Lesson 108: Helaman 5

“Lesson 108: Helaman 5,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)

“Lesson 108,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 108

Helaman 5


The Nephites continued in wickedness until the majority of them chose wickedness over righteousness. Nephi and Lehi devoted themselves to preaching the word of God. Their father, Helaman, had taught them to remember their Redeemer and to make Him the foundation of their lives. After teaching the Nephites, Nephi and Lehi preached to the Lamanites, who cast them into prison. The Lord miraculously delivered them, and the majority of the Lamanites repented and converted to the gospel.

Suggestions for Teaching

Helaman 5:1–13

Helaman counsels his sons to keep the commandments of God, to preach the gospel, and to remember the redeeming power of Jesus Christ

Before class, prepare six strips of paper to display. The first one should have your name written on it. The other five should contain the following words and phrases: Parents, The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Prophets, Repentance leads to salvation, and Keep the commandments.

Give each student a small piece of paper. Explain that you are going to briefly show them six strips of paper with words written on them. Then they will write, from memory, those words. Show students one strip of paper at a time.

Ask students to write the words they remember. Then show the six strips of paper again. Ask:

  • Was it easy or hard to remember these words and phrases?

  • What difference do you think it made that you were told in advance that you needed to remember what was on the paper strips?

Ask a student to read aloud the following statement by President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985). Invite the class to listen for what he said about the importance of remembering the gospel teachings we have received.

President Spencer W. Kimball

“When you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what it is? It could be remember. Because all of you have made covenants—you know what to do and you know how to do it—our greatest need is to remember” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Circles of Exaltation” [address to Church Educational System religious educators, June 28, 1968], 5).

Explain to the class that today they will learn about two people who made a difference in the lives of thousands of others because they remembered and acted on certain truths. Encourage students to ponder during today’s lesson what they think the Lord wants them to remember.

Summarize Helaman 5:1–4 by explaining that because of the wickedness of the people, Nephi resigned as chief judge so he and his brother Lehi could devote themselves to preaching the word of God.

Write the following scripture references on the board:

Helaman 5:5–7

Helaman 5:9–11

Helaman 5:12

Invite students to scan the verses listed on the board, looking for the word remember. Ask students to consider marking each instance of this word.

Invite a student to read Helaman 5:5–7 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Helaman wanted his sons to remember.

  • What did Helaman want his sons to remember?

  • Why did Helaman want his sons to remember their ancestors’ righteous examples?

  • What truth can we learn from these verses? (Students may use different words, but help them identify the following truth: Remembering our ancestors and their good works can inspire us to do good. Write this truth on the board next to “Helaman 5:5–7.” Invite students to consider writing this truth in their scriptures.)

  • How can remembering the righteous examples of others help you choose to “do that which is good” (verse 7)?

Invite a student to read Helaman 5:9–11 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Helaman wanted his sons to remember about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Invite students to consider marking what they find.

  • What truths did Helaman want his sons to remember about Jesus Christ and His Atonement? (List students’ answers on the board next to “Helaman 5:9–11.” These may include the following truths: The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the only way or means whereby we can be saved. Jesus Christ came to redeem the world. Jesus Christ has power to redeem those who repent of their sins.)

  • Why do you think it is important for us to remember these truths?

To help students identify a principle in Helaman 5:12, invite a student to attempt to build a small tower or house out of objects (such as blocks or books) on an unstable surface, such as a pillow. Demonstrate how easy it is to knock the structure down.

  • Why was it easy to knock this structure down?

Next, invite the student to build a similar tower or house on a stable object, such as a desktop or tabletop.

  • Why is it essential that a building have a firm foundation?

Invite a student to read Helaman 5:12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Helaman encouraged his sons to remember and do.

  • What did Helaman encourage his sons to remember and do?

  • What do you think it means to build our foundation on Jesus Christ?

  • What promises are made to those who build their foundation on the “rock of our Redeemer”?

  • What do you think the devil’s “mighty winds,” “his shafts in the whirlwind,” and “his hail and his mighty storm” could represent?

Ask students to identify a principle based on what they learn in Helaman 5:12. (Though students may use different words, be sure they express that if we build our foundation on Jesus Christ, Satan will have no power over us. Write this principle on the board next to “Helaman 5:12.”)

  • How can remembering this principle help us when the storms of life are swirling around us?

  • What can we do to build our foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ?

Give each student a strip of paper. Ask students to write on their papers something they do that helps them build their foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ. After sufficient time, invite them to tape or place their strips of paper on or near the foundation of the tower or house that the student built. Read aloud several of the activities written on the papers, and invite students to explain how these activities help them build their foundation on the Savior.

You might want to point out that building upon the foundation of the Savior will not prevent Satan’s attacks, but it will give us strength to overcome them.

  • When have you or someone you know been able to withstand temptation or endure trials because your foundation was built on Jesus Christ?

Testify of the strength you have received because you have built your foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ. Give students time to write in their class notebooks or study journals about one way they will more diligently strive to build their foundation on the rock of their Redeemer.

Helaman 5:14–52

The Lord protects Nephi and Lehi in prison, and many Lamanites are converted

Summarize Helaman 5:14–20 by explaining that Nephi and Lehi remembered their father’s words and preached the gospel with great power among the Nephites and the Lamanites. As a result, many Nephite dissenters returned to the faith. In Zarahemla and surrounding areas, 8,000 Lamanites were baptized. After preaching the gospel in and around the land of Zarahemla, Nephi and Lehi traveled to the land of Nephi.

Copy the following chart on the board. Divide the class into pairs, and ask each pair to copy the chart on a piece of paper. Ask one student in each pair to read a passage aloud and the other student to draw a simple picture or write a brief summary of what that passage describes. Students can alternate these roles if they would like. You could also ask students to do this activity individually. (As students copy the chart, encourage them to leave enough room under each scripture reference for their pictures or summaries.)

Helaman 5:21–25

Helaman 5:26–28

Helaman 5:29–34

Helaman 5:35–41

Helaman 5:42–45

After sufficient time, invite students to briefly show and explain their pictures or summaries to another pair of students. To help students deepen their understanding of these verses, ask the following questions:

  • When the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters were overshadowed by darkness, what did the voice urge them to do? (See Helaman 5:29, 32.)

  • How does Helaman 5:30–31 describe the voice? (Invite students to consider marking the phrases in these verses that describe the divine voice.)

  • What did Aminadab teach his brethren to do in order to disperse the darkness? (See Helaman 5:41.)

  • What happened when the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters obeyed Aminadab’s counsel and exercised faith in Christ? (See Helaman 5:43–45.)

Invite students to read Helaman 5:44–47 silently, looking for words that describe some results of the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters’ repentance. Ask students to report what they find.

  • What truth can we learn from the experience of Aminadab and his brethren? (Help students identify the following truth: When we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins, the Holy Ghost will fill our hearts with peace and joy.)

  • Why do you think that exercising faith in Jesus Christ and repenting of our sins lead to peace and joy?

Invite students to think of times when they have experienced the peace and joy that comes from exercising faith in Jesus Christ and repenting.

Encourage students to consider whether they currently feel peace and joy in their lives. If they do not, invite them to ponder what they can do to exercise faith in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins and thereby dispel the clouds of darkness from around them.

Summarize Helaman 5:48–52 by explaining that the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters who experienced this miracle went forth and ministered to the people, and “the more part of the Lamanites” converted to the gospel. After their conversion, the Lamanites returned the Nephite lands that they had conquered.

Conclude by sharing your testimony of the truths identified in Helaman 5 and encouraging students to apply these truths in their lives.

Commentary and Background Information

Helaman 5:12. How can we withstand the “mighty winds” of the adversary?

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught that we must cling to the gospel of Jesus Christ when the adversary unleashes his forces against us:

President Spencer W. Kimball

“We, too, are faced with powerful, destructive forces unleashed by the adversary. Waves of sin, wickedness, immorality, degradation, tyranny, deceitfulness, conspiracy, and dishonesty threaten all of us. They come with great power and speed and will destroy us if we are not watchful.

“But a warning is sounded for us. It behooves us to be alert and to listen and flee from the evil for our eternal lives. Without help we cannot stand against it. We must flee to high ground or cling fast to that which can keep us from being swept away. That to which we must cling for safety is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our protection from whatever force the evil one can muster. An inspired Book of Mormon prophet counseled his people: ‘Remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo’ (Hel. 5:12)” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Hold Fast to the Iron Rod,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 6).