Lesson 34: Jesus Teaches the Beatitudes

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Lesson 34

Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites the Beatitudes

Preparation

  • Items needed: a pencil for each child, five pieces of cardstock and several pieces of white paper, scriptures for each child, strong magnets or tape, scissors, sticky tack, small ziplock baggies or envelopes, a small container of salt mixed with dirt, and a small container of regular salt. Optional: cooked pasta
  • Print the visual aids. Fold each of the first six pages in half along the fold line. Tape together the folded pages along the edges (in the order printed) so they make one long line of figures with the picture of Jesus at the beginning.
  • Cut apart the pattern labels. Using sticky tack, attach the head labels to a piece of cardstock in random order. Do the same thing with the body labels. Cut out the jewels and attach them to another piece of cardstock using sticky tack.
  •  Cut apart the Law of Moses/Law of the Gospel strips on the lines. Attach the title strips to the top of a piece of cardstock. Using sticky tack, attach the rest of the strips to another piece of cardstock in random order.
  • Fold a white piece of paper into three even sections. Place the small paper doll pattern on top of the folded paper; then using it as a pattern, cut out a chain of three paper dolls. Cut out four pages of paper doll chains per child. The pages can be stacked to make the cuts. Tape the figures together so you have 12 dolls in a row. Fold each of the doll chains and place them into a baggie or envelope.
  • Print or copy one page of the black and white jewels and labels handout for each child.
  • Print the lesson pictures, or use a computer laptop or tablet to show the images to the children.

Attention Activity

Give a volunteer the scissors and a piece of paper. Ask him or her to cut out a perfectly shaped paper doll (without making any folds in the paper). Once the child is done, ask if it was hard to make a perfectly shaped doll that was equal in shape and size on both sides. Show the child the paper doll pattern. Ask if it would have been easier to make a perfectly shaped paper doll if the child had been given a pattern to follow.

(Read 3 Nephi 12:48) Explain that we are to strive to become like our Father in Heaven who is perfect, and we have been given a pattern to follow and instructions on how to work towards that goal.

  • What is the pattern we have been given? Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus set an example for us to follow, and because the Father and the Son are one in purpose and characteristics, if we become like the Son we also become like the Father.

We have also been given instructions to follow. When the Savior lived on the earth, he taught the Sermon on the Mount (show picture). When he appeared to the Nephites after his death and resurrection, he taught them a similar sermon (show picture). This sermon gives us directions to follow towards the formation of the kind of person each of of us needs to become.

Show the children the folded up papers with the picture of Jesus on the outside. Spread out the folded papers and attach it to the chalkboard with the magnets under the words “Blessed are the…” Explain that each scripture reference comes from the sermon the Savior taught the Nephites, and each tells us a characteristic we need to develop in order to become like Jesus.

Point out the sign “Blessed are the…” on the chalkboard and explain that the beginning of Jesus’s sermon includes what is known as the “Beatitudes.” Beatitude means to be blessed or happy. Show the children the jewels, and explain that they are labeled with the promised blessings we will receive if we develop the characteristics mentioned in the sermon. Have the children read 3 Nephi 13:19-20. Explain that the temporary worldly things we might treasure on earth do not even compare to the wonderful eternal blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us if we live righteous lives

Display the three cardstock pages that contain the head labels, the body labels, and the jewels. Explain to the children that they are going to do an activity where they will find the instructions the Savior gave, and then they will label the fold-out figures on the board with those instructions.

Activity Instructions:

  1. Have a volunteer read the first scripture reference (with class members following along in their scriptures). Then have the child find the label that matches it and put the label on the head of the first figure. (Note: The last doll pattern on the board is an activity. When the final label is left, put it on the doll head and then explain the activity.)
  2. Next, have the children find the label to what they think the beatitude means. If they are correct, have a child attach the piece to the body of the figure.
  3.  Then ask the children what things they can do to become that kind of person. Write on the arms and legs of the figure the things the children mention.
  4.  Next, have the children find the jewel that has the promised blessing on it that goes with the beatitude, and have a child put it in the doll’s hand.

Before starting the activity, give each child one of the fold-up paper doll figures and a pencil, and explain that they are going to copy down each trait onto their figures to help them remember the type of person they need to become. (The children may need to sit on the floor and turn their chair to use it as a table.) Have them first draw a picture of themselves on the top figure, so when the dolls are folded, that is the image they see. Then have the children write the traits on the head and the ways to become that kind of person on the arms and legs of each figure as it is discussed. Explain that at the end of the lesson they will get their own copy of the body labels and jewels.

  1. Poor in Spirit (3 Nephi 12:3)
  2. A person who realizes they need spiritual assistance. To be poor in spirit means that a person realizes they are spiritually in need (they need help strengthening their spirit and making the things of God a priority in their life), and they are humble enough to turn to Heavenly Father for help.
  3. How can we show Heavenly Father that we realize we are in need of his help to develop spiritually? Pray, study his words in the scriptures, go to church.
  4. Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  1. They that Mourn (3 Nephi 12:4)
  2. Feelings of deep sorrow and regret for the sins they have committed. Blessed are they that mourn for the sins they have committed because godly sorrow worketh repentance. (2 Cor. 7:10)
  3. How do we show that we feel sorry for the sins we have committed? Pray and ask for forgiveness, right the wrong, do not do it again.
  4. They shall be comforted. Repentance brings comforting forgiveness.
  1. Meek (3 Nephi 12:5)
  2. Someone who is gentle, kind, and patient. To be meek is to be gentle and kind. It is also someone who has self-control and is not quick to become provoked or angry.
  3. In what ways can we demonstrate meekness? We can be patient with family members and friends. We can be kind to those who wrong us.
  4. They shall inherit the earth. The earth will someday be sanctified and celestialized (D&C 88:18), so those who inherit the earth will be those who are worthy to inherit the celestial kingdom.
  1. [They who do] Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness (3 Nephi 12:6)
  2. A person who desires to fill their life with goodness. We should have a desire to fill our lives with the things of God like we desire to fill our bodies with food and water.
  3. In what ways can we fill our lives with righteousness? Learn gospel principles by studying the scriptures and by listening to our teachers and leaders. Keep the commandments. Avoid evil and temptation.
  4. They shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. When we do good and righteous things, the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion
  1. Merciful (3 Nephi 12:7)
  2. Someone who is compassionate and forgiving.
  3. In what situations can we show mercy?
  4. They shall obtain mercy. They shall receive mercy in the Day of Judgment (when we are judged according to the deeds we did on earth). (3 Nephi 13:14-15)
  1. Pure in Heart (3 Nephi 12:8)
  2. Someone who is genuinely clean and good in thought and action.
  3. What are some examples of good thoughts and actions?
  4. They shall see God. In order to be with our Heavenly Father we must be pure of heart, for no unclean can enter into the kingdom of heaven.
  1. Peacemakers (3 Nephi 12:9)
  2. Those who encourage harmony and peace. Peacemakers look for ways to help solve problems peacefully. (Show the children the picture of the boy being a peacemaker.)
  3. What are some other situations that you can be a peacemaker?
  4. They shall be called the children of God. Those who are troublemakers, quarrelsome, or contentious, and those who go against law and order are following paths opposite those who choose to be obedient to their covenants to take upon themselves the name of Christ.
  1. Persecuted for My Name’s Sake (3 Nephi 12:10)
  2. Someone who stands up for the right despite opposition. Explain that the message in 3 Nephi 12:10 continues in verse 11 and 12 and says, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute (tease, make fun of, or torment), and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake (because of the  desire to follow Jesus and obey the commandments,); For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”
  3. In what ways can we stand up for our beliefs in Jesus Christ and his gospel? Be obedient to the commandments even when others are not choosing the right. Let others know what your beliefs are.
  4. Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  1. Salt of the Earth (3 Nephi 12:13) What does salt do? It enhances flavor. (Optional: Show an example of this with some cooked pasta.)
  2. Someone who influences and enhances people’s lives for good. Just as salt enhances food and makes it taste better, we should influence people for good. Why wouldn’t you want to use the contaminated salt? (The dirt would give the food a bad flavor, and it could be unsafe to ingest.)  Explain that through contamination, salt loses its desirable taste and flavor. If we contaminate our lives with the dirt and evil of the world, then we could become a negative influence on others, and we could cause great spiritual harm.
  3. How can we be a good influence and example to others?
  4. Glorify your Father in Heaven. This blessing actually goes with the scripture about being a light, which also means to be a good example. (3 Nephi 12:16) “Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Glorify means to worship and praise. People seeing your good works will have a desire to worship God and follow his commandments.
  1. Has Sincere Intents and Actions (3 Nephi 13:1-4)
  2. A person who has proper motives and intentions when doing good works such as the following:  Service:  Read 3 Nephi 13:1-4. (Explain that giving alms means to give money or food to the poor.) In this scripture, the Savior tells us we need to serve the needy, but we must do it with pure intentions and motives. We must not do it for personal, selfish motives such as to look good or to get praise. Prayer: Read 3 Nephi 13: 5-7. The Savior tells us we also need to pray with pure intent and not use vain repetition (fancy words used without thought or feeling to try and look good and get praise). The prophet Mormon warned that if anyone shall pray and not with real intent of heart … it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such. (Moroni 7:9) Fasting: Read 3 Nephi 13:16-18.           Point out that each of the scriptures that were read indicate that we are not to be hypocrites. A hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does another. An example of a hypocrite is a person who pretends to be good and spiritual by doing public service, fancy public prayers, or public fasting but really has little desire to help others or serve God.
  3. What are some ways we can avoid being hypocrites? If we say we believe in something such as honesty, kindness, forgiveness, that is the way we should be.
  4. [The Father shall] Reward thee openly. When we do good works in secret and not to get gain the Father will reward us openly.
  1. Obeys the Law of the Gospel
  2. Someone who abides by the fullness of the gospel. During the sermon to the Nephites, the Lord talked about the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses had been established with the Israelites, but it did not contain the fullness of the gospel. It was a strict preparatory gospel of ordinances and performances. The Israelites had been rebellious, and the Law of Moses was meant to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him. (Mosiah 13:27-32) It was also meant to help the people look forward to the coming atoning sacrifice of Christ. When the Savior’s mortal mission was completed, the law was fulfilled—the atonemeant had occurred. (Read 3 Nephi 12:46-47) Old things had passed away and the Law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was now in place, which is the fullness of the gospel.
  3. Activity: Show the cardstock labeled with the “Law of Moses” and “Law of the Gospel” strips. Show the children the other strips and tell them to find two laws that seem to match and put the higher law under the “Law of the Gospel” sign. Explain why it is a higher law. For example, it is easy to love your neighbor, but it is harder to love your enemy; it’s easy not to kill, but it’s hard not to get angry; it is easy to have the desire to make someone to pay for hurting you, but it is harder to have mercy and forgive. Have the children read the scripture references to check the answers. Also have them write the Law of the Gospel items on the arms and legs of their paper doll.
  4. Have the children read 3 Nephi 12:20 and look for the blessing we gain when we follow the Law of the Gospel. Saved and enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Conclusion

