Lesson 2 – Lehi and his Family Leave Jerusalem

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Lesson 2
Lehi and his Family Leave Jerusalem

Preparation

  • Items needed: a small container of water, one piece of paper, envelopes, and a picture of the living prophet (this can be found at www.lds.org/church leaders).
  • Print  the scripture story visual aids onto heavy paper. Cut apart each picture and each word strip on the dividing lines.  Glue each numbered word strip to the back of its corresponding picture. Also print the sign “Eternal Salvation.”
  • Print and cut out the game items.  Lightly tape the small game pieces to an 8 ½-by-11-inch piece of paper with rolled pieces of tape. Be prepared to display the two category titles on a display board (see tips).
  • Prepare the following for the activity: Draw a map of the room where you will teach the lesson onto a sheet of paper. Label the different parts of the room on the map such as the windows, doors, tables, chairs, etc. Draw a dot on each of the locations you will hide clues. You will need to hide at least one clue per each child. Choose a wall where you will place the sign “Eternal Salvation”. That will be the end of the hunt. Mark that as X on your map. Starting at the X, connect the dots with a line. Do not crisscross the line. Number each dot in order, ending at the X. Cut the map up into a puzzle having one numbered dot on each piece. Put each piece into an envelope, and number the upper outer corner of each envelope with the puzzle piece number. On the front of each envelope paste a quote from the living prophet of something he has asked us to do. These can be found in the Ensigns at www.lds.org/general conference Hide the envelopes sometime before the lesson, leaving out envelope number one. Number one would be the first clue and it should lead to where clue number two is hid. Each following clue should also lead to its next numbered clue.

Introduction
Ask the children if they remember what is being studied this year. Hold up a copy of the Book of Mormon as a reminder.

The Book of Mormon tells about three groups of people the Lord led to the Americas. The beginning of the Book of Mormon tells of one of these groups. We learn about the other two groups later.

Direct the children to open their scriptures to chapter one in “The First Book of Nephi.” Explain that a prophet named Nephi wrote the “The First Book of Nephi.”  Nephi informs us that he engraved his history onto plates made of ore (1 Nephi 19:1). The plates were like a book, but each page was a thin sheet made of gold. The words were written by pushing a sharp tool into the metal.

  • Why were some ancient records written on metal plates? (Take a piece of paper, tear it, and pour a little water on it.) Paper can easily be damaged, and it decomposes and disintegrates over time. Some ancient historians used metal if they wanted a record to endure for a long period of time.

Have the children find the date on the bottom right hand side of the first page of “The First Book of Nephi.” Explain that this date tells the approximate time period the events on that page occurred. Have them flip through other pages so that they will see that the date is on the bottom of each page. Explain that B.C. means before Christ’s birth.

In the “First Book of Nephi” we learn that Nephi’s father was a prophet. When Nephi was a youth, his father Lehi was commanded of the Lord to take his family and leave the city Jerusalem.

Scripture Story
Teach the following scripture story of the prophet Lehi and his family leaving Jerusalem. Show the numbered picture that corresponds with each part.

1. In Jerusalem 600 B.C. the people were wicked. They were dishonest, they worshiped idols, and they did many other evil things. Prophets were sent to tell the people to repent or be destroyed. The people were so wicked that they imprisoned, cast out, or killed the prophets that were sent to warn them.

2. Lehi was concerned and prayed for the people. A pillar of fire appeared as Lehi prayed, and God told and showed Lehi many things.

3. Lehi returned home and collapsed on his bed overcome with what he had seen. As he was lying on his bed, Lehi was shown a vision. One of the things he saw was that Jerusalem would be destroyed.

4. Lehi told the people what he had seen and heard. He told them that Jerusalem would be destroyed. He also preached and testified of Jesus whom he had seen in his vision. Lehi preached to the people even though he knew it was dangerous.

  • Why do you think Lehi preached to the people even though he knew it was dangerous?

5. The people wouldn’t listen to Lehi’s warnings. They mocked him and made fun of him. They didn’t believe that Jerusalem would be   destroyed. They thought they were God’s chosen people.

  • Were the people in Jerusalem God’s chosen people? When a people become wicked they are no longer a select people.

6. The people became angry and wanted to kill Lehi because of his preachings.

7. In a dream, the Lord warned Lehi of the danger and told him to take his family and leave Jerusalem.

8. Lehi and his family packed provisions for the journey. They left their house and their possessions behind. They traveled three days past the Red Sea, which is about a two week journey from Jerusalem.

Game
Display the two category titles “Trip Provisions” and “Items Left Behind” on a display board. Show the children the list of items that are taped to the 8 ½-by-11 paper. Have them take turns choosing an item and then deciding if the item would be something Lehi and his family would have taken with them or something they would have left behind. Have them place the item under the category they think it belongs in. Ask the children to explain their reason. Answers might include: item not needed for the journey, item too bulky, or item too heavy to carry, etc.

