To help each child want to overcome evil in his or her personal life by choosing to listen to and obey the prophets.
Prayerfully study Ether 2:10–12; 11:1–5; 12:1–5; 13:13–22; 14:1–2, 21; 15:1–6, 18–34; and Omni 1:20–21. 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.)
Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.
A Book of Mormon for each child.
Picture 4-54, Ether Recorded the History of the Jaredites.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Ask questions similar to the following:
What would happen if you chose to stick a pin in a fully inflated balloon?
What would happen if your family chose to stop watering a plant in your home?
What would happen if you chose to stay up late and not get enough sleep?
Explain to the children that all their choices have consequences. Consequences are what happen as a result of the choices we make. The scriptures and our prophets teach us the consequences of our choices because Heavenly Father wants us to make good choices. This lesson is about the Jaredites and the prophet Ether. Ether told the Jaredites that if they chose not to repent, the consequences would be that all of the people would be destroyed.
Teach the children the account of the destruction of the Jaredites from the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Point out that the prophets taught the people to have faith in Jesus Christ and to repent, but because the people rejected and killed the prophets, eventually the entire Jaredite civilization was destroyed. Use the picture at an appropriate time.
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 is agency? (The ability to choose.) Why did Heavenly Father give us agency? Help the children understand that we grow and learn when we make choices. Heavenly Father knew that forcing us to do things would not help us learn to become like him.
What did the Jaredites do to the prophets who prophesied of their destruction? (Ether 11:1–5.) What could the Jaredites have done to prevent their destruction? Explain that we can always choose to repent and avoid the consequences of continuing in sin.
How did the people react to Ether’s teachings? (Ether 13:13.) Where did Ether hide? (Ether 13:14.) What did he do while he was in the cave? Why do you think some people refuse to listen to the prophets?
What are the consequences of using our agency to make right choices? Ask the children to give examples of right choices and consequences. What are the consequences when we make wrong choices? Give examples of wrong choices and their consequences.
What did Coriantumr write in a letter to Shiz, the opposing military leader? (Ether 15:4.) What did Shiz answer? (Ether 15:5.) How did Coriantumr and his people react to the people of Shiz? (Ether 15:6.)
Who were the last two Jaredite warriors? (Ether 15:29.) Which one survived? (Ether 15:30–32.) Who found Coriantumr? (Omni 1:20–21.) What did the prophet Ether do with the record he wrote about the Jaredites? (Ether 15:33.) What was Ether’s final testimony? (Ether 15:34.) What should be the most important goal of our lives?
How do you think you would have felt if you had been Ether and had seen the people destroyed because of their disobedience?
What could the Jaredites have done to avoid this great tragedy? How can choosing to follow the living prophets help us today? What are some of the teachings of the living prophets today? What blessings will come if we follow their counsel?
You might use enrichment activity 3 as a review of this lesson.
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Share recent conference messages of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that could apply to the children in your class. Ask the children how they can follow the living prophets, and list their suggestions on the chalkboard. Have the children choose one way they can follow the prophets during the coming week.
Before class, write the letters to the word obedience on separate pieces of paper, and hide them around the classroom. Explain to the children that you have hidden some letters. Give specific directions for finding each letter. When all the letters have been located, put them on the floor or chalkboard to form the word obedience. Ask how they were able to find all the letters. Teach the children that Heavenly Father wants us to choose to obey. Learning to obey is one of the main reasons we are here on earth. Heavenly Father wants us to use our agency and choose to obey the counsel of the leaders of the Church. Ask the children what they think is the most important thing they can do to be happy. Refer again to the letters that spell obedience. Point out that Heavenly Father tells us in the scriptures and through his Church leaders what he wants us to do. When we use our agency to be obedient and do what he says, he will help us find happiness.
Make the following wordstrips:
Suffering or destruction
Explain that throughout history when people have been righteous, Heavenly Father has blessed them with prosperity. Unfortunately this prosperity can lead to pride and wickedness and sometimes complete destruction.
Explain that this is what happened to the Jaredites. At first they were a righteous people and were blessed and prospered. (Draw a large circle on the chalkboard, and have the children put up the wordstrips “Righteousness,” “Blessings,” and “Prosperity” in the proper places on the circle [see the following illustration].) Then the Jaredites became proud and rejected the prophets. The people became so wicked that they were entirely destroyed. (Have the children put up the wordstrips “Pride,” “Wickedness,” and “Suffering or destruction” in the proper places on the circle.) Explain that if the Jaredites had humbled themselves and repented before they were destroyed, they could have returned to enjoying the blessings of righteous living. (Have the children put up the wordstrips “Humility” and “Repentance” in the proper places on the circle.) Help the children understand that this cycle often happens in our personal lives as well as in the history of nations.
Have the children make their own copies of the cycle of history to take home and share with their families. The children could make their cycles more personal by including such things as “listening to the prophets,” “obeying my parents,” “praying daily,” “expressing gratitude,” “serving others,” and so on.
Sing or read the words to
“Follow the Prophet” (Children’s Songbook, p. 110), “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook, p. 146), or “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (Children’s Songbook, p. 172).
Testify that if we choose to listen to and follow Heavenly Father’s prophets we will be blessed and can overcome evil.
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.”