Gospel Restoration Timeline Cards Game


I’ve been on a Timeline Card Game kick since discovering the game by Asmodee and getting it for Christmas. Santa stuffed some stockings with the classic and the inventions sets. The others are on my wish list. What a simple idea yet so adaptable to any subject. Every subject has a history right? So you could make this game to study the history of anything. My mind is reeling with the possibilities! (I wish I had learned history like this when I was a kid, along with storytelling and other history-based games. My children don’t know how good they have it!)

So when my Hero class read and discussed this book

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

about a theologian who turned into a spy to help plot the assassination of Hitler, I thought it would be super fun to turn the historical facts we read in the book into a timeline card game. (I taught a Hero class six years ago, so you can read about the Hero class project here where I describe the class. It’s basically a class for homeschooled youth about heroes of WW2. I like to add WW1 to the study as well.)




You can read the directions for my DIY Timeline Card game here. The game involving the cards above and below is based on The Faithful Spy, about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Notice how the cards above are missing dates and the ones below have them.




So we’ve been playing the original, commercial game for our gameschooling and then playing my homemade game involving Bonhoeffer’s life and pre-and post- WW1 events in my Hero class. In the Hero class, every month we are reading a different book relating to the world wars so we are adding 10 new cards each month based on the new history facts we learn from each book.

So far, from playing the commercial games, I’ve learned the following:

  • the cell phone was first invented in 1973
  • the NBA got started in 1946
  • the first encyclopedia was published in 1751
  • the first hourglass was invented in 900 AD

Not earth shattering facts, but fun to know, right? It’s fun to know history, enlightening, and important too. Not just the political events, but the times of inventions and non-political people’s lives. So imagine my delight and surprise when I found a timeline of the Restoration of Christ’s Gospel in the January 2020 Ensign, called “Seeing the Lord’s Hand”!


It was just begging me to turn it into a “Gospel Restoration Timeline Cards Game.” This is so exciting! What a great way to follow Pres. Russell M. Nelson’s invitation in last General Conference to prepare for the 200th birthday of the Restoration by studying it in a timeline game format! He also issued a similar invitation on New Year’s Day 2020, here.



You can use these directions for making your own Restoration Timeline Cards Game:

  1. Get the PDF of the article here.
  2. Print out the 6 page document, making two copies. I prefer doing mine in full color. I used my library’s laser printer because my printer at home was low on color ink. It cost me $3 to make 12 pages, 25 cents each. Totally worth it!
  3. Get a pack of blank index cards.
  4. Gather up scissors, glue stick, and clear your work space.
  5. Find something yummy to watch/and or listen to. In my case, I did this while the Face to Face Devotional with President and Sister Oaks was livestreamed yesterday. You can watch it here.
  6. Spread out your pages and stack duplicate pages together.
  7. Start cutting! For every card, you just want to mention one event. So cut out the mention of each event (including the date) twice, once from each of your duplicate pages. Include the image if you can. About half of the events mentioned on this timeline have an associated image. When the image is too big I cut it to fit. So far only one has been too big.
  8. For one of the “mentions” cut the date out and discard that itty bit of paper.
  9. Line up the event and the duplicate event with the date missing over each blank card, just so you make sure you have all your little papers in the right order, matched up correctly. I like to cut out four events at a time, and then glue them, four at a time.


10. Glue the mention of the event, with the date on one side of the card. Like in the card above. Then glue the duplicate mention of the event, with the date missing, on the back side, like the card below. See how I cut out the missing date? If the mention has an associated image, glue that too, one on each side. I just love this image of John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson working on the Declaration of Independence! Isn’t it beautiful?


Keep gluing and gluing and then play the game!

Here are instructions on how to play the game:

Shuffle your deck of cards to get them out of order. Deal out four cards to each player with the side that shows the date facing down. Emphatically instruct them NOT to turn the cards over. They are not supposed to see the date side. Just have them spread the cards with the date side down, in front of them, so they can see them all at once.

Place the rest of the cards in the draw pile, with the face of the card that has all three things face down. Turn the top card over and place in the center.

