Lesson 38: Peace Among the Nephites

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Lesson 38: Peace among the Nephites

Preparation

  • Items needed: two large, clear plastic cups, string, a dowel rod or ruler, a clear glass of water, food coloring, a large clear glass bowl, pencils, a small scoop of dirt in a baggie, tape, tacky wax, chalk and eraser, one sheet of colored card stock, a black marker, and small bag of butter mints.
  • Measuring scale assembly instructions: Punch two holes beneath the top edge of each plastic cup (the holes should be evenly spaced and on opposites sides of the cup). Cut two 24 inch pieces of string. Stick one end of one of the strings through a hole on one of the cups, then stick the other end through the other hole. Tie the ends into knots. Do the same with the other cup and string. Cut another piece of string 40 inches long and tie the ends together so it forms a loop. Hang it around the center of the dowel rod and tape down the string on the dowel. Hang the top of the string loop on a door handle and make sure the dowel rod sits evenly. Make adjustments if needed. Loop each cup’s string over an end of the dowel rod and tape down the string on the dowel. The scale should sit evenly. Once again make adjustments if needed.
  • Print and cutout all the signs. Tape the end of the arrow to the center of the dowel rod so the arrow points up. Using tacky wax, attach all the small words to the cardstock in random order.
  • Print one crossword puzzle for each person in the class. Print and cut out some healthy food items and some junk food items (from clipartix). Print the scripture story pictures or display them on an electronic device.
  • Before class starts, hang the scale on a clip or tack at the top of the board. Attach the sign “Health” in-between the cups on the scale. Attach the smiley face to the left of the scale and the sad face to the right. Put the cup of water and the food colorings in the clear glass bowl to help protect against spillage.

Attention Activity

Show the children the scale. Explain that our physical bodies need the nutrients that are found in healthy food choices in order to sustain good health. Add pictures of healthy foods to the left cup, and the scale arrow will point to the smiley face which represents good health.

  • What happens if we decrease the amount of healthy foods we eat (take off the healthy foods) and increase our consumption of junk food like candy bars, chips, soda, (put these items in the right scale cup)? (Good health could decrease.)

Explain that just as our bodies need proper nourishment to be healthy and strong, our spirits also need proper nourishment to be healthy and strong. (Put the sign “Spiritual” above the health sign, and take off the junk food items from the scale.)

  • What does our spirit need in order to be healthy and strong? (Spiritual food such as scripture study, prayer, church attendance, etc.)

Scripture Story

(Show the children the story pictures as you tell the story.

  1. Explain that after Jesus departed from the Nephites, the disciples continued to teach the people, and within a few years all the people in the land were converted to the Lord.
  2. The people listened to the disciple’s teachings. They repented and were baptized, and they received the Holy Ghost. Their spirits were nourished. (Write the things they did to nourish their spirits on the healthy food pictures. Tape them on the left scale cup as you mention each item.)

Have the children look up 4 Nephi 1:12 to find out what other ways the people nourished their spirits. (Have the children write the items they find on the healthy food pictures and put them in the left cup.) (They kept the commandments, fasted, prayed, and they attended church to hear the word of God.)

Explain that when our spirits are strong and nourished we tend to make righteous choices, and making good choices helps our happiness levels increase. Explain that because the Nephites nourished their spirits and were committed to following Jesus’s teachings, their happiness level increased. According to 4 Nephi 1:16 there never was a happier people.

Activity

Show the children the cardstock with the words on it. Have them take off the words they associate with happiness and put them under the smiley face. Then hand out a crossword puzzle and a pencil to each child. Have the children take turns reading the clues and finding the word on the board that matches the clue. Put a check mark next to the word if it is the correct word. Have the children write the answer in the correct spot on their crossword puzzle. Explain that the clues and words tell us what the Nephites experienced as a result of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(See the following answers for discussion ideas on some of the words.)

Activity Answers

Fairness/Every man did deal justly one with another.

Sharing/They had all things common among them. (There were no poor.)

  • What does it mean that the people had “all things common among them”? Each person gave the extra he produced (crops, flocks, etc), and this extra was used for those who were in need of help.

Healing/All manner of miracles did they work.  (Read 4 Nephi 1:5)  The miracles included healing the lame, the blind, the deaf, and raising the dead.)

Peace/There were no contentions, strifes, or tumults in the land.  (Meaning there was no fighting, arguing, riots, or war.)

Charity/The love of God … did dwell in the hearts of the people.

Goodwill/There were no envyings.  (There was no jealousy. There was only gladness that others were blessed.)