If we follow the pattern and instructions Christ has set for us (point to the fold out), we can become like the Savior and live in a “blessed and happy” state now and throughout eternity.

Encourage each child to go home and choose one of the items to work on this week. Tell them to fold open their paper doll figures to that item and post it somewhere in their room to remind them of their goal. Give each child a copy of the body labels and small jewels. Explain that they can cut out the body label and attach it to their doll figure before starting the goal to remind them of what it means. At the end of the week they can color and cut out the jewel that matches their goal and put it on the doll to remind them of the blessing they can obtain from obtaining that characteristic. Encourage the children to continue to work on a different characteristic each week.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 12:1-48 and 3 Nephi 13:1-24.

(The new reading chart can be found here.)

 

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Lesson 19: The Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s Covenant

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Lesson 19
The Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s Covenant

Preparation
• Print the story visuals and cut each page in half, except for the last page. Number the back of the scripture story pages to help keep them in order.  (Note: The scripture story visual aids are from chapter twenty-six of Book of Mormon Stories, and the picture of the dog is from Microsoft word clipart.)
• Print and cut out the commandment/situation word strips. Fold the strips and put them into a small container.
• Items needed: chalk and eraser, a shallow dish such as a cake pan, two disposable plastic or styrofoam cups (fill one cup with water and put it in the freezer), a small Tupperware container of water, tongs, one plastic spoon per child, enough ice cubes to half fill a gallon sized Ziploc bag, a small ice chest, 1/3 cup of rock salt, a gallon sized Ziploc bag, and a sandwich sized Ziploc bag filled with the following ice-cream ingredients: 1 cup half-and-half, 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla. (Squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing it.) Put the ice cubes, frozen water, and ice cream ingredients into the ice chest to keep them cold.

Attention Story
There were once two girls who promised their mother they would wash the family dog. Their mother promised that if they would do that chore she would take them swimming. (Show the picture of the dog.) Washing the dog was a harder task than either of the children expected.  It was a messy, dirty job, and the dog did not want to be washed. The dog would squirm away as they were trying to wash it, and then it would roll in the dirt and get dirty again. In frustration, one of the children stopped working and would not help anymore. The other child continued to try and finish the task. She eventually figured out a way to keep the dog contained so it could not get away. She was able to finish washing and drying the dog even though it was a difficult job.

• When the task of washing the dog got difficult how did each child respond? One child gave up and did not finish the task, and the other kept her promise and finished the task.

Activity
Pour water into the empty plastic cup, and put the cup in the shallow dish. Explain to the children that the cup of water represents someone who is not firm in keeping their promises. When pressure or difficulty arises, their resolve to keep their commitment breaks. (Demonstrate this by applying pressure to the container with your hand. The container will crush and water will spill out.)

Show the children the cup of ice. Tell them it represents someone who is firm in keeping their commitments regardless of difficulty or pressure. Squeeze the cup. It should be firm and unyielding.

• Remind the children that promises should not be made lightly. What happens if we don’t keep our word and are not dependable? We may lose the trust of others. The girl who did not help wash the dog was not trusted to complete certain future tasks without supervision, but the girl who kept her promise was allowed more freedom and trust.

If we do not keep our promises we also do not get the promised benefits agreed upon in two-way promises. The girl that didn’t help wash the dog was not able to go swimming that day.

A two-way promise between two people is when both people promise something. When one person breaks their side of the promise the other person is not responsible to fulfill their side of the agreement.

• What is a two-way promise called that is made between us and Heavenly Father? A covenant.

We make covenants with Heavenly Father when we are baptized. If we keep our covenants we can gain the promised rewards, including the greatest reward of all, the gift of eternal life. Those who are given eternal life have great freedom and power. Only those who can be trusted to do the right thing are given that freedom and power.

In today’s lesson we learn about a group of people who were firm in keeping their covenants even in the face of great difficulty and adversity.

Scripture Story
Teach the following scripture story using pictures from chapter twenty-six of Book of Mormon Stories as visual aids.

Because of the efforts of the sons of Mosiah many Lamanites had been converted to the gospel. The king of the Lamanites and all those who were converted had changed their natures. They were a new people and did not want to be called Lamanites anymore. They wanted to be called by a new name. The king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, and they chose a new name to call themselves.

They decided to be called Anti-Nephi-Lehies. (Write the name on the board.) Tell the children that the word “anti” does not have the modern day meaning of being opposed to something. In some languages the word “anti” has a meaning similar to the word “imitation.” The people who had been converted desired to become like Lehi and Nephi. They chose a name to reflect that righteous desire.

