Friday, August 24, 2012

Book of Mormon Lesson #35 "Repent and Return Unto the Lord"

Helaman 13-16

It's time once again to play the...

CELESTIAL PYRAMID GAME (Version 2.0)

Some of you will remember the American TV show, "The $10,000 Pyramid."  To win $10,000, the contestant would have to guess the category of each box in the pyramid in order, while a partner slowly read to the person items in the category.  The Pyramid itself had a category which the player also had to guess after guessing each box's category.  And of course it all had to be done in a time limit.

This pyramid game won't earn anyone $10,000 but it has more important categories!  To prepare the game, make 10 numbered squares out of paper.  On the back of each square list the category.  The teacher reads the items in the category, and the class members guess the category.  (The entire class is on the same team.)  The teacher can give clues to the page number or verse number in the scriptures if needed.  When the class guesses the category of Box #1 (or comes close), the teacher turns the box or square over to reveal its category.  Commentary and discussion of the topic can take place, then the class moves on to guessing Box #2, and so on until they reach Box #9.  They then must look at all the categories and decide what the category of the entire "Celestial Pyramid" is, upon which Box #10 will be turned over and the class has won the game.





BOX #1: REASONS SAMUEL THE LAMANITE PROPHESIED (Helaman 14:11-13) (Look for the key word "that")
  • So they would know about the judgments of God
  • So that they would be aware of their sins
  • So that they would know how to repent
  • So that they would know that Christ was coming to redeem them
  • So that they would recognize the time when Christ would come
  • So that they would believe in Jesus Christ 
BOX #2: WHAT CHRIST'S ATONEMENT DOES (Helaman 14:15-18) ("Redeem" and "resurrect" seem to mean the same thing in this passage.)
  • It redeems mankind from the effects of the Fall
  • It resurrects all men
  • It brings all men back into the presence of the Lord
  • It allows for repentance
  • It allows the repentant to escape the second death (hell) which also means they will arise in the first resurrection to glory and eternal life.  (See also Rev. 20:6, 14; Jacob 3:11; Alma 12:32)
BOX #3:  PROPHECIES THE NEPHITES LIKED (Helaman 13:27)
  • "Do this, and there is no iniquity"
  • "Do that and ye shall not suffer"
  • "Walk after the pride of your own hearts"
  • "Walk after the pride of your own eyes"
  •  "Do whatsoever your heart desireth"
BOX #4: THINGS THAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THE NEPHITES IF THEY DID NOT REPENT (Helaman 13:8-10, 15:1, 17)
  • The Lord will take the scriptures and prophets away from them
  • The Holy Ghost will withdraw from them
  • The Lamanites will turn against them
  • Their houses will be left desolate
  • Their pregnant women will be left to perish
  • In 400 years they will suffer devastating war and disease 
  • They will be utterly destroyed
BOX #5 SIGNS OF CHRIST'S BIRTH WHICH WOULD APPEAR IN AMERICA (Helaman 14:3-7)
  • Great lights in the heaven 
  • A night that does not get dark
  • A new and unusual star
  • Many other amazing celestial events
  • People will fall to the earth with astonishment
BOX #6  REASONS GOD CURSED THE NEPHITES' RICHES (Helaman 13:21-23)
  • Because they did not reverence God
  • Because they did not thank God
  • Because they were proud
  • Because they boasted
  • Because they envied each other
  • Because they fought over material possessions
  • Because they persecuted the poor
  • Because they murdered to get gain
  • Because they had set their hearts upon their riches
BOX #7  HOW NEPHI COMPLETED SAMUEL'S MINISTRY TO THE NEPHITES (Helaman 16:4-5)  (Samuel, upon delivering his message, returned to his own country.)
  • Baptized new converts
  • Prophesied
  • Preached
  • Cried repentance
  • Showed signs and wonders
  • Worked miracles among the people
BOX #8  SIGNS OF CHRIST'S DEATH THAT WOULD APPEAR IN AMERICA (Helaman 14-20-29)
  • The sun, moon and stars will disappear for three days
  • There will be mighty thunderstorms
  • There will be huge earthquakes that will alter the face of the Americas
  • There will be tempests and tsunamis
  • Cities and highways will be completely destroyed
  • Graves will be opened and the dead will arise
  • Angels will appear to people
BOX #9  REASONS THE LAMANITES WOULD OUTLAST THE NEPHITES (Helaman 15:4-14) (Regarding verse 4, bear in mind that there is only one Hebrew word that expresses distaste, and it is translated as "hate."  The specific meaning can only be determined by the context in which it is used.  Here it seems to refer to "not blessed.")
  • Because the Nephite prophets preached the gospel to them and the majority of them believed it, beginning with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies
  • Because the ANL's reverenced God
  • Because the ANL's kept the commandments
  • Because the ANL's kept the Law of Moses
  • Because the ANL's strove with unwearied diligence to convert their brethren to the gospel
  • Because the ANL's were firm and steadfast in the faith once they are enlightened
  • Because the ANL's repentance was permanent
BOX #10:  THE MINISTRY OF SAMUEL THE LAMANITE (Helaman 12:2-5)

THE POWER OF A RIGHTEOUS MINORITY

It is interesting to note the powerful works wrought by minorities in this story.
  1. Samuel was in an ethnic as well as religious minority: a Christian and a Lamanite among the Nephites.  He saved many Nephites by his prophesying, although he didn't get to see it personally.  Instead he got shot at, a minority-aimed "hate crime."
  2. In his own land, there were a great many Lamanites who had previously (maybe 70 years before) been brought to the truth by alien minority members in their land:  Ammon and his companions, who were Nephites and Christians.  (More on this here and here.)  
  3. A minority of righteous Nephites unknowingly prevented the destruction of Zarahemla by fire from heaven.  (A meteor? A lightning storm? A volcano? We'll never know exactly what Zarahemla escaped.) 
  4. The Lamanites converted through the efforts of Ammon 70 years before, the "Anti-Nephi-Lehies," were specifically noted in this passage as the reason the Lamanites would not ever be destroyed, even if they apostacized again, and that they would eventually be brought back to a knowledge of the truth as an ethnic group.  This is an epoch example of a promise from the Lord that the righteousness of covenant-keeping parents will preserve their children and bring them back to the fold.  (See this link for similar latter-day promises.)  "Righteous minorities" within families can help to save the rest.

5 comments:

Malia said...

this is awesome! i teach 16/17 year old youth and it is so nice to have something like this lesson every now and then to change it up and keep the interested. mahalo!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks...I always have a look at your lesson, as I love the consise way you present your ideas. I take what I need and always am grateful. Thanks!

Ryan Hobbs said...

Thanks for posting this. I teach the 14/15 year old class. I have a couple rowdy boys in there. I am hoping this idea might keep them interested.

ER Rae said...

Thank you SO much for this......
On a personal level, your very last sentence struck home to me - THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting the pyramid together...my gospel doctrine lesson went through 3 transformations and I couldn't get it all in...my adult class enjoyed the pyramid and we covered everything I wanted to Thanks again in Salt Lake