Omni 1

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 94–96


Introduction

Amaleki, the principal writer of the book of Omni, was a man of spiritual insight. He wrote about many gifts of the Spirit. He invited all to “come unto Christ … and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end” (Omni 1:26). Amaleki promised salvation to those who would willingly follow this direction.

Amaleki also provided several important historical links. He recounted the migration of the Nephites from the land of Nephi to Zarahemla. He explained that the people of Zarahemla (called Mulekites) had been brought by the Lord from Jerusalem when “Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon” (Omni 1:15). Amaleki also described the discovery of the last survivor of the Jaredite nation, a group of people the Lord led to the Americas after the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel (see Omni 1:20–22). Their history is recorded in the book of Ether.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • Several times the Lord has led righteous people to the Americas, a promised and choice land. Those who live in that land must remain righteous to prosper (see Omni 1:14–22; see also Ether 2:10).

  • To fully come unto Christ, we must be willing to offer Him all that we are and all that we have (see Omni 1:26; see also Mosiah 2:34; D&C 103:28).

Additional Resources

Suggestions for Teaching

video iconBook of Mormon Video presentation 9, “An Overview of Book of Mormon History” (9:25), can be used in teaching Omni 1 (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Omni 1:1–12. The book of Omni has several authors and covers several generations. (10–15 minutes)

Draw on the board the chart found in the introduction to the book of Omni, without the information in the middle column. Invite students to read the verses in the left column and fill in the name of the author of the verses and his relationship to the previous writer. Discuss the following questions (these could be written on the board in advance):

  • What happened between the Nephites and Lamanites during this time period?

  • What do we know about these Book of Mormon writers?

  • Were the Nephites wicked or righteous during this period?

  • What happened to the wicked Nephites? the righteous Nephites? (see vv. 5–7).

Note: For more information on the record keepers of the Book of Mormon, see the chart “Nephite Record Keepers” in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122 (p. 155).

Omni 1:12–19, 27–30. Knowing the history, geography, and peoples of the book of Omni is essential to understanding the Book of Mormon. (5–10 minutes)

Draw the accompanying map on the board (leave off the arrows). Remind students that in Nephi’s time the Nephites left the Lamanites and traveled “in the wilderness for the space of many days” (2 Nephi 5:7). Their new home came to be called the land of Nephi (see Omni 1:12). Draw an arrow from the land of first inheritance to the land of Nephi.

Explain to students that today they will study about another migration of the Nephites. Read Omni 1:12–19 and look for answers to the following questions:

  • What was the name of the Nephite king?

  • What was the name of the new land that the Nephites went to?

  • Why did the Nephites leave?

  • Where did the people of Zarahemla come from?

  • What resulted from their not having any scripture?

  • What did the Nephites do with the people of Zarahemla?

As students respond, draw an arrow from the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla.

Invite students to read Omni 1:27–30 and look for additional travels some Nephites made during the life of Amaleki. As students respond, draw an arrow from Zarahemla toward the land of Nephi and back again. Draw another arrow from Zarahemla all the way to the land of Nephi.

Omni 1:25–26. To fully come unto Christ, we must be willing to offer Him all that we are and all that we have. (10–15 minutes)

Before class make two pitchers of punch. Make them the same flavor and color, but put sugar in one and no sugar in the other. Invite a student to taste some punch from each pitcher and describe the difference between the two. Ask students:

  • What is the purpose of a recipe?

  • What happens when you leave out an ingredient or two?

  • How does including all the ingredients affect how much we enjoy our food or drink?

Share the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson: “Yes, brothers and sisters, the mission of the Church is glorious—to invite all of us to come unto Christ” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 98; or Ensign, May 1988, 85). Ask:

  • If there were a “recipe” that showed how to “come unto Christ,” would you want to follow it completely? Why?

  • In what ways do some people fail to do what is necessary to come to Christ completely?

  • Why do you think some people choose not to come to Christ?

Invite students to read Omni 1:26 to find what is needed to come to Christ completely. Ask: What do you think it means to offer your whole soul as an offering to the Lord? Read Mosiah 2:34 and cross-reference it with Omni 1:26. As an example of a complete change, discuss the following questions:

  • What must a caterpillar do to become a butterfly?

  • How is a caterpillar’s life the same after it becomes a butterfly? How is it different?

  • Do you think a caterpillar is generally more or less beautiful than the butterfly it becomes?

Ask students to consider whether they are willing to offer everything they have and are to the Lord. Ask:

  • How difficult would this kind of sacrifice be?

  • Would your life be better or worse as a result of giving yourself to the Lord? In what ways?

Share the following statement by Sister Elaine Jack, former general president of the Relief Society:

“The Prophet Joseph Smith described offering ‘your whole soul’ as serving God with all your ‘heart, might, mind and strength’ (D&C 4:2). It is to put on the altar of God your time, talents, gifts and blessings, your willingness to serve, to do all that He asks” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 101; or Ensign, May 1997, 73).

Write the following questions on the board and ask students to write their answers on a piece of paper:

•What are you willing to give up to come to the Lord?

•What does it mean on a day-to-day basis to give your all to the Lord?