Primary Manuals
Lesson 19: Moses Delivers the Israelites from Bondage
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“Lesson 19: Moses Delivers the Israelites from Bondage,” Primary 6: Old Testament (1996), 81–84

“Lesson 19,” Primary 6: Old Testament, 81–84

Lesson 19

Moses Delivers the Israelites from Bondage


To teach the children that the priesthood is the power of God.


  1. Prayerfully study:

    Note: Where the Bible indicates that the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, the Joseph Smith Translation states that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

  2. Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  3. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible for each child.

    2. A Doctrine and Covenants.

    3. Picture 6-12, The Crossing of the Red Sea (62100).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Give the children the following clues, and ask them to raise their hands when they think they know what it is that you are describing:

  • The Lord blesses his children through it.

  • Moses received it from his father-in-law, Jethro.

  • It makes eternal families possible.

  • It can be bestowed upon worthy, baptized males, ages twelve and older.

  • It is a great power.

  • Its name begins with the letter p.

  • What is it?

When the children have guessed that the answer is priesthood, ask them if they know what the priesthood is. Help them understand that it is the authority and power of God, which he gives to men so that they can act for him. Tell the children that they will learn more in this lesson about how Moses used the priesthood to deliver the Israelites out of bondage.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of Moses delivering the Israelites from bondage as found in the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Use the picture at an appropriate time. Remind the children that the Israelites had lived in Egypt since the days of Joseph (about 400 years) and that a Pharaoh had come to power who opposed the Israelites and enslaved them. During your discussion in this lesson, emphasize the following points:

  • The Pharaoh refused Moses’ request to set the Israelites free (Exodus 5).

  • The Lord commanded Moses to use the priesthood to call down plagues upon the Egyptians, but still Pharaoh refused to set the Israelites free (Exodus 7:20–21; 8:6, 17, 24; 9:6, 10, 23; 10:14–15, 22; 11:5).

  • When the children of Israel finally escaped from Egypt, Moses used the power of the priesthood again to save his people from Pharaoh’s armies, who tried to recapture them (Exodus 13:3, 21–22; 14:5–31).

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading and discussing the scriptures with the children in class will help them gain personal insights.

  • When Moses and Aaron asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites worship in the desert for three days, how did Pharaoh respond? (Exodus 5:2.) What extra burdens did he put on the Israelites? (Exodus 5:6–9.)

  • When the Lord told Moses to go to Pharaoh and again ask him to let the people go, Moses felt inadequate. How did the Lord help Moses fulfill this calling? (Exodus 7:1–2; point out that the clarification of the Joseph Smith Translation in footnotes 1b and 1c reads: “I have made thee a prophet … and Aaron thy brother shall be thy spokesman.”) How did Pharaoh respond to this request? (Exodus 7:3; Pharaoh hardened his heart.)

  • What was the first miracle that Moses and Aaron performed before Pharaoh? (Exodus 7:10.) By what power was this miracle performed?

  • By what power were the magicians able to imitate this miracle? (Exodus 7:11–12.) Why was Aaron’s serpent able to swallow the magicians’ serpents? Explain that the power of the priesthood is far greater than any other power.

  • What were the ten plagues the Lord commanded Moses to call down upon Egypt because Pharaoh refused to let Israel go? (See enrichment activity 1.)

  • What pattern did Pharaoh follow with each plague? (Exodus 8:8, 13, 15.)

  • After the first two miracles the magicians could no longer imitate the plagues. What did the magicians recognize? (Exodus 8:18–19.) What effect may signs and miracles have on our faith? (D&C 63:9.) Explain that miracles and signs will not give us a testimony. After we have done our part to gain a testimony, we are sometimes blessed with signs or miracles that strengthen our faith.

  • On the tenth plague, how did the destroying angel know to pass over the homes of the Israelites? (Exodus 12:21–23.) How were the Israelites blessed by obeying the prophet Moses? Why should we be obedient to our Church leaders?

  • How many people did Moses lead out of the land of Egypt? (Exodus 12:37. Note: the scripture refers to the number of men. There were also women and children in addition to the 600,000 men.) How did they know which way to go? (Exodus 13:21.)

  • How did the children of Israel react when they saw that all the chariots of Egypt were pursuing them? (Exodus 14:10–12.) How should we act when challenges come into our lives? How did Moses respond to the people as the chariots approached? (Exodus 14:13–14.) How did the Lord protect them? (Exodus 14:19–20.)

  • How did the Israelites cross the Red Sea? (Exodus 14:16, 21–22.) By what power was Moses able to control the water? What happened to the Egyptians? (Exodus 14:26–31.) How did this miracle partially fulfill a promise Moses received earlier in his life? (Moses 1:25–26.) How have you been blessed by the power of the priesthood in your life?

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. Pass out numbered slips of paper with the scripture references for each of the ten plagues on the corresponding numbered paper. Have each child look up his or her reference and tell the class about it. You could supply the class with art materials and let them draw pictures of the plague that they read about. They could then show the picture to the class as they tell about the plague.

  2. Have everyone in the class stand. Ask those who are the oldest children in their families to sit down. Explain that if those class members who are sitting had been in Egyptian families at the time of Moses, they would have been killed in the tenth plague. All of the children in the Israelite families who put the blood of a lamb on their door posts were safe; they were passed over by the destroying angel. Every year the Israelites observed the Feast of the Passover in remembrance of the time when the destroying angel passed over them and they were delivered from bondage.

    When Jesus lived on the earth, he and his family celebrated the Feast of the Passover (Luke 2:41; 22:7–8). A lamb without blemish was killed for the feast. The lamb represented the Lamb of God, or Jesus Christ, who died to save us. After the Crucifixion, the disciples partook of the sacrament, which Christ instituted at the Last Supper, instead of the Feast of the Passover. You may want to draw the following illustration on the chalkboard to emphasize this point:

  3. Discuss and memorize the fifth article of faith.

  4. If you have boys in your class who will be turning 12 during the coming year, discuss the importance of them preparing themselves to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Have them each list the duties of a deacon (found in Gospel Principles, chapter 14) on a piece of paper. Discuss the importance of keeping the commandments so as to be worthy of this responsibility. Encourage the boys to respect and honor the priesthood throughout their lives and use it to serve the Lord.

  5. Sing or read the words to “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, p. 110), “The Priesthood Is Restored” (Children’s Songbook, p. 89), “A Young Man Prepared” (Children’s Songbook, p. 166), or “Love Is Spoken Here” (Children’s Songbook, p. 190).



Share your feelings about the courage and faith Moses displayed when he used the power of the priesthood to free the Israelites. Express your gratitude that the priesthood has been restored to the earth again. You could share an experience when you have seen the power of the priesthood used to act in God’s name here on earth.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Exodus 14:21–31 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.