Russel M. Nelson
Friend March 2018 “ Meet Our New Prophet”
Friend August 2018 “President Nelson Loves Children” President Nelson meets Primary children as he travels all over the world.
Friend April 2017 “Follow the Prophet” Thomas Monson wanted to be an officer in the military. Harold B. Lee told Thomas the military wasn’t for him, so Thomas gave up his commision. A few week school later he was called as a bishop.
Friend Feb 2015 “Showing Love Through Service” Elder Monson gives his suit to a man in Germany whose suit was worn out.
Friend February 2018 “Remembering President Thomas S. Monson” Includes photos
Song: Stand for the Right
Tell the children they are going to be learning a new song in March, and it is called “Stand for the Right.” Ask the children what it means to stand for the right. Explain that there will be situations in their lives where they will have to decide if they are going to follow the Lord and do the right things or if they are going to go in a different direction. For example, the Lord wants us to be kind to others, but suppose your friends are leaving out a new boy in your class when they play football. You would have a choice to make: follow along with the other kids or stand for the right and be kind. Another example would be that the Lord has asked us to be obedient to our parents, but suppose your mom asked you to finish the laundry before going to play, but your friends want you to come play with them and they insist that you don’t have to obey your mom. You would have a choice to make: do you stand for the right, or do you go the opposite direction, the way Satan would have you go.
Put the house picture and the picture of the boy on the board. Explain that the song starts off with the following words:
Our Prophet has some words for you. (Open the shutters.)
And these are the words: Be true, be true. (Put on the word bubble, and tell the children they will say the words “Be True” two times.)
Ask the children what the words “Be True” mean. Explain that it means the prophet wants us to honor our commitments to follow the Lord and keep His commandments. (Have the children sing the first two lines.)
At work or at play (Put the laundry basket in the arms of the boy, and then exchange it for the football. As you do this, remind the children of the example stories you told them earlier.)
In darkness or light (Put the moon picture slightly behind the roof of the house, and then exchange it for the sun picture. Place the sun picture so only half is showing above the roof of the house.) (Optional: You may want to glue the two pictures together, back to back, to make it quicker and easier to place them.)
These two lines mean that we are to be true at all times and keep the commandments, no matter what we are doing or what time of day it is. (Have the pianist play the two lines so the children can hear what it sounds like, and then have the children sing this part.)
Be true, be true (Point to the word bubble, and remind them to say the words twice.)
And stand for the right. (Put the CTR shield in the boy’s hands, and put the word strip on the board.)
Inform the children that when we stand for the right, we are showing that we are on the Lord’s side. We are also setting good examples for those who are around us.
(Have the pianist play this part, and then have the children sing these two lines.)
Have the children sing the song all the way through. Go over any words they have problems with, and then sing the song again. Have one of the children put the pictures on the board while the other children sing the song. Have another child try to put the pictures on the board at the right times as the children sing. Keep doing this until the children have the song and the picture placement correct.
If I Listen With My Heart – Verse Two
Tell the children they are now going to learn the second verse of the song “If I Listen With My Heart.” Remind them that it is about the prophet’s words being a way to hear the Savior’s voice. Put the black and white picture of the prophet in front of the lantern, and turn on the lantern. Put the flip chart on the board with the first lines of the verse showing. Go through the words of the flip chart with the children, and put the following corresponding pictures on the board for each page.
I hear a living prophet speak – Put the picture of the prophet and the podium on the board.
the things that Christ would say – Put the picture of the Savior to the left of the picture of the prophet.
if He were here upon the earth – Put the picture of the Savior over the picture of the prophet.
to talk with me today – Put the picture of the children to the left of the podium.
Put the word bubbles on the board to the left of the the picture of Jesus, and ask the children what the Savior would tell them to do if he were here upon the earth today. Write a response with the marker in each word bubble.
The prophet teaches how to live – Take off the picture of the Savior so that the prophet is showing, and explain that the prophet tells us the same things because he tells us the Savior’s words–the things the Savior wants us to know.
in righteousness and peace – Explain that the Savior wants us to live in righteousness and peace, so the prophet teaches us the Savior’s words on how to do that. Point out the word peace, and remind the children that the word peace is in each verse of the song. This is to help remind us that if we listen to and obey the Savior’s words, we can have peace in our lives. (When singing the song, put the labeled word bubbles up during this line of the song.)
