Lesson 111: Helaman 10

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


Introduction

The trial to determine who murdered the chief judge ended when Nephi’s revelation about the murderer was confirmed. Having escaped punishment from the false accusations that had been directed at him, Nephi began to walk home. He pondered what the Lord had shown him, feeling downcast because of the wickedness of the people. In this moment of reflection and sadness, he heard the voice of the Lord. The Lord blessed him with the sealing power and commanded him to continue preaching repentance to the people. Nephi immediately obeyed the Lord’s command.

Suggestions for Teaching

Helaman 10:1–10

Nephi receives the sealing power

Write NOISE on the board. Explain that while noise is usually thought of as sounds you hear, another definition for noise is “something that attracts attention” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. [2003], “noise”). Invite some students to come to the board and, around the word NOISE, write something that will likely attract their attention today. After students have finished writing on the board, ask them to choose one word or phrase from the board and to tell the class how they think that thing might affect their spiritual well-being.

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

President Boyd K. Packer

“This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.

“The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer” (Boyd K. Packer, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22).

Point out that we are in a war against evil, and Satan is doing all he can to jam or disrupt the lines of communication between us and God. As students study Helaman 10 today, invite them to look for truths that can help them quiet the noise and distractions that would jam the channels of communication between them and Heavenly Father.

Explain that after being cleared of the murder of the chief judge, Nephi started to return home. Invite a student to read Helaman 10:1–3 aloud, and ask the class to look for what Nephi did as he walked home. You may want to suggest that students mark the word pondering where it appears in these verses. Explain that to ponder means to think about something deeply and carefully and can include seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

  • Why was Nephi “cast down” (verse 3)?

  • What occurred as Nephi was pondering? (The voice of the Lord came to him.)

  • What is the relationship between pondering and receiving revelation? (As students respond, help them identify the following principle: Pondering the things of the Lord prepares us to receive revelation. Write this principle on the board.)

  • What are some examples of the things of the Lord that you might ponder? (Possible answers include pondering what the Lord would like us to do in our Church callings, what the Lord would have us say in talks or lessons we have been assigned to give, or how we might help family members, friends, or neighbors who may be struggling.)

  • What are some times or situations when pondering the things of the Lord would be especially appropriate? (Examples of such times include during and after sacrament meeting, before and after personal prayers and scripture study, after watching or listening to general conference, while fasting, while serving in the temple, and while honoring the Lord on the Sabbath. We can also ponder while working, exercising, or traveling in a bus or car.)

  • When has pondering helped you receive personal revelation? (You may want to mention that receiving personal revelation is not usually as dramatic as some of the examples in the scriptures. Revelatory experiences are usually moments of sudden enlightenment, such as when we suddenly understand something we have struggled with before.)

Consider sharing an experience in which pondering the things of the Lord prepared you to receive revelation.

Encourage students to set aside time to ponder regularly. Suggest that they write down impressions they receive when they ponder.

Ask students to read Helaman 10:4–5 silently, looking for what the Lord revealed to Nephi as he was pondering. (You may need to explain that unwearyingness means tirelessness or diligence.) Invite students to report what they have found.

  • According to verse 4, what had Nephi done that had pleased the Lord? (Invite students to consider marking the phrase, “And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but has sought my will, and to keep my commandments.”)

  • What does the phrase “thou … hast not sought thine own life” mean to you?

  • According to verse 5, what was the result of Nephi seeking the Lord’s will and keeping His commandments? (The Lord promised Nephi great blessings, including blessings of strength and power as he fulfilled his responsibilities in the Lord’s kingdom.)

Write the following on the board: The Lord entrusts us with blessings and responsibilities when we … Ask students how they would complete this statement, based on what they have learned about Nephi in Helaman 10:4–5. One way students might complete the statement is as follows: The Lord entrusts us with blessings and responsibilities when we seek His will and keep His commandments. To emphasize this principle, complete the statement on the board so that it conveys this principle.

  • How does unwearying service show that the Lord can entrust us with blessings and responsibilities?

  • How might following Nephi’s example of not fearing the people help us prepare for responsibility in the Lord’s kingdom?

Testify of the Lord’s willingness to entrust us with greater and greater blessings as we seek His will and keep His commandments.

Invite students to ponder the following questions and to write their answers to one of them in their class notebooks or study journals:

  • What have you done in your life lately to show the Lord that His will is more important than your own?

  • What is one area of your life in which you could better seek the Lord’s will?