Honesty/There were no … lyings.

Safety/There were no robbers or murderers.

Virtue/There were no whoredoms nor any manner of lasciviousness (crude behavior). (The people were chaste and clean.)

Unity/ There were no divisions of race or class. (There was no manner of “ites.” The people were no longer divided into Nephites and Lamanites but were united.)

Help the children understand that each one of the clues in the crossword puzzle relates to how we treat people. Help them see that the most important key to happiness is how we treat others. When we live the gospel, we treat each other with love and kindness, and as a result we enjoy greater peace and happiness in our lives.

Scripture Story Continued

3) The people were blessed in all their doings because of their righteousness. They prospered and built cities. They were strong and multiplied. The people lived in peace for many years. After nearly 200 years, two generations had passed on, and the people had multiplied and had spread out over all the land.

4) Then sin slowly started creeping into the land again.

Object Lesson

Show the children the glass of water, and put one drop of blue food coloring into the water. Have the children watch it spread throughout the glass and observe how quickly one little drop spreads. Explain that if people allow themselves to be exposed to a little sin, it can quickly grow and spread if left unchecked. We need to be careful about what we allow into our thoughts and lives.

4) The people had become very rich because of their prosperity in Christ, and they began allowing pride to take a hold in their lives. (4 Nephi 1:23-24)  The people began to wear expensive clothing, jewelry, and other fine things of the world. From that time forth the people did not have their goods and their substance common among them. (4 Nephi 1:25)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this about pride: “At its core, pride is a sin of comparison, for though it usually begins with ‘Look how wonderful I am and what great things I have done,’ it always seems to end with ‘Therefore, I am better than you.’

The people began to focus on themselves instead of helping others. (Put the words “selfishness” and “poverty” on the right side of the board. Do the same for the italicized words as they are mentioned below.)

Have the children read 4 Nephi 1:26-27 & 29 to find the ways pride and sin began to spread. Put a different colored drop of food coloring in the water for every item mentioned. (The water should turn brown.)

  • They once again began to be divided into social classes. (Inequality)
  • They built many different churches to themselves (not to God). The churches were built up to help people get gain (Greed). They denied the true church of Christ.
  • These churches professed to know Christ but denied most parts of his gospel. (These people were no longer nourishing their spirits with the teachings of Christ and they were becoming spiritually weaker and weaker.) (Take out the items from the left side cup on the scale.)
  • The churches became open to all manner of wickedness. They allowed the wicked to participate in sacred ordinances.
  • One of the churches denied Christ and persecuted the members of the true church of Christ because of the members’ humility and belief in Christ. (Persecution) They despised them because of the many miracles which were wrought among them. (Hate) (Jealousy)

Point out that as the people let wickedness into their lives, it spread. Have the children observe the color of the water, and explain that instead of nourishing their spirits, they filled their lives with worthless, self-indulgent thoughts, and their choice became increasingly wicked. They were filling their lives with darkness and dirt. (Put the dirt in the cup on the right side of the scale.) The choices they made resulted in misery and unhappiness for many people.

5) Among the true church of Christ were three disciples that Jesus had given power to remain on the earth until his second coming. Before Jesus Christ departed, he had asked each of his twelve Nephite disciples what they desired of him. Nine requested to speedily return to him when their ministry on the earth was complete.

6) Three of the disciples asked to remain on the earth to bring souls unto Christ. Those three became translated beings who would not taste death.

7) Those who denied Christ began to try and exercise power and authority over the three disciples. They cast them into prison; but by the power of God which was in them, the prisons were broken and they came out. They also cast the disciples into fiery furnaces and into dens of wild beasts, and from each place they came out unharmed. (4 Nephi 1:30, 33)

  • Why didn’t the people repent, realize their mistake, and change their ways after seeing these mighty miracles of God? (Their hearts were set upon wickedness. They wanted to do all manner of iniquity.) (4 Nephi 1:34)

The people dwindled more and more in unbelief and wickedness from year to year. Point out that the people had been given the wonderful blessing of the gospel. Show the children the butter mints and explain that they represent gospel blessings. Give each child a couple of mints to eat. Point out how sweet and wonderful they are. Put two mints in the water near the side of the glass so they are visible to the class. Ask the children to watch what happens to them in the dirty water. (They will dwindle away and disappear.) Explain that the Nephite’s faith and blessings dwindled and wasted away as the people increased in wickedness.

