Nephi and Lehi in Prison
• Items needed: a lamp or battery powered lantern, a clear page protector, a half sheet of poster board, double-sided removable tape, a picture of Jesus , scriptures for each child, a table easel, chalk and eraser, a small piece of thick dark paper, a piece of cooking wax paper, and a Pringles potato chip canister with plastic lid (or some other type of container that won’t let light in but is thin enough to cut holes in such as a shoe box.)
• Print the signs. Cut out the sign that says “I am the light of the world” and tape it to the top of the picture of Jesus. Also cut out the direction card that says “Look behind the picture of Jesus.” Tape the direction card to the inside bottom of the canister. Cut out a circle of wax paper and a circle of dark paper using the plastic lid as a guide. Put a hole in the middle of each paper about the size of a pea. Tape the wax paper inside the clear plastic lid. Tape the dark paper under the wax paper. Put the lid on the canister. Optional: glue decorative paper onto the outside of the canister. (If using a shoe box for this activity, poke an eye hole in the tall end of the box about the size of a pea and put the direction card on the opposite end. Cut a golf ball sized hole in the side of the box and tape a piece of thick dark paper over the hole.)
• Print the activity visual aids. Cover the back of the cloud page with glue (Scotch permanent glue stick works well), and adhere it to the front of the picture of Jesus. Cut the combined page into 12 puzzle pieces using the puzzle outline as a guide. Tape a page protector to the middle of the half sheet of poster board. Attach the puzzle pieces around it with double-sided removable tape (see above picture). Press the pieces on lightly so the tape will remain on the puzzle pieces when moving them to the page protector. Have extra tape available in class just in case.
• Print the handouts; one cloud handout will be needed per child. Glue the cloud page on top of the pictures of Jesus (just like the activity page). Cut the page into four sections so one cloud is on each cut section. Put the handouts in a Ziploc baggie. Place the Ziploc baggie on the easel and then put the picture of Jesus in front of it. Display the picture of Jesus on a table in class.
• Print the scripture story visual aids. Cut each page in half so one picture is on each half. Number the back of each picture in the order printed.
Show the children the canister and explain that there are directions inside the canister that will lead them to a special handout. Have them take turns looking through the eye hole to try and read the directions. Ask the children if any of them can see the directions. Take the dark cover off the lid and ask them to try again. (Tell the children to wait to follow the directions. Explain that they will retrieve the items towards the end of the lesson.)
• Why were the directions visible the second time? Because light was let into the canister.
Ask a child to read the caption on the picture of Jesus. Explain that the full scripture is found in John 8:12 and it says: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
• What does the “light of life” mean? (The guiding light that leads to eternal life.) How is Jesus the guiding light of the world? Jesus lights the way to eternal life through His example and teachings.
• What might happen if a person didn’t have a light when walking in a dark area such as in a forest on a dark, cloudy night? (They might trip and fall over obstacles and get hurt.) Could the person find their desired destination? It would be difficult.
Just as we would need a light to help us find our way in the dark, we also need a light to help us find our way through the dark clouds of Satan’s lies and temptations on earth and see the way to eternal life.
Remind the children of last week’s lesson concerning Helaman and the stripling warriors. Explain that after the war with the Lamanites, Helaman once again began to preach the gospel and build up the church. After Helaman died, the records he had kept were eventually given to his son who was also named Helaman. His son Helaman became a chief judge and served righteously. He had two sons by the names of Nephi and Lehi. He taught them many things
• Why do you think Helaman named his sons after Nephi and Lehi? (See Helaman 5:6.) He named them after righteous men hoping his sons would be reminded of their deeds and try to be like them.
• Ask the children if any of them are named after a person with praiseworthy characteristics. Ask them how they feel when they hear about the characteristics of the person they are named after. Does it inspire them? Do they want to strive to be like that person?
• Remind the children that they took on a special name at baptism. What name is that? (See 2 Nephi 31:13 & Mosiah 6:1-2) The name of Jesus Christ. Explain that in today’s lesson they are going to discuss ways they can become more like Jesus Christ.
Scripture Story Continued
After Helaman died, his son Nephi served as chief judge for a time, but when the people began to become wicked and prideful he gave up the judgment seat to go and preach among them with his brother Lehi.
• The judgment seat was the top political office among the Nephites. It was influential like being a president or a prime minister. Why would Nephi give up a position where he could influence many people for good? The laws of the land were established by the voice of the people, and because of the wickedness of the people the laws had become corrupted and had little influence for good. Nephi felt he would have more influence and do more good by preaching the word of God.
