Lesson 25 – Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah

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Lesson 25
Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah

Preparation

  • Items needed: paper, crayons, and a pencil for each child. You will also need an orange, tape, two page protectors, a dry erase marker, an empty binder, one 3X5 card for each child or some strips of paper, and some removable double-sided tape.
  • Print and cut out the Armor of God pictures.  Also print one set of the small version of the armor of God per child. If possible, quickly cut out the small pieces of armor. If not, provide scissors for each child to cut out the pieces.
  • Print the Game Items. Put each of the game boards into a page protector. Tape one of the game boards to the inside cover of the binder.
  • Be prepared to play the video of chapter 31 of Book the Mormon Stories. The Book of Mormon Stories DVD can be checked out from your meetinghouse library, or the video “Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah” can be downloaded and watched on a laptop computer.

 

Attention Activity
Show the children the orange. Ask a child to catch it and then toss it back. Do this a couple more times. Ask what would happen to the orange, as it is tossed around, if didn’t have a protective shell on it. (It would quickly become dirty and damaged.) Ask the children if they can think of other items that have protective outside coverings. Items might include: bananas, eggs, nuts, etc.

• For what reason might a person wear a protective outside covering such as armor? To protect their body in dangerous situations such as war.

Scripture Story
Tell the children they are going to watch a video about a battle that occurred between the Nephites and Lamanites. Tell them to watch carefully to see what the Nephites do to protect themselves against the Lamanite’s attacks.

Before starting the video, first tell a little of the background story. Ask the children if they remember who the Zoramites were. They were a people so wicked they cast out or burned anybody who believed in the prophet Alma’s teachings. The people they cast out were taken in and cared for by the people of Ammon. This made the wicked Zoramites angry, and they stirred up the Lamanites against the people of Ammon and against the Nephites. The Lamanite army (which included the Zoramites who had joined the Lamanites) attacked the land of Jershon where the people of Ammon resided.

Have the children watch chapter twenty-five of the Book of Mormon Stories video. After the video ask the children the following questions:

• What methods did Captain Moroni use to protect his people against the Lamanites? He had his soldiers wear armor, he consulted with the prophet for guidance and help, he had faith in the Lord, and he used cunning and strategy against the Lamanites.

• Explain to the children that we are also fighting a daily battle against an enemy who is trying to destroy us. Who are we battling against? Satan and his temptations.

• What can we do to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks? (Read Ephesians 6:13–18) Put the picture of the soldier on the board. Have the children read along with you from Ephesians. Stop as each piece of armor is mentioned, explain what it represents, and then put it on the soldier.

  • Loins Girded in Truth – Knowing truth helps us be prepared to make right choices concerning many things including virtue.
  • Breastplate of Righteousness – Represents making righteous choices.
  • Feet Shod in the Gospel of Peace – Our knowledge of the gospel helps guide the direction we go in life.
  • Shield of Faith – Having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Helmet of Salvation - Salvation was made possible through the Savior’s atonement. We need to always remember Him and His teachings.
  • Sword of the Spirit –  The guidance of the Spirit, and the guidance found in the revealed word of God, helps us in our fight against Satan’s attacks. 

 

• What happened to the Lamanites because they did not have armor to protect them? (They were overcome.) What could happen to us spiritually if we do not clothe ourselves in the armor of God? (We may fall to Satan’s temptations and suffer spiritual injury or even  spiritual death.)

Activity
Give each child a piece of paper, crayons, pencil, and a small copy of each piece of armor. Have them draw a picture of themselves on the paper, a size that would fit the small set of armor.  Have them attach their armor pieces to the drawing of themselves using small pieces of removable double-sided tape. Remind them what each piece represents, and have them write it on their paper next to the armor piece.

