Lesson 33: The Savior Appears to the Nephites
• Items needed: a small paper bag, a flashlight or a candle, a black marker, a general conference CD, a CD player, tape, magnets, pencils, sticky tack, ten sheets of cardstock or construction paper. Recommended: the items to make a roller box – a large empty cereal box, two long metal skewers or dowel rods, wrapping paper or scrapbook paper.
• Print the game pictures. Cut out the two titles and the scriptures. Attach each scripture to its matching drawing from lesson thirty-one.
• Print the worksheet. Each half of the page is one worksheet. Make one copy of the page per every two children, and then cut the pages in half.
• Print the scripture story pictures. (Do not print the pictures onto heavy paper, and do not laminate them if you are making a roller box.) It is recommended that you make a roller box with the pictures, but the pictures can also be used individually. Note: The scripture story pictures are from chapters forty-two and forty-three of Book of Mormon Stories.
• Roller Box Instructions: Lay the scripture story pictures face down in a vertical row in the order they were printed. Cut a sheet of plain paper in half vertically. Put one half at the top of the row and the other half at the bottom. Butt together the edges and tape them so they form one long row of pictures. Tape the open end of the cereal box closed with packaging tape. With an exacto knife, cut an 8 ½ x 5 inch hole in the front of the box. Cover the box with wrapping paper or scrapbook paper. Be sure to cut out any paper covering the opening in the front of the box. Poke a metal skewer through the top side of the box about one inch down from the top and one inch from the front of the box. Then poke the end of the skewer going out through the other side of the box. Do the same with the other skewer on the bottom of the box. Roll the pictures into a roll, starting at the bottom. Put the roll through the front window of the box. Line the top edge of the roll with tape and then attach it to the top skewer. Roll all the scroll onto the skewer by turning the handle on the skewer. Put a row of tape onto the bottom edge of the roll and attach it to the bottom skewer.
• Print the 4th Article of Faith chart. Tape the edges of the two pieces together so it forms one complete chart. Cut out the scriptures and attach them to the chart according to where they go using sticky tack. (See the picture above to see where each one should be placed.)
• Classroom Prep: 1) Put the flashlight (or candle) into the bag. 2) Tape the drawings from lesson thirty-one (of the signs of Jesus’ death) on the left side of the board. Put the title “Samuel’s Prophecy” above the drawings. On the right side of the board put the pictures of the destructions that occurred at Jesus’ death. Put the title “Prophecy Fulfilled” above those pictures. Attach a cover sheet (cardstock or construction paper) over the top of each of the ten pictures using magnets. 3) Play one of the conference talks on the CD as the children enter the classroom.
Show the children the bag. Ask a child to reach into the bag, without looking, and feel the item that is in there. Have the child tell the other children what the item is. Ask another child to do the same.
Ask the children that haven’t felt the item if they know what is in the bag. Ask how they know. (Because the other children who had personal contact with the item told them what was in the bag.) Show the children the flashlight. Ask if the children remember who the light of the world is. (Jesus Christ)
• How can we know of Jesus and that he was resurrected and lives today if we haven’t had personal contact with him? Explain that the experiences recorded in the scriptures are meant to help us know of know of things we have not witnessed for ourselves. As we read the scriptures about Jesus we can gain a witness of their truth through the Holy Ghost. In today’s lesson we learn of an important event recorded in the Book of Mormon concerning Jesus that occurred a long time ago.
After Jesus’ birth the Nephite people shifted back and forth from righteousness to wickedness. Eventually the people became in such an awful state of wickedness that the more righteous part of the people had nearly all become wicked. The prophets were killed who were sent to testify against the people’s sins. The government was destroyed because of the secret combinations of those who slew the prophets. The people divided up into tribes ruled by their individual leaders. (3 Nephi 6:23 & 3 Nephi 7:6-7)
On the thirty third year from the birth of Jesus the people began looking for the sign of Jesus’ death. There was much doubting and disputations concerning the sign even though they had witnessed many other signs come to pass. On the first month of the thirty fourth year, the signs of Jesus’ death that Samuel the Lamanite had prophesied began to occur.
