If you want to pique the class’s interest and help them better remember the lesson, decorate the room in advance with several paper boats with sails and anchors hanging from the ceiling. If you want to be extra clever and make origami yachts like the one pictured below, go to this link. Then just hang little cut-out paper anchors from them with string.
Jigsaw learning is learning about a topic from several different angles. You can combine this with an actual jigsaw puzzle. Cut a poster board into three puzzle pieces. On the front of each piece write one of the three categories below. On the back put the corresponding questions and scripture helps. Divide the class into three groups. Give each group a puzzle piece to study and prepare for the first 10 minutes or so of the class period.
Puzzle Piece 1: “AGE”
Assignment: “Give us a biographical sketch of Mormon (include ages)”
- About his name: Mormon 1:5 and 3 Nephi 5:12
- About the name he chose for his son: Mormon 6:6 and Alma 48:11-13, 17
- About his ancestry: 3 Nephi 5:12
- About his calling: 3 Nephi 5:13
- About the plates: 4 Nephi 1:48 through Mormon 1:4
- About at what ages he did which things. Mormon 1:2 takes place in the year 320. From there you can figure out what age he was during the following events:
- Mormon 1:15
- Mormon 2:1-2
- Mormon 2:9
- Mormon 2:15
- Mormon 2:28
- Mormon 3:1-3
- Mormon 3:8
- Mormon 4:1
- Mormon 4:15
- Mormon 4:17
- Mormon 4:23-5:1
- Mormon 6:6
Puzzle Piece 2: “ENVIRONMENT”
Assignment: “What challenges did Mormon face because of his environment?”
- About the church: Mormon 1:13-14
- About the people’s attitude: Mormon 1:16; 2:14-15, 3:8-10
- About the environment Mormon grew up in: Mormon 2:18
- Compare Mormon 4:1, 4-5 and Alma 48:14
- About their wickedness in comparison to laman and Lemuel, King Noah, or any other Book of Mormon people: Mormon 4:9-13
- About their basic motivation in life: Moroni 9:3-5
- About how they treated their prisoners of war: Mormon 4:14, Moroni 9:8-10
- About how they treated their widows and fatherless: Moroni 9:16
- About how they felt about themselves: Mormon 3:9
Puzzle Piece 3: “RIGHTEOUSNESS”
Assignment: “What do you most admire about Mormon’s character?”
- About why Mormon is writing and to whom he is writing: Mormon 3:17-21
- About Mormon’s desires: Mormon 1:15-16, 3:22
- About how Mormon felt towards his wicked fellowmen: Mormon 2:10-13, 3:12-16, 5:1-2, 6:16-18, 9:20-21
- About how Mormon fulfilled his calling: Moroni 9:6
- About Mormon’s faith: Mormon 2:19 and 5:23
BIOGRAPHY OF MORMON
Have the group with puzzle piece 1 share what they learned. Encourage class members to write Mormon’s age in the margins of their scriptures beside each scripture shared by the “AGE” group. You may add that the word "Mormon" means "more good." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 300) Here are the answers, in case they don’t get them all:
- Mormon 1:15 age 15, visited of the Lord, forbidden to preach
- Mormon 2:1-2 age 16, leader of military
- Mormon 2:9 age 20, led battle of 42,000 vs. 44,000 Lamanites (he won)
- Mormon 2:15 age 24, sorrow at 1,000s dead
- Mormon 2:28 age 39, treaty
- Mormon 3:1-3 age 49, allowed to preach and give another chance
- Mormon 3:8 age 51, battle
- Mormon 4:1 age 52, Nephites on offense
- Mormon 4:15 age 56, Nephites on offense
- Mormon 4:17 age 64, battle
- Mormon 4:23 age 64, removed records
- Mormon 6:6 age 74, hid records in Cumorah
CHALLENGES MORMON FACED IN HIS ENVIRONMENT
Have the group with puzzle piece 2 share what they learned. Here are some things they should have noted:
The nation was declining. Wickedness prevailed, miracles ceased. There were no longer gifts of the Spirit, or even the Holy Ghost. The Nephites willfully rebelled. They were only sorry for the consequences of their sins, not for the sins themselves. The Lord was not with them in battle; instead they boasted in their own strength, sought revenge rather than just defense, and delighted in killing and war. The lost the ability to love, and were therefore completely without civilization.
Show “O Ye Fair Ones” (5 minutes long) from Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Video Presentations, available on DVD or online at LDS.org
CHARACTER OF MORMON
Have the group with puzzle piece 3 share what they learned. They will have noticed that he was writing to prepare the 12 tribes for judgment, that they would believe in the gospel of the Atonement, and to witness of Christ. He loved his people with the love of God. He prayed for them, but without hope. When he "repented of" the oath he had made, it did not mean he had sinned in making the oath; it simply means he changed his mind or turned from. Even though his duty was fruitless and hopeless, he never gave it up. Despite his trials, he knew he would be lifted up at the last day, and he knew that the Lord was in charge.
Put the three puzzle pieces together on the board.
Put the three puzzle pieces together on the board.
"For behold, the Spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strive with their fathers; and they are without Christ and God in the world: and they are driven about as chaff before the wind. They were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their shepherd; yea, they were led even by God the Father. But now, behold, they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they." (Mormon 5:16-18)
Compare the Nephite nation, “without sail or anchor,” to Mormon who had both. The sail pushes us forward where we want to go. The anchor keeps us from drifting from where we should be. Our goals and actions are the sail. What we center our life around is the anchor. Mormon’s sail (his righteous desires) and his anchor (Christ) overcame his age and inexperience as well as his wicked environment, and we can certainly learn from his great example.
Thank you so much for taking the time to prepare and share your wonderful lessons. I teach the 14-15yr old Sunday School class in our ward and I definitely appreciate your insights as I prepare my lesson, and so do the kids. Thanks again, God bless!
Very excited to incorporate this idea into my lesson. Thanks!
Thank you for sharing your ideas. Grateful that I found your site. I appreciate it a lot and will also incorporate some of your ideas in my class.
I am always excited about your sharing's, thank you so much, they are so helpful, even for personal study like mine for the moment.
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