Nephi Receives Great Power
• Items needed: a small lamp, chalk and eraser, scriptures for each child, a ball of yarn or string, a picture of Jesus, tape, a table easel, several sheets of cardstock paper, a bag or container for the game questions, scissors, and double-sided removable tape. Optional: Print the Example Image found in the lesson, and bring an example priesthood line of authority to show.
• Print the standing story figures onto white cardstock. Cut them out and fold the bottom tab forward. Be prepared to tape the figures standing up onto half sheets of cardstock as shown in the picture above.
• Print the activity and game items. Cut out the scripture reference cards and the game review questions. Fold the question strips in half. Put each set of items into a bag or container.
• Print the scripture story question pages. (The pictures that go in the boxed areas on the flipchart are in the scripture story visual aid file. They can be printed, cut out, and glued onto their appropriate spots. The last picture page in the file is to be used in another part of the lesson. Do not cut the pictures out.) Make the question pages into a flipchart by punching a hole on both sides of the top of all the pages, and then attaching the pages together with metal rings or ribbon through the holes.
• Cut fourteen, ¾ inch strips of cardstock. Cover each scripture reference on the flipchart with the strips using double-sided removable tape.
Show the children the unplugged lamp you brought. Ask a child to turn it on.
• What needs to happen for the lamp to work? It needs to be plugged into a power outlet.
• Where does the power outlet draws its energy from? A power plant. Explain that all electrical lines from the outlet to the power plant must be connected in order for us to access that power. (Show Example Image)
Explain that this lesson is about another form of power. Through this power the world we live on and the universe we live in was formed and brought to pass.
• Can anyone guess what this power is? (The priesthood – the power and authority of God)
• How can this priesthood power be accessed on earth? Worthy men have the priesthood conferred upon them to act in God’s name.
• What does it mean to act in the name of God? (To do the things Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would do.)
• What are some of the good things Jesus Christ did on earth? (He was baptized, healed the sick, made the blind see, blessed the children, prepared the sacrament, and so on.) Can these things be done today? Yes. The Lord made it possible for men to act in his name so his church (the kingdom of God on the earth) could be administered and governed on the earth.
• How is the priesthood confered upon a worthy man or young man? It is given by the laying on of hands by someone who has the authority to confer the priesthood and ordain the priesthood holder to a specific office in the priesthood.
• How did men in the church get this authority to perform these ordinations? Remind the children what they learned at the beginning of the lesson, that all electrical lines must be connected to a main power source. Explain that all priesthood holders must have their lines of authority traced back to the person who has the authority and power to govern the administration of the priesthood on the earth.
• Who has this power and authority? Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ is the great High Priest of God; Christ is therefore the source of all true priesthood authority and power on this earth (Heb. 5:5-10)”. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism- Priesthood)
When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, he laid his hands on the heads of his apostles (tape the standing figures of Jesus and the kneeling apostles onto one of the pieces of cardstock) and gave them the priesthood (the power and authority to act in God’s name). After the apostles died, this authority was eventually taken from the earth. In 1829 Peter, James, and John, the same apostles who received their authority from Jesus Christ, conferred the Melchizedek priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (tape the standing figures of the apostles and the kneeling figure of Joseph Smith on the other piece of cardstock). (April 1990 Friend)
Through the restoration of the priesthood to the earth by authorized servants of God, the Church of Jesus Christ was also restored to the earth. Jesus Christ directs his church through the living prophet who has been given all the keys of the priesthood
Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn about a Book of Mormon prophet who used the priesthood power and authority he was given to help his people repent.
Scripture Story Activity
Give each child one or two scripture reference cards. Tell them to look up their scripture and read it to themselves. Explain that you are going to ask some questions, one at a time, and they will need to decide if their scripture answers the question. The question will be on a flipchart to help them with the process. (Put the flipchart on the easel.) If they think they have the correct scripture, they can come up and check under the cover strip to see if they are right. If it is correct that person will tell the class what the answer is. (Add any parts of the answer the child leaves out, and add any discussion that goes with the question as listed below.) (Optional Idea: Let the other children try and guess what the answer is before it is given.)
Before starting the activity, quickly review a little of the scripture story from last week’s lesson, and then ask the children if they think the great miracle that Nephi performed, in telling the people about the murder of the chief judge, influenced the Nephites to change their lives? (Read Helaman 10:13) Explain that most of the people remained unrepentant and wicked.
As Nephi headed home he was very sad. He pondered on the wickedness of the people and the events that had occurred.
1. What occurred as Nephi was pondering? (Helaman 10:3) A voice spoke to him.
• What does it mean to ponder? (To think about and consider.) The scriptures tell us that many prophets received revelation from the Lord as they were pondering upon the things of God. We also open ourselves up to revelation as we ponder upon our problems during scripture study, during church meetings, and during our prayers.
