Unit 22: Day 2, Helaman 3–4

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 219–20


Introduction

During the time described in the early chapters of Helaman, the Nephites enjoyed periods of peace and endured times of contention. Tens of thousands of Nephites joined the Church during the time of peace. Following this great prosperity, the more humble members of the Church grew in their faith despite being persecuted by those who became proud. Because many Nephites became wicked, they lost all of their southern lands to the Lamanites.

Helaman 3

Many Nephites migrate northward while the Church prospers in the midst of wickedness and persecution

Read Helaman 3:1–2, and notice that for several years there was “no contention” among the Nephite people. Now read Helaman 3:3, 19, and identify words or phrases that show things had changed among the Nephites.

Helaman 3:4–16 explains that as contention grew among the Nephites, many people moved northward. Many Nephites became wicked and joined the Lamanites.

Despite the contention and wickedness, Helaman chose to live differently. Helaman was serving as the chief judge of the Nephites and also as a prophet among them. Read Helaman 3:20, and identify how Helaman was described. (The word equity means fairness or without bias or favoritism.)

What impresses you about Helaman? Why do you think he remained so strong during this period of contention and wickedness? You may want to mark the word continually in Helaman 3:20.

Read Helaman 3:22–26, and mark how the Nephites began to change for the better. How many people joined the Church? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mormon often used the phrases “thus we may see,” “thus we see,” and “we see” to point out truths he wanted us to learn. In Helaman 3:27–30 these phrases are used a number of times, showing that Mormon wanted us to learn some important lessons. Read Helaman 3:27–30, and mark the key phrases and identify the lessons Mormon wanted us to learn.

  1. journal icon1.

    Complete the following assignments in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Write what Mormon wanted you to know from Helaman 3:27–30 about the word of God.

    2. b.

      Write how your study of the scriptures has helped you avoid wickedness and kept you on a path toward the presence of God.

Read Helaman 3:32–34, and notice that some Church members began to persecute other Church members. The persecutors were people who said they belonged to the Church, but they were actually filled with pride and did not believe in the teachings of the Church. Their actions caused the humble members of the Church to suffer many afflictions. Consider how difficult it would be to go to church and be persecuted by other Church members because you chose to follow God’s prophets and commandments.

Read Helaman 3:35 to learn how the faithful Church members acted during their time of persecution and affliction.

  1. journal icon2.

    Based on your study of Helaman 3:35, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Did the faith of the humble Church members increase or decrease during their time of affliction?

    2. b.

      What did the humble Church members do that strengthened their faith?

    3. c.

      What blessings did these Church members receive?

By studying Helaman 3:33–35, we can learn that each individual determines how persecution and affliction will affect him or her. Finish this statement based on what you learned from these verses: Despite persecution and trial, our faith in Jesus Christ can increase as we ____________________________________________________________________________________________________. (There are a number of ways to complete this sentence.) You may want to write your sentence in your scriptures next to Helaman 3:33–35.

  1. journal icon3.

    To help you better understand the teachings of these verses, answer two or all of the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      How has prayer or fasting helped you in a time of persecution or trial?

    2. b.

      What do you think it means to yield your heart unto God?

    3. c.

      When has your faith in Jesus Christ increased during a time of persecution or trial?

Read Helaman 3:36–37, and identify the spiritual state of most of the Nephites at the time when Helaman died.

Helaman 4

The Spirit of the Lord withdraws from the Nephites, and the Lamanites conquer all of the Nephites’ southern lands

As recorded in Helaman 4, after Helaman died, the pride and contention among the Nephites caused many Nephites to join the Lamanites. The Lamanites fought a battle against the Nephites. Read Helaman 4:4–8, and mark on the map the territory you think the Lamanites conquered.

  1. journal icon4.

    Divide a page in your scripture study journal in half by drawing a vertical line down the middle of the page. On the top of one side of the page write: Phrases that show the Nephites’ attitude and actions. On the other side of the page write: Phrases that show what happened because of these actions. Read Helaman 4:11–13, 21–26, and write at least three phrases under each heading.

One of the important principles we learn from Helaman 4 is this: Pride and wickedness separate us from the Spirit of the Lord and leave us to our own strength. You may want to write this principle in your scriptures next to Helaman 4:23–25.

In the Nephites’ experience, being left to their own strength usually meant losing battles and their lands (see Helaman 4:25–26). In our lives, being left to our own strength can mean losing the companionship of the Spirit.

  1. journal icon5.

    Think about what “battles” you face in your life, and write about one or more of them in your scripture study journal. Write at least one thing you can do to maintain the companionship of the Spirit in your life. Also write your feelings about the importance of having the Spirit in your life to help you face your life’s battles with the strength of the Lord.

  2. journal icon6.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Helaman 3–4 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: