Lesson 16 – Anguish in Ammonihah

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Lesson 16
Anguish in Ammonihah

Preparation
• Items needed: a piece of rope, a basket, string, and a blindfold.
•Print the visual aids and make scrolls out of them by doing the following: Cut off the word strips at the bottom of each numbered scroll section. If there is more than one page to a scroll section, glue the pages together to form a vertical line of pictures. (Thick, tacky glue works best.) Glue each  word strip to the back of the scroll on the bottom of the section it goes with (see picture). Wait until the glue is completely dry, then roll each scroll into a tube.  Roll from the bottom up so the headline will be the the first thing showing when it is unrolled. Tie each scroll with a piece of string. Number the outside of each scroll so they will be read in the correct order. Put the rolled up scrolls into a basket. (Note: The visual aids are from chapter twenty-two of Book of Mormon Stories.)

Attention Activity
Blindfold a volunteer and place the child in the center of the room. Ask the child how they would feel if you asked them to fall backward and trust that one of the other children would catch them. The child will probably respond with trepidation. They will probably also feel relief when you explain that it won’t be required of them. Have the child take off the blindfold and sit down.

Ask the children who they would pick from among their friends and family to catch them if they had do the activity. Ask them why they would pick that person. Most likely it will be because they know that person cares about what happens to them and is strong enough to catch them.

Explain to the children that having faith and trust in someone is very important, and that today’s lesson is about having faith in Jesus Christ. To have faith in Jesus Christ means that we know he loves us and that he knows what is best for us. Because we know these things, we follow what he asks us to do. We also know that he has the strength and power to help us to rise above the challenges and difficulties we face each day.

Remind the children of last week’s lesson about Alma and Amulek teaching the people of Ammonihah. Alma and Amulek had faith and trust in Jesus Christ. They did as he asked even though it was a difficult. In today’s lesson we learn the results of those teachings. Many good and miraculous things occurred, but also many terrible and tragic things.

Scripture Story
Tell the children they are going to hear the news of what happened to Alma and Amulek in a way that people in that day may have learned news.

Show the children the scrolls. Tell the children that each scroll has a headline, such as a newspaper from our day would have. Newspaper headlines tell the most important news of the day.

Have the children take turns reading the scrolls in numerical order. Direct them to unroll the scroll and first show and read the headline to the class. Then unroll to the first picture and read the word strip on the back. Continue in this manner until each picture is shown and each wordstrip has been read. After a child reads a scroll, ask any bulleted questions found under that scrolls headlines below.

1) ALMA THE HIGH PRIEST ACCUSED UNJUSTLY OF CRIMES

2) CITIZENS THROWN OUT OF AMMONIHAH

3) PEOPLE BURNED ALIVE IN AMMONIHAH

• Amulek had prophesied earlier that the only thing protecting the people of Ammonihah from being destroyed was the righteous people in the city. What would happen to the wicked people of Ammonihah if they cast out and killed all those who believed in the word of God? They would be destroyed.

4) HIGH PRIEST FORCED TO WATCH PEOPLE BURN

• Why didn’t the Lord allow Alma to exercise the power of the priesthood and deliver the faithful women and children? (See Alma 60:13) The Lord allows people to do wicked things so that the judgments he will exercise upon them will be just. The blood of their victims would stand as a witness against them.

• What happens to righteous people who die in defense of the truth? (See Alma 14:11) The Lord receives them to himself in glory.

5) HIGH PRIEST THROWN INTO PRISON AND TORTURED

• Is it necessary to answer every person who mocks you and your beliefs? Why not? Some people’s hearts are so hard it would not make a difference what you said in reponse; they would continue to belittle and mock those things which are sacred.

• What helped Alma and Amulek have the courage to endure the threats and suffering perpetrated by those who sought to destroy them? They trusted the Lord. They had faith in him and in his plans and purposes.

6) LEADERS IN AMMONIHAH FLEE IN FEAR AFTER PRISONERS BREAK THEIR BONDS

• Have two children try to break the rope you brought. It should not be possible. Ask why Alma and Amulek could break the cords that bound them.

• Why did the chief priest and other leaders flee in fear when Alma and Amulek broke their bindings? They knew in their hearts that what they were doing was wrong. They were probably afraid, and rightfully so, that the power and judgments of God were about to come upon them.

7) PRISON IN AMMONIHAH COLLAPSES – KILLS ALL EXCEPT HIGH PRIEST AND COMPANION

• Why were the people of Ammonihah afraid? They may have been afraid that the power and judgments of God were about to come upon them.

• Why were Alma and Amulek’s lives preserved? (See Alma 14:13) They still had a work to do.

8) MIRACULOUS HEALING IN SIDOM

• What could Alma and Amulek have told the people to comfort them in this time of sorrow? They could have told them about the revelation: that the Lord had received their wives and children to himself in glory.

• Have you ever known someone who was so worried about something that they became physically ill? Our emotional state can affect our health.

  • What made it possible for Zeezrom to be healed? His faith in Jesus Christ.

9) AMMONIHAH DESTROYED BY LAMANITES – ALL DEAD

• What did Alma prophesy would happen to the people of Ammonihah if they did not repent? (See Alma 9:18) That they would be destroyed by the Lamanites.

10) NEW CONVERTS FORSAKE RICHES, FRIENDS, AND FAMILY

• Many times new converts have to endure numerous difficulties. Friends and family may not agree with the person’s choice and may disown and reject them. The converts usually also have to make many lifestyle changes. How do new converts have the strength to sacrifice so much? Because they have faith and trust in the Lord.

Conclusion
• How can we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ? To help answer this question remind the children of the blindfold object lesson that was done at the beginning of class. Also remind them of the person they would trust enough to catch them, and remind them of the reasons they trust that person – because that person cares about them, and that person is strong enough to catch them.

• Ask how they have come to know that the person they chose cares about them. Responses might include the following: the person helps them, the person shows love for them by doing caring things for them, and the person tells them that they love and care for them.

• How can we gain faith and trust in Jesus? Explain to the children that as we get to know Jesus through reading the scriptures, we will learn about all the things he has done for us and we will know that he loves and cares for us and wants what is best for us. We will also learn through the scriptures that Jesus is the son of God, and that He has the strength and power to lift us up when we fall.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 14:1-29, Alma 15:1-12, Alma16:1-3 and Alma 16:9-11


Lesson 14 – Alma the Younger Repents

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Lesson 14
Alma the Younger Repents

Preparation

  •  Items needed: two containers of playdough, a display board, tape, a small container of water, two small Ziplock baggies, three envelopes, several small rocks (wash the rocks carefully so no grit or dirt is left on them).
  • Print and cut out the scripture story visual aids. Number the back of each story card to help keep them in the correct order.
  • Print and cut out the paper doll pattern, the steps of repentance, and the repentance story cards. Put each set of four story cards into an envelope.
  • Roll out the playdough until each is 1/4 inch thick. Put the cut out paper doll pattern on top of the play dough, and with a knife, cut out a figure from each rolled out piece of playdough. Put each playdough figure into a Ziploc bag to prevent it from drying out.

 

Attention Activity
Show the children one of the playdough figures. Point out how smooth and clean it looks. Show the children the small rocks and explain that each rock represents a sin.

Push the rocks one at a time into the figure as you tell of a sin the rock might represent such as lying, stealing, swearing, etc. Point out how the figure looks and explain that sin corrupts and pollutes our spirits so that we become distorted and unclean.

Show the other playdough figure. Explain that those who are close to us may also be affected by our sins and follow our example. (Push rocks into the other figure.) When we realize the damage we are doing to ourselves and others we may feel shame, regret, and sorrow.

Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will learn about the regret and misery that can come because of sin, and they will learn of the great joy that can come through repentance.

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

Remind the children of last week’s lesson about the people of Limhi and the people of Alma escaping the bondage of the Lamanites and coming to Zarahemla. Tell the children that after Alma and his people arrived in Zarahemla, King Mosiah authorized Alma to lead and organize the church in the land of Zarahemla. The church had grown so large that it needed to be divided up into several congregations. Alma set up these congregations and ordained leaders for each of them.

Not all of the people in Zarahemla believed in the gospel. Some of these nonbelievers persecuted the believing church members. King Mosiah was made aware of the problem, and he made a law that there should be no persecutions among the people.

  • Why might a nonbeliever persecute church members? The reasons can be varied. One of the reasons may be that they feel offended or less valued because they live their life contrary to the morals and values that the church teaches. To help alleviate this problem a strict command was made throughout all the churches that there should be equality among men, and that there should be no pride or haughtiness.
  • How can we make sure that people who are not members of our church know they are valued regardless of differences in lifestyle? Answers might include: love them, emphasize the things we have in common, appreciate the good in them, invite and include them in our activities, etc.

The laws and commands helped establish peace in the land, but the sons of King Mosiah and one of the sons of Alma were among the unbelievers, and they caused many problems for the church.

  • Why might Alma and the sons of Mosiah, who had been brought up in the church, be among the unbelievers?  One reason may be that they chose to pursue other interests instead of taking the time to examine, understand, and do the things necessary to gain a testimony of the teachings of the gospel. Another reason may be that they chose to pursue sinful interests in preference to turning their lives and hearts toward God. Such was the case of Alma’s son, who was also named Alma after his father. Alma the younger chose a wicked and idolatrous lifestyle.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah secretly went among the people trying to lead the people astray and destroy the church. Alma the younger was very good at speaking, and he influenced and persuaded many to commit the same sins he was committing.  (Remind the children of the lesson about King Noah and his desire to get people to commit the same sins he was committing.)

Because Alma the younger was the son of the religious leader, and the sons of Mosiah were the sons of the king, their example and influence caused a lot of people to fall away from the church.

One day as Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were going about trying to destroy the church, an angel of the Lord appeared to them. The angel descended in a cloud. His voice was like thunder, and it caused the earth to shake. So great was their astonishment and fear that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah fell to the earth. The angel asked Alma the younger why he persecuted the church of God.

  • The Lord usually does not send angels to the wicked. Why did God send an angel to speak to Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah? (See Mosiah 27:14) Because of the prayers of the people of God, and because of the prayers of Alma’s father’s who prayed with faith that his son might be brought to a knowledge of the truth.

When Alma the younger saw the angel, he was struck with fear and amazement. The fear and astonishment of Alma was so great that he could not speak, and he became weak and could not move. The sons of Mosiah carried Alma to his father. They told his father what had happened to them. Alma’s father rejoiced.

  •  Why did Alma’s father rejoice when he saw his son in such a weak and helpless state? Alma’s father had been concerned about the spiritual welfare of his son. He rejoiced because he knew that the power of God was at work.

Alma the elder called a multitude together so they could witness what the Lord had done. He also called the priests, and they began to fast and pray for Alma the younger.

After they had fasted and prayed for two days and two nights, Alma the younger’s limbs regained strength. He stood up and began to speak to them. He said, “I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord.”

Alma’s repentance wasn’t easy. He had to go through the same steps of repentance we do in order to repent and be forgiven of our sins. When Alma saw the angel, he was afraid. He thought he would be destroyed because of his wickedness. For three days and three nights he could not move or speak. He was racked with torment for the memory of his many sins. He suffered greatly. Alma experienced the first step of repentance.

