The title of this entry makes it sound like I’ve got a whole lot of catching up to do. Truthfully — nope.
I caught a cold last Monday and by Tuesday I was wasted and had to cancel class, so I didn’t teach 2 Nephi 11,16. The next two days, my husband taught. My plan had been to teach a super short lesson and then show the Mountain of the Lord video over two days (72 minutes), using up a Flex Day.
I figured it was providential — an easy lesson while I was out sick. Well, the hubs tried, but he ended up running over. He didn’t finish the video the second day, so I had to run 15 minutes of it the third day. This video is great and goes along perfectly with the material, but if you show this video, be sure that you time your lesson so that you don’t have to use more than a lesson and a half on it. So anyway. here’s how the lessons went:
Before class, I drew a monster on the board holding two blank sheets of paper. On his forehead was written the word “Awful”. My monster was pretty friendly looking — he looked more like a Muppet. :)
My lesson objective was for students to learn that the Atonement overcomes the effects of the Fall and pays the price for our sins and suffering. I explained that this chapter is a continuation of Jacob’s message about the Savior’s mercy and his power to deliver Israel from its scattered state. Now Jacob will show how the Savior redeems us from our fallen and sinful state through the Atonement.
First we read 2 Nephi 9:10. Why do you think Jacob used the phrase “awful monster” to describe the effects of the Fall?” I listed the two parts of the Awful Monster (death, hell), one on each of the sheets the monster I drew was holding. <– That is a terrible sentence.
I explained to the class that both terms referred to a kind of separation:
- death – separation of body from spirit, physical death, death of body, caused by the Fall
- hell – separation from God, death of spirit, caused both by the Fall and personal sin
I used two volunteers, one boy, one girl, to write on the board what we learn about death and hell. Boys would find out about “death” and Girls would find out about “hell”.
First both groups read v 6 looking for causes of death and hell.
vv 7-9 – What would happen to our bodies if there were no way to overcome spiritual and physical death?
I read the following quote from D Todd Christofferson from the Manual:
“If our separation from God and our physical death were permanent, moral agency would mean nothing. Yes, we would be free to make choices, but what would be the point? The end result would always be the same no matter what our actions: death with no hope of resurrection and no hope of heaven. As good or as bad as we might choose to be, we would all end up ‘angels to a devil.’ [2 Nephi 9:9.]” (“Moral Agency,” Ensign, June 2009, 50).
BUT, read v 10. There is a way prepared — the Atonement.
Next I let the groups read the following scriptures and tell their board representative what to write down from their study about death and hell:
I told the writers to sit. (This turned out to be kind of funny — my two volunteers were dressed in Halloween costumes for Spirit Week at school. The irony of having a Shaun of the Dead and Zombie writing about death and hell writing on a monster named Awful was not lost on the class.)
I explained that Christ not only suffered for our sins, but for our pains as well. I had made a worksheet on the Atonement with the quote from the manual from Elder Nelson and some of the questions that I thought made good writing activities from the manual and wrapped up the class with that.
What does the phrase “infinite atonement” mean? His Atonement is infinite—without an end. It was also infinite in that all humankind would be saved from never-ending death. It was infinite in terms of His immense suffering. It was infinite in time, putting an end to the preceding prototype of animal sacrifice. It was infinite in scope—it was to be done once for all. And the mercy of the Atonement extends not only to an infinite number of people, but also to an infinite number of worlds created by Him. It was infinite beyond any human scale of measurement or mortal comprehension.
“Jesus was the only one who could offer such an infinite atonement, since He was born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father. Because of that unique birthright, Jesus was an infinite Being” ( Elder Russell M. Nelson,“The Atonement,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 35).
State in your own words what Jacob taught about how we can be saved from the “awful monster” of death and hell:
Select lines from the hymn “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, 193) and copy lines below that reflect your feelings about the Savior and his atoning sacrifice. Write a short statement that describes why you chose these phrases, OR
skim 2 Nephi 9:1–22, and read all the verses that begin with the word “O”. Copy any phrases that describe your feelings about the atonement below. Write a short statement that describes why you choose those phrases. You might begin with “O” and end with an exclamation mark as did Jacob.
I thought this lesson tied together nicely. I pushed the sick person metaphor a little harder than the manual suggested, and I think that tied the whole lesson together. On the board I wrote Why I need help and What I must do. I also had a line that had “distancing ourselves from Christ” and “Coming closer to Christ” on each end like the below:
I also wrote the verses from the activity on page 104 of Teaching the Book of Mormon Part One. I typed up the examples of principle statements and posted them on the computer. I don’t have multiple boards as per the instructions in the book — seriously — who does??? I’m not posting the whole activity here to encourage you to buy the book, but in sum, it’s a list of verses from the chapter from which students are to glean a principle and state it something like this: “If we … then ….”