8) Once again the people began to divide into different groups of “ites.” Those who did rebel against God were called Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmealites. They did teach their children that they should not believe. The children were taught to hate the children of God, just as the Lamanites had taught their children to hate the Nephites. The wicked grew in numbers and became more numerous than the people of God. The more wicked part of the people began again to build up the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton. The robbers of Gadianton spread over all the land. (4 Nephi 1:34-39) (Add “Theft” and “Murder” to the right side of the board.)

9) Eventually, even those who were called the people of Nephi began to be proud in their hearts because of their exceeding riches, and they become vain like unto their brethren the Lamanites. (4 Nephi 1:43) After three hundred years had passed from the time of Christ, both the Nephites and the Lamanites had become exceedingly wicked.

Conclusion

Explain that just as our bodies feel miserable and sick when we are unwell, we can experience misery and unhappiness in our lives when our spirits are not strong and healthy because we tend to make choices that lead to unhappiness. In the next lesson we will learn about the increasingly terrible and sorrowful things that occurred among the Nephites because of the poor choices they made as a result of allowing wickedness into their lives. (Put the words “War” and “Destruction” on the right side of the board.)

Point out the lists under happiness and unhappiness and ask the children which they would prefer. Remind the children that if they desire to live lives filled with the blessings of happiness and peace, they must strive to follow the Savior and his teachings. Remind the children that the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us how to make good choices that lead to happiness.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: 3 Nephi 28:1-9 &  4 Nephi 1:1-18, 2346

 

 

 


Praise to the Man: Verse One

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Praise to the Man  – Verse One
Preparation
  • Print the pictures, and the word pages. Cut each picture page in half lengthwise so one picture is on each half. Put each of the word pages in a page protector. (Optional: cover each word page with a colored paper, and tape the top edges so the colored paper can be flipped up to show the clue.)
  • Items needed: a large picture of Joseph Smith, a dry erase pen or strips of paper, a digital copy of the song “Praise to the Man” (or a CD player and a CD of “Praise to the Man.” The CD hymns with words can be found at most meetinghouse libraries. If a CD is not available, the song can be downloaded from www.lds.org onto a laptop. A microphone can be put next to the laptop speaker so the children can hear the song. Another idea would be to have the adults in the room sing the song.)

Presentation
Explain to the children they are going to learn a new song, and they are going to do two activities to help them remember it. The first activity is to try and guess who the song is about. (Post the pictures on the board and explain that the song is about one of these people. Also post the first seven word pages on the board, in order, but turned over or covered with another sheet of paper.) Explain that the covered pages are lines in the song, and they are clues to who the song is about. One person on the board will be eliminated as each clue is read. (Some of the children may guess the name before the clues are finished, but tell them not to say it out loud.)

The second activity they are going to do is find the correct word in each line. Explain that there will be two orange words on each song page. One of the words is the correct word that is in the song, and the other is a synonym and means the same thing as the correct word. They are going to listen to the song on CD and see if they can figure out which is the correct word.

To begin teaching the verse, turn over the first song page on the board, and explain to the children that the first line in the song is the name of the song – “Praise to the Man.” Point out that this line doesn’t have any orange words in it, but it is a clue. Have a volunteer take off one of the pictures on the board that doesn’t match with this clue. (Emma Smith, because she is not a man.)

Turn over the second song page on the board – “who talked/communed with Jehovah.”

• Who is Jehovah? (Jesus) Which of the people on the board did not talk to or communicate personally with Jesus. (Benjamin Franklin) (Note: We don’t know if President Monson has talked directly with the Savior, but we do know that as His spokesman on the earth, President Monson has received direction from the Savior through revelation. The picture of President Monson is included because he is needed for a clue further on in the song.) (Lorenzo Snow saw and talked with the Savior Jesus Christ in the Salt Lake Temple – see Friend/August 1993)

Once the children have taken off one of the pictures, have them listen to the CD and see which of the orange words is correct. (Whenever they listen to the CD, start it from the beginning. Have the children sing along until they get to the clue they are working on, and then they should just listen.) Have a volunteer cover up the incorrect word with strips of paper or cross it out with a dry erase pen.

Turn over the third song page on the board – “Jesus anointed/appointed that prophet and seer.” Explain that the clue for this line is the words “prophet and seer.”

  • Which person on the board is not considered to be a prophet and seer? (Joseph had a very special role as Jesus’ guardian, but as far as we know he was not considered to be a prophet and seer.)

After the children guess the clue, have them listen to the CD to find out which of the orange words are correct. After they figure out which is correct, explain that one definition of anointing is- a sacred ceremony or process of appointing someone to a position of great responsibility, usually using consecrated oil. (For example, in the scriptures, kings and priests were anointed to their office in ancient times by prophets.)

