Lesson 7 – Crossing the Sea
• Items needed: a large rectangular pan, a large container filled with water, a paper boat made from the instructions found in Lesson 6, a small paper bag, and a Book of Mormon for each child.
• Print the visual aids. Cut out the scripture references. Tape or paste each scripture reference to the back of its matching numbered scripture story picture. (There will be some pictures with the same number on them. Keep the sets together when handing them out to the children.) Cut out the game pieces. Put the sun and lightning pieces in the paper bag. (Note: I printed the game board onto blue paper and cut out the game path, waves, and fish and pasted them onto yellow cardstock. I also colored the fish and star yellow with a colored pencil.)
Ask the class if they think crossing the sea in a ship is easy.
Pour the container of water into the rectangular pan. Have a volunteer try to blow the paper boat from one long side of the pan to the other. Have two other volunteers try to make the task difficult by blowing the boat in the opposite direction and by blowing on the water to make waves. (Have the volunteers stay about a foot away from the boat as they do their individual tasks.) When the boat reaches the other side of the pan, or when it sinks, point out the difficulties that occurred during the activity: the boat tumbling over, the boat filling with water, the boat going in the wrong direction, etc.
Remind the children of the ship that Nephi built. Nephi was blessed with Heavenly Father’s guidance in building the ship, so it was a well built ship, but crossing a sea in any ship can be dangerous. Storms can occur, causing heavy winds that could blow the ship off course. Large waves can form that could flood or capsize a ship. Navigating a ship can also be a problem. In the vast, wide open, empty sea it is difficult to know where you are and what direction you are going. People could starve to death or die of thirst if they can not find their way to land.
Nephi and his family needed the help of the Lord to carry out the difficult and perilous journey of crossing the sea.
Give each child one of the scripture story pictures. Children can share pictures, or they can be given more than one picture if needed. Make sure each child has a Book of Mormon. Give the children a few minutes to look up and read the scripture reference found on the back of their individual pictures. Going in order, have the children stand up one at a time and describe what is happening in their picture according to the scripture reference they read. Add any details they leave out. Ask any questions that go with that part of the story.
#1) 1 Nephi 18:5-6 The voice of the Lord came to Lehi. Lehi was told that it was time for his family to begin their journey across the sea. They loaded provisions onto the ship such as fruit, meat, honey, and all other items they would need according to what the Lord had commanded.
#2) 1 Nephi 18:8 After Nephi, his family, and all their provisions were on board, they put out to sea. Strong winds blew the ship toward the promised land.
#3) 1 Nephi 18:9 After many days of traveling on the sea, Nephi’s brothers, the sons of Ishmael and their wives began to make themselves merry. They began to dance and sing. Then they began to speak rudely to others. They forgot about the Lord and his commandments, and they forgot that it was by His power they had come to enjoy safety, guidance, and assistance on their journey.
#4) 1 Nephi 18:10-11 Nephi began to fear that the Lord would be angry with them and smite them because of their iniquity. He understood the precarious and dangerous situation they were in. They were dependent upon the Lord’s mercy and assistance to help them safely cross the sea.
Nephi talked to his brothers and the others about what they were doing, but they became angry with him. They were prideful and did not want anyone, especially their younger brother, telling them what they should do. Laman and Lemuel took Nephi and tied him up with cords. They treated him cruelly and harshly. The Lord allowed it so He could teach them a lesson and demonstrate to them His great power.
• Is it wrong to be happy and celebrate? The Lord approves of proper dancing, singing, and celebrating, but some music and dancing can encourage inappropriate behavior and a loss of self-control. The dancing and singing on the ship led them to abandon their self-restraint which led them to speaking with much rudeness. To be rude means to be unkind or vulgar. Rude behavior makes the spirit withdraw, and it is only natural to expect the protective blessings of heaven to withdraw also.
#5) 1 Nephi 18:12-13 After Laman and Lemuel tied up Nephi, the Liahona stopped working. They didn’t know what direction they should steer the ship. Then a great storm arose. Terrible and fierce winds drove them backwards for three days. Laman and Lemuel began to be frightened they would drown in the sea, but they still did not free Nephi from his bonds.
