Lesson 26 – Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty

Posted on

Lesson 26
Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty

Preparation
• Items needed: a national flag or pictures of the flag, patriotic music such as “The Star Spangled Banner” (Note: Hymn CD’s and players can be checked out at the meeting house library), a large piece of fabric that can be torn up, a pole or long stick, coloring markers, tape or sticky tack, scisssors, and a roll of wide masking tape. (Optional Items: small dowel rods to attach the children’s flags and glue or tape.)
• Each child will be making a flag from a piece of the fabric, so you need to determine how many flag pieces you need and how big you want them to be. With a pair of scissors, cut into the fabric slightly at the sections you wish to tear to make each child’s flag. Also cut or tear a large piece off of the fabric to make a prepared example of Moroni’s Title of Liberty. Write the following words on it using markers: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” Be prepared to attach the “Title of Liberty” to a pole.
• Print and cut out the scripture story visual aids. Cut each page in half so one picture is on each half. Number the back of the pictures in the order they were printed. Print and cut out the activity visual aids. Be sure to cut out each stone.

Attention Activity
Have patriotic music playing and a flag displayed (or pictures of a flag) as the children enter into the classroom. Ask the children how they felt as they heard the music and saw the flag. Ask if they felt a sense of patriotic loyalty and devotion. Ask the children how they would feel if they heard that someone wanted to take over their country, take away their freedoms, take away their right to go to church, and even possibly harm their family members in the process.

Explain that in today’s lesson they are going to learn of a people who had to face this very problem, and they will learn what a leader of these people did to protect his people. They are also going to learn how the actions of this leader demonstrated how we can protect ourselves from the attacks of a spiritual enemy who desires to destroy our freedom and lives.

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

1.  Among the Nephites there was a man named Amalickiah. He desired to be king. He sought to destroy the church and destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted them. (Alma 46:10)

• Why would Amalickiah want to destroy the church and the liberty of the people? Perhaps as a way to gain total power and influence over the people.

• In the preexistence who had a plan to destroy the freedoms and agency of the people who came to earth? (Satan) What did Satan hope to gain from implementing his plan? (Glory and power)

• What would life be like without agency? To help the children imagine what it might be like to live under Lucifer’s plan, tell them that for the next few minutes they must do exactly what you say and nothing else (make sure they know they cannot talk). Have them stand and remain standing perfectly still for a few seconds. Then tell each child where to sit. (Do not sit friends near each other.) Tell the children they must sit erect, feet flat to the floor, looking straight ahead, not moving or speaking. Have them hold the position until you tell them otherwise. After about thirty seconds, let them stand again and sit where they want. (Walk in His Ways pg 62)

Ask the children how they felt during the exercise and how they would feel if they were forced to do exactly what they were told to do, all day every day.

2. In Amalickiah’s quest for power he was able to get many people to follow him. He flattered them and told them he would make them rulers over the people if they supported him and made him their king.

3. When Moroni, the chief commander of the armies of the Nephites, heard of these dissensions he was angry with Amalickiah.

Moroni rent (tore) his coat to make a flag to rally his people to fight against these threats to their freedom. Explain that a coat back in Moroni’s day was probably a cloak. (Using the large piece of fabric, demonstrate how a cloak might have looked and how it might have been used as a coat.)

After demonstrating how it was used as a coat, dramatically take the cloth off and tear it along one of the precut slices in the fabric. Explain that fabric wasn’t easy to make or as easily available back in Moroni’s time, so tearing his coat to make a flag demonstrated the depths of Moroni’s emotion and commitment.

Show the children the piece of fabric you prepared, and explain that Moroni wrote the following words on his rent coat, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” He then fastened it to the end of a pole, and he called it the Title of Liberty. (Attach your prepared piece of fabric to a pole.)

Explain that the word “Title” has many definitions in the dictionary. One of its meanings is, “something that justifies a claim or an established right.” So the words on the Title of Liberty might have represented their claims and rights to fight for liberty.

4.  After making the Title of Liberty, Moroni put on his armor and bowed himself to the earth. He prayed mightily unto God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren.

