Korihor, the Anti-Christ
• Print the scripture story visuals aids. (The scripture story visuals come from chapter twenty-seven of Book of Mormon Stories.)
• Items needed: a fake diamond jewelry item and a real diamond jewelry item (or pictures of real and fake diamonds), a set of scriptures for each child, tape, a display board, and a writing instrument for the display board.
•Print and cut out the activity visuals.
Show the children the jewelry items. Explain that one of the jewelry items has fake diamonds in it and one has real diamonds in it. Ask the children how much value a fake diamond would have. Then ask how much value a real diamond would have. Ask the children if they can tell which diamond is real and which is fake. Reveal which diamond is real.
Tell the children that there has been an increasing amount of imitation diamonds introduced into the world that some people try to pass off as the real thing. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between the real and the fake. Many people are fooled into paying large amounts for fake items that are worthless.
Also explain that there has been an increasing amount of false teachings about religion being spread throughout the world, and many people have a hard time telling the difference between what is priceless truth and what is worthless lies. People are paying dearly with the consequences of buying into the deceptions.
Explain that in today’s lesson they will be learning how to distinguish between the false teachings and the truth.
Tell the following story using the scripture story visual aids.
The Nephites were enjoying a time of peace and righteousness, but this period was disrupted when a man named Korihor came into the land of Zarahemla. He was an Anti-Christ.
• What is an Anti-Christ? It is someone who is in opposition to Christ and His gospel.
(Put the word strips of Korihor’s false teachings on the board as each is mentioned.) Korihor preached against the prophecies concerning the coming of Christ. He said that no man can know of things to come. He said there can be no such thing as an atonement and no need for one because whatever a man does is not a crime. He said people prospered because of their own intelligence and strength, and their beliefs in Christ were foolish traditions that were binding them down. He also said he did not believe in the resurrection. He taught that when a man died, that was the end. Korihor’s preaching’s lead away the hearts of many to wickedness.
• Why was Korihor able to lead away people with what he taught? The things he taught were attractive to the carnal mind, the side that wants to enjoy the carnal pleasures of the world without consequences.
• Do some people in the world today teach the same philosophies of Korihor?
After teaching in Zarahemla, Korihor tried his preachings upon the people of Ammon. The people of Ammon had once been Lamanites, and they would not listen to Korihor. He was cast out of their land.
• Why do you suppose the people of Ammon would not listen to Korihor? The people of Ammon had lived most of their lives following Korihor-like-beliefs, and they knew the heartache, the misery, and the destruction it can cause in people’s lives.
Ammon’s people provide good examples of how we should respond when we are confronted with people like Korihor. We should not listen to those who would tear down our faith.
Korihor also tried to preach in the land of Gideon. He was eventually bound and taken before the chief judge and before Alma the high priest.
• What law did Korihor break that caused him to be brought before the chief judge? He wasn’t taken before the chief judge for preaching his beliefs. Everyone was free to choose what they believed, but there was a law against unbelievers persecuting members and seeking to destroy the church, and Korihor had been breaking that law.
When Korihor was brought before Alma, Korihor condemned the priests of the land and began contending that they were teaching about Christ to get power and authority over the people so they could glut themselves upon the people’s labor.
Alma knew the truth of the matter. He pointed out that Korihor knew that neither he nor his bretheren had ever received any money for their labors in behalf of the church. Alma had labored with his own hands for his own support. The only profit he and his bretheren recieved for the labor they performed in the church was to rejoice in the happiness of their brethren.
• Why would Korihor try to falsely condemn the priests of taking advantage of the people for profit? To deceive people into leaving the church.
Alma asked Korihor if he believed there was a God. Korihor said he did not believe there was a God. Alma asked what evidence Korihor had that there was not a God.
In Korihor’s preaching’s he had said that we can’t know of things we have not seen. He argued that a person who had not seen God could not know of his existence.
• Ask the children to think of a place they have never visited that exists. Why do you believe that place exists? Just as we have other’s accounts to help us know of places we have not seen, we have the testimonies of prophets, the scriptures, and the Holy Ghost to help us know that God exists.
• Alma stated that Korihor did know there was a God, but he was lying because the devil had power over him. How was Alma able to discern that Korihor was lying? Through the Holy Ghost
Korihor said if Alma would show him a sign of the power of God then he would believe. Alma said Korihor had signs enough through the scriptures, the testimony of others, the words of the prophets, all things on the earth, and the regular movement of the planets. All these things indicate there is a God who is the supreme creator.
