Anguish in Ammonihah
• Items needed: a piece of rope, a basket, string, and a blindfold.
•Print the visual aids and make scrolls out of them by doing the following: Cut off the word strips at the bottom of each numbered scroll section. If there is more than one page to a scroll section, glue the pages together to form a vertical line of pictures. (Thick, tacky glue works best.) Glue each word strip to the back of the scroll on the bottom of the section it goes with (see picture). Wait until the glue is completely dry, then roll each scroll into a tube. Roll from the bottom up so the headline will be the the first thing showing when it is unrolled. Tie each scroll with a piece of string. Number the outside of each scroll so they will be read in the correct order. Put the rolled up scrolls into a basket. (Note: The visual aids are from chapter twenty-two of Book of Mormon Stories.)
Blindfold a volunteer and place the child in the center of the room. Ask the child how they would feel if you asked them to fall backward and trust that one of the other children would catch them. The child will probably respond with trepidation. They will probably also feel relief when you explain that it won’t be required of them. Have the child take off the blindfold and sit down.
Ask the children who they would pick from among their friends and family to catch them if they had do the activity. Ask them why they would pick that person. Most likely it will be because they know that person cares about what happens to them and is strong enough to catch them.
Explain to the children that having faith and trust in someone is very important, and that today’s lesson is about having faith in Jesus Christ. To have faith in Jesus Christ means that we know he loves us and that he knows what is best for us. Because we know these things, we follow what he asks us to do. We also know that he has the strength and power to help us to rise above the challenges and difficulties we face each day.
Remind the children of last week’s lesson about Alma and Amulek teaching the people of Ammonihah. Alma and Amulek had faith and trust in Jesus Christ. They did as he asked even though it was a difficult. In today’s lesson we learn the results of those teachings. Many good and miraculous things occurred, but also many terrible and tragic things.
Tell the children they are going to hear the news of what happened to Alma and Amulek in a way that people in that day may have learned news.
Show the children the scrolls. Tell the children that each scroll has a headline, such as a newspaper from our day would have. Newspaper headlines tell the most important news of the day.
Have the children take turns reading the scrolls in numerical order. Direct them to unroll the scroll and first show and read the headline to the class. Then unroll to the first picture and read the word strip on the back. Continue in this manner until each picture is shown and each wordstrip has been read. After a child reads a scroll, ask any bulleted questions found under that scrolls headlines below.
1) ALMA THE HIGH PRIEST ACCUSED UNJUSTLY OF CRIMES
2) CITIZENS THROWN OUT OF AMMONIHAH
3) PEOPLE BURNED ALIVE IN AMMONIHAH
• Amulek had prophesied earlier that the only thing protecting the people of Ammonihah from being destroyed was the righteous people in the city. What would happen to the wicked people of Ammonihah if they cast out and killed all those who believed in the word of God? They would be destroyed.
4) HIGH PRIEST FORCED TO WATCH PEOPLE BURN
• Why didn’t the Lord allow Alma to exercise the power of the priesthood and deliver the faithful women and children? (See Alma 60:13) The Lord allows people to do wicked things so that the judgments he will exercise upon them will be just. The blood of their victims would stand as a witness against them.
• What happens to righteous people who die in defense of the truth? (See Alma 14:11) The Lord receives them to himself in glory.
5) HIGH PRIEST THROWN INTO PRISON AND TORTURED
• Is it necessary to answer every person who mocks you and your beliefs? Why not? Some people’s hearts are so hard it would not make a difference what you said in reponse; they would continue to belittle and mock those things which are sacred.
• What helped Alma and Amulek have the courage to endure the threats and suffering perpetrated by those who sought to destroy them? They trusted the Lord. They had faith in him and in his plans and purposes.
6) LEADERS IN AMMONIHAH FLEE IN FEAR AFTER PRISONERS BREAK THEIR BONDS
• Have two children try to break the rope you brought. It should not be possible. Ask why Alma and Amulek could break the cords that bound them.
• Why did the chief priest and other leaders flee in fear when Alma and Amulek broke their bindings? They knew in their hearts that what they were doing was wrong. They were probably afraid, and rightfully so, that the power and judgments of God were about to come upon them.
7) PRISON IN AMMONIHAH COLLAPSES – KILLS ALL EXCEPT HIGH PRIEST AND COMPANION
• Why were the people of Ammonihah afraid? They may have been afraid that the power and judgments of God were about to come upon them.
• Why were Alma and Amulek’s lives preserved? (See Alma 14:13) They still had a work to do.
8) MIRACULOUS HEALING IN SIDOM
• What could Alma and Amulek have told the people to comfort them in this time of sorrow? They could have told them about the revelation: that the Lord had received their wives and children to himself in glory.
• Have you ever known someone who was so worried about something that they became physically ill? Our emotional state can affect our health.
- What made it possible for Zeezrom to be healed? His faith in Jesus Christ.
9) AMMONIHAH DESTROYED BY LAMANITES – ALL DEAD
• What did Alma prophesy would happen to the people of Ammonihah if they did not repent? (See Alma 9:18) That they would be destroyed by the Lamanites.
10) NEW CONVERTS FORSAKE RICHES, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY
• Many times new converts have to endure numerous difficulties. Friends and family may not agree with the person’s choice and may disown and reject them. The converts usually also have to make many lifestyle changes. How do new converts have the strength to sacrifice so much? Because they have faith and trust in the Lord.
• How can we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ? To help answer this question remind the children of the blindfold object lesson that was done at the beginning of class. Also remind them of the person they would trust enough to catch them, and remind them of the reasons they trust that person – because that person cares about them, and that person is strong enough to catch them.
• Ask how they have come to know that the person they chose cares about them. Responses might include the following: the person helps them, the person shows love for them by doing caring things for them, and the person tells them that they love and care for them.
• How can we gain faith and trust in Jesus? Explain to the children that as we get to know Jesus through reading the scriptures, we will learn about all the things he has done for us and we will know that he loves and cares for us and wants what is best for us. We will also learn through the scriptures that Jesus is the son of God, and that He has the strength and power to lift us up when we fall.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 14:1-29, Alma 15:1-12, Alma16:1-3 and Alma 16:9-11