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 26 – Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty

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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 24 – Alma Counsels His Son Corianton

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Lesson 24
Alma Counsels His Son Corianton

Preparation

  • Items needed: chalk and eraser, two paper bags or boxes- one filled with garbage and the other filled with desirable items such as treats or little party favor toys, two cardboard toilet paper rolls, paper towels, first aid items and medicines.
  • Dip a few sheets of the paper towels in mud and put them in a ziplock bag.
  • Optional: Do a Google search for news articles concerning lost or injured hikers. Print some of the articles.

Lesson Introduction

Show the children the news articles, or ask the children if they have heard of people getting lost or injured while hiking in the mountains. One reason some people become lost or injured is because they stray off the main trail into dangerous areas. Explain that just like the people who stray off the hiking trail, there are some people in life who stray off the path that leads to eternal life; they are tempted to go and things that can injure the spirit.

Show the children the medical items and ask what they are used for. (To help treat and heal physical injuries and sickness.) Explain that in today’s lesson they are going to learn of some ways to heal spiritual injuries and sickness, and also some ways to prevent getting spiritually injured.

Scripture Account
Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned of the counsel Alma gave to two of his sons. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn of the counsel that Alma gave to another son named Corianton. This counsel was different from the counsel he gave to his other sons. His other sons had been living righteously, but Corianton had committed serious sins. He had strayed off the path and was in need of some guidance and healing.

Corianton, along with his brothers, had been called to be missionaries to the Zoramites, but Corianton chose to forsake the ministry to chase a woman with an immoral reputation who had stolen many hearts.

• If someone were to stray off a path, fall, and become injured, what would be some of the possible symptoms and effects of being injured? Answers might include: pain, shock, bruises, scrapes, cuts, bleeding, broken bones, sprain, concussion, etc.

Just like a person would suffer the effects of being injured, a person who had sinned would also suffer the consequences and results of that sin. What are some of the consequences that can occur because of sin? Answers might include: guilt, loss of the Spirit’s help and guidance, possible loss of freedom, loss of other’s trust, damaged relationships, possible loss of good health, loss of inheritance in the kingdom of God, etc.

• What would happen if a person who is injured ignores the injury and doesn’t do anything to help it heal such as cleaning out the wound, putting anti-bacterial cream on it, protecting it with a bandage, or going to the doctor if it is a serious injury? The wound could become infected, or the injury could increasingly get worse. A serious injury could even lead to death if it is not taken care of.

• What happens when we sin and are spiritually injured but we hide the sin and refuse to repent? The sinful action could increase, and the damage could become worse. It could even lead to spiritual death.

Alma told his son Corianton that he could not hide his sin from God, pretend it didn’t happen, and hope its consequences wouldn’t affect him. He needed to repent of his sins or he would suffer the consequences, including having the sin stand as a testimony against him at judgment. Pres Uchdorf said, “The longer we delay corrective action, the larger and more difficult the needed changes become, and the longer it takes to get back on the correct course.”

Just as an injured person would need to treat the injury, so would a person who has sinned and is spiritually sick need to repent in order to heal.

To repent, Corianton needed to follow the steps of repentance. Ask the children if they remember what those steps are. Write a short version of each step on the board as they are mentioned.

Corianton needed to:
• 1. Recognize he had done wrong
• 2.Confess his sins and ask for forgiveness
• 3. Right the wrong
• 4. Never repeat the wrong.

Corianton needed to recognize he had done wrong,  confess his sins, and ask for forgiveness.

• Who is the master physician that can heal our spiritual wounds, small or large? (Jesus Christ)  What did Alma teach about Christ in Alma 39:15? (That Christ would come to take away the sins of the world and bring salvation.) The Savior said: ‘Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? … If ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.’”

Corianton also needed to right the wrong he had committed. He would have to try and fix the problems his sins had caused. One of the problems his actions had caused was damage to the Zoramite missionary effort. Alma had tried to teach the Zoramites about obeying the commandments, but they would not listen or believe because they saw his son’s conduct. (Alma 39:11) Alma told Corianton that he needed to return to the Zoramites and acknowledge the wrongs he had done and try to fix the damage he had caused. (Alma 39:13) Alma told Corianton that he also needed to preach the healing power of Christ so that the Zoramites may repent and be healed also. Alma 39:6-19

Another part of the repentance process is forsaking the sin. Corianton needed to commit himself to not follow any more forbidden paths. Alma told Corianton to cross himself in all things. (Alma 39:9)

• What does it mean to cross oneself? It means to deny yourself – to exercise self control and avoid the things that can cause spiritual injury even if they look appealing and tempting.