Put the chorus pages on the board, and remind the children that they sing the chorus at the end of each verse.
Note: You may wish to teach Junior Primary a couple of lines of the verse at a time, and then have them sing those lines before teaching the next two lines.
Prepare to have the children sing the verse by resetting the flip chart and taking off the pictures. Have a child helper put the pictures on the board at the appropriate times as you turn the pages of the flip chart. Go through the words and visuals again before singing the verse to make sure the helper knows how they go. Have a different child help with the visuals each time you sing the verse.
Tell the children they are now going to memorize the second verse. Review the words on the first flip chart card. Put it down so it isn’t showing, and have the children sing the song again. Do the same with the second card in the flip chart, then have them tell you what the first line is again. Sing the song again without the first and second cards showing. Continue in this manner until they can sing the song without the flip chart.
Note: To help the children review lines, tell them the line, but stop at certain points and see if they can tell you the next word or words.
Safety Reminder: Use only battery powered lanterns. If you use a lamp, put the paper on the lamp shade using a straight pin. Do not put the paper near the hot light bulb.
Lehi and his Family Leave Jerusalem
Ask the children if they remember what is being studied this year. Hold up a copy of the Book of Mormon as a reminder.
The Book of Mormon tells about three groups of people the Lord led to the Americas. The beginning of the Book of Mormon tells of one of these groups. We learn about the other two groups later.
Direct the children to open their scriptures to chapter one in “The First Book of Nephi.” Explain that a prophet named Nephi wrote the “The First Book of Nephi.” Nephi informs us that he engraved his history onto plates made of ore (1 Nephi 19:1). The plates were like a book, but each page was a thin sheet made of gold. The words were written by pushing a sharp tool into the metal.
Have the children find the date on the bottom right hand side of the first page of “The First Book of Nephi.” Explain that this date tells the approximate time period the events on that page occurred. Have them flip through other pages so that they will see that the date is on the bottom of each page. Explain that B.C. means before Christ’s birth.
In the “First Book of Nephi” we learn that Nephi’s father was a prophet. When Nephi was a youth, his father Lehi was commanded of the Lord to take his family and leave the city Jerusalem.
Teach the following scripture story of the prophet Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem. Show the numbered picture that corresponds with each part.
1. In Jerusalem 600 B.C. the people were wicked. They were dishonest, they worshiped idols, and they did many other evil things. Prophets were sent to tell the people to repent or be destroyed. The people were so wicked that they imprisoned, cast out, or killed the prophets that were sent to warn them.
2. Lehi was concerned and prayed for the people. A pillar of fire appeared as Lehi prayed, and God told and showed Lehi many things.
3. Lehi returned home and collapsed on his bed overcome with what he had seen. As he was lying on his bed, Lehi was shown a vision. One of the things he saw was that Jerusalem would be destroyed.
4. Lehi told the people what he had seen and heard. He told them that Jerusalem would be destroyed. He also preached and testified of Jesus whom he had seen in his vision. Lehi preached to the people even though he knew it was dangerous.
5. The people wouldn’t listen to Lehi’s warnings. They mocked him and made fun of him. They didn’t believe that Jerusalem would be destroyed. They thought they were God’s chosen people.
6. The people became angry and wanted to kill Lehi because of his preachings.
7. In a dream, the Lord warned Lehi of the danger and told him to take his family and leave Jerusalem.
8. Lehi and his family packed provisions for the journey. They left their house and their possessions behind. They traveled three days past the Red Sea, which is about a two week journey from Jerusalem.
Display the two category titles “Trip Provisions” and “Items Left Behind” on a display board. Show the children the list of items that are taped to the 8 ½-by-11 paper. Have them take turns choosing an item and then deciding if the item would be something Lehi and his family would have taken with them or something they would have left behind. Have them place the item under the category they think it belongs in. Ask the children to explain their reason. Answers might include: item not needed for the journey, item too bulky, or item too heavy to carry, etc.
9. After traveling for about two weeks in the wilderness, Lehi and his family came to a valley that had a river running through it. They set up their tents and camped there. Lehi built an altar of stones and gave thanks to the Lord.
