The Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s Covenant
• Print the story visuals and cut each page in half, except for the last page. Number the back of the scripture story pages to help keep them in order. (Note: The scripture story visual aids are from chapter twenty-six of Book of Mormon Stories, and the picture of the dog is from Microsoft word clipart.)
• Print and cut out the commandment/situation word strips. Fold the strips and put them into a small container.
• Items needed: a display board, a writing instrument for the display board, a shallow dish such as a cake pan, two disposable plastic or styrofoam cups (fill one cup with water and put it in the freezer), a small Tupperware container of water, tongs, one plastic spoon per child, enough ice cubes to half fill a gallon sized Ziploc bag, a small ice chest, 1/3 cup of rock salt, a gallon sized Ziploc bag, and a sandwich sized Ziploc bag filled with the following ice-cream ingredients: 1 cup half-and-half, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla. (Squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it.) Put the ice cubes, frozen water, and ice cream ingredients into the ice chest to keep them cold.
There were once two girls who promised their mother they would wash the family dog. Their mother promised that if they would do that chore she would take them swimming. (Show the picture of the dog.) Washing the dog was a harder task than either of the children expected. It was a messy, dirty job, and the dog did not want to be washed. The dog would squirm away as they were trying to wash it, and then it would roll in the dirt and get dirty again. In frustration, one of the children stopped working and would not help anymore. The other child continued to try and finish the task. She eventually figured out a way to keep the dog contained so it could not get away. She was able to finish washing and drying the dog even though it was a difficult job.
• When the task of washing the dog got difficult how did each child respond? One child gave up and did not finish the task, and the other kept her promise and finished the task.
Pour water into the empty plastic cup, and put the cup in the shallow dish. Explain to the children that the cup of water represent someone who is not firm in keeping their promises. When pressure or difficulty arises, their resolve to keep their commitment breaks. (Demonstrate this by applying pressure to the container with your hand. The container will crush and water will spill out.)
Show the children the cup of ice. Tell them it represents someone who is firm in keeping their commitments regardless of difficulty or pressure. Squeeze the cup. It should stay firm and unyielding.
• Remind the children that promises should not be made lightly. What happens if we don’t keep our word and are not dependable? We may lose the trust of others. The girl who did not help wash the dog was not trusted to complete certain future tasks without supervision, but the girl who kept her promise was allowed more freedom and trust.
If we do not keep our promises we also do not get the promised benefits agreed upon in two-way promises. The girl that didn’t help wash the dog was not able to go swimming that day.
A two-way promise between two people is when both people promise something. When one person breaks their side of the promise the other person is not responsible to fulfill their side of the agreement.
• What is a two-way promise called that is made between us and Heavenly Father? A covenant.
We make covenants with Heavenly Father when we are baptized. If we keep our covenants we can gain the promised rewards, including the greatest reward of all – the gift of eternal life. Those who are given eternal life have great freedom and power. Only those who can be trusted to do the right thing are given that freedom and power.
In today’s lesson we learn about a group of people who were firm in keeping their covenants even in the face of great difficulty and adversity.
Teach the following scripture story using pictures from chapter twenty-six of Book of Mormon Stories as visual aids.
Because of the efforts of the sons of Mosiah many Lamanites had been converted to the gospel. The king of the Lamanites, and all those who were converted, had changed their natures. They were a new people and did not want to be called Lamanites anymore. They wanted to be called by a new name. The king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, and they chose a new name to call themselves.
They decided to be called Anti-Nephi-Lehies. (Write the name on the board.) Tell the children that the word anti does not have the modern day meaning of being opposed to something. In some languages the word “anti” has a meaning similar to the word “imitation”. The people who had been converted desired to become like Lehi and Nephi. They chose a name to reflect that righteous desire.
The Lamanites who had not been converted were very angry at all those who were converted to the teachings of the Nephites. They began to rebel against the king. They took up arms to destroy the king and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. The king died in the same year that the Lamanites began to make preparations for war against the people of God. Before he died he conferred the kingdom upon one of his sons.