Like the manual suggested, I told the class to imagine someone had a terrible disease and used those questions:
- Why must the sick person understand the need to seek help?
- Why must he understand what to do to receive help?
- What will result if the person understands he needs help but doesn’t know where to find it?
In our lessons the past few days, we’ve learned that we are all sick — we’re all dying. The Fall of Adam separated us from God’s presence . Our sins keep us from Him. You now know that you need help. We receive that help from the Great Physician. Read aloud: Matthew 9:10–12.
Think in your minds if you know what you need to do to receive the blessings of the Atonement. Fourth Article of Faith, prompt if needed. Faith, repentance, baptism, be confirmed, partake of the sacrament, repent, repeat.
Jacob wanted his people to come to the Lord. Read 2 Nephi 9:41, watching for “The Way”.
Imagine your life is like this (show the drawing of the line on the board). Are our decisions bringing us closer to Christ or distancing us from him? What can we do if our choices are pulling us away?
Next we did the group activity from TTBoM1 I noted above. I asked the kids to focus on principles they could learn from these verses to bring them closer to Christ. I split the class into pairs by whomever they were sitting near, and they wrote principles. One person was assigned to be the finder, the other the writer. I did it that way so that my investigators would have an easier time with the activity. In the interest of time, I had the front row start with the last verse and work backward and the back row start with the first verses and work forward. We shared the principles.
Finding principles was surprisingly hard for the younger kids in the class to do. We will probably need to do this or a similar activity again to help students learn to identify principles from scripture.
Today we learned that even though we are sick/siners, we can do know how to be healed, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to His laws and ordinances.
On the board before class I wrote the 3 writing prompts from the manual on page 102:
- In light of what we have studied about the Savior, what do you want to always remember about Him?
- Why is repentance an important way to show our gratitude for what the Lord has done for us?
- What have you learned about the Savior that helps you to feel hope?
and the verses:
- 3-4, – First time the name of Christ is re
- 14, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24 (I think I ended up altering these but I’m not for sure)
Here’s what my notes say under “Things to Point out”:
vv 3-4 – Name of Christ revealed for the first time in the BoM, also Jews. They were wicked, but don’t hate. Give examples. (This little blurb was included because I have a student who repeatedly makes rude comments about those of other ethnicities, including Jews. The note makes sense to me, and I think it was a homerun during class, but it probably wouldn’t be of any real use to another teacher to explain what I did here, so I’ll leave it be.)
vv 10-12 – no kings unto the Gentiles (we know the Nephites and Lamanites had kings — both wicked and righteous ones), and land of freedom
vv 14, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24 – What did you underline? Have all students do all 6 verses. I told the class I’d have them all choose something to underline from the verses and then I’d ask just a few to share. I used Zone Leaders to share what they underlined and why. I also have the following list in my notes. I assume it was points to be sure we hit on during our WDYU discussion:
- The Lord keeps his promises
- He remembers us
- He is our light when we hear his words
- God is merciful
- God has given us great knowledge, so let us repent
- God guides people
- We are free to choose
- Through God’s grace we are saved
I had planned to have students do the writing exercise, but there was no time. So instead I had them read the prompts and think about the answer for a minute or two before we dismissed.
2 Nephi 11, 16
2 Nephi 12-13, Flex Day, 2 Nephi 14-15
Because I was out, I combined these lessons into one, plus the video. As I said, before, we watched the Mountain of the Lord. After the video was over, the kids had a few church history questions that I was able to answer.
Read GBH quote from the manual:
“Ever since the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated, we have interpreted that scripture from Isaiah … as applying to this sacred house of the Lord. And of this place, since the day of its dedication, an ever-increasing number from across the world have said in effect, ‘Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He might teach us of His ways, that we might walk in His paths’” (Gordon B Hinckley, “An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2003, 82).
I told the kids I was going to go over a few confusing things from the reading super fast. I asked the kids if they remembered what the seven women in chapter 14 was about from their study of Isaiah 2 years ago — it’s not about polygamy, but it is about the scarcity of men after the great wars preceding the second coming.
Next we looked over at chapter 13. It’s a little bit confusing. I had some notes that helped understand some of the difficult phrasing.
2 Nephi 13: 8–9, 15 – In short, I taught that the Lord is removing the support and authority system from the Jews because of their iniquities. We also pointed out that, in addition to homosexuality, mistreatment of the poor was one of the problems with Sodom and Gomorrah. Quoted the OT scripture mastery Moses 7:13 about Zion having no poor among them. The kids mused that America is definitely not Zion. Also took the word countenance and cross referenced it to Alma 5:11–13 with discussion.
I have some other pretty great stuff in my notes, but the only things I had time to cover are the above.
