Lesson 34: Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites the Beatitudes

Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997), 121–25


Purpose

To teach the children that the Beatitudes and the other truths Jesus Christ taught the Nephites can help us become more like our Heavenly Father and his Son.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study 3 Nephi 12 and 3 Nephi 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.

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

  3. 3.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Book of Mormon for each child.

    2. b.

      Picture 4-45, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere (Gospel Art Picture Kit 316; 62380).

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Divide the children into pairs. If there is an uneven number of children, be a partner for one of the children. Ask the children to first listen to all the directions and then try to remember them and do them in the sequence they were given.

  1. 1.

    Shake hands with your partner, and tell him or her your full name.

  2. 2.

    Stand up and tell your partner something you admire about him or her.

  3. 3.

    Turn around once and tell your partner one thing you like about yourself.

  4. 4.

    Find out your partner’s favorite Book of Mormon prophet.

  5. 5.

    Sit down, and fold your arms.

Ask the children to begin. If the children have a hard time remembering everything, repeat the instructions and have them try again. Explain that if the activity were repeated several times everyone would be able to remember and do what they were asked to do. As we choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ throughout our lives, we will gradually learn to become like our Heavenly Father and his Son.

Explain that Jesus Christ visited the Americas after he was resurrected. He chose twelve disciples and taught the Nephites the same principles he taught in the Sermon on the Mount in Jerusalem (see Matthew 5–7). These teachings, known as the Beatitudes, are important for us to live. The word beatitude means happiness or blessing.

Scripture Account

Display the picture Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere, and teach the children the account from 3 Nephi 12 and 3 Nephi 13 of Jesus Christ teaching the Beatitudes. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Emphasize that the Savior was teaching us how to become like him and his Father.

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.

  • Who did Jesus Christ say the Nephites should listen to and obey? (3 Nephi 12:1.) Why is it important that we listen to and obey our Church leaders today?

  • What blessings do we receive when we are baptized? (3 Nephi 12:2.) What must we do if we want the Holy Ghost to help us?

  • What does it mean to be “poor in Spirit”? (3 Nephi 12:3. Teachable, not conceited or boastful.) How can we show Heavenly Father we are teachable? Point out that the words “who come unto me” in verse 3 are not in the Bible account but help us better understand the Beatitudes. Being “poor in spirit” is not enough unless we come unto the Savior. This applies to each of the other Beatitudes as well.

The Savior taught that we should repent and come unto him “as a little child” (3 Nephi 9:22). Point out exemplary qualities you have observed in each child. Emphasize the importance of being reverent in class, trying to learn, and helping others learn.

Read 3 Nephi 12:4. Share a time when you have felt comforted by the Spirit. Invite the children to share experiences they have had when they were comforted.

  • What does it mean to be meek? (3 Nephi 12:5. To be gentle and kind and to show self-control.) How are we and others blessed when we are meek?

  • What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness? (We should want to be good as much as we want food and water.) What are we promised if we hunger and thirst after righteousness? (3 Nephi 12:6.)

  • What does it mean to show mercy? (3 Nephi 12:7. To be willing to forgive, to be kind and loving.) When we show mercy, what are we promised? You may want to share an experience when you chose to forgive someone and how you felt when you did.

  • What does it mean to be pure in heart? (3 Nephi 12:8. To be sincere and genuine, to have clean minds and hearts, to enjoy good things, and to turn away from evil or wickedness in thought and action.) What are some examples of choosing good activities over bad ones? How does obeying the teachings of the gospel help us to be pure in heart?

  • What does it mean to be a peacemaker? (3 Nephi 12:9.) What are some situations you can change by being a peacemaker? How does it make you feel when you are a peacemaker?

  • What did the Savior promise those who are persecuted (teased, made fun of, tormented) because of their testimony of him? (3 Nephi 12:10–12.) Do you know anyone who has endured persecution for the Savior’s sake? You may want to share a time when you or someone you know stood for what is right in spite of being criticized.

  • What does it mean to be the salt of the earth? (3 Nephi 12:13. See enrichment activity 4.) How can your righteous example to others be compared to salt?

  • How much light would a lighted candle give if it were under a bucket or can? (3 Nephi 12:14–16.) In what ways can you let your light (or example) shine? How has someone else’s example been like a light in your life?

  • How can keeping the commandments help us become more like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? (3 Nephi 12:48.)

  • How important is it for us to forgive others? (3 Nephi 13:14–15.)

  • What can we learn about fasting from 3 Nephi 13:16–18?

  • What do you think “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” means? (3 Nephi 13:19–20.) What treasures can we take with us from this life into the next life? What treasures that seem important to us now can we not take with us?

  • Why does Jesus Christ give us commandments? (3 Nephi 12:20.) What have you learned from the Beatitudes and other truths that will help you this week to be more like the Savior?

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.