Invite students to read Helaman 10:5–7 silently, looking for the blessings the Lord gave Nephi. While students are reading, write the following on the board:

Invite a few students to write on the board, next to the corresponding verse number, the blessings the Lord extended to Nephi.

Emphasize that one of the blessings the Lord gave Nephi was the sealing power. Then write the following truth on the board: The sealing power binds and looses on earth and in heaven. Invite students to consider writing this truth in their scriptures next to Helaman 10:7.

Invite a student to read Helaman 10:8–10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for examples Nephi was given for how he could exercise the sealing power.

  • What are some ways in which Nephi could exercise the sealing power?

  • Based on these examples, what do you think it means to bind or loose something both on earth and in heaven? (It means that a person who holds the sealing power can speak words or perform actions on earth that God will honor in heaven eternally.)

Ask students if they know of others besides Nephi who have been given the sealing power. After students respond, you might invite them to cross-reference Helaman 10:7 with the following scriptures: 1 Kings 17:1 (Elijah); Matthew 16:15–19 (Peter); Doctrine and Covenants 132:46 (Joseph Smith).

Explain that the keys of this same power are held today by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like Nephi, the Presidents of the Church have served unwearyingly and shown that the Lord can entrust them with great blessings and responsibilities. We most often refer to the sealing power in relation to the sealing of families through temple ordinances.

To help students better understand the sealing power, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

President Russell M. Nelson

“Temples, ordinances, covenants, endowments, and sealings have been restored, precisely as prophesied. Ordinances of the temple provide for reconciliation with the Lord and seal families together forever. Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life—the greatest gift of God to man [see Doctrine and Covenants 14:7]” (Russell M. Nelson, “Prepare for the Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, Oct. 2010, 42).

  • In what ways have you been blessed by the knowledge that families can be united eternally?

  • How can you seek the blessings of the sealing power in the future? (Answers may include that students can prepare for temple marriage and that they can do temple and family history work now that will allow them to be sealed to their deceased ancestors.)

Share your feelings about the blessings of the sealing power and the importance of receiving sealing ordinances in the temple.

Helaman 10:11–19

Nephi obeys the Lord’s command to preach repentance to the people

Ask students if they have ever delayed doing something they have been asked to do. (Examples may include putting off completing a chore at home or an assignment at school or work.)

  • What message might we send to others when we delay doing what they ask of us?

Invite a student to read Helaman 10:11–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Nephi responded when the Lord commanded him to preach repentance to the people.

  • How did Nephi respond to the Lord’s commandment to preach repentance to the people?

Invite a student to read Helaman 10:15–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened after Nephi preached repentance to the people.

  • How did the people respond to Nephi’s teaching?

  • How did the Lord help Nephi?

  • What principle can we learn from Nephi’s example of responding promptly to the Lord’s direction? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: When we respond promptly to the Lord’s direction, we will have His power to help us. Invite students to consider writing this principle in their scriptures next to Helaman 10:11–17.)

  • What are some examples of ways in which we might respond promptly to the Lord’s direction?

  • Whom do you know who is a good example of responding promptly to the Lord’s direction?

Invite students to ponder how promptly they respond to the Lord’s direction. Ask them to consider what they can do to respond more promptly.

Testify of the blessings that come when we obey the Lord. Encourage students to seek for ways to put the Lord’s will before their own and to quickly obey.

Supplemental Teaching Ideas

Helaman 10:1–3. “As he was thus pondering”

After students identify the principle that pondering the things of the Lord prepares us to receive revelation, invite them to think of accounts in the scriptures or Church history of times when people received revelation as a result of pondering the things of the Lord. (Examples include Lehi’s son Nephi, who received a vision after desiring to behold the things his father saw and “pondering in [his] heart” [1 Nephi 11:1; see 1 Nephi 10:17]; Joseph Smith, whose First Vision came after he “reflected … again and again” on James 1:5 [Joseph Smith—History 1:11–17]; and Joseph F. Smith, who received the vision of the redemption of the dead after pondering and reflecting on the words of the Lord [see D&C 138:1–6, 11].)

video iconHelaman 10:7–10. Video presentation—“The Sealing Power”

To help students understand and feel the truth and importance of the doctrine that the sealing power binds and looses on earth and in heaven, consider showing the video “The Sealing Power” (3:38), in which a woman shares her testimony of the sealing power and eternal marriage. This video is available on LDS.org.

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