To help each child understand that Jesus Christ helps missionaries teach others about his Church.
Prayerfully study Alma 17–19.
Choose a missionary from your ward who is currently serving a mission, or another missionary whom you know, to whom you can send a letter. Be prepared to help the children think of something to write or draw something to send to him or her.
Prepare to sing or say the words to
“The Seventh Article of Faith” (Children’s Songbook, p. 126; the words are the same as the actual article of faith) and “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (Children’s Songbook, p. 172).
A piece of paper and a pencil or crayons for each child.
Prepare a missionary name tag.
Picture 3-50, Ammon Defends the Flocks of King Lamoni (62535; Gospel Art Picture Kit 310).
Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities that you will be using.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.
Jesus Christ Helped Ammon to Be a Good Missionary
Ask for a volunteer to help you. Have the volunteer stand at the front of the classroom and face the other children.
What does [child’s name] need to look like a missionary?
Place the name tag on the boy or girl. Tell the children that such name tags are used to identify servants of Jesus Christ. Remind them how sacred the titles of Elder or Sister are. Even General Authorities go by the name Elder.
Ask the children how many of them have brothers, sisters, grandparents, or other relatives who are now serving or who have served as full-time missionaries. Let the children tell about their relatives who are or have served on missions. They will probably want to talk about their parents who have served missions. Ask them where their parents or other relatives have served and what they have done on their missions.
Tell the children that Jesus Christ loves all the people on the earth. He wants everyone to know about his true Church. It makes him happy when missionaries are willing to teach the truth to people everywhere.
Picture and story
Display picture 3-50, Ammon Defends the Flocks of King Lamoni. In your own words, tell the following story of a young man named Ammon who became a good missionary (see Alma 17–19).
Ammon was a Nephite prince. He was one of the sons of a righteous king named Mosiah. Ammon chose to teach the Lamanites about the gospel of Jesus Christ instead of becoming king.
Ammon loved Jesus Christ and wanted to serve him well. He prayed and fasted that the Spirit would be with him and help him.
When Ammon went to the Lamanites, they tied him up and took him to their king because they thought he was an enemy. Ammon asked to be a servant to the king. King Lamoni liked Ammon and let him live.
One day as Ammon and some of the other servants were taking the king’s sheep to water, some of the king’s enemies came and scattered the sheep. The king’s servants were frightened. They knew the king would have them killed if the sheep were stolen or lost.
When Ammon heard this, he told the servants that he would help. He told them to gather the flocks and he would take care of the robbers. He knew the Spirit would help him.
When the robbers saw Ammon coming toward them, they were not afraid, because there were many of them and Ammon was alone. The robbers did not know that the Spirit was helping Ammon. Ammon began throwing stones at them with his sling with such great power and strength that it surprised them. They soon found that although Ammon could hit them, they could not hit Ammon with their stones. The Spirit was protecting him.
The robbers attacked Ammon with their clubs. But Ammon received such great strength from the Lord that he cut off the arm of every robber who lifted his club to kill him. The robbers became so frightened that they ran away. Ammon was able to protect the king’s sheep because the Lord helped him.
How did the Spirit help Ammon? (He protected Ammon from the robbers and gave him the strength and power he needed to defeat them.)
Point out that missionaries today do not need to fight or go to battle before they can teach others about the Savior’s Church. Ammon fought only because he needed to protect the king’s sheep.
Explain that King Lamoni became willing to listen to Ammon when he heard what Ammon had done. He knew that Ammon was a loyal servant. He knew he could trust Ammon to tell him the truth. Ammon told the king and his people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Read the first sentence of Alma 18:33. These are the words that King Lamoni spoke after hearing Ammon speak.
Tell the children that King Lamoni’s faith was so strong that he no longer wanted to do wrong. He believed in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and wanted to follow their teachings. The king was so happy to know about the gospel that he began teaching the people all that Ammon had taught him.
Have the children listen while you read Alma 19:35 to discover what happened because the Spirit helped Ammon to be a good missionary.
The Spirit Helps Missionaries Now
Explain that just as Ammon was a good missionary for the Church in his day, many missionaries today all over the world are teaching people about the true Church. The Spirit is helping them. It helped Ammon.
With the children, sing or say the words to “We’ll Bring the World His Truth.”
(Words by Janice Kapp Perry. © 1983 by Janice Kapp Perry. Used by permission.)
Tell the following story about how the Spirit helped a missionary:
A young man was called to serve on a mission in Bolivia. He was sent to serve in an area where not many people wanted to listen to the gospel. He and his companion worked hard, but they did not have much success. Then one night a heavy rain started. The small river that ran past the village rose as never before. The only bridge connecting the city to the main road was washed away. Confusion was everywhere.
The young missionary saw some people who needed help, so he quickly prayed for Heavenly Father’s help as he jumped into the water to help them. Heavenly Father helped him to save many lives, help many others who had been hurt, and help feed others who were hungry.