The Lamanites who had not been converted were very angry at all those who were converted to the teachings of the Nephites. They began to rebel against the king. They took up arms to destroy the king and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. The king died in the same year that the Lamanites began to make preparations for war against the people of God. Before he died he conferred the kingdom upon one of his sons.

• Why did the unconverted Lamanites want to destroy the Anti-Nephi-Lehies? It was a Lamanite tradition to believe that the Nephite way was wrong. The unconverted Lamanites may have felt anger towards the Ant-Nephi-Lehies for following the Nephite way. Another reason may have been that the changes in those who had become converted made the other Lamanites feel anger at the reminders of the evil things they were doing. They may have wanted to destroy that goodness and not feel the guilt.

When Ammon and his brethren saw the preparations of the Lamanites to destroy the Anti- Nephi-Lehies, they came to the land of Ishmael to talk to the new Lamanite king and to Lamoni, his brother, concerning what the Anti-Nephi-Lehies should do to defend themselves against the Lamanites.

The king, and none of the people who had been converted to the Lord, would take up arms to fight against their brethren the Lamanites. They would not even make preparations for war. They had repented of the murders they had committed in unrighteous wars. They were afraid that if they took up arms to fight and kill again, they would again be stained with sin, and they might not be forgiven this time. They decided to bury their weapons deep in the earth as a covenant to God that they would not kill again.

• Have the children look at the pictures of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies collecting and burying their weapons, and ask the children what kinds of weapons the picture suggests were buried. Have them look closely at the picture to identify the different types of weapons.

• What could happen to the Anti-Nephi-Lehies if they didn’t have weapons to defend themselves against attack? They could die.

• Why did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies value their covenants more than their lives? They were overwhelmingly grateful to the Lord for forgiving them of their sins. They understood the eternal value of what they had gained and did not want to lose it.

• When someone makes a covenant or promise, an action is usually performed as a token or sign of the covenant such as shaking hands, signing a document, etc. What was the token or sign of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi’s covenant to never kill again? Burial of their weapons

• When you made your first covenants with Heavenly Father at age eight what action did you perform as a sign of your commitment? Baptism

When the Lamanites came into the land to destroy the king and his people, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies went out to meet them. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies prostrated themselves on the earth, which meant they bowed themselves very low, or they laid on the ground with their faces down. They then began to call on the name of the Lord praising him. They were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them and slay them with the sword. Without meeting any resistance the Lamanites killed 1,005 of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.

• Why were the Anti-Nephi-Lehies praising God and not afraid to die? (See Alma 27:28) They were grateful for and had faith in Jesus Christ. They knew that because of Jesus Christ they could be resurrected.

When the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee from the sword, but they would lie down and perish as they were praising God, they stopped slaying them. Many of the Lamanites felt sorrow and remorse for killing their brethren the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They threw down their weapons of war, and they would not take them up again. They repented and joined with the people of God. The amount of people that joined the people of God was more than the number who had been slain.

Those Lamanites who did not join the Anti-Nephi-Lehies became even angrier because they had slain their brethren. They put the blame on the Nephites and swore vengeance upon them. The Lamanites took their armies and went to the Nephite lands.

The Lamanites had many battles with the Nephites. When the Lamanites saw that could not overpower the Nephites, they returned again to their own land. After suffering much loss and affliction, many of them joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehies because they began to believe in the Lord. They believed that he gave great power to the Nephites.

But a hard hearted group of people that lived among the Lamanites began to stir up the other Lamanites again in anger against the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. These hard hearted people were apostate Nephites. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies again refused to take up arms, and they once again suffered themselves to be slain.

• Apostates are people who have turned away from the truth. Why are apostates often hard hearted? (Read Alma 24:30)

When Ammon and his brethren saw the work of destruction among those whom they loved, they asked the king to gather the people and flee to the Nephites. The king was afraid the Nephites would destroy them because of the many murders and sins they had committed against them. Ammon told the king he would ask the Lord what they should do. The king said that if the Lord gave direction that they should go, then they would go. Ammon went and inquired of the Lord. The Lord told him to get the people out of the land because Satan had a great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites (the apostate Nephites).

So the Anti-Nephi-Lehies gathered their possessions and went to the borders of the Nephite land. Ammon and his brothers went to Zarahemla to talk to the Nephites. They talked to the chief judge and told him all the things that had happened. The chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land desiring the voice of the people concerning admitting the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. The Nephite people said they would give the land of Jershon to the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They also said they would set their armies between the land of Jershon and the Lamanites to protect them so the Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not have to take up arms against their brethren the Lamanites. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies would merely have to provide food and substance for the army. When Ammon returned and told them the news, they were filled with joy.

• Why were the Nephites willing to help the Anti-Nephi-Lehies? Because of the preaching of Alma, the Nephite people had become righteous. They were trying to do what the Lord would have them do.

The Anti-Nephi-Lehies took possession of the land of Jershon and became known as the people of Ammon. They were distinguished for their zeal towards God, and they were perfectly honest and upright in their treatment towards others.

Activity

Remind the children that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies stayed firm in keeping their covenants. Show the children the cup of ice again, and explain that just as we would have to put water in a freezer to keep it firm, we also need to do certain things in order to stay firm in keeping our covenants. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies kept firm in keeping their covenants by deciding ahead of time what they would do if they were attacked, and they also figured out a solution to their difficult situation. In order to stay firm in keeping our covenants we need to decide ahead of time how we will react to temptation, and we need to figure out solutions to our challenging problems and situations.

Show the children the small sealed Ziploc bag filled with the liquid ingredients. Explain to the children that the bag represents keeping covenants, and its contents represent the covenants. Put the small bag into the big Ziploc bag.

Remind the children that when they made covenants at baptism, one of the covenants they promised to keep was to obey the commandments. Have a child choose a commandment/situation from the container and read it out loud. Ask the children how they could respond to that situation so they can keep firm in keeping their covenants.

For every answer the children give, have them use the tongs and get a piece of ice from the ice chest and put it into the large Ziploc bag. Explain that the ice represents staying firm in keeping our covenants by finding solutions and preparing ahead. Ideas for possible solutions to each of the situations could include:

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy – Take a gift over and do something fun with that friend on another day.
Be Honest – Explain to the neighbor and your parents what happened, and offer to do work to pay for the damage.
Do Not Cheat – Offer to teach them how to do the problems you understood, and then ask for their help figuring out how to do  the problems you didn’t understand.
Obey Your Parents – Put some music on and make a game out of the cleaning, or divide the room into sections so it isn’t so overwhelming.
Dress Modestly- Put a shirt with sleeves under the immodest shirt, or wear a shrug over the shirt.
Tithing – Ask your mom if there is a job you can do for her to earn some money.
Do Not Use Profanity – Ask your friends to not use profanity around you, or find new friends who don’t use profanity,
Pray – Get up a little bit earlier to make time to pray.
Read the Scriptures – Use a study guide to help you understand the scriptures.
Be Kind to Others – Include the child and place him in a position that isn’t too difficult, and practice with the child later to help him become better.
Be Chaste – Ask your parents to help put controls on the computer so those kinds of sites can’t be accessed, or make it a goal to use the computer only when others are around.
Keep the Word of Wisdom – Explain to your friend that you don’t drink alcohol or take drugs because it can be dangerous and harmful to your body, and then suggest something fun they can do instead.

After each commandment situation has been discussed, or when the bag is half full of ice, pour the rock salt onto the ice and seal the bag. Shake or squeeze the bag for a minute, and explain that the action represents problems and temptations that are thrown at them. Give each of the children a turn shaking the bag.

After about five minutes of shaking the bag, check the ice cream. It should be the consistency of frozen yogurt. Give each child one large plastic spoonful of ice cream.

