“August 17–23. Helaman 1–6: ‘The Rock of Our Redeemer,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“August 17–23. Helaman 1–6,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
The book of Helaman records both triumphs and tragedies among the Nephites and Lamanites. It begins with “a serious difficulty among the people of the Nephites” (Helaman 1:1), and the difficulties keep coming throughout the record. Here we read about political intrigue, bands of robbers, rejection of the prophets, and pride and disbelief throughout the land. But we also find examples like Nephi and Lehi and “the more humble part of the people,” who not only survived but thrived spiritually (Helaman 3:34). How did they do it? How did they stay strong while their civilization began to decline and fall apart? The same way any of us stay strong in the “mighty storm” the devil sends to “beat upon [us]”—by building our lives “upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, … a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).
As you read Helaman 1–6—and throughout the Book of Mormon—you may notice a pattern in the behavior of the Nephites: When the Nephites are righteous, God blesses them and they prosper. After a time, they become prideful and wicked, making choices that lead to destruction and suffering. Then they are humbled and inspired to repent, and God blesses them once again. The pattern repeats itself so often that some people call it the “pride cycle.”
Look for examples of this cycle as you read. You may even want to mark examples when you find them. Here are some questions to help you understand this pattern and see how it might apply to you:
What did Helaman want his sons to remember? (see Helaman 5:4–12). How can remembering these truths help you avoid becoming prideful?
See also Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Pride and the Priesthood,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 55–58.
In Helaman 3, Mormon described a time when the Church was so prosperous and blessed that even the leaders were surprised (see verses 24–32). Eventually some people became prideful, while others grew “stronger and stronger in their humility, … even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts” (Helaman 3:35). Notice in verses 34–35 what the more humble people did to become sanctified. How do these things help you become more sanctified? It may help to know that the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org) defines sanctification as “the process of becoming free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” What do you feel inspired to do to follow the example of these disciples? What are you doing to yield your heart to God?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland once said to those who struggle with their faith: “You have more faith than you think you do because of what the Book of Mormon calls ‘the greatness of the evidences’ [Helaman 5:50]. … The fruit of living the gospel is evident in the lives of Latter-day Saints everywhere” (“Lord, I Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 94). As you read these verses, think about evidences that the Lord has given you. For example, maybe you haven’t literally heard the Lord’s voice, but have you felt “a whisper” from the Holy Ghost that “did pierce even to the very soul”? (Helaman 5:30; see also Doctrine and Covenants 88:66). Perhaps you’ve been in darkness, cried unto God for greater faith, and been “filled with that joy which is unspeakable” (Helaman 5:40–47). What other experiences have strengthened your faith in Christ and His gospel?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
As the prophet Mormon abridged the sacred records, he occasionally used the phrase “thus we see” to emphasize important truths. What did he want us to see in Helaman 3:27–30? Throughout your study this week, you might pause occasionally to ask family members how they would complete the phrase “and thus we see” regarding what they have read. What truths do they want to emphasize?
President George Albert Smith’s deceased grandfather George A. Smith appeared to him in a dream and asked, “I would like to know what you have done with my name.” President Smith responded, “I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed” (in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith , xxvi). After reading Helaman 5:6–7, perhaps you could talk to your family members about remembering and honoring the names we carry, including the name of the Savior.
To help your family visualize what it means to have “a sure foundation,” perhaps you could build a small structure together and place it on different kinds of foundations. You could then create a “mighty storm” by spraying water on it and using a fan or hair dryer to create wind. What happened to the structure when it was on the different foundations? How is Jesus Christ like “a sure foundation” in our lives?
What experiences have we had with recognizing the voice of God in our lives?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.