10. Lehi had four sons; their names were Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The two older brothers, Laman and Lemuel, murmured and complained about leaving Jerusalem and leaving behind their possessions. They didn’t believe Jerusalem would be destroyed. They were wicked like the people in Jerusalem.
11. Nephi, the youngest brother, instead of complaining, decided to find out for himself if the things his father had seen were true. He prayed and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him. He learned that his father’s words were true.
12. Nephi told his brothers what he had learned. Sam believed him, but Nephi could not convince Laman and Lemuel.
The people in Jerusalem would not listen to the warnings of the prophets. They would not do the things that would help keep them safe and happy. Because of their wickedness, they had to suffer the results and consequences of their sins and choices, and they were eventually destroyed by the Babylonians.
Inform the children that they are going to read some quotes from the living prophet concerning things he has asked us to do. Show the envelope that is labeled number one. Reveal that there are several other envelopes hidden around the room, and on the front of each envelope is a statement from our current prophet. On the inside of the envelope is a puzzle clue that will help them locate the next envelope. If all the directions are followed correctly, they will end up at the sign that says “Eternal Salvation.” (Put the sign on the wall.)
Give the first clue to a volunteer. That person then reads the prophet’s statement out loud to the class. Have the volunteer tell how they can follow the prophet’s direction regarding the statement they read. After they do that, they can open the envelope and follow the clue’s directions to the next envelope.
After the next clue has been found, have another volunteer follow the same pattern. Putting the puzzle pieces together will help each volunteer locate the clues. Continue on until all the clues have been found. Tell the children that when we follow the prophet’s directions we are guided down the pathway to eternal salvation (eternal life- the kind of life Heavenly Father lives).
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 1 Nephi 1:1-20 and 1 Nephi 2:1-24.
Resources: Scripture story visual aids – Book of Mormon Stories.
Samuel the Lamanite
• Items needed: chalk and eraser, a small treat or reward, two blindfolds, about ten sheets of paper, crayons and pencils, tape and magnets, a piece of cardstock put inside a page protector, sticky tack, removable double-sided tape, mini marshmallows or several wadded up small pieces of paper, and a five inch round paper circle. Optional: pictures of Jesus’ birth and death
• Print the timeline visuals. (Note: The dates on the timeline are approximate.) Cut out the timeline pages and tape each page together in order. Cover the prophets’ names on the timeline with strips of one inch by three inch pieces of heavy paper. (Use removable double-sided tape to attach.) Cut out the prophets’ names with the scriptures on them. Attach the names to the page protector with sticky tack.
• Print and cut out the scripture story visuals. Cut the group of people into two parts between the woman in blue and the man with the bow and arrow.
• Print the activity visual aids. (The signs of Christ’s birth and the signs of Christ’s death need to be printed onto two different colors of paper.) Cut out all the items. Optional: Attach the heading “Sign’s of Christ’s Birth” to the top of the picture of Jesus’ birth. Attach the heading “Sign’s of Christ’s Death” to the top of the picture of Jesus’ death.
Put the timeline on the board. Explain to the children they are going do a review activity regarding the prophets they have learned about this year. Point out the prophet pictures on the timeline, and then show the children the page of prophets’ names. Have the children take turns identifying who each prophet is by putting the name above or below the prophet’s picture it goes with. Give hints about specific prophet’s stories if needed.
After all the prophets’ names are situated, check to see if they are correct by taking off the name covers on the timeline. If one doesn’t match, have a child change it with one they think is correct. After all the names have been revealed, point out that the timeline ends at Jesus’ birth. Explain that all the prophets on the timeline were born and lived before Jesus was born.
• Which of the prophets on the timeline prophesied and taught of Jesus? (All of them.) Point out the scriptures under each name and explain that the scriptures contains a few of the words or teachings of that prophet concerning Jesus.
Read Mosiah 13:33: “Did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?”
• What do you think these prophets’ main messages were concerning Jesus? (Have them each look up one of the scriptures and read it to themselves. Then ask a few volunteers to quickly tell what the main message is in their scripture.)That Jesus would come to the earth and atone for the sins of mankind.
Point out the empty spot on the timeline. Explain that the prophet who goes on the empty spot lived in the time period right before the birth of Jesus Christ. This prophet was sent to the Nephites to prepare them for the coming of Jesus. He made specific prophesies about the time and signs of Jesus’ birth and death. Ask if any of the children knows who the prophet is. (If they do not know, ask them to listen carefully to the lesson and see if they can guess who it is.)