  • Ask the children what happened to the liquid because they added ice to the bag. (It became a delicious frozen treat.)
  • Ask what the wonderful results would be of staying firm in keeping our covenants. We could gain eternal life, which is the greatest of all God’s gifts.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 23:16-17, Alma 24:1-30, Alma 25:1-6, Alma 25:13-14, and Alma 27:1-30

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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

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Lesson 14 – Alma the Younger Repents

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Lesson 14
Alma the Younger Repents

Preparation

  •  Items needed: two containers of playdough, a display board, tape, a small container of water, two small Ziplock baggies, three envelopes, several small rocks (wash the rocks carefully so no grit or dirt is left on them).
  • Print and cut out the scripture story visual aids. Number the back of each story card to help keep them in the correct order.
  • Print and cut out the paper doll pattern, the steps of repentance, and the repentance story cards. Put each set of four story cards into an envelope.
  • Roll out the playdough until each is 1/4 inch thick. Put the cut out paper doll pattern on top of the play dough, and with a knife, cut out a figure from each rolled out piece of playdough. Put each playdough figure into a Ziploc bag to prevent it from drying out.

 

Attention Activity
Show the children one of the playdough figures. Point out how smooth and clean it looks. Show the children the small rocks and explain that each rock represents a sin.

Push the rocks one at a time into the figure as you tell of a sin the rock might represent such as lying, stealing, swearing, etc. Point out how the figure looks and explain that sin corrupts and pollutes our spirits so that we become distorted and unclean.

Show the other playdough figure. Explain that those who are close to us may also be affected by our sins and follow our example. (Push rocks into the other figure.) When we realize the damage we are doing to ourselves and others we may feel shame, regret, and sorrow.

Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will learn about the regret and misery that can come because of sin, and they will learn of the great joy that can come through repentance.

Scripture Story
Teach the following story using the scripture story visual aids.

Remind the children of last week’s lesson about the people of Limhi and the people of Alma escaping the bondage of the Lamanites and coming to Zarahemla. Tell the children that after Alma and his people arrived in Zarahemla, King Mosiah authorized Alma to lead and organize the church in the land of Zarahemla. The church had grown so large that it needed to be divided up into several congregations. Alma set up these congregations and ordained leaders for each of them.

Not all of the people in Zarahemla believed in the gospel. Some of these nonbelievers persecuted the believing church members. King Mosiah was made aware of the problem, and he made a law that there should be no persecutions among the people.

  • Why might a nonbeliever persecute church members? The reasons can be varied. One of the reasons may be that they feel offended or less valued because they live their life contrary to the morals and values that the church teaches. To help alleviate this problem a strict command was made throughout all the churches that there should be equality among men, and that there should be no pride or haughtiness.
  • How can we make sure that people who are not members of our church know they are valued regardless of differences in lifestyle? Answers might include: love them, emphasize the things we have in common, appreciate the good in them, invite and include them in our activities, etc.

The laws and commands helped establish peace in the land, but the sons of King Mosiah and one of the sons of Alma were among the unbelievers, and they caused many problems for the church.

  • Why might Alma and the sons of Mosiah, who had been brought up in the church, be among the unbelievers?  One reason may be that they chose to pursue other interests instead of taking the time to examine, understand, and do the things necessary to gain a testimony of the teachings of the gospel. Another reason may be that they chose to pursue sinful interests in preference to turning their lives and hearts toward God. Such was the case of Alma’s son, who was also named Alma after his father. Alma the younger chose a wicked and idolatrous lifestyle.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah secretly went among the people trying to lead the people astray and destroy the church. Alma the younger was very good at speaking, and he influenced and persuaded many to commit the same sins he was committing.  (Remind the children of the lesson about King Noah and his desire to get people to commit the same sins he was committing.)

Because Alma the younger was the son of the religious leader, and the sons of Mosiah were the sons of the king, their example and influence caused a lot of people to fall away from the church.

One day as Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were going about trying to destroy the church, an angel of the Lord appeared to them. The angel descended in a cloud. His voice was like thunder, and it caused the earth to shake. So great was their astonishment and fear that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah fell to the earth. The angel asked Alma the younger why he persecuted the church of God.

  • The Lord usually does not send angels to the wicked. Why did God send an angel to speak to Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah? (See Mosiah 27:14) Because of the prayers of the people of God, and because of the prayers of Alma’s father’s who prayed with faith that his son might be brought to a knowledge of the truth.

When Alma the younger saw the angel, he was struck with fear and amazement. The fear and astonishment of Alma was so great that he could not speak, and he became weak and could not move. The sons of Mosiah carried Alma to his father. They told his father what had happened to them. Alma’s father rejoiced.

  •  Why did Alma’s father rejoice when he saw his son in such a weak and helpless state? Alma’s father had been concerned about the spiritual welfare of his son. He rejoiced because he knew that the power of God was at work.

Alma the elder called a multitude together so they could witness what the Lord had done. He also called the priests, and they began to fast and pray for Alma the younger.

After they had fasted and prayed for two days and two nights, Alma the younger’s limbs regained strength. He stood up and began to speak to them. He said, “I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord.”

Alma’s repentance wasn’t easy. He had to go through the same steps of repentance we do in order to repent and be forgiven of our sins. When Alma saw the angel, he was afraid. He thought he would be destroyed because of his wickedness. For three days and three nights he could not move or speak. He was racked with torment for the memory of his many sins. He suffered greatly. Alma experienced the first step of repentance.

  •  What is the first step of repentance? Step One – Recognize that a wrong has been committed and feel sorrowful remorse. (Put this sign on the display board.)

As Alma was suffering, he remembered his father’s prophesies about the coming of Jesus Christ, the son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. His mind caught hold upon this thought, and he cried in his heart, “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.” After having this thought he was no longer tortured by the memory of his sins, and his soul was filled with great joy and light. He had begun the second step of repentance.

  • What is the second step of repentance? Step Two – Confess the sin and ask for forgiveness from God and from those we have hurt. (Put this sign on the display board.) Alma confessed his sinful state to God and asked for forgiveness. He now needed to confess his sins to the people he had affected and influenced.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah began from that time forward to travel throughout all the land confessing their sins. They also told the people about the angel’s appearance to them and the things which they had heard and seen, and they preached the word of God. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah attempted to repair the damage they had done to the church. It wasn’t easy because they were persecuted by many of the unbelievers, but they did their best to carry out the third step of repentance

  • What is the third step of repentance? Step Three – Do our best to make up for the wrong. (Put this sign on the display board.)
  • What is the fourth step of repentance? Step Four – Forsake the sin. Do not commit the sin again. (Put this sign on the display board) True repentance includes a desire to change one’s life and actions.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah changed their lives. They served in the church and taught others the gospel. Alma the younger eventually became the leader of the church after his father died. The sons of Mosiah served a mission to the Lamanites to teach them the gospel. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah wanted to help bring others to a knowledge of God. They did not want anyone to suffer because of sin. They wanted others to feel the joy they had experienced through repentance.

Object Lesson

Show the children the two playdough figures again. Explain to the children that if we will follow the steps of repentance, we can be healed and become clean of sin through the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Remove the rocks and press together the damaged areas. Smooth out the creases with water on your finger tips.)

Activity
Tell the children they are going to do an activity to help them remember the steps of repentance. Put one set of the repentance story cards face down on the table. Have a volunteer pick up one of cards, read it out loud, and then put it on the display board next to the step of repentance it goes with. Have the children each take a turn doing this. If one of the children thinks their card should go somewhere that someone else has placed a card, they can put their card in that spot, but they have to put the other card where they think it goes. After all the cards have been placed, read the story out loud to the class. If all the cards are in the right place, it will tell the story in order. Do another set after completing a story.

