Lesson 31: Samuel the Lamanite

Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997), 111–13


Purpose

To teach the children that prophets foretold the life and mission of Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Helaman 13–14, 16, and 3 Nephi 23:9–13. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

  2. 2.

    Additional reading: Helaman 15.

  3. 3.

    Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Book of Mormon for each child.

    2. b.

      Three note cards with excerpts of prophecies from Nephi, Abinadi, and Alma (see the attention activity).

    3. c.

      Minor props, such as scarves, robes, or name tags, for the children to use to role-play Nephi, Abinadi, and Alma.

    4. d.

      Picture 4-42, Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall (Gospel Art Picture Kit 314; 62370).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Have three children from your class who read well role-play Nephi, Abinadi, and Alma. They could each have a name tag or a partial costume. They could pretend to come from a time machine to visit the class and retell their prophecies of Jesus Christ’s life and mission:

“I arrived in the promised land almost six hundred years before Christ was born. I told my people about a vision I had which taught me of Christ’s birth and death: ‘I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God.’ Then I ‘saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world’ (1 Nephi 11:20–21, 33). Who am I?” (Nephi.)

“I lived about one hundred and fifty years before Jesus Christ. The people did not like me and did not believe the things I told them. I prophesied that Jesus Christ would ‘come down among the children of men, and … redeem his people’ by being ‘crucified, and slain’ and taking ‘upon himself their iniquity’ (Mosiah 15:1, 7, 9). I was burned at the stake for my testimony. Who am I?” (Abinadi.)

“After a special vision I had about one hundred years before Jesus Christ was born, I knew that I could be saved only through our Redeemer, who would come. I traveled everywhere to tell people what I had learned, that the ‘Son of God … shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind. … And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death [and] succor [or help] his people according to their infirmities’ (Alma 7:10–12). Who am I?” (Alma.)

Explain that not only did these three prophets prophesy of Jesus Christ, so have all other prophets. Refer to Mosiah 13:33: “Did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?” Explain that in this lesson they will learn of another important prophet, Samuel the Lamanite, who taught with great courage and power of Christ’s birth, death, and mission.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of Samuel the Lamanite from Helaman 13–14, 16. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Emphasize that Samuel taught the people boldly of Jesus and the Atonement.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • What message was Samuel the Lamanite sent to reveal to the Nephites? (Helaman 13:6–7.) What were the glad tidings Samuel was sent to teach? (Helaman 14:9, 11–13. Explain that “glad tidings” means “good news,” or the gospel.) Why is the gospel of Jesus Christ good news for us? (We can repent and be forgiven of our sins.)

  • What did Samuel say would happen to the Nephites if they did not repent? (Helaman 13:6, 8–10.) Why is it important to have the Spirit with us? Why is it important not to put off repentance? (Helaman 13:38.)

  • Who were the Nephites following instead of the prophets? (Helaman 13:27–29.) What “foolish and blind guides” are leading people today? How do others sometimes try to get us to do wrong things?

  • Why did the people reject Samuel’s teachings? (Helaman 14:10.)

  • Display the picture Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall. Why did Samuel get on the city wall? (Helaman 14:11–12.) What did Samuel prophesy would happen in five years, and what would be the signs? (Helaman 14:2–6.) What would be the signs at the time of Christ’s death? (Helaman 14:20–28.) Why did the Lord reveal these signs to the Nephites? (Helaman 14:12–13, 28.)

  • What did Samuel teach about the Atonement? (Helaman 14:15–18.) What responsibility do we have when we understand the Atonement? (Helaman 14:19.) What responsibility do we have for our actions? (Helaman 14:30–31.)

  • What did the Nephites who believed Samuel do after he finished preaching? (Helaman 16:1.) What did those who did not believe him do? (Helaman 16:6.) Why do you think people choose not to believe the prophets? What can we do to strengthen our testimonies of the prophets?

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Find some recent talks given by the living prophet (see especially the confer-ence issues of the Ensign or one of the international magazines). Read some excerpts from the talks, and let the children discover what the prophet is teaching them to do today. Write the children’s answers on the chalkboard. Let the children each choose one principle they want to follow, and have them write it on a note card.

  2. 2.

    Make two column headings on the chalkboard: “Signs of Christ’s Birth” and “Signs of Christ’s Death.” Write all of the signs of Jesus Christ’s birth and death that were discussed in this lesson on separate pieces of paper, and mix them up in a small container. Let the children take turns picking one, reading it, and placing it under one of the two columns.

      Signs of Christ’s Birth (Helaman 14:2–6)

    • Great lights in heaven

    • A day and a night and a day as if there were no night

    • A new star

    • Many signs and wonders in heaven

      Signs of Christ’s Death (Helaman 14:20–28)

    • Sun, moon, and stars shall be darkened

    • No light for three days

    • Thunderings and lightnings for many hours

    • Earth shall shake and tremble

    • Solid mass of rocks shall be broken up

    • Great tempests

    • Mountains laid low

    • Valleys become mountains

    • Highways broken up

    • Cities become desolate

    • Graves shall be opened and yield up their dead

  3. 3.

    Memorize the sixth, seventh, or ninth article of faith.

  4. 4.

    Sing or read the words to “Book of Mormon Stories” (Children’s Songbook, p. 118), verse 7; “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 36); or “Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, p. 110).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear testimony of the truthfulness of the things prophets tell us, both in times of old and now.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Helaman 14:1–14, 20–31 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.