Remind the children of the events that occurred in last week’s lesson. Explain that the people remained righteous for a time after the famine, but within a few years wickedness began to creep back in, and within about ten years after the famine the Nephites were once again ripe for destruction.
Each time the Nephites returned to wickedness they appear to be guilty of committing the same sins they had committed before. See if the children can guess what sins the Nephites were guilty of committing this time. Remind them that the sins are similar to the ones they were committing before. Write their guesses on the board. Have the children read Helaman13:22 and put a check mark next to each one they guessed correctly. (Forgetting the Lord and his blessings, ingratitude, heart set on riches, pride, boasting, envying (jealousy), strifes (fighting), malice (hate), murders, and persecution.)
• What did the Nephites seek for all the days of their live that they could never obtain? (See Helaman 13:38) They sought for happiness in doing iniquity.
• Why can happiness never be found in doing iniquity? (See Alma 41:10-11)
• What other wicked things were the Nephites doing? (See Helaman 13:24) (If the children included any of these sins on their list have them put a check mark next to them also.) They cast out the prophets, mocked them, cast stones at them, and slayed them.
Explain that instead of listening to the true prophets, the Nephites called a man a prophet if he told them flattering words such as, “Do as your heart desires for there is no sin or punishment.” Samuel called these false prophets blind guides. (Helaman 13:27-28)
Choose two volunteers. Blindfold one of the volunteers. Tell the other child he/she is going to guide the blindfolded child to a special reward, but then explain that he/she is going to be blindfolded also. After blindfolding the second child, quietly put the reward somewhere in the room. Tell the guiding child to lead the other child to the reward. Make sure they don’t fall or get hurt as they attempt this. After a few minutes ask the class the following question:
• Is a blindfolded person a good guide? Why not? (They can’t see the right way to go to get the reward, and they can’t see the dangers that need avoiding.) Take the blindfolds off the children and thank the volunteers for their help, then ask the following question:
• Do people sometimes follow blind guides in today’s world? We have many leaders in the world today who lead but don’t know the way to true happiness. They also don’t see the dangers (Satan’s temptations) that need avoiding.
Heavenly Father wants us to find true, eternal happiness, so He provides true guides that can see the right way to go and the dangers to avoid.
• Who are the guides Heavenly Father provides? Prophets. They know the way because they are directed by divine light and are not blinded by the darkness that is around them. (Have a child who is not blinded by the darkness of a blindfold lead a child who is blindfolded to the reward.) (They must share the reward with the class.)
The Lord wanted the Nephites to follow true guides, but they would not listen to their prophets and were casting them out and killing them, so the Lord sent a Lamanite prophet to preach to them. (Remind the children that at this time in Book of Mormon history many of the Lamanites were righteous. See Helaman 13:1)
Ask the children if they know yet who the prophet is that goes on the empty spot on the timeline. Remind them he is a Lamanite.
Explain that the prophet, Samuel the Lamanite (put his picture on the timeline) went to the Nephites and told them they needed to repent. The people were angry at his message, and they threw him out of the land. As Samuel was returning to his own land, the voice of the Lord came to him and told him to return and tell the people whatsoever thing that came into his heart.
• What did the Lord mean when he told Samuel to speak whatsoever thing that came into his heart? It meant Samuel would receive revelation from God concerning what to say.
Samuel returned to Zarahemla, but the people would not allow him to enter into the city.
• Samuel needed to deliver the message from the Lord. What did he do so he could accomplish this? He went and got up on the city wall. (Put the scripture story figures of Samuel, the wall, and the crowd of people on the board.)
Samuel cried with a loud voice and prophesied what the Lord put into his heart. He prophesied heavy destruction upon the people if they did not repent.
He also delivered another message, a message of glad tidings (which means good news).
• What do you think his message of glad tidings was? Remind the children that Samuel lived in a special time period. He lived during the time period when Jesus Christ, the son of God would come to the earth. His message of glad tidings was that Jesus Christ, the redeemer, would be born on the earth in five years. (Helaman 14:2)
• Why is this good news? (See Helaman 14:2,13) Because Jesus would make an atonement for our sins and redeem all who believe on his name.