Explain to the children that the next line in the verse needs to be skipped for now because it would give away who the song is about. Turn over the line that comes after the skipped line – “Kings shall praise/extol him and nations admire/revere.

• Which of these prophets is not well enough known for kings to praise and nations to admire?” (The choice would be either the Brother of Jared or Lorenzo Snow. Have them take off Lorenzo Snow.)
After the children remove a picture, have them listen to the CD for the correct words in the line. (Try to start the CD at this point instead of at the beginning.)

Turn over the next song page on the board – “Hail/salute to the prophet ascended /risen to heaven”.

• What does ascended or risen to heaven mean? It means that the person is no longer living and is in heaven. Which prophet is still living in mortal life? (President Monson) (Note: Moses might be a confusing one for this category because he is not dead but was taken up to heaven in a translated state.)

Turn over the next song page on the board – “Traitors and tyrants/oppressors now fight him in vain/unsuccess.”

• Which prophet did not have traitors and tyrants fighting against him, that we know of? (The Brother of Jared)

After the children remove a picture, have them listen to the CD for the correct words in the line. After they have crossed out the incorrect word, go back to the song line that was skipped, and turn it over -“Blessed to open the last dispensation/gospel period“.

• Dispensation is a period were the gospel is renewed upon the earth. Which prophet opened the last dispensation? (Joseph Smith) Remove the picture of Moses and replace the small picture of Joseph Smith with the large picture. Point out that the children have discovered who the song is about.

Have the children listen to the CD for the correct words in the line. Start the CD from the beginning and remind them to sing all lines, except for the current clue.

Put the last two lines on the board one at time starting with – “Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren.”

• Do you think Joseph Smith is still serving in heaven trying to help us, his brothers and sisters?

Turn over “Death cannot conquer/overcome the hero again.”

• How is Joseph Smith a hero? (See D&C 135:3) He gave his all, including his life, in service to God and his fellow man.

  • Can death overcome him again after he is resurrected?  No, he will never die again.

Play the CD all the way through, and have the children sing the song until they come to the last line, then they should listen for the correct word.

 

Note: If you have already taught this verse, this activity can be used as a review. This was a hard song to prepare and teach. If you find any problems with the presentation, please let me know.


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


Praise to the Man – Verse Three

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Praise to the Man – Verse Three

Preparation

  • Print the word pages and the pictures. Cut out the pictures. Cut out the word strips if you are doing the drawing activity. Fold up each word strip. Put the word pages into page protectors.
  • Items needed: magnets, chalk and eraser, tape, paper, and pencils or crayons.

 

Presentation (I’ve included two teaching ideas for this verse, and they can be used together or individually.)

Explain to the children they are going to learn another verse of “Praise to the Man”, and it is about Joseph Smith’s rewards in heaven for his faithful service.

Post each word page on the board as you read them to the children. Explain that the chorus is sung after those four lines.

First teaching idea to help introduce and get the children thinking about the verse:

Give each child a paper and pencil, and explain that they are going to create visual aids for the verse. Give each class one of the folded up word strips that contain the lines from the verse. (If you have more than four classes you may need to divide the children into four groups.) Have each child in the group draw a picture of the line they’ve been given. Explain that they need to keep it secret from the other groups which line they are drawing.

When the children are finished drawing, have a random group come to the front and hold up their drawings so everyone can see them. Have the other primary children try to guess which line the class drew. Have the children vote for which line the pictures go with by raising their hands. Circle the one on the board with the most votes. Have the class reveal which line they drew by putting their pictures under the correct line (using magnets or tape). When only two classes are left, have both classes come up and show their pictures. Have the rest of the children vote on which line each group’s pictures go with.

In junior primary, if you are short on time, you can use the pictures that senior primary drew for this activity (if you are on the senior first schedule). Have junior vote for which line each group of pictures goes with. Choose a helper who can read, and give the helper the folded up matching line that goes with the class’s pictures. After the children vote, have the helper reveal which is the correct line by putting the pictures under the correct line.

Sing the verse. You may need to review one line at a time with junior primary, and then sing only that line before reviewing the next line.

Memorizing Activity
Explain that they are now going to memorize the verse. Cover up the words on the first page with the pictures that match each word. Discuss and explain those words if needed. Sing the verse. Continue in this manner until each page is covered with the pictures. Remove the word pages from the page protectors and see if the children can sing the song without the words.

