Samuel the Lamanite
• Items needed: chalk and eraser, a small treat or reward, two blindfolds, about ten sheets of paper, crayons and pencils, tape and magnets, a piece of cardstock put inside a page protector, sticky tack, removable double-sided tape, mini marshmallows or several wadded up small pieces of paper, and a five inch round paper circle. Optional: pictures of Jesus’ birth and death
• Print the timeline visuals. (Note: The dates on the timeline are approximate.) Cut out the timeline pages and tape each page together in order. Cover the prophets’ names on the timeline with strips of one inch by three inch pieces of heavy paper. (Use removable double-sided tape to attach.) Cut out the prophets’ names with the scriptures on them. Attach the names to the page protector with sticky tack.
• Print and cut out the scripture story visuals. Cut the group of people into two parts between the woman in blue and the man with the bow and arrow.
• Print the activity visual aids. (The signs of Christ’s birth and the signs of Christ’s death need to be printed onto two different colors of paper.) Cut out all the items. Optional: Attach the heading “Sign’s of Christ’s Birth” to the top of the picture of Jesus’ birth. Attach the heading “Sign’s of Christ’s Death” to the top of the picture of Jesus’ death.
Put the timeline on the board. Explain to the children they are going do a review activity regarding the prophets they have learned about this year. Point out the prophet pictures on the timeline, and then show the children the page of prophets’ names. Have the children take turns identifying who each prophet is by putting the name above or below the prophet’s picture it goes with. Give hints about specific prophet’s stories if needed.
After all the prophets’ names are situated, check to see if they are correct by taking off the name covers on the timeline. If one doesn’t match, have a child change it with one they think is correct. After all the names have been revealed, point out that the timeline ends at Jesus’ birth. Explain that all the prophets on the timeline were born and lived before Jesus was born.
• Which of the prophets on the timeline prophesied and taught of Jesus? (All of them.) Point out the scriptures under each name and explain that the scriptures contains a few of the words or teachings of that prophet concerning Jesus.
Read Mosiah 13:33: “Did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?”
• What do you think these prophets’ main messages were concerning Jesus? (Have them each look up one of the scriptures and read it to themselves. Then ask a few volunteers to quickly tell what the main message is in their scripture.)That Jesus would come to the earth and atone for the sins of mankind.
Point out the empty spot on the timeline. Explain that the prophet who goes on the empty spot lived in the time period right before the birth of Jesus Christ. This prophet was sent to the Nephites to prepare them for the coming of Jesus. He made specific prophesies about the time and signs of Jesus’ birth and death. Ask if any of the children knows who the prophet is. (If they do not know, ask them to listen carefully to the lesson and see if they can guess who it is.)
Remind the children of the events that occurred in last week’s lesson. Explain that the people remained righteous for a time after the famine, but within a few years wickedness began to creep back in, and within about ten years after the famine the Nephites were once again ripe for destruction.
Each time the Nephites returned to wickedness they appear to be guilty of committing the same sins they had committed before. See if the children can guess what sins the Nephites were guilty of committing this time. Remind them that the sins are similar to the ones they were committing before. Write their guesses on the board. Have the children read Helaman13:22 and put a check mark next to each one they guessed correctly. (Forgetting the Lord and his blessings, ingratitude, heart set on riches, pride, boasting, envying (jealousy), strifes (fighting), malice (hate), murders, and persecution.)
• What did the Nephites seek for all the days of their live that they could never obtain? (See Helaman 13:38) They sought for happiness in doing iniquity.
• Why can happiness never be found in doing iniquity? (See Alma 41:10-11)
• What other wicked things were the Nephites doing? (See Helaman 13:24) (If the children included any of these sins on their list have them put a check mark next to them also.) They cast out the prophets, mocked them, cast stones at them, and slayed them.
Explain that instead of listening to the true prophets, the Nephites called a man a prophet if he told them flattering words such as, “Do as your heart desires for there is no sin or punishment.” Samuel called these false prophets blind guides. (Helaman 13:27-28)
Choose two volunteers. Blindfold one of the volunteers. Tell the other child he/she is going to guide the blindfolded child to a special reward, but then explain that he/she is going to be blindfolded also. After blindfolding the second child, quietly put the reward somewhere in the room. Tell the guiding child to lead the other child to the reward. Make sure they don’t fall or get hurt as they attempt this. After a few minutes ask the class the following question:
• Is a blindfolded person a good guide? Why not? (They can’t see the right way to go to get the reward, and they can’t see the dangers that need avoiding.) Take the blindfolds off the children and thank the volunteers for their help, then ask the following question:
• Do people sometimes follow blind guides in today’s world? We have many leaders in the world today who lead but don’t know the way to true happiness. They also don’t see the dangers (Satan’s temptations) that need avoiding.
Heavenly Father wants us to find true, eternal happiness, so He provides true guides that can see the right way to go and the dangers to avoid.
• Who are the guides Heavenly Father provides? Prophets. They know the way because they are directed by divine light and are not blinded by the darkness that is around them. (Have a child who is not blinded by the darkness of a blindfold lead a child who is blindfolded to the reward.) (They must share the reward with the class.)
The Lord wanted the Nephites to follow true guides, but they would not listen to their prophets and were casting them out and killing them, so the Lord sent a Lamanite prophet to preach to them. (Remind the children that at this time in Book of Mormon history many of the Lamanites were righteous. See Helaman 13:1)
Ask the children if they know yet who the prophet is that goes on the empty spot on the timeline. Remind them he is a Lamanite.