• Samuel also prophesied concerning the death of Jesus. According to Samuel why did Jesus have to die? (Helaman 14:15-18) Samuel explained that Jesus must die to redeem all mankind from spiritual death and to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead.
• Samuel told the people that signs would occur when Jesus was born and when he dies. Why did the Lord reveal these signs to the Nephites? (See Helaman 14:12–13, 28.) So they might know of His coming and believe on His name and repent, and that there would be no cause for unbelief.
Give each child, or pairs of children, a piece of paper, a pencil, crayons, and one of the scripture cards. Have them look up their scriptures and draw a picture of the signs described in their scriptures. (Some of the children will only need to draw certain parts of their scripture. You may need to help them understand which part they need draw. The Activity Answers below will help provide those answers.)
Put the picture labeled “Signs of Christ’s Birth” on the left side of the board and the picture labeled “Signs of Christ’s Death” on the right side of the board. After the children have completed their pictures, have them take turns standing up, showing their picture, and telling what it is. Afterwards have the child decide if it is a sign of Jesus’ birth or death. Have them put their picture under the correct heading on the board. Check to see if it is correct by putting the matching sign label above their picture. If it matches the color of the category heading, they are correct.
Signs of Christ’s Birth
• Helaman 14:3-4 -There will be a day and a night and a day as if there were no night.
• Helaman 14:5-6 – A new star will appear, and there will be many other signs and wonders in heaven.
Signs of Christ’s Death
• Helaman 14:20 – There will be darkness for three days. The sun, moon, and stars shall be darkened.
• Helaman 14:23 (First Part) & Helaman 14:21 (First part) – There will be tempests (severe storms with high winds and possible hail, snow, or rain). There will be thundering and lightening for many hours.
• Helaman 14:24 (Second part) – Cities made desolate (uninhabited).
• Helaman 14:23 (Second part) – The mountains will be laid low and valleys will become mountains.
•Helaman 14:21 (Second part), Helaman 14:22, & Helaman 14:24 (First part) – The earth shall shake and tremble, and rocks and highways shall be broken up.
Scripture Story Continued
• How did the people react to Samuels words? Some believed and went to find Nephi to confess their sins and be baptized (take off the small group of people), but the majority of the people were angry with Samuel.
• What did the people attempt to do to Samuel because of their anger? Slay him. They cast stones at him on the wall and shot arrows at him. (Put the arrows and stones on the board.) But they could not hit him with their stones or arrows.
Demonstration: Put the five inch round piece of paper on the board. Give a few of the children sitting in the front seats 3-4 mini marshmallows each (or wadded up small pieces of paper). Have them try to hit the target with their items. Have the other children count and point out how many times they were able to hit the target. Ask the children why they think people who were familiar with using a bow and arrow and the people who were throwing rocks couldn’t hit Samuel. (Because the Spirit of the Lord was with him.) (Helaman 16:2)
• When the people saw that Samuel was miraculously protected did they believe his words then? Some believed, but the more part of the people did not believe the words of Samuel, and they went forth to lay their hands upon Samuel. He cast himself down from the wall and did flee out of their lands to preach among his own people.
• Five years after Samuel delivered his message to the Nephites, great signs, wonders, and miracles began to occur. The words of the prophets began to be fulfilled. Did the nonbelievers start to believe when they began to see the prophesied signs and wonders occuring? The most part of the people grew more wicked and did harden their hearts. (Helaman 16:22-23) They contrived foolish excuses to not believe.
• Why did the doubters contrive excuses to not believe even after witnessing great signs and wonders? Because Satan did stir them up to iniquity continually. (Helaman 16:22)
• What lesson do we learn from the account of the unbelievers? We learn that we must do our best to keep ourselves free of the influence of Satan so that our hearts will be open to the whisperings of Holy Ghost concerning the truth of the words of the prophets.
Remind the children of the timeline, and that all the prophets taught of Jesus. Explain that latter-day prophets also testify and teach of Jesus. Our faith and belief in the Savior can be strengthened as we read the prophets’ words in the scriptures and as we listen to and read the words of the latter-day prophets concerning Christ.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Helaman 13:1-8, 14:1-5, 20-27, 16:1-8
Important Note: Save the children’s drawings. They will be used again in lesson 32 and 33.
