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 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.)

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 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.

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 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)

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

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Lesson 24 – Alma Counsels His Son Corianton

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Lesson 24
Alma Counsels His Son Corianton

Preparation

  • Items needed: chalk and eraser, two paper bags or boxes- one filled with garbage and the other filled with desirable items such as treats or little party favor toys, two cardboard toilet paper rolls, paper towels, first aid items and medicines.
  • Dip a few sheets of the paper towels in mud and put them in a ziplock bag.
  • Optional: Do a Google search for news articles concerning lost or injured hikers. Print some of the articles.

Lesson Introduction

Show the children the news articles, or ask the children if they have heard of people getting lost or injured while hiking in the mountains. One reason some people become lost or injured is because they stray off the main trail into dangerous areas. Explain that just like the people who stray off the hiking trail, there are some people in life who stray off the path that leads to eternal life; they are tempted to go and things that can injure the spirit.

Show the children the medical items and ask what they are used for. (To help treat and heal physical injuries and sickness.) Explain that in today’s lesson they are going to learn of some ways to heal spiritual injuries and sickness, and also some ways to prevent getting spiritually injured.

Scripture Account
Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned of the counsel Alma gave to two of his sons. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn of the counsel that Alma gave to another son named Corianton. This counsel was different from the counsel he gave to his other sons. His other sons had been living righteously, but Corianton had committed serious sins. He had strayed off the path and was in need of some guidance and healing.

Corianton, along with his brothers, had been called to be missionaries to the Zoramites, but Corianton chose to forsake the ministry to chase a woman with an immoral reputation who had stolen many hearts.

• If someone were to stray off a path, fall, and become injured, what would be some of the possible symptoms and effects of being injured? Answers might include: pain, shock, bruises, scrapes, cuts, bleeding, broken bones, sprain, concussion, etc.

Just like a person would suffer the effects of being injured, a person who had sinned would also suffer the consequences and results of that sin. What are some of the consequences that can occur because of sin? Answers might include: guilt, loss of the Spirit’s help and guidance, possible loss of freedom, loss of other’s trust, damaged relationships, possible loss of good health, loss of inheritance in the kingdom of God, etc.

• What would happen if a person who is injured ignores the injury and doesn’t do anything to help it heal such as cleaning out the wound, putting anti-bacterial cream on it, protecting it with a bandage, or going to the doctor if it is a serious injury? The wound could become infected, or the injury could increasingly get worse. A serious injury could even lead to death if it is not taken care of.

• What happens when we sin and are spiritually injured but we hide the sin and refuse to repent? The sinful action could increase, and the damage could become worse. It could even lead to spiritual death.

Alma told his son Corianton that he could not hide his sin from God, pretend it didn’t happen, and hope its consequences wouldn’t affect him. He needed to repent of his sins or he would suffer the consequences, including having the sin stand as a testimony against him at judgment. Pres Uchdorf said, “The longer we delay corrective action, the larger and more difficult the needed changes become, and the longer it takes to get back on the correct course.”

Just as an injured person would need to treat the injury, so would a person who has sinned and is spiritually sick need to repent in order to heal.

To repent, Corianton needed to follow the steps of repentance. Ask the children if they remember what those steps are. Write a short version of each step on the board as they are mentioned.

Corianton needed to:
• 1. Recognize he had done wrong
• 2.Confess his sins and ask for forgiveness
• 3. Right the wrong
• 4. Never repeat the wrong.

Corianton needed to recognize he had done wrong,  confess his sins, and ask for forgiveness.

• Who is the master physician that can heal our spiritual wounds, small or large? (Jesus Christ)  What did Alma teach about Christ in Alma 39:15? (That Christ would come to take away the sins of the world and bring salvation.) The Savior said: ‘Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? … If ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.’”

Corianton also needed to right the wrong he had committed. He would have to try and fix the problems his sins had caused. One of the problems his actions had caused was damage to the Zoramite missionary effort. Alma had tried to teach the Zoramites about obeying the commandments, but they would not listen or believe because they saw his son’s conduct. (Alma 39:11) Alma told Corianton that he needed to return to the Zoramites and acknowledge the wrongs he had done and try to fix the damage he had caused. (Alma 39:13) Alma told Corianton that he also needed to preach the healing power of Christ so that the Zoramites may repent and be healed also. Alma 39:6-19

Another part of the repentance process is forsaking the sin. Corianton needed to commit himself to not follow any more forbidden paths. Alma told Corianton to cross himself in all things. (Alma 39:9)

• What does it mean to cross oneself? It means to deny yourself – to exercise self control and avoid the things that can cause spiritual injury even if they look appealing and tempting.

• What were the attitudes and actions that led to Corianton straying off the path and into sin? (Have the children look in Alma 39:2-4 to find the answers.) (Draw a path on the board that splits in the middle so there are two paths going in different directions – a Y shape.  Mark the end of the left path with the words “sin and unhappiness” and the end of the right path with “righteousness and happiness.” Write the answers to the question on the left of the board.)

Attitudes and actions that led to Corianton’s sin:

1. He boasted in his own strength and overestimated his power to resist temptation.
2. He went where he should not have been, and he gazed upon and considered things he should not have considered.
3. He did not listen to his father and instead followed the crowd.

• What counsel did Alma give to Corianton on how he could avoid sin in the future? (Have the children look up Alma 39:9-14 to find the answer. Write these on the right side of the board.)

Ways to avoid sin and spiritual injury:

1. Be humble and depend on the Lord for strength.

We must be humble and turn to the Lord for guidance and help. Satan has thousands of years of experience in tempting people, and if we try to depend on our own limited knowledge and strength to overcome his temptations we may be overcome. Alma told Corianton to turn to the Lord with all his mind, might, and strength. (Alma 39:13)

2. Avoid places and things that lead to temptation and instead fill our lives with good things.

Things we see or hear can influence our thoughts, and thoughts can become actions. If we choose to spend our time around things or people that depict or promote inappropriate actions, that is where our thoughts will be, and we will eventually do what we focus on consistently.

Object Lesson
Demonstrate this with an empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll. Shove the dirt covered paper towels into the cardboard roll. Ask what would happen if you continued to shove dirty paper towels into the roll. (They would come out the other end.) What happens when we fill our minds with things that are unclean? They come out and manifest themselves through unclean actions.

Show another toilet paper roll and fill it with clean paper towels and ask the children what will come out the other end. Explain that the clean paper towels represents doing things like going to church, participating in church activities, reading our scriptures, participating in family home evening, etc. When we fill our lives with  things that are good and uplifting, our thoughts and actions become clean. Corianton should have spent his time doing his missionary work which would have helped him keep his thoughts clean.

How could Corianton clean up his already contaminated thoughts? Shove clean paper towels into the cardboard roll that contains the dirty paper towels, and ask what would happen if you continued to do this. (The clean towels will eventually push out the dirt. Explain that it takes time, but eventually thoughts and actions can become clean again.)

3. Follow 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.

Conclusion
• Why did Alma talk to Corianton about his iniquities? Because he loved his son and wanted him to make good choices and be happy. Alma had also received revelation from the Lord directing him to command his son Corianton to do good and refrain from iniquity. (Alma 39:12)

• Why did Heavenly Father want Alma to command his son to be good? Because our Heavenly Father also loves his children and doesn’t want his children to do things that will harm themselves or others.

• If you had done wrong, why would your parents wish to talk to you about it? Because they love you and want to help you.

Corianton eventually repented and returned to full activity and participation in the church (See Alma 43:1-2)

In life there will be many choices we have to make, but if we stay on the path that leads to eternal life and listen to the guides that Heavenly Father has provided for us, we can avoid going down dangerous paths that could damage our spirits and cause suffering and unhappiness.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 39

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Lesson 23 – Alma Counsels His Sons Helaman and Shiblon

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 Alma Counsels His Sons Helaman and Shiblon