  •  What is the first step of repentance? Step One – Recognize that a wrong has been committed and feel sorrowful remorse. (Put this sign on the display board.)

As Alma was suffering, he remembered his father’s prophesies about the coming of Jesus Christ, the son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. His mind caught hold upon this thought, and he cried in his heart, “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.” After having this thought he was no longer tortured by the memory of his sins, and his soul was filled with great joy and light. He had begun the second step of repentance.

  • What is the second step of repentance? Step Two – Confess the sin and ask for forgiveness from God and from those we have hurt. (Put this sign on the display board.) Alma confessed his sinful state to God and asked for forgiveness. He now needed to confess his sins to the people he had affected and influenced.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah began from that time forward to travel throughout all the land confessing their sins. They also told the people about the angel’s appearance to them and the things which they had heard and seen, and they preached the word of God. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah attempted to repair the damage they had done to the church. It wasn’t easy because they were persecuted by many of the unbelievers, but they did their best to carry out the third step of repentance

  • What is the third step of repentance? Step Three – Do our best to make up for the wrong. (Put this sign on the display board.)
  • What is the fourth step of repentance? Step Four – Forsake the sin. Do not commit the sin again. (Put this sign on the display board) True repentance includes a desire to change one’s life and actions.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah changed their lives. They served in the church and taught others the gospel. Alma the younger eventually became the leader of the church after his father died. The sons of Mosiah served a mission to the Lamanites to teach them the gospel. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah wanted to help bring others to a knowledge of God. They did not want anyone to suffer because of sin. They wanted others to feel the joy they had experienced through repentance.

Object Lesson

Show the children the two playdough figures again. Explain to the children that if we will follow the steps of repentance, we can be healed and become clean of sin through the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Remove the rocks and press together the damaged areas. Smooth out the creases with water on your finger tips.)

Activity
Tell the children they are going to do an activity to help them remember the steps of repentance. Put one set of the repentance story cards face down on the table. Have a volunteer pick up one of cards, read it out loud, and then put it on the display board next to the step of repentance it goes with. Have the children each take a turn doing this. If one of the children thinks their card should go somewhere that someone else has placed a card, they can put their card in that spot, but they have to put the other card where they think it goes. After all the cards have been placed, read the story out loud to the class. If all the cards are in the right place, it will tell the story in order. Do another set after completing a story.

Conclusion
Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to be happy. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to make it possible for us to repent. Through his Atonement, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins so that we can repent, be forgiven, and gain eternal life. It isn’t always easy to fix our mistakes, but the wonderful results and benefits are always worth the effort.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 27:1-37 and Alma 36:6-21


Prayer: Lesson Ideas

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Handouts

Reasons for Praying

Ensign May 2017 “Trust in the Lord and Lean Not” Read the scripture Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust the Lord…and lean not unto thy own understanding. Demonstrate what happens when we lean–we move away from our center (Jesus Christ) and we may fall.

Answers to Prayers

Ensign January 2017 “Unanswered Prayers”

 

 

 

 

Friend January 2017 “Will Heavenly Father Answer My Prayers” Heavenly Father will answer our prayers in the way that is best and we need to have faith and trust in Him. Also story about when Elder Oaks was seven his father died even though they had sincerely prayed. .

 

 

 

 

What Should a Prayer Include

Friend February 2017 “The Lord’s Prayer” Jesus taught his disciples to pray. This link includes an explanation for what the words in the Lord’s Prayer mean. It also includes an activity idea for making a mobile of the things that should be included in a prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend August 1988 “Say It With Pictures” Which would you include in your prayer?

Friend August 1988

Friend August 1988

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings of Praying

Friend September 2016 “Heavenly Father Hears Your Prayers”  Heavenly Father has many blessings he wants to give us. Prayers unlock the treasure chest of blessings.

Friend September 2016

Friend September 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Prayer

Friend June 2016 Helping children have positive experiences with family prayer.

Friend June 1987 A boy is given the assignment to move a rock. He tries everything except asking his father for help.

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend July 2015
The Godhead and prayer


Lesson 31: Samuel the Lamanite

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 Lesson 31
Samuel the Lamanite

Preparation
• 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.

Attention Activity
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.)

Scripture Account
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)

Object Lesson
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.

Activity
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.

Activity Answers

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.

Conclusion

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.


Lesson 29: Nephi Prophesies

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Lesson 29: Nephi Prophesies

Preparation
• Items needed: one clear glass full of water and two empty clear glasses, a piece of saran wrap, a clear glass pie pan, a scoop of dirt, a pen or pencil, a water filter (or a picture of a water filter), a picture of Jesus, a half of a paper towel, a rubber band, a brad, tape or magnets, the Book of Mormon Stories DVD, a TV, and a DVD player.
• Cover the glass of water with the piece of saran wrap. Press the sides tightly around the glass. Double the paper towel and put it on top of one of the empty glasses. Push down on the middle so it is concave. Stretch a rubber band around the glass to hold the paper towel in place.
• Print the scripture story visual aids. Cut each page in half so one picture or sign is on each half. Number the back of the scripture story pictures in the order they were printed. (Note: The scripture story visual aids are from chapter 38 of Book of Mormon Stories.)
• Print the watchman on the tower activity onto white cardstock. Cut out the wheel. Using an exacto knife, cut the dotted openings on the tower picture leaving one side on each opening uncut in order to open and close the flaps. Poke a hole in the middle dot on the tower and wheel picture using a large needle. Put the tower picture on top of the prophet wheel. Put the brad through the middle dot on each page, and open up the arms of the brad on the back of the wheel. Cut out the nine cards of prophet’s quotes.