Conclusion
Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to be happy. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to make it possible for us to repent. Through his Atonement, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins so that we can repent, be forgiven, and gain eternal life. It isn’t always easy to fix our mistakes, but the wonderful results and benefits are always worth the effort.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 27:1-37 and Alma 36:6-21

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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

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Lesson 9: Enos Prays

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Lesson 9
Enos Prays

Preparation

• Items needed: removable double-sided tape, two cell phones (or two pretend phones), several sheets of paper, pencils, and an eight inch piece of ribbon and a small Ziploc baggie for each child.
• Print and cut out the Scripture Story pdf Visual Aids or word. Also print and cut out the game items pdf or word; print one copy of the game questions and large phone and one copy per every two children of the small cell phone and game answers.  Put a piece of removable double-sided tape on the screen area of each cell phone. Put a small phone and one set of answers in each Ziploc baggie.

Attention Activity

Ask for a volunteer. Hand the volunteer one of the cell phones. Tell them to answer the phone when it rings. Call them using your cell phone. Greet them by name and then say, “I have a problem with my sister. She uses my stuff and doesn’t return it. It makes me very upset. What should I do about it?” Hang up before they can answer, or say, “Oh, I got to go, bye.”

• Did it do any good to ask the person for help and advice? Why not? Because time was not taken to listen for an answer. Do we sometimes do that: ask Heavenly Father for help with a problem but then don’t listen for the answer?

In today’s lesson we are going to learn about someone who prayed fervently and then took the time to listen for answers.

Ask the children if they remember which prophet they learned about in last week’s lesson. Give hints if needed. After they have recalled Jacob’s name, tell them that the prophet Jacob had a son named Enos. Jacob grew old and saw he would soon die, so he passed the spiritual and historical records of the people to his son Enos.

Have the children turn to the “Book of Enos.” Tell the children that the “Book of Enos” is only one chapter long, but it teaches important lessons about prayer.

Using the scripture story visual aids, tell the following story. Direct the children to listen for three things that Enos prayed for.

Scripture Story
One day as Enos was hunting in the forest, he recalled the words his father had spoken about the joy of eternal life. Enos wanted to be forgiven of his sins so he could be worthy to receive the blessings of eternal life, so he knelt down, prayed, and asked for forgiveness. He prayed all day, and he was still praying when it became night.

• How long did Enos pray? Ask the children what things they do in a normal day. Explain that Enos would have been praying during the time they normally spend going to school, attending classes, and eating lunch. He still would have been praying during the time they come home from school, eat dinner, and get ready for bed.

After praying all day and into the night, a voice came to Enos saying, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” Enos knew God could not lie, so his guilt was washed away. He asked the Lord how it was done. The Lord told him it was because of his faith in Christ.

• Why is faith in Jesus Christ necessary for forgiveness of sins? Jesus suffered and paid the price for our sins to make it possible for us to be forgiven. If we have faith in Christ and his atonement, we will believe we can be forgiven, and then we will do the things that are necessary to be forgiven, such as repent.

After Enos’s sins were forgiven, he was concerned for the welfare of the other Nephites, and he prayed for them. (Post picture of the Nephites.) The Lord told Enos they would be blessed if they kept the commandments, but if they disobeyed, their sins would bring sorrow upon them.

• Why did Enos pray for the Nephites? He was concerned about them and their eternal spiritual welfare. The Nephites constantly had to be reminded to keep the commandments. Enos preached the word of God to them throughout his whole life.

After Enos prayed for the Nephites, he began to pray diligently for the Lamanites. (Post picture of the Lamanites.) The Lamanites had become a wild, ferocious, bloodthirsty people full of idolatry and filthiness. They lived in tents and fed on wild beasts, and many ate nothing but raw meat. They wandered around the wilderness with their heads shaven, wearing nothing but a short girdle made out of skins. They would not listen when the Nephites tried to teach them the gospel.

The Lamanites were constantly seeking to destroy the Nephites, and they swore to destroy the Nephite records and traditions. Enos prayed that if the Nephites were someday destroyed, the Lord would preserve a record of the Nephites and at some future date bring forth the record so the Lamanites might perhaps be brought to salvation.

• Why do you think Enos prayed for the Lamanites when they were the Nephites’ enemies? He had a great love for all of Heavenly Father’s children. He was sad about the choices the Lamanites were making and the consequences they would suffer. He wanted to help them change their ways, if not now then someday.

• What could we pray for in behalf of someone who has not been kind to us?

The Lord told Enos he would grant his desire; a record would be preserved. The Lord also said that other ancestors of Enos had prayed for the same thing.

• What is the Nephite record called that was preserved and brought forth in the latter days to help bring the Lamanites to God? The Book of Mormon

Discussion
• When Enos prayed, how do we know he took the time to listen for answers? He prayed all day and into the night asking the Lord to forgive him of his sins.

We don’t have to pray all day like Enos, but we should take the time in each prayer to ponder and think about our problems and to listen for help and counsel.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The trouble with most prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the phone and ordering something. We place our order and then hang up.”

• What happens when we ask for guidance and help concerning a problem but then don’t take time to listen for the answer? We might miss out on the help and guidance Heavenly Father would like to share with us.

Ask the children to name some difficulties kids their age have to face. Possible answers might include problems with family, friends, schoolwork, health, etc. Explain that the Lord wants to help them with these challenges, but they need to ask for His help and then listen for His response.

• In what ways might answers come? Ideas and solutions might come into their mind as they think about the problem. Or if they have asked a specific yes or no question about their problem, they might have a peaceful or an uneasy feeling according to what the answer is.

• Enos said he cried in mighty prayer and supplication to the Lord. How can we make our prayers more sincere and deeply felt so we are not just repetitiously repeating the same words? One possible answer might be to think about our specific problems and blessings before saying our prayers.

Activity
Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil. Instruct them to fold the piece of paper like a fan and then fold the fan in half. On the inside of the folds on the left side of the paper, have the children write specific things that Heavenly Father has blessed them with. On the inside folds on the right side of the paper, direct them to write specific things they might need help with. After they are done, instruct them fold it into a fan again. Have them tie a ribbon around the middle part of the fan. (If they desire to keep their lists private, they can fold the fan down into thirds until it is a small block of paper. They can use the ribbon that is in the middle of the fan to tie up the block.) Tell the children to put the fan on their pillow and open it when they say their prayers. Explain that it will help remind them of the things they need to thank Heavenly Father for, and it will also remind them of the problems and concerns they need help with.

Explain to the children that their blessings and needs will change as their life changes, but if they will always take a few moments to think of specific things that are going on in their life before they pray, their prayers will be more sincere and heartfelt.

Review Game

Pass out the baggies you have prepared (one per every two children). Explain that the class is going to play a review game. Show the children the large cell phone. Tell the children that you are going to place a question on the large cell phone screen. They can find the answer to the question in their baggie and then place the answer on their small cell phone screen. After everyone shows you their response, you will let them know how many phones have the correct answer on them. If they don’t all have the correct answer, they can look at each other’s phone and decide which ones are correct and then try again. When everyone has the correct answer, replace the question on the large cell phone with another question. Continue in this manner until all the questions have been answered.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: The Book of Enos

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Lesson 8 – Jacob’s Encounter with Sherem

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Lesson 8
Jacob’s Encounter with Sherem

Preparation
• Print the scripture story visual aids. (The visual aids are from Book of Mormon Stories chapters nine and ten.)
• Items needed: one package of toothpicks, masking tape or stickers, fine tip markers, several pieces of string or ribbon cut into three inch lengths, and packages of stick gum (stick gum can be found at Dollar Tree). (The amounts needed for each item will be based on how many children are in the class.)
• Carefully remove the gum from the wrappers in one of the packages of gum. Replace the empty wrappers back into the package, making it appear as if the gum is still in the wrappers.
• Fold two inch pieces of masking tape or stickers in half over the end of the toothpicks. Each should look like a small flag when done. Cut off the other pointy end of the toothpick with scissors. Make five toothpick flags per child. Save the remaining flag free toothpicks for the object lesson.

