To strengthen the children’s testimonies of Jesus Christ so they will have power to withstand evil influences.
Prayerfully study Jacob 7:1–23. 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.
A breakable piece of string about two feet (60 cm) long and a two-foot-long piece of strong rope.
A piece of paper and pencil for each child.
Picture 4-9, Jesus the Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit 240; 62572).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Give a child the two-foot piece of string. Tell him or her to break the string. Then have the child try to break the rope. Let a few of the other children try to break the rope. Explain that our testimonies start like single pieces of string but can be strengthened until they become unbreakable. We can all develop strong testimonies that will help us when others try to challenge us and our beliefs or try to deceive us. Tell the children that this lesson is about Jacob, whose testimony was unbreakable.
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 was Jacob? (One of Nephi’s younger brothers.) About how many years before Christ’s birth did Jacob and Sherem live? (See the bottom of the page in Jacob 7.)
How did Jacob know about Jesus Christ, who had not been born yet? (Jacob 7:5, 10–12.)
What did Sherem do to try to convince the people that Jesus Christ would not come? (Jacob 7:2–4.) What does it mean to use flattery? (To give insincere or excessive praise, a form of dishonesty.)
Who influenced Sherem? (Jacob 7:4, 18.) How does Satan try to influence us?
What were some of Sherem’s lies? (Jacob 7:7, 9–10, 19.)
Why was Jacob able to withstand the evil influence of Sherem? (Jacob 7:5, 8, 10–12.) Although we may not see angels or hear God’s voice, what can we do to be strong when people tempt us to do wrong? Share an experience, or invite a child to share one when he or she has withstood someone’s evil influence.
Why didn’t Jacob want to show Sherem a sign? (Jacob 7:13–14.) Why isn’t seeking signs a good way to gain a testimony of Christ? (D&C 63:7–12.) Explain that signs may come after we demonstrate faith and obedience, but we should not seek them. Review from past lessons Laman and Lemuel’s lack of faith even though they had seen signs. (Teacher review: 1 Nephi 3:29–31; 1 Nephi 16:39; 1 Nephi 17:45; 1 Nephi 18:20.)
What effect did Sherem’s confession and death have on the people? (Jacob 7:21–23.)
Why do we need to have strong testimonies of Jesus Christ? How can we gain and strengthen our testimonies of the Savior? (See enrichment activity 2.) How can we share our testimonies with others? Why do our testimonies grow stronger when we bear them to others?
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Write on slips of paper situations in which someone tries to convince a child to do something wrong and a reference to a corresponding commandment from the scriptures. For example, your friend goes with you into a store and tries to get you to steal some candy (Exodus 20:15 or Mosiah 13:22), someone offers you a taste of an alcoholic beverage (D&C 89:7), or you are tempted to stay home and not go to church (D&C 59:9). Have the children look up and read each scripture. Discuss how knowing what the scriptures teach strengthens our testimonies of Jesus Christ and helps us resist evil influences.
You might want to have the children pantomime these situations and have the other children guess what is being pantomimed.
Divide the class into two groups. Assign Alma 5:46 to one group and Alma 37:35 to the other group. Have the children find in these scriptures ways they can strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Summarize their responses on the chalkboard.
Sing or read the words to
“I Will Be Valiant” (Children’s Songbook, p. 162) or “Dare to Do Right” (Children’s Songbook, p. 158).
Tell the children how important it is to gain and strengthen our testimonies of Jesus Christ so that we can withstand the evil influences around us. Bear your testimony of the Savior’s divinity. Challenge the children to choose one way to strengthen their testimonies and write it on a piece of paper as a reminder to take home and work on during the week.
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 Jacob 7:1–23 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.