Preparation
• Items needed: some vegetables, matches, a winter hat and gloves, a display board, a writing instrument for the display board, a page protector with a piece of cardstock in it, tape, a Book of Mormon for each child, and one to two Tootsie Pop suckers for each child.
• Print two copies of the treasure chest onto cardstock. Cut out the treasure chests and glue the halves together with strong glue. Finish putting together the treasure chests by folding them and taping the parts together where indicated. (The treasure chest is from the June 2000 Friend,”One of God’s Greatest Gifts.”)
• Print the scripture references and matching word strips onto cardstock, and cut them out. Tape one scripture reference to each Tootsie Pop stick. (Optional: tie a gold ribbon on each Tootsie pop.) Color the bottom of each Tootsie Pop with a different colored crayon or marker. Put each scriptures color on the back of its matching word strip. (Check the game answers found in the lesson to see which scripture goes with each word strip.) Divide the Tootsie Pop suckers between each treasure box. Put the word strips on the page protector with rolled pieces of tape.
• Make a Nakamura lock paper airplane and practice using it before class according to the directions in the lesson.
• Make two treasure maps using the instructions as a guide. Before teaching this lesson, hide the treasure boxes in the locations marked on the maps.
• Print the reading chart.

Attention Activity
Show the children the vegetables, the matches, and the winter hat and gloves. Ask what words of counsel and warning their parents have given them concerning these items. (Eat their vegetables, don’t play with fire, and wear gloves and a hat in the winter.)

• Why did your parents give counsel and warning about these items? (Because their parents love them and want them to be safe, healthy, and happy.)

Point out that our parents give us counsel and warning about many things in life because they love us. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn some important counsel the prophet Alma gave to his sons Helaman and Shiblon. The counsel is recorded in the scriptures because it is applicable to us too. We first read about the counsel Alma gave to his son Helaman. Helaman is to be the next spiritual leader of the people. He is also to keep a record of the people and keep the past records safe. Alma stressed the importance of the scriptures in his counsel to his son Helaman. Alma told Helaman that keeping the records was a small and simple thing, but it would bring to pass great things. (Alma 37:6-7)

Activity
Show an example of how small things can bring about great things by showing the children the paper airplane you prepared. Explain that airplanes and ships have a small item on the back of them called a rudder. The rudder controls the direction a plane or a ship goes. Demonstrate this by bending the back vertical edge of the airplane to the right. Fly the plane and it should go to the right. Also demonstrate bending it to the left so it will fly left.

Explain that just as a small rudder determines the direction a large plane or ship goes, so can reading the scriptures, and doing the things found in them, change the course and direction of many people’s lives.

Have the children look up Alma 37:8 and list on the board the great things the scriptures did for the Nephites and Lamanites who heeded them.

1. Enlarged the memories of the people. The people could fall into sin if they did not have a written record of God’s word to remind them of the right things they needed to do. Read Mosiah 1:5-7

2. Convinced many of the error of their ways, bringing them to repentance. Alma 37:9 reminds us that the people of Ammon (who had once been Lamanites) would not have changed from their evil and murderous ways if it had not been for the scriptures Ammon taught them.

3. Brought many to a knowledge of their God to the salvation of their souls. In Alma 37:4 it talks about the scriptural records of the Nephites going forth to every nation so people could know the mysteries they contain. A mystery is something people don’t understand. Through the scriptures we get to know and understand God and his purposes. His purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He gives us commandments and scriptures to show us how to gain eternal life and bring salvation to our souls.

Treasure Map Activity
Show the children the treasure map and explain that just like a treasure map shows how to find a treasure, the scriptures show us how to obtain the treasure of eternal life. Ask what would happen if they went to look for the treasure but chose not to look at the map to see how to find it. They wouldn’t find the treasure. Have the children read Alma 37:46.

• What happens if we have the scriptures but are slothful and choose not to do the easy and simple thing of reading and following them? We would not gain the treasure of eternal life.

Tell the children that you have hidden two treasure boxes somewhere in the building or outside in the grounds. Divide the children into two groups and give each group a map. Have the children follow the treasure map and find the treasure you have hidden. Tell the children to bring back the treasure box without opening it. When they are all seated and you have their attention, open the treasure chests and show them the treasure. Ask how they would feel if they had not found a treasure box because they chose not to follow the map, and how they would feel if they saw the other group with their treasure and saw what they could have had.

