“Lesson 9: 1 Nephi 5,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 9,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
While Lehi’s wife, Sariah, waited for her sons to return from Jerusalem, she feared that they had perished in their efforts to obtain the brass plates. When they returned safely with the plates, she gained a stronger witness that God was directing and preserving her family. Lehi searched the brass plates and found them to be of great worth to his family. As he read them, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he prophesied that the scriptures they contained would be preserved for his posterity.
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 5:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to look for reasons why Sariah began to complain.
What were Sariah’s complaints? (Answers might include that Lehi was a visionary man, that he had led the family away from the land of their inheritance, and that he had made decisions that may have led to the loss of their sons and that could lead to their own deaths in the wilderness.)
Consider using this segment from the Book of Mormon Videos as you teach this part (see the Book of Mormon Videos: Seminary Teacher Instructions).
Ask students to think about a time when they might have complained about a situation even though they did not have all the information about that situation.
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 5:4–6 aloud. Ask the class to give attention to the manner in which Lehi responded to Sariah’s complaints.
What impresses you about how Lehi responded to Sariah’s complaining? (You may want to point out that Lehi responded with testimony and confidence in the Lord rather than with fear or doubt. He did not respond angrily or impatiently.)
What can we learn from Lehi’s response to Sariah?
Have a student read 1 Nephi 5:7–9 aloud.
What did Sariah gain from this experience?
Ask students to think about whether there is anything they would consider sacrificing their lives to gain or to keep.
Invite a student to summarize 1 Nephi 3–4 and tell of the sacrifices that Lehi’s family made to obtain the plates of brass. (Nephi and his brothers risked their lives, sacrificed their riches, and traveled a long distance.)
Why do you think such sacrifice was necessary?
Explain that after the family offered sacrifices and gave thanks to the Lord, Lehi immediately began to read the contents of the plates. Invite several students to take turns reading 1 Nephi 5:11–16 aloud. Ask the class to look for what Lehi discovered on the plates of brass. You may want to briefly list their responses on the board.
Invite students to read 1 Nephi 5:10 silently. Ask them to look for the word that describes Lehi’s reading of the scriptures. (He “search[ed] them.”) Invite students to arrange themselves in pairs to discuss the following question:
What is the difference between searching the scriptures and just reading them? (You may want to encourage students to tell about times when they have searched the scriptures.)
Read the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“When I say ‘study,’ I mean something more than reading. It is a good thing sometimes to read a book of scripture within a set period of time to get an overall sense of its message, but for conversion, you should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you. Remember Alma’s description of what it feels like: ‘It beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me’ [Alma 32:28]” (“When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 11–12).
Give students time to reflect on their own study of the scriptures. Ask them to write in their scripture study journals or class notebooks about meaningful ways they search the scriptures. After they have written, invite them to consider how they might improve their scripture study. Ask them to choose one way to improve their personal searching of the scriptures. Encourage them to write this goal in their scripture study journals. You may want to suggest that students share the goal with someone (for example, with you, a parent, or another student) who will remind them of the goal and encourage them to accomplish it.
Explain that the Lord blessed Lehi for searching the scriptures. To help students discover these blessings, invite them to read 1 Nephi 5:16–20 silently.
How did searching the brass plates influence Lehi?
Emphasize that when Lehi searched the scriptures, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and received revelation “concerning his seed” (his posterity). Assure students that as we search the scriptures, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive revelation. Likewise, when we sacrifice our time and energy to search the scriptures as Lehi did, we can receive strength to keep God’s commandments.
In what ways have you been blessed by searching the scriptures?
When have you felt the Holy Spirit while studying the scriptures?
Invite a student to read the following statement, in which Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testifies of the blessings of searching the scriptures:
“When we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
“If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline” (“Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 26–27).
Read 1 Nephi 5:21–22 aloud, asking students to follow along in their scriptures. As you read, emphasize these words: “It was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us, as we journeyed in the wilderness.”
Why is it wise for us to carry the scriptures with us in our journeys?
In what ways can we carry the scriptures with us?
Point out that Lehi and his family obtained the plates of brass through great sacrifice. Without the scriptures, Lehi and his family would not have been successful in their journey. Encourage students to keep the scriptures with them as they journey through mortality.
Invite students to reflect on their personal scripture study. Consider inviting a student who regularly reads the scriptures to offer encouragement and testimony to his or her peers. Encourage students to make a habit of spending time daily to search the scriptures.
Note: The length of this lesson may allow time for the scripture mastery activity from the previous lesson.