5. Then Moroni went among the people waving the Title of Liberty in the air that all might see the writing, and crying with a loud voice saying,  “Whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.”

6.  When Moroni had proclaimed these words, the people came running together with their armor girded about them, rending their garments in token or as a covenant that they would not forsake the Lord their God.

• The Nephites would need to fight to defend their families and their freedoms. What direction had the Lord given to the Nephites concerning war? (Read Alma 43:47)

Explain to the children that we are also fighting a daily spiritual war against Satan. He wishes to bring us into captivity through getting us to sin. Demonstrate how Satan takes away our freedom through sin by doing the following object lesson.

Object Lesson
Ask for a volunteer. Have the volunteer put their hands together. Wrap one layer of the masking tape around their fingers and thumbs. Ask them if they can break free. Explain that when we first make a mistake or sin we are easily able to break free of its grasp and repent. But Satan knows that if he can get us to do the sin again and again, that eventually the sin will become a habit or an addiction and then we are bound in captivity to the sin. (Wrap the tape around the child’s hands several times, layering one area around the fingers and thumbs.) Ask the child to try and break free from the bindings. They shouldn’t be able to.

(Read 2 Nephi 2:27) “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”

Satan wants us to be miserable like he is, and he knows that sin destroys lives and keeps us from the many joys and blessings we could be enjoying. (Ask the child whose hands are bound to try and do some form of activity they normally could do if their hands were free such as tying their shoes. With their fingers bound they shouldn’t be able to do the activity. Afterwards, remove the tape and thank them for their help.)

Explain that they are going to do an activity that will help them realize and think about all the blessings they enjoy due to freedom from sin.

Activity
Tear up the rest of the fabric into pre-sized pieces and give each child one of the pieces. Ask them to draw on it pictures or write on it the blessings they enjoy due to freedom from sin.

Share an example, such as a person who is a drug addict may not be enjoying the following blessings: good health, good relationships with family and friends, spiritual blessings such as temple attendance, freedom (they may be locked up in prison for illegal drug transactions), financial security (due to wasting their money on drugs), integrity and the trust of others (due to lying and stealing to buy drugs), etc. Their addiction becomes more important than anything else and destroys their ability to hold onto and enjoy all the good and wholesome things in life.

Once the children’s flags are finished, give them the option to share what they put on their flags. Afterwards explain that they should each post their flag in their room to remind them of the many blessings they enjoy and the many reasons to fight to maintain their freedom from Satan’s traps of sin.

Scripture Story Continued
7. When Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more numerous than the Amalickiahites, and he also saw that his people were doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken, therefore, fearing that he should not gain the point, he took those of his people who would go with him, and he departed into the land of Nephi.

8. Moroni thought to cut off the people of Amalickiah before they joined the Lamanites because he knew that Amalickiah would stir up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites and cause them to come to battle against the them to obtain his purposes. Moroni headed off the armies of Amalickiah, but Amalickiah escaped with a few of his men.

9. Moroni caused the Title of Liberty to be hoisted upon every tower in the land of the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites. And there was peace in the land for four years.

10. After Amalickiah escaped Moroni and his army, he fled to the Lamanites. With much deceit, fraud, and murder he became king of the Lamanites. After becoming their king, he stirred up the Lamanites to go to war against the Nephites. He sought to rule over all the land.

11. While Amalickiah had been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni had been strengthening the Nephites against attack. He strengthened the armies and built up high banks of earth and high walls of stone around their forts, cities, and around their borders.

• Moroni had also been strengthening his people spiritually. Why was it important for the Nephites to be prepared spiritually? So they would be worthy of and in-tune to the Lord’s guidance when defending themselves against the attacks of the Lamanites. Moroni told the people to obey God’s commandments. If they would obey, God would help them to be free.” (Also see Alma 48:15–16.)

•In what other ways does obeying commandments help us be free? Obeying commandments helps protect us from Satan’s attacks (temptations) and helps keep us free of Satan’s destructive traps (sin). A loving Father in Heaven gives us commandments because he wants us to be safe and happy, just as a father or mother on earth gives their children rules such as “don’t play in the street” or “don’t touch the hot stove” because they want their children to be safe and happy.