• How will it feel in heaven if we don’t follow the map (the scriptures), but eternally we realize the treasure we could have had? What can we do to make sure we follow the map while we are on the earth?

• What age should we start following the map? Alma explains in 37:35 that children should learn wisdom and learn to keep the commandments in their youth. Point out that the scripture means we should begin to study and learn the way to eternal life from the time when we are very young.

Story

President Gordon B. Hinckley explained why we should learn wisdom in our youth by telling the story of a young tree he had planted. After planting the young tree, he hadn’t paid much attention to it. But after several years he looked out the window and noticed it was leaning, misshapen, and out of balance due to a strong east wind that hit that part of the yard the hardest. When he saw the damage done to the tree, he tried to straighten the tree, but by that time the trunk was a foot in diameter and he couldn’t budge it. He had to cut a huge branch off the tree to balance it, which left a big scar on the tree and was probably very traumatic for the young tree. President Hinckley wished he had taken the time to attach a support system to the tree while it was young to shore it up and keep it straight and true.
(Ensign, November 1993, 59)

In President Hinckley’s story, the tree represents a person who did not gain needed gospel training in their youth. The wind represents Satan’s temptations. Because the person wasn’t supported with a knowledge of the scriptures and other gospel truths as a child, he/she was susceptible to the warping influence of Satan’s temptations throughout their life.

If we are wise we will learn good habits in our youth and take the time to properly shape who we will become by reading and applying the scriptures in our lives. Sin can damage a person’s life and leave huge scars that are difficult to heal. Sin is so damaging that it is the one thing a Book of Mormon prophet (Alma) counseled us to have an everlasting hatred toward. (See Alma 37:32)

Alma didn’t want the damaging effects of sin in his son’s lives, so he counseled his sons Helaman and Shiblon on how to grow straight and true so they could gain the greatest treasure of all, which is eternal life. Remind the children that a straight and true person means someone who follows what is right and doesn’t bend and go with Satan’s temptations. Alma’s counsel to his sons also applies to us and teaches us how to grow straight and true.

Game
Once again show the children the treasure of Tootsie Pops. Point out the sticks on the Tootsie Pops and explain that the stick helps support the wonderful treat so it stands straight and makes it easy to get access to it. Also show the children the scripture references that are taped to the Tootsie Pop sticks. Explain that each of the scripture references is an item of council that Alma gave his sons. Just like the Tootsie Pop sticks gives easier access to a wonderful treat, if we will do the things found in the scriptures we will stand straight and true and gain access to the greatest treasure of all – eternal life.

Show the children the word strips, and tell them they are going to do a matching game with the scripture references. Have the children take turns choosing a Tootsie Pop from a treasure box, looking up and reading the scripture reference out loud, and then choosing which word strip best describes what they learn from that scripture. (You may wish to have the scriptures bookmarked in your scriptures for quick and easy access for the children to read, or you may wish to have all the children look up each scripture.)  Have the child check to see if it is a correct match by checking the bottom of the stick and then checking the back of the word strip. The colors should match if it is a correct match. Each child gets to keep the tootsie pops they match up. (You may wish to have them tape the matching word strip to their Tootsie Pop stick to remind them what the scripture says.)

Game Answers
Discuss the scriptures with the children as they make their matches. (The bulleted items below may help with the discussion.)

Alma 38:11 & 14 – Be humble
• What problems does pride cause? Answers might include the following: thinking we are better than others, thinking we don’t need the Lord’s help, etc.
• How can we overcome pride? Acknowledge the Lords hand in our lives. Acknowledge our weaknesses.
Alma 37: 36-37 – Pray always
• How does prayer help us? We can get direction and help from a loving father who knows all things.
Alma 38:5 – Have faith in God.
• Trust the Lord that he can help you with your problems.
Alma 38:12 – Control your emotions. Avoid wasting time.
• Bridle means control, and passions are emotions and feelings. So we are to control our anger, impatience, and other emotions and not let them control us. Idleness means unwilling to work, or being lazy and wasting time.
Alma 38:1 – Be obedient to be blessed.
• When we are obedient we are blessed with his spirit to help guide us, but if we disobey we cut ourselves off from that help and guidance. Also see D&C 130:21 – When we obtain any blessing from God it by obedience to the law upon which is is predicated.  
Alma 37:34 – Persist in doing good works for they will bring you joy. True joy comes from serving and loving others.
Alma 38:13 – Don’t exhibit or do your good works to gain the praise of others.
Alma 38:10 – Teach the word of God. Be hard working and self-controlled.
Alma 37:46 – Put effort into keeping all the commandments, even if they are easy.
• We are told to do some basic, simple things. An example would be to read the scriptures and say our prayers. Sometimes we don’t realize the important things we can gain from such simple acts, and so we don’t do them, and then we lose our opportunity for eternal life.
Alma 38:2 – Continue striving to do the right things throughout your life, until death.