• In what ways did the Lord demonstrate his great power?
#6 ) 1 Nephi 18:17-19 Lehi tried to talk to Laman and Lemuel about what they were doing, but they would not listen. They threatened anyone who spoke for Nephi. Lehi and Sariah were old, and the grief they suffered because of their children caused them to become ill and lay sick in bed. They became so ill they came close to dying. Jacob and Joseph, who were their young sons that had been born in the wilderness, needed care and nourishment from their parents. These young sons also suffered and were full of sorrow. Not even Nephi’s wife and his children’s tears and prayers softened Laman and Lemuel’s hearts.
#7) 1 Nephi 18:14-16 On the fourth day the winds and storm became even more severe. They were about to be swallowed up by the huge waves. Laman and Lemuel realized that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they would not survive if they didn’t repent, so they loosened the bands from Nephi. Nephi’s ankles and wrists were terribly swollen and sore from being constrained for so long, but Nephi never murmured or complained. Instead he praised the Lord.
• Why do you think Nephi was grateful and praised the Lord instead of complaining after suffering so much?
• Was Laman and Lemuel’s repentance sincere? They did not feel sorrow for what they had done. They had only released Nephi because of personal, selfish concern for their own lives. Not even the suffering and near death of their parents, or the suffering of their younger brothers, turned their hearts.
#8) 1 Nephi 18:21–22 After Laman and Lemuel let Nephi loose, Nephi picked up the Liahona and it began to work again. Then Nephi prayed, and the winds and the storm ceased. There was a great calm. Nephi guided the ship, and they once again sailed towards the promised land.
• Why did the Liahona work for Nephi but not for Laman and Lemuel? The Liahona only worked according to faith and diligence. Laman and Lemuel were not faithful and diligent in obeying the Lord or his commandments.
#9) 1 Nephi 18:23-25 After many days of traveling on the sea, Nephi and his family arrived at the promised land. The land was fertile, and their seeds grew abundantly. They also found many kinds of animals there such as cows, ox, horses, goats, and all kinds of wild animals in the forests. They also found all kinds of ores such as gold, silver, and copper.
• How did Laman and Lemuel’s disobedience affect their parents and the rest of the family? It made their parents sick, and it caused everyone to suffer fear and distress.
• How does our disobedience affect our parents and family members? Sin causes a lot of pain, sorrow, and suffering for everyone. The person sinning suffers the consequences of their sins, and the people that are near to them are hurt and affected by the wicked things the sinner does.
Show the game board and explain to the children that the object of the game is to get the ship from the start to the promised land.
• Ask the children if they remember what the promised land is a representation of. (Eternal Life) Explain that as we travel through our mortal lives, we need to strive to do the things necessary to attain eternal life. There are things that help us move toward that goal, and there are things that impede our progress. In this game we talk about both.
Have the children take turns drawing papers out of the bag and moving the ship on the game board. If they draw the sun, they move the ship forward two spaces. They must then tell of something that helps keep the guidance of the Lord in their lives. They must also explain how doing that thing helps them in life. Answers might include: prayer, scripture reading, keeping the commandments, being honest, being kind to others, etc.
If they draw the lightning they move the ship back one space. They then tell of something that drives the Spirit away and causes suffering in people’s lives. They must also explain how it causes suffering. Answers might include: swearing, lying, cheating, complaining, arguing, stealing, using drugs or alcohol, etc. Note: If they draw a lightning piece at the start, they stay at the start position.
Continue in this manner, with the children taking turns drawing papers from the bag and moving the ship, until they have reached the space marked “Promised Land.”
Remind the children that sin and disobedience will always cause misery and suffering for themselves and others. Alma 41:10 says, “Wickedness never was happiness.” Encourage the children to do the things that will help them have the divine guidance of the Spirit in their lives so they can be guided toward eternal life and happiness.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 1 Nephi 18:5-25