As you teach this lesson, you will lead a discussion about 1 Nephi 19–20, in which Nephi quotes the prophet Isaiah. You do not need to be an expert on the words of Isaiah to be able to teach them. As you prayerfully study the scriptures and use the help provided in this lesson and the student manual, you will be able to teach with power and enthusiasm (see “Introduction to the Writings of Isaiah,” on pages 43–45 in the student manual).
Nephi read the words of Isaiah to “more fully persuade [his people] to believe in the Lord their Redeemer” (1 Nephi 19:23). In sharing Isaiah’s prophecies, Nephi taught that although calamities will come to the world in the last days, “the righteous need not fear” because the Lord “will preserve [them] by his power” (1 Nephi 22:17). Look for ways to share this teaching and others that will bring comfort and strength to your students. Guided by the Spirit, you can help students see how Isaiah testified of the Savior and His dealings with the house of Israel, both anciently and today.
Some Doctrines and Principles
Nephi’s purpose in keeping his record was to persuade others to remember their Redeemer (see 1 Nephi 19).
We should liken the scriptures to ourselves for our profit and learning (see 1 Nephi 19:23–24).
The Lord refines His people in the furnace of affliction (see 1 Nephi 20).
Suggestions for Teaching
1 Nephi 19. Nephi’s Purpose in Keeping His Record Was to Persuade Others to Remember Their Redeemer
Instruct students to silently read 1 Nephi 19:1–5 and look for answers to the following questions. You may want to write the questions on the board.
How many sets of plates did Nephi make?
In what ways were the sets of plates different from each other?
Which set of plates does 1 Nephi come from? How do we know?
Invite a student to read 1 Nephi 19:6.
After explaining the small plates and their contents, what did Nephi say he was going to write about?
Instruct half of the class to read 1 Nephi 19:7–9 silently and the other half to read 1 Nephi 19:10–12 silently. Have students identify what they feel are the most meaningful phrases about the Savior in their assigned passages. Then ask why they have selected those phrases. Share your testimony of the Savior’s mission as found in these verses.
Ask a student to read 1 Nephi 19:18.
What was Nephi’s purpose in writing these teachings?
What do you think it means to remember the Lord? How do the scriptures help you remember Him?
“We keep our covenant to remember Him every time we gather our families to read the scriptures. They testify of the Lord Jesus Christ, for that is the message and always has been of prophets. Even if children do not remember the words, they will remember the true Author, who is Jesus Christ” (in Conference Report, April 1998, 87; or
1 Nephi 19:23–24. We Should Liken the Scriptures to Ourselves for Our Profit and Learning
Invite students to name people from the scriptures whose examples have helped them.
Why do you think it is valuable to compare ourselves and our circumstances with people and teachings in the scriptures?
What are some ways we can “liken the scriptures” to ourselves?
Summarize students’ responses on the board. You might refer to the questions included on page 43 in the student manual.
“We must read [the scriptures] as if the Lord were speaking directly to us in a personal manner” (in Conference Report, April 1993, 16; or
Encourage students to remember some of the ideas on the board and use these ideas as they study the scriptures.
1 Nephi 20. The Lord Refines His People in the Furnace of Affliction
Write on the board “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth” (Hebrews 12:6).
What does it mean to chasten? (To correct with punishment or suffering.)
In what ways is chastening evidence of the Lord’s love for us?
Write the following on the board:
Evidence that the house of Israel had not been faithful to the Lord
Evidence that the Lord still loved them and wanted them to be faithful to Him
Divide the class into two groups. Instruct one group to read 1 Nephi 20:1–8, looking for evidence that members of the house of Israel had not been faithful to the Lord at the time of this revelation. Instruct the other group to read 1 Nephi 20:9–17, looking for evidence that the Lord still loved them and wanted them to be faithful to Him.
Invite students from each group to share what they have found. Discuss students’ responses, noting ways these verses can apply in our day.
Invite students to read 1 Nephi 20:10.
What are some possible meanings of the phrase “furnace of affliction”?
How can the furnace of affliction help us be faithful to the Lord?
Allow time for students to respond, and then read Doctrine and Covenants 105:5–6 with the class.
Invite students to contemplate the contrast between 1 Nephi 20:10 and 1 Nephi 20:18–19. Then ask them to write their own conclusion to this statement: “I feel that the message of 1 Nephi 20 to us today is: _______________.” Ask students to share their responses.
1 Nephi 21:1–17. The Lord Will Never Forget Us
Read 1 Nephi 21:6–13 with the students, asking them to look for symbols that represent the Savior’s love for us.
Verse 9 includes a reference to the Savior freeing prisoners. How might this apply to both the living and the dead?
In what ways does the Lord comfort His people? How does He show “mercy upon his afflicted”? (verse 13).
Invite students to read 1 Nephi 21:14–17.
Why do you think people sometimes feel that the Lord has forgotten them? How might you use this passage to help someone who feels alone or frightened?
What does it mean to you to be graven on the palms of the Savior’s hands?
“Christ will not forget the children he has redeemed or the covenant he has made with them for salvation in Zion. The painful reminders of that watch care and covenant are the marks of the Roman nails graven upon the palms of his hands” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon , 84).
What experiences have helped you know that the Lord has not forgotten you?
Share your testimony about the Savior’s love.
1 Nephi 21:18–25; 22:7–22. The Lord Promised to Restore the Gospel and Gather Israel in the Latter Days
Draw a simple map of the world on the board, or show an overhead transparency of a map of the world. (If you choose to draw the map on the board, you may want to do so before class.)
Read 1 Nephi 22:1–2 with students.
Read 1 Nephi 22:3–4 with students.
What is Nephi describing in these verses?
Make sure students understand that these verses are about the members of the house of Israel being scattered throughout the world. To emphasize this idea, using the map of the world from the diagram above, you could draw several lines from the area of Israel northward in different directions. These lines could illustrate the scattering of the ten lost tribes taken north in about 722 B.C. (see 2 Kings 18:9–11). Then draw a line from Israel to the Americas. This could illustrate the migration of Lehi’s family. Then draw another line to the Americas, representing Mulek and his people (see Omni 1:14–16). Then draw a line from Central or South America to the north and another line to the west to the Polynesian islands. These lines could represent the possible migrations of Hagoth (see Alma 63:5–9). Help students understand that this represents a very small part of the scattering of Israel. Invite students to read 1 Nephi 22:3, 5 and identify to which nations the house of Israel was scattered.
What reason does Nephi give in 1 Nephi 22:5 for Israel being scattered?
“How thankful I am for the wonders of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It is indeed a marvelous work and a wonder, which has been brought to pass by the power of the Almighty in behalf of His sons and daughters. We of this season in His work can serve in a work of salvation in behalf of the whole human family, including all the generations of the sons and daughters of God who have lived upon the earth in past centuries. The work is true” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley , 242).
Read 1 Nephi 22:9–10 with the students.
In what ways will this “marvelous work” bless “all the kindreds of the earth”? (As students discuss this question, you might draw arrows on the map, going out from the United States of America, signifying that the gospel was restored in the United States and has spread throughout the earth.)
Nephi explained how the Lord will “make bare his arm,” or show His power, “in the eyes of the nations.” Divide students into three groups for the following activity. Ask each group to search their assigned verses to discover how the Lord’s power will be manifest to the nations. Also ask them to discuss examples they have seen of the principles in these verses.
1 Nephi 22:11–12, 24–25 (restoring covenants, bringing Israel out of spiritual darkness, helping them know that Jesus Christ is their Savior, numbering His sheep and gathering them into one fold)
1 Nephi 22:14–15, 22–23 (destroying the proud and wicked who fight against Zion)
1 Nephi 22:16–21 (preserving His covenant people)
Ask the groups to share their findings with one another in a class discussion. Then continue with the following questions:
How do the teachings in these verses help you as you think about the future?
In what ways does personal righteousness defend you against many of the difficulties in the world?
Share your testimony of the blessings we receive as we are gathered into the house of Israel in the latter days and keep our covenants.