“We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.” [Articles of faith 1:6]
Needs and resources: A picture of an Old/New Testament temple cut into five piece puzzle, a picture of a modern day temple cut into a five piece puzzle, each of the two puzzles to have the one of the following written on the back of each piece; Prophets, Apostles, Bishop, Teachers, Patriarchs/Evangelist. Items for chosen blindfold activity, a picture of the restoration.
Display a completed puzzle of an Old/New Testament temple.
When Jesus lived on earth all the ordinances and principles of his church were taught and practised so that those who chose to learn of Him and follow Him would indeed be able to return to live with their Father in Heaven.
But after Jesus Christ died, the people became wicked and His gospel and priesthood were taken from the earth. Break the puzzle of the temple up into pieces and remove them.
Explain that this was called the Apostasy, and the people were in spiritual darkness - like having their eyes closed spiritually.
Have all the children close their eyes, and discuss what they can see, and how much they think they could do to perform a normal routine if they had to do so in darkness?
Select a child to come to the front of the room and do a 'normal' activity blind folded, like pouring a bowl of cereal or rice and lentils from a jug and put toothpaste on a toothbrush.
Explain that without light we cannot see what we are doing making it difficult to do what we need too, and when the gospel and the priesthood were removed people were left in spiritual darkness and unable to do the things that are necessary to return to the presence of Heavenly Father.
Have them close their eyes a second time and hold up a picture of the First Vision, and tell the children to open their eyes. Explaining that Jesus restored His church through Joseph Smith.
So when Joseph Smith prayed to Heavenly Father to know which church he should join, [have a child come forward and act out this prayer], Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared [again have children come forward to re-enact this and have them give the child who prayed a set of puzzle pieces], saying that eventually they gave Joseph all that would need to be restored.
Restored means to give back everything in it's completeness. Not just one piece or even giving back a part that might be slightly damaged. Everything is given back in perfect order.
Let us see what 'Joseph' was given. Have 'Joseph' do the puzzle.
Draw the children's attention to the fact that this picture of a temple is different to the last picture puzzle. Do the other puzzle and display both. Turn the puzzle pieces over to reveal that both are actually made up of the same things; apostles, prophet, bishop, teacher, patriarch/evangelist.
Point out that the restored Church has the same kinds of leaders as the church did when Jesus Christ was upon the earth.
Does anyone know what the name of the restored church is?
Bear testimony of our church's restoration and that it's ordinances have been restored in their fullness.