To strengthen each child’s desire to keep sacred covenants.
Prayerfully study Alma 23–24; 26:23–33; and 27. 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.)
Additional reading: Alma 25:1–26:22.
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.
For the alternate attention activity: a shallow box or pan, enough salt or sand to pour a thin layer in the box, a marker or crayon, and a rock.
Picture 4-33, “The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Burying Their Swords” (Gospel Art Picture Kit 311; 62565).
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Show the picture of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies burying their swords. Ask the children if they would want to bury their weapons if they knew they were in danger of attack. The people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi knew their enemies were planning to kill them, but they had made a solemn covenant with Heavenly Father that they would not fight. Explain that a gospel covenant is a binding agreement or promise between Heavenly Father and his children. Ask the children to listen as you tell the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to discover why they made this covenant and how they kept their promise.
Alternate Attention Activity
Sprinkle the salt or sand on the bottom of the box. With your finger write the word Promise in the salt or sand. Ask the children the following questions:
Have you ever made an agreement or promise with someone who broke their part of the promise? (Let the children tell how they felt when the promise was broken as you gently blow on the salt or sand to erase the word.)
What do we call a promise we make with Heavenly Father? (A covenant.)
When did we make promises to Heavenly Father? (When we were baptized.)
Remind the children that a promise should not be made lightly. Emphasize the importance of keeping your word. Write the word Covenant on the rock with a marker or crayon. Explain that a gospel covenant is a promise between Heavenly Father and his children. Blow on the rock to demonstrate that the word cannot be easily removed. As we make covenants we should remember that they are sacred, and we should be determined to keep them.
Teach the account of how the Anti-Nephi-Lehies honored their covenants from Alma 23–24; 26:23–33; and Alma 27. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) 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 were the names of the four sons of Mosiah? (Mosiah 27:34.)
How were the Lamanites converted to Jesus Christ? (Alma 23:5–6.) How many of these converts remained strong in their faith in Jesus Christ? What can we do to keep our faith in Jesus Christ strong?
Why did the Lamanite converts change their name? (Alma 23:16–17.) Later, when these converts moved to the land of Jershon, by what name were they known? (Alma 27:26.) What name have you made a covenant to take upon yourself? (Mosiah 5:7–8.)
Why were the Anti-Nephi-Lehies determined to never again fight their enemies? (Alma 24:10–13, 16.)
What covenant did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies make with the Lord as they buried their weapons? (Alma 24:17–18.) How committed were the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to keeping this covenant? (Alma 24:19–22.) What commandments have we covenanted to obey? (The Word of Wisdom, tithing, keeping the Sabbath day holy, and having clean thoughts and actions.)
What happened to many of the Lamanite warriors when they saw that the people of God would not fight but lay down to be killed? (Alma 24:24–27.) How can our example help others want to join the Church? How can our example of keeping our covenants help others want to keep their covenants?
What attitude toward their enemies did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies show by burying their weapons? (Alma 26:32–33.) Why do you think people who are truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ have love and concern for everyone, including their enemies?
Why were the Anti-Nephi-Lehies not afraid to die? (Alma 27:28.)
Why did the king of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies say he and his people would be slaves to the Nephites? (Alma 27:4–8.)
What can we do to become more like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in honoring our covenants?
You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.
Have an adult role-play the king of the Lamanites as he tells why his people will not take up their swords to fight their brethren. Review the covenant he made as he buried his sword. (See Alma 24:6–13, 16–18.)
Review the thirteenth article of faith. Ask the children if the people of Ammon lived by these principles. Ask them how living these principles will help us keep our covenants.
Sing or read the words to
“I Feel My Savior’s Love” (Children’s Songbook, p. 74) or “Love One Another” (Children’s Songbook, p. 136).
Testify that as members of Christ’s church, we have made sacred covenants. We must honor our covenants if we want to receive the promised blessings.
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 Alma 24:6–27 at home as a review of this lesson.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
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