• Each protective piece of armor relates to our knowledge, understanding, and practice of the word of God. How can we build up our protective armor? (Have them write the answers on their papers.) Answers might include: Have personal and family scripture study, have family home evening, attend church, listen to the words of the prophet, call on God for help through prayer, keep the commandments, listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

• What other ways can we protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks? Moroni used cunning and strategy to protect the Nephites from the Lamanites attacks. We can also use strategy by planning ahead what we will do when temptation is confronting us.

Have each of the children think of a temptation situation and write it on one of the 3×5 cards. Mix the cards up and have the children take turns choosing one, reading it, and then telling what they could do if they were in that situation. Point out that they are using strategy by planning ahead what they would do when confronted with certain temptations.

Review Game
If time permits play the following scripture story review game.
Explain that the review activity is like the game Battleship, but instead of trying to find ships, they will be trying to find the Lamanite army. After they find the Lamanites they will then try to collect the Lamanite’s weapons and oath of peace.

Put the game board on the display board and show the children the game pieces. Open the binder and stand it up so the teacher game board is facing you and the children cannot see it. Explain that you will be putting the game pieces on the hidden game board, and that it is identical to the one on the display board.

Put the pieces on the teacher game board, and then put one location point of the Lamanite army on the prophet card and put the card next to the game board. The prophet card will be available for additional help, but only if they ask for it. Or they can use it when question #7 is answered.

Explain that you will be asking them questions about the story, and if they get the answer right they can guess a location on the board where the Lamanites might be. If they guess the location correctly they can circle that spot on the game board (with the dry erase pen). If the location is wrong they can mark the spot on the game board with an x. Explain that the army takes up four spaces, the weapons and oath each take up three spaces. The army, weapons, and oath could be vertical or horizontal. The children must find the army first. If they make a hit on the other items before finding the army, they can circle it, but you will inform them it is not the army, and they must then look elsewhere.

Have the children take turns answering the questions. Let them know they can get help from another person if needed, or they can look up the scripture reference to find the answer.

Questions

1. What was the Lamanite’s motive for coming to war against the Nephites? The Lamanite desired the war because they wanted to rule over the Nephites and bring them into bondage. (Alma 43:8)

2. What was the Nephites motive for battling the Lamanites? To protect their wives, children, homes, privileges, liberties, and their right to worship God according to their desires. (Alma 43:9) (Read Alma 43:46-47)

3. What was the name of the chief captain of the Nephites?  The man appointed to be the chief captain over the Nephites was called Moroni. (Have the children guess how old he was when he was appointed to be chief captain.) He was appointed when he was only 25 years old. (Alma 43:16-17)

4. What was the name of the chief commander of the Lamanite army? (Zerahemnah)  Zerahemnah appointed Nephite dissenters as the chief captains to insight the Lamanites to aggressiveness and hostility because the Nephite dissenters were more wicked and murderous than the Lamanites. (Alma 43:5-7)

5. The Lamanite army outnumbered the Nephite army, so why were the Lamanites frightened when they saw Captain Moroni and his army? Because Moroni had prepared his people with armor which include breastplatess, thick clothing, arm shields, and helmets to protect their bodies and heads. The army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing. They had on very little clothing. (Alma 43:19-21)

6. What did the Lamanites do when they saw the armor of the Nephites? They retreated into the wilderness and intended to come into the land of the Nephites at a different, secret location. (Alma 43:22)

7. Captain Moroni didn’t know where the Lamanites would secretly attack. How did he find out where he should send his army? Moroni sent men to inquire of the prophet Alma where the Nephite army should go to defend against the Lamanites. The word of the Lord came to Alma, and he told them where the Lamanites were going. (Alma 43:23–24) (If the children have not located the army yet, show the children the prophet card and explain that it has a location point for the Lamanite army.)

