“Lesson 27: 2 Nephi 5,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)
“Lesson 27,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual
Heeding a warning from the Lord, Nephi and his followers separated from Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael. They lived in righteousness and happiness, while the followers of Laman and Lemuel cut themselves off from the Lord.
Draw a picture of a warning sign and a compass on the board.
What do these two pictures represent? (The one on the left is a warning sign, indicating danger. The one on the right is a compass, which may represent guidance.)
What are some situations in your life in which you would want to receive a warning or guidance? (Invite students to come to the board and write their answers under the appropriate picture.)
Invite students to explain why they wrote what they did.
How can receiving warnings or guidance help in situations like these?
As students study 2 Nephi 5 today, invite them to look for what we can do to receive the warnings and guidance we need.
Remind students that when Lehi died, Nephi was left to be the spiritual leader of the family. Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 5:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for a challenge Nephi faced.
What challenge did Nephi face?
According to 2 Nephi 5:1, what did Nephi do because of his brothers’ anger?
Even after Nephi had prayed for help, what did Laman and Lemuel seek to do?
As students report their answers, you may want to point out the following truth: Our prayers may not always be answered immediately or in the way we desire.
Why is it important to continue to be faithful when our prayers are not answered immediately or in the way we desire?
Write the following incomplete sentence on the board: If we faithfully seek Heavenly Father in prayer …
Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 5:5–8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord did to help Nephi and his followers.
What did the Lord do to help Nephi and those who believed in the warnings and revelations of God?
How do you think Nephi’s desire to “cry much unto the Lord” (2 Nephi 5:1) may have prepared him to receive warnings and guidance from the Lord?
From what we learn in verses 1 and 5, how could you complete the sentence on the board to state a principle? (After students respond, complete the sentence on the board so that it conveys the following principle: If we faithfully seek Heavenly Father in prayer, He will warn and guide us. Invite students to consider marking the phrases in verses 1 and 5 that teach this principle.)
In what ways might the Lord give us warnings or guidance?
To help students further understand this principle, read aloud the following scenario:
You have a group of friends that are starting to behave in ways that are not consistent with the standards of the Lord, and you aren’t sure what to do. You would like to continue to spend time with them and do everything you can to help them change. But on the other hand, you also worry about finding yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable and exposed to spiritually degrading or dangerous influences.
How can the principle we identified in verses 1 and 5 help you know what to do in this situation? (Help students understand that what is the best choice in one situation may not be in another. By seeking Heavenly Father in prayer, students can be guided on how to act in specific situations.)
Invite students to write in their class notebooks or study journals about a time when they or someone they know was guided or warned by God and the effect it had on them. After a few moments, consider inviting a few students to share with the class what they wrote. (Remind students not to share anything private or too personal.)
To help students identify another principle from 2 Nephi 5:5–8, ask the following questions:
According to verse 6, who chose to follow Nephi as he fled into the wilderness? Why did they choose to go with him?
What principle can we learn from verse 6 that can help us be led away from danger? (Help students identify the following principle: If we choose to believe in the revelations of God and to hearken to His prophets, we can be led away from danger.)
How has hearkening to God’s prophets led you away from danger?
As part of the students’ discussion of 2 Nephi 5:1–8, point out that the separation of the Nephites from the Lamanites was the result of Laman and Lemuel’s hatred for Nephi. This separation continued for centuries, with the descendants of Laman and Lemuel teaching their children to hate the descendants of Nephi (see Mosiah 10:12–17).
Lead students in reading 2 Nephi 5:27 aloud together. You may want to invite students to consider marking this verse. Write the word happiness on the board.
What do you think it means to live “after the manner of happiness”?
Ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy. Invite the class to follow along, looking for what Elder Jensen said he sometimes struggles with.
“Certain unchanging principles and truths bring happiness to our lives. This subject has been of interest to me for many years because although I am richly blessed and have every reason to be happy, I sometimes struggle and do not always have the natural inclination toward happiness and a cheerful disposition that some people seem to enjoy.
“For that reason, several years ago a Book of Mormon passage caught my attention. … Nephi established a society founded on gospel truths; and of that society he says, ‘And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness’ (2 Ne. 5:27). The passage deeply impressed me. … I wondered … what the individual elements of a truly happy society and life might be, and I began to search Nephi’s writings for clues. I … invite you to conduct your own personal search. It could be a lifelong and worthwhile pursuit. …
“… The same patterns and elements of daily life that enabled Nephi and his people to be happy 560 years before Christ work equally well today” (Marlin K. Jensen, “Living after the Manner of Happiness,” Ensign, Dec. 2002, 56, 61).
What did Elder Jensen say he sometimes struggled with?
Invite students to consider if they sometimes struggle to be happy and cheerful.
What did Elder Jensen say could be a “lifelong and worthwhile pursuit”?
Write 2 Nephi 5:6, 10–18, 26–27 on the board. Divide students into groups of two or three and invite them to act on Elder Jensen’s invitation by reading these verses together and looking for “elements of a truly happy society and life.” You may want to invite them to consider marking elements or actions that contributed to the Nephites’ happiness. After a few minutes, invite a few students to write their findings on the board. (Answers might include that Nephi and his followers went with their families [see verse 6]; obeyed the Lord [see verse 10]; worked hard to support themselves [see verses 11, 15–17]; took scriptures with them [see verse 12]; built a temple [see verse 16]; and followed righteous leaders [see verses 18, 26].)
Consider using this segment from the Book of Mormon Videos as you teach this part (see the Book of Mormon Videos: Seminary Teacher Instructions).
Point out that the actions that allowed Nephi and his people to live after the manner of happiness were based on the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Write the following principle on the board: We can live after the manner of happiness by applying the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Why do you think applying the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ enables us to have happiness?
Invite students to select one or two of the items on the board and explain how these have helped them live “after the manner of happiness.”
Depending on what students emphasize, you may want to follow up with a few questions such as the following:
According to 2 Nephi 5:10–11, what blessings did the people receive because they kept the Lord’s commandments? When have you felt that the Lord has been with you? How has the Lord’s influence in your life contributed to your happiness?
How might the temple have helped the people live “after the manner of happiness”? How has the temple brought greater happiness to you or someone you know?
In what ways does hard work contribute to happiness?
You may want to share an experience that illustrates how applying the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ has allowed you to live after the manner of happiness, as well as your testimony of this principle. Invite students to examine their lives and determine something they will do to live more fully “after the manner of happiness.” Encourage them to write this action in their study journals or class notebooks.
Invite two students to take turns reading aloud from 2 Nephi 5:19–24. Ask the class to follow along, looking for differences between the way the Lamanites lived and the way the Nephites lived.
According to 2 Nephi 5:20, what was the consequence of the Lamanites’ disobedience?
Make sure students understand that the curse mentioned in this chapter was separation from God. The changing of the Lamanites’ skin was only a mark or sign of the curse.
How does 2 Nephi 5:21 help you understand why the Lamanites were cut off from the presence of the Lord? (You may want to explain that flint is a hard stone. In saying that the Lamanites “had become like unto a flint,” Nephi emphasized the hardness of the Lamanites’ hearts. To be hard-hearted is to be unresponsive to the promptings of the Spirit of God.)
What is a principle we can learn from 2 Nephi 5:20–24 that describes what happens when people harden their hearts against the Lord? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: When people harden their hearts against the Lord, they separate themselves from Him.)
What are some reasons why people may choose to harden their hearts against the Lord?
Encourage students to remember what they have determined they will do to live more fully “after the manner of happiness.” Express your confidence that they can follow the Nephites’ example and be truly happy.