Show the children the pictures of the signs, and ask what would happen if they didn’t obey the laws, rules, and warning signs that are around them in the world. (They could become seriously injured or even die.) Explain that just like laws, rules, and warning signs are meant for our protection, so are the commandments meant to be for our protection. We are free to choose whether or not we will obey God’s commandments, but we must also live with the consequences that follow as a result of our choices.

Scripture Story Continued
12. The Lamanites had prepared themselves for battle with armor, shields, and thick clothing. Being prepared they thought they could easily overpower the Nephites, but they were astonished and afraid when they saw the fortifications around the Nephite cities.

13. They attempted to attack and gain entrance to the cities in many different ways, but the Nephite’s defenses and preparations prevented the Lamanites from succeeding in their attempts. During these initial attempts to attack the cities, all of the Lamanite’s chief captains were slain and more than a thousand of the Lamanite’s soldiers were slain, but not one Nephite was killed.

The Lamanites fled and reported to King Amalickiah of their great losses. Amalickiah was exceedingly angry at his people because he had not gained his desire to bring the Nephites into bondage. He cursed God and Moroni.

14. The Nephites, on the other hand, did thank the Lord their God for delivering them from the Lamanites.

Activity
The Nephites built up fortifications to protect themselves from the attacks of the Lamanites. Through keeping the commandments we are also building up protective barriers and fortifying ourselves against the fiery darts of Satan’s attacks. (Ephesians 6:16)

Put the picture of the fiery darts on the board, and then put the wall outline to the left of the picture. Have the children build a barrier wall in front of the fiery darts by taking turns telling a commandment, explaining how that commandment helps protect them, writing the commandment on a stone, and then attaching it to the wall outline. Continue in this manner until the wall is built.

Remind the children that keeping the commandments helps keep us safe from Satan’s attacks and from his attempts to enslave us in sin. Express your testimony and gratitude for the commandments of God and for the freedoms and protection we enjoy through keeping the commandments.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 46:4-22, Alma 48:1-17, Alma 49:1–30. Additional optional chapter: Alma 47


Lesson 25: Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah

Posted on

Lesson 25
Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah

Preparation

  • Items needed: paper, crayons, and a pencil for each child. You will also need an orange, tape, two page protectors, a dry erase marker, an empty binder, one 3X5 card for each child or some strips of paper, and some removable double-sided tape.
  • Print and cut out the Armor of God pictures.  Also print one set of the small version of the armor of God per child. If possible, quickly cut out the small pieces of armor. If not, provide scissors for each child to cut out the pieces.
  • Print the Game Items. Put each of the game boards into a page protector. Tape one of the game boards to the inside cover of the binder.
  • Be prepared to play the video of chapter 31 of Book the Mormon Stories. The Book of Mormon Stories DVD can be checked out from your meetinghouse library, or the video “Captain Moroni Defeats Zerahemnah” can be downloaded and watched on a laptop computer.

Attention Activity

Show the children the orange. Ask a child to catch it and then toss it back. Do this a couple more times. Ask what would happen to the orange, as it is tossed around, if didn’t have a protective shell on it. (It would quickly become dirty and damaged.) Ask the children if they can think of other items that have protective outside coverings. Items might include: bananas, eggs, nuts, etc.

• For what reason might a person wear a protective outside covering such as armor? To protect their body in dangerous situations such as war.

Scripture Story
Tell the children they are going to watch a video about a battle that occurred between the Nephites and Lamanites. Tell them to watch carefully to see what the Nephites do to protect themselves against the Lamanite’s attacks.

Before starting the video, first tell a little of the background story. Ask the children if they remember who the Zoramites were. They were a people so wicked that they cast out anybody who believed in the prophet Alma’s teachings. The people they cast out were taken in and cared for by the people of Ammon. This made the wicked Zoramites angry, and they stirred up the Lamanites against the people of Ammon and against the Nephites. The Lamanite army (which included the Zoramites who had joined the Lamanites) attacked the land of Jershon where the people of Ammon resided.

Have the children watch chapter twenty-five of the Book of Mormon Stories video. After the video ask the children the following questions:

• What methods did Captain Moroni use to protect his people against the Lamanites? He had his soldiers wear armor, he consulted with the prophet for guidance and help, he had faith in the Lord, and he used cunning and strategy against the Lamanites.