• Why did the unconverted Lamanites want to destroy the Anti-Nephi-Lehies? It was a Lamanite tradition to believe that the Nephite way was wrong. The unconverted Lamanites may have felt anger towards the Ant-Nephi-Lehies for following the Nephite way. Another reason may have been that the changes in those who had become converted made the other the Lamanites feel anger at the reminders of the evil things they were doing. They may have wanted to destroy that goodness and not feel the guilt.
When Ammon and his brethren saw the preparations of the Lamanites to destroy the Anti- Nephi-Lehies, they came to the land of Ishmael to talk to the new Lamanite king, and to Lamoni his brother, concerning what the Anti-Nephi-Lehies should do to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
The king, and none of the people who had been converted to the Lord, would take up arms to fight against their brethren the Lamanites. They would not even make preparations for war. They had repented of the murders they had committed in unrighteous wars. They were afraid that if they took up arms to fight and kill again, they would again be stained with sin, and they might not be forgiven this time. They decided to bury their weapons deep in the earth as a covenant to God that they would not kill again.
• Have the children look at the pictures of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies collecting and burying their weapons, and ask the children what kinds of weapons the picture suggests were buried. Have them look closely at the picture to identify the different types of weapons.
• What could happen to the Anti-Nephi-Lehies if they didn’t have weapons to defend themselves against attack? They could die.
• Why did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies value their covenants more than their lives? They were overwhelmingly grateful to the Lord for forgiving them of their sins. They understood the eternal value of what they had gained and did not want to lose it.
• When someone makes a covenant or promise, an action is usually performed as a token or sign of the covenant such as shaking hands, signing a document, etc. What was the token or sign of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s covenant to never kill again? Burial of their weapons.
• When you made your first covenants with Heavenly Father at age eight what action did you perform as a sign of your commitment? Baptism
When the Lamanites came into the land to destroy the king and his people, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies went out to meet them. They prostrated themselves on the earth, which meant they bowed themselves very low, or they laid on the ground with their faces down. They then began to call on the name of the Lord praising him. They were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them and slay them with the sword. Without meeting any resistance the Lamanites killed 1,005 of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.
• Why were the Anti-Nephi-Lehies praising God and not afraid to die? (See Alma 27:28) They were grateful for and had faith in Jesus Christ. They knew that because of Jesus Christ they could be resurrected.
When the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, but they would lie down and perish as they were praising God, they stopped slaying them. Many of the Lamanites felt sorrow and remorse for killing their brethren the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them up again. They repented and joined with the people of God. The amount of people that joined the people of God was more than the number who had been slain.
Those Lamanites who did not join the Anti-Nephi-Lehies became even angrier because they had slain their brethren. They put the blame on the Nephites and swore vengeance upon them. The Lamanites took their armies and went to the Nephite lands.
The Lamanites had many battles with the Nephites. When the Lamanites saw that could not overpower the Nephites, they returned again to their own land. After suffering much loss and affliction many of them joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehies because they began to believe in the Lord, that he gave great power to the Nephites.
But a hard hearted group of people that lived among the Lamanites began to stir up the other Lamanites again in anger against the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. These hard hearted people were apostate Nephites. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies again refused to take up arms, and they once again suffered themselves to be slain.
• Apostates are people who have turned away from the truth. Why are apostates often hard hearted? (Read Alma 24:30)
When Ammon and his brethren saw the work of destruction among those whom they loved, they asked the king to gather the people and flee to the Nephites. The king was afraid the Nephites would destroy them because of the many murders and sins they had committed against them. Ammon told the king he would ask the Lord what they should do. The king said that if the Lord gave direction that they should go, then they would go. Ammon went and inquired of the Lord. The Lord told him to get the people out of the land because Satan had a great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites (the apostate Nephites).