8. How did Captain Moroni set a trap for the Lamanites? He concealed his army on two sides of the river Sidon where the Lamanites were entering into the land. (Alma 43:31-32)

9. During the battle, the Lamanites fought fiercely which caused fear in the Nephites. The Nephites wanted to flee. What did they do to receive strength and courage? They cried to the Lord for help, and he strengthened them. (Alma 43:48–50) They had great faith in God. They had gained faith in him through their obedience. (Read Alma 44:3-4)

10. The Nephites surrounded the Lamanites. When the Lamanites saw they were surrounded they were filled with terror. What did Captain Moroni do to show compassion and mercy? He ordered the fighting to stop, and he promised to spare their lives if they would deliver their weapons and make an oath to never come to war against them again (Alma 43:53-54; 44:6)

11. What did Zerahemnah do and say when he heard Moroni’s words? He delivered his weapons to Moroni, but he said he would not make an oath to never return. (Alma 44:8)

12. When Zerahemnah would not give an oath of peace what did Moroni do? Moroni gave Zerahemnah back his weapons so they could end the conflict. He could not allow the Lamanites to depart without their oath of peace. (Alma 44:10-11)

13. What did Zerahemnah do when Moroni gave him back his weapons? He became angry and rushed at Moroni and tried to kill him. (Alma 44:12)

14. What happened when Zerahemnah tried to kill Moroni? One of Moroni’s soldiers blocked Zerahemnah, broke his sword, and cut off his scalp. (Alma 44:12)

15. What did the soldier say and do with the scalp of Zerahemnah that made many of the Lamanites give up their weapons and give an oath of peace? The soldier took the scalp off the ground and put it on tip of his sword and raised it up high. He said with a loud voice that even as the scalp of their leader had fallen to the earth, so would they fall if they didn’t relinquish their weapons and make a covenant of peace. (Alma 44:13-15)

16. What happened after many of the Lamanites gave up their weapons and were allowed to leave in peace? Zerahemnah was exceedingly angry and stirred up the remainder of his men, and the fighting commenced again. (Alma 44:16)

17. What made Zerahemnah finally surrender and give an oath of peace? The Lamanites began to rapidly be swept down by the sword because of their naked skin and bare heads. When Zerahemnah saw they were about to be destroyed, he called to Moroni and asked him to spare them. Zerahemnah agreed to make an oath to never come to war against the Nephites again. Moroni stopped the destruction and took their weapons and oath and allowed them to depart. (Alma 44:18-20)

Conclusion
The Nephites had prepared themselves both spiritually and physically for the battle against the Lamanites, and they were able to win the battle. We must also prepare ourselves to fight and win the battle against Satan’s attacks by putting on the whole armor of God.

Tell the children to put their armor of God picture somewhere in their bedroom to remind them daily of the things they need to do to help build up their protective spiritual armor.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Alma 43:4-54 & Alma 44:1-20


Scripture Power – Verse Two

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Scripture Power – Verse Two

Preparation

  • Print and cut out the Armor of God illustrations. Also print the word pages and the armor labels.
  • Items needed: magnets or tacky putty to attach the armor pieces to the soldier figure on the chalkboard.

Presentation

Start off by telling the children about the movie clip (found in the New Testament CES videos) called “The Whole Armor of God”:

“The Whole Armor of God” starts off showing some young soldiers from ancient times who are battle weary, hot, and tired. Some of the soldiers put down their swords and take off their armor to rest by a river. Hooded, dark figures with bows and arrows sneak up on them. There is a battle, and the soldiers who took off their protective armor are injured or killed.

Remind the children that we are fighting a spiritual battle against Satan and his temptations. When we let down our guard, and don’t keep near us the things that will protect us, we become open to the fiery darts of Satan’s temptations. The second verse of “Scripture Power” talks about the protective spiritual armor we need in order to be protected from Satan’s temptations.

Show the picture of the soldier without his armor and ask the children if he is protected from attack. Put the sword in the soldier’s right hand, and inform the children that a sword is an item that was used for defense against attack. When we are spiritually attacked we need what is called ”The Sword of Truth”. Write the words “The Sword of Truth” on the board. Ask what the words would become if you erased the S. (“The Word of Truth”) Explain that the words of truth found in the scriptures help us have a defense against Satan’s attacks, because knowing truth helps us recognize Satan’s deceptions and then we are not deceived. (Give an example of a scripture truth verses a deception of Satan.)