Point out the two columns of papers on the board and the column titles. Explain that under each paper is a picture. The children will try to find matches by taking turns turning over two pictures, one from the column labeled “Samuel’s Prophecy” and another from the column labeled “Prophecy Fulfilled”. When a match is found have the children look up and read both scriptures.
After the matches have all been made explain that the destructive forces lasted for the space of three hours, and after that the three days of darkness began. (3 Nephi 8:19)
Scripture Story Activity
Teach the following scripture story using the roller box. Have the children take turns rolling the pictures down. Read the below numbered captions after a picture is rolled down. Also do any discussion listed below each caption.
1. In the darkness there was great moaning, howling, and weeping. Many were heard to say: “O that we had repented before this great and terrible day”
• Why did the people wish they had repented before the time of destruction? Friends and family who had been lost in the destruction might have been spared if the people had repented and been righteous. (See 3 Nephi 8:25)
• A voice was heard in the darkness among all the inhabitants in the land. What do you think the voice said?
2. The voice said, “Wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent;”
• What does this mean for us and everyone on the earth? We are all spiritually and physically at risk if we do not repent.
• The voice then told of all the destructions that had occurred to the various Nephite cities and the reason for the destructions. What do you think the reason was for the destructions?
3. “And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.”
• The voice then declared why those who were left were spared. Why do you think they were spared?
4. “All ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they.”
(Read 3 Nephi 12:10) “And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared.”
• The voice then invites the people to come unto him and repent and be healed. The voice then declares who he is. Who do you think it was that was speaking?
5. He said, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.”
• What does it mean to come unto Christ? The word “come” means to draw close to. How do we draw close to the Savior? By learning of him, and by seeking to follow his example and teachings.
6. The Lord then said, “How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, but you would not.”
The Lord yearns to gather his people into the safety and protection of the gospel. He sought to nourish them and teach them the way of salvation, but on many occasions they chose to forsake him. The Lord lamented (grieved or mourned) for those who were lost because they refused to be gathered.
After the people heard these words they began to weep and howl again because of the loss of their kindred and friends. Possibly they also grieved for those who could have been gathered and thus spared, but who refused to do so.
7. After three days passed, the darkness dispersed and the earth did cease to quake. The mourning, weeping, and wailing did cease and they did give thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ their redeemer. (3 Nephi 10:9-10)
• How difficult would it be to function properly without any light for three days?
• Why was darkness one of the signs of Jesus’ death? The darkness reminds us that we can not function properly on the earth without the light of the world (Jesus Christ). Without Jesus Christ we would be without hope or direction. He makes it possible for us to repent and progress.
• How long did Jesus’ body lay in the tomb? (Three days) On the third day, the day of his resurrection, light came again to the people of America. (Helaman 14:20)
Give each child a worksheet and a pencil. Explain that you want them to listen carefully for the answers to the worksheet questions as you tell the rest of the scripture story. Tell them to write down the answers when they hear them.
8. After the three days of darkness ended, a great multitude of the people of Nephi gathered around the temple in the land of Bountiful. They were conversing and marveling about all that had occurred. As they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven. They cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard.
Have the children look up 3 Nephi 11:3 and describe the voice the Nephites heard. (It was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.)
9. And they did hear the voice again and they understood it not. And again the third time they did hear the voice and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came. And the third time they did understand the voice which they heard. The voice said “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.”
10. The people cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them.
11. He stretched forth his hand and said, “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.” When they heard these words the multitude fell to the earth.
12. Jesus Christ told them to arise and come forth and thrust their hands into his side and also feel the prints of the nails in his hands and feet. The multitude went forth one by one and did feel and see the wounds in his body. They did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets that should come.
Discuss the worksheet questions and answers.
1. Where did a large group of people gather after the three days of darkness? The temple in the land of Bountiful.
2. How many times did the voice speak before the people understood it? Three times
3. How were the people finally able to understand the voice? “They did open their ears to hear it”
• Ask the children if they remember the general conference talk that was playing when they entered the classroom. Ask if any of them knows what topic the speaker was talking about. Ask what they would need to do in order to know what the speaker was saying. (They would have to focus, pay attention, and listen.)