Conclusion
Encourage the children to read their scriptures daily. Remind the children that the scriptures are a map that can lead us to the greatest treasure of all, eternal life. In order to gain the guidance the scriptures have to offer, we need to read them and apply the things we learn from them into our lives. Give the children the new reading chart, and encourage them to keep reading their reading assignments each week so that they can gain the important direction found in the scriptures.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Alma 37:1-20 &35–47 and Alma 38:1–15

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Lesson 22 – Alma Teaches Faith

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Lesson 22
Alma Teaches Faith 

Preparation
• Items needed: a 16 oz. empty water bottle, vinegar, baking soda, a balloon, an apple or orange seed, small Ziplock baggies, a disposable plastic cup of soil for each child, and a cantaloupe or watermelon seed for each child.

•Put two tablespoons of the vinegar into the plastic bottle and one teaspoon of the baking soda into the balloon. Put each cup of soil and seed in a Ziplock bag.
• Print and cut out the visual aids.

Attention Activity
Show the children the bottle and tell them that it contains vinegar. Allow them to smell it. Show the children the balloon and tell them it contains baking soda. Inform the children that if you were to put the balloon on the bottle and combine the vinegar and baking soda it would produce a gas that would inflate the balloon. Ask the children if they believe you.

Ask the children how they could find out for themselves if what you told them is true. (They would have to try it out to see if it works.) Allow a volunteer to try the experiment. Direct the volunteer to stretch the opening of the balloon over the opening of the bottle without spilling the contents of the balloon into the bottle. After the balloon is attached, direct the child to lift up the balloon and empty its contents into the bottle.

• After the balloon inflates, point out that they were able to discover the truth of what you told them by trying it out. Ask how they could use that same method to find out if a gospel principle is true? (Read Alma 32:27)

Explain that today’s lesson is about developing faith in God through experimenting on the word of God by applying it into our lives.

Scripture Story
Remind the children of last week’s lesson concerning Alma and his companions going to the land of the Zoramites to preach the gospel. After observing the prayers of the proud Zoramites on the Rameumptom, Alma and his companions commenced to preach the gospel. They began to have success among the poor because the poor were not allowed to worship God in the synagogues which they had help build. The poor had been cast out of the synagogues because of their coarse apparel.

One day a large group of the poor approached Alma as he was teaching. They told Alma they had no place to worship God, and they asked him what they should do. Alma taught them that they could worship God anywhere–in their fields, in their houses, and in the wilderness–and they needed to cry to Him in all their afflictions. Alma saw that their afflictions had humbled them, and they were ready to hear the word of God.

• How was being poor a blessing for the Zoramites? (Read Alma 32:12-13) It helped them to be humble and seek for wisdom from God.

The poor Zoramites were compelled to be humble by their poverty, but they still had the choice whether or not to listen to the words of the Lord, and because they chose to listen they were blessed.

• Read Alma 32:14-15. Why is it better to humble ourselves than to be compelled to be humble? We reduce the difficulties in our life that are sent as  reminders for us to be humble. We also are blessed for being obedient.

• Why is it important for us to be humble? Those who are humble are more likely to listen to and obey the Lord’s instructions because they realize the need for the Lord’s help and direction in life.

• What is something that can lead people to humble themselves without the compulsion of difficulties? (See Alma 32:13- 14) The word of God. Explain that when we read the scriptures or hear a talk or lesson at church, we may experience a desire to repent of something we are doing that is not right.

