Lesson 3

Obtaining the Brass Plates

“Lesson 3: Obtaining the Brass Plates,” Primary 4: Book of Mormon (1997), 8–11


To help the children understand that Heavenly Father helps those who trust him and obey his commandments.


  1. Prayerfully study 1 Nephi 3–5. 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. If possible, prepare a copy of the statement “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7) for each child with his or her name on it (see the sample at the end of the lesson).

  4. Materials needed:

    1. A Book of Mormon for each child.

    2. The coded message sheet at the end of the lesson (with code covered). This could be written on a sheet of paper or on the chalkboard.

    3. Pictures 4-6, Lehi’s Sons Offering Riches to Laban; 4-7, Angel Stopping Laman and Lemuel; and 4-8, Nephi Returning to Lehi with the Brass Plates.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Display the secret message (with the code covered), and ask if anyone can read it. Explain that some of Heavenly Father’s commandments may seem hard to obey, just as the message may be difficult to read. With help we can read the message. In the same way, with Heavenly Father’s help we can obey all the commandments.

  • What are some things Heavenly Father has commanded us to do?

  • How do you think Heavenly Father might help us keep his commandments?

Explain that Heavenly Father will help us if we have faith in him and trust him. Explain that in this lesson the children will learn how Heavenly Father helped Lehi’s sons obey a commandment that at first seemed impossible for them to accomplish.

Scripture Account

Using the suggested pictures, teach the account from 1 Nephi 3–5 of Nephi and his brothers returning to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Help the children understand that, like Nephi, they can receive help to keep the commandments if they have faith.

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.

  • What did Heavenly Father command Lehi in a dream? (1 Nephi 3:2–4.) Why did Lehi’s family need the brass plates? (1 Nephi 3:19–21.) How would the brass plates be a blessing to Lehi’s descendants? (1 Nephi 5:21–22.)

  • What did Laman and Lemuel do when they were commanded to go back to Jerusalem to get the brass plates? (1 Nephi 3:5, 28, 31.)

  • What did Nephi do when he was commanded to get the plates? (1 Nephi 3:5–7, 15, 21.) Why was Nephi willing to do whatever the Lord asked him to do? How did he know the Lord would help him get the plates?

Refer to the code, and give the class the opportunity to decode the message together. Discuss the meaning of 1 Nephi 3:7.

  • Who helped Nephi get the brass plates? (1 Nephi 4:6.) How can we be worthy to receive the help and direction of the Holy Ghost?

  • Why is it sometimes hard to obey the commandments? How can Nephi’s example help us obey the commandments? (1 Nephi 7:12.)

  • How can we learn to follow Jesus, like Nephi did?

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 1 Nephi 3:7. Suggest that they mark this verse in their personal copies of the Book of Mormon.

  2. Memorize and discuss the third article of faith with the class. Emphasize that we should always obey Heavenly Father’s commandments and that he will bless us if we do.

  3. Invite several children to finish the statement, “I show faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when I .”

  4. Sing or read the words to “Nephi’s Courage” (Children’s Songbook, p. 120) or “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook, p. 146).

  5. Display a few pictures or objects, such as the following, that remind us of things Heavenly Father has asked us to do (meetinghouse library numbers of pictures are listed in parentheses). Discuss the commandments and their accompanying blessings.

    • Pray (62217)

    • Serve a mission (62611)

    • Treat everyone with kindness and respect (62316)

    • Attend the temple (62559)

    • Partake of the sacrament (62021)

    • Pay tithing (show a tithing envelope)

    • Read the scriptures (62373)

    • Live the Word of Wisdom (show pictures of proper diet and exercise)

    • Hold family home evening (62521)



Bear testimony that Heavenly Father will help us obey his commandments. You may want to share an experience when you exercised faith to keep a commandment, such as keeping the Sabbath day holy or being kind to others, and how you were blessed.

If possible, give the children copies of the message “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7). Write the children’s names on their copies, and challenge them to make it their promise, also.

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 study 1 Nephi 3:1–8; 1 Nephi 4 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

code handout

35 8 35 66 66 3 7 19 2 42 42 7 5 75 1 5 75 35 2 3 82 8 75 35 16 75 5 75 1 66 7 50 42 75 19 5 75 16 7 88 88 19 2 42 1 42

Code: 35=I 8=W 66=L 3=G 7=O 19=A 2=N 42=D 5=T 75=H 1=E 82=S 16=C 50=R 88=M

quote handout

I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.

1 Nephi 3:7