Preparation: Print a copy of Gospel Art Kit picture 406, Joseph Receives the Gold Plates (For a copy of the picture, click here.) Mount it on stiff paper and cut it into six puzzle pieces. Write one the following words on the back of each piece: BOOK OF MORMON, PRIESTHOOD, PROPHET, GOSPEL, BAPTISM, TEMPLES. Place the puzzle pieces, word side up, on a table at the front of the room. Obtain a dish towel or scarf to be used as a blindfold.
Presentation: Have a child come up to participate in a demonstration (choose a child who won't be easily embarrassed). Stand the child on one side of the room and place the blindfold on them. Move to the other side of the room and ask the child to walk to you. Have some obstacles (chairs, tables, etc.) between the child and you (ask another adult to stay near the child to keep them safe). Remove the blindfold and discuss how it was difficult for the child to find you when they didn't know where you were or where they were going. Have them try it again, without the blindfold and discuss how much easier it was when they could see their way.
Explain that the time after Jesus and His apostles had died is sometimes called the Dark Ages, because the light of the gospel was not on the earth. The people were like the child with the blindfold, and didn't know which way to go.
After Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith, the gospel was restored. We again have the blessings of the gospel and direction in our lives. It is like taking off the blindfold.
Show the puzzle pieces to the children. Explain that the words on them represent some of the things that have been restored, now that the gospel is on the earth again. Ask a child to pick a puzzle piece. Read the word and have the children give some examples of how the restoration of that principle has blessed their lives. Have the child place the puzzle piece on the board with the picture side showing. (If you wish, you can blindfold each child as they attempt to place their puzzle piece on the board and then let them retry with the blindfold off.) Sing a song or read a scripture that reinforces that principle.
Suggested songs and scriptures:
Book of Mormon: Doctrine and Covenants 42:12
Priesthood: "The Priesthood is Restored," Children's Songbook, p. 89
Prophet: "Follow the Prophet," Children's Songbook, p. 110
Gospel: Doctrine and Covenants 128:19 (first five lines, to "earth")
Baptism: "Baptism," Children's Songbook, p. 100
Temples: "I Love to See the Temple," Children's Songbook, p. 95
After all the pieces of the puzzle are put together have the children identify the picture. Help the children retell the story of Joseph receiving the gold plates from the Angel Moroni. Sing "An Angel Came to Joseph Smith," Children's Songbook, p. 86.
Bear your testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration and the blessings we obtain from having the gospel on the earth again.