Nephi and Lehi went from city to city preaching the word of God with great power, convincing many to repent. After they had gone among all the people of Nehi in the land southward, they went among the Lamanites and preached to them. Many of the Lamanites and the Nephite dissenters who lived among them were baptized unto repentance.
Scripture Story Activity
Put the scripture story visuals on the right side of the board in random order using tape or magnets. Read the story below to the children in numerical order. After reading each numbered section, stop and have a child choose a visual aid that goes with that part of the story. Have them turn over the card to see if it is right. The number on the back should match the number on the paragraph you read. If it is correct have the child move it to the left side of the board. The pictures on the left should be kept in the correct order.
1. Nephi and Lehi then went to the Land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters who resided there. In the Land of Nephi the Lamanites cast Nephi and Lehi into prison. They were given no food.
2. After several days the Lamanites came to the prison to slay them. When the Lamanites entered the prison, Nephi and Lehi were encircled about as if by fire. The Lamanites dared not lay their hands on them fearing they would be burned.
3. Nephi and Lehi were not burned by the fire. They told the Lamanites that God was demonstrating his marvelous power by protecting them with the fire.
4. Then the earth and the walls of the prison shook as if they might tumble down. The Lamanites were overshadowed by a cloud of darkness and they were afraid.
5. As they stood there in the darkness they heard a voice as if it were above the cloud of darkness saying, “Repent ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings.” It was not a voice of thunder but a still voice of perfect mildness, and it did pierce them to their souls.
6. The walls and earth shook and the voice spoke to them two more times. The Lamanites were frozen with fear.
7. There was a Nephite among them who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented. He saw through the cloud of darkness and saw that Nephi and Lehi’s faces were shining with light.
8. Their eyes were lifted up to heaven, and they were in the attitude of talking to some being that they beheld.
9. The Nephite man did cry unto the multitude to turn and look. The Lamanites asked the man what it all meant and who Nephi and Lehi were conversing with. The Nephite, whose name was Aminadab, said that they do converse with the angels of God. The Lamanites asked Aminadab what they could do to make the cloud of darkness disperse. Aminadab told them they must repent and pray to God until they gained faith in Christ.
10. They did as Aminadab said and the cloud of darkness dispersed.
11. When they looked about and saw the cloud of darkness had dispersed, they also saw they were encircled by a pillar of fire. It did not hurt them and they were filled with unspeakable joy. The Spirit of God did enter into their hearts. They saw and heard many marvelous things.
12. There were about three hundred souls who saw and heard these things, and they did go forth and minister to the people declaring all the things they had heard and seen.
13. The more part of the Lamanites were convinced of the truth of the matter because of the great amount of evidence. All those who were convinced did lay down their weapons of war, and they let go of their hatred and the traditions of their fathers.
The Lamanites had been living their lives in darkness by believing Satan’s lies, following the incorrect traditions of their fathers, and filling their lives with hatred for the Nephites.
• What did the Lamanites do to escape the darkness? They prayed for forgiveness and for faith in Jesus Christ. Afterwards they changed their lives and followed the teachings of Jesus.
Put the puzzle and page protector on the board and explain that the children are going to do an activity that will help show them ways they can follow Jesus and fill their lives with light. Have them work in groups of two. Explain that you want them to think of some things that Jesus taught or some examples he set (if they need help they can look in the chapter headlines of the book of Luke in the New Testament for ideas.) Ideas might include the following: ministered to the sick and afflicted, prayed, fasted, kept the Sabbath Day holy, taught the gospel, knew the scriptures, served others, was baptized, was meek and humble, loved others, forgave. (Remind the children that one way to know and remember what Jesus did and taught is to read their scriptures daily. His teachings are found in all the books of scripture.)
Have the groups take turns telling an answer. After they give an answer have them write it on the board and then put a puzzle piece on the page protector. Continue in this manner until all the puzzle pieces are in the correct order on the page protector. When all the pieces are in the correct order, tape or pin the page protector on a lamp (or lantern) and turn on the lamp. The picture of Jesus should shine through. Explain that when we learn and do the things Jesus taught, then we are filling our lives with light: the knowledge, understanding, and truths that lead to eternal life.
Have one of the children now follow the directions they read in the canister. Once the child has retrieved the items from behind the picture of Jesus, explain that the items are miniature copies of the picture on the lamp. Tell them to each take one home and pin or tape it to the outside of a lamp shade (preferably a lamp in their room, and with permission from parents). Explain that every time the lamp is turned on they will see the picture of Jesus, and it will be a reminder for them to follow Jesus because he is the light that leads to eternal life.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Helaman 5:14-52
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