• What were the attitudes and actions that led to Corianton straying off the path and into sin? (Have the children look in Alma 39:2-4 to find the answers.) (Draw a path on the board that splits in the middle so there are two paths going in different directions – a Y shape.  Mark the end of the left path with the words “sin and unhappiness” and the end of the right path with “righteousness and happiness.” Write the answers to the question on the left of the board.)

Attitudes and actions that led to Corianton’s sin:

1. He boasted in his own strength and overestimated his power to resist temptation.
2. He went where he should not have been, and he gazed upon and considered things he should not have considered.
3. He did not listen to his father and instead followed the crowd.

• What counsel did Alma give to Corianton on how he could avoid sin in the future? (Have the children look up Alma 39:9-14 to find the answer. Write these on the right side of the board.)

Ways to avoid sin and spiritual injury:

1. Be humble and depend on the Lord for strength.

We must be humble and turn to the Lord for guidance and help. Satan has thousands of years of experience in tempting people, and if we try to depend on our own limited knowledge and strength to overcome his temptations we may be overcome. Alma told Corianton to turn to the Lord with all his mind, might, and strength. (Alma 39:13)

2. Avoid places and things that lead to temptation and instead fill our lives with good things.

Things we see or hear can influence our thoughts, and thoughts can become actions. If we choose to spend our time around things or people that depict or promote inappropriate actions, that is where our thoughts will be, and we will eventually do what we focus on consistently.

Object Lesson
Demonstrate this with an empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll. Shove the dirt covered paper towels into the cardboard roll. Ask what would happen if you continued to shove dirty paper towels into the roll. (They would come out the other end.) What happens when we fill our minds with things that are unclean? They come out and manifest themselves through unclean actions.

Show another toilet paper roll and fill it with clean paper towels and ask the children what will come out the other end. Explain that the clean paper towels represents doing things like going to church, participating in church activities, reading our scriptures, participating in family home evening, etc. When we fill our lives with  things that are good and uplifting, our thoughts and actions become clean. Corianton should have spent his time doing his missionary work which would have helped him keep his thoughts clean.

How could Corianton clean up his already contaminated thoughts? Shove clean paper towels into the cardboard roll that contains the dirty paper towels, and ask what would happen if you continued to do this. (The clean towels will eventually push out the dirt. Explain that it takes time, but eventually thoughts and actions can become clean again.)

3. Follow righteous examples and counsel.

Who were Corianton’s righteous examples? His father and older brothers. Alma told Corianton to counsel with his brothers. (Alma 39:10)

How can counseling with righteous family members help strengthen our resistance to temptation? They love us and want what is best for us, and being experienced in righteous living, they can help give advice on how to avoid temptation and difficulty.

Not only can we receive direction from righteous family members, but there may be other people around us who are also righteous examples.

  • From what other sources can you receive righteous counsel and examples?

Object Lesson
Demonstrate how it helps to have advice and counsel from someone who knows what is right by doing the following object lesson.

Show the children the two bags or boxes, and explain that one has something undesirable in it and the other has something desirable in it. Show one of the children what is in the boxes. Tell the other children that they can ask the child yes or no questions about the items (with the exception of directly asking which is the good or bad container) until they can decide which is the good choice. Ask the children if it helped to talk to someone who was informed about which was the bad choice and which was the good choice. Point out that it also helps to counsel with those who are experienced in righteous living in order to get help and direction in making good choices in life.

Conclusion
• Why did Alma talk to Corianton about his iniquities? Because he loved his son and wanted him to make good choices and be happy. Alma had also received revelation from the Lord directing him to command his son Corianton to do good and refrain from iniquity. (Alma 39:12)

• Why did Heavenly Father want Alma to command his son to be good? Because our Heavenly Father also loves his children and doesn’t want his children to do things that will harm themselves or others.

• If you had done wrong, why would your parents wish to talk to you about it? Because they love you and want to help you.

Corianton eventually repented and returned to full activity and participation in the church (See Alma 43:1-2)

In life there will be many choices we have to make, but if we stay on the path that leads to eternal life and listen to the guides that Heavenly Father has provided for us, we can avoid going down dangerous paths that could damage our spirits and cause suffering and unhappiness.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 39


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