Great – (large great) Great means large amount or wonderful.
Glory – (sun) Glory means the grandeur and blessings of heaven. Joseph Smith will inherit the highest degree of glory, the Celestial Kingdom, which is compared to the glory of the sun.
Endless – (arrow circle) Explain that the circle picture is used to represent the word “endless” because there is no end to a circle.
Priesthood – (Joseph receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood) Power and authority from God.
Ever and ever – (two rings)  Explain that ever and ever means forever, and the picture of the rings is used to represent forever because rings have no end. The two rings are also meant to help them remember to say the word “ever” twice.
Keys – (keys) Keys are the directive and governing powers held by presiding priesthood holders.

Hold – (hand holding a key)

Faithful – (Yellowstone’s Old Faithful) Explain that Old Faithful  is a geyser at Yellowstone National Park, and it got its name because its eruptions are regular and reliable, unlike other geysers in the park whose eruptions are unpredictable. Explain that Joseph Smith was also reliable. He could always be depended on to do what the Lord wanted him to do. He did the Lord’s bidding because he trusted and had faith in the Lord.
True – (blue diamond) Explain that real diamonds have great value and are hard rock-solid. Joseph was also solid; he was committed, and faithful to God. His beliefs were real and genuine, and his actions were always true to those beliefs. (The children can also try to remember the word “true” by thinking of true blue.)

Enter – (open door)
Kingdom – (castle)  Explain that the castle picture is used to depict the word “kingdom” because a castle is part of a king’s kingdom.
Crowned –  (crowns)  The word “crowned” means to confer royal status upon someone. (All those who are righteous, obedient, and faithful become heirs of God.)
Midst – (blue circle with the yellow middle) Explain that in the midst means in the middle of, or surrounded by.

Prophets of Old – (picture of prophets) Joseph, along with the prophets of old, will enter into the celestial kingdom, become heirs of God, and be crowned with glory because of their righteousness and faithful  service.

 


Lesson 9: Enos Prays

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Lesson 9
Enos Prays

Preparation

• Items needed: removable double-sided tape, two cell phones (or two pretend phones), several sheets of paper, pencils, and an eight inch piece of ribbon and a small Ziploc baggie for each child.
• Print and cut out the Scripture Story pdf Visual Aids or word. Also print and cut out the game items pdf or word; print one copy of the game questions and large phone and one copy per every two children of the small cell phone and game answers.  Put a piece of removable double-sided tape on the screen area of each cell phone. Put a small phone and one set of answers in each Ziploc baggie.

Attention Activity

Ask for a volunteer. Hand the volunteer one of the cell phones. Tell them to answer the phone when it rings. Call them using your cell phone. Greet them by name and then say, “I have a problem with my sister. She uses my stuff and doesn’t return it. It makes me very upset. What should I do about it?” Hang up before they can answer, or say, “Oh, I got to go, bye.”

• Did it do any good to ask the person for help and advice? Why not? Because time was not taken to listen for an answer. Do we sometimes do that: ask Heavenly Father for help with a problem but then don’t listen for the answer?

In today’s lesson we are going to learn about someone who prayed fervently and then took the time to listen for answers.

Ask the children if they remember which prophet they learned about in last week’s lesson. Give hints if needed. After they have recalled Jacob’s name, tell them that the prophet Jacob had a son named Enos. Jacob grew old and saw he would soon die, so he passed the spiritual and historical records of the people to his son Enos.

Have the children turn to the “Book of Enos.” Tell the children that the “Book of Enos” is only one chapter long, but it teaches important lessons about prayer.

Using the scripture story visual aids, tell the following story. Direct the children to listen for three things that Enos prayed for.

Scripture Story
One day as Enos was hunting in the forest, he recalled the words his father had spoken about the joy of eternal life. Enos wanted to be forgiven of his sins so he could be worthy to receive the blessings of eternal life, so he knelt down, prayed, and asked for forgiveness. He prayed all day, and he was still praying when it became night.

• How long did Enos pray? Ask the children what things they do in a normal day. Explain that Enos would have been praying during the time they normally spend going to school, attending classes, and eating lunch. He still would have been praying during the time they come home from school, eat dinner, and get ready for bed.

After praying all day and into the night, a voice came to Enos saying, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” Enos knew God could not lie, so his guilt was washed away. He asked the Lord how it was done. The Lord told him it was because of his faith in Christ.