  • Do you think it was hard for Nephi and his family to leave behind their home and most of their possessions? If you had to leave your home and only take a few necessary items, what things would you have a hard time leaving behind? (Have the children take turns sharing their ideas.)

9. After traveling for about two weeks in the wilderness, Lehi and his family came to a valley that had a river running through it. They set up their tents and camped there. Lehi built an altar of stones and gave thanks to the Lord.

10. Lehi had four sons; their names were Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The two older brothers, Laman and Lemuel, murmured and complained about leaving Jerusalem and leaving behind their possessions. They didn’t believe Jerusalem would be destroyed. They were wicked like the people in Jerusalem.

  • The Lord told Lehi that he and his family were to travel to a promised land (the American Continent). Why do you think that Laman and Lemuel were spared from the destruction of Jerusalem and allowed to go to the promised land if they were so rebellious and wicked? (See 1 Nephi 2:22-24)

11. Nephi, the youngest brother, instead of complaining, decided to find out for himself if the things his father had seen were true. He prayed and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him. He learned that his father’s words were true.

12. Nephi told his brothers what he had learned. Sam believed him, but Nephi could not convince Laman and Lemuel.

  • Why is it important to listen to and obey the prophet? The prophet tells us what Heavenly Father wants us to know and do. Heavenly Father wants us to know and do the things that will help us be happy in this life and throughout all eternity.

The people in Jerusalem would not listen to the warnings of the prophets. They would not do the things that would help keep them safe and happy. Because of their wickedness, they had to suffer the results and consequences of their sins and choices, and they were eventually destroyed by the Babylonians.

  • Show the picture of the living prophet and ask, “Who is this person?”

Activity
Inform the children that they are going to read some quotes from the living prophet concerning things he has asked us to do. Show the envelope that is labeled number one. Reveal that there are several other envelopes hidden around the room, and on the front of each envelope is a statement from our current prophet. On the inside of the envelope is a puzzle clue that will help them locate the next envelope. If all the directions are followed correctly, they will end up at the sign that says “Eternal Salvation.” (Put the sign on the wall.)

Give the first clue to a volunteer. That person then reads the prophet’s statement out loud to the class. Have the volunteer tell how they can follow the prophet’s direction regarding the statement they read. After they do that, they can open the envelope and follow the clue’s directions to the next envelope.

After the next clue has been found, have another volunteer follow the same pattern. Putting the puzzle pieces together will help each volunteer locate the clues. Continue on until all the clues have been found. Tell the children that when we follow the prophet’s directions we are guided down the pathway to eternal salvation (eternal life- the kind of life Heavenly Father lives).

Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – 1 Nephi 1:1-20 and 1 Nephi 2:1-24.

Resources: Scripture story visual aids – Book of Mormon Stories.


Lesson One: Introduction to the Book of Mormon

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Lesson One: Introduction to the Book of Mormon

Preparation
Items needed: pencils, a Book of Mormon, and a piece of paper for each child. You will also need the picture of “Mormon Abridging the Plates” from the Gospel Art Picture Kit, the Book of Mormon Stories video DVD, a television, and a DVD player. (Note: The picture and the video are available online, or they can be checked out from your meetinghouse library).  Optional item needed: foil star stickers for the children’s reading charts
  Print one copy of the worksheet PDF or Word and the reading chart PDF or Word for each child. Print one copy of the Arch and one copy of the French words for Book of Mormon. Optional: Print scripture stickers – set one.
If possible, obtain a children’s nonfiction book. Read its preface before class, and be prepared to explain its contents to the children.

Lesson Introduction
Inform the children they will be learning about the Book of Mormon this year. Instruct them to bring their scriptures each week. Make sure each child has a copy of the Book of Mormon to use for today’s lesson.

How did we get the Book of Mormon? In ancient America two groups of people, the Nephites and the Lamanites, lived on the continent. A great battle occurred between these two groups of people. The Nephites were destroyed in this battle. The last of the Nephites, a prophet named Moroni, was directed by the Lord to bury a record of these ancient American people. About 1,400 years later Moroni, as a resurrected being, visited a boy named Joseph Smith. Moroni told Joseph Smith about the buried record.

Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Direct the children to turn to the “Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith” found in the front of the Book of Mormon. Explain that the “Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith” tells about Moroni’s visit. Watch chapter one of the Book of Mormon Stories DVD which tells of this account. Start at the section where the angel Moroni appears.

• What does translate mean? Translate means to change from one language to another.

Show the paper with the words “Le Livre De Mormon” written on it. Tell the children that the words are French. The English version of these words is “The Book of Mormon”. Show this paper. Both sets of words mean the same thing, but they are different languages.

The gold plates were written in an ancient language that needed to be translated into a language others could read.

Title Page
Instruct the children to turn to the title page found in the front of the Book of Mormon. Point out that underneath the title is a preface. Show the children the preface of the nonfiction book that you brought. Present a brief explanation of what the preface of that book contains.

• What do you think a preface is for? The preface explains the purpose and content of the book.

