Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nephi, author: Shauna Gibby, 2007

Nephi was that rare combination: a great prophet who is also a founder of a nation. As prophet, he succeeded his father Lehi as spiritual leader in ancient America and laid the groundwork for the heights of righteousness later achieved. As ruler of a new nation, he was so beloved of his people that . . . [they] insisted on calling his successors "second Nephi, third Nephi, and so forth." Allen E. Bergin, "Nephi, a Universal Man," Ensign, Sep 1976, 65

"Nephi's Courage," Children's Songbook, p. 120

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
(1 Nephi 3:7)

Play the "favorites" game with your family. Choose a topic such as food, movies, animals, colors, or friends. As family members to tell who or what they favorites are. Ask them why something or someone becomes a favorite. Next, ask if they think the Lord has favorites. Read 1 Nephi 3:4-6 and look for who might be "favored of the Lord." Why does Lehi say that Nephi would be so favored? Read 1 Nephi 17:32 and find who else is "favored" of the Lord. Why do you think the Lord favors the righteous? What can you do to be "favored of the Lord"?
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter- day Saint Families: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 15.)

After a long and difficult trip through the wilderness, the sons of Lehi finally arrived at Jerusalem. They drew lots to see who would have to go to Laban's home and ask him for the brass plates, which contained the scriptures. Laman was chosen to go. When Laman asked Laban for the plates, Laban told his servants to kill him. Laman had to run for his life.
Laman and Lemuel wanted to give up, but Nephi convinced them to try again. He told them that God would help them, because it was God who had asked them to get the plates.
Laman, Lemuel, Nephi, and Sam thought of all the riches they had left behind in their home. They decided they might be able to trade their riches for the plates. They went back to their home and got their gold and silver and went again to Laban's house.
Laban was such a wicked man that he took their gold and silver and sent his servants to kill all four of the brothers. Once again they had to run for their lives. They hid in a cave outside the city.
Laman and Lemuel were angry, and they began to hit Nephi and Sam with a stick. While they were hitting their brothers, an angel appeared and told them to stop. The angel promised them that they would be able to get the plates if they tried again.
Laman and Lemuel were still afraid, so Nephi told his brothers that he would go back to Laban's house alone and get the plates. Nephi didn't know how he was going to do it, but he planned on trusting in the Lord and listening to the Holy Ghost. Nephi waited until it was dark and then went into the city. As he approached Laban's house, he found King Laban lying on the ground, drunk. The Holy Ghost commanded Nephi to kill Laban and put on his clothes, and Nephi obeyed. When he approached the servant Zoram, who was guarding the plates, Zoram thought Nephi was Laban, and so he gave Nephi the plates.
Zoram walked with Nephi until they were out of the city. When he realized that Nephi was not Laban, Zoram began to run. Nephi captured Zoram and promised him that he would be a free man if he joined their family in the wilderness. Zoram decided he would join them, and he lived with them from then on.
(Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun For Family Night: The Book of Mormon Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], p. 30.)

Give each member of the family a sheet of paper and a pencil or pen. Younger children can be assisted by parents or older children.
Tell them you are going to read several things that God has asked us to do. Ask them to write down the two things they think are, or will be, the hardest for them to do. Tell them not to let anyone see what they write.
Read the following items and add some of your own if you desire: Serve a full- time mission; Pay a full tithing; Forgive others even if the don't act as if they are sorry; Keep the Sabbath day holy; Obey their parents; Be unselfish and share with others; Live the Word of Wisdom; Avoid bad language.
Once everyone has written down two things that they feel are most difficult for them, tell the family that you are going to see how well you know each other. Choose one family member and have each person guess one thing that they think this member wrote down. Then have the person read the two things they are written. Each family member that correctly named one of the things receives on point.
Then choose another family member and do the same thing until all members have shared what they wrote on their papers. The person with the most matches wins.
Note: The purpose of this activity is not to single out family members and make them feel discouraged, rather, it is to provide all family members with the opportunity to become better acquainted and to help them, through increased family support, to faithfully keep the commandments. If you feel uncomfortable identifying negative traits, have each family member write down the commandments that he or she feels are the easiest to live.
Discuss when we are asked to do things we feel hard, we can remember how God helped Nephi and we can ask him to help us also. Discuss how the Lord can help them with the commandments that the family members feel are difficult to keep.
(Allan K. Burgess and Max H. Molgard, Fun For Family Night: The Book of Mormon Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], p. 29.)

Sour Cream Poundcake
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon soda
1 cup dairy sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon extract
½ teaspoon orange extract
Cream butter until soft. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each. Sift together flour, salt, and soda; add to batter alternately with sour cream, beating until smooth. Add flavorings. Prepare fluted (bundt) cake pan by coating generously with vegetable oil spray, then sprinkling with granulated sugar; or grease pan heavily. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done. Cool cake for 10 minutes; remove from pan.
(Winnifred C. Jardine, Mormon Country Cooking, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980] p. 269.)
© 2005 Deseret Book Co.