• Why is faith in Jesus Christ necessary for forgiveness of sins? Jesus suffered and paid the price for our sins to make it possible for us to be forgiven. If we have faith in Christ and his atonement, we will believe we can be forgiven, and then we will do the things that are necessary to be forgiven, such as repent.

After Enos’s sins were forgiven, he was concerned for the welfare of the other Nephites, and he prayed for them. (Post picture of the Nephites.) The Lord told Enos they would be blessed if they kept the commandments, but if they disobeyed, their sins would bring sorrow upon them.

• Why did Enos pray for the Nephites? He was concerned about them and their eternal spiritual welfare. The Nephites constantly had to be reminded to keep the commandments. Enos preached the word of God to them throughout his whole life.

After Enos prayed for the Nephites, he began to pray diligently for the Lamanites. (Post picture of the Lamanites.) The Lamanites had become a wild, ferocious, bloodthirsty people full of idolatry and filthiness. They lived in tents and fed on wild beasts, and many ate nothing but raw meat. They wandered around the wilderness with their heads shaven, wearing nothing but a short girdle made out of skins. They would not listen when the Nephites tried to teach them the gospel.

The Lamanites were constantly seeking to destroy the Nephites, and they swore to destroy the Nephite records and traditions. Enos prayed that if the Nephites were someday destroyed, the Lord would preserve a record of the Nephites and at some future date bring forth the record so the Lamanites might perhaps be brought to salvation.

• Why do you think Enos prayed for the Lamanites when they were the Nephites’ enemies? He had a great love for all of Heavenly Father’s children. He was sad about the choices the Lamanites were making and the consequences they would suffer. He wanted to help them change their ways, if not now then someday.

• What could we pray for in behalf of someone who has not been kind to us?

The Lord told Enos he would grant his desire; a record would be preserved. The Lord also said that other ancestors of Enos had prayed for the same thing.

• What is the Nephite record called that was preserved and brought forth in the latter days to help bring the Lamanites to God? The Book of Mormon

Discussion
• When Enos prayed, how do we know he took the time to listen for answers? He prayed all day and into the night asking the Lord to forgive him of his sins.

We don’t have to pray all day like Enos, but we should take the time in each prayer to ponder and think about our problems and to listen for help and counsel.

President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The trouble with most prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the phone and ordering something. We place our order and then hang up.”

• What happens when we ask for guidance and help concerning a problem but then don’t take time to listen for the answer? We might miss out on the help and guidance Heavenly Father would like to share with us.

Ask the children to name some difficulties kids their age have to face. Possible answers might include problems with family, friends, schoolwork, health, etc. Explain that the Lord wants to help them with these challenges, but they need to ask for His help and then listen for His response.

• In what ways might answers come? Ideas and solutions might come into their mind as they think about the problem. Or if they have asked a specific yes or no question about their problem, they might have a peaceful or an uneasy feeling according to what the answer is.

• Enos said he cried in mighty prayer and supplication to the Lord. How can we make our prayers more sincere and deeply felt so we are not just repetitiously repeating the same words? One possible answer might be to think about our specific problems and blessings before saying our prayers.

Activity
Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil. Instruct them to fold the piece of paper like a fan and then fold the fan in half. On the inside of the folds on the left side of the paper, have the children write specific things that Heavenly Father has blessed them with. On the inside folds on the right side of the paper, direct them to write specific things they might need help with. After they are done, instruct them fold it into a fan again. Have them tie a ribbon around the middle part of the fan. (If they desire to keep their lists private, they can fold the fan down into thirds until it is a small block of paper. They can use the ribbon that is in the middle of the fan to tie up the block.) Tell the children to put the fan on their pillow and open it when they say their prayers. Explain that it will help remind them of the things they need to thank Heavenly Father for, and it will also remind them of the problems and concerns they need help with.

Explain to the children that their blessings and needs will change as their life changes, but if they will always take a few moments to think of specific things that are going on in their life before they pray, their prayers will be more sincere and heartfelt.