So the Anti-Nephi-Lehies gathered their possessions and went to the borders of the Nephite land. Ammon and his brothers went to Zarahemla to talk to the Nephites. They talked to the chief judge and told him all the things that had happened. The chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land desiring the voice of the people concerning admitting the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. The Nephite people said they would give the land of Jershon to the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They also said they would set their armies between the land of Jershon and the Lamanites to protect them so the Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not have to take up arms against their brethren the Lamanites. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies would merely have to provide food and substance for the army. When Ammon returned and told them the news, they were filled with joy.
• Why were the Nephites willing to help the Anti-Nephi-Lehies? Because of the preaching of Alma, the Nephite people had become righteous. They were trying to do what the Lord would have them do.
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies took possession of the land of Jershon and became known as the people of Ammon. They were distinguished for their zeal towards God, and they were perfectly honest and upright in their treatment towards others.
Remind the children that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies stayed firm in keeping their covenants. Show the children the cup of ice again, and explain that just as we would have to put water in a freezer to keep it firm, we also need to do certain things in order to stay firm in keeping our covenants. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies kept firm in keeping their covenants by deciding ahead of time what they would do if they were attacked, and they also figured out a solution to their difficult situation. In order to stay firm in keeping our covenants we need to decide ahead of time how we will react to temptation, and we need to figure out solutions to our challenging problems and situations.
Show the children the small sealed Ziploc bag filled with the liquid ingredients. Explain to the children that the bag represents keeping covenants, and its contents represent the covenants. Put the small bag into the big Ziploc bag.
Remind the children that when they made covenants at baptism, one of the covenants they promised to keep was to obey the commandments. Have a child choose a commandment/situation from the container and read it out loud. Ask the children how they could respond to that situation so they can keep firm in keeping their covenants.
For every answer the children give have them use the tongs and get a piece of ice from the ice chest and put it into the large Ziploc bag. Explain that the ice represents staying firm in keeping our covenants by finding solutions and preparing ahead. Ideas for possible solutions to each of the situations could include:
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy – Take a gift over and do something fun with that friend on another day.
Be Honest – Explain to the neighbor and your parents what happened, and offer to do work to pay for the damage.
Do Not Cheat – Offer to teach them how to do the problems you understood, and then ask for their help figuring out how to do the problems you didn’t understand.
Obey Your Parents – Put some music on and make a game out of the cleaning, or divide the room into sections so it isn’t so overwhelming.
Dress Modestly- Put a shirt with sleeves under the immodest shirt, or wear a shrug over the shirt.
Tithing – Ask your mom if there is a job you can do for her to earn some money.
Do Not Use Profanity – Ask your friends to not use profanity around you, or find new friends who don’t use profanity,
Pray – Get up a little bit earlier to make time to pray.
Read the Scriptures – Use a study guide to help you understand the scriptures.
Be Kind to Others – Include the child and place him in a position that isn’t too difficult, and practice with the child later to help him become better.
Be Chaste – Ask your parents to help put controls on the computer so those kinds of sites can’t be accessed, or make it a goal to use the computer only when others are around.
Keep the Word of Wisdom – Explain to your friend that you don’t drink alcohol or take drugs because it can be dangerous and harmful to your body, and then suggest something fun they can do instead.
After each commandment situation has been discussed, or when the bag is half full of ice, pour the rock salt onto the ice and seal the bag. Shake or squeeze the bag for a minute, and explain that the action represents problems and temptations that are thrown at them. Give each of the children a turn shaking the bag.
After about five minutes of shaking the bag, check the ice cream. It should be the consistency of frozen yogurt. Give each child one large plastic spoonful of ice cream. Ask the children what happened to the liquid because they added ice to the bag. It became a delicious frozen treat. Ask what the wonderful results would be of staying firm in keeping our covenants. We could gain eternal life, which is the greatest of all God’s gifts.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Alma 23:16-17, Alma 24:1-30, Alma 25:1-6, Alma 25:13-14, and Alma 27:1-30