Lesson 12 – Alma Baptizes at Waters of Mormon

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Lesson 12
Alma Baptizes at Waters of Mormon

Preparation

  • Print and cut out the visual aids, and the word strips and situation cards.
  • Items needed: medium size rocks (or cans of food with the labels removed), a backpack or heavy duty bag, chalk, some little pieces of wrapped candy and a candy bar for each child. Tape the burden situations to the rocks (or cans of food).
  • Print a new Scripture Reading Chart for each child.

Attention Activity
Explain that you are going to start off the lesson by giving each of them a small piece of candy. Point out that the piece of candy is small, but if they promise not to eat or open it, you promise to give them something bigger and better at the end of class. Emphasize the fact that you are both making promises.

Point out that eating candy is not a sin, but there are many things in life that give pleasure that are against the commandments of God because they are spiritually harmful. If we obey God’s commandments and avoid partaking in these spiritually harmful things, we can eventually receive the greatest gift of all, which is eternal life. Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will learn how the Lord tries to help us avoid these harmful things so that we can gain this eternal reward.

Scripture Story
Using the visual aids, tell the following story. As the story is told, background scenery such as a waterfall, a pool of water, and a grove of trees can be drawn on the chalkboard.

Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned about the prophet Abinadi being condemned to death by the wicked King Noah. They also learned about the repentant priest Alma who pleaded for Abinadi’s life. King Noah was angry with Alma and tried to have Alma killed, but Alma fled and hid. Alma hid in the wilderness at a place called Mormon.

  • Why was Mormon a good place to hide? (Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:4-5 to find the answer.) It had a fountain of pure water, it was near the border of the land, it was supposed to be infested at times with wild animals, and it had a thicket of small trees that Alma hid in during the day to avoid the searches of the king–so Alma had water, food, and seclusion and cover while hiding.

At times, Alma secretly went among the people and taught the words of Abinadi to all who would listen. Many believed Alma’s words. Those who believed his words went to the place called Mormon to hear him preach.

One day Alma was teaching a large group of believers near the waters of Mormon. He taught them faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. He asked if they desired to take the next step toward becoming God’s people.

  •  What is the next step after faith and repentance? Tell the children to think of the fourth Article of Faith. (Baptism)

In order for the believers to be called God’s people they needed to covenant (promise) to serve God and keep his commandments. Sometimes when people make promises they shake hands or sign something as a symbol of their agreement. Baptism served as a witness or sign that they were willing to serve God and keep his commandments because baptism symbolizes the death of the old sinful person and the rebirth of the new spiritual person.

When the people heard they could be God’s people they clapped their hands for joy and exclaimed that it was the desire of their heart.

  • In order to be called God’s people they needed to covenant to serve God and keep His commandments. What is a covenant? A covenant is a two-way promise made between us and the Lord; both sides make promises.
  • Why does the Lord want us to make covenants? The Lord loves us and wants us to gain the blessings of eternal life, and in order to do this we must become like our Savior Jesus Christ and do the things he would do. The Lord knows that when we make bonding promises and commitments to do those things, we are more likely to do them.

Activity
Put the “Baptismal Covenants” word strip on a wall or display board. Put the word strip “We Promise” and the word strip “The Lord Promises” on each side underneath it.

We Promise
Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:8-10 to find the covenants we make at baptism. As they find each one have them put the corresponding word strips under the “We Promise” word strip.

To come into the fold of God and be called his people.
We promise to join his church and take upon us the name of Christ. As members of his church we represent Christ and are to be examples of his teachings. (See the lesson on King Benjamin to further review this principle.)

To stand as a witness of God at all times and all places.
A witness is someone who tells others what they know and have seen; so a witness of God tells others what they know about God and His church. They state their beliefs in His commandments and try to be an example of them.

To serve God and keep his commandments.
We become more like our Savior as we obey the commandments.

To serve and help others.
We become more like our Savior as we serve and help others, which includes:

o Mourning with those that mourn.
o Comforting those that stand in need of comfort.
o Bearing one another’s burdens.

  • How do we mourn with those that are mourning? Answers might include: grieving and feeling sadness for the person’s loss and sorrow.
  • How do we bear one another’s burdens that they may be light? (Discuss this by doing the following activity.)