Explain that the prophet, Samuel the Lamanite (put his picture on the timeline) went to the Nephites and told them they needed to repent. The people were angry at his message, and they threw him out of the land. As Samuel was returning to his own land, the voice of the Lord came to him and told him to return and tell the people whatsoever thing that came into his heart.
• What did the Lord mean when he told Samuel to speak whatsoever thing that came into his heart? It meant Samuel would receive revelation from God concerning what to say.
Samuel returned to Zarahemla, but the people would not allow him to enter into the city.
• Samuel needed to deliver the message from the Lord. What did he do so he could accomplish this? He went and got up on the city wall. (Put the scripture story figures of Samuel, the wall, and the crowd of people on the board.)
Samuel cried with a loud voice and prophesied what the Lord put into his heart. He prophesied heavy destruction upon the people if they did not repent.
He also delivered another message, a message of glad tidings (which means good news).
• What do you think his message of glad tidings was? Remind the children that Samuel lived in a special time period. He lived during the time period when Jesus Christ, the son of God would come to the earth. His message of glad tidings was that Jesus Christ, the redeemer, would be born on the earth in five years. (Helaman 14:2)
• Why is this good news? (See Helaman 14:2,13) Because Jesus would make an atonement for our sins and redeem all who believe on his name.
• Samuel also prophesied concerning the death of Jesus. According to Samuel why did Jesus have to die? (Helaman 14:15-18) Samuel explained that Jesus must die to redeem all mankind from spiritual death and to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead.
• Samuel told the people that signs would occur when Jesus was born and when he dies. Why did the Lord reveal these signs to the Nephites? (See Helaman 14:12–13, 28.) So they might know of His coming and believe on His name and repent, and that there would be no cause for unbelief.
Give each child, or pairs of children, a piece of paper, a pencil, crayons, and one of the scripture cards. Have them look up their scriptures and draw a picture of the signs described in their scriptures. (Some of the children will only need to draw certain parts of their scripture. You may need to help them understand which part they need draw. The Activity Answers below will help provide those answers.)
Put the picture labeled “Signs of Christ’s Birth” on the left side of the board and the picture labeled “Signs of Christ’s Death” on the right side of the board. After the children have completed their pictures, have them take turns standing up, showing their picture, and telling what it is. Afterwards have the child decide if it is a sign of Jesus’ birth or death. Have them put their picture under the correct heading on the board. Check to see if it is correct by putting the matching sign label above their picture. If it matches the color of the category heading, they are correct.
Signs of Christ’s Birth
• Helaman 14:3-4 -There will be a day and a night and a day as if there were no night.
• Helaman 14:5-6 – A new star will appear, and there will be many other signs and wonders in heaven.
Signs of Christ’s Death
• Helaman 14:20 – There will be darkness for three days. The sun, moon, and stars shall be darkened.
• Helaman 14:23 (First Part) & Helaman 14:21 (First part) – There will be tempests (severe storms with high winds and possible hail, snow, or rain). There will be thundering and lightening for many hours.
• Helaman 14:24 (Second part) – Cities made desolate (uninhabited).
• Helaman 14:23 (Second part) – The mountains will be laid low and valleys will become mountains.
•Helaman 14:21 (Second part), Helaman 14:22, & Helaman 14:24 (First part) – The earth shall shake and tremble, and rocks and highways shall be broken up.
Scripture Story Continued
• How did the people react to Samuels words? Some believed and went to find Nephi to confess their sins and be baptized (take off the small group of people), but the majority of the people were angry with Samuel.
• What did the people attempt to do to Samuel because of their anger? Slay him. They cast stones at him on the wall and shot arrows at him. (Put the arrows and stones on the board.) But they could not hit him with their stones or arrows.
Demonstration: Put the five inch round piece of paper on the board. Give a few of the children sitting in the front seats 3-4 mini marshmallows each (or wadded up small pieces of paper). Have them try to hit the target with their items. Have the other children count and point out how many times they were able to hit the target. Ask the children why they think people who were familiar with using a bow and arrow and the people who were throwing rocks couldn’t hit Samuel. (Because the Spirit of the Lord was with him.) (Helaman 16:2)
• When the people saw that Samuel was miraculously protected did they believe his words then? Some believed, but the more part of the people did not believe the words of Samuel, and they went forth to lay their hands upon Samuel. He cast himself down from the wall and did flee out of their lands to preach among his own people.
• Five years after Samuel delivered his message to the Nephites, great signs, wonders, and miracles began to occur. The words of the prophets began to be fulfilled. Did the nonbelievers start to believe when they began to see the prophesied signs and wonders occuring? The most part of the people grew more wicked and did harden their hearts. (Helaman 16:22-23) They contrived foolish excuses to not believe.
• Why did the doubters contrive excuses to not believe even after witnessing great signs and wonders? Because Satan did stir them up to iniquity continually. (Helaman 16:22)
• What lesson do we learn from the account of the unbelievers? We learn that we must do our best to keep ourselves free of the influence of Satan so that our hearts will be open to the whisperings of Holy Ghost concerning the truth of the words of the prophets.
Remind the children of the timeline, and that all the prophets taught of Jesus. Explain that latter-day prophets also testify and teach of Jesus. Our faith and belief in the Savior can be strengthened as we read the prophets’ words in the scriptures and as we listen to and read the words of the latter-day prophets concerning Christ.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Helaman 13:1-8, 14:1-5, 20-27, 16:1-8
Important Note: Save the children’s drawings. They will be used again in lesson 32 and 33.