â€œLesson 6: 1 Nephi 1,â€ Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
â€œLesson 6,â€ Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
The Book of Mormon begins with Lehi faithfully fulfilling his role as a prophet. Lehi was one of â€œmany prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repentâ€ (1 Nephi 1:4). When he prophesied of the destruction of Jerusalem and testified of redemption through the Messiah, many people mocked him and wanted to kill him. Nevertheless, Lehi rejoiced in the Lordâ€™s mercy and power of deliverance. As students learn about Lehiâ€™s ministry, they can grow in their understanding of the role of prophets today. As they look for evidence of Godâ€™s mercy and interest in their lives, their relationship with Him will deepen.
Invite students to read 1 Nephi 1:1â€“3 silently. Ask them to identify why Nephi wrote his record.
What reasons did Nephi give for making a record of his experiences?
Why do you think Nephi felt he was â€œhighly favored of the Lordâ€ even though he had experienced â€œmany afflictionsâ€?
Invite students to think of a time when their parents warned them of danger.
Why did your parents warn you of the danger?
In what ways does Heavenly Father warn His children?
Explain that the first account in the Book of Mormon begins at a time when many people in Jerusalem were wicked. Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 1:4. Ask the class to look for the way the Lord warned the people in Jerusalem.
Explain that Nephiâ€™s father, Lehi, joined the â€œmany prophetsâ€ mentioned in this verse. He warned the people that they must repent. To help students discover Lehiâ€™s warnings and teachings, organize students in pairs and have each pair read 1 Nephi 1:5â€“13. Ask them to identify what Lehi saw in vision, either by marking their scriptures or making a list on paper. Give the pairs a few minutes to discuss the following question. (You may want to write this question on the board.)
How would you feel if you saw in vision that your city would be destroyed?
Following the activity, invite students to silently scan 1 Nephi 1:15, looking for Lehiâ€™s feelings after this vision.
What was Lehiâ€™s response to the things he had seen?
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 1:14â€“15 aloud. Encourage the class to look for reasons why Lehi rejoiced. (You may need to explain that even though Lehi learned that Jerusalem would be destroyed, he also saw that those who trusted in God would not perish.)
When have you been able to praise God, even during difficult times in your life?
What are some blessings of recognizing the â€œgoodness and mercyâ€ of the Lord during difficult times?
Have a student read the following statement aloud:
â€œLike the prophets of old, prophets today testify of Jesus Christ and teach His gospel. They make known Godâ€™s will and true character. They speak boldly and clearly, denouncing sin and warning of its consequences. At times, they may be inspired to prophesy of future events for our benefitâ€ (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 129).
Emphasize that Lehi is an example of the truth that prophets warn against sin and teach salvation through Jesus Christ. (You may want to write this truth on the board.)
Invite students to read 1 Nephi 1:19â€“20.
What did Lehi teach?
How did the people respond to Lehiâ€™s teachings?
Why do some people in our day reject messages from the Lordâ€™s prophets?
When have you been blessed or protected because you followed the prophet?
Point out that in the second sentence of 1 Nephi 1:20, Nephi interrupts his narrative to share a message with those who read his words. Have students read 1 Nephi 1:20 individually, looking for the message Nephi wants us to see. As needed, direct their attention to the phrase Nephi used to introduce the message (â€œI, Nephi, will show unto you â€¦â€).
How can paying close attention to this kind of phrase help you in your individual study of the Book of Mormon?
What did Nephi want to show us?
What similar idea did Nephi and Moroni want readers of the Book of Mormon to notice?
Help students identify this principle: The Lordâ€™s tender mercies are extended to those who exercise faith in Him. (You may want to write the principle on the board.)
To help students understand what the tender mercies of the Lord are and how to recognize them in their lives, share the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
â€œThe Lordâ€™s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. â€¦
â€œâ€¦ The Lordâ€™s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness and obedience enable us to receive these important gifts and, frequently, the Lordâ€™s timing helps us to recognize them.
â€œWe should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lordâ€™s tender merciesâ€ (â€œThe Tender Mercies of the Lord,â€ Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 99â€“100).
How did Elder Bednar explain the phrase â€œtender mercies of the Lordâ€?
What examples of the Lordâ€™s tender mercies have you seen extended to you or someone you know?
After students have had time to respond to these questions, invite them to consider how they might better recognize the Lordâ€™s tender mercies in their lives. Encourage them to be more aware of the tender mercies the Lord extends to them. You may want to suggest that they record their experiences with tender mercies in their personal journals. Consider giving them time to write in their scripture study journals or class notebooks about one or two ways the Lord has recently extended His tender mercies to them.
Conclude by repeating Nephiâ€™s testimony in 1 Nephi 1:20 regarding the tender mercies of the Lord. Share your testimony of the reality of the Lordâ€™s individualized blessings and care. Encourage students to look for examples of the Lordâ€™s tender mercies in their lives and throughout the Book of Mormon.