Lehi and His Family Leave Jerusalem


1 Nephi Chapter 1 Nephi begins the record of his people—Lehi sees in vision a pillar of fire and reads from a book of prophecy—He praises God, foretells the coming of the Messiah, and prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem—He is persecuted by the Jews. About 600 B.C.

1 Nephi CHAPTER 2 Lehi takes his family into the wilderness by the Red Sea—They leave their property—Lehi offers a sacrifice to the Lord and teaches his sons to keep the commandments—Laman and Lemuel murmur against their father—Nephi is obedient and prays in faith; the Lord speaks to him, and he is chosen to rule over his brethren. About 600 B.C.

Teaching Children the GospelLehi and His Family Leave Jerusalem” The Book of Mormon tells about three groups of people the Lord led to the Americas. The beginning of the Book of Mormon tells of one of these groups. We learn about the other two groups later.

Direct the children to open their scriptures to chapter one in “The First Book of Nephi.” Explain that a prophet named Nephi wrote the “The First Book of Nephi.”  Nephi informs us that he engraved his history onto plates made of ore (1 Nephi 19:1).

  • Why were some ancient records written on metal plates? (Take a piece of paper, tear it, and pour a little water on it.) Explain that during ancient times, the people used other materials than paper for written communications, but those materials could also be easily damaged and could decompose and disintegrates over time. Some ancient historians used metal if they had an important message that they wanted to endure for a long period of time.

Friend January 2024 “Come, Follow Me Activities: Plain and Precious Plates” The Lord told Nephi to make another set of plates for a special and wise purpose (see 1 Nephi 9). Make your own set of plates out of folded paper or pieces of cardboard. (You can even wrap your paper or cardboard with aluminum foil!) Write or draw what you learn from the Book of Mormon on your plates.

Have the children find the date on the bottom right hand side of the first page of “The First Book of Nephi.” Explain that this date tells the approximate time period the events on that page occurred. Have them flip through other pages so that they will see that the date is on the bottom of each page. Explain that B.C. means before Christ’s birth.

In the “First Book of Nephi” we learn that Nephi’s father was a prophet. When Nephi was a youth, his father Lehi was commanded of the Lord to take his family and leave the city Jerusalem.

1 Nephi 1:1

The Cozy Red Cottage Go to link to download free printables

Discuss some ways Lehi and Sariah were “goodly parents.” Then think of and share some of the “goodly” traits of your parents, grandparents, or someone you admire. You can use this cute printable to write down your thoughts. There are two wording options-use the best one for your situation.  These can be done as a family or print one for each person.

Next pick one person from your list and write a letter to that person thanking him or her for demonstrating some of the traits you have observed.  I included some blank stationary pages and thank you cards.  For the cards fold on the line.

Discussion: Share your list with your family.  What is a trait from your list that you would like to develop?  What steps can you take to develop that trait? 

Book of Mormon Stories “Lehi Warns the People” Video and Images

Book of Mormon Stories “Lehi Leaves Jerusalem”  Video and Images

  • “Lehi Obeys God” (February 1992 Friend)
    Cut out pictures to tell the story of Lehi leaving Jerusalem.

Media Library “Lehi Preaching in Jerusalem”

Gospel Art Picture: “Lehi’s Family Leaving Jerusalem”

Read 1 Nephi 2:2–4 to the children, and display a few pictures of items that Lehi’s family might have taken with them into the wilderness, such as a tent, blankets, and bows and arrows. Ask them to imagine how they might feel if they had to leave their homes and go into the wilderness. What does the Lord ask us to do to obey Him today? (Come Follow Me for Primary: Book of Mormon 2020: 1 Nephi 1-7 )

Teaching Children the Gospel “Lehi and His Family Leave Jerusalem” Display the two category titles “Trip Provisions” and “Items Left Behind” on a display board. Show the children the list of items that are taped to the 8 ½-by-11 paper. Have them take turns choosing an item and then deciding if the item would be something Lehi and his family would have taken with them or something they would have left behind. Have them place the item under the category they think it belongs in. Ask the children to explain their reason. Answers might include: item not needed for the journey, item too bulky, or item too heavy to carry, etc.

  • Do you think it was hard for Nephi and his family to leave behind their home and most of their possessions? If you had to leave your home and only take a few necessary items, what things would you have a hard time leaving behind? (Have the children take turns sharing their ideas.)

Friend January 2020 “My Family Night Fun” Mix-and-Match Trail Mix: Use nuts, cereal, dried fruit, pretzels, or other small snacks to make your own trail mix. Start by giving each person in your family a resealable plastic bag. Then take turns adding ingredients. Shake your bags to mix! Trail mix is used for hiking and camping, and Lehi and his family were going on an similar type extended trip. Could have children name other things they might have taken on their trip as they add each ingredient.

I can have my own testimony.

1 Nephi 2:16

Come, Follow Me—For Home and Church: Book of Mormon 2024 “1 Nephi 1-5” How did Nephi know that what his father taught was true? Help your children find answers to this question in 1 Nephi 2:16, 19. They might also enjoy writing Nephi’s actions on blocks or other objects and then building something with the objects. This could lead to a conversation about how these actions help us build a testimony.

Friend January 2013 “How can I get a testimony?”

You could show your children pictures or objects that represent things they might seek a testimony of, such as a copy of the Book of Mormon or a picture of Jesus Christ, a temple, or the living prophet. Invite them to pick one and share their testimonies of that thing. You could also tell your children how you gained your testimony. Why do we need our own testimony?

Friend November 2018 “Building Blocks of Testimony” Use the four words on the right to fill in the blanks in the four building blocks of testimony.

Come Follow Me for Primary: Book of Mormon 2020: 1 Nephi 1-7 Bring a closed box with a picture of the Savior inside, and give each child a turn to find out for himself or herself what is inside the box. Tell the children that Nephi wanted to have His own testimony that the Lord had commanded his family to leave Jerusalem. Ask the children to listen for what Nephi did to gain his own testimony as you read 1 Nephi 2:16. Testify that just as we each had to open the box to find out what was inside, we all need to ask God to gain our own testimony.

Game: Have the children put the Book of Mormon story pictures in the correct order. Read the story below and allow the children to make changes in the order of the pictures. Explain that Lehi built an altar and made and offering and gave thanks to the Lord. Have the children tell ways the Lord helped Lehi and his family. Have them think of ways the Lord has helped them. Have them put a stone on a paper or the board and build an altar for each of the things they think of. Remind them to give thanks for those things when they say their prayers.

BYU Religious Studies Center “What Were Those Sacrifices Offered by Lehi?”

Teaching Children the Gospel: Games and Activities

Primary 4 Book of Mormon “Nephi Follows His Father, the Prophet”

Teaching the Scripture Readers “Lehi Leaves Jerusalem” Lesson Ideas

Teaching Children the Gospel Lehi and His Family Leave Jerusalem Listen to the Prophet

Book of Mormon Seminary Student Manual (2024) “1 Nephi 1”

Friend October 1987 “Lehi–Man of Vision” Lehi’s story

The Red Crystal 2024

The Red Crystal 2020


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