Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah
• Items needed: a variety of fishing lures with hooks (or you can use the provided pictures of fishing lures), a nut in a shell placed in a small paper bag, chalk and eraser, a paper towel, a dry erase marker, tape or magnets, and two page protectors.
• Print and cut apart the scripture story visual aids. (The scripture story visual aids are from chapter twenty-two of Book of Mormon Stories. ) Also print and cut out the activity visual aids. Put the picture of the fishing pole and the picture of the children in the page protectors.
Show the children the fishing lures (or the picture of fishing lures), and ask the children if they know what the items are used for.
Explain to the children that fishing lures are designed to attract and catch fish. Some lures are sparkly and shiny and some look like food (like bugs or small fish), but they are all traps. The lures are always attached to a hook. (Show the children the hooks.) When a fish takes the lure or bait they become hooked and can’t get away. Their lives are destroyed and they are devoured.
Satan also uses lures. His lures are appealing to people, and they are meant to entice us to sin. Many times we don’t see the danger or harm in his lures, and then we take the bait. When we take the bait and allow the hook to be set, then we’re caught. In today’s lesson we will learn about some of Satan’s lures and the destruction and damage that his traps can cause.
Tell the following story using the scripture story visual aids.
As King Mosiah grew old he needed to decide who would replace him as king. His sons were the rightful heirs, but none of them wished to be king. They desired to go on a mission to the Lamanites and teach them the gospel. Instead of having a king, King Mosiah recommended to the people that they set up a system of judges. He gave them many reasons why judges would be better than having a king. The people were convinced of the truth of King Mosiah’s words, and they elected judges. Alma the younger was appointed to be the first chief judge in the land. He was also the leader over the church. His father had grown old and had conferred the leadership upon him. Alma the younger had become a strong and righteous leader in the church.
There was peace in the land for awhile. The members of the church were righteous and they prospered for a time, but then the members began to be lifted up in pride because of their riches.
• How does Satan try to lure people to sin because of riches?
o He tries to get people to think they were better than others because of their riches.
o He tries to get people to be selfish and not use their riches to help others.
o He tries to get people to think they received their riches because of their own ingenuity and not through the blessings of the Lord.
o He tries to tempt people to spend all their time seeking after riches instead of spending their time doing good things for others.
When Alma saw the problems that were occurring in the church, he selected a righteous man to take his place as chief judge. He then went among the people to preach the word of God. He wanted to help them remember their duty, and he wanted to expose Satan’s traps. After he got the church in Zarahemla in order, he began to travel to other cities to preach the word of God. One of the cities he went to was called Ammonihah. Satan had a great hold on the hearts of the people in Ammonihah, and they would not listen to Alma.
The people in Ammonihah had once been obedient members of the church, but they had allowed themselves to be influenced by the teachings of Nehor. Nehor was a Nephite that introduced priestcraft to the people. Priestcraft is when men preach to get gain and the praise of the world. They teach false and enticing things to attract people to follow them. The followers of Nehor taught that God redeems all men, and that he will give everyone eternal life regardless of what they do on the earth.
• Why do you think this type of preaching appealed to people? It meant that people could give into temptation because according to Nehor they could sin and still be saved. The people of Ammonihah allowed Satan to lure them with this false doctrine, and his hook and hold on them was great because of their desire for sin.
The people of Ammonihah reviled against Alma and cast him out of their city because the things he preached were in opposition to what they wanted to do.
Alma was very sorrowful because of the wickedness of the people of Ammonihah. As he travelled towards another city, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel told him to return to the city of Ammonihah. He was to preach to them and warn them that if they did not repent they would be destroyed.
• Do you think it would be hard to go back to a place where you had been treated cruelly? How did Alma react when he heard the news he needed to go back? (Read Alma 8:18) Alma returned speedily to Ammonihah.
• Why did Alma speedily return? He was always obedient to the Lord’s commandments, and he wanted to help the people of Ammonihah. He knew that if they did not repent they would be destroyed, and they would also suffer eternal consequences because of their sins.
When Alma entered into the city of Ammonihah, he was hungry because he had fasted many days for the people. He saw a man and asked him for food. The man said he knew that Alma was a prophet of God. The man had seen an angel in a vision, and the angel told him to receive Alma into his house. The man’s name was Amulek. He fed and took care of Alma at his house for many days.
• What might have taken place during the many days Alma stayed with Amulek? Amulek was probably being taught by Alma.
The Lord told Alma that Amulek also needed to preach and warn the people to repent. Amulek was a wealthy man with high standing in the community. He had many friends and family. He knew the ways of the Lord but had hardened his heart against them until the angel appeared to him. When the people heard Amulek’s story and heard him preach, they were astonished because there was more than one witness against them.
- Ask the children if they think having more than one witness helped strengthen Alma’s message. Illustrate this concept by doing the following object lesson:
Reach into the bag you brought and grab the nut. Show the children your closed hand. Explain to the children that there is something in your hand that can be eaten, but the thing that can be eaten has never been touched by human hands. Ask the children if they believe you. Show one of the children what is in your hand without letting anyone else see it. Have that child verify to the class that your statement is true. Ask the class if they believe you now. Show the class the shell covered nut.
• Point out that having more than one witness helped the children believe what you had told them.
Alma and Amulek warned the people that if they did not repent they would be utterly destroyed by the Lamanites. (Read Alma 9:18)
In Ammonihah many kinds of sins were being committed, including greed and corruption in the system of judges. The judges and lawyers often stirred up the people to rioting, disturbances, and all manner of wickedness because they were paid according to the amount of time they worked. They stirred up the people against Alma and Amulek so they might get more employ and more money. A man named Zeezrom was one of their most cunning lawyers. He, and other lawyers, tried to trick Alma and Amulek into saying contradictory things. Alma and Amulek had the spirit with them so they knew the thoughts of those trying to deceive them, and they could not be tricked.
Zeezrom was convinced of the power of God because Alma and Amulek had the power to know his thoughts and intents. Alma and Amulek talked to the people about the judgments of God after death. They told the people that they would be judged according to their works, words, and thoughts. After hearing Alma’s and Amulek’s preaching’s, Zeezrom began to tremble because of his guilt.
• Zeezrom was guilty of many sins. What kind of sins does Satan try to get people to commit? To use profanity, watch bad movies, disobey parents, cheat, steal, lie, listen to bad music, dress immodestly, use drugs, drink alcohol, to smoke, etc.
Explain to the children that Satan uses lures to try to get people to commit these sins. Put the tackle box on the board and the cut out cards of the lures below the tackle box. Put the fishing pole on the board, and have a child write one of the sins on the fishing line with the dry erase marker. Have the child then choose one of the lures that Satan might use to entice someone to commit that sin.
Tell the children that just as fishing lures are not what they appear to be, Satan’s lures are deceitful and false. They are lies meant to entice people into his traps so he can capture and hook them. (Discuss the ways that the lure is a lie.)
• When a person decides to commit a sin how do they become hooked? Their thoughts may dwell on the sin. They may want to try it again. Each time they do the sin it becomes easier to keep doing it. It then becomes a habit and a regular part of their life. They are hooked, and if they try to pull away it can be physically and emotionally difficult and painful.
Satan wants people to get caught and hooked in his traps so he can destroy their lives.
• In what ways does sin destroy and damage lives? ( (Put the picture of the children on the board next to the fishing pole. With the dry erase marker, have the child write a way that the sin might damage or destroy someone’s life on the picture of the children.) Answers may include: People may not trust them anymore. They lose the guidance, safety, and protection of the Holy Ghost. They may hurt those they care about with their actions and words; their relationships become broken and damaged. Their bodies can become damaged if it is a Word of Wisdom problem. They may end up having their freedoms taken away, such as being put in prison. They will lose the opportunity for eternal life unless they repent.
Erase the sin on the fishing line and have another child write a different sin on the line, choose a matching lure, discuss how the lure is a lie, and then write a consequence on the picture of the children. Continue in this way until all the children have had a turn, or all the lures have been used.
Sin always causes misery and unhappiness, and Satan wants us to believe that once we are caught by his lures and hooks there is no way to escape. But the Lord has provided a way we can escape: it is called repentance, and it may be painful and difficult. Imagine how a fish feels having a hook removed from its mouth. It can be very painful. But imagine how the fish feels if it is set free, back into the water. Removing the hook of sin from our lives may be difficult, but the wonderful feeling of being free from its destructive hold is worth the effort. But it is better if we never allow ourselves to be caught in the first place.
• What do we learn from the story of Alma concerning ways to prevent being caught in Satan’s traps?
o Alma preached the word of God to help expose the traps of Satan to the people. We need to learn the word of God by reading the scriptures and listening to the prophet so we can see and avoid the traps of Satan.
o When the wicked lawyers of Ammonihah tried to trick and tempt Alma and Amulek, the Holy Ghost warned and helped them and Alma and Amulek were not deceived. We need to seek for and listen to the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger.
Bear testimony that God provides guidance and help, but we need to seek for and follow His direction in order to avoid the destructive traps that are set by Satan.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 8:8–32, Alma 10:31-32, Alma11:20-25, and Alma 12:1-7
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