• Explain to the children that we are also fighting a daily battle against an enemy who is trying to destroy us. Who are we battling against? Satan and his temptations.

• What can we do to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks? (Read Ephesians 6:13–18) Put the picture of the soldier on the board. Have the children read along with you from Ephesians. Stop as each piece of armor is mentioned, explain what it represents, and then put it on the soldier.

  • Loins Girded in Truth – Knowing truth helps us be prepared to make right choices concerning many things including virtue.
  • Breastplate of Righteousness – Represents making righteous choices.
  • Feet Shod in the Gospel of Peace – Our knowledge of the gospel helps guide the direction we go in life.
  • Shield of Faith – Having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Helmet of Salvation – Salvation was made possible through the Savior’s atonement. We need to always remember Him and His teachings.
  • Sword of the Spirit –  The guidance of the Spirit and the guidance found in the revealed word of God helps us in our fight against Satan’s attacks.

• What happened to the Lamanites because they did not have armor to protect them? (They were overcome.) What could happen to us spiritually if we do not clothe ourselves in the armor of God? (We may fall to Satan’s temptations and suffer spiritual injury or even spiritual death.)

Activity
Give each child a piece of paper, crayons, pencil, and a small copy of each piece of armor. Have them draw a picture of themselves on the paper, a size that would fit the small set of armor.  Have them attach their armor pieces to the drawing of themselves using small pieces of removable double-sided tape. Remind them what each piece represents and have them write it on their paper next to the armor piece.

• Each protective piece of armor relates to our knowledge, understanding, and practice of the word of God. How can we build up our protective armor? (Have them write the answers on their papers.) Answers might include: Have personal and family scripture study, have family home evening, attend church, listen to the words of the prophet, call on God for help through prayer, keep the commandments, listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

• What other ways can we protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks? Moroni used cunning and strategy to protect the Nephites from the Lamanites attacks. We can also use cunning and strategy by planning ahead what we will do when temptation is confronting us.

Have each of the children think of a temptation and write it on one of the 3×5 cards. Mix the cards up and have the children take turns choosing one, reading it, and then telling what they could do if they were in that situation. Point out that they are using strategy by planning ahead what they would do when confronted with certain temptations.

Review Game
If time permits play the following scripture story review game.
Explain that the review activity is like the game Battleship, but instead of trying to find ships, they will be trying to find the Lamanite army. After they find the Lamanites, they will then try to collect the Lamanite’s weapons and oath of peace.

Put the game board on the display board and show the children the game pieces. Open the binder and stand it up so the teacher game board is facing you and the children cannot see it. Explain that you will be putting the game pieces on the hidden game board, and that it is identical to the one on the display board.

Put the pieces on the teacher game board, and then put one location point of the Lamanite army on the prophet card, and put the card next to the game board. The prophet card will be available for additional help, but only if they ask for it. Or they can use it when question #7 is answered.

Explain that you will be asking them questions about the story, and if they get the answer right they can guess a location on the board where the Lamanites might be. If they guess the location correctly they can circle that spot on the game board (with the dry erase pen). If the location is wrong they can mark the spot on the game board with an x. Explain that the army takes up four spaces, the weapons and oath each take up three spaces. The army, weapons, and oath could be vertical or horizontal. The children must find the army first. If they make a hit on the other items before finding the army, they can circle it, but you will inform them it is not the army, and they must then look elsewhere.

Have the children take turns answering the questions. Let them know they can get help from another person if needed, or they can look up the scripture reference to find the answer.

Questions

1. What was the Lamanite’s motive for coming to war against the Nephites? The Lamanite desired the war because they wanted to rule over the Nephites and bring them into bondage. (Alma 43:8)

2. What was the Nephites motive for battling the Lamanites? To protect their wives, children, homes, privileges, liberties, and their right to worship God according to their desires. (Alma 43:9) (Read Alma 43:46-47)

3. What was the name of the chief captain of the Nephites?  The man appointed to be the chief captain over the Nephites was called Moroni. (Have the children guess how old he was when he was appointed to be chief captain.) He was appointed when he was only 25 years old. (Alma 43:16-17)

4. What was the name of the chief commander of the Lamanite army? (Zerahemnah)  Zerahemnah appointed Nephite dissenters as the chief captains to insight the Lamanites to aggressiveness and hostility because the Nephite dissenters were more wicked and murderous than the Lamanites. (Alma 43:5-7)

5. The Lamanite army outnumbered the Nephite army, so why were the Lamanites frightened when they saw Captain Moroni and his army? Because Moroni had prepared his people with armor which include breastplatess, thick clothing, arm shields, and helmets to protect their bodies and heads. The army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing. They had on very little clothing. (Alma 43:19-21)

6. What did the Lamanites do when they saw the armor of the Nephites? They retreated into the wilderness and intended to come into the land of the Nephites at a different, secret location. (Alma 43:22)

7. Captain Moroni didn’t know where the Lamanites would secretly attack. How did he find out where he should send his army? Moroni sent men to inquire of the prophet Alma where the Nephite army should go to defend against the Lamanites. The word of the Lord came to Alma, and he told them where the Lamanites were going. (Alma 43:23–24) (If the children have not located the army yet, show the children the prophet card and explain that it has a location point for the Lamanite army.)

8. How did Captain Moroni set a trap for the Lamanites? He concealed his army on two sides of the river Sidon where the Lamanites were entering into the land. (Alma 43:31-32)

9. During the battle, the Lamanites fought fiercely which caused fear in the Nephites. The Nephites wanted to flee. What did they do to receive strength and courage? They cried to the Lord for help, and he strengthened them. (Alma 43:48–50) They had great faith in God. They had gained faith in him through their obedience. (Read Alma 44:3-4)

10. The Nephites surrounded the Lamanites. When the Lamanites saw they were surrounded they were filled with terror. What did Captain Moroni do to show compassion and mercy? He ordered the fighting to stop, and he promised to spare their lives if they would deliver up their weapons and make an oath to never come to war against them again (Alma 43:53-54; 44:6)

11. What did Zerahemnah do and say when he heard Moroni’s words? He delivered his weapons to Moroni, but he said he would not make an oath to never return. (Alma 44:8)

12. When Zerahemnah would not give an oath of peace, what did Moroni do? Moroni gave Zerahemnah back his weapons so they could end the conflict. He could not allow the Lamanites to depart without their oath of peace. (Alma 44:10-11)

13. What did Zerahemnah do when Moroni gave him back his weapons? He became angry and rushed at Moroni and tried to kill him. (Alma 44:12)

14. What happened when Zerahemnah tried to kill Moroni? One of Moroni’s soldiers blocked Zerahemnah, broke his sword, and cut off his scalp. (Alma 44:12)

15. What did the soldier say and do with the scalp of Zerahemnah that made many of the Lamanites give up their weapons and give an oath of peace? The soldier took the scalp off the ground and put it on tip of his sword and raised it up high. He said with a loud voice that even as the scalp of their leader had fallen to the earth, so would they fall if they didn’t relinquish their weapons and make a covenant of peace. (Alma 44:13-15)

16. What happened after many of the Lamanites gave up their weapons and were allowed to leave in peace? Zerahemnah was exceedingly angry and stirred up the remainder of his men, and the fighting commenced again. (Alma 44:16)

17. What made Zerahemnah finally surrender and give an oath of peace? The Lamanites began to rapidly be swept down by the sword because of their naked skin and bare heads. When Zerahemnah saw they were about to be destroyed, he called to Moroni and asked him to spare them. Zerahemnah agreed to make an oath to never come to war against the Nephites again. Moroni stopped the destruction and took their weapons and oath and allowed them to depart. (Alma 44:18-20)

Conclusion
The Nephites had prepared themselves both spiritually and physically for the battle against the Lamanites, and they were able to win the battle. We must also prepare ourselves to fight and win the battle against Satan’s attacks by putting on the whole armor of God.

Tell the children to put their armor of God picture somewhere in their bedroom to remind them daily of the things they need to do to help build up their protective spiritual armor.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 43:4-54 & Alma 44:1-20