2. The Lord told Nephi that He was pleased with him. What was there about Nephi that pleased Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? (Helaman 10:4) (Write the answers on the board.) Unweayringness in declaring the word of God, seeking for the will of God in all things, and keeping the commandments.
• What does unwearyingness mean? It means being faithfully diligent.
3. What blessings was Nephi promised because of his faithfulness? (Helaman 10:5–7) (Write the answers on the board.)
o Blessed forever – What does it mean to be blessed forever?
o Make him mighty in word, deed, and works. All things done according to his words.
o Power over the people to smite them because of their wickedness.
o Sealing power (Read Helaman 10:7) What is the sealing power Nephi was given? “The sealing power is the priesthood power given to authorized servants of the Lord to perform certain acts on earth and have them recognized or validated in heaven”. (Quote from Encyclopedia of Mormonism -Sealing) How can this sealing power of the priesthood bless us today? (In the temple our families can be sealed together forever.)
• Why did the Lord trust Nephi with such great power? (See Helaman10:5) He would not ask for anything contrary to God’s will.
4. After declaring these great promises and blessings upon Nephi, what did the Lord command Nephi to go and do? (Helaman 10:11) Declare to the people that except they repent they shall be smitten with destruction.
5. How did Nephi show his obedience when the Lord finished speaking to him? (Helaman 10:12, 17) Nephi immediately went to declare the word of God to the people. He went forth from multitude to multitude until he had declared the word of God to all.
6. How did the people respond to the message Nephi delivered? (Helaman 10:15) They would not listen, and they hardened their hearts. They reviled against him and did seek to lay their hands upon him that they might cast him into prison.
7. How was Nephi protected as he declared the word of God to the people? (Helaman 10:16) The power of God was with him. He was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away from out of the midst of them.
8. What problems arose among the people as Nephi went about teaching them? (Helaman 10:18 – see only the second half of the scripture) They began to contend one with another and slay each other with the sword. As the year passed, the contentions grew worse and there were wars throughout all the land.
As Nephi witnessed these wars, he became concerned because the people were not seeing the connection between the destruction among them and their sinful ways. He was afraid they would completely destroy themselves by the sword.
9. What did Nephi pray for on behalf of his people? (Helaman 11:4) He prayed that there might be a famine instead to help bring them to a rememberance of their God. And so it was done according to the words of Nephi.
10. What happened to the wars after the people became sore afflicted by famine? (Helaman 11:5) The work of destruction did cease by the sword because of the famine.
11. What was the cause of the food shortage? (Helaman 11:6) The earth was smitten and it was dry and did not yield any crops.
12. When the people saw they were about to perish by famine what did they remember? (Helaman 11:7) They began to remember the Lord their God; and they began to remember the words of Nephi.
13. What did the people plead with their leaders to ask Nephi to do? (Helaman 11:8) To cry unto the Lord and ask Him to turn away the famine that they might not be destroyed.
14. What did the Lord require of the people before he would end the famine? (Helaman11:10-11, 16) He required that they humble themselves, repent, get rid of the evil Gadianton robbers from among them, and be willing to do the things he asks of them.
When Nephi saw they had done all these things, he prayed that the famine would cease and that God would send rain. And the Lord did turn away his anger and did cause it to rain, and once again the crops began to grow. (Put these pictures on the easel.)
The people did esteem Nephi as a great prophet, and a man of God, having great power and authority given unto him from God.
If time allows do the following review game with the ball of yarn:
Have the children put their chairs in two rows facing each other. Tape the end of the ball of yarn to the picture of Jesus. Draw a question from the bag and read it out loud. Toss the ball of yarn to the child who gives the correct answer. Hold onto the end of the string as you toss it. Have that child choose a question from the bag and read it. The children in the chairs on the opposite side are the ones who answer the question. The child that read the question holds on to their part of the yarn and tosses the ball of yarn to the child who answers the question. Continue in this manner, with a child reading a question, holding onto their part of the yarn and tossing it to someone on the opposite side who hasn’t had a turn answering a question.
When all the children have had a turn, and are each holding a section of the yarn, point out the line and explain that if it were an electrical power line that originated from a main power source, all outlets connected to it would receive power. (The children represent the outlets.) Explain that it can also represent a priesthood line of authority that originates from Jesus Christ. All worthy priesthood holders connected with the line would have the authority to exercise the power of the priesthood. (If possible, show an example priesthood line of authority.) (If there are more questions in the bag, cut off the piece of yarn and start the game again.)
Bear testimony that through the power and authority of the priesthood, Jesus Christ guides, governs, and blesses his followers and his church.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Helaman 10:1-19 & Helaman 11:1-21