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 11 – Abinadi and King Noah

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Lesson 11
Abinadi and King Noah

Preparation
• Print the visual aids. Number the visual aids on the back in the order printed.
• Items needed: tape, an envelope or small paper bag, a clear jar full of nine opened rolls of pennies (or 450 of some other item), small pieces of paper, pencils, a Book of Mormon for each child.
• Print and cut out the situation cards. Put them in an envelope or small bag.

Attention Activity
Show the children the jar of pennies. Have them each write on a piece of paper how many pennies they think are in the jar. After they have guessed, instruct them to put their papers under their chairs. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn how one person, who stood up for the right, influenced the lives of as many people as there are pennies in the jar.

Scripture Story Activity
Attach the visual aid pictures to a wall or chalkboard in random order. Tell the following story, stopping whenever you see the initials WHN. Have the children guess “What Happens Next” by picking out a picture on the wall. After you continue, have them decide if the picture they picked goes with that part of the story. If it doesn’t, have them choose the correct picture.

Many years before King Benjamin’s address to his people, a group of people led by a man named Zeniff left Zarahemla and went back to the land of Nephi. Zeniff and his people wanted to return to the land of Nephi because they considered it to be the land of their inheritance.

• What was the problem with their plan to return to the land of Nephi? The Lord had commanded the people to leave the land of Nephi because of the danger from the Lamanites.

• Were Zeniff and his people being obedient to the Lord’s commands when they went back to the land of Nephi? What usually happens when people don’t listen to the Lord? (They have to suffer the resulting consequences and sorrows.) We need to trust in the Lord, that he knows what is best for us.

WHN – When Zeniff and his people arrived at their destination, Zeniff took four men and went to talk to the king of the Lamanites about allowing them to possess the land of Nephi.

• The Lamanite King allowed them to possess the land, but he had a reason for allowing it. What might that reason have been? (See Mosiah 9:10) The Lamanite king was cunning and devious, and he allowed them to possess the land so that the Lamanites could bring Zeniff’s people into bondage. The Lamanites were a lazy people, and they hated the Nephites. They wanted to glut themselves on the Nephite’s labor.

WHN – The king of the Lamanites allowed Zeniff and his people to live in peace for several years to give the Nephites time to establish their crops and flocks.

WHN – The king of the Lamanites then incited his people to attack Zeniff’s people.

WHN – Zeniff and his people fought against the Lamanites, and eventually they were able to drive them off because Zeniff and his people turned to the Lord for help.

They set guards around the land to keep watch so the Lamanites could not come upon them and destroy them. Zeniff eventually became old. Before he died, Zeniff conferred his kingdom upon his son Noah.

WHN – Unlike his father, Noah was not a good king, and he did not keep the commandments of God.

• What were some of the things King Noah did that were against the commandments? (See Mosiah 11:2, 5 and 14 to find the answers.)
o He had many wives and concubines, which was not lawful.
o He placed his heart upon riches. He taxed the people to support himself in luxury. He had a palace and many elegant and spacious buildings built. He used gold and other precious items to ornate them.
o He spent his time in partying, wild living, and excessive wine drinking.
o He got rid of all the consecrated priests. He appointed his own priests–men who would sustain him and his wicked life style.
o He caused and encouraged his people to commit sin.

• Why would King Noah want his people to commit sin?  Through getting others to sin, Noah may have hoped to justify his sins and make sin seem acceptable and normal. (Encourage the children to remember the story of wicked King Noah when someone tries to get them to do something wrong.)

After many years the Lamanites began to attack the people again. King Noah’s armies drove them back, but King Noah’s people had become wicked and prideful. They boasted of their strength because of their victory. They also delighted in the killing and the bloodshed of their enemies.

WHN – A prophet named Abinadi was commanded by the Lord to go among the people to preach and prophesy.

• Ask the children what they think Abinadi told the people. (See Mosiah 11:21) He warned them that unless they repented they would be delivered into the hands of their enemies and be brought into bondage.

• How did the people respond to Abinadi’s words? (See Mosiah 11:26) The people were angry with him and they wanted to kill him, but the Lord delivered him out of their hands.

• Why do you think some people get angry with those who call them to repentance? Answers may include the following: It reveals their evil actions and guilt. They desire to continue doing the evil things. Their pride is offended because they don’t want to acknowledge they have weaknesses.

Because of their anger, those who are sinning may try to make it appear as if the person who is calling them to repentance is in the wrong or at fault. King Noah became angry and tried to make Abinadi seem like a self-righteous person trying to cause contention.

• When we are told to repent and improve some area of our life, how does the Lord want us to respond? He wants us to be humble and teachable.

.Why does the Lord want us to repent? Because he loves us and does not want us to suffer the temporal and eternal consequences that result from sin.

King Noah sent his men to get Abinadi so he could kill him, but they could not find him. After two years Abinadi came back among the people.

• Why did the Lord wait two years before sending Abinadi back? To give the people time to repent.

