Lesson 16 – Anguish in Ammonihah

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Lesson 16
Anguish in Ammonihah

Preparation
• Items needed: a piece of rope, a basket, string, and a blindfold.
•Print the visual aids and make scrolls out of them by doing the following: Cut off the word strips at the bottom of each numbered scroll section. If there is more than one page to a scroll section, glue the pages together to form a vertical line of pictures. (Thick, tacky glue works best.) Glue each  word strip to the back of the scroll on the bottom of the section it goes with (see picture). Wait until the glue is completely dry, then roll each scroll into a tube.  Roll from the bottom up so the headline will be the the first thing showing when it is unrolled. Tie each scroll with a piece of string. Number the outside of each scroll so they will be read in the correct order. Put the rolled up scrolls into a basket. (Note: The visual aids are from chapter twenty-two of Book of Mormon Stories.)

Attention Activity
Blindfold a volunteer and place the child in the center of the room. Ask the child how they would feel if you asked them to fall backward and trust that one of the other children would catch them. The child will probably respond with trepidation. They will probably also feel relief when you explain that it won’t be required of them. Have the child take off the blindfold and sit down.

Ask the children who they would pick from among their friends and family to catch them if they had do the activity. Ask them why they would pick that person. Most likely it will be because they know that person cares about what happens to them and is strong enough to catch them.

Explain to the children that having faith and trust in someone is very important, and that today’s lesson is about having faith in Jesus Christ. To have faith in Jesus Christ means that we know he loves us and that he knows what is best for us. Because we know these things, we follow what he asks us to do. We also know that he has the strength and power to help us to rise above the challenges and difficulties we face each day.

Remind the children of last week’s lesson about Alma and Amulek teaching the people of Ammonihah. Alma and Amulek had faith and trust in Jesus Christ. They did as he asked even though it was a difficult. In today’s lesson we learn the results of those teachings. Many good and miraculous things occurred, but also many terrible and tragic things.

Scripture Story
Tell the children they are going to hear the news of what happened to Alma and Amulek in a way that people in that day may have learned news.

Show the children the scrolls. Tell the children that each scroll has a headline, such as a newspaper from our day would have. Newspaper headlines tell the most important news of the day.

Have the children take turns reading the scrolls in numerical order. Direct them to unroll the scroll and first show and read the headline to the class. Then unroll to the first picture and read the word strip on the back. Continue in this manner until each picture is shown and each wordstrip has been read. After a child reads a scroll, ask any bulleted questions found under that scrolls headlines below.

1) ALMA THE HIGH PRIEST ACCUSED UNJUSTLY OF CRIMES

2) CITIZENS THROWN OUT OF AMMONIHAH

3) PEOPLE BURNED ALIVE IN AMMONIHAH

• Amulek had prophesied earlier that the only thing protecting the people of Ammonihah from being destroyed was the righteous people in the city. What would happen to the wicked people of Ammonihah if they cast out and killed all those who believed in the word of God? They would be destroyed.

4) HIGH PRIEST FORCED TO WATCH PEOPLE BURN

• Why didn’t the Lord allow Alma to exercise the power of the priesthood and deliver the faithful women and children? (See Alma 60:13) The Lord allows people to do wicked things so that the judgments he will exercise upon them will be just. The blood of their victims would stand as a witness against them.

• What happens to righteous people who die in defense of the truth? (See Alma 14:11) The Lord receives them to himself in glory.

5) HIGH PRIEST THROWN INTO PRISON AND TORTURED

• Is it necessary to answer every person who mocks you and your beliefs? Why not? Some people’s hearts are so hard it would not make a difference what you said in reponse; they would continue to belittle and mock those things which are sacred.

• What helped Alma and Amulek have the courage to endure the threats and suffering perpetrated by those who sought to destroy them? They trusted the Lord. They had faith in him and in his plans and purposes.

6) LEADERS IN AMMONIHAH FLEE IN FEAR AFTER PRISONERS BREAK THEIR BONDS

• Have two children try to break the rope you brought. It should not be possible. Ask why Alma and Amulek could break the cords that bound them.

• Why did the chief priest and other leaders flee in fear when Alma and Amulek broke their bindings? They knew in their hearts that what they were doing was wrong. They were probably afraid, and rightfully so, that the power and judgments of God were about to come upon them.

7) PRISON IN AMMONIHAH COLLAPSES – KILLS ALL EXCEPT HIGH PRIEST AND COMPANION

• Why were the people of Ammonihah afraid? They may have been afraid that the power and judgments of God were about to come upon them.

• Why were Alma and Amulek’s lives preserved? (See Alma 14:13) They still had a work to do.

