First I showed the children my journal and asked if they had ever seen a journal. Then I told them many years ago, fathers kept histories of their families. Usually, just before a father died, he would give his family history to his son, who would continue writing the history. Families would keep their histories like this for many years. Prophets too wrote what happened to their families. But they also wrote about how Heavenly Father helped them and about the people who lived around them at that time.
Then I told the children I have been writing journals for many, many years and have piles of journals. I asked them to look at the picture and see all the gold journals or plates on the shelves. Heavenly Father called a prophet named Mormon to gather all the histories of his people, copy the most important parts, and write them on thin sheets of gold, like pages of a book. These were called gold plates. I asked them if they know what happens to paper if it gets wet. One smart little boy said it gets ruined. Then I proceeded to tell them; Gold does not fall apart like paper and other materials or rust like many other metals. Mormon used gold plates because they would last a long time. It took many years for Mormon to finish writing on the plates. Before Mormon died, he gave the plates to his son Moroni.
When Moroni had finished writing on the gold plates, Heavenly Father told him to bury the plates in a hill. Heavenly Father knew that the writings on the gold plates would be important to us living many years later. Moroni made a stone box to bury the plates in so that they would be safe until Heavenly Father wanted his children to read them.
Then we sang The Golden Plates...
The golden plates lay hidden
Deep in the mountainside,
Until God found one faithful,
In whom he could confide.
A record made by Nephi,
Written in days of old;
Now, in the Book of Mormon,
The story is retold.
Heavenly Father knew Joseph Smith was a faithful young man, so He chose Joseph to translate the gold plates into English.
Here's where we watched the little video.
At this point, I was out of lesson material and got out our coloring page. I feel so blessed that these children like to color, write letters, draw, and so forth. For a good 20 minutes the were engaged with paper and crayons. As interest waned, I pulled out sliced apples and began singing Two Little Magic Words.
There are two little magic words,
That can open any door with ease,
The first little word is thanks,
And the other little word is please.
You'd be so surprised,
What these two little words can do.
They work like a charm for me and,
They work like a charm for you.
When you want the butter (I substituted some apples.)
Say please, pass the butter (I substituted may I have an apple)
Good manner are never out of style.
And when you get the butter, (apple)
Say thanks for the butter, (apple)
And do it with a great big sunny smile.
Repeat the first part.
Not only do children this age love it, it's a fantastically easy way to teach them a bit of courtesy. Most children of this age love to please grandmas and other gentle authority figures; these were no exception. One by one their sweet voices would ask; may I please have another slice of apple. I thanked them for their polite words and said certainly you may have another slice of apple. Then the child would say thank you, as I gave them another piece. By the end of our time together, I loved them, and they loved me.
Later that evening two brothers were baptized. As usual for this tiny branch of the church, nearly everyone showed up including my four little sweethearts. They were so happy to see me and I them.