Attention Activity

Show the children the glass of water. Point out how clean the water is and remind them how healthy and good it is for the body.

Explain that the Nephites had been blessed with many good things for the body and spirit, but because of the ease of the way, they forgot that it was because of God they were so blessed. They didn’t keep their hearts focused on God and his commandments, and they began allowing contaminants into their lives that were harmful. (Put the glass of water in the glass pie pan. Pour a pile of dirt onto the saran wrap. )

Scripture Story
Tell the following story as you show the matching scripture story visual aids to the children. (Some visual aids can be used more than once in the story.)

When Nephi returned to his home in Zarahemla from preaching to a people in the north, he saw that the people had allowed wickedness to enter their lives. It filled him with great sorrow. Nephi knelt in prayer on his garden tower and poured out his sorrow to the Lord. Nephi’s garden tower was next to a highway which led to the chief market in Zarahemla. Certain men were passing by and saw Nephi as he was pouring out his soul unto God. They ran and told the people what they had seen, and the people came together in multitudes that they might know the cause of such great mourning. When Nephi arose he saw the multitudes who had gathered together, and he asked if they had gathered to have him tell them of their iniquities

Have the children look up Helaman 7:20 – 21 & 26 to discover what sins the Nephite’s were committing. Have the children poke holes in the saran wrap with the tip of a pen or pencil for each sin they find. (Pride, vanity, set heart on riches and praises of men, murder, stealing and lying in order to get gain, forgetting God) Ask the children if they have seen any of these kinds of sins in the world today.

• Shake the water slightly so it clouds up. Point out the dirt in the water and ask, “Is the water still healthy and desirable?” What would happen if someone drank the water? It could make them sick.

The evil the Nephites had let into their lives was making them spiritually sick. The more they partook of sin the sicker it made their spirits. Nephi knew the results of letting wickedness into their lives and he warned them of the consequences. (Put up sign # 1 on the board: Prophets warn about the dangers of sin.)

Have the children look up the following scriptures to find the warned consequences Nephi prophesied would happen if they did not clean up their lives and repent. (Helaman 7:16, 22, 28) (No strength from God to withstand their enemies, city and lands taken away, destroyed from the face of the earth, everlasting misery and endless woe.)

After Nephi had warned the multitude concerning their sins, some men among them who belonged to a secret band called the Gadianton robbers were angry and cried out against Nephi.

• Who were the Gadianton robbers? They were a Satan inspired secret band whose two objectives were to get gain and power, and they used any illicit and unlawful means possible to obtain their objective including murder, threats, bribery, blackmail, theft, lying, etc.

The Lamanites, who had become more righteous than the Nephites, did not tolerate the Gadianton robbers and destroyed those who were among them. But Satan had a hold on the Nephites, and many of them had united with the Gadiantons, building them up and supporting them until they had spread over all the land and had seduced even the righteous to believe in their works. (Helaman 6:20-21 & 38)

Many members of the secret band of Gadianton robbers had infiltrated the Nephite’s system of government and had become judges, but they did not administer justice. They condemned the righteous, and they let the guilty and the wicked go unpunished for money.

Some of these Gadianton judges were among the multitude at Nephi’s home. They tried to stir up the people against Nephi.

• Why would the Gadianton robbers wish to stir up the people against Nephi? (See Helaman 8:4) Nephi had spoken plainly against them concerning their secret works of darkness. They endeavored to destroy anyone who would expose, threaten, or interfere with their evil objectives.

But there were some in the crowd who said, “Let this man alone, for he is a good man, and those things which he saith will surely come to pass except we repent.”

When Nephi saw that he had gained favor in the eyes of some, he continued to speak to them. He reminded them that all the prophets have testified of a way to make their lives clean again, and that was through the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Put sign #2 on the board: Prophets testify of Jesus Christ and teach repentance.)

• What did the people of Nephi need to do in order to apply the atonement and clean up their lives? First they needed to realize they had done wrong. Then they needed to repent and stop the flow of unclean things into their lives. (Take the dirt off the cup.) How can people in today’s world stop the flow of unclean things into their lives? By removing the things from their lives that influence and encourage them to commit sin.

• What did the Nephites need to do after they had stopped the flow of unclean things into their lives? They needed to do everything  they could to make things right again and fix the damage that had been done. (Put the paper towel covered glass in the pie pan. Pour the dirty water into the paper towel covered glass. This should filter out the larger pieces of dirt.)

• After the flow of dirt has been stopped, and as much as possible has been done to clean up their lives, would the Nephites then be clean and pure again? Point out the dirt that is still in the water. Explain that it is impossible to fix or remove all the damage we have done to ourselves and others. We need help. Show the children the water filter (or a picture of a water filter). Explain (or show) that if we were to pour the water into the filter it would take out all the impurities.

Just as we would need a water filter in order to make dirty water clean again, so do we need the Savior in order to make our lives clean of sin. (Put the picture of the Savior on the board.) We can’t do it ourselves.

The Gadianton judges did not want to change their lives. They wanted to continue to seek for riches and power, so they did not want to listen to Nephi, and they did not want the crowd to listen to him either. They tried to make the people doubt Nephi’s ability to prophesy of the judgments that would come upon them. They said they were a powerful people and there was no way their enemies could take away their cities and land.

Nephi reminded the people of the power given to prophets of old such as Moses. He told them that if God gave such power to those prophets, couldn’t He give power to Nephi to know the judgments that would come upon the Nephites.

Nephi demonstrated his prophetic power given to him by God by telling the crowd of an event that was occurring in the city that no one else was aware of. He said the chief judge had been killed by his brother because the brother desired to sit on the judgment seat, and both men belonged to the secret Gadianton band. Nephi explained that this act demonstrated the evil that was among them, and that the Nephites were at the doors of destruction.

