Children's Songbook.  It goes as follows:

The Sacred Grove was green and fresh,
The morning sun shone bright around,
As Joseph knelt in fervent prayer,
As Joseph knelt in fervent prayer
Upon that sacred ground.
The Father and the Son appeared.
They spoke to him as with one voice.
Their message answered all his fears,
Their message answered all his fears
And made his heart rejoice.

Lesson: The Church of Jesus Christ was taken from the earth.  After the Savior ascended into heaven, men changed the ordinances and doctrines that He and His Apostles established.  Because of the apostasy, there was no direct revelation from God.  Men organized different churches that claimed to be true but taught conflicting doctrines.  There was much confusion and contention over religion, and the Lord had foreseen this famine of the words of God (Amos 8:11-12).

Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove
The Lord promised to restore His true church (Isaiah 29:14).  In the spring of 1820, one of the most important events in the history of the world occurred.  As a young boy, Joseph Smith wanted to know which of all the churches was true, so he went into the woods an prayed intently.  A miraculous thing happened; Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.  The Savior told him not to join any church because His Church was not on the earth.  This event marked the beginning of direct revelation from the heavens again as the Lord chose Joseph Smith to be His prophet.  Revelation continues to this day through His chosen prophets.  (Restoration Video)

In restoring the Gospel, God again gave the priesthood to men.  Additionally, the Savior directed the organizing of His Church on the earth, which is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (D&C 115:4).  This is the "only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased" (D&C 1:30).  The Church was organized with the same offices as were in the ancient Church, which included:  apostles, prophets, seventies, patriarchs, pastors, high priests, elders, bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons (Articles of Faith 1:6).  These offices are in His Church today.

Important truths were restored.  The Church today teaches the same principles and performs the same ordinances as were performed in the days of Jesus.  Some of these important truths are:
1) Heavenly Father is a real being with a tangible, perfected body of flesh and bones, and so is Jesus Christ.  The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.
2) We existed in premortal life as children of God.
3) The priesthood is necessary to administer the ordinances of the gospel.
4) We will be punished for our own sins and not for Adam's transgression.
5) Children do not need to be baptized until they are accountable (8-years old).
6) There are three kingdoms of glory in the heavens and through the grace of Christ, we will be rewarded according to our actions and the desires of our hearts.
7) Family relationships can be eternal through the sealing power of the priesthood.
8) Ordinances and covenants are required for salvation and are available for both the living and the dead.

The Church will never be destroyed again.  The Church has grown rapidly in membership with members in nearly every nation.  The Church will never again be taken from the earth.  The Lord said He would "set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people...and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).

Activity:  I got this awesome activity from Teaching LDS Children: I gathered ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies, as well as a few extra odd ingredients (pickles, mustard, etc.).   I showed June all the ingredients and told her that I didn't have the recipe, but  it doesn’t matter because I think I  can remember how to do it. I also told her that I wanted to make a few changes and add some things to the cake that I think will make it taste better.  I mixed the ingredients in random amounts, and added a few of the extra items.  I then asked June if she think this concoction will make a delicious chocolate cake? Why not? Without the right ingredients and recipe, the end result won’t be as hoped for.  I told June that just as the cake needed the correct ingredients, it is also necessary for a church to consist of the correct components, which includes correct doctrines and ordinances, and power and authority from God.

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