Lesson 29: Nephi Prophesies
• Items needed: one clear glass full of water and two empty clear glasses, a piece of saran wrap, a clear glass pie pan, a scoop of dirt, a pen or pencil, a water filter (or a picture of a water filter), a picture of Jesus, a half of a paper towel, a rubber band, a brad, tape or magnets, the Book of Mormon Stories DVD, a TV, and a DVD player.
• Cover the glass of water with the piece of saran wrap. Press the sides tightly around the glass. Double the paper towel and put it on top of one of the empty glasses. Push down on the middle so it is concave. Stretch a rubber band around the glass to hold the paper towel in place.
• Print the scripture story visual aids. Cut each page in half so one picture or sign is on each half. Number the back of the scripture story pictures in the order they were printed. (Note: The scripture story visual aids are from chapter 38 of Book of Mormon Stories.)
• Print the watchman on the tower activity onto white cardstock. Cut out the wheel. Using an exacto knife, cut the dotted openings on the tower picture leaving one side on each opening uncut in order to open and close the flaps. Poke a hole in the middle dot on the tower and wheel picture using a large needle. Put the tower picture on top of the prophet wheel. Put the brad through the middle dot on each page, and open up the arms of the brad on the back of the wheel. Cut out the nine cards of prophet’s quotes.
Show the children the glass of water. Point out how clean the water is and remind them how healthy and good it is for the body.
Explain that the Nephites had been blessed with many good things for the body and spirit, but because of the ease of the way, they forgot that it was because of God they were so blessed. They didn’t keep their hearts focused on God and his commandments, and they began allowing contaminants into their lives that were harmful. (Put the glass of water in the glass pie pan. Pour a pile of dirt onto the saran wrap. )
Tell the following story as you show the matching scripture story visual aids to the children. (Some visual aids can be used more than once in the story.)
When Nephi returned to his home in Zarahemla from preaching to a people in the north, he saw that the people had allowed wickedness to enter their lives. It filled him with great sorrow. Nephi knelt in prayer on his garden tower and poured out his sorrow to the Lord. Nephi’s garden tower was next to a highway which led to the chief market in Zarahemla. Certain men were passing by and saw Nephi as he was pouring out his soul unto God. They ran and told the people what they had seen, and the people came together in multitudes that they might know the cause of such great mourning. When Nephi arose he saw the multitudes who had gathered together, and he asked if they had gathered to have him tell them of their iniquities
Have the children look up Helaman 7:20 – 21 & 26 to discover what sins the Nephite’s were committing. Have the children poke holes in the saran wrap with the tip of a pen or pencil for each sin they find. (Pride, vanity, set heart on riches and praises of men, murder, stealing and lying in order to get gain, forgetting God) Ask the children if they have seen any of these kinds of sins in the world today.
• Shake the water slightly so it clouds up. Point out the dirt in the water and ask, “Is the water still healthy and desirable?” What would happen if someone drank the water? It could make them sick.
The evil the Nephites had let into their lives was making them spiritually sick. The more they partook of sin the sicker it made their spirits. Nephi knew the results of letting wickedness into their lives and he warned them of the consequences. (Put up sign # 1 on the board: Prophets warn about the dangers of sin.)
Have the children look up the following scriptures to find the warned consequences Nephi prophesied would happen if they did not clean up their lives and repent. (Helaman 7:16, 22, 28) (No strength from God to withstand their enemies, city and lands taken away, destroyed from the face of the earth, everlasting misery and endless woe.)
After Nephi had warned the multitude concerning their sins, some men among them who belonged to a secret band called the Gadianton robbers were angry and cried out against Nephi.
• Who were the Gadianton robbers? They were a Satan inspired secret band whose two objectives were to get gain and power, and they used any illicit and unlawful means possible to obtain their objective including murder, threats, bribery, blackmail, theft, lying, etc.
The Lamanites, who had become more righteous than the Nephites, did not tolerate the Gadianton robbers and destroyed those who were among them. But Satan had a hold on the Nephites, and many of them had united with the Gadiantons, building them up and supporting them until they had spread over all the land and had seduced even the righteous to believe in their works. (Helaman 6:20-21 & 38)
Many members of the secret band of Gadianton robbers had infiltrated the Nephite’s system of government and had become judges, but they did not administer justice. They condemned the righteous, and they let the guilty and the wicked go unpunished for money.