Activity
Show the children the rocks, and explain that you are using the rocks to represent the burdens that some people carry. Read the situation title as you put each rock into a bag.  Tell the children that life’s burdens can become heavy and difficult to carry. Let each child come up and lift the bag. Ask if they would want to carry that weight for very long. Remind the children that we covenant at baptism to help each other with our burdens. Have the children take turns reaching into the bag and taking out a rock. Have them read the situation and tell how they can help someone with that burden to make it lighter and easier to bear.

The Lord Promises
• What does the Lord promise if we keep the covenants we make? (Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:9-10 to find the things the Lord promises. As they find each one, have them put the corresponding word strips under the “The Lord Promises” word strip.

We can be redeemed of God.
This means we can be forgiven of our sins when we repent.

We can come forth in the first resurrection.
We will be ready and spiritually prepared to come forth out of the spirit world during the first resurrection.

We can have eternal life.
Eternal life is the kind of life Heavenly Father has, which includes having a fullness of joy, love, peace, knowledge, and power.

He will pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon us.
As we keep our covenants, the Lord will bless us with his spirit more abundantly. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is a wonderful blessing because the Holy Ghost guides, teaches, protects, and comforts us.

The Lord promises to pour out wonderful blessings upon us if we keep our covenants (promises) to do the things he asks us to do.

Have the children trade their small piece of candy for a full size candy bar. Ask the children what would have happened if they hadn’t kept their promise and had instead opened and eaten the small piece of candy. They wouldn’t have received the bigger, better prize. Point out that it is the same with covenants. If we partake of unfulfilling sinful pleasures while on the earth instead of keeping our covenants (promises), we may not receive the wonderful blessing of eternal life which brings true happiness and joy. (Note: If a child has opened or eaten his or her candy, tell them they can still have another chance. Give them another piece of candy, and tell them to bring it back the following week. If they bring it back uneaten and unopened, they can still earn their reward. The Lord also gives us the opportunities in life to fix our mistakes and repent.)

Scripture Story Continued
After the people told Alma they wished to become God’s people and be baptized, Alma began to baptize them in the waters of Mormon. The first one he baptized was a man named Helam. As Alma baptized Helam, Alma submerged himself also.

  •  Why did Alma immerse himself also when he baptized Helam? In Mosiah 18:13 it says that Alma had the priesthood authority to baptize. This is evidence that he had already been baptized. Therefore when Alma immersed himself with Helam it was merely as a token to the Lord of his humility and full repentance. Alma did not immerse himself again while baptizing the others. (Joseph Fielding Smith: Answers to Gospel Questions)

Alma baptized about two hundred and four souls that day at the waters of Mormon, and anyone who was baptized from that time forward was also added to the church of Christ.

King Noah eventually discovered there was a movement among the people. He sent his servants to watch the group. When the king’s servants reported what was happening, Noah said that Alma was stirring up the people to rebellion against him. Noah ordered his army to destroy them. Alma was warned of the Lord that the king’s army was coming, so he and his people took their tents and their families and departed into the wilderness. They were in number about 450 souls.

Conclusion
As we keep our baptismal covenants, we learn to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, and we become worthy to receive the greatest gift and reward we could ever receive, which is eternal life.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Give each child a new scripture reading chart, and remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Mosiah 18:1-17, 30-35


When I Am Baptized – Verse Two

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 When I Am Baptized – Verse Two

Preparation

  • Print the regular visual aids or the crossword visual aids. Trim and glue together the baptismal font. Trim and glue together the arch. Trim the upper corners of the picture of heaven and glue it inside the arch.
  • Cut the arch into a puzzle, but make sure that each piece will fit behind a water drop or a picture (the water drops and matching pictures can be found in the first verse visuals). (I covered the arch with the water drops and pictures and then drew the puzzle underneath using the pictures and raindrops as guides to how big each piece should be.) After cutting the puzzle out, tape each piece to the back of its water drop or picture using removable double-sided tape. (I taped them face forward and then put a magnet on the back of the puzzle piece. That way the magnet held the water drop (or picture) on the board, and when the water drop was removed and the puzzle piece was put on the board, the magnet held the puzzle piece on the board. )

Presentation

This activity works the same as the first verse activity. The water drops go under the baptismal font with just a little showing. A child pulls down the first water drop and finds a picture to match it on the walls. When all the water drops have been pulled down, and the matching pictures found, then the children sing the song.

