Sunday School
August 31–September 6. Helaman 13–16: “Glad Tidings of Great Joy”

“August 31–September 6. Helaman 13–16: ‘Glad Tidings of Great Joy,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)

“August 31–September 6. Helaman 13–16,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020

Samuel the Lamanite prophesies

Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall, by Arnold Friberg

August 31–September 6

Helaman 13–16

“Glad Tidings of Great Joy”

Which of Samuel the Lamanite’s teachings and prophecies do you feel will be most helpful to members of your class? As you study Helaman 13–16, ponder how you can help them find meaning in these chapters.

Record Your Impressions

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Invite Sharing

Invite class members to share with a partner something they learned, something they understood better, or something they applied as they read the account of Samuel the Lamanite in Helaman 13–16 this week. Then let a few of them share with the entire class.

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Teach the Doctrine

Helaman 13

The Lord’s servants speak and act according to God’s direction.

  • The Lord asked Samuel the Lamanite to do something that could have seemed quite difficult: to preach to people who had previously cast him out of their city. Reading Helaman 13:2–5 might remind class members of difficult things the Lord has asked them to do. Invite them to share their experiences. How did the Lord help them? For example, maybe class members could share experiences when the Lord put something in their heart that He wanted them to say to someone (see verse 4). What blessings have class members seen when they followed the Lord’s direction?

    188th Annual General Conference: President Nelson

    The prophet points us to Jesus Christ.

  • Even though Samuel’s warnings were addressed to the hard-hearted Nephites, Helaman 13 holds some lessons for all of us. To help class members find personal meaning in his words, you could invite them to search Helaman 13 for a message that seems relevant to our day. (If they need help, you might write the following verses on the board: 8, 21–22, 26–29, 31, and 38.) Then they could share what they find in pairs, in small groups, or with the entire class. What similar messages have prophets given us today?

Helaman 14; 16:13–23

Signs and wonders can strengthen the faith of those who do not harden their hearts.

  • This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests looking for signs that the Lord has given us “that [we] might believe on his name” (Helaman 14:12). Perhaps class members could share what they discovered as they pondered this idea. Be sure to point out that the signs in our lives could be less dramatic and more personal than the signs Samuel predicted. What other purposes for signs are suggested in Helaman 14:28–30? Class members could also share other things the Lord has done to help them develop faith in Him.

  • Reading about how Samuel’s prophecies were fulfilled could build class members’ faith in Jesus Christ and His mission. Maybe class members could use Helaman 14 to create a chart that lists Samuel’s prophecies of Christ’s birth and death on one side and scripture references where these prophecies were fulfilled on the other. Some of these references might include verses from 3 Nephi 1:15–21 and 3 Nephi 8:5–25. Why is it important for us to know about these prophecies and their fulfillment?

  • Class members may have noticed—in Helaman 16 and other places in the scriptures—that seeing signs and wonders does not necessarily cause one to believe in Christ. Invite them to share some examples from the scriptures of individuals who saw signs and yet did not believe. According to Helaman 16:13–23, why did many people in Samuel the Lamanite’s time not believe the signs and prophecies? How does Satan persuade people to “depend upon their own strength and … wisdom” today? (Helaman 16:15). What do we learn from this account that can help us avoid similar errors?

Helaman 15:3

The Lord chastens those He loves.

  • Samuel’s words contain many stern chastisements, but Helaman 15:3 gives a unique perspective on chastening from the Lord. One way to help class members understand this perspective is to read this verse together and invite them to share evidence they see of God’s love and mercy in Samuel’s prophecies and warnings. How could chastisement from the Lord be a sign of His love?

  • To help class members better understand the message in Helaman 15:3, you could share three purposes for divine chastening taught by Elder D. Todd Christofferson (see “Additional Resources”). Divide the class into three groups, and ask each group to discuss one of these purposes (the scriptures and video suggested in “Additional Resources” can help). Then each group could share with the class any insights from their discussion that help them better understand that the Lord chastens those He loves.

Helaman 16

The prophet points us to the Lord.

  • In Helaman 16, what do we learn from those who accepted Samuel’s teachings? What do we learn from those who rejected him? It could be inspiring to hear class members share how they gained their testimony of the importance of following the living prophets. They might also share how they would use Helaman 16 or Elder Andersen’s words in “Additional Resources” to explain to someone why they choose to follow the prophet.

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Encourage Learning at Home

To encourage class members to read 3 Nephi 1–7 next week, you could tell them that many of the prophecies they read about this week will be fulfilled in these chapters.

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Additional Resources

Purposes of divine chastening.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson shared three purposes of divine chastening (see “As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 97–100):

  1. “To persuade us to repent.” See Ether 2:14–15; Doctrine and Covenants 1:27; 93:41–50; 105:6.

  2. “To refine and sanctify us.” See Mosiah 23:21–22; Doctrine and Covenants 101:1–5; 136:31.

  3. “To redirect our course in life to what God knows is a better path.” See the story of President Hugh B. Brown and the currant bush in Elder Christofferson’s talk (pages 98–99); “The Will of God” (video, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).

We rejoice to have a prophet.

Elder Neil L. Andersen taught:

“A prophet does not stand between you and the Savior. Rather, he stands beside you and points the way to the Savior. A prophet’s greatest responsibility and most precious gift to us is his sure witness, his certain knowledge, that Jesus is the Christ. Like Peter of old, our prophet declares, ‘[He is] the Christ, the Son of the living God’ [Matthew 16:16; see also John 6:69].

“In a future day, looking back on our mortality, we will rejoice that we walked the earth at the time of a living prophet. At that day, I pray that we will be able to say:

“We listened to him. We believed him. We studied his words with patience and faith. We prayed for him. We stood by him. We were humble enough to follow him. We loved him” (“The Prophet of God,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 27).

Improving Our Teaching

Get to know those you teach. No two people are exactly alike. Each person you teach has a unique background, perspective, and set of abilities. Pray to know how you can use these differences to help class members learn. As you better understand those you teach, you can create meaningful and memorable teaching moments. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 7.)