Some of these Gadianton judges were among the multitude at Nephi’s home. They tried to stir up the people against Nephi.
• Why would the Gadianton robbers wish to stir up the people against Nephi? (See Helaman 8:4) Nephi had spoken plainly against them concerning their secret works of darkness. They endeavored to destroy anyone who would expose, threaten, or interfere with their evil objectives.
But there were some in the crowd who said, “Let this man alone, for he is a good man, and those things which he saith will surely come to pass except we repent.”
When Nephi saw that he had gained favor in the eyes of some, he continued to speak to them. He reminded them that all the prophets have testified of a way to make their lives clean again, and that was through the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Put sign #2 on the board: Prophets testify of Jesus Christ and teach repentance.)
• What did the people of Nephi need to do in order to apply the atonement and clean up their lives? First they needed to realize they had done wrong. Then they needed to repent and stop the flow of unclean things into their lives. (Take the dirt off the cup.) How can people in today’s world stop the flow of unclean things into their lives? By removing the things from their lives that influence and encourage them to commit sin.
• What did the Nephites need to do after they had stopped the flow of unclean things into their lives? They needed to do everything they could to make things right again and fix the damage that had been done. (Put the paper towel covered glass in the pie pan. Pour the dirty water into the paper towel covered glass. This should filter out the larger pieces of dirt.)
• After the flow of dirt has been stopped, and as much as possible has been done to clean up their lives, would the Nephites then be clean and pure again? Point out the dirt that is still in the water. Explain that it is impossible to fix or remove all the damage we have done to ourselves and others. We need help. Show the children the water filter (or a picture of a water filter). Explain (or show) that if we were to pour the water into the filter it would take out all the impurities.
Just as we would need a water filter in order to make dirty water clean again, so do we need the Savior in order to make our lives clean of sin. (Put the picture of the Savior on the board.) We can’t do it ourselves.
The Gadianton judges did not want to change their lives. They wanted to continue to seek for riches and power, so they did not want to listen to Nephi, and they did not want the crowd to listen to him either. They tried to make the people doubt Nephi’s ability to prophesy of the judgments that would come upon them. They said they were a powerful people and there was no way their enemies could take away their cities and land.
Nephi reminded the people of the power given to prophets of old such as Moses. He told them that if God gave such power to those prophets, couldn’t He give power to Nephi to know the judgments that would come upon the Nephites.
Nephi demonstrated his prophetic power given to him by God by telling the crowd of an event that was occurring in the city that no one else was aware of. He said the chief judge had been killed by his brother because the brother desired to sit on the judgment seat, and both men belonged to the secret Gadianton band. Nephi explained that this act demonstrated the evil that was among them, and that the Nephites were at the doors of destruction.
Play chapter thirty-eight of the Book of Mormon Stories DVD, starting at the point Nephi tells the crowd about the murder of the chief judge. Afterwards ask the following discussion questions:
• The Gadianton judges accused Nephi of committing the murder to raise himself up to be a prophet. Why might the wicked judges desire to make Nephi appear to be a false prophet?
• What was Nephi’s response to their accusations? (Helaman 9:25–35.) He told them to repent or be destroyed, and then Nephi once again demonstrated his God-given prophetic ability by telling the people of an upcoming chain of events that would occur.
Why did Nephi demonstrate his prophetic ability to the Nephites? So they would know he had power from God to know of things that would happen in the future if they did not repent.
Latter-day prophets have also been given power, knowledge, and wisdom from God. They teach us what has been revealed to them. (Put sign #3 on the board: Prophets teach the revealed word of God.)
• How can we strengthen our testimony of the living prophet? By doing what he says. Remind the children of the five men who went to the city to see about the chief judge. They did not believe Nephi was a prophet, but when they got there and saw that his words were true, they did believe and they fell down in fear of the judgments Nephi had prophesied. Explain that when we do what the prophet says, we will see the truth of his words, and we will see there is safety in following his words.
Show the picture of the watchman on the tower. Explain that during the Savior’s time, robbers would sometimes come into vineyards to steal or destroy crops. Wise farmers would build tall towers in their vineyards and hire a trusted watchman to stand on the tower and watch for danger. From where he stood, the watchman on the tower could see things the others could not see.