Review Game

Pass out the baggies you have prepared (one per every two children). Explain that the class is going to play a review game. Show the children the large cell phone. Tell the children that you are going to place a question on the large cell phone screen. They can find the answer to the question in their baggie and then place the answer on their small cell phone screen. After everyone shows you their response, you will let them know how many phones have the correct answer on them. If they don’t all have the correct answer, they can look at each other’s phone and decide which ones are correct and then try again. When everyone has the correct answer, replace the question on the large cell phone with another question. Continue in this manner until all the questions have been answered.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: The Book of Enos


Lesson 8 – Jacob’s Encounter with Sherem

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Lesson 8
Jacob’s Encounter with Sherem

Preparation
• Print the scripture story visual aids. (The visual aids are from Book of Mormon Stories chapters nine and ten.)
• Items needed: one package of toothpicks, masking tape or stickers, fine tip markers, several pieces of string or ribbon cut into three inch lengths, and packages of stick gum (stick gum can be found at Dollar Tree). (The amounts needed for each item will be based on how many children are in the class.)
• Carefully remove the gum from the wrappers in one of the packages of gum. Replace the empty wrappers back into the package, making it appear as if the gum is still in the wrappers.
• Fold two inch pieces of masking tape or stickers in half over the end of the toothpicks. Each should look like a small flag when done. Cut off the other pointy end of the toothpick with scissors. Make five toothpick flags per child. Save the remaining flag free toothpicks for the object lesson.

Attention Activity

Tell the children you brought some gum to share with them, and show them the empty gum package. Offer it to the children. After they take a piece, ask them how they felt when the discovered the wrappers were empty. Explain to the children that during their life people will try to convince them to accept beliefs that are empty and have no value. In today’s lesson they will learn how to discern divine truth so as to help them avoid the disappointment and sorrow that comes from accepting false beliefs. (Tell the children that at the end of class you will give each of them a piece of real gum to take home.)

Scripture Story Introduction
Tell the following scripture story and show the numbered visual aid pictures where indicated.

Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned about Nephi and his family crossing the sea and arriving at the promised land. In the promised land, Lehi eventually grew old and died.

(1) After Lehi died, Laman and Lemuel once again became angry with Nephi for urging them to keep the commandments. (1) They complained, saying their younger brother wanted to rule over them. They became so angry they sought to kill him.

(2) The Lord warned Nephi that he should flee into the wilderness and take all those who would go with him. All those who believed in the warnings and revelations of God followed Nephi. They traveled into the wilderness for several days. They settled in a land and prospered there. They constructed buildings and a temple. They called themselves the people of Nephi.

(3) The people who followed Laman and Lemuel were called Lamanites. A curse was put upon the Lamanites; they were cut off from the Lord’s help and guidance because they chose to do wicked things. The Lord also caused their skins to darken so the Nephites would be reminded not to mix or intermarry with them and bring the curse upon themselves. The Lamanites became an idle people, full of mischief and trickery. They hated the Nephites and wanted to destroy them. The Lord told Nephi that the Lamanites would be a scourge to his people to help turn the Nephite’s hearts back to the Lord when they faltered.

Nephi led his people in righteousness and helped protect them against the Lamanites, but eventually he grew old. (4) He gave the historical and spiritual records to his younger brother Jacob. Jacob had been consecrated a priest and teacher by the hand of Nephi. (5) He was ordained of God to preach to the people.

(Direct the children to turn to the “Book of Jacob” in their Book of Mormons.) Some of Jacob’s words are recorded in the “Book of Jacob.” In the seventh chapter of the “Book of Jacob” Jacob tells about a man named Sherem who came among the Nephites preaching and trying to convince the people to accept his teachings.

Scripture Story
(6) The man named Sherem tried to convince the people to accept false things that were not true. One of the main things he tried to convince the people was that there would be no Christ. He taught that it was not necessary for an atonement to be made for the sins of mankind. He said that the people only had to follow the basic laws and rituals of the Law of Moses in order to gain salvation.

• Is it possible to gain salvation without Christ’s atonement? We cannot undo the sins we have committed, and no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. Christ suffered and paid the price for our sins. Only through Christ’s Atonement can we become clean again.

• Why would Sherem try to convince the people there would be no Christ? Sherem was under Satan’s influence. Satan did not want people to believe in Christ and be saved.

(7) Sherem was a learned man, and he was very good at speaking to people and flattering them. Many people believed his words.

• Why did people find his words to be so appealing? Possibly because they wanted to follow the easier path of just obeying the basic rituals and performances of the Law of Moses instead of following the more difficult path of obeying the higher laws of the gospel–such as forgiving others, showing mercy, and loving our enemies.

Sherem knew that Jacob had faith in Christ, so he sought to speak to Jacob. He hoped to shake Jacob’s faith.

• Why would Sherem want to shake Jacob’s faith? Perhaps he hoped to shake Jacob’s faith so that all the people who listened to Jacob would also falter, and then Sherem could try to influence them to believe his teachings. But Jacob’s faith could not be shaken. Jacob had received many revelations, he had seen angels, and he had heard the voice of the Lord. His faith was firm.