Alma also taught the Zoramites about having faith in in the word of God.

• What is faith? (Read Alma 32:21) To believe in something that is real and true, even though we haven’t seen it for ourselves, is to have faith. The Lord wants us to faith in him: that he lives, loves us, and that his words are truth. Alma taught the poor Zoramites how to develop that faith in God.

Show the children the fruit tree seed and tell them what type of seed it is. Explain that the seed could grow into a large fruit tree. Ask the children what they would need to do first in order to get the seed to grow. (Plant it in soil.) (Show the children the illustration of the seed and the soil.)

Alma told the Zoramites that the word of God is like a seed. When we listen to and have a desire to believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, we plant the word of God in our hearts.

• Where do we hear the word of God?  In primary lessons, sacrament meeting talks, conference talks, family home evening lessons, family scripture study, etc.

• What happens to a seed when it is planted in the ground? If it is a good seed it begins to swell, and then it sprouts and begins to grow. (Show the picture of the growing seed.) (Alma 32:30)

Explain that after we have heard the word of God and have a desire to believe, we can then experiment on His words by trying them out. When we do this, a swelling of understanding in our heart begins to grow, and we see that the word of God is good. (Alma 32:28)

Once we see that the seed is good, the sprouting plants needs to be nourished in order to grow. (Alma 32:37)

•  What does it mean to nourish a plant? (To feed it and provide all the things it needs in order to grow.) What kinds of nourishment does a plant need in order to grow? (Show the children the picture of the plant food, the watering can, the rain, and the sun cutout as each item is mentioned, and explain that we must make sure the plant gets enough water, sun, and fertilizer.)

•What kind of things will nourish our faith in the word of God? (Answers might include listening to the testimonies of others, seeking for the witness of the Holy Ghost concerning the truth of the word, listening to the words of the prophet, and continuing to exercise our growing faith through studying and acting upon the words of God.)

• What would happen if we neglected the care of a growing plant such as not watering it. (It would stop growing, and it would eventually wither up and die.) (Alma 32:38)  Does that mean the seed was bad? (No, it means we didn’t do our part to help it grow, and because of that we will not enjoy the fruit that would have grown on it.)

•What happens if we neglect to nourish our growing testimony? (It could wither, die, and be cast aside.) Does that mean the word was not good? (No, it means we did not do our part to help our faith in the word of God grow.) (Alma 32:39)

• What happens when we nourish and take care of a young plant? (It grows) Show a picture of a young sapling tree and ask the children if the young tree is strong enough to withstand the damaging forces in the world. Explain that weeds could choke  it out, bugs and animals could eat it, and wind and objects could knock it over and break its tender trunk. A young growing plant needs continual care and protection from damaging influences.

• How can we protect our growing testimony from the harm and damaging influences of the world? (Pull out the weeds of sin that choke out our desire for good, put protective barriers around ourselves by avoiding things that would tempt us, and attach supporting lines of strength by going to church and mingling with others who are also seeking to grow strong testimonies.)

• Ask the children if they believe a small sapling can grow into a big tree with proper care. How long would it take for this to happen? (Many years)

Alma tells us we need to have patience and diligence in nourishing our faith as it develops and grows. (Alma 32:41)

• Show a picture of a full grown tree and ask if the children think it is stronger than a sapling. Point out the tough bark, the wide trunk, and the thick branches that help protect it from damage. Explain that when we develop strong faith in Jesus Christ and his words, we are less likely to be influenced by the harmful evils that are around us.

• Once a fruit tree has grown, it begins to produce fruit and then the harvest comes. What is the fruit of faith? Alma said the fruit of the tree is sweet above all that is sweet, and that it is white, precious, and pure. If we partake of this fruit and feast upon it we will be filled and not hunger or thirst. The fruit is the blessings that come from living the gospel, which include the blessings and joys of eternal life. (Alma 32:42)

• When a tree is grown and producing fruit are we done? (No, we need to continue to nourish it, take care of it, and protect it from harm. If we don’t do these things the tree may suffer from neglect, become open to disease and bug damage, and it may stop producing good fruit.)