2 Nephi 17-19
My lesson is not broken up like the manual, but I’m glad. The lesson for this section (17-20) is too long, and so was the reading, so I broke it up to make the reading easier on my class.
After our scripture mastery worksheet, I asked the kids if they remembered that we had studied the keys to studying Isaiah from the John Bytheway video? One of the keys is understanding the history of the time. I explained that Judah is in danger. Syria and the Northern Kingdom have teamed up to attack Judah because they refuse to enter into a confederacy against the Assyrians. Chapters 17-18 reveal the Lord’s instructions.
Read 2 Nephi 17: 1–2 – What does it mean that Ahaz and his people’s hearts were move with the wind? They weren’t steady — they were unsure. Ahaz considers the alliance, but…. read 2 Nephi 18:11–13. I saiah tells Ahaz that if he’ll trust in the Lord he’ll be saved. Why?
2 Nephi 17:4 – smoking firebnrands, burned out torches. Their attack will fizzle. Started out hot, but nothing’s left but smoke. In fact, the next verses say that soon Ephraim (the Northern Kingdom of Israel) will not even be a people any more. It will all be over before Isaiah’s kid Sheerjasub (who came with him to see Ahaz) gets to be old enough to talk — in other words, soon.
Read 2 Nephi 17:9. It’s looking bad. vv 10-12 – This is really Isaiah instructing Ahaz to ask God for help. He refuses. He will rely on his own judgment. He even wants to turn to diviners and wizards. Read 2 Nephi 18:19–20.
We spent a little time talking about false gods here. I felt like one of the students needed a little more information on this topic. Probably most classes wouldn’t even cover these verses. I don’t remember if they were in the manual or not.
Anyway, Ahaz should have listened to Isaiah. He ended up teaming up with Assyria, and the Northern Kingdom was destroyed, and now we call them the Lost Ten Tribes.
We spent the last few minutes on 2 Nephi 19:6–7. I had the class make a bubble map in their notebooks with the titles of Christ. The plan was for me to help them do “Immanuel” and then to set them loose, but there wasn’t any time.
We didn’t have enough time to fully expand the maps, so I had students choose their favorite title and expand it using the quote below. I just printed it up on eleven sheets of paper and let them share. The kids really liked this quote, especially because it explains how Christ is both our Mediator and Judge:
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote that though we often associate Isaiah’s prophecy in 2 Nephi 19:6–7 with the birth of Christ, it will also be fulfilled at the time of the Millennium:
“The fact that the government would eventually be upon his shoulders affirms what all the world will one day acknowledge—that he is Lord of lords and King of kings and will one day rule over the earth and his Church in person” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon , 80).
Elder Holland also explained the significance of the various titles applied to the Lord Jesus Christ in these verses:
“As ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ he will be our mediator, our intercessor, defending our cause in the courts of heaven. …
“Of course, as noted by Isaiah, Christ is not only a mediator but also a judge [see Mosiah 3:10; Moroni 10:34; Moses 6:57]. It is in that role of judge that we may find even greater meaning in Abinadi’s repeated expression that ‘God himself’ will come down to redeem his people [Mosiah 13:28; see also Mosiah 13:34; 15:1; Alma 42:15]. It is as if the judge in that great courtroom in heaven, unwilling to ask anyone but himself to bear the burdens of the guilty people standing in the dock, takes off his judicial robes and comes down to earth to bear their stripes personally. Christ as merciful judge is as beautiful and wonderful a concept as that of Christ as counselor, mediator, and advocate.
“‘Mighty God’ conveys something of the power of God, his strength, omnipotence, and unconquerable influence. Isaiah sees him as always able to overcome the effects of sin and transgression in his people and to triumph forever over the would-be oppressors of the children of Israel.
“‘Everlasting Father’ underscores the fundamental doctrine that Christ is a Father—Creator of worlds without number, the Father of restored physical life through the Resurrection, the Father of eternal life for his spiritually begotten sons and daughters, and the One acting for the Father (Elohim) through divine investiture of authority. All should seek to be born of him and become his sons and his daughters [see Mosiah 5:7].
“Lastly, with the phrase ‘Prince of Peace,’ we rejoice that when the King shall come, there will be no more war in the human heart or among the nations of the world. This is a peaceful king, the king of Salem, the city that would later become Jeru-Salem. Christ will bring peace to those who accept him in mortality in whatever era they live, and he will bring peace to all those in his millennial and postmillennial realms of glory” (Christ and the New Covenant, 80–82).
Someone on the LDS Seminary Teacher’s Facebook group had mentioned that a kid had asked about how Christ is both mediator and judge in her class, so I was able to be on the lookout. This quote seemed to do the trick, and I was able to use it with my bubble map idea to help students think more deeply about the roles of Jesus Christ.