Unit 22: Day 3

Helaman 5

“Unit 22: Day 3, Helaman 5,” Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2012), 220–22


The Nephites continued in wickedness until the majority of them chose evil rather than righteousness. Inspired by the words of their father, Nephi and Lehi devoted themselves to preaching the gospel. Their father, Helaman, had taught them about the importance of building their lives on the foundation of the Savior. After teaching the Nephites, Lehi and Nephi preached to the Lamanites and were thrown into prison. After the Lord miraculously delivered Nephi and Lehi from prison, the majority of the Lamanites converted to the gospel.

Helaman 5:1–13

Helaman taught his sons Nephi and Lehi to remember the commandments of God and Jesus Christ’s power to help them

Read the following six words and phrases. To help you complete the next activity, try to remember each one of them. You will be asked to write them from memory in your scripture study journal: family, parents, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, prophets, repentance leads to salvation, keep the commandments.

  1. journal iconClose your manual, and write these six words or phrases in your scripture study journal from memory.

Check your answers. Think for a moment if it was easy or hard to remember the phrases. Do you think it made a difference that you were told that you would be asked to write the items from memory?

President Spencer W. Kimball

Read the following statement from President Spencer W. Kimball and think about why remember is such an important word when we are trying to live the gospel: “When you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what it is? It could be remember. Because all of you have made covenants—you know what to do and you know how to do it—our greatest need is to remember” (“Circles of Exaltation” [address to Church Educational System religious educators, June 28, 1968], 5).

Today you will study about two people who made a difference in the lives of thousands of people because they remembered truths they had been taught by their father. During the course of today’s lesson, ponder what you think the Lord wants you to remember.

As explained in Helaman 5:1–4, Nephi resigned as chief judge because the people had become very wicked. He and his brother Lehi wanted to devote all of their time to preaching the word of God. As they began their ministry, they remembered the teachings of their father, Helaman. Read the following verses and summarize in the blanks provided what Helaman asked his sons to remember. You may also want to mark the word remember each time it appears in these verses.

  1. journal iconTo help you better understand what you just read, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. How can remembering the righteous examples of others help you choose to “do that which is good”? (Helaman 5:7).

    2. What do you do to remember the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

Reread Helaman 5:12, looking for phrases that support this principle: If we build our foundation on Jesus Christ, Satan will have no power over us. (Helaman 5:12 is a scripture mastery verse. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.)

base of Nauvoo Temple wall

Imagine that you were asked to design a building that would never fall. Think about the answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of foundation would such a building need to have?

  • How does a strong foundation help a building withstand weather, natural disasters, or other difficult circumstances?

  • What words or phrases in Helaman 5:12 suggest that building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, will not prevent attacks of the adversary but will give you strength to overcome them?

  1. journal iconWrite answers to the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. What do you think it means to build the foundation of your life on the rock of Jesus Christ? How are you striving to do this in your life?

    2. When have you been able to withstand temptation or trial because the foundation of your life was Jesus Christ?

    3. How can you improve in making the Savior the foundation of your life?

Helaman 5:14–52

The Lord protects Nephi and Lehi in prison and disperses darkness from their captors when they cry to Him and repent

As recorded in Helaman 5:14–19, Nephi and Lehi preached the gospel with great power in the land of Zarahemla and baptized thousands of people there. Then they traveled to the land of Nephi, which was the land of the Lamanites. The following activity is designed to help you understand the remarkable experiences of Nephi and Lehi among the Lamanites.

  1. journal iconDraw the following chart on an entire page in your scripture study journal. Then read the verses in each box and draw a simple picture or write a brief summary of what each group of verses describes.

    Nephi and Lehi among the Lamanites

    Helaman 5:20–21

    Helaman 5:22–25

    Helaman 5:26–28

    Helaman 5:29–34

    Helaman 5:35–39

    Helaman 5:40–44

In this experience the cloud of darkness can represent sin and the pillar of fire encircling each person can represent the Holy Ghost.

Review verses 28 and 34, and write how the people felt when they were in the cloud of darkness:

Review verses 43 and 44, and write how the people felt when they were encircled by the pillar of fire:

Review verses 41 and 42, and write what the people did to remove the cloud of darkness, or in other words, to repent of their sins:

Read Helaman 5:45–47, and ponder what truths you learn about repentance from this experience. One principle is: When we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and repent of our sins, the Holy Ghost fills our hearts with peace and joy.

In Helaman 5:48–52 we learn that about 300 Lamanites were part of this miracle and were completely converted to the gospel. They went forth and ministered to their people until “the more part of the Lamanites” were also converted (Helaman 5:50). These converts then laid “down their weapons of war” (Helaman 5:51) and “did yield up unto the Nephites the lands of their possession” (Helaman 5:52). In most cases in the Book of Mormon, people regained their lands through war, but in this case the Nephites regained their lands because their enemies repented and accepted the gospel.

  1. journal iconThink about whether you are feeling peace and joy in your life. Think about any clouds of darkness that may be in your life, such as unrepented sin, contention with family members or friends, or just failing to do things such as reading the scriptures and praying regularly. Write one or more of these in your scripture study journal. Ponder what you can do to follow the example of the Lamanites in Helaman 5, and write what you can do to invite the Savior to dispel clouds of darkness that may be over you. How might repentance be part of the solution you are looking for? How will repentance help you build on the foundation of Jesus Christ?

scripture mastery icon Scripture Mastery—Helaman 5:12

Read Helaman 5:12, and identify words that suggest visual images to you (for example, rock, foundation, wind, hail, storm). To help you memorize this verse, take a piece of paper and write on it the first letter of each word in the verse, unless a word suggests a visual image. Then, in place of a letter, draw a simple picture representing that word. Practice reciting the verse using only your piece of paper. Place your paper somewhere you will see it often to help you remember the truths in this verse.

  1. journal iconWrite the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Helaman 5 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: