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Nephi Slays Laban
“Breaking” Rules in Exceptional Circumstances
This lesson idea is for children who have a hard time understanding why it was okay for Nephi to kill Laban, even though one of the commandments is “Thou shalt not kill.” The easy answer is “because God told him to”, but that reason alone may raise further questions regarding God’s unchanging nature. This lesson uses the story “Library Lion” to explore how sometimes an important need can take priority over certain rules.
Opening Song: Keep the Commandments
Who created the commandments? (God)
Why did He give us commandments? (To keep us safe, happy, and to help us be like Him)
What were the library rules? (No running, Be quiet)
Who made the rules? (The librarian)
Why did the lion break the rules? (The librarian asked him to help her)
Why didn’t the lion get in trouble? (He felt bad about it, but the librarian wasn’t mad because he had a very good reason)
Song: Nephi’s Courage
Recall the story of Nephi attempting to retrieve the plates, including the brothers’ first two tries and how Laban reacted.
Read: 1 Nephi 4:5-18
Why was it okay for Nephi to kill Laban?
(God told him to, and there was a very good reason)
What was the very good reason?
(Laban wouldn’t give them the plates any other way, and if they didn’t have the plates then none of their descendants would be able to learn the gospel)
Conclusion: Bear testimony regarding God’s nature, and how God’s commandments always have a good reason.