But the people had not repented. Because they did not repent, Abinadi told them they would be smitten with bondage, afflictions, famine, and pestilence. He also said they would be utterly destroyed if they did not then change their ways.

WHN – The people were angry with Abinadi. They bound him and took him before King Noah.

WHN – The priests questioned Abinadi, trying to cross him so they would have something to accuse him of. Abinadi answered them boldly and withstood all their questions. He confounded them to their astonishment. He accused them of altering and misrepresenting the ways of the Lord for their own purposes, and he accused them of not keeping the laws that they were supposed to be teaching.

• How did King Noah respond to Abinadi’s words? (See Mosiah 13:1) King Noah wanted to kill Abinadi, and he tried to make it seem as if Abinadi was crazy. Why would King Noah try to make it seem as if something was wrong with Abinadi?

WHN – They attempted to take Abinadi, but he withstood them. He told them not to touch him because he had not finished delivering his message. The people didn’t dare lay their hands upon Abinadi because the spirit was with him, and his face shone with exceeding luster. He also spoke as with power and authority from God. Abinadi preached to them many things about the commandments and about the Savior Jesus Christ.

• When Abinadi was done with his message how did King Noah respond this time? Did King Noah repent after witnessing that the power of God was with Abinadi? (See Mosiah 17:1) King Noah commanded that Abinadi should be put to death.

• Why did King Noah want to slay Abinadi? (See Mosiah 13:7) Because it cut him to the heart that Abinadi was speaking the truth about his iniquities.

• Did anyone repent and believe Abinadi’s words? (See beginning of Mosiah 17:2) There was a priest named Alma that believed the words of Abinadi.

WHN –  Alma pleaded with the king for Abinadi’s life.

WHN – The king cast Alma out and sent his servants to kill him. Alma hid and could not be found. While he was hiding he wrote down all the words Abinadi had spoken.

King Noah and the priests told Abinadi they would kill him unless he denied the things he had said.

• How did Abinadi respond? (See Mosiah 17:9-10) Abinadi told King Noah he would not recall the words he had spoken, and if King Noah killed him, then his innocent blood would stand as a witness against the king at the last day.

To take innocent life is murder and merits eternal punishment. This made Noah fearful and he was about to release Abinadi, but the priests stirred Noah back into anger.

WHN – They whipped Abinadi, and then they burned him to death. As Abinadi was burning he cried out that even as they had done to him so would they endure the same.

• Why did the Lord allow Abinadi to be killed? Sometimes the Lord’s servants are called to seal their testimony with their blood. Their death stands as a witness of the truth of their words and also stands as a witness against the wicked.

• Why was Abinadi not afraid to die? Abinadi knew that he would receive eternal life and salvation because of his faithfulness.

WHN – After Abinadi’s death, his prophecies that God would deliver the people into the hands of their enemies began to come true when the Lamanites attacked the city.

WHN – The king commanded the people to flee, but the Lamanites pursued them and overtook them and began to slay them. The king commanded that the men should leave their wives and children.

• Why would King Noah command his men to leave their wives and children? He was concerned about his own safety, and the women and children were slowing them down.

Some of the men stayed with their families and were able to convince the Lamanites to spare them and their loved ones. They were taken captive.

WHN – The men that had left with the king wanted to return for their wives and children, but the king commanded them not to. They became angry and caused him to be burned to death.

Point out that Abinadi had prophesied that King Noah would suffer the same manner of death that he had inflicted upon Abinadi.

Discussion
Abinadi stood as a witness for God. A witness for God is someone who states his or her beliefs in God and in his commandments. Ordinarily they do not have to sacrifice their lives to do this.

• How can we stand as witnesses for God?

Activity
Tell the children they are going to do an activity to help them see how they can stand for the right and be a witness for God. Divide the children into sets of two. Have each set of children choose a situation card from the envelope. Have the children act out the scenario found on the card. Have them demonstrate how they can be a witness for God in each situation by sharing their beliefs and standing for the right.  Give the children a couple of minutes beforehand to talk about and prepare their scenes with their partners.

Conclusion
When we are valiant in standing as a witness for God we can be an influence for good in others’ lives.

• Who did Abinadi influence? Abinadi influenced Alma, the former priest of King Noah, and Alma shared Abinadi’s message with many others.

Get out the jar of pennies, and have the children get their papers from under their chairs. Tell the children that 450 souls listened to and believed Alma’s message, and there are 450 pennies in the jar. Later, Alma influenced even more people because he became the high priest in Zarahemla.

Ask the children if any of them came close to guessing how many pennies were in the jar. Praise everyone for their guesses.

Encourage the children to be witnesses of God and to be good influences upon those who are around them. Explain that even though some people may appear not be interested in listening, we may have more of an influence than we realize.

Weekly Reading Assignment  

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 11-13, Mosiah 17 and Mosiah 19:4–20.

Note: It is important to complete the lesson and do the activity to help the children see how to apply what has been learned. If there is not enough time, it may be necessary to discard the WHN activity and just show the pictures and tell the story.

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