Attention Activity

Tell the children you brought some gum to share with them, and show them the empty gum package. Offer it to the children. After they take a piece, ask them how they felt when the discovered the wrappers were empty. Explain to the children that during their life people will try to convince them to accept beliefs that are empty and have no value. In today’s lesson they will learn how to discern divine truth so as to help them avoid the disappointment and sorrow that comes from accepting empty, false beliefs. (Tell the children that at the end of class you will give each of them a piece of real gum to take home.)

Scripture Story Introduction
Tell the following scripture story and show the numbered visual aid pictures where indicated.

Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned about Nephi and his family crossing the sea and arriving at the promised land. In the promised land, Lehi eventually grew old and died.

(1) After Lehi died, Laman and Lemuel once again became angry with Nephi for urging them to keep the commandments. (1) They complained, saying their younger brother wanted to rule over them. They became so angry they sought to kill him.

(2) The Lord warned Nephi that he should flee into the wilderness and take all those who would go with him. All those who believed in the warnings and revelations of God followed Nephi. They traveled into the wilderness for several days. They settled in a land and prospered there. They constructed buildings and a temple. They called themselves the people of Nephi.

(3) The people who followed Laman and Lemuel were called Lamanites. A curse was put upon the Lamanites; they were cut off from the Lord’s help and guidance because they chose to do wicked things. The Lord also caused their skins to darken so the Nephites would be reminded not to mix or intermarry with them and bring the curse upon themselves. The Lamanites became an idle people, full of mischief and trickery. They hated the Nephites and wanted to destroy them. The Lord told Nephi that the Lamanites would be a scourge to his people to help turn the Nephite’s hearts back to the Lord when they faltered.

Nephi led his people in righteousness and helped protect them against the Lamanites, but eventually he grew old. (4) He gave the historical and spiritual records to his younger brother Jacob. Jacob had been consecrated a priest and teacher by the hand of Nephi. (5) He was ordained of God to lead and teach the people.

(Direct the children to turn to the “Book of Jacob” in their Book of Mormons.) Some of Jacob’s words are recorded in the “Book of Jacob.” In the seventh chapter of the “Book of Jacob” Jacob tells about a man named Sherem who came among the Nephites preaching and trying to convince the people to accept his teachings.

Scripture Story
(6) The man named Sherem tried to convince the people to accept false things that were not true. One of the main things he tried to convince the people was that there would be no Christ. He taught that it was not necessary for an atonement to be made for the sins of mankind. He said that the people only had to follow the basic laws and rituals of the Law of Moses in order to gain salvation.

• Is it possible to gain salvation without Christ’s atonement? We cannot undo the sins we have committed, and no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. Christ suffered and paid the price for our sins. Only through Christ’s Atonement can we become clean again.

• Why would Sherem try to convince the people there would be no Christ? Sherem was under Satan’s influence. Satan did not want people to believe in Christ and be saved.

(7) Sherem was a learned man, and he was very good at speaking to people and flattering them. Many people believed his words.

• Why did people find his words to be so appealing? Possibly because they wanted to follow the easier path of just performing the basic rituals and performances of the Law of Moses instead of following the more difficult path of sincere repentance and of living righteous lives in order to qualify for forgiveness of their sins when Jesus Christ performed the Atonement.

Sherem knew that Jacob had faith in Christ, so he sought to speak to Jacob. He hoped to shake Jacob’s faith.

• Why would Sherem want to shake Jacob’s faith? Perhaps he hoped to shake Jacob’s faith so that all the people who listened to Jacob would also falter, and then Sherem could try to influence them to believe his teachings and follow him. But Jacob’s faith could not be shaken. Jacob had received many revelations, he had seen angels, and he had heard the voice of the Lord. His faith was firm.

(8) Sherem eventually got the opportunity to speak to Jacob. He accused Jacob of leading the people into changing the right ways of worshiping God by preaching of a being named Christ. Sherem said that no man could know of such things or of what was to come in the future.

(9) The Lord blessed Jacob with the spirit, and he was able to confound and thwart everything Sherem said. Jacob asked Sherem if he believed in the scriptures. Sherem said he did believe in the scriptures. Jacob said he must not understand them because all the prophets in the scriptures had testified of Christ. Jacob also testified that he personally knew that Christ would come because it had been revealed to him by the power of the Holy Ghost.

(10) Sherem said he wanted to see a sign by that power. Jacob said he would not ask God for a sign to show Sherem something that he already knew was true. (Sherem must have had a belief in Christ, but his personal notions and desires became so powerful that he tried to ignore that knowledge.)

(11) Jacob said if it was the will of the Lord to smite Sherem, then that would be his sign that God has power and that Christ will come.

(12) The power of the Lord came upon Sherem, and he fell to the earth. He was so stricken and incapacitated that others had to feed him and take care of him for many days.

• Did Sherem ask for a sign so he could believe in Christ? No. He did not expect a sign to be produced, and if none was produced he could accuse Jacob of being false. Sherem had not planned on being struck down by God.

• If we want to gain a testimony of Christ, would seeking for signs be a good way to do it? Have the children look up and read D&C 63:9 & 11-12. Explain that signs and miracles come because of faith. Signs do not give a person faith. Faith in Christ comes through the witness of the Holy Ghost. Remind the children of Laman and Lemuel. They did not have faith even though they had seen an angel, heard the voice of the Lord, and had seen many mighty miracles. They did not have faith because they would not open their hearts to the Holy Ghost. If we seek for signs it will be to our condemnation.

(13) Sherem suffered for many days after being struck down by the power of God. He asked that the people be gathered. He knew he was dying, and he wanted to speak to them before he died. When the people were gathered, he denied the things he had taught them and confessed that Christ was true. He said he had been deceived by the devil and now feared for his soul. He knew he was about to die and face God. He was afraid of the eternal judgements he would face for his sins.

• How did Sherem feel when he realized he would have to suffer the consequences of preaching false doctrines? (Fear and sorrow) How would someone feel if they had accepted false doctrine and then realized they would have to suffer the consequences of that choice?

(14) After confessing, Sherem died. The power of God came upon the people. They felt the Spirit’s witness of the truth of the matter. They fell to the earth in awe. The people once again turned their hearts to God.

Discussion
There are many people in today’s world that are influenced by Satan. They try to lead people away from Christ. Some try to convince us that Jesus is not the Son of God, that He didn’t suffer and die for our sins. They say we do not have to believe in Christ and follow the commandments to receive salvation.

• How can we find out for ourselves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he atoned for our sins, and that only through Him can we be saved? Jacob had faith in Christ because the Holy Ghost had revealed the truth of it to him. We can receive that same witness of Christ if we will pray and seek for the Holy Ghost to reveal the truth to us. We also learn from Jacob that we can gain a testimony of Christ through reading the scriptures. The scriptures testify of Christ.

Object Lesson
Ask for a volunteer. Instruct the volunteer to break one of the toothpicks. Point out how easy it was. Tell the children that the broken toothpick represents someone who does not have a strong testimony. That person’s resolves to follow Christ is easily broken when temptation comes along.

Someone who has built up their testimony of Jesus Christ through study, prayer, and obedience to the commandments can gain spiritual strength like Jacob’s. Jacob’s testimony was strong and firm.

Add toothpicks to a pile as you mention (or as the children mention) things that will strengthen a testimony such as: studying the scriptures every day, praying every morning and night, listening to General Conference, listening carefully to teachers and speakers at church, listening and participating in Family Home Evening and family scripture study, reading stories from the Friend magazine, studying for and giving talks in Primary, and obeying the words of Christ.

After you have at least 10-12 toothpicks in the pile, have a volunteer try to break the pile. They must keep them bundled close together. If they do this, it should not be possible to break them. Explain that our testimony can start out weak and small, but it can be reinforced and built up until it is strong and firm.

