Satan, Temptation, & Sin: Lesson Ideas

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Ensign March 2018 “Family Home Evening: Discerning Right from Wrong” Object Lesson. Satan tries to make good, righteous, and joyful seem miserable and evil appear to be good. Wrap a rock as a gift and put a treat in a brown paper bag.  (See more at link)

Satan Tries to Get Us to Sin

Satan tempts and deceives us little by little.

Alma 47

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Alma 43-52” Read together selected verses from Alma 47:4–19, and explain to the children how Amalickiah gained control of Lehonti’s army, even though the members of the army were “fixed in their minds” that they would not be forced to fight the Nephites. What would have happened if Amalickiah had told Lehonti what he planned to do from the beginning? What do these verses teach us about how Satan tries to deceive us?

Satan knows that most of us aren’t willing to commit big sins or believe big lies. Therefore, he uses subtle lies and temptations to lead us into seemingly small sins—as many as he thinks we will accept. Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 “Alma 43-52”

He wishes to destroy our lives and bring us into captivity through getting us to sin. Demonstrate how Satan takes away our freedom through sin by doing the following object lesson.

Object Lesson
Ask for a volunteer. Have the volunteer put their hands together. Wrap one layer of the masking tape around their fingers and thumbs. Ask them if they can break free. Explain that when we first make a mistake or sin we are easily able to break free of its grasp and repent. But Satan knows that if he continue to gets us to sin, little by little, eventually the sin will become accepted and then we become bound in captivity to the sin because it becomes a habit or an addiction. (Wrap the tape around the child’s hands several times, layering one area around the fingers and thumbs.) Ask the child to try and break free from the bindings. They shouldn’t be able to. Satan wants us to be miserable like he is, and he knows that sin binds us in captivity and destroys lives.

“The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to ‘come down’ and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned ‘by degrees’ until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. … It is the safe ground” (“Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,”Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 74).

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Alma 43-52” Show a picture of a house that is well maintained and a house that has been neglected, or show a picture of a healthy garden and a garden full of weeds. Let the children talk about what they see in the pictures and how these changes might have happened over time. What could the owner of the house or garden have done to prevent this? Explain that people can gradually become sinful if they do not resist Satan’s temptations to commit small sins (such as being dishonest or looking at pornography) and then bigger sins. What are some bad things that we need to resist doing in our lives?

Satan Seeks to Deceive

With Counterfeit Teachings

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Alma 30-31” Display some items (such as money or food) and toy imitations of these items. Which would the children rather have?

Primary 4: Book of Mormon “Lesson 20: Korihor, the Anti-Christ,”  Write the first word of each pair below on slips of paper and hand them out to the children. Ask each child to think of a word that means the opposite of the word on his or her paper. Let each child say the opposite word he or she has thought of while the rest of the class tries to guess the positive word on the child’s paper.

Word Examples: light/dark, life/death, good/bad, love/hate, success/failure, right/wrong, true/false, peace/war, truth/lie, pure/impure, clean/dirty, happy/sad, healthy/sick, kind/mean, joy/sorrow

When everyone has had a turn, explain that just as every word in this activity has an opposite, Satan has a counterfeit or opposite teaching for every teaching of Jesus Christ. Following Heavenly Father brings us happiness; following Satan brings us unhappiness. Ask the children the difference between how people feel when they tell lies and how they feel when they tell the truth.

Teach the children that the more we learn about something, the more we can tell the difference between that thing and its opposite. The more we learn about and follow Jesus Christ’s teachings, the more we will be able to resist the temptations and deception of Satan..

2 Nephi 28

Things Satan wants people to believe:

  • You don’t need to strive to improve yourself because you are already good enough. (Verse 21)
  • God will justify a little sin. He may punish you a little, but he will still allow you to be saved in His Kingdom. (Verse 8)
  • There is no hell or devil. (Verse 22)
  • God has already given all His words. You don’t need more. (Verse 29)
  • Beware of those who say miracles still occur. Miracles don’t need to happen anymore. (Verse 6)
  • There is no God.

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, Satan can destroy people’s lives through getting them to sin.

Korihor 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.

What could the personal consequences be for believing each of the above lies? (You could wrap some thread around someone’s wrists to represent “a flaxen cord” as the family members mention possible consequences. Then read the following: [Satan] leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. 2 Nephi 26:22)

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 “3 Nephi 1–7: “Lift Up Your Head and Be of Good Cheer”

To help your family learn how Satan can deceive us, draw a body, and as your family reads 3 Nephi 2:1–3 and 6:15–17, mark the different parts of the body mentioned. According to these verses, what are some of the ways Satan tempts us to forget God and turn to sin?

Forgetting spiritual experiences makes me vulnerable to Satan’s temptations.

3 Nephi 1:222:1–3

The Nephites started to fall into wickedness as they let themselves forget the signs of the birth of Jesus Christ and the miracles they had seen. Similarly, if we forget our spiritual experiences, it will be easier for us to drift away from the gospel. Ensign September 2020 “Come, Follow Me: Book of Mormon—Support Articles and Activities September 7–13”

Ask the children if any of them would like to share a spiritual experience they have had. Ideas could include answers to prayers, warm feelings when reading the scriptures, etc.

What can you do to better remember the past spiritual experiences you have had? Consider writing them down. You could also share them with your family (Sharing your experience can bring back the Spirit. It can also help the other person to feel the Spirit). Ensign September 2020 “How can we keep from forgetting spiritual experiences?”

