The purpose of this lesson is “To strengthen each child’s desire to follow the living prophet.”
This goal is difficult to asses, because it will be hard to tell if a child’s desire is strengthened. That’s a personal thing on their part. So here are some other ways defining the goal that are easy to see success in.
• To help the children understand what a prophet is.
• To help the children understand the role prophets have played in the past.
• To help the children understand how they can follow Nephi’s example.
My current class has a lot of energy, and so I try to incorporate activities or games that are not in the lesson plan. I’ve found that just reading and discussing scripture doesn’t hold their attention. So for an attention activity, here a suggestion that is a bit more active:
Create a list of prophets from the scriptures/ Latter-day prophets, as well as short descriptions of each one. Here is my list:
• Anna: a prophet from the New Testament. When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple when he was a little child, Anna was there. She recognized him as the Messiah, and prophesied about who he was and what he would do to the crowd (see Luke 2: 36-38.)
• Deborah: a prophet of the Old Testament. She judged disputes in ancient Israel, and was told by God how to win a battle against Israel’s enemies. (See Judges 4:4-14.)
• Huldah: a prophet of the Old Testament. She prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people. (See 2 Kings 22:11-20.)
• Miriam: a prophet of the Old Testament. She helped lead the Israelites out of Egypt with her brothers Moses and Aaron, and sang praises to God in the wilderness. (See Micah 6:4 and the story of Moses in the Old Testament)
• Moses: an Old Testament prophet. Moses spoke with God and led the Israelites out of Egypt with Miriam and Aaron. He also received the ten commandments from God.
• Lehi: a Book of Mormon prophet. He was told by God that Jerusalem would be destroyed, and to take his family to a new place.
• Samuel the Laminate: a Book of Mormon prophet. He knew when Christ would be born and prophesied of Christ’s purposed and birth to the Nephites and Laminates.
These prophets can be introduced in a variety of ways. You can bring in an object to represent each prophet and have each child choose and object then read the story, or hide each one around the room (which has worked with other classes I’ve had), or play hangman with the names, do some kind of word scramble on the board, anything fun to get their attention.
These descriptions can lead to a discussion of what prophets do, and then to a specific discussion of Lehi as the lesson suggests. This discussion of prophets can focus on how they prophecy of Jesus Christ, his birth, his mission and his Atonement.
Another suggestion I have for this lesson deals with the goal “To help the children understand how they can follow Nephi’s example.” Nephi followed his father who was a prophet, but does not do so blindly. In 1 Nephi 2:16, we see that Nephi prays to know if what his father prophecies is true. This can lead to teaching children that they can, and should pray to know if things are true. They can know for themselves if things are true or not. This is a slightly different view then what the lesson takes; it talks about the need to soften one’s heart to the prophet. I find it more appropriate to talk about prayer and the ability to learn for themselves, rather then assuming that the prophet is right and that not wanting to follow is always hard-heartedness.
The enrichment activities are pretty good for this lesson, but if anyone has any ideas that worked for them, please share them!