- Items needed: tape, a large display board, and a writing instrument for the display board.
- Print and cut out the scripture story pictures.
- Print the signs, game board, and Liahona onto cardstock. (Print the Liahona onto gold cardstock, or color it with a crayon.) Cut out the signs.
- Cut out the Liahona and the Liahona strips. Glue the Liahona to a heavy piece of paper. With an exacto/utility knife cut along the two dotted lines on the Liahona. Tape the two Liahona strips together at a tab to make one long strip. Make sure the strip is in numerical order. Coming from the back, insert one end of the combined strip through the top cut out line on the Liahona. Then push it through the bottom cut out line, going toward the back. Pull the strip through until only the first block of words is showing in the front of the Liahona. Tape together the ends of the strip in the back so they form a loop.
- Laminate the game board, or put it into a page protector and tape the top closed. Cut apart the square game pieces. Cover each star square on the game board with a blank square. (Leave the start square uncovered.) Put the Lose a Turn squares face down on all the squares that don’t have stars. Use rolled pieces of tape to hold the cutout game piece squares in place.
- Draw a large version of the map found at the end of the lesson onto a large display board.
Tape the sign “Eternal Life” on a wall. On an opposite wall put the sign “Mortal Birth”. Ask for a volunteer. Blindfold that person, and tell them they need to get from the sign that says “Mortal Birth” to the sign that says “Eternal Life”. Tell them there will be obstacles in the way but you will provide someone to help them get safely around the obstacles.
Quickly set up some obstacles between the two signs such as chairs, books, people, etc. Ask for another volunteer. Have that person give verbal directions to the blindfolded person on how to get safely from one end of the room to the other. Stay next to the blindfolded person in case they need additional assistance.
- What might have happened if the blindfolded person hadn’t listened to the person giving directions? The blindfolded person might have gotten hurt because he or she couldn’t see the obstacles in the way. The person also might have gone the wrong way and not accomplished the goal of getting to the sign that says “Eternal Life”.
Ask the children if they think it would be nice to have someone guiding them in life so they always know the right way to go and the right things to do. Tell them we do have that guidance. In this lesson we learn where that guidance comes from and what happens when we don’t follow that guidance.
Using the scripture story pictures and the large drawing of the map, tell the following story. As you tell the story, tape the pictures on the map according to where they took place.
Nephi and his brothers were again instructed to return to Jerusalem. This time they were sent to get Ishmael and his family. Nephi and his brothers would need wives in the Promised Land, and Ishmael had many daughters. Ishmael agreed to go with them. Nephi and his brothers married the daughters of Ishmael when they returned to their father’s tent in the Valley of Lemuel. Lehi was then instructed by the Lord that it was time to take their journey to the Promised Land.
On the morning their journey was to begin, Lehi found a brass ball of curious workmanship outside his tent door. Inside the ball were two spindles; one spindle pointed the way they should go in the wilderness. They gathered their provisions and departed. They followed the directions on the ball which led them through the more fertile parts of the wilderness, which was near the borders of the Red Sea. They hunted for food as they went. After traveling for many days, Nephi’s steel bow broke and his brother’s wood bows lost their spring.
Because of the loss of their bows the sons of Lehi weren’t able to provide food for their family. Many of them began to murmur against the Lord, including Lehi. Instead of complaining, Nephi worked to resolve the problem. He went and made a new bow out of wood. After Nephi made the bow, he went and asked his father where he should go to obtain food.
- Why did Nephi approach his father for help? Lehi was the head of the family, and he was a prophet of the Lord.
Because of Nephi’s actions, Lehi was reminded of his duty and he repented. Lehi was chastened by the Lord for his murmuring, and then he was instructed to look at the brass ball. He saw there was writing inside the ball. Nephi went up to the top of the mountain according to the directions given in the ball, and he obtained food for the family.