Jared’s Journal.” In this Friend story, Jared learns he can color in a journal to remember important things.

Scripture Journal.” This activity idea from the Friend can help your children start writing what they learn from the scriptures. Includes a doorknob tag to print and cut out.

Ensign September 2020 “Family Study Fun: Remembering Jar”

Read 3 Nephi 2:1–3 together and talk about how some people “began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard.” Then play an activity to help your family remember God all week.

  1. Label a jar “God loves me.”
  2. Give each family member a small piece of paper and ask them to write down a blessing God has given them. Put the papers in the jar.
  3. Encourage family members to add more papers to the jar as they notice blessings during the week.
  4. At the end of the week, pick a handful of papers to read out loud and talk about.

Discussion: Why do you think the adversary wants us to forget the spiritual “wonders” we notice in our lives? How can we remember God every day?

How to Protect Ourselves from Satan’s Temptations

See Armor of God

As your family reads about the Nephites’ fortifications, you could discuss how you are fortifying your home against the adversary. Children might enjoy building a fort out of objects like chairs and blankets, or they could draw what they imagine the Nephite fortifications looked like.

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Alma 43-52”

Read the Scriptures Daily

 God’s word in the Book of Mormon helps us see and avoid Satan’s deceptions, and He continues to give revelation to us individually, and to His prophets that teach us His words. But He reminds us that “for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” (Review Satan’s lies pertaining to the idea of not needing to do or learn more. Also point out that Heavenly Father doesn’t expect us to know everything at once. Point out that we learn “line upon line.” Do the activity below to help the children understand the reason for that.)

Friend February 2020 “My Family Night Fun”  Sit in a circle to play this game. The first person says, “I’m going to church, and I’m going to learn ______.” The next person repeats what the first person said and adds their own item at the end. Continue going around the circle, repeating all the items and adding more one by one. Can you remember them all? Too much at once can be a little overwhelming and hard to remember. But when we try to learn a little each day, we are able to retain it better. Reading the Book of Mormon each day helps us learn “line upon line” and helps us avoid Satan’s temptations and stay on the path to Eternal Life.

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: Book of Mormon 2020 “Alma 30-31” Display some items (such as money or food) and toy imitations of these items. Which would the children rather have?

Primary 4: Book of Mormon “Lesson 20: Korihor, the Anti-Christ,”  Write the first word of each pair below on slips of paper and hand them out to the children. Ask each child to think of a word that means the opposite of the word on his or her paper. Let each child say the opposite word he or she has thought of while the rest of the class tries to guess the positive word on the child’s paper.

Word Examples: light/dark, life/death, good/bad, love/hate, success/failure, right/wrong, true/false, peace/war, truth/lie, pure/impure, clean/dirty, happy/sad, healthy/sick, kind/mean, joy/sorrow

When everyone has had a turn, explain that just as every word in this activity has an opposite, Satan has a counterfeit or opposite teaching for every teaching of Jesus Christ. Following Heavenly Father brings us happiness; following Satan brings us unhappiness. Ask the children the difference between how people feel when they tell lies and how they feel when they tell the truth.

Teach the children that the more we learn about something, the more we can tell the difference between that thing and its opposite. The more we learn about and follow Jesus Christ’s teachings, the more we will be able to resist the temptations and deception of Satan..

Pray Daily

What happens if we don’t pray daily and sincerely? We tend to lose the guidance of the Spirit, which is essential for managing the challenges and temptations of life. What was the result of the Zoramites not praying daily? They succumbed to Satan’s temptations.

Family, Teachers, & Leaders Help

Friend September 2018 “Keep Paddling” Life is like being on a river. Our goal to return to our Heavenly Father is upstream. We paddle toward this goal by making good choices. Temptations in the world try to take us downstream, away from our goal. It helps if we are part of a team that is paddling together.  Your family is on your rowing crew. Your Primary teachers and Church leaders are also on your rowing crew too. Your crew helps you make good choices.
Make this boat and draw who the people are that are on your rowing crew.

To avoid temptation we must follow righteous counsel and examples.

While on a mission, Corianton did things he shouldn’t have. His father, Alma, counseled him on avoiding temptation by following righteous examples and counsel. Who were Corianton’s righteous examples? His father and older brothers. Alma told Corianton to counsel with his brothers. (Alma 39:10)

How can counseling with righteous family members help strengthen our resistance to temptation? They love us and want what is best for us, and being experienced in righteous living, they can help give advice on how to avoid temptation and difficulty.

Not only can we receive direction from righteous family members, but there may be other people around us who are also righteous examples.

  • From what other sources can you receive righteous counsel and examples?

Object Lesson
Demonstrate how it helps to have advice and counsel from someone who knows what is right by doing the following object lesson.

Show the children the two bags or boxes, and explain that one has something undesirable in it and the other has something desirable in it. Show one of the children what is in the boxes. Tell the other children that they can ask the child yes or no questions about the items (with the exception of directly asking which is the good or bad container) until they can decide which is the good choice. Ask the children if it helped to talk to someone who was informed about which was the bad choice and which was the good choice. Point out that it also helps to counsel with those who are experienced in righteous living in order to get help and direction in making good choices in life.

Friend October 2017 Some ideas on ways to help get rid of bad thoughts.

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