Through the ages, Heavenly Father has given his children “watchmen.” These trusted watchmen the Lord gives us are called prophets. Nephi was one of these watchmen. These watchmen help keep us safe from the destructive attacks of Satan by warning us of danger.
• What would happen if we did not heed the warnings of our watchmen the prophets? Satan’s destructive attacks and influence could cause the loss of earthly blessings and the loss of the blessings of eternal life.
Show the children the flaps that open on the picture of the watchman on the tower. Explain that behind the top flap is a picture of a latter-day prophet and behind the bottom flap is something that prophet taught. Give each child, or set of two children, the list of some of the things these latter-day prophets taught. Spin the wheel and then have a volunteer open the top flap on the tower picture and show it to the class. Then have the child face the picture toward themselves to see what the bottom box says. Have the child pantomime what the bottom box says and see if the other children can guess which item on the list it is. Have the child who guesses correctly explain how we are blessed and kept safe when we follow that teaching. Continue with this activity until every child has had a turn acting out one of the items, or until time is up. You may wish to mention something the living prophet has emphasized in his teachings at the end of the activity. (For example: President Monson emphasizes service.)
Point to the signs on the board and remind the children that Heavenly Father sends prophets to warn us of the dangers of sin, to teach us about the Savior and repentance, and to lead and guide us on the earth with God’s revealed word. We are blessed when we listen to and follow the prophet.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Helaman 7:1-22, Helaman 8:1-10 & 26–28, Helaman 9:1-41
Prophet Dot-to-Dot Activity Idea: Make several cards with information about the prophet on each one. Label the back of each card with a section of numbers from the dot-to-dot such as 1-5 or 15-20. Put the cards, numbers face up, on a table. A child picks one of the cards, reads the clue, and gets to draw those lines on the picture and try to guess who the prophet it is. They write their guess down and their name on the first slot of a numbered card. Continue in this manner until all the clues are read and the lines on the picture are drawn. Reveal the name of the prophet, and then read the card with the guesses to see who got the correct answer first. (Note: You may need to display a picture that contains all the prophets and their names to help the children have a reference to make their guesses from.)
Friend November 1986 Prophet cards: Match the description and name with the correct prophet’s picture.
Primary Music: This week in junior primary we reviewed all the verses we had learned for “Follow the Prophet”.
I started off by talking about how the prophet asked us to plant gardens. I told the children that I try to be obedient and follow the prophet, but this year my garden has been plagued with bugs, and I don’t like bugs. But I try to endure, because I know that the prophet knows what is best for us. (There are many reasons gardens are important, some include: garden produce is healthy, gardening is an economical way to obtain fruits and vegetables, and gardening knowledge is important for preparedness.)
Then I told the children that I had a choosing activity using bugs for the song “Follow the Prophet”. The bugs would help remind them that they should follow the prophet even when it is hard, because he knows what is best for us. Then I told them that some bugs secrete a slime substance. I showed them the container of slime. I told them that they had to reach into the slime to find the bugs. The bugs each had a verse title attached to its leg.
I looked for children who were singing and being reverent to be the bug retrieving helpers. They sang their hearts out. I had no idea junior Primary knew the verses so well. They all sang so well, I had to get help from the teachers in deciding who I should choose as a helper.
I made sure the child retrieving the bug from the container of slime didn’t block the view of the other children. The children enjoyed watching when the slime attached to the person’s hand and stretched and glopped. After getting the bug out, I had the child read the tag and tell what verse it was, and then I gave them a wet wipe to wash off their hands. I had attached the song titles to the plastic bugs by folding over a clear piece of tape onto one leg of each bug. The tape sealed onto the leg. Then I wrote the verse name on the tape with a sharpie.
Slime Directions: To make the slime, mix 3 teaspoons of Metamucil with 3 cups of water in a microwaveable bowl. Add some drops of green and yellow food coloring to the mix until it is the desired color. Microwave the mixture on high for about 4 minutes. Stir the mixture, then microwave again for about three minutes. Continue these two steps until the mixture is the thickness and texture you desire. Be very careful, the mixture will be very hot. After it cools down, pour the goo into a tall, clear plastic container, or into a glass jar with a wide mouth. The clear container will allow the children to see the goo and bugs. Do not fill the container to the top. Make sure that when someone reaches into the goo, it doesn’t overflow. Put a paper plate under the container during the activity to catch any drips.