Lesson 6: Joseph Smith Begins to Translate the Gold Plates


As you teaching Primary 5 Lesson 6: Joseph Smith Begins to Translate the Gold Plates remember the purpose is to help everyone understand that we should be seeking Heavenly Father's answers and be willing to follow His guidance when we pray.

Teaching Thoughts

The following are links to LDS.org resources unless otherwise stated.

Teacher Study

"'A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up'" by Elder Craig C. Christensen

"Scriptural Witnesses" by President Russell M. Nelson


Martin Harris and the Lost Pages (about 3 minutes)- Illustrated scripture story of Martin Harris taking the 116 pages of the translated Book of Mormon.

The Work of God (13 1/2 minutes)- Martin Harris tells a boy the story of the lost 116 pages. 

The Sting of the Scorpion (about 3 minutes)- A boy learns about the importance of obedience after getting stung by a scorpion.

Wrong Roads (about 4 minutes)- Jeffrey R. Holland tells the story of praying to know which road to take.


"The Golden Plates"- Children's Songbook pg. 86

"I Want to Live the Gospel"- Children's Songbook pg. 148

"Keep the Commandments"- Children's Songbook pg. 146

"Seek the Lord Early"-Children's Songbook pg. 108

"I Pray in Faith"-Children's Songbook pg. 14

"Repentance"- Children's Songbook pg. 98


My Primary 5 Lesson 6 Handout Packet includes

  • Decoder circle- Cut out the two circles. The larger circle has a black rectangle in the middle- cut out the middle of that rectangle. Attach the two together with a brad placing the smaller circle underneath. Be sure to align it so as you spin the bottom circle, it will show the letter it equals. This means they will have to figure out the rest of the code- study it out- before the can decode it all (You can also attach the smaller circle on top and skip the rectangle cut out so it's easier to figure out which letter equals what but it will not line up exactly if you do it this way). Use this circle as a translating activity for your class. Write a message on the board that fits you code. Ask your class to read it and tell you what it means. After they can't, give them the decoder circle so they can then figure it out. Compare it to how Joseph Smith had to study things out and be in tune to the Spirit in order to translate correctly. If you have extra time at the end of class, you can have your class make up new codes.
  • Journal Page with a code for D&C 3:1
  • You may also want to try out some of these other decoding activities from LDS.org- Crack the Code, Morse Code Mystery, Valentine Day Cryptograms. 
  • 2 quote posters to go with Enrichment Activity #3- both are available in black & white or color
If you like these lesson helps, please pin it so others may find it. Thanks!

Activity Ideas

Heavenly Father Hears and Answers Prayers- Make a prayer reminder with a sliding list of ideas on what to pray for.

Picture Puzzle- Use a grid of pictures to find a message about prayer.

A Prayer Adventure- Read in the scriptures to find more ways prayer helps us

Prayer Puzzle- Crossword puzzle about prayer from Alma 37:36-37

Choose the Right Way- Maze about making good decisions to be happy

Learning from Mistakes- Put in order the sequence of repentance in pictures

Repentance- Turning from Wrong to Right- Make a repentance reminder to hang up.

What is Repentance?- Look up scriptures and match them to find the steps of repentance.

Will Heavenly Father Always Answer my Prayers?- Use the pictures to tell the story about prayer from an experience in Elder Oak's life.

Coloring Pages

I can Pray to Heavenly Father

I can pray to Heavenly Father, and He will hear and answer my prayers

I should respect and worship God

Prophet Joseph Smith