• When we have developed a strong faith in Jesus Christ and his words, are we done working? (No, we must continue doing all the things that made our faith strong. We must continue caring for and nourishing our testimony. If we neglect to do this we may become open to the damaging influences and temptations of the world, which could cause the loss of the blessings we worked so hard for.)

Conclusion
Emphasize that just as a good seed with proper care and nourishment can eventually become a fruit bearing tree, if we will learn the word of God, plant it in our hearts, and properly nourish it, our faith in God will grow strong and produce many blessings.

Give each child a cup of soil and a seed. Tell them they can plant the seed in the soil, but they must nourish and take care of it if they want it to grow. Explain that if they will put the plant in their garden after it begins to grow and then continue to take care of it, within a few months it will produce a delicious fruit. Explain that the plant will be a reminder for them to nourish their faith in God and to have patience and diligence as they do this. If they will do the things necessary to nourish their faith, their faith will grow and produce many wonderful blessings.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 32:1-43

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Lesson 21 – Zoramite’s Prayers on a Rameumptom

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Lesson 21
Zoramite’s Prayers on a Rameumptom

Preparation

  • Items needed:  tape, wet wipes, a paper plate, two mixing bowls, a half cup measure, a tablespoon measure, two wooden spoons, and the ingredients to make the peanut butter candy recipe (the recipe can be found in the visual aid file). Also bring some strange and unusual substitute ingredients such as bread crumbs for the graham crackers, applesauce for the sweetener, whole peanuts for the peanut butter, dried pieces of prunes for the chocolate chips.  (Important Note: Be aware of any food allergies before giving children food.)
  •  Print and cut out the activity and scripture story visual aids. Cut apart each level of the Rameumptom so there are seven pieces. Be prepared to build the Rameumpton on the chalk board.

Attention Activity

Put the bowl, spoon, and measuring items on the table and explain to the children that you are going to make some peanut butter candy for them. Show them the recipe, but then toss it aside. Tell the children that you have decided not to follow the recipe because you want to try some different ingredients. Show the children the substitute ingredients you brought, and then mix together various amounts of those ingredients. (Be sure to mention the correct recipe ingredients as you do this. For example: “The recipe calls for peanut butter, but I want the candy to be really crunchy so I think I will add whole peanuts.”)

After combining the substitute ingredients show the children the results. Ask them if they think the mixture looks like peanut butter candy.

Ask the children what the results would be if someone tried to make up their own ingredients for gaining salvation instead of following Heavenly Father’s plan. Would they get the desired results? Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will be learning about a group of people who tried to do just that.

Scripture Story
Remind the children of last week’s lesson about Korihor. Ask if they remember what happened to him after he lost his ability to speak. (He found it necessary to beg for food, and eventually he was trodden down among a people that called themselves the Zoramites.) The Zoramites had once been members of the church, but they had fallen away and apostatized. Apostasy means a turning away from something. The Zoramites had turned away from the teachings of the church and had tried to make up their own form of religion and own ingredients for salvation.

• Why might some people try to make up their own form of religion? One reason is to make a religion agree with what they want. What did the Zoramites desire? (Read Alma 31:24-25) They wanted to indulge in wickedness and the pride of worldly riches.

The Zoramites had discontinued obeying the commandments, they had stopped praying to God daily, and they had altered the teachings of the church to suit what they desired. (See Alma 31:9-11)

The Zoramite people lived near the borders of the wilderness, and the wilderness was full of Lamanites. Because the Zoramites had dissented from the Nephites, the Nephites were afraid the Zoramites would try to join with the Lamanites.

Alma knew that the word of God had a powerful effect upon a man’s heart, so he and several others (including two of his sons, three of the sons of Mosiah, Amulek, and Zeezrom) went to preach the word of God to the Zoramites.

• Ask the children if they can recall a time when a scripture they read or a teaching they heard at church motivated them to change.

