“Lesson 22: Israel and the Brass Serpent,” Primary 6: Old Testament (1996), 95–100
“Lesson 22,” Primary 6: Old Testament, 95–100
To encourage the children to be humble and have faith in Jesus Christ.
Numbers 21:4–7—Israel is plagued with fiery serpents (poisonous snakes).
Numbers 21:8–9—The Lord tells Moses to make a serpent of brass to heal those who look at it.
1 Nephi 17:40–42—Nephi recalls how the Lord led the Israelites to the promised land, but because of the hardness of their hearts many Israelites died from serpent bites.
Alma 33:18–22—The Israelites died because they would not believe they could be healed. We are to look to Christ and believe.
Deuteronomy 8:1–2, 4, 7–10—The Israelites are in the wilderness for forty years to learn humility and obedience. The Israelites are to be humble and remember the Lord, who has given them everything.
Deuteronomy 8:11–20—The Lord warns Israel not to forget him and boast of their own power.
Helaman 8:14–15—As the brass serpent was lifted up on the pole, so Christ also was to be lifted up on the cross. By looking to him we can gain eternal life.
John 3:14–15—Any member who believes in Jesus Christ and follows gospel principles will not perish but will gain eternal life.
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.
A Bible for each child.
A Book of Mormon.
Pictures 6-25, Moses and the Brass Serpent (62202); 6-26, Jesus Washing the Apostles’ Feet (Gospel Art Picture Kit 226; 62550); 6-27, The Crucifixion (Gospel Art Picture Kit 230; 62505); and 6-28, The Second Coming (Gospel Art Picture Kit 238; 62562).
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
As you read the following words at random, ask the children to put their thumbs up if the word describes someone who is humble and their thumbs down if the word describes someone who is not humble.
Have the children act out or discuss some of the following situations and then determine who is humble in each situation:
A person who talks during an entire meal, not giving others a chance to talk.
A brother who says to his younger sister, “That’s a good idea; I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
A person who says, “Okay, I need help; it’s harder to pound nails straight than I thought it would be.”
A person who insists that his room is clean and who refuses to clean it even after his parents tell him that they have noticed dust and dirt.
A person who loses a tennis match and honestly says to the winner, “Thanks for the game. You are a good player.”
A person in school who thinks, “I don’t need to listen; I already know all this stuff.”
A sister who helps a younger brother play a simple game, even though she would rather play something else.
A Primary teacher who says, “I don’t know the answer to that question; I’ll have to study more and pray for understanding.”
A person who brags about her possessions and refuses to play with children who do not dress as nicely as she does.
A person who takes credit for everything good that happens to him.
A person who, when asked to give a talk, says, “Yes, I’ll do it. It is hard for me, but I’ll prepare and do my best.”
To help the children understand some of the blessings Heavenly Father has promised those who are humble, have them match the following promises and scripture references. Assign each class member a scripture, and have the children read their assigned scriptures silently. Then read aloud the promises in the column on the right and match the promise with its verse.
Ask the children to each write on a piece of paper a few of their talents. Ask if we can be talented and humble at the same time. Explain that each of us has been given talents to develop. Some people want to take credit for their talents, thinking that they did all the work to develop them. Other people belittle themselves, saying they have no talents. True humility is not to belittle or make light of our abilities. It is seeing ourselves as God sees us and recognizing that, as children of God, he has given us all that we have, and that each of us has been blessed with many talents.
Before class make the following wordstrips:
Write each of the following words on separate pieces of paper:
A humble person is not jealous of another’s accomplishments and talents but rejoices in the successes of others. Make a copy of the following figures and cut them out. Place the figure titled “Myself” on the floor; then put the figure titled “Another Person” directly below it. Ask which figure is larger. Reverse the positions of the figures and ask which one looks larger. Then hold the figures side by side to show that they are actually the same size. Point out that no person is more important than another person, even when it may appear that he or she is. Help the children understand that we are all sons and daughters of God and are all equally important.
Read and discuss the following quotation from President Gordon B. Hinckley, fifteenth President of the Church:
“There is something of divinity within each of you. … Every one of you was endowed by your Father in Heaven with a tremendous capacity to do good in the world. …
“Some of you may feel that you are not as attractive … as you would like to be. Rise above any such feelings. …
“You need never feel inferior. You need never feel that you were born without talents or without opportunities to give them expression. Cultivate whatever talents you have, and they will grow. …
“In summary, try a little harder to measure up to the divine within each of you” (“The Light within You,” Ensign, May 1995, p. 99).
Display a picture of Jesus Christ. On the chalkboard write Christ’s Example and Christ’s Atonement. Explain that we look to the life and example of Jesus to know how to live. We look to his Atonement so we can be forgiven of our sins. Looking to Christ will help us find happiness and eternal life. Have the children share some examples from the Savior’s life that we can follow. Ask the children what we need to do to be forgiven of our sins.
Sing or read the words to “Beautiful Savior” (Children’s Songbook, p. 62) or “Be Thou Humble” (Hymns, no. 130).
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.