• What can we do to better hear and understand God’s words to us? We need to focus and listen so we might feel or hear the gentle promptings of the Spirit. God speaks to our spirits. The Nephite’s spirits burned when they heard the voice.
4. Whose voice did the people hear speaking to them from heaven? Heavenly Father’s
• Very few people in all of history of the world have heard the actual voice of God the Father. Why did you think the Father addressed the Nephites in this instance? To testify to the world and call attention to the significance of who Jesus Christ is - he is the son of God, and he performed the atonement that was necessary for the plan of salvation. Heavenly Father also tells us that we need to listen to and obey Jesus’ words.
• How do we know the Father’s words were meant for the world? They are available for all to read in the scriptures.
5. After Jesus declared who he was, what was the first thing he did? He had the people feel the wounds he bore from hanging on the cross.
• Why did the Savior have the people feel his wounds? So they might know he was the one whom the prophets testified would come into the world to sacrifice and die for their sins.
Show the final picture on the roller box and read the below caption.
13. And when they had all gone forth and had seen the evidence of his sacrifice for them they did cry out with one accord saying, Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God!” and they did fall at his feet and did worship him.
The word Hosanna means in essence “Oh grant salvation.” The people remembered that only through Jesus Christ could salvation be granted, and they desired the Savior to show them the way to salvation.
• What do you think the Savior taught first concerning gaining salvation? Show the chart with the missing words and explain that each spot where there are scriptures is one of the things Jesus taught. Explain that they are going to look up the scriptures and try and figure out what goes in each spot.
The first thing the Savior did before beginning to teach about salvation was to call his representative amongst the Nephites to come forth – Nephi the prophet.
Have the children look up the chart scripture 3 Nephi 11:21, 33 to discover what the Savior gave to Nephi, and to discover one of the things that is necessary for gaining salvation. (Nephi was given the power to baptize. Baptism is necessary for gaining salvation.) (Have a child take the scripture off the chart and write the word baptism in the spot.)
The Savior also called others and gave them power to baptize. And he gave them specific instructions concerning how to baptize.
• Note: Nephi already had the power to baptize and had performed baptisms earlier. (3 Nephi 7:23-26) What power did Jesus give him? Nephi had lived through a change of dispensations. The Lord gave Nephi the priesthood keys for the new dispensation. A dispensation is when the gospel is revealed anew. In this new dispensation, Jesus had wrought the atonement, and in D&C 22:1-3 it says old things were done away and all things became new (including baptism). The old covenants were done away and the people were given the new and everlasting covenant (the fullness of the gospel). (Information taken from an interview done with Robert J Matthews. Religion A 122 BYU study manual – T. Parker )
Have the children look up 3 Nephi 11:37 to find another of the things Jesus taught the people they must do in order to gain salvation. (Repent) Explain that Jesus repeated these words two times to emphasize their importance. “And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.” (Have a child take the scripture off the chart and write in the word repentance.)
• Do active members of the church have need of repentance? We all need to repent daily, even if we have not committed serious sins. We need to repent of such things as losing our temper, being selfish, being slothful, etc.
Have the children look up the scripture 3 Nephi 11:32 to find another of the things Jesus told the people they must do in order to gain salvation. (Believe in Jesus, which is the same thing as “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Have a child take the scripture off the chart and write in the words “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ”.)
Have the children look up and read 3 Nephi 11:35 and see if they know what goes on the last line. (Holy Ghost) See if the children can tell you what the rest of the missing words are on the chart. (They should recite to you the fourth Article of Faith.)
• What does 3 Nephi 11:35 say the Holy Ghost will bear record of? The Father sends the Holy Ghost to bear record of Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost bears record that Jesus lives, that He is the Son of God, and that through His atonement we can repent and be forgiven of our sins.
Remind the children of the bag at the beginning of the lesson and how they knew what was in the bag (because of others personal contact and declarations concerning what was in the bag). Remind the children that we can each gain a personal testimony of Jesus Christ even though we have not seen or talked to him in person. We can gain that testimony through reading the testimony of others in the scriptures and by seeking for the witness of the Holy Ghost concerning Jesus Christ.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 3 Nephi 8:1-25, 3 Nephi 9:1-2 & 12-22, 3 Nephi 10:1-13, 3 Nephi 11:1-22