Inform the children that the first line of the second verse is - ”I’ll find the sword of truth in each scripture that I learn.”  (Put this word page on the board.)

Inform the children that the next line of the verse is - ”I’ll take the shield of faith from these pages that I turn.”  Put this word page on the board, and then put the shield in the soldier’s left hand.  Explain that as we obey the words found in the scriptures, we see the good results, and we gain faith and trust in God’s words.  Our faith  in God’s word  protects us against the temptation to do something that is opposite of His word.

The next line is -  ”I’ll wear each vital part of the armor of the Lord.” (Put this word page on the board.)  There is a scripture in Ephesians 6:11-17 that tells about  the armor of God and what each piece represents. Each piece can be related to the things we learn and gain from the scriptures.

  • Put the helmet on the soldier, and explain that it is called the helmet of salvation. Salvation comes through Christ, so focusing our minds on Christ’s teachings (which are found in the scriptures) give us protection against unworthy thoughts.
  • Put the breastplate on the soldier, and explain that it is called the breastplate of righteousness and represents our righteous choices. As we make righteous choices our spirits grow stronger, which gives us more protection against temptation.
  • Put the girdle on the soldier, and explain that in old times people used to gird up their clothes when they were getting ready to get to work so that their clothes wouldn’t inhibit their movement. So we are to be girded with truth to protect our actions.
  • Put the feet coverings on the soldier, and explain that the feet represent goals or objectives (where you are going in life), and we are to shod our feet with the gospel of peace to guide our lives.

 

Just as each piece of a soldier’s armor protects vital parts of his body, so does each part of the armor of the God protect our vital and important spirituality.

With the armor of God on we are prepared to fight against the temptations of Satan and win. Explain that the last line in the verse is – “and fight my daily battles, and win a great reward.” (Put this word page on the board.) What is the great reward for winning the spiritual battles of life against Satan?( Eternal Life) Encourage the children to keep their protective spiritual armor on. We do this by reading the scriptures daily and striving to do the things found in them.

Sing the verse all the way through with senior Primary. (Sing each line as you put them on the board with junior primary.)

Memorizing the Verse

Have five children come up to the front and act out the words by doing the following:

Hide the paper sword in some scriptures and have a child “find” it, and then have that child point to the scriptures and then to his/her head for the part that says ”I’ll find the sword of truth in each scripture that I learn”.

Give the second child some scriptures with the shield in it. Have the child “take” the shield from the scriptures and then turn the pages of the scriptures for the part that says “I’ll take the shield of faith from these pages that I turn”.

Have the third child dress up in a few pieces of armor (look online for how to make some easy costume armor and a shield) for the sentence “I’ll wear each vital part of the armor of the Lord”.

Have the fourth child hold a play spear made out of a wrapping paper tube and a triangular cut sponge stuffed in the top opening for the tip.  Write the word ”temptations”  on the tube. Put some curly red ribbon coming out of the back of the spear so it represents the fiery darts of Satan. Have the third and fourth child do a simple mock battle during the words “I’ll fight my daily battles” by having the third child block the spear with the costume shield.

After the battle, have the fifth child put a medal around the neck of the child wearing the armor to act out the words “and win a great reward.  The medal can be made with foil and cardboard with the words “eternal life” written on it. Attach a large loop of ribbon to the top of the medal so it can be hung around the child’s neck. (Or a trophy could be used for the great reward with a sign attached to it that says eternal life.)

Have the primary sing the song while the five children act out the words. Take a word page off the board and have the child or children who are acting out that part sit down. Do this each time the children sing the verse. By the time all the word pages and all the actors are removed, the children should have the verse memorized.

( Angie shared the idea on sugardoodle about taking the S off the sword of truth. She got the idea from the 2005 Primary workshop.)