    Write the headings Blessed are and Promise on the chalkboard. Write 3 Nephi 12:3, 4, and so on to verse 10 on separate pieces of paper and distribute them to class members. Have the children read the verses on their pieces of paper and tell you what the promise is in each Beatitude. Write the responses in the appropriate column. (Emphasize the importance of “coming unto Christ” when you talk about each Beatitude.) When you are through, the chalkboard should have the following lists on it:

    Blessed Are

    Promise

    the poor in spirit who come unto Jesus Christ

    shall receive the kingdom of heaven

    those who mourn

    shall be comforted

    the meek

    shall inherit the earth

    those who hunger and thirst after righteousness

    shall be filled with the Holy Ghost

    the merciful

    shall obtain mercy

    the pure in heart

    shall see God

    peacemakers

    shall be called the children of God

    those who are persecuted for the Savior

    shall receive the kingdom of heaven

  2. 2.

    Discuss and help the children memorize the thirteenth article of faith.

  3. 3.

    Ask the children how they could better live one of the Beatitudes, and list their suggestions on the chalkboard. Encourage each child to choose one of the Beatitudes to work on this week. You may want to give the children a paper with the sentence “This week I will be more _______” printed on it. Have them fill in the blank and take the paper home.

  4. 4.

    Show the children some salt. Explain that salt has been used for hundreds of years to flavor foods and preserve them from spoiling. Just as salt preserves food, our relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior is preserved when we obey their teachings and keep our covenants. As salt adds flavor to food, we can add goodness to the world by living righteously. Ask the children the following questions:

    • What are some of the impure (unclean) influences of the world that can affect our relationship with the Savior?

    • Just as salt loses its savor (flavor) when it is weakened with impurities, what happens to us when we allow impurities (unclean thoughts, influences, and actions) into our lives?

  5. 5.

    If you are not teaching this lesson on fast Sunday, prepare a food such as popcorn with and without salt (check with parents to see if any of the children are allergic), and have the children taste the difference. Explain how important salt is to certain foods. Help the children understand that to be considered the salt of the earth we must develop Christlike qualities and give service to others.

  6. 6.

    Read the following scripture. Have the children raise their hands each time they hear the word do.

    “This is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;

    “Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (3 Nephi 27:21–22; italics added).

    Explain that if we do the things the Savior has commanded us to do, he will bless us. It is an eternal law that obedience brings blessings. You may want to read and discuss D&C 130:20–21.

  7. 7.

    Show a picture of Spencer W. Kimball, twelfth President of the Church, and tell the children one of his favorite mottos: “Do it.” President Kimball knew that it was essential not only to know the teachings of Jesus but to actually do them. Tell this story about President Kimball and the song “I Am a Child of God.”

    “In 1957 the Primary General Board … asked Naomi W. Randall and Mildred T. Pettit … to write a [song about the need of children to be taught the gospel]. Naomi Randall reported: ‘That evening, I got down on my knees and prayed aloud, pleading that our Heavenly Father would let me know the right words. Around 2:00 A.M. I awakened and began to think again about the song. Words came to my mind. … I immediately got up and began to write the words down as they had come to me. Three verses and a chorus were soon formed. I gratefully surveyed the work, drank of the message of the words, and returned to my bedroom where I knelt before my Father in Heaven to say “Thank you!”’ …

    “The words of the chorus originally read, ‘Teach me all that I must know / To live with him some day.’ (Italics added.) A few years after the song was published, Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, attended a conference … where a Primary children’s chorus sang the song. Naomi Randall said: ‘On the trip home he talked with a Primary General Board member [and] expressed his love for the song, then stated that there was one word in the chorus that concerned him. He wondered if Sister Randall would consider changing the line that says “Teach me all that I must know” to “Teach me all that I must do.” Of course I gladly accepted his suggestion.

    “‘I wondered why I didn’t include that thought at the time the lyrics were first written. But as time went on I came to feel very sincerely that this was the way the Lord wanted the song to evolve, because it became a teaching moment for members all over the Church and impressed upon their minds that knowing the gospel is not all that is required; it is the day-by-day doing the Lord’s will and keeping the commandments that help us reach our eternal goal’” (in Karen Lynn Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns, pp. 303–4).

    Have each child write “Do it now” on a card to take home.

  8. 8.

    Sing or read the words to “I Want to Live the Gospel” (Children’s Songbook, p. 148); “Love One Another” (Children’s Songbook, p. 136); “The Things I Do” (Children’s Songbook, p. 170); “Nephi’s Courage” (Children’s Songbook, p. 120), verse 3; “I Am a Child of God” (Children’s Songbook, p. 2); or “Do What Is Right” (Hymns, no. 237).

Conclusion

Testimony

Testify that by living the Beatitudes and other commandments we will be blessed and will become more like Heavenly Father.

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 3 Nephi 12:3–24, 39–48 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.