Because of his great service, the people who before wouldn’t listen to him and his companion now began to listen. They learned to love him and even came to his door. They accepted his testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. In just a few months, he helped bring many people into the Church. (See F. Melvin Hammond,
How did Heavenly Father help this missionary?
Tell the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love the missionaries and help them teach others about the Church. Missionaries pray and occasionally fast so they can be close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and have the Spirit with them always.
Article of faith
Explain that members of the Church, and especially missionaries, often receive special spiritual gifts. The seventh article of faith mentions some of these gifts. Help the class repeat the seventh article of faith a few times. Then emphasize the following words:
“We believe in the gift of tongues, … [and in the] interpretation of tongues.”
Tell the class that the following story is an example of a missionary receiving the gift of tongues. Explain that when Elder Kikuchi, who is now a General Authority, was a missionary, he spoke Japanese and little English. Tell the following:
“Having joined the Church … Elder Kikuchi accepted a call to serve as a missionary … where he had what he feels is a significant spiritual experience.
“‘I was about midway through my mission, serving in Fukuoka, Japan, when Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, who had just been made [a General Authority], visited the mission. He was the supervisor for all the Orient. We held a meeting for the missionaries.
“‘At that time, I could say, “good morning,” “hello,” “how are you” and “thank you” but that was about all I could say in English. I wanted desperately to understand what was going on in the meeting. I could tell that it was an inspiring meeting—I could feel the Spirit but I couldn’t comprehend the words.’
“Elder Hinckley bore his testimony and all the other missionaries took turns bearing theirs—everyone except Elder Kikuchi who had been praying fervently for understanding. Finally, Elder Hinckley stood up and said that everyone, except one elder, had borne his testimony; he then invited Elder Kikuchi to speak.
“‘I didn’t know what he had said,’ Elder Kikuchi said. ‘My companion nudged me and told me what Elder Hinckley had said. I stood there and felt so good but all the time I was kind of gnashing my teeth and saying to myself, “I want to understand and comprehend English because I want to help the Church grow in the Orient.”
“‘I started speaking in Japanese for one or two sentences. Then a strange feeling came to my mind. I just started speaking in English. Everybody said later that it was beautiful English but I couldn’t understand what I had said. I believe I did bear a good testimony.’
“After the testimony had been borne, Elder Hinckley promised the young missionary that he would be blessed. ‘He told me that the Lord was preparing me for something greater, to help establish Zion here (in the Orient) in this part of the vineyard,’ Elder Kikuchi said” (Gerry Avant, “War’s tragedies lead to gospel,” Church News, 29 Oct. 1977, p. 5).
How did Jesus Christ help Elder Kikuchi on his mission?
How would you feel if you had been Elder Kikuchi and had this experience?
Help the children sing or say the words to “The Seventh Article of Faith.”
Tell the children that they can help a missionary by writing a letter to him or her. Tell the children about the missionary you have chosen or let the children help you choose one from among the missionaries serving from your ward. Explain that missionaries enjoy receiving letters, and they would enjoy hearing that Jesus Christ helps missionaries. Let the children think of what they would like to write in a letter, and write a group letter using their ideas. You may want to have them draw a picture of themselves being a missionary to either take home or enclose in the letter.
Bear your testimony that the Spirit helps missionaries teach others about the gospel. You might want to share an experience in which the Spirit helped you or someone you know to share the gospel with someone.
Invite the children to be missionaries during the coming week by telling someone about the gospel or giving them a copy of the Book of Mormon. (Talk with the bishop or branch president about possible funding from the ward budget for this class project.)
Ask the child invited to give the closing prayer to thank Heavenly Father for helping the missionaries teach others about the true Church.
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for your children. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”
Invite a returned missionary to visit your class and share an experience with the class in which he or she was helped on his or her mission. (Be sure to clear this with the bishop if the person lives outside the ward.)
Sing or say with the children the words to
“I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” (Children’s Songbook, p. 169); these words are included at the back of the manual. You might want to use this song several times throughout the lesson if the children enjoy it.
Talk with the children about ways they can prepare now to be good missionaries. Help them understand that when they do what is right and are kind to others, they are preparing to be good missionaries. Bear your testimony that when we are trying to do what is right, Heavenly Father will help and bless us.
Use the first and fifth verses of
“Book of Mormon Stories” (Children’s Songbook, p. 118) as a song or an action verse.Book of Mormon stories that my teacher tells to meAre about the Lamanites in ancient history.Long ago their fathers came from far across the sea,Giv’n the land if they lived righteously.Ammon was a missionary serving Lamanites,Tending King Lamoni’s sheep for several days and nights.Robbers came; he saved the sheep by fighting fearlessly.He had learned he could live righteously.
For younger children, use the action verse “Jesus Loves All Children.” Explain that because Jesus Christ loves everyone, he wants everyone to know about his true Church.Jesus loves all children. (hold arms out)The little ones still small. (use hand to indicate knee-high child)The baby in the cradle (form cradle with arms and pretend to rock a baby)The ones so big and tall. (raise hand high over head)