Lesson 38: Peace among the Nephites

Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997), 135–37


Purpose

To encourage each child to seek the peace and happiness that come from living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study 3 Nephi 28:1–16, 23–40 and 4 Nephi. 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.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Ask the children to imagine what it would be like to have the Savior live with their family for a week. Ask them what they think it would be like to be in their home for that week. Have a child read 4 Nephi 1:15–16. Explain that these verses describe how the people in America treated each other after Jesus Christ’s visit. Help the children discuss what it would be like living under these conditions.

  • How would our lives be different if everyone obeyed the commandments? (We would have no need for locks, keys, police officers, and so on.) Help the children understand that one of the most important keys to happiness is how we treat other people. By living the teachings of Jesus Christ, we will treat our families and friends with more kindness and less selfishness, and we will find greater peace and happiness.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account in 3 Nephi 28:1–16, 23–40 and 4 Nephi of the Nephite disciples and the peace and happiness the Nephites found in keeping the commandments. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

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 did Jesus Christ’s disciples desire of him? (3 Nephi 28:2, 4–7.) Why were the three disciples allowed to remain on earth until its end? (3 Nephi 28:6, 9.) What changes were made in their bodies that made it possible for them to do this? (3 Nephi 28:38–39.)

  • How were the three disciples protected as they taught the people? (3 Nephi 28:18–22.) What did Mormon record about these three disciples? (3 Nephi 28:24–26. Point out that Mormon lived about 350 years after Jesus Christ.)

  • What did the disciples do after the Savior left them? (3 Nephi 28:18.) What did the people do when they heard the disciples’ words? (4 Nephi 1:1–2.) How many of the people were converted? Point out that the people were no longer divided into Nephites and Lamanites but were united.

  • What do contention and disputation mean? (4 Nephi 1:2. Quarreling or arguing.) How have you and your family been blessed when you have had no contention? How can you be a peacemaker and help your family avoid contention?

  • What does it mean that the people had “all things common among them”? (4 Nephi 1:3.) What would you like about living in this way? Why do you think it might be hard?

  • What miracles did Jesus Christ’s disciples perform? (4 Nephi 1:5.)

  • How were the people blessed? (See enrichment activity 1.)

  • Why was there no contention in the land? (4 Nephi 1:15.) What does it mean to have the “love of God” in our hearts? When have you felt the love of God in your life? How can we share this love with others?

  • What caused a change in this happy society? (4 Nephi 1:23–29.) How did the people treat the disciples? (4 Nephi 1:30–34.) What is pride? How can we overcome pride in our lives?

  • What does it mean to “wilfully rebel against the gospel of Christ” as these people did? (4 Nephi 1:38.)

  • What was the condition of the people three hundred years after Christ’s visit? (4 Nephi 1:45–46.)

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.

    Prepare wordstrips of these phrases from 4 Nephi 1:2–3, 5, 15–17:

    • “Every man did deal justly one with another.”

    • “They had all things common among them.”

    • “All manner of miracles did they work.”

    • “There was no contention in the land.”

    • “The love of God … did dwell in the hearts of the people.”

    • “There were no envyings.”

    • “There were no … tumults [rioting].”

    • “There were no … lyings.”

    • “There were no robbers.”

    • “There were … [no] murderers.”

    • “They were in one, the children of Christ.”

    Put the wordstrips in a container, and let each child draw one out and display it. These phrases from 4 Nephi explain why the people were living in peace and happiness.

  2. 2.

    Read and discuss the following statement from President Ezra Taft Benson, the thirteenth President of the Church:

    “The Lord warns us in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old’ (D&C 38:39)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, p. 3; or Ensign, May 1989, p. 4). President Benson taught us that we can overcome pride in our lives and be humble, meek, and submissive by—

    • Loving Heavenly Father and putting him first in our lives.

    • Not worrying about what others think of us but only what Heavenly Father thinks of us.

    • Not gossiping or criticizing.

    • Not envying or living beyond our means.

    • Not arguing or fighting in our families.

    • Helping others feel good about themselves.

    • Accepting counsel from our leaders.

    • Forgiving those who have offended us.

    • Being unselfish.

    • Serving others.

    These statements could be prepared as wordstrips and placed in a sack. The children could each draw out one wordstrip and discuss how that principle can help us overcome pride in our families.

  3. 3.

    Read, discuss, and help the children memorize part or all of 4 Nephi 1:15–16.

  4. 4.

    Have the children role-play real-life situations where there is contention. Have the children role-play what the situation would be like if they were living in the Nephite society with “no contention.” (Suggestions: two children both want to be first in line, two sisters both want to play with the same toy, and so on.)

  5. 5.

    Read and discuss the following statement from Elder Marvin J. Ashton:

    “‘How can you tell if someone is converted to Jesus Christ?’ … ‘The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1992, p. 25; or Ensign, May 1992, p. 20).

  6. 6.

    Help the children memorize the thirteenth article of faith. Discuss how it applies to the way the Nephites lived after Jesus Christ visited them and how we can live now.

  7. 7.

    Read and discuss Doctrine and Covenants 19:23.

  8. 8.

    Sing or read the words to “I Feel My Savior’s Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 74) or “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook, p. 146).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear testimony that we can experience peace and happiness if we humbly live as the Savior has taught us to.

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 4 Nephi 1:1–18 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.