Activity
Hand out five labeled toothpicks to each child. Direct the children to write on each side of the labels things they can do to strengthen their testimony. Tie each person’s toothpicks together in a bundle with string or ribbon. Instruct the children to put their bundle somewhere where they will see it daily to help remind them of the things  they need to do to strengthen and build up their testimonies.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week –  2 Nephi 5:1-25 and Jacob 7:1–23.

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Lesson 7 – Crossing the Sea

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Lesson 7 – Crossing the Sea

Preparation
• 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.)

Attention Activity

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.

Scripture Story

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.

Discussion
• 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.

Game
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.”

Conclusion
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

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Lesson 5 – The Liahona

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Lesson 5
The Liahona

Preparation

  • Items needed: tape, chalk.
  • Print and cut out the scripture story pictures.
  •  Print the signs, game board, and Liahona onto cardstock. (Print the Liahona onto gold cardstock, or color it with a crayon.)  Cut out the signs.
  • Cut out the Liahona and the Liahona strips. Glue the Liahona to a heavy piece of paper. With an exacto/utility knife, cut along the two dotted lines on the Liahona. Tape the two Liahona strips together at a tab to make one long strip. Make sure the strip is in numerical order. Coming from the back, insert one end of the combined strip through the top cut out line on the Liahona. Then push it through the bottom cut out line, going toward the back. Pull the strip through until only the first block of words is showing in the front of the Liahona. Tape together the ends of the strip in the back so they form a loop.
  • Laminate the game board, or put it into a page protector and tape the top closed. Cut apart the square game pieces. Cover each  star square on the game board with a blank square. (Leave the start square uncovered.) Put the Lose a Turn squares face down on all the squares that don’t have stars. Use rolled pieces of tape to hold the cutout game piece squares in place.
  • Draw a large version of the map found at the end of the lesson onto the chalkboard.

 

Attention Activity
Tape the sign “Eternal Life” on a wall. On an opposite wall put the sign “Mortal Birth.” Ask for a volunteer. Blindfold that person, and tell them they need to get from the sign that says “Mortal Birth” to the sign that says “Eternal Life.” Tell them there will be obstacles in the way but you will provide someone to help them get safely around the obstacles.

Quickly set up some obstacles between the two signs such as chairs, books, people, etc. Ask for another volunteer. Have that person give verbal directions to the blindfolded person on how to get safely from one end of the room to the other. Stay next to the blindfolded person in case they need additional assistance.

  •  What might have happened if the blindfolded person hadn’t listened to the person giving directions? The blindfolded person might have gotten hurt because he or she couldn’t see the obstacles in the way. The person also might have gone the wrong way and not accomplished the goal of getting to the sign that says “Eternal Life”.

Ask the children if they think it would be nice to have someone guiding them in life so they always know the right way to go and the right things to do. Tell them we do have that guidance. In this lesson we learn where that guidance comes from and what happens when we don’t follow that guidance.

Scripture Story
Using the scripture story pictures and the large drawing of the map, tell the following story. As you tell the story, tape the pictures on the map according to where they took place.

Nephi and his brothers were again instructed to return to Jerusalem. This time they were sent to get Ishmael and his family. Nephi and his brothers would need wives in the Promised Land, and Ishmael had many daughters. Ishmael agreed to go with them. Nephi and his brothers married the daughters of Ishmael when they returned to their father’s tent in the Valley of Lemuel. Lehi was then instructed by the Lord that it was time to take their journey to the Promised Land.

On the morning their journey was to begin, Lehi found a brass ball of curious workmanship outside his tent door. Inside the ball were two spindles; one spindle pointed the way they should go in the wilderness. They gathered their provisions and departed. They followed the directions on the ball which led them through the more fertile parts of the wilderness, which was near the borders of the Red Sea. They hunted for food as they went. After traveling for many days, Nephi’s steel bow broke and his brother’s wood bows lost their spring.

Because of the loss of their bows, the sons of Lehi weren’t able to provide food for their family. Many of them began to murmur against the Lord, including Lehi. Instead of complaining, Nephi worked to resolve the problem. He went and made a new bow out of wood. After Nephi made the bow, he went and asked his father where he should go to obtain food.

  •  Why did Nephi approach his father for help? Lehi was the head of the family, and he was a prophet of the Lord.

Because of Nephi’s actions, Lehi was reminded of his duty and he repented. Lehi was chastened by the Lord for his murmuring, and then he was instructed to look at the brass ball. He saw there was writing inside the ball. Nephi went up to the top of the mountain according to the directions given in the ball, and he obtained food for the family.

During their travels in the wilderness, Ishmael died at a place called Nahom. The daughters of Ishmael mourned for their father and murmured because of their afflictions in the wilderness. They, along with Laman and Lemuel, wanted to return to Jerusalem. Laman and Lemuel plotted to kill their father and Nephi. The love in their hearts had waxed cold because of their wickedness. The voice of the Lord spoke to the two brothers, and they repented for a time.

The family traveled in the wilderness for eight years. Many children were born as they were traveling. The Lord strengthened them, and they were able to bear all hardships. They eventually arrived at a place they called Bountiful.

Chalk Board Discussion

After asking each question below, write a shortened version of the answers on the board. (See example diagram for layout of answers.)

• What was the ball of brass called that Lehi found outside his tent? (See Alma 37:38) The Liahona – meaning director or compass
• The Liahona was prepared by the Lord to show Lehi and his family the way they should go in the wilderness. How did it direct Lehi and his family? Through spindles that pointed the way, and through words that taught them the ways of the Lord.
• What is the Liahona a spiritual representation of? (See Alma 37:45) The words of Christ
• Where are the words of Christ found? In the scriptures, in the words of the prophet, in revelation through the Holy Ghost.
• Where was the Lord leading Lehi and his family with the Liahona? To the promised land
• Where do the words of Christ lead people to? Eternal Life
• What things caused the Liahona to cease working? (See Alma 37: 40-41 and 1 Nephi 16:28) It ceased to work when their faith in God wavered, when they murmured and complained, or when they were slothful and lazy and didn’t give diligent heed to the directing compass provided by the Lord.

• What things interfere with the words of Christ leading people to eternal life? People’s lack of faith in God. People’s lack of heed and diligence in studying, seeking for, and obeying the words of Christ.
• What difficulties did Lehi and his family suffer when the Liahona ceased to work? (See Alma 37:42) They did not prosper or progress in their journey; they were afflicted with hunger and thirst, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course.
• What difficulties can people suffer if they don’t give heed to the words of Christ? Answers might include the following: Without guidance, temptations become harder to resist, and sin causes suffering. If we linger in the “wilderness” we may not reach our goal of eternal life.

Game

Put the game board and the Liahona on a display board for everyone to see. Choose a volunteer. Tell the volunteer that the object of the game is to get from the starting square to a square that says “The Promised Land.” There are two ways they can do this: they can try and guess which way to go, or they can check the Liahona for directions. Tell them it will take a little diligence and effort to get directions from the Liahona. They will have to look up a scripture and find the directions in the scripture. But if they try to guess which way to go, and it is the wrong guess, they will lose their next turn.

The volunteer then decides whether to guess which way to go or to check the Liahona for directions. If they decide to guess, they can choose any square that is touching the starting square including the ones going diagonally. If they choose to check the Liahona, it will give a scripture reference. The class will need to look up that scripture. They will look for the following words in the scripture: up, down, right or left. Display the sign that has those words written on it to help remind the children of what they are looking for. In the scripture there may be combinations of two of those words to indicate which way to go diagonally. The class can look for the words, but the person whose turn it is makes the final decision on which way to go.

When the volunteer decides where to go, he or she takes off one of the square coverings. If there is no star under the covering, they have chosen the wrong way to go and must take the covering which says “Lose a Turn”. They turn that square in on their next turn, but they can’t play again until the following turn. The next person whose turn it is has the same choice of whether to guess or consult the Liahona. They would move from the last star square the person before them was on.

