The focus of this week’s lesson is Lehi’s vision in 1 Nephi 8. As you teach this lesson, emphasize the joy that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can bring into our lives and how we can experience the blessings of the Atonement through living by the word of God. Students will use their scriptures, student study guides, and study journals throughout this lesson.
Display a picture of a married couple and their children—perhaps a picture of your own family or that of a student whom you invited to bring a picture.
Why are families important to God’s plan for our salvation?
Invite students to review and summarize 1 Nephi 7:1–5. Then ask what principles they have learned from these verses. (Students may share various principles. The principle emphasized in the student manual was that the Lord commands us to marry and raise up children unto Him.)
In their lesson for day 1, students were assigned to ask a parent, Church leader, or teacher to suggest three ways young people today can prepare for marriage and raising children “unto the Lord.” Invite a few students to share what they learned.
Remind students that after Nephi and his brothers brought Ishmael and his family into the wilderness, Lehi had a dream. Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 8:10–13 aloud, and ask another student to draw on the board or a piece of paper what the verses describe. If you feel it is more appropriate for your class, you may want to show the picture Lehi’s Dream (Gospel Art Book , no. 69) or another picture depicting Lehi’s dream (see LDS.org) and have students identify the various images described in the verses.
What information in Lehi’s description makes the fruit of the tree enticing to you?
Remind students that the fruit of the tree symbolizes “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (1 Nephi 15:36)—the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you had a student draw the picture, you may want to label what the fruit represents on the drawing.
What can we learn from 1 Nephi 8:10–13 about receiving the blessings of the Atonement? (Though students may use different words to express it, make sure the following principle is clear: Coming unto Jesus Christ and partaking of His Atonement brings happiness and joy. You might want to write this principle on the board.)
In their lesson for day 2, students were asked to answer the question “When has the Savior’s Atonement brought happiness and joy into your life?” Invite students to turn to their study journals and silently read their answers.
To help students share meaningful truths and testimonies with one another, encourage several of them to read or talk about what they wrote. You may also want to tell about a time when the Atonement of Jesus Christ brought happiness and joy into your life.
Explain that Lehi’s vision not only teaches that the Atonement of Jesus Christ brings great joy, it also shows what we need to do to receive the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Invite students to review 1 Nephi 8:19–26 and draw the other symbols from Lehi’s vision, or have them identify the other symbols in the picture Lehi’s Dream. As they draw or identify the symbols, invite them to explain what the different symbols mean. (If they need help, encourage them to use the chart they completed in the student study guide.)
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 8:30 aloud.
What was the role of the iron rod—the word of God—in Lehi’s vision?
As you studied 1 Nephi 8, what did you learn about the importance of the word of God?
What phrases in 1 Nephi 8:30 indicate what we need to do to receive the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
What do you think it means to “press [your] way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron”?
Write on the board two other gospel principles they studied in the student study guide: If we hold fast to the word of God, it will help us overcome temptation and worldly influences. Holding fast to the word of God helps us grow closer to Jesus Christ and receive the blessings of His Atonement.
Ask students to imagine they are missionaries and have the opportunity to testify about the importance of studying the word of God and living according to its principles. Invite them to share what they would say, based on their own experiences. Consider sharing your feelings about the power of the scriptures and the words of the prophets in helping you come closer to the Savior.
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 10:17, 19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify blessings that come when we diligently seek the Lord’s guidance. Ask one or two students to share what they think it means to “diligently seek.” (During their day 3 lesson, they were asked to write what this means in their student study guide.)
Summarize 1 Nephi 11–14 by explaining that Nephi received personal revelation because he diligently sought the Lord. He saw the ministry and Atonement of Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 11), the future destruction of his people because of their pride and wickedness (1 Nephi 12), early gentile colonizers of the land of promise and the restoration of plain and precious truths (1 Nephi 13), and righteous people fighting against the workings of the great and abominable church in the last days (1 Nephi 14).
Note: To prepare the following activity, you may want to review the corresponding lessons in this manual and the materials in the student study guide for day 4 of this unit.
Ask students to select one of the chapters in 1 Nephi 11–14 and do the following three activities. (You may want to have them do this on the board or a piece of paper.)
Write a summary of the chapter selected.
Write one of the gospel principles taught in that chapter. (They may use a principle highlighted in the study guide or identify one on their own.)
Write how that principle applies to us today.
After they have had sufficient time to prepare, invite students to share what they have written. Invite one or two students to share their testimonies of principles they learned as they studied 1 Nephi 7–14 this week.
Before excusing your class, remember to collect their study journals and to follow up on any assignments.
Tell students that in the next unit they will study more about the trials of Lehi and his people as they continued their journey in the wilderness and sailed to the land of promise. Ask them to imagine the surprise of the people when they awoke one morning and discovered a “ball of curious workmanship”—the Liahona. Ask students to look for answers to the following questions as they study: How did the Liahona work, and how did it guide them? Why did Nephi rebuke his brethren on the ship? How did Nephi describe the land of promise?