“January 27–February 2. 1 Nephi 16–22: ‘I Will Prepare the Way before You,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“January 27–February 2. 1 Nephi 16–22,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
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Nephi saw the value of likening the scriptures to himself and his people (see 1 Nephi 19:23). Consider inviting class members to share principles they learned from the account of Nephi’s journey to the promised land that relate to their own lives.
Can you, or someone in your class, think of something small that can be used to bring about something great? (see 1 Nephi 16:29). You might invite class members to discuss what they learn about this principle after reading these scriptures individually or in groups: 1 Nephi 16:25–31; Alma 37:3–8; and Doctrine and Covenants 64:33; 123:12–17. How has God used small means to accomplish great things in our lives?
Your class might benefit from discussing how Heavenly Father directs our paths. To start, you might ask the class to discuss the principles that made the Liahona work (see 1 Nephi 16:10–16, 23–31; 18:10–13, 20–22; see also Alma 37:38–47). How might these principles be considered “small means”? Class members could list on the board things that God has provided to guide us (see “Additional Resources” for ideas). What small actions can we take to receive God’s guidance?
Members of your class may be facing tasks and challenges that seem impossible. How can you use Nephi’s experience with his own seemingly impossible tasks—feeding his family in the wilderness and building a ship—to help them? Perhaps class members could read 1 Nephi 16:18–32; 17:7–16; and 18:1–4, looking for principles that can help them when they face a challenging hardship (for example, 1 Nephi 16:24–26 teaches that prayer and humility allow us to receive inspiration and direction from God). You might start by giving them an example of a principle you found in these verses. As they share what they found, they might also share related personal experiences.
The experiences of Lehi and his family in the wilderness illustrate the power of faith and the consequences of unbelief. To help class members discover these truths, you could write these questions on the board: How did Nephi act on his faith? How was he blessed as a result? What were the consequences of Laman and Lemuel’s unbelief? Invite class members as groups to search for answers to these questions in 1 Nephi 16:18–32 or 17:7–22 and share what they find.
To help class members learn how to liken the scriptures to themselves, they could read examples of how Nephi did it. For instance, in 1 Nephi 4:1–3 and 17:23–32, 41–45, what principles did Nephi teach by likening the scriptures to his family’s situation? The account by Elder Robert D. Hales in “Additional Resources” illustrates how likening the scriptures to ourselves can bless us. Consider inviting class members to identify challenges facing them or their family members and then find scriptural accounts that could give them insights and help for those situations. According to 1 Nephi 19:22–24, how can likening the scriptures to ourselves bless us?
Discussing 1 Nephi 19:22–24 can be a great opportunity for class members to share how they “liken the scriptures” to themselves and their families, as well as blessings they have received from doing so. Consider listing on the board class members’ ideas about how to liken the scriptures to themselves (for some suggestions, see the list in “Additional Resources”). In a future class, you could invite class members to share experiences when they used the ideas on the list.
To encourage class members to share meaningful teachings they found in 1 Nephi 20–21, consider writing headings like these on the board: Children of Israel, Lehi’s Family, and People in Our Day. Give them time to review 1 Nephi 20–21 and list under each heading how Isaiah’s prophecies apply to these groups.
To inspire class members to read 2 Nephi 1–5, invite them to think about what they would say to their families if their time on earth was short. Point out that the first few chapters of 2 Nephi contain the final message Lehi gave to his family.
Elder David A. Bednar taught: “The Holy Ghost operates in our lives precisely as the Liahona did for Lehi and his family, according to our faith and diligence and heed” (“That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 31).
In the October 2005 general conference, Elder Lowell M. Snow of the Seventy said: “This very general conference is a modern Liahona, a time and place to receive inspired guidance and direction that prospers us” (“Compass of the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 97).
President Thomas S. Monson taught: “The same Lord who provided a Liahona for Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives. … The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing” (Thomas S. Monson, “Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 65).
Elder Robert D. Hales taught:
“Several years ago I was teaching our young son about the life and experiences of the brother of Jared. Although the story was very interesting, he was not engaged. I then asked what the story meant to him personally. It means so much when we ask our children, ‘What does it mean to you?’ He said, ‘You know, it’s not that different from what Joseph Smith did in the grove when he prayed and got an answer.’
“I said, ‘You’re about Joseph’s age. Do you think a prayer like his would be helpful to you?’ Suddenly, we weren’t talking about a long-ago story in a faraway land. We were talking about our son—about his life, his needs, and the way prayer could help him.
“As parents, we have the responsibility to help our children to ‘liken all scriptures [indeed, every part of the gospel of Jesus Christ] unto us [and unto our children], … for [the] profit and learning [of our families]’” (“With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 90).
Think about events or circumstances in our day that are similar to those in the scriptures you are reading.
Look for what people know, learn, or do in the scriptures that could help you with a current personal problem or question.
Identify principles from that story that can help you in your own circumstances.