Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites the Beatitudes
- Items needed: a pencil for each child, five pieces of cardstock and several pieces of white paper, scriptures for each child, strong magnets or tape, scissors, sticky tack, small ziplock baggies or envelopes, a small container of salt mixed with dirt, and a small container of regular salt. Optional: cooked pasta
- Print the visual aids. Fold each of the first six pages in half along the fold line. Tape together the folded pages along the edges (in the order printed) so they make one long line of figures with the picture of Jesus at the beginning.
- Cut apart the pattern labels. Using sticky tack, attach the head labels to a piece of cardstock in random order. Do the same thing with the body labels. Cut out the jewels and attach them to another piece of cardstock using sticky tack.
- Cut apart the Law of Moses/Law of the Gospel strips on the lines. Attach the title strips to the top of a piece of cardstock. Using sticky tack, attach the rest of the strips to another piece of cardstock in random order.
- Fold a white piece of paper into three even sections. Place the small paper doll pattern on top of the folded paper; then using it as a pattern, cut out a chain of three paper dolls. Cut out four pages of paper doll chains per child. The pages can be stacked to make the cuts. Tape the figures together so you have 12 dolls in a row. Fold each of the doll chains and place them into a baggie or envelope.
- Print or copy one page of the black and white jewels and labels handout for each child.
- Print the lesson pictures, or use a computer laptop or tablet to show the images to the children.
Give a volunteer the scissors and a piece of paper. Ask him or her to cut out a perfectly shaped paper doll (without making any folds in the paper). Once the child is done, ask if it was hard to make a perfectly shaped doll that was equal in shape and size on both sides. Show the child the paper doll pattern. Ask if it would have been easier to make a perfectly shaped paper doll if the child had been given a pattern to follow.
(Read 3 Nephi 12:48) Explain that we are to strive to become like our Father in Heaven who is perfect, and we have been given a pattern to follow and instructions on how to work towards that goal.
- What is the pattern we have been given? Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus set an example for us to follow, and because the Father and the Son are one in purpose and characteristics, if we become like the Son we also become like the Father.
We have also been given instructions to follow. When the Savior lived on the earth, he taught the Sermon on the Mount (show picture). When he appeared to the Nephites after his death and resurrection, he taught them a similar sermon (show picture). This sermon gives us directions to follow towards the formation of the kind of person each of of us needs to become.
Show the children the folded up papers with the picture of Jesus on the outside. Spread out the folded papers and attach it to the chalkboard with the magnets under the words “Blessed are the…” Explain that each scripture reference comes from the sermon the Savior taught the Nephites, and each tells us a characteristic we need to develop in order to become like Jesus.
Point out the sign “Blessed are the…” on the chalkboard and explain that the beginning of Jesus’s sermon includes what is known as the “Beatitudes.” Beatitude means to be blessed or happy. Show the children the jewels, and explain that they are labeled with the promised blessings we will receive if we develop the characteristics mentioned in the sermon. Have the children read 3 Nephi 13:19-20. Explain that the temporary worldly things we might treasure on earth do not even compare to the wonderful eternal blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us if we live righteous lives
Display the three cardstock pages that contain the head labels, the body labels, and the jewels. Explain to the children that they are going to do an activity where they will find the instructions the Savior gave, and then they will label the fold-out figures on the board with those instructions.
- Have a volunteer read the first scripture reference (with class members following along in their scriptures). Then have the child find the label that matches it and put the label on the head of the first figure. (Note: The last doll pattern on the board is an activity. When the final label is left, put it on the doll head and then explain the activity.)
- Next, have the children find the label to what they think the beatitude means. If they are correct, have a child attach the piece to the body of the figure.
- Then ask the children what things they can do to become that kind of person. Write on the arms and legs of the figure the things the children mention.
- Next, have the children find the jewel that has the promised blessing on it that goes with the beatitude, and have a child put it in the doll’s hand.
Before starting the activity, give each child one of the fold-up paper doll figures and a pencil, and explain that they are going to copy down each trait onto their figures to help them remember the type of person they need to become. (The children may need to sit on the floor and turn their chair to use it as a table.) Have them first draw a picture of themselves on the top figure, so when the dolls are folded, that is the image they see. Then have the children write the traits on the head and the ways to become that kind of person on the arms and legs of each figure as it is discussed. Explain that at the end of the lesson they will get their own copy of the body labels and jewels.
- Poor in Spirit (3 Nephi 12:3)
- A person who realizes they need spiritual assistance. To be poor in spirit means that a person realizes they are spiritually in need (they need help strengthening their spirit and making the things of God a priority in their life), and they are humble enough to turn to Heavenly Father for help.
- How can we show Heavenly Father that we realize we are in need of his help to develop spiritually? Pray, study his words in the scriptures, go to church.
- Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
- They that Mourn (3 Nephi 12:4)
- Feelings of deep sorrow and regret for the sins they have committed. Blessed are they that mourn for the sins they have committed because godly sorrow worketh repentance. (2 Cor. 7:10)
- How do we show that we feel sorry for the sins we have committed? Pray and ask for forgiveness, right the wrong, do not do it again.
- They shall be comforted. Repentance brings comforting forgiveness.
- Meek (3 Nephi 12:5)
- Someone who is gentle, kind, and patient. To be meek is to be gentle and kind. It is also someone who has self-control and is not quick to become provoked or angry.
- In what ways can we demonstrate meekness? We can be patient with family members and friends. We can be kind to those who wrong us.
- They shall inherit the earth. The earth will someday be sanctified and celestialized (D&C 88:18), so those who inherit the earth will be those who are worthy to inherit the celestial kingdom.
- [They who do] Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness (3 Nephi 12:6)
- A person who desires to fill their life with goodness. We should have a desire to fill our lives with the things of God like we desire to fill our bodies with food and water.
- In what ways can we fill our lives with righteousness? Learn gospel principles by studying the scriptures and by listening to our teachers and leaders. Keep the commandments. Avoid evil and temptation.
- They shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. When we do good and righteous things, the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion
- Merciful (3 Nephi 12:7)
- Someone who is compassionate and forgiving.
- In what situations can we show mercy?
- They shall obtain mercy. They shall receive mercy in the Day of Judgment (when we are judged according to the deeds we did on earth). (3 Nephi 13:14-15)
- Pure in Heart (3 Nephi 12:8)
- Someone who is genuinely clean and good in thought and action.
- What are some examples of good thoughts and actions?
- They shall see God. In order to be with our Heavenly Father we must be pure of heart, for no unclean can enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- Peacemakers (3 Nephi 12:9)
- Those who encourage harmony and peace. Peacemakers look for ways to help solve problems peacefully. (Show the children the picture of the boy being a peacemaker.)
- What are some other situations that you can be a peacemaker?
- They shall be called the children of God. Those who are troublemakers, quarrelsome, or contentious, and those who go against law and order are following paths opposite those who choose to be obedient to their covenants to take upon themselves the name of Christ.
- Persecuted for My Name’s Sake (3 Nephi 12:10)
- Someone who stands up for the right despite opposition. Explain that the message in 3 Nephi 12:10 continues in verse 11 and 12 and says, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute (tease, make fun of, or torment), and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake (because of the desire to follow Jesus and obey the commandments,); For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”
- In what ways can we stand up for our beliefs in Jesus Christ and his gospel? Be obedient to the commandments even when others are not choosing the right. Let others know what your beliefs are.
- Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Salt of the Earth (3 Nephi 12:13) What does salt do? It enhances flavor. (Optional: Show an example of this with some cooked pasta.)
- Someone who influences and enhances people’s lives for good. Just as salt enhances food and makes it taste better, we should influence people for good. Why wouldn’t you want to use the contaminated salt? (The dirt would give the food a bad flavor, and it could be unsafe to ingest.) Explain that through contamination, salt loses its desirable taste and flavor. If we contaminate our lives with the dirt and evil of the world, then we could become a negative influence on others, and we could cause great spiritual harm.
- How can we be a good influence and example to others?
- Glorify your Father in Heaven. This blessing actually goes with the scripture about being a light, which also means to be a good example. (3 Nephi 12:16) “Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Glorify means to worship and praise. People seeing your good works will have a desire to worship God and follow his commandments.
- Has Sincere Intents and Actions (3 Nephi 13:1-4)
- A person who has proper motives and intentions when doing good works such as the following: Service: Read 3 Nephi 13:1-4. (Explain that giving alms means to give money or food to the poor.) In this scripture, the Savior tells us we need to serve the needy, but we must do it with pure intentions and motives. We must not do it for personal, selfish motives such as to look good or to get praise. Prayer: Read 3 Nephi 13: 5-7. The Savior tells us we also need to pray with pure intent and not use vain repetition (fancy words used without thought or feeling to try and look good and get praise). The prophet Mormon warned that if anyone shall pray and not with real intent of heart … it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such. (Moroni 7:9) Fasting: Read 3 Nephi 13:16-18. Point out that each of the scriptures that were read indicate that we are not to be hypocrites. A hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does another. An example of a hypocrite is a person who pretends to be good and spiritual by doing public service, fancy public prayers, or public fasting but really has little desire to help others or serve God.
- What are some ways we can avoid being hypocrites? If we say we believe in something such as honesty, kindness, forgiveness, that is the way we should be.
- [The Father shall] Reward thee openly. When we do good works in secret and not to get gain the Father will reward us openly.
- Obeys the Law of the Gospel
- Someone who abides by the fullness of the gospel. During the sermon to the Nephites, the Lord talked about the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses had been established with the Israelites, but it did not contain the fullness of the gospel. It was a strict preparatory gospel of ordinances and performances. The Israelites had been rebellious, and the Law of Moses was meant to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him. (Mosiah 13:27-32) It was also meant to help the people look forward to the coming atoning sacrifice of Christ. When the Savior’s mortal mission was completed, the law was fulfilled—the atonemeant had occurred. (Read 3 Nephi 12:46-47) Old things had passed away and the Law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was now in place, which is the fullness of the gospel.
- Activity: Show the cardstock labeled with the “Law of Moses” and “Law of the Gospel” strips. Show the children the other strips and tell them to find two laws that seem to match and put the higher law under the “Law of the Gospel” sign. Explain why it is a higher law. For example, it is easy to love your neighbor, but it is harder to love your enemy; it’s easy not to kill, but it’s hard not to get angry; it is easy to have the desire to make someone to pay for hurting you, but it is harder to have mercy and forgive. Have the children read the scripture references to check the answers. Also have them write the Law of the Gospel items on the arms and legs of their paper doll.
- Have the children read 3 Nephi 12:20 and look for the blessing we gain when we follow the Law of the Gospel. Saved and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
If we follow the pattern and instructions Christ has set for us (point to the fold out), we can become like the Savior and live in a “blessed and happy” state now and throughout eternity.
Encourage each child to go home and choose one of the items to work on this week. Tell them to fold open their paper doll figures to that item and post it somewhere in their room to remind them of their goal. Give each child a copy of the body labels and small jewels. Explain that they can cut out the body label and attach it to their doll figure before starting the goal to remind them of what it means. At the end of the week they can color and cut out the jewel that matches their goal and put it on the doll to remind them of the blessing they can obtain from obtaining that characteristic. Encourage the children to continue to work on a different characteristic each week.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 12:1-48 and 3 Nephi 13:1-24.
(The new reading chart can be found here.)