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
Nephi receives the sealing power
Remind students of Nephi’s revelation about the murder of the chief judge, recorded in Helaman 8–9. Invite students to imagine themselves in the place of Nephi, just after he revealed who had killed the chief judge.
How would you feel? How would you expect others to react?
What would you want to say to the people?
How would you feel if the people ignored you and left you alone?
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.
Why was Nephi “cast down”?
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. You may want to write this principle on the board.
Ask students if they can think of accounts in the scriptures or Church history 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” [see 1 Nephi 10:17; 11:1]; Joseph Smith, whose First Vision came after he “reflected … again and again” on James 1:5 [see 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].)
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.)
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.)
Encourage students to set aside time to ponder regularly. Suggest that they write down impressions they receive when they ponder.
To prepare students to continue studying Nephi’s experience, invite them to imagine that their neighbors are going to be away for a time and need someone to watch their home and belongings.
What kind of person do you think your neighbors would want to watch over their home?
How might you show your neighbors that you are prepared to be entrusted with such responsibilities?
Ask students to read Helaman 10:4–5 silently, looking for why the Lord entrusted Nephi with great blessings and responsibilities. (You may need to explain that unwearyingness means tirelessness or diligence.) Invite students to report what they have found.
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?
What does the phrase “thou … hast not sought thine own life” mean to you?
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 put His will before our own. You may want to suggest that students write this truth in their scriptures or in notebooks or scripture study journals.
Invite students to ponder the following questions and write their answers to one of them:
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?
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 read Helaman 10:5–7 silently, looking for the blessings and responsibilities 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. You may want to suggest that students write this truth in their scriptures next to Helaman 10:7.
Ask students if they know of others besides Helaman 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 the following statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“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” (“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.
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 10:11–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Nephi responded when the Lord commanded him to preach repentance to the people.
What do we show the Lord when we respond quickly to His counsel and commandments?
What does Nephi’s example in these verses teach us?
How did the Lord help Nephi?
Help students see that because of Nephi’s faithfulness, the Lord protected him and blessed him with great power. Nephi was determined to fulfill the mission the Lord had given him.
How can you show your determination to serve the Lord?
Encourage students to seek for ways to put the Lord’s will before their own and to quickly obey. Testify of the blessings that come when we obey the Lord.
Scripture Mastery Review
The length of this lesson may allow time for the following scripture mastery review activity.
Assign each student one of the following scripture mastery verses to read silently: 1 Nephi 3:7; 2 Nephi 2:27; 2 Nephi 31:19–20; Mosiah 2:17. Ask students to read the passage they were assigned and consider how it applies to Nephi and his ministry as recorded in Helaman 10. After sufficient time, invite a few students to respond.