During their travels in the wilderness, Ishmael died at a place called Nahom. The daughters of Ishmael mourned for their father and murmured because of their afflictions in the wilderness. They, along with Laman and Lemuel, wanted to return to Jerusalem. Laman and Lemuel plotted to kill their father and Nephi. The love in their hearts had waxed cold because of their wickedness. The voice of the Lord spoke to the two brothers, and they repented for a time.
The family traveled in the wilderness for eight years. Many children were born as they were traveling. The Lord strengthened them and they were able to bear all hardships. They eventually arrived at a place they called Bountiful.
Chalk Board Discussion
After asking each question below, write a shortened version of the answers on the board. (See example diagram for layout of answers.)
• What was the ball of brass called that Lehi found outside his tent? (See Alma 37:38) The Liahona – meaning director or compass
• The Liahona was prepared by the Lord to show Lehi and his family the way they should go in the wilderness. How did it direct Lehi and his family? Through spindles that pointed the way, and through words that taught them the ways of the Lord.
• What is the Liahona a spiritual representation of? (See Alma 37:45) The words of Christ
• Where are the words of Christ found? In the scriptures, in the words of the prophet, in revelation through the Holy Ghost.
• Where was the Lord leading Lehi and his family with the Liahona? To the promised land
• Where do the words of Christ lead people to? Eternal Life
• What things caused the Liahona to cease working? (See Alma 37: 40-41 and 1 Nephi 16:28) It ceased to work when their faith in God wavered, or when they murmured and complained. Or when they were slothful and lazy and didn’t give diligent heed to the directing compass provided by the Lord.
• What things interfere with the words of Christ leading people to eternal life? People’s lack of faith in God. People’s lack of heed and diligence in studying, seeking for, and obeying the words of Christ.
• What difficulties did Lehi and his family suffer when the Liahona ceased to work? (See Alma 37:42) They did not prosper or progress in their journey; they were afflicted with hunger and thirst, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course.
• What difficulties can people suffer if they don’t give heed to the words of Christ? Answers might include the following: Without guidance, temptations become harder to resist, and sin causes suffering. If we linger in the “wilderness” we may not reach our goal of eternal life.
Put the game board and the Liahona on a display board for everyone to see. Choose a volunteer. Tell the volunteer that the object of the game is to get from the starting square to a square that says “The Promised Land”. There are two ways they can do this – they can try and guess which way to go, or they can check the Liahona for directions. Tell them it will take a little diligence and effort to get directions from the Liahona. They will have to look up a scripture and find the directions in the scripture. But if they try to guess which way to go, and it is the wrong guess, they will lose their next turn.
The volunteer then decides whether to guess which way to go or to check the Liahona for directions. If they decide to guess, they can choose any square that is touching the starting square including the ones going diagonally. If they choose to check the Liahona it will give a scripture reference. The class will need to look up that scripture. They will look for the following words in the scripture: up, down, right or left. Display the sign that has those words written on it to help remind the children of what they are looking for. In the scripture there may be combinations of two of those words to indicate which way to go diagonally. The class can look for the words, but the person whose turn it is makes the final decision on which way to go.
When the volunteer decides where to go, he or she takes off one of the square coverings. If there is no star under the covering, they have chosen the wrong way to go and must take the covering which says “Lose a Turn”. They turn that square in on their next turn, but they can’t play again until the following turn. The next person whose turn it is has the same choice of whether to guess or consult the Liahona. They would move from the last star square the person before them was on.
Continue playing in this manner, with the children taking turns choosing what to do, until they reach the square marked “The Promised Land”. The Liahona word strip will need to be rotated down at each turn. To do this, reach under the page and pull down on the strip.
Explain to the children that the words of Christ will always lead them in the right direction. They help us know which way to go when we have choices to make. But if we don’t exercise faith and diligence, and we rely on our own judgment instead of seeking for and obeying the words of Christ, we may go the wrong ways and not progress in our journey towards Eternal Life.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 1 Nephi 16:1-39 and Alma 37:38-46.
Resources: Scripture story pictures – “Book of Mormon Stories” chapter five.