In Helaman 10–16 the role of prophets in declaring repentance is emphasized. Throughout this week, students had an opportunity to study the faithfulness of the prophets Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite. Both men received spiritual manifestations and had authority to minister among the wayward Nephites. Notwithstanding the hardness of the people’s hearts, both men proclaimed repentance. They taught that happiness is found in living the principles outlined by Jesus Christ and not in doing iniquity.
Ask students if they have ever been in a situation in which supporting the standards taught in the For the Strength of Youth booklet would have been unpopular with their friends. You might invite a few students to share their experiences and tell about what they felt and learned.
Tell students that Helaman 10–16 provides examples of two men who stood up for the Lord’s standards even though it was unpopular with the people. Invite students to consider what they can learn from the examples of Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite that can help them in similar circumstances.
Draw the following chart on the board or on a piece of paper:
Similarities between Nephi and Samuel the Lamanite
Nephi (Helaman 10:1–5, 12, 15–16)
Ask students to search the verses listed in the chart, looking for similarities between Nephi and Samuel. Invite a few students to list these similarities in the empty space on the chart. The list may include the following: rejected by the people; heard the voice of the Lord; followed the Lord’s directions immediately; spoke what the Lord put into their hearts; warned the Nephites that if they didn’t repent, they would be destroyed; protected by the power of God so they could deliver His message.
After students have listed the similarities they discovered, ask a student to read Helaman 10:4 aloud.
What are some possible reasons for Nephi’s unwearyingness?
How did Samuel also demonstrate unwearyingness? How can we develop such unwearyingness?
Ask a student to read to the class the following statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in which he teaches us how we can develop this trait:
“If we are focused on Jesus and His work, both our joys and our staying capacity are increased. … Nephi had not selfishly sought his ‘own life,’ but rather had sought to do God’s will. This gave him the extra and undivided energy which made his striving with unwearied diligence possible. Nephi knew in which direction he faced: toward God” (Neal A. Maxwell, If Thou Endure It Well , 116).
According to Elder Maxwell, what can we do to serve with unwearied diligence?
What phrases in Helaman 10:4 show that Nephi “faced toward God,” or in other words, was focused on doing God’s will?
What phrases in Helaman 13:3–5 show that Samuel put God’s will above his own?
What truth can we learn from the experiences of Nephi and Samuel? (One possible answer could reflect a truth students learned in their personal study this week: The Lord entrusts us with blessings and responsibilities when we put His will before our own.)
Read the following story, told by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, about a 12-year-old girl who accepted God’s will before her own:
“We cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security in our lives. …
“I read of a young woman who exercised that kind of faith and trust. For many months her mother had been seriously ill. Finally, the faithful father called the children to her bedside and told them to say good-bye to their mother because she was dying. The twelve-year-old daughter protested:
“‘Papa, I do not want my mamma to die. I have been with her in the hospital … for six months; time and time again … you have administered to her, and she has been relieved of her pain and quietly gone to sleep. I want you to lay hands upon my mamma and heal her.’
“The father, who was Elder Heber J. Grant, told the children that he felt in his heart that their mother’s time had arrived. The children left, and he knelt by his wife’s bedside. Later he recalled his prayer: ‘I told the Lord I acknowledged his hand in life [and] in death. … But I told the Lord that I lacked the strength to have my wife die and to have it affect the faith of my little children.’ He pleaded with the Lord to give his daughter ‘a knowledge that it was his mind and his will that her mamma should die.’
“Within an hour the mother died. When Elder Grant called the children back into her room and told them, his little six-year-old boy [named Heber] began to weep bitterly. The twelve-year-old sister took him in her arms and said: ‘Do not weep, Heber; since we went out of this room, the voice of the Lord from heaven has said to me, In the death of your mamma the will of the Lord shall be done’ (Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1951, pp. 243–44).
“When we have the kind of faith and trust exhibited by that young woman, we have the strength to sustain us in every important event in our lives” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 1994, 100).
What helped President Heber J. Grant and his family put the Lord’s will before their own?
Have you ever had an experience where you needed to put your trust in God and put His will before your own? (Consider inviting a few students to share their experiences with the class. Remind them that they should not share anything that is too personal or private.)
Assure students that when we put our trust in God and put His will before our own, He will sustain us during difficult times.
Explain that an important part of Nephi’s ministry was helping the people remember God and repent of their sins. However, they continued to harden their hearts and did not want to be corrected.
Divide the class into two groups. Ask one group to read Helaman 10:15–18; 11:3–10 and the other group to read Helaman 11:30–37; 12:1–3. (You may want to write these references on the board.) Ask each group to be prepared to discuss reasons why the Lord chastened His people. (Students may mention a few different reasons, but make sure they express that the Lord chastens His people to stir them up in remembrance of Him.)
What kind of chastening did the Lord use to get the people’s attention?
According to Helaman 12:3, many people do not remember the Lord unless He chastens them. Why do you think this is?
Invite a student to read Helaman 15:3 aloud.
How is the Lord’s chastening an expression of love?
Ask students to share their responses to assignment 5 on day 2 of this week’s lessons. You may want to reiterate that through humility and repentance, we can avoid pride and destruction and that if we are not careful, our prosperity can lead us to forget the Lord.
Tell students that in their next assignment they will read about the entire Nephite nation gathering to fight the Gadianton robbers in an epic battle. Ask them to look for how the Nephites were able to defeat the wicked robbers. Explain that they will also read about the massive destruction that occurred in the Americas at the time of Jesus Christ’s death in Jerusalem. In the darkness, the people heard the voice of Jesus Christ. Then the resurrected Savior came to minister to them personally. Ask students to consider how they would have felt if they had been there.