Person whose next birthday is closest goes first. He/she looks at the playing card and picks a card from his/her hand. Have the person read out loud the event. Then that person decides if it goes before or after the playing card, placing it to the left if “before” and to the right if “after.” Then he/she turns over the card from his/her hand, after making the decision. If the person is right, the person doesn’t have to draw another card from the draw pile. If the person is incorrect, the person places the card in the right spot, then draws another card. Play goes clockwise, with play getting increasingly harder as more cards are played and you have to place cards in between other cards. First person to run out of cards wins!

I hope this game increases your knowledge and delight of the wondrous age we live in! It truly is an amazing, miraculous time! Christ our Savior is at the head of history, which is really “His Story.” He is the head of the events going on today as well. He is our Creator and Redeemer, Judge, and Messiah. He is preparing to come to earth again to rule and reign for the Millennium.

Up until 1830, when the Church of Jesus Christ was restored by Joseph Smith, as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  inventions didn’t happen as fast. But since 1830, they have increased exponentially because of the outpouring of God’s light. This light has made people smarter, all with the purpose of gathering Israel to prepare the earth for Christ’s Second Coming. This article here by Mark Skousen, economic historian, explains this phenomenon in detail. Here is an excerpt from that article by Mark:

As an economic historian, I too have noticed the dramatic rise in sustained economic growth and standard of living starting in the early 1800s. In the area of science and technology, the vast majority of advances have occurred since 1830. The World Book Encyclopedia, for example, chronicles the major inventions throughout history. Over 70% occurred since the LDS Church [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] was organized. Progress prior to 1830 was slow and plodding. Afterwards, it was dramatic. Material life prior to 1830 was about the same as it was a thousand years earlier. But the standard of living after 1830 has increased incredibly for the better.

Before 1830, inventions included paper and moveable type, the microscope and the telescope, the steam engine and the locomotive, cannon and firearms, and the spinning wheel.

Here’s a partial list of major inventions after 1830: photography, reaper and cotton gin, telegraph, gas refrigeration, rubber tire, sewing machine, elevator, hypodermic needle, internal-combustion engine, dynamite, typewriter, automobile, phonograph, light bulb, airplane, radio and television, anesthesia and Novocain, air conditioning, nuclear reactor, xerox machine, fax machine, computers, and the Internet.

Was this all co-incidence? Or was it related to what the Mormons call the restitution and the fullness of times? According to the Mormons, the Lord spoke through the Prophet Joseph Smith and ushered in the final dispensation, the fullness of times, also known as the last days. It is the final dispensation in mortality, before the great millennial day when Christ reigns on the earth for a thousand years.



I echo what Elder M. Russell Ballard said in this January 2020 Ensign article that  accompanied the timeline. Here is a quote from that:


I testify that in the very beginning, the Lord’s hand prepared the world for the Restoration of the “true, pure, and simple gospel” of Jesus Christ, the “saving doctrines of Christ” that are available to all God’s children.18 I also testify that the Lord’s hand is in our individual lives inviting us to follow Him, serve others, and love Him as He prepares the world for His glorious Second Coming.

Elder Ballard gives basically the same content in speech format over here.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Gospel Restoration Timeline Cards Game

  1. Stephanie S says:

    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to blog about your game ideas and your favorite books. I put several books on hold at our library that I’m excited to read with my kids! I also printed out this Church history timeline and bought index cards so I can make a game! I also mentor a Key of Liberty scholar project at our commonwealth school, and already used one of your game ideas (Two Truths and a Lie) for our Constitution Journal study one day in class, and wrote down a few more ideas for games to help facilitate our scholars’ learning. Thank you so much! Your blog has really inspired me!
    -Stephanie from Provo (I’m the one you gave free tickets to for the Layton Winter Homeschool Conference 🙂 )


  2. Pingback: Resources for Celebrating the Gospel Restoration’s Bicentennial | Tree of Life Mothering

  3. Pingback: Our Bicentennial Celebration of the Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: General Conference April 2020 | Tree of Life Mothering

  4. Pingback: #abookandagameaday, Sun. 4/5/20, still social distancing and celebrating the Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ | Tree of Life Mothering

  5. Pingback: #abookandagameaday, catching up during social distancing, first half of April 2020 | Tree of Life Mothering

  6. Pingback: #abookandagameaday, Sun. 5/3/20, still social distancing | Tree of Life Mothering

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s