Video Presentation
Play chapter thirty-eight of the Book of Mormon Stories DVD, starting at the point Nephi tells the crowd about the murder of the chief judge. Afterwards ask the following discussion questions:

Discussion
• The Gadianton judges accused Nephi of committing the murder to raise himself up to be a prophet. Why might the wicked judges desire to make Nephi appear to be a false prophet?

• What was Nephi’s response to their accusations? (Helaman 9:25–35.) He told them to repent or be destroyed, and then Nephi once again demonstrated his God-given prophetic ability by telling the people of an upcoming chain of events that would occur.

Why did Nephi demonstrate his prophetic ability to the Nephites? So they would know he had power from God to know of things that would happen in the future if they did not repent.

Latter-day prophets have also been given power, knowledge, and wisdom from God. They teach us what has been revealed to them. (Put sign #3 on the board: Prophets teach the revealed word of God.)

• How can we strengthen our testimony of the living prophet? By doing what he says. Remind the children of the five men who went to the city to see about the chief judge. They did not believe Nephi was a prophet, but when they got there and saw that his words were true, they did believe and they fell down in fear of the judgments Nephi had prophesied. Explain that when we do what the prophet says, we will see the truth of his words, and we will see there is safety in following his words.

Activity

Show the picture of the watchman on the tower. Explain that during the Savior’s time, robbers would sometimes come into vineyards to steal or destroy crops. Wise farmers would build tall towers in their vineyards and hire a trusted watchman to stand on the tower and watch for danger. From where he stood, the watchman on the tower could see things the others could not see.

Through the ages, Heavenly Father has given his children “watchmen.” These trusted watchmen the Lord gives us are called prophets. Nephi was one of these watchmen. These watchmen help keep us safe from the destructive attacks of Satan by warning us of danger.

• What would happen if we did not heed the warnings of our watchmen the prophets? Satan’s destructive attacks and influence could cause the loss of earthly blessings and the loss of the blessings of eternal life.

Show the children the flaps that open on the picture of the watchman on the tower. Explain that behind the top flap is a picture of a latter-day prophet and behind the bottom flap is something that prophet taught. Give each child, or set of two children, the list of some of the things these latter-day prophets taught. Spin the wheel and then have a volunteer open the top flap on the tower picture and show it to the class. Then have the child face the picture toward themselves to see what the bottom box says. Have the child pantomime what the bottom box says and see if the other children can guess which item on the list it is. Have the child who guesses correctly explain how we are blessed and kept safe when we follow that teaching. Continue with this activity until every child has had a turn acting out one of the items, or until time is up. You may wish to mention something the living prophet has emphasized in his teachings at the end of the activity. (For example: President Monson emphasizes service.)

Conclusion

Point to the signs on the board and remind the children that Heavenly Father sends prophets to warn us of the dangers of sin, to teach us about the Savior and repentance, and to lead and guide us on the earth with God’s revealed word. We are blessed when we listen to and follow the prophet.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Helaman 7:1-22, Helaman 8:1-10 & 26–28, Helaman 9:1-41

 

 

 


Lesson 17 – Ammon – A Mighty Missionary

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Lesson 17
Ammon – A Mighty Missionary

Preparation
• Items needed: several wrapped treats, a plate or platter for the treats, tape, marbles (or some other small, heavy  items), a few small vegetables, a Kleenex, a large rubber band, a large clear vase or jar, 26 inches of cord or twine, a small piece of thick cloth, several four inch square pieces of paper, and some thick thread.
• Print and cut out the activity visual aids. Tape each gospel blessing card to a wrapped treat.
• Tape the pictures of the sheep to the inside of the large clear vase. Separate the two layers of a Kleenex sheet. Cover the top opening of the vase with one layer of the Kleenex. Put a large rubber band around the Kleenex to secure it. The Kleenex should be stretched tight across the opening of the vase.
• Print the scripture story visual aids. Cut the pages in half, and number the back of each page to help keep them in the correct order. (The scripture story visuals come from chapter twenty-three of Book of Mormon Stories.)
• Make an example slingshot. Cut two, thirteen inch pieces of cord or twine. Cut out a piece of thick cloth 1¾ inches by 4 inches. Put one inch of the cord on top of one end of the fabric. Gather the fabric around the cord end and tightly wrap a piece of tape around it. Wrap thick thread around the tape several times and tie it off. Do the same with the other piece of cord and the other end of the fabric. The fabric should form a pocket when you are done. Also make several paper balls by tightly crumpling 4 inch square pieces of paper. Try out the slingshot by using the instructions found in the lesson.

Attention Activity
Show the children the treat you brought. Point out how wonderful and mouth watering it looks. Take a bite and describe the texture and flavor; tell them how delicious it is. Ask the children how they would feel if you ate the treat in front of them and didn’t share.

Show the treats with the gospel blessing labels attached. Explain to the children that the labeled treats represent the many blessings they enjoy because they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Read the labels to the children. Ask if it would be fair or right if we kept the blessings of the gospel to ourselves and didn’t share with anyone else.

• Tell the children that you brought treats to share with each of them. Ask how that makes them feel. Inform the children that in today’s lesson they will learn of the joy experienced by the Lamanites when a missionary named Ammon shared the gospel with them.

Ammon was one of the sons of Mosiah. The sons of Mosiah desired to share the joy of redemption they had found in the gospel. They had sinned much in their youth. They had felt the sorrow and suffering that occurs when someone realizes the awfulness of their sins. They wanted to go on a mission and teach repentance to the Lamanites because they could not bear the thought of any human soul suffering the consequences of sin.