(8) Sherem eventually got the opportunity to speak to Jacob. He accused Jacob of leading the people into changing the right ways of worshiping God by preaching of a being named Christ. Sherem said that no man could know of such things or of what was to come in the future.

(9) The Lord blessed Jacob with the spirit, and he was able to confound and thwart everything Sherem said. Jacob asked Sherem if he believed in the scriptures. Sherem said he did believe in the scriptures. Jacob said he must not understand them then because all the prophets in the scriptures testify of Christ. Jacob also testified that he personally knew that Christ would come because it had been revealed to him by the power of the Holy Ghost.

(10) Sherem said he wanted to see a sign by that power. Jacob said he would not ask God for a sign to show Sherem something that he already knew was true. (Sherem must have had a belief in Christ, but his personal notions and desires became so powerful that he tried to ignore that knowledge.)

(11) Jacob said if it was the will of the Lord to smite Sherem, then that would be his sign that God has power and that Christ will come.

(12) The power of the Lord came upon Sherem, and he fell to the earth. He was so stricken and incapacitated that others had to feed him and take care of him for many days.

• Did Sherem ask for a sign so he could believe in Christ? No. He did not expect a sign to be produced, and if none was produced he could accuse Jacob of being false. Sherem had not planned on being struck down by God.

• If we want to gain a testimony of Christ would seeking for signs be a good way to do it? Have the children look up and read D&C 63:9 & 11-12. Explain that signs and miracles come because of faith. Signs do not give a person faith. Faith in Christ comes through the witness of the Holy Ghost. Remind the children of Laman and Lemuel. They did not have faith even though they had seen an angel, heard the voice of the Lord, and had seen many mighty miracles. They did not have faith because they would not open their hearts to the Holy Ghost. If we seek for signs it will be to our condemnation.

(13) Sherem suffered for many days after being struck down by the power of God. He asked that the people be gathered. He knew he was dying, and he wanted to speak to them before he died. When the people were gathered, he denied the things he had taught them and confessed that Christ was true. He said he had been deceived by the devil and now feared for his soul. He knew he was about to die and face God. He was afraid of the eternal judgements he would face for his sins.

• How did Sherem feel when he realized he would have to suffer the consequences of preaching false doctrines? (Fear and sorrow) How would someone feel if they had accepted false doctrine and then realized they would have to suffer the consequences of that choice?

(14) After confessing, Sherem died. The power of God came upon the people. They felt the Spirit’s witness of the truth of the matter. They fell to the earth in awe. The people once again turned their hearts to God.

Discussion
There are many people in today’s world that are influenced by Satan. They try to lead people away from Christ. Some try to convince us that Jesus is not the Son of God, that He didn’t suffer and die for our sins. They say we do not have to believe in Christ and follow the commandments to receive salvation.

• How can we find out for ourselves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he atoned for our sins, and that only through Him can we be saved? Jacob had faith in Christ because the Holy Ghost had revealed the truth of it to him. We can receive that same witness of Christ if we will pray and seek for the Holy Ghost to reveal the truth to us. We also learn from Jacob that we can gain a testimony of Christ through reading the scriptures. The scriptures testify of Christ.

Object Lesson
Ask for a volunteer. Instruct the volunteer to break one of the toothpicks. Point out how easy it was. Tell the children that the broken toothpick represents someone who does not have a strong testimony. That person’s resolves to follow Christ is easily broken when temptation comes along.

Someone who has built up their testimony of Jesus Christ through study, prayer, and obedience to the commandments can gain spiritual strength like Jacob’s. Jacob’s testimony was strong and firm.

Add toothpicks to a pile as you mention (or as the children mention) things that will strengthen a testimony such as: studying the scriptures every day, praying every morning and night, listening to General Conference, listening carefully to teachers and speakers at church, listening and participating in Family Home Evening and family scripture study, reading stories from the Friend magazine, studying for and giving talks in Primary, and obeying the words of Christ.

After you have at least 10-12 toothpicks in the pile, have a volunteer try to break the pile. They must keep them bundled close together. If they do this, it should not be possible to break them. Explain that our testimony can start out weak and small, but it can be reinforced and built up until it is strong and firm.

Activity
Hand out five labeled toothpicks to each child. Direct the children to write on each side of the labels things they can do to strengthen their testimony. Tie each person’s toothpicks together in a bundle with string or ribbon. Instruct the children to put their bundle somewhere where they will see it daily to help remind them of the things  they need to do to strengthen and build up their testimonies.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week –  2 Nephi 5:1-25 and Jacob 7:1–23.