Continue playing in this manner, with the children taking turns choosing what to do, until they reach the square marked “The Promised Land.” The Liahona word strip will need to be rotated down at each turn. To do this, reach under the page and pull down on the strip.

Conclusion
Explain to the children that the words of Christ will always lead them in the right direction. They help us know which way to go when we have choices to make. But if we don’t exercise faith and diligence, and we rely on our own judgment instead of seeking for and obeying the words of Christ, we may go the wrong ways and not progress in our journey towards Eternal Life.

Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 1 Nephi 16:1-39 and Alma 37:38-46.

Resources: Scripture story pictures –  “Book of Mormon Stories” chapter five.

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Lesson 4 – Tree of Life Vision

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Lesson 4
Tree of Life Vision


Preparation

  • Print and cut out the Tree of Life Vision Pictures. Cut off the vertical edge of one side of the river. Glue the edges of the two river pieces together. Cut out and glue a “Temptation” to the back of each “Mist of Darkness.”
  • Also print and cut out the story figures of Lehi and his family found in the Friend, February 2008, For Little Friends, “Lehi and Nephi Obey God”.
  • Items needed: a Book of Mormon for each child, a bag of white Lifesaver mints (don’t remove the mints from their clear individual wrappers), chalk, and tape.

 

Scripture Story
Tell the following story using the Tree of Life Vision pictures and the pictures from “Lehi and Nephi Obey God.” Tape the pictures to the chalk board as you tell the story.

As Lehi and his family prepared for their journey to the promised land, Lehi had a vision. In the vision he was in a dark and dreary wasteland. He prayed to the Lord for mercy. He then saw a large and spacious field and a tree whose fruit was white to exceed all whiteness. The fruit was very desirable to make one happy. He partook of the fruit, and it was sweet above all others ever tasted. It filled him with joy, and he was desirous that his family partake of it also. As he looked around for his family he saw a river near the tree. At the head of the river he saw his wife Sariah and his sons Nephi and Sam. They looked as if they didn’t know where to go, so Lehi called and beckoned to them and they came and partook of the fruit. Lehi also wanted Laman and Lemuel to partake of the fruit. He looked and saw them at the head of the river. He beckoned to them, but they would not come.

As Lehi looked around some more he saw a rod of iron that led to the tree. The rod of iron extended along the bank of the river. There was also a strait and narrow path which went along side the rod of iron. He saw many people, and some were trying to get to the path. When they came and started on the path, a mist of darkness arose and they lost their way and wandered off. Others came forward and caught hold of the rod of iron, and they pressed forward until they partook of the fruit of the tree. Then Lehi saw on the other side of the river a great and spacious building, and it seemed to be floating in the air. The building was filled with a multitude of people whose clothes were very fine. They were mocking those who had partaken of the tree. Some who had partaken of the tree were ashamed because of the scoffing, and they fell away onto other paths and were lost. But there were some who did not heed the scorning of those in the building.

Discussion
• What did Lehi see in the large and spacious field? A tree with fruit on it.
• How did Lehi describe the fruit? (See 1 Nephi 8:10-12) Write on the display board the following descriptions:

It was white to exceed all whiteness.
It was most sweet above all others.
It was desirable to make one happy.
It filled him with joy.

The Lord frequently uses symbolism to teach important lessons. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what the symbolism means. After Nephi listened to his father tell about the dream, he wanted to know what the interpretation was, so he prayed to know its meaning. Because of his faith he was shown the same vision, and he was shown its meaning. Nephi learned that the fruit was the greatest of all the gifts of God.

• What is the greatest of all the gifts of God? (See D&C 14:7) What is eternal life? It is the highest degree in the celestial kingdom, and it is the kind of life Heavenly Father has. (Put the “Eternal Life” label next to the fruit.)

The purpose of Lehi’s vision is to teach us how to gain eternal life. Without the atonement of Jesus Christ we could not attain eternal life, regardless of how good we are on earth, because all men sin and no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus paid the price for our sins. The tree represents the love of God demonstrated in the sacrifice and the atonement of his son Jesus Christ. (Put up the “Love of God, Atonement of Jesus Christ” label next to the tree.)

• What did the strait and narrow path represent? The strait and narrow path represents following Christ’s way of life such as praying, being honest, giving service, etc. (Put the “Christ’s Way of Life” label next to the path.)

We have been given aids to help us stay on the strait and narrow path. Lehi saw an iron rod that people could hold on to to help them stay on the path.

• What did the rod of iron represent? (See 1 Nephi 15:23–24) (Put the “Word of God” label next to the rod of iron.)

• Where can we find the word of God? In the scriptures, in the teachings of latter-day prophets, and in the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

• In Lehi’s vision some people started on the path but then became lost in mists of darkness. What did the mists of darkness represent? (See 1 Nephi 12:17) (Put the “Temptations of the Devil” label next to the mists of darkness.)

• What are some temptations of the devil? (Place a mist of darkness over the path for each answer given.)

The temptations of the devil blind us. We can’t see the right way to go and we can become lost.

• In the vision, some people made it through the mists of darkness. What did those people use to help guide them? The iron rod which is the word of God. The word of God can help us know the right way to go.

Game

Inform the children they are going to play a game that shows how the word of God helps them know the right way to go.

Tape a mint to each piece of fruit on the tree of life. Cover the rod of iron and the path with the remaining mists of darkness. Direct a volunteer to choose a mist of darkness and read the situation that is on the back. Instruct the children to look in the bible topical guide for the temptation’s subject and find a scripture that would help them avoid and resist that temptation. Have the volunteer read the scripture the children chose. The volunteer can then take a fruit (mint) off the tree. Have another child pick a mist of darkness and do the same process again. Continue until each child has had a turn. After the game is finished, remind the children that if we use the word of God to guide us, it will lead us to eternal life.

• How do we hold onto the word of God? By making it part of our life. We do this by studying and abiding by the teachings found in the scriptures and the words of the latter day prophets, and by seeking for and listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Heeding and obeying the word of God will help us avoid the deceptions and temptations of Satan so that we can avoid going astray.

• In the vision, Lehi’s mind was so occupied with other things that he did not notice that the water in the river was filthy. What did the river or fountain of filthy water represent? (See 1 Nephi 12:16 & 15:26–29) (Put the “Depths of Hell” label next to the river.) How do people end up engulfed in the depths of hell? They get lost in Satan’s temptations, go astray, and fall into the depths of hell.

In Lehi’s vision there were some people who held onto the rod until they reached the tree and partook of the fruit, and then they became ashamed and fell away because the world mocked them. These people represent those who accept the gospel and the ordinances necessary for eternal life, such as baptism and temple ordinances, but then they yield to the tauntings and temptations to be like the people of the world.

• The people of the world who were mocking those who partook of the fruit were in a great and spacious building that appeared to be floating in the air. What did the great and spacious building represent? (See 1 Nephi 11:36) (Put the “Pride of the World” label next to the building.)

Pride and feelings of superiority because of possessions, physical abilities, or accomplishments are empty and have nothing to hold them up because everything we have comes from God. Like the building floating in the air, people lifted up in pride eventually will fall. They do not realize that the things the world values such as wealth, honors, physical beauty, and physical ability have no value after death. The only thing of value will be the relationships and the righteous characteristics we develop while on the earth. If we spend our time seeking after worldly things, we may miss the opportunity to develop the things that will be important in the eternities.

In the vision there were those who fell away, but there were also people who partook of the fruit and then remained faithful. The people who remained faithful are those who endured by continuing to seek for and obey the word of God. Because of their study and prayers they have a clear understanding of what has lasting value, and they ignore the world’s empty offerings. They know that eternal life is better than anything that the world has to offer because it is the greatest of all God’s gifts.

Weekly Reading Assignment

  • Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 1 Nephi 8:1-38, 1 Nephi 11:1-36 and 1 Nephi 15:1-36.
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