Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah
- 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.
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.
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 that they cast out 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.)
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 cunning and strategy by planning ahead what we will do when temptation is confronting us.
Have each of the children think of a temptation 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.
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.
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 up 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)
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