And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.
1. Come, let us anew our journey pursue,
Roll round with the year,
And never stand still till the Master appear.
His adorable will let us gladly fulfill,
And our talents improve
By the patience of hope and the labor of love,
By the patience of hope and the labor of love.
2. Our life as a dream, our time as a stream
Glide swiftly away,
And the fugitive moment refuses to stay;
For the arrow is flown and the moments are gone.
The millennial year
Presses on to our view, and eternity’s here,
Presses on to our view, and eternity’s here.
3. Oh, that each in the day of His coming may say,
“I have fought my way thru;
I have finished the work thou didst give me to do.”
Oh, that each from his Lord may receive the glad word:
“Well and faithfully done;
Enter into my joy and sit down on my throne;
Enter into my joy and sit down on my throne.”
Begin by showing this picture to your family and asking if they know what story is being portrayed. Gather a brief synopsis before continuing.
Read aloud: The Anti-Nephi-Lehies were a group of Lamanites in the Book of Mormon who were once very wicked. They fought in many wars, resulting in a lot of people dying. Then, they met the missionary Ammon and experienced a great conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were even visited by angels. The rest of the Lamanites became very angry and wanted to come fight the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. But the king and the rest of the people decided they would not fight. They had worked so hard to repent of their sins and decided to make a covenant with God that they would never lift their swords again.
As a symbol of their covenant, everyone buried their swords and all of their weapons deep into the ground.
Ask: Do you think it took a lot of faith for the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to bury their weapons? Why?
Read aloud: Just like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, we all sin and make mistakes. But because of the covenants we made at baptism, we are promised that if we repent and always try to do better, we can become clean. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies described this as their swords were made bright. Once we have repented, we should do all we can to not repeat that sin.
Ask: What are some things we can do to prevent ourselves from repeating a mistake we’ve made? (Staying far away from the bad thing or bad situations, praying every day for help with that specific thing, forgive ourselves, ask for help if we are struggling or are tempted, trying to stay close to the Holy Ghost)
Read aloud: Sometimes, we do all we can and we still struggle or fall backward or repeat a mistake. It’s important to remember that no matter what happens, we should never give up. God just wants us to do our very best and keep trying and keep repenting, no matter how many times it takes. He is patient with us and is always there to help us if we are honestly doing all we can to follow Him.
We are entering a new year. During the New Year, a lot of people make resolutions or goals to help them have a happy, fulfilling year. Just like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, we can bury things and change to be more like Christ. Maybe it’s a bad habit. Maybe it’s a sin. Maybe it’s something we simply want to change. But if we dedicate ourselves to the Lord, we can bury it and start new.
Finish the lesson by bearing your testimony of repentance and starting over. If you have had success with goals during the new year, share your experiences.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Begin by reading Alma 24:1-6:
And it came to pass that the Amalekites and the Amulonites and the Lamanites who were in the land of Amulon, and also in the land of Helam, and who were in the land of Jerusalem, and in fine, in all the land round about, who had not been converted and had not taken upon them the name of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, were stirred up by the Amalekites and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren.
And their hatred became exceedingly sore against them, even insomuch that they began to rebel against their king, insomuch that they would not that he should be their king; therefore, they took up arms against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
Now the king conferred the kingdom upon his son, and he called his name Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
And the king died in that selfsame year that the Lamanites began to make preparations for war against the people of God.
Now when Ammon and his brethren and all those who had come up with him saw the preparations of the Lamanites to destroy their brethren, they came forth to the land of Midian, and there Ammon met all his brethren; and from thence they came to the land of Ishmael that they might hold a council with Lamoni and also with his brother Anti-Nephi-Lehi, what they should do to defend themselves against the Lamanites.
Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.
Ask: What is going on in these scriptures? Why do you think the Anti-Nephi-Lehies decide not to fight?
Continue by reading Alma 24:7-18.
Ask: How can we relate this experience to our own lives?
Read aloud: The