Nephi Builds a Ship
- Items needed: two pieces of paper for each child, a medium size rock, a large seed, tape, and colored markers.
- Print the scripture story visual aids from chapter 7 of Book of Mormon Stories. Optional: Also print the pictures concerning Bountiful from the article “Was Lehi Here?”
- Using the paper boat instructions found in the lesson, make an example paper boat to show to the children.
- Print one copy of the activity “Nephi Builds a Ship” which is from the Friend March 1988, Funstuff.
- Print one copy of the ship activity (print the ship boards onto brown paper). Attach the sail to the ship outline by cutting off the excess paper under the mast and then gluing or taping the two together. Cut out each individual board on the ship.
Give each child a blank piece of paper. Show the example paper boat, and tell the children you want them to make the same boat with their paper. Give them a couple of minutes to try and complete the activity. Ask if it was hard to do without instructions. Teach them how to build the boat using the following instructions.
Paper Boat Instructions
Fold the piece of paper in half, top to bottom.
Fold the top right and left corners (on the folded edge) down to the middle of the paper forming a triangle.
Fold the bottom of the paper up, against both sides, as if to make a paper hat.
Insert thumbs into the bottom opening. Grab the bottom edges, and pull out to make a square.
Fold the bottom corners, points up, against both sides, forming a triangle.
Once again insert thumbs into bottom opening, grabbing the bottom edges and pulling out to make a square.
Fold the bottom corners points up against both sides, forming a triangle.
For the last time insert thumbs into bottom opening, and grab the bottom edges and pull out to make a square.
Pull out the two top triangles to create your paper boat.
Inform the children that in today’s lesson they will be learning how Nephi built a ship with the Lord’s help. The ship Nephi built was large enough to carry Nephi, his family, and their supplies across the ocean.
Tell the following story using the scripture story visual aids.
After traveling in the wilderness for eight years, Nephi and his family came to an area of vegetation by the sea they called Bountiful. They called it Bountiful because it had an abundance of fruit and wild honey. After they had been there for many days, the voice of the Lord came to Nephi telling him to arise and go up to the mountain.
The Lord spoke to Nephi on the mountain. He told Nephi to construct a ship, and that He would show Nephi how to construct it. The Lord also told Nephi where to find ore so that he could construct tools.
Nephi first made a bellows. The bellows blew on the fire and increased the fires heat so he could melt the ore. With the molten ore, Nephi formed metal tools. Nephi went to the mountain often to pray, and the Lord showed him many things.
Activity- Put the Friend activity “Nephi Builds a Ship” onto a display board. Have volunteers take turns coming up and circling a tool that Nephi might have made. Point out how basic the tools were compared to the modern day tools, and discuss the difficulties of building a ship in Nephi’s time. Ask the children to explain the advantage Nephi had.- (The Lord, who knows all, taught Nephi how to construct a ship.)
When Nephi’s brothers saw that Nephi was preparing to build a ship, they began to murmur against him. They called him a fool. They didn’t believe Nephi could build a ship, and they also didn’t want to help with the labor. Nephi was sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts.
• Show the children the rock and the seed. Ask what would happen if the seed fell on the hard rock. Would it grow? Why not? What does a seed need to grow in?
Faith in God is described as being like a seed. Just as a seed needs soft, nutritious soil in order to grow, faith needs a soft and willing heart in order to grow. Laman and Lemuel’s hearts were hard, and they wouldn’t let the Lord in. The seed of faith couldn’t develop and grow in their hearts.
• Why did Laman and Lemuel harden their hearts? They did not want to listen to the Lord because the things they wanted to do were in oppostion to the commandments of the Lord.
Nephi reminded Laman and Lemuel of the many mighty miracles the Lord had performed in the time of Moses. Nephi also pointed out the miracles Laman and Lemuel had witnessed, such as seeing an angel and hearing the voice of the Lord. He asked how they could be so hard in their hearts.
After Nephi had said these things, his brothers were angry with him and wanted to throw him into the sea. As they came forward to do so, Nephi told them not to touch him because he was filled with the power of God. He told them if they laid hands on him, God would smite them. Nephi told his brothers they should not murmur anymore, and they should help build the ship. He told them if the Lord has such great power to wrought so many miracles, couldn’t the Lord instruct him on how to build a ship.
Nephi’s brothers were confounded, and they did not dare touch him for many days. The Lord told Nephi to stretch forth his hand and shock them. Laman and Lemuel were shaken and believed that the Lord was with Nephi.
They helped build the ship. When it was done they could see it was a good ship
Tape the sail and the ship outline onto the display board.
• Throughout Nephi’s life, he tried to help his family members build their faith. How can we help build our own faith and our family’s faith? One way to build faith in God is to do the things He asks. When we do this our faith grows as we see the good outcome and results.
Pass out a colored marker and one or more ship boards to each child. Direct the children to think of commandments the Lord has asked us to do. Instruct them to write one commandment on the front of each ship board.
After they write down a commandment on each board, give the children a moment to think about what would be the good results of keeping those commandments. Have the children take turns taping their boards to the ship outline, telling what commandment they chose, and what the good results of keeping that commandment would be. (Each board has a specific place on the outline. If the children are unsure where their board goes, have them try again later.)
After the ship has been built, remind the children they can be like Nephi and help build the faith of their family members through encouraging them to keep the commandments and by being a good example of keeping the commandments.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week –
1 Nephi 17:1-55 and 1 Nephi 18:1-4