Lesson 28

Nephi and Lehi in Prison

“Lesson 28: Nephi and Lehi in Prison,” Primary 4: Book of Mormon (1997), 100–2


To encourage the children to make the Savior the foundation of their lives by choosing to live his teachings.


  1. Prayerfully study Helaman 5. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

  2. Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  3. Materials needed:

    1. A Book of Mormon for each child.

    2. A rock, sand or salt, and box lid or shallow pan.

    3. Picture 4-41, Nephi and Lehi in Prison.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Explain that before a building is built, the workers make a strong foundation for the building to rest on for support. Have the children compare the stability of a rock and sand as foundations to build on. Put a medium-sized rock and a box lid or shallow pan with sand or salt in it on the table. Blow on the rock and then blow on the sand or salt.

Ask the children if they were building a home why they would choose rock rather than sand for a foundation. Explain that the scriptures compare Jesus Christ to the rock as being a strong foundation on which to build our lives. We build our lives on the rock foundation of Christ when we choose to live his teachings.

Sing “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (Children’s Songbook, p. 281). You may want to ask the Primary chorister to come to your class to help the children sing the song. You could also play the song on a tape recorder or have the class members say the words in unison.

In this account Nephi and Lehi had built their lives on the sure foundation of the Savior, which means they had strong testimonies of Jesus Christ. They helped many Lamanites gain testimonies of him also. We, too, can build our lives on the only sure foundation, Jesus Christ.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of Nephi and Lehi found in Helaman 5. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Emphasize how these two faithful men made Jesus Christ the foundation of their lives.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • Who was Helaman? (Helaman 2:2.) Why did Helaman name his sons after Nephi and Lehi? (Helaman 5:6.)

  • Whose name do we take upon us when we are baptized? (2 Nephi 31:13.) How can we become more like Jesus Christ?

  • Why did Nephi give up being the chief judge? (Helaman 5:2–4.)

  • How did Jesus Christ make it possible for us to be saved from our sins? (Helaman 5:9–10.) What must we do so Jesus Christ can redeem us from our sins? (Helaman 5:11.)

  • What does it mean that “it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation”? (Helaman 5:12.) Why is Jesus Christ our only sure foundation? How can you make Jesus the foundation of your life?

  • How does Satan “send forth his mighty winds, … shafts, [and] … hail” on individuals and families today? How much power does the devil have over those who build their lives on the foundation of Christ? (Helaman 5:12.)

  • How did Helaman’s teachings affect Nephi and Lehi? (Helaman 5:13–14.) What have your parents taught you that has helped you in your life?

  • Display the picture Nephi and Lehi in Prison. How were Nephi and Lehi pro-tected in the prison? (Helaman 5:22–23.) How might we be helped if we are worthy?

  • How did Jesus Christ communicate with the Lamanites in the prison? (Helaman 5:29–30.) What was the voice like? What did the Lord say to the Lamanites? (Helaman 5:29, 32.)

  • What did Aminadab tell the Lamanites to do so the cloud of darkness would be removed? (Helaman 5:41.) What happened to the Lamanites after the darkness was taken away? (Helaman 5:43–47.) How do you think you would have felt if you had been there? How does it feel to have the Spirit in our lives? Allow the children to share experiences when they have felt the Spirit in their lives.

  • Who appeared to the Lamanites? (Helaman 5:48.) What did the Lamanites do after seeing the angels? (Helaman 5:50.)

  • How did those who were converted change their actions? (Helaman 5:51–52.) What are some ways we can live to show that Jesus Christ is the foundation of our testimonies?

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. Help the children memorize the following words from Helaman 5:12: “Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation.” Challenge the children to memorize the entire verse during the week.

  2. Review the fourth article of faith, and help the children memorize it. Help them understand how the principles and ordinances of the gospel help us build our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

  3. Sing or read the words to “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, p. 110), “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook, p. 146), or “Seek the Lord Early” (Children’s Songbook, p. 108).



Bear testimony of the Savior and his influence in your life. Share how your testimony gives you strength and power to withstand Satan’s temptations. Challenge the children to make Jesus Christ the foundation of their lives by choosing to live his teachings and striving continually to become more like him.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children memorize Helaman 5:12 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.