Alma was grieved at the hardness of Korihor’s heart. He also grieved that Korihor’s soul would be destroyed, but Alma felt it was better that one soul be lost than Korihor should be the means of the destruction of many souls by his lying and flattering words. Alma told Korihor that if he denied God again then God would smite him, and Korihor would become dumb and not be able to speak his deceit any more.
Korihor once again said he did not believe there was a God. Through the power of God, Korihor was then struck dumb. When the chief judge saw this he wrote to Korihor, “Are you now convinced of the power of God?” Korihor wrote that only the power of God could strike him dumb, and that he had always believed there was a God.
Korihor said the devil deceived him; that he appeared to him in the form of an angel and told him to go and reclaim the people because they had all gone astray after an unknown God. The devil had said there was no God, and he taught Korihor what he should say.
• Why would Satan want people to believe there is no God? One reason is that when a belief in God and his teachings are taken away, living a moral and virtuous life no longer seems important. Satan wants to destroy people’s lives through getting them to sin.
• Why did Korihor teach what Satan told him? (See Alma 30:53) Korihor was attracted to what Satan taught because it was pleasing to the carnal mind.
• What does it mean to be carnally minded? It means to focus on physical pleasures and material things.
Korihor wrote some words beseeching Alma to pray to God to have the curse removed. Alma said that if the curse was removed from Korihor he would once again lead away the hearts of the people.
• Why would Korihor continue to do evil even after seeing the truth? Remind the children that carnal desires were very pleasing to Korihor. Satan had a strong hold on Korihor.
The curse was not taken from Korihor, and he found it necessary to go from house to house begging for food in order to sustain himself. Korihor had taught that people prospered because of their own intelligence and strength, but he learned that we are dependent on the Lord for everything we have.
The knowledge of what happened to Korihor was published throughout all the land. The people who had believed the words of Korihor were told they should speedily repent lest the same judgments come upon them. They repented, and that was the end to the iniquity of Korihor.
As Korihor went around begging for food, he went to a people that had separated themselves from the Nephites. They taught Korihor-like-beliefs in their community. They were called Zoramites. As Korihor went among them he was trampled to death.
• Why would a people, who believed the same as Korihor, treat him in such a way? Their beliefs promoted the idea that they should look down on those who were less fortunate than themselves. They also believed that no matter what they did, their actions were not considered to be sin.
•Would beliefs such as these cause a lot of suffering and pain in the world?
• Does Satan support those who serve him? (See Alma 30:60) What does Heavenly Father do for those who serve him? (See Mosiah 2:41)
Remind the children of the real and fake diamonds. Explain that Satan has a counterfeit or opposite teaching for every teaching of Jesus Christ, but because Satan’s counterfeits are worthless they do not bring real happiness or satisfaction.
• How can a person tell if a diamond is real or fake? It takes special equipment and study to be able to tell the difference.
• What is the special equipment we have been given to help us identify the difference between false teachings and true teachings? The scriptures, the Holy Ghost (remind the children that Alma was able to discern Korihor’s lies through the Holy Ghost), and we also have access to trained experts through the living prophets.
Post the cutout diamonds on the board next to the false teachings of Korihor. Explain that the diamonds represent real diamonds and true doctrine. Have all the children look up the first diamond scripture. Have one child read the scripture out loud. Discuss the scripture and point out that there are many more scriptures about the same subject. Explain that the more we learn about something, the more expert we become at telling the difference between the truth and its fake imitation.
Instruct the child to take the opposing counterfeit teaching off the board. After all the scriptures have been read, and all the counterfeit teachings are off the board, explain that there are many more false beliefs and ideas Satan is spreading throughout the world. Satan uses many marketing strategies to spread and sell his false doctrines such as media, music, movies, commercials, books, etc.
• What will be the price we pay if we “buy” into Satan’s false doctrine? Unhappiness, loss of eternal salvation, etc.
Remind the children that when we take advantage of the tools and experts that we have been given, then we can have the satisfaction and joy of enjoying true doctrines of great worth that bring real happiness.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 30:5-60
Answers to Diamond Activity:
False Doctrine Truth
There will be no Christ for no man can know of things to come. D&C 76:10, 8
Whatever a man does is no crime. There is no such thing as sin. 2 Nephi 2:13
There is no need for, and can be no such thing as an atonement. Alma 34:9
People prosper because of their own intelligence and strength. D&C 130:20-21
Foolish beliefs in Christ bind you down. John 8:32 -36
There will be no resurrection, no life after death. Alma11:42-43