Optional Activity: Use the visual aids with the crossword puzzle on it. The words represent some of the blessings we enjoy after baptism: the gift of the Holy Ghost, being clean of sin, being a member of the church of Jesus Christ, and being on the path towards eternal life. The words are: Holy Ghost, Clean, Member, and Path. Laminate the font, or cover the puzzle parts with pieces of clear packaging tape, or use page protector plastic and removable double-sided tape. Have the children write in the words with a dry erase marker. If a child gets a word right they get to pull down a water drop and find the matching picture.

Memorizing

Have a child choose a water drop to take off the board. Have the children sing the verse again. If the children can remember and sing the missing words, the child can take the puzzle piece off the back of the water drop and put it on the board. (The arched entry to the path to eternal life is supposed to remind the children of the symbolism of looking for rainbows after rain, or in other words the blessings we enjoy after baptism. Remind the children that after they are baptized they have entered the gate and are on the path that leads towards eternal life. See 2 Nephi 31:17-18 )

Have another child choose a water drop to take off the board. Continue doing the above memorizing activity until each of the water drops and pictures are off the board and the arched entry path to heaven is complete.

Have the children sing the chorus with the second verse and point out that the chorus tells them that if they can keep their life clean of sin after baptism (by repenting when they make mistakes) they can one day gain eternal life and live with God again.

Note: The picture of the baptismal font comes from the May 2011 Friend. The arch comes from the Book of Mormon seminary teacher manual, and the temple picture comes from lds.org media library.


When I Am Baptized – Verse One

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Song – When I Am Baptized- Verse One (CS, pg. 103) 

  •  Print the raindrops onto blue paper and cut them out.  Also print the pictures. Cut them out and trim them so they look similar to above pictures. (The pictures are from Microsoft Word clipart)
  • Print eight clouds onto white cardstock and cut them out. Print two sets of the rainbow. Cut out the rainbow pieces. Each piece then needs to be cut into two puzzle pieces. Work on one rainbow at a time. The two end pieces need to be cut so that each piece will fit on the back of a raindrop. Each of the two middle pieces need to be cut so each piece will fit on the back of one of the pictures. (The first rainbow goes with the first verse and the second rainbow goes with the chorus.)
  • After the rainbows are cut into puzzle pieces, attach them to the back of the raindrops and pictures. I attached them face down with removable double-sided tape, and then I attached a magnet to the back of each piece. (The magnet serves a dual purpose of holding a raindrop or picture on the board, and then later to attach the rainbow piece on the board. ) I also attached a magnet to the top, back of each of the clouds for easy set up.
  • When setting up, put a raindrop under each cloud and attach them to the left side of the chalkboard (see above picture example).  Only set up four clouds and raindrops at a time. The raindrops should be sticking out of the bottom of the clouds so they children can pull them down. Tape each of the pictures on the walls around the room before primary starts.

 

Presentation

Choose a child to pull down the first raindrop. Have the child read the words and look around the room for a picture that matches it.  The other children can help by pointing to the picture if needed. Have the child put the picture under the raindrop. Choose another child to pull down the next raindrop and find its matching picture. Have junior primary sing these first two lines. After that continue with the activity until all four raindrops are pulled down and have matching pictures with them. Have junior primary sing the last two lines and then put all four together. Have senior primary sing all four lines.

Memorizing Activity

Have a child choose a raindrop to take off the board. That child will hold it so the other children can’t see the words. Have the children sing the verse again. If the children can remember and sing the missing words, the child can take the rainbow piece off the back of the raindrop and put it on the board above the clouds.

Explain to the children the following reason a rainbow is used in this activity: Remind the children that the song is about baptism, and the rain washing clean the earth in the song is used symbolically and reminds us of baptism and being washed clean of sin. And just like we enjoy rainbows after rain, there are many wonderful  things we enjoy after being baptized, such the gift of the Holy Ghost, being clean of sin (but remind them we have the sacrament and repentance to help us be clean again if we make a mistake), being members of the church of Jesus Christ, being on the path towards gaining eternal life, etc.

After explaining what the rainbow in the activity reminds us of, have another child choose a raindrop to take off the board. Continue doing the above memorizing activity until each of the raindrops and pictures are off the board and the rainbow is complete.

After the children learn the first four lines of the song, put up the clouds and raindrops for the chorus on the right side of the board, and do the same entire activity with the chorus.

Note: If the children in senior primary are already familiar with the first verse, this will just be a review. Have them tell you what the first line is. Have the child that quotes it correctly, or almost correctly, check it by pulling down the first raindrop. Have that child find the matching picture. Contiue in this manner. During the memorizing part have the children take off two raindrops at a time, and then do the same with the pictures.