• If you were given the choice between serving a mission to a people who regarded you as their enemy or becoming a king with great power and honor, which would you choose? Mosiah was king of the Nephites and his sons were the heirs to the throne, but the sons of Mosiah gave up the throne to serve a mission to the Lamanites. Mosiah’s sons were taking on a very difficult task. The Lamanites were a wild and ferocious people, and they hated the Nephites.

Before leaving on their mission, the sons of Mosiah prepared diligently. They searched the scriptures, fasted, and prayed.

• Why did they search the scriptures, fast, and pray to prepare for their mission? (To help the children learn the answer to this question have them do the following role play activity.)

Role Play Activity
Choose a child to pretend to be an investigator, and give that child the list of questions they will ask. Have the other children take turns pretending to be missionary companions responding to the investigator’s questions. When they are done, ask the children if it was hard to answer the questions.

• How can someone gain the knowledge to answer those kinds of questions? Missionaries must study the scriptures to gain a knowledge and understanding of the gospel, and they must fast and pray for divine help in teaching and testifying about those gospel precepts.

The sons of Mosiah had searched the scriptures, fasted, and prayed so they could effectively teach the gospel with the Spirit and bring the Lamanites to a knowledge of the truth.

Scripture Story
Tell the following story using the pictures from chapter twenty-three of Book of Mormon Stories as visual aids. (Optional activity: Put the pictures on the board in random order and have the children choose a picture that depicts what happens next after each story part is told.)

When the sons of Mosiah arrived in the land of the Lamanites they separated and went to different parts of the land.

One of the sons, whose name was Ammon, went to the land of Ishmael. As he entered the land of Ishmael the Lamanites took him, bound him, and carried him before their king to decide whether he should be killed, imprisoned, or thrown out of their land. The king’s name was Lamoni.

Ammon told the king he wanted to dwell among the Lamanites. King Lamoni was so pleased with Ammon that he offered Ammon one of his daughters as a wife. Ammon declined the generous offer and said he would be the king’s servant. The king assigned him to help watch the flocks.

As Ammon and the other servants were driving the flocks to water, thieving Lamanites scattered the king’s flocks to plunder them. The servants were afraid. They said the king would kill them because the flocks were scattered and lost. They were so afraid they wept.

• In Alma 17:29 it says that Ammon’s heart swelled with joy when he saw the fears of the servants. Why do you think he felt that way? Ammon was looking for an opportunity to win the hearts of the servants and show them the power of God.

Ammon convinced the servants to search for the flocks and gather them back together. After they had gathered the flocks, the wicked Lamanites sought to scatter them again because they delighted in the destruction of others. Ammon told the servants to watch the flocks and that he would go and contend with the evil, trouble causing Lamanites.

The wicked Lamanites did not fear him. They thought one of their men could easily slay Ammon. Ammon began to cast stones at them with his sling.

Activity
• How does a sling work? Show the children the example sling you made. Demonstrate how to use it by holding one string firmly in your fist. Hold the other string in the same hand between your thumb and index finger. Put a paper ball in the pouch of the sling. Whirl the sling around your head and let go of the string between your thumb and index finger. Hold the other string tightly. Let a few of the class members try and throw a paper ball at a target. Ask them if it was difficult. (Teaching the Scripture Readers pg.75)

Ammon was probably very practiced at using a sling, but he also had the power of God with him. Ammon cast the stones with so much power and accuracy that he killed several of the evil Lamanites who were maliciously trying to destroy him and his companions.

The wicked Lamanites were astonished at Ammon’s power, but they were also angry because he had slain some of their companions They tried to throw stones at Ammon. They could not hit him because he was under the Lord’s protection, so they attacked him with their clubs. With his sword, Ammon smote off the arm of every man that lifted his club to smite him. The wicked Lamanites ran away in fear.

The servants told the king what had happened, and they showed him the arms that had been smitten off by Ammon. When the king learned of the faithfulness of Ammon in preserving his flocks, and had heard of his great power in contending against those who sought to slay him, he was astonished. The king thought Alma was more than a man, that he must be the Great Spirit.

Lamoni asked the servants where Ammon was. When Lamoni heard that Ammon was carrying out his orders to prepare the horses and chariots, he was even more astonished because of the faithfulness and diligence of Ammon.

When Ammon finished preparing the horses and chariots, he went to the king to ask what the king desired him to do next. The king did not answer him. Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, perceived the thoughts of the king. He asked the king why he was marveling at the deeds he had done. King Lamoni was astonished even more because Ammon could discern his thoughts.

King Lamoni asked Ammon if he was the Great Spirit. Ammon told him he was not, that he was just a man. Lamoni wanted to know by what power Ammon was able to do the things he had done.

Ammon taught Lamoni of God and told him that the Lord had given him the power to contend with the wicked Lamanites. Ammon also taught Lamoni many other things about God and about the words of God found in the scriptures. The king believed his words, and he cried unto the Lord for mercy and forgiveness.

• Would the king have listened to Ammon’s message if Ammon had tried to teach him the first time they had met? Why not? The king didn’t know Ammon then. He might not have trusted or believed the message because he didn’t know what Ammon’s intentions were.

• Why did the king believe Ammon after seeing his actions? Through Ammon’s actions the king got to know that Ammon sincerely cared about his welfare and the welfare of his servants. He came to trust Ammon.

When the king cried to the Lord for mercy, he fell to the earth as if he were dead. Lamoni lay as if he were dead for two days and nights. His wife and children mourned over him.

The servants were about to take his body to be buried, but Lamoni’s wife did not believe that her husband was dead. She sent for Ammon. Ammon told the queen that the king was not dead, and that on the next day he would rise.