The preface in the Book of Mormon was written on the last leaf of a collection of books in the gold plates and is considered to have been written by Moroni. The preface tells us that the contents of the book are a record of the Nephites, Lamanites, and Jaredites. It also tells us that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Christ.

Much of the world today rejects the divinity of Christ. They think that he was a great teacher but could not have done the miracles we read about in the New Testament. The Book of Mormon is another testament that those things happened. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; he atoned for our sins, and he was resurrected.

Introduction
Have the children turn the page in their scriptures to the “Introduction”. Tell them the “Introduction” provides more detailed information about the origin and the contents of the book.

Worksheet – Instruct the children to fill in the blanks in Section A on the worksheet, using paragraphs one and two of the “Introduction” for reference. After they are done, go over the answers together.

SECTION A: Worksheet Answers – The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture. It is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the America’s and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel. The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, and was abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon.

• What does abridged mean? It means that Mormon studied records other prophets had written, and then he took important parts from each of their records and wrote them on the gold plates. The Book of Mormon is named after Mormon because he compiled the record. (Show the picture of “Mormon Abridging the Plates” to the children.)

Now have the children fill in the blanks in section B on the worksheet using paragraph six of the “Introduction” for reference. Go over the answers together after they are done.

SECTION B: Worksheet Answers- Joseph Smith told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on the earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.

• What did Joseph Smith mean when he said the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth? The Book of Mormon is of God. Books produced by men may contain errors in understanding, perception, and translation.

• What did Joseph Smith mean when he said the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion? Show the picture of the arch. Explain that the keystone is the central supporting stone at the top of the arch. The stones would fall without the keystone holding them in place. The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion because it supports and explains doctrines and principles that are necessary for salvation. Another reason it is the keystone is that when we receive a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon we will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the church of Jesus Christ is restored on the earth again, and that Jesus is the Christ.

• What did Joseph Smith mean when he said, “A man could get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”? Abide means to accept or act in accordance with, and precepts are commandments or principles. So, if we accept or act in accordance with God’s will and obey the commandments and principles found in the Book of Mormon, we will grow nearer to God.

The Testimony of the Witnesses
Have the children turn the page to “The Testimony of the Witnesses”. Show the picture of “Mormon Abridging the Plates” to the children once again. Give them a few seconds to study it. Afterwards put the picture face down on a table. Give each child a paper and a pencil. Ask some of the following questions, and have them write down their answers:

• What was on the shelf and the table behind Mormon?
• What was covering the bench Mormon was sitting on?
• What items were on the table Mormon was working on?
• What was on Mormon’s lap, and was there anything on the floor?
• What colors were Mormon’s clothes, and what decorations did they have on them?
• What was Mormon wearing on his arm, on his head, and on his feet?

Go over the answers together. When several of the children’s answers are the same on any of the questions, ask the children if they think those answers are most likely to be true. Why?

• If a person witnessed an event, would only their testimony about the incident be sufficient in a court of law? No, because they might not remember everything accurately, or they might not be telling the truth.

• Would that person’s version be believed if other witnesses told the same account?

• In 2 Corinthians 13:1 it says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established”. Why do you think this law of witnesses is important? It helps establish truth.

Point out the witness’s page, and tell the children that God chose men to be witnesses of the Book of Mormon to fulfill the law of the witnesses and to testify of his work.

 The three witnesses testified that an angel showed them the gold plates, and that they heard the voice of God declaring the divinity of the record.
 The eight witnesses testified Joseph Smith showed them the gold plates and that they handled them.

• What are the three things we need to do to gain our own witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon? Direct the children to look in paragraph eight in the “Introduction” for the answer. Write the following answers on the board:

1) Read the Book of Mormon.
2) Ponder its message.
3) Ask God if it is true.

If we do these things, the Holy Ghost can testify to us that the Book of Mormon is true.

Though the Three Witnesses were privileged to see an angel and feel the plates, the real power of their witness came through the Holy Ghost. Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Personal visitations might become dim as time goes on, but this guidance of the Holy Ghost is renewed and continued, day after day, year after year, if we live to be worthy of it.” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:44) (D&C Student Manual pg 33)

Weekly Reading Assignment Hand out the reading chart, and remind the children that in order to gain a witness for themselves of the truthfulness and divinity of the Book of Mormon they need to read the Book of Mormon. To help them with this you will be giving them a reading assignment to do each week. The reading assignment will be on what was studied during the lesson. This week’s reading assignment is “The Testimony of Joseph Smith”, which is found in the front of the Book of Mormon.

Tell the children to hang their chart on a wall in their bedroom, in a location that is highly visible, so it will help remind them to read. After they complete each reading assignment, they can put a sticker or the date of completion in the square. (You may wish to provide some form of appropriate reward for when a child completes a reading chart, such as scripture stickers.)

Conclusion
Bear testimony that if the children will read the Book of Mormon, they will grow closer to God and learn the things they must do to gain eternal salvation. And, if they follow the guidelines on how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, they will receive a witness of its truthfulness. Because of this witness they will also know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth, and that Jesus is the Christ.