When Alma and his companions came into the land of the Zoramites, they were astonished at what they found. The Zoramites were gathering once a week in synagogues they had built (houses of worship), but their worship was not like anything Alma and his companions had ever seen before. In the center of the synagogue was a tower where one person at a time could stand. This tower was called a Rameumptom – meaning holy stand. (Put the picture of the Rameumptom and the worshiper on the board.) Whoever desired to worship would go onto the Rameumptom, stretch up his arms toward heaven, and speak with a loud voice the following prayer: Read Alma 31:15-16

• Why did the Zoramites choose to believe in incorrect principles about God, and why did they not want to believe in Christ? One possible reason may have been to deny the doctrine of the plan of salvation – of coming to earth to get a body and be tested. They wanted to think they were elected (chosen) to be saved regardless of what they did. They did not want to believe in sin or the need for a Savior.

• In the Zoramite’s prayer they did not ask God for help in dealing with the challenges of life. Did the Zoramites have faith in God answering their prayers? Faith in God comes through learning of Him and doing His will.

Above the picture of the person worshiping on the Rameumptom put up the sign that says “The Zoramite’s Prayer.” Underneath the picture put up the sign that says “1) lacked faith in God and in Christ.”

Have a child read out loud the next part of the Zoramite prayer found in Alma 31:17-18. Put the next sign up that says “2) was selfish and prideful.”  Explain that the Zoramites wanted to view themselves as the chosen and saved ones and that all others would suffer in hell.

• If the Zoramites did not have faith in God, what might have been the purpose of their elaborate prayers? They may have been using the prayers to reinforce their false beliefs, and they also appeared to be using the prayers to elevate themselves above others and declare that they were better than everyone else.

• In what ways might people think they are better than others and become lifted up in pride? Answers might include the following: people may think they are better than others because of how smart,  pretty or handsome, athletic, wealthy, or talented they are. (Build the Rameumptom tower on the board as each answer is given.)

After hearing a Zoramite prayer Alma and his fellow missionaries were astonished. As they continued to watch, they realized that every man who went onto the tower offered the same prayer. Then, after the Zoramite people had offered up their prayers, they returned to their homes, not speaking of God again until they had assembled themselves together again at the Rameumptom. Put up the last sign “3) were repetitious and insincere.”

When Alma saw the prayers of the Zoramites his heart was grieved for he saw they were a wicked people. He lifted his voice up to heaven in prayer. (Put the picture of Alma praying on the board.) Alma prayed for strength and patience in afflictions. He prayed for comfort for himself and his companions, and he prayed for success in bringing souls to Christ.

Put the sign “Alma’s Prayer” above the picture of Alma. Underneath the picture put up the following signs as you read and discuss each one.

1) showed faith in God and Jesus Christ
Alma petitioned the Lord for blessings in his prayer. He had faith that the Lord would bless and help him.

2) was humble and not selfish.
Alma prayed for others.

• How can we humble ourselves so we are not lifted up in pride? (Have the children take off a level of the Rameumpton tower for every answer they give.) Answers may include the following: by remembering that our gifts, talents, and abilities come from the Lord, by praying for humility, by looking for the good in others, by building love for others by praying for them and serving  them.

3) was not repetitious or insincere
Alma prayer was not repetitious or insincere because he was praying for specific needs.

• 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.

After Alma said the words of his prayer, he put his hands upon his companions, which probably meant he set them apart for their assignments or gave them a special blessing to face the difficult challenges ahead. As he did this they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion Activity
Remind the children of the wrong ingredients used for making peanut butter candy, and remind them of the wrong ingredients for salvation that the Zoramites followed.

Point out that just as there are wrong ingredients for making peanut butter candy and wrong ingredients to gaining salvation, there are also right ingredients. Show the children the right ingredients for the peanut butter candy.

• What would be some of the right ingredients for gaining salvation? Obey God’s commandments, gain an understanding of correct doctrine, have faith in Jesus Christ, be humble, pray daily, etc.

Measure out and mix the correct candy ingredients. Have the children wash their hands with wet wipes, and then give them each a spoonful of the mixture. Have them roll their candy into balls and then coat them with coconut or sprinkles. Invite them to taste the finished product. Point out how sweet and delicious it is. Explain that just as we enjoyed the benefits of following the correct recipe for peanut butter candy, if we will follow the correct steps for attaining eternal salvation we can one day enjoy all the wonderful blessings related to gaining eternal life.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 31:1-25

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