The next day Lamoni rose according to the words of Ammon. The king said, “Blessed be the name of God.” Then he told the queen that he had seen the redeemer. He was filled with great joy.

Lamoni taught his people about Jesus Christ and God. Many who heard his words were converted. Those who believed were baptized and they became a righteous people.

Conclusion
The Savior once told his disciples, “Feed my sheep”, which means to teach the people and feed them spiritual food. While Ammon was on his mission to the Lamanites, not only did he feed and take care of the king’s flocks he also fed the people of the land spiritually.

• Remind the children of the treats at the beginning of the lesson, and ask if they remember what the treats represent. (The gospel blessings) Explain to the children that the Lord has asked us to share the gospel with others and help feed his children spiritual food so they can enjoy the blessings of the gospel too.

• Do you have to be an adult before you can be a missionary? Latter day prophets have told us that every person in the church should be a missionary. We should all share the gospel with the people we know and associate with.

Activity
Show the container with the sheep inside it. Point out the Kleenex, and explain that it represents the barrier that people put up against things they don’t trust or understand. Put some vegetables onto the Kleenex, and tell the children the vegetables represent the gospel, which is food for our spirits.

Tell the children they are going to do an activity where they will share ways to help feed Heavenly Father’s children. Remind the children of Ammon’s example and how he showed the king that he cared and that he could be trusted. Have the children think of ways they can show neighbors and friends that they care about them and that they are trustworthy. Also have the children think of ways they can be good examples of gospel standards. Have them take turns telling their ideas and then putting a marble or other weighted item on the Kleenex. (Eventually the barrier will break and the food will pour out.) (If the items you chose aren’t very heavy, have the children put several on the Kleenex each time they give an answer. Experiment with this activity before teaching the lesson.)

Explain to the children that each of our actions makes an impression, and when people realize they can trust us and that we care about them, then the barriers will come down and a way will open for us to share with them the spiritual food of the gospel.

Weekly Reading Assignment Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 17:19-39, Alma 18:8-43 and Alma 19:1-36

 


Lesson 15 – Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah

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Lesson 15
Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah

Preparation
• Items needed: a variety of fishing lures with hooks (or you can use the provided pictures of fishing lures), a nut in a shell placed in a small paper bag, chalk and eraser, a paper towel, a dry erase marker, tape or magnets, and two page protectors.
• Print and cut apart the scripture story visual aids. (The scripture story visual aids are from chapter twenty-two of Book of Mormon Stories. ) Also print and cut out the activity visual aids. Put the picture of the fishing pole and the picture of the children in the page protectors.

Attention Activity
Show the children the fishing lures (or the picture of fishing lures), and ask the children if they know what the items are used for.

Explain to the children that fishing lures are designed to attract and catch fish. Some lures are sparkly and shiny and some look like food (like bugs or small fish), but they are all traps. The lures are always attached to a hook. (Show the children the hooks.) When a fish takes the lure or bait they become hooked and can’t get away. Their lives are destroyed and they are devoured.

Satan also uses lures. His lures are appealing to people, and they are meant to entice us to sin. Many times we don’t see the danger or harm in his lures, and then we take the bait. When we take the bait and allow the hook to be set, then we’re caught. In today’s lesson we will learn about some of Satan’s lures and the destruction and damage that his traps can cause.

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

As King Mosiah grew old he needed to decide who would replace him as king. His sons were the rightful heirs, but none of them wished to be king. They desired to go on a mission to the Lamanites and teach them the gospel. Instead of having a king, King Mosiah recommended to the people that they set up a system of judges. He gave them many reasons why judges would be better than having a king. The people were convinced of the truth of King Mosiah’s words, and they elected judges. Alma the younger was appointed to be the first chief judge in the land. He was also the leader over the church. His father had grown old and had conferred the leadership upon him. Alma the younger had become a strong and righteous leader in the church.

There was peace in the land for awhile. The members of the church were righteous and they prospered for a time, but then the members began to be lifted up in pride because of their riches.

• How does Satan try to lure people to sin because of riches?

o He tries to get people to think they were better than others because of their riches.
o He tries to get people to be selfish and not use their riches to help others.
o He tries to get people to think they received their riches because of their own ingenuity and not through the blessings of the Lord.
o He tries to tempt people to spend all their time seeking after riches instead of spending their time doing good things for others.

When Alma saw the problems that were occurring in the church, he selected a righteous man to take his place as chief judge. He then went among the people to preach the word of God. He wanted to help them remember their duty, and he wanted to expose Satan’s traps. After he got the church in Zarahemla in order, he began to travel to other cities to preach the word of God. One of the cities he went to was called Ammonihah. Satan had a great hold on the hearts of the people in Ammonihah, and they would not listen to Alma.

The people in Ammonihah had once been obedient members of the church, but they had allowed themselves to be influenced by the teachings of Nehor. Nehor was a Nephite that introduced priestcraft to the people. Priestcraft is when men preach to get gain and the praise of the world. They teach false and enticing things to attract people to follow them. The followers of Nehor taught that God redeems all men, and that he will give everyone eternal life regardless of what they do on the earth.

• Why do you think this type of preaching appealed to people? It meant that people could give into temptation because according to Nehor they could sin and still be saved. The people of Ammonihah allowed Satan to lure them with this false doctrine, and his hook and hold on them was great because of their desire for sin.

The people of Ammonihah reviled against Alma and cast him out of their city because the things he preached were in opposition to what they wanted to do.

Alma was very sorrowful because of the wickedness of the people of Ammonihah. As he travelled towards another city, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel told him to return to the city of Ammonihah. He was to preach to them and warn them that if they did not repent they would be destroyed.

