“Lesson 14: 1 Nephi 12–13,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)
“Lesson 14,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual
After Nephi saw the Savior’s mortal ministry and Atonement in vision, he saw that after four generations of righteousness, his posterity would be destroyed. He was also shown the iniquity of those who follow Satan in the great and abominable church. He saw that they would remove plain and precious truths from the Bible, causing many to stumble spiritually. In addition, Nephi saw that God would prepare the way for the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days. He also witnessed that the record of his people (the Book of Mormon) would come forth in the latter days to restore plain and precious truths that had been lost to the world.
Before class, write the following phrases on strips of paper, and place them randomly in a Bible. You will distribute them to students during the lesson.
The need for baptism by immersion
Sealing of children to their parents
The spirit world
Baptisms for the dead
The three kingdoms of glory
To begin the lesson, display a bicycle at the front of the room. (Or you could show a picture of a bicycle or draw one on the board.)
What are some parts of a bicycle that, if removed, would make it unsafe to ride? Why?
Imagine that this is your bicycle and that someone deliberately removed the parts we’ve discussed. What might those actions indicate about their feelings toward you?
As students study 1 Nephi 12–13 today, invite them to look for who desires to harm us and how those individuals seek to do so. Invite students to also look for what the Lord has done to help us overcome those efforts.
Summarize 1 Nephi 12 by explaining that this chapter is a continuation of Nephi’s vision. In it, the angel showed Nephi how the symbols in the vision of the tree of life would apply to his posterity. He was shown that some of his descendants would receive all the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, Nephi also saw that his descendants would eventually be destroyed by his brothers’ posterity (the Lamanites).
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from 1 Nephi 13:1–4, 6. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Nephi saw forming among the Gentiles.
What did Nephi see forming among the Gentiles?
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 13:5, 7–9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what those in the great and abominable church desire and seek to accomplish.
According to verses 7–8, what do those in the great and abominable church desire?
According to verses 5 and 9, what do those of the great and abominable church seek to accomplish? Write the following truth on the board: Satan and his followers want to destroy the Saints of God and bring them into captivity.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask students to listen for a definition of the great and abominable church.
“The titles church of the devil and great and abominable church are used to identify all … organizations of whatever name or nature—whether political, philosophical, educational, economic, social, fraternal, civic, or religious—which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 137–38).
What do the phrases “church of the devil” and “great and abominable church” refer to?
Be clear that the phrase “great and abominable church” does not refer to a particular denomination or church. You may want to invite students to consider writing the phrase all organizations that are designed to lead people away from God and His laws in the margin next to 1 Nephi 13:6.
What are some examples of false ideas or practices that the great and abominable church uses to lead people away from God and His laws? (Examples may include justifying the use of pornography and other evil forms of media and attacking teachings of the Church.)
How can knowing that Satan and his followers seek to destroy us and bring us into captivity help us to overcome their efforts?
Inform students that later in this chapter they will learn about one of the ways the great and abominable church has tried to destroy those who seek God.
Invite a student to read aloud the following summary:
In 1 Nephi 13:10–19 we read Nephi’s words describing his vision of individuals who would go forth “out of captivity,” or religious persecution, from the nations of Europe and settle in North America, where they would be “delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations” (1 Nephi 13:19). Latter-day prophets have taught that these individuals were inspired to help prepare and establish a nation with religious freedom—the United States of America—in which the gospel could be restored.
What did the early American colonists carry with them?
What book was Nephi referring to? (The Bible. You may want to invite students to consider writing the Bible next to 1 Nephi 13:20.)
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from 1 Nephi 13:24–28. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the great and abominable church did to the Bible.
What did the great and abominable church remove from the Bible?
According to verse 27, why were these things removed?
Invite another student to read 1 Nephi 13:29 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened because many plain and precious truths and covenants were removed from the Bible.
What happened as a result of plain and precious things and many covenants of the Lord being removed from the Bible?
Display the copy of the Bible with the strips of paper that you placed in it before class. Explain that the strips of paper represent examples of plain and precious truths and covenants that are not taught clearly in the Bible or are not contained in it. Invite several students to each take a strip of paper from the Bible and read it aloud to the class. After each is read, ask:
How might misunderstanding this truth or having no knowledge of it cause a person to stumble spiritually?
After all the strips of paper have been read and discussed, refer to the bicycle you displayed at the beginning of the class.
In what ways might the great and abominable church’s tampering with the Bible be compared to someone’s efforts to deliberately remove essential parts from another person’s bicycle? (Both are done maliciously in order to cause harm.)
Invite four students to take turns reading aloud from 1 Nephi 13:32, 34–36. Ask the class to follow along and look for what the Lord would do to help people overcome the efforts of the great and abominable church.
According to 1 Nephi 13:34, what will the Lord bring forth because of His mercy?
According to 1 Nephi 13:35–36, what would be “hid up” to come forth unto the Gentiles? (You may want to invite students to consider writing next to 1 Nephi 13:35 that “these things” refers to the Book of Mormon.)
Ask a student to read 1 Nephi 13:39 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for what else the Lord would bring forth as part of the latter-day Restoration of His gospel.
According to 1 Nephi 13:39, what else would the Lord bring forth in the latter days, in addition to the Book of Mormon?
What “other books” has the Lord brought forth as part of the Restoration? (The Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.)
Invite students to read 1 Nephi 13:40–41, looking for a description of what the scriptures of the Restoration will make known unto all people.
According to verses 40–41, what will the scriptures of the Restoration make known unto all people? (Help students identify the following truth: The Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures restore plain and precious truths that help us know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that we must come unto Him to be saved.)
To help students understand how the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures have restored plain and precious truths and covenants, assign each student one of the truths written on the strips of paper you distributed earlier. (If you have more students than strips of paper, you could assign students to work in pairs or small groups.) Invite students to use the index to the triple combination, the Topical Guide, or the Bible Dictionary to locate a scripture passage in the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price that could help someone understand the truth they were assigned.
After sufficient time, invite students to teach one or more other students by (1) reading aloud the scripture passage they located; (2) explaining how the passage could help someone understand the particular truth they were assigned; and (3) sharing their testimony of that truth.
Before students teach one another, you may want to provide the following example: Explain that the Bible testifies that Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins, but the Book of Mormon provides a fuller description of what the Savior experienced as part of His Atonement. Read Alma 7:11–13 aloud, and point out that Jesus Christ not only suffered for our sins and willingly died for us, but He also suffered our pains, afflictions, temptations, and sicknesses “that he may know … how to succor [or help] his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12). Consider sharing your testimony of how knowing this scripture passage has helped you come unto Jesus Christ.
As you end class, urge students to study the Book of Mormon carefully throughout the year. Encourage them to look for teachings and accounts that teach them how to come unto Jesus Christ and that strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ and of the plain and precious truths and covenants of His gospel.