8) MIRACULOUS HEALING IN SIDOM

• What could Alma and Amulek have told the people to comfort them in this time of sorrow? They could have told them about the revelation: that the Lord had received their wives and children to himself in glory.

• Have you ever known someone who was so worried about something that they became physically ill? Our emotional state can affect our health.

  • What made it possible for Zeezrom to be healed? His faith in Jesus Christ.

9) AMMONIHAH DESTROYED BY LAMANITES – ALL DEAD

• What did Alma prophesy would happen to the people of Ammonihah if they did not repent? (See Alma 9:18) That they would be destroyed by the Lamanites.

10) NEW CONVERTS FORSAKE RICHES, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY

• Many times new converts have to endure numerous difficulties. Friends and family may not agree with the person’s choice and may disown and reject them. The converts usually also have to make many lifestyle changes. How do new converts have the strength to sacrifice so much? Because they have faith and trust in the Lord.

Conclusion
• How can we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ? To help answer this question remind the children of the blindfold object lesson that was done at the beginning of class. Also remind them of the person they would trust enough to catch them, and remind them of the reasons they trust that person – because that person cares about them, and that person is strong enough to catch them.

• Ask how they have come to know that the person they chose cares about them. Responses might include the following: the person helps them, the person shows love for them by doing caring things for them, and the person tells them that they love and care for them.

• How can we gain faith and trust in Jesus? Explain to the children that as we get to know Jesus through reading the scriptures, we will learn about all the things he has done for us and we will know that he loves and cares for us and wants what is best for us. We will also learn through the scriptures that Jesus is the son of God, and that He has the strength and power to lift us up when we fall.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 14:1-29, Alma 15:1-12, Alma16:1-3 and Alma 16:9-11


Lesson 12 – Alma Baptizes at Waters of Mormon

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Lesson 12
Alma Baptizes at Waters of Mormon

Preparation

  • Print and cut out the visual aids, and the word strips and situation cards.
  • Items needed: medium size rocks (or cans of food with the labels removed), a backpack or heavy duty bag, chalk, some little pieces of wrapped candy and a candy bar for each child. Tape the burden situations to the rocks (or cans of food).
  • Print a new Scripture Reading Chart for each child.

Attention Activity
Explain that you are going to start off the lesson by giving each of them a small piece of candy. Point out that the piece of candy is small, but if they promise not to eat or open it, you promise to give them something bigger and better at the end of class. Emphasize the fact that you are both making promises.

Point out that eating candy is not a sin, but there are many things in life that give pleasure that are against the commandments of God because they are spiritually harmful. If we obey God’s commandments and avoid partaking in these spiritually harmful things, we can eventually receive the greatest gift of all, which is eternal life. Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will learn how the Lord tries to help us avoid these harmful things so that we can gain this eternal reward.

Scripture Story
Using the visual aids, tell the following story. As the story is told, background scenery such as a waterfall, a pool of water, and a grove of trees can be drawn on the chalkboard.

Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned about the prophet Abinadi being condemned to death by the wicked King Noah. They also learned about the repentant priest Alma who pleaded for Abinadi’s life. King Noah was angry with Alma and tried to have Alma killed, but Alma fled and hid. Alma hid in the wilderness at a place called Mormon.

  • Why was Mormon a good place to hide? (Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:4-5 to find the answer.) It had a fountain of pure water, it was near the border of the land, it was supposed to be infested at times with wild animals, and it had a thicket of small trees that Alma hid in during the day to avoid the searches of the king–so Alma had water, food, and seclusion and cover while hiding.

At times, Alma secretly went among the people and taught the words of Abinadi to all who would listen. Many believed Alma’s words. Those who believed his words went to the place called Mormon to hear him preach.

One day Alma was teaching a large group of believers near the waters of Mormon. He taught them faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. He asked if they desired to take the next step toward becoming God’s people.

  •  What is the next step after faith and repentance? Tell the children to think of the fourth Article of Faith. (Baptism)

In order for the believers to be called God’s people they needed to covenant (promise) to serve God and keep his commandments. Sometimes when people make promises they shake hands or sign something as a symbol of their agreement. Baptism served as a witness or sign that they were willing to serve God and keep his commandments because baptism symbolizes the death of the old sinful person and the rebirth of the new spiritual person.

When the people heard they could be God’s people they clapped their hands for joy and exclaimed that it was the desire of their heart.

  • In order to be called God’s people they needed to covenant to serve God and keep His commandments. What is a covenant? A covenant is a two-way promise made between us and the Lord; both sides make promises.
  • Why does the Lord want us to make covenants? The Lord loves us and wants us to gain the blessings of eternal life, and in order to do this we must become like our Savior Jesus Christ and do the things he would do. The Lord knows that when we make bonding promises and commitments to do those things, we are more likely to do them.

Activity
Put the “Baptismal Covenants” word strip on a wall or display board. Put the word strip “We Promise” and the word strip “The Lord Promises” on each side underneath it.

We Promise
Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:8-10 to find the covenants we make at baptism. As they find each one have them put the corresponding word strips under the “We Promise” word strip.

To come into the fold of God and be called his people.
We promise to join his church and take upon us the name of Christ. As members of his church we represent Christ and are to be examples of his teachings. (See the lesson on King Benjamin to further review this principle.)

To stand as a witness of God at all times and all places.
A witness is someone who tells others what they know and have seen; so a witness of God tells others what they know about God and His church. They state their beliefs in His commandments and try to be an example of them.

To serve God and keep his commandments.
We become more like our Savior as we obey the commandments.

To serve and help others.
We become more like our Savior as we serve and help others, which includes:

o Mourning with those that mourn.
o Comforting those that stand in need of comfort.
o Bearing one another’s burdens.

  • How do we mourn with those that are mourning? Answers might include: grieving and feeling sadness for the person’s loss and sorrow.
  • How do we bear one another’s burdens that they may be light? (Discuss this by doing the following activity.)

Activity
Show the children the rocks, and explain that you are using the rocks to represent the burdens that some people carry. Read the situation title as you put each rock into a bag.  Tell the children that life’s burdens can become heavy and difficult to carry. Let each child come up and lift the bag. Ask if they would want to carry that weight for very long. Remind the children that we covenant at baptism to help each other with our burdens. Have the children take turns reaching into the bag and taking out a rock. Have them read the situation and tell how they can help someone with that burden to make it lighter and easier to bear.

The Lord Promises
• What does the Lord promise if we keep the covenants we make? (Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:9-10 to find the things the Lord promises. As they find each one, have them put the corresponding word strips under the “The Lord Promises” word strip.

We can be redeemed of God.
This means we can be forgiven of our sins when we repent.

We can come forth in the first resurrection.
We will be ready and spiritually prepared to come forth out of the spirit world during the first resurrection.

We can have eternal life.
Eternal life is the kind of life Heavenly Father has, which includes having a fullness of joy, love, peace, knowledge, and power.

He will pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon us.
As we keep our covenants, the Lord will bless us with his spirit more abundantly. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is a wonderful blessing because the Holy Ghost guides, teaches, protects, and comforts us.

The Lord promises to pour out wonderful blessings upon us if we keep our covenants (promises) to do the things he asks us to do.

Have the children trade their small piece of candy for a full size candy bar. Ask the children what would have happened if they hadn’t kept their promise and had instead opened and eaten the small piece of candy. They wouldn’t have received the bigger, better prize. Point out that it is the same with covenants. If we partake of unfulfilling sinful pleasures while on the earth instead of keeping our covenants (promises), we may not receive the wonderful blessing of eternal life which brings true happiness and joy. (Note: If a child has opened or eaten his or her candy, tell them they can still have another chance. Give them another piece of candy, and tell them to bring it back the following week. If they bring it back uneaten and unopened, they can still earn their reward. The Lord also gives us the opportunities in life to fix our mistakes and repent.)

Scripture Story Continued
After the people told Alma they wished to become God’s people and be baptized, Alma began to baptize them in the waters of Mormon. The first one he baptized was a man named Helam. As Alma baptized Helam, Alma submerged himself also.

  •  Why did Alma immerse himself also when he baptized Helam? In Mosiah 18:13 it says that Alma had the priesthood authority to baptize. This is evidence that he had already been baptized. Therefore when Alma immersed himself with Helam it was merely as a token to the Lord of his humility and full repentance. Alma did not immerse himself again while baptizing the others. (Joseph Fielding Smith: Answers to Gospel Questions)

Alma baptized about two hundred and four souls that day at the waters of Mormon, and anyone who was baptized from that time forward was also added to the church of Christ.

King Noah eventually discovered there was a movement among the people. He sent his servants to watch the group. When the king’s servants reported what was happening, Noah said that Alma was stirring up the people to rebellion against him. Noah ordered his army to destroy them. Alma was warned of the Lord that the king’s army was coming, so he and his people took their tents and their families and departed into the wilderness. They were in number about 450 souls.

Conclusion
As we keep our baptismal covenants, we learn to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, and we become worthy to receive the greatest gift and reward we could ever receive, which is eternal life.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Give each child a new scripture reading chart, and remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Mosiah 18:1-17, 30-35


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


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


Lesson 15 – Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah

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Lesson 15
Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah

Preparation
• 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.

Attention Activity
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.

Scripture Story
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:

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.

Activity
• 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.

Conclusion
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