• Do you think it would be hard to go back to a place where you had been treated cruelly? How did Alma react when he heard the news he needed to go back? (Read Alma 8:18) Alma returned speedily to Ammonihah.

• Why did Alma speedily return? He was always obedient to the Lord’s commandments, and he wanted to help the people of Ammonihah. He knew that if they did not repent they would be destroyed, and they would also suffer eternal consequences because of their sins.

When Alma entered into the city of Ammonihah, he was hungry because he had fasted many days for the people. He saw a man and asked him for food. The man said he knew that Alma was a prophet of God. The man had seen an angel in a vision, and the angel told him to receive Alma into his house. The man’s name was Amulek. He fed and took care of Alma at his house for many days.

• What might have taken place during the many days Alma stayed with Amulek? Amulek was probably being taught by Alma.

The Lord told Alma that Amulek also needed to preach and warn the people to repent. Amulek was a wealthy man with high standing in the community. He had many friends and family. He knew the ways of the Lord but had hardened his heart against them until the angel appeared to him. When the people heard Amulek’s story and heard him preach, they were astonished because there was more than one witness against them.

  • Ask the children if they think having more than one witness helped strengthen Alma’s message. Illustrate this concept by doing the following object lesson:

Object Lesson

Reach into the bag you brought and grab the nut. Show the children your closed hand. Explain to the children that there is something in your hand that can be eaten, but the thing that can be eaten has never been touched by human hands. Ask the children if they believe you. Show one of the children what is in your hand without letting anyone else see it. Have that child verify to the class that your statement is true. Ask the class if they believe you now. Show the class the shell covered nut.

• Point out that having more than one witness helped the children believe what you had told them.

Alma and Amulek warned the people that if they did not repent they would be utterly destroyed by the Lamanites. (Read Alma 9:18)

In Ammonihah many kinds of sins were being committed, including greed and corruption in the system of judges. The judges and lawyers often stirred up the people to rioting, disturbances, and all manner of wickedness because they were paid according to the amount of time they worked. They stirred up the people against Alma and Amulek so they might get more employ and more money. A man named Zeezrom was one of their most cunning lawyers. He, and other lawyers, tried to trick Alma and Amulek into saying contradictory things. Alma and Amulek had the spirit with them so they knew the thoughts of those trying to deceive them, and they could not be tricked.

Zeezrom was convinced of the power of God because Alma and Amulek had the power to know his thoughts and intents. Alma and Amulek talked to the people about the judgments of God after death. They told the people that they would be judged according to their works, words, and thoughts. After hearing Alma’s and Amulek’s preaching’s, Zeezrom began to tremble because of his guilt.

Activity
• Zeezrom was guilty of many sins. What kind of sins does Satan try to get people to commit? To use profanity, watch bad movies, disobey parents, cheat, steal, lie, listen to bad music, dress immodestly, use drugs, drink alcohol, to smoke, etc.

Explain to the children that Satan uses lures to try to get people to commit these sins. Put the tackle box on the board and the cut out cards of the lures below the tackle box. Put the fishing pole on the board, and have a child write one of the sins on the fishing line with the dry erase marker. Have the child then choose one of the lures that Satan might use to entice someone to commit that sin.

Tell the children that just as fishing lures are not what they appear to be, Satan’s lures are deceitful and false. They are lies meant to entice people into his traps so he can capture and hook them. (Discuss the ways that the lure is a lie.)

• When a person decides to commit a sin how do they become hooked? Their thoughts may dwell on the sin. They may want to try it again. Each time they do the sin it becomes easier to keep doing it. It then becomes a habit and a regular part of their life. They are hooked, and if they try to pull away it can be physically and emotionally difficult and painful.

Satan wants people to get caught and hooked in his traps so he can destroy their lives.

• In what ways does sin destroy and damage lives? ( (Put the picture of the children on the board next to the fishing pole. With the dry erase marker, have the child write a way that the sin might damage or destroy someone’s life on the picture of the children.) Answers may include: People may not trust them anymore. They lose the guidance, safety, and protection of the Holy Ghost. They may hurt those they care about with their actions and words; their relationships become broken and damaged. Their bodies can become damaged if it is a Word of Wisdom problem. They may end up having their freedoms taken away, such as being put in prison. They will lose the opportunity for eternal life unless they repent.

Erase the sin on the fishing line and have another child write a different sin on the line, choose a matching lure, discuss how the lure is a lie, and then write a consequence on the picture of the children. Continue in this way until all the children have had a turn, or all the lures have been used.

Conclusion
Sin always causes misery and unhappiness, and Satan wants us to believe that once we are caught by his lures and hooks there is no way to escape. But the Lord has provided a way we can escape: it is called repentance, and it may be painful and difficult. Imagine how a fish feels having a hook removed from its mouth. It can be very painful. But imagine how the fish feels if it is set free, back into the water. Removing the hook of sin from our lives may be difficult, but the wonderful feeling of being free from its destructive hold is worth the effort. But it is better if we never allow ourselves to be caught in the first place.

• What do we learn from the story of Alma concerning ways to prevent being caught in Satan’s traps?

o Alma preached the word of God to help expose the traps of Satan to the people. We need to learn the word of God by reading the scriptures and listening to the prophet so we can see and avoid the traps of Satan.
o When the wicked lawyers of Ammonihah tried to trick and tempt Alma and Amulek, the Holy Ghost warned and helped them and Alma and Amulek were not deceived. We need to seek for and listen to the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger.

Bear testimony that God provides guidance and help, but we need to seek for and follow His direction in order to avoid the destructive traps that are set by Satan.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 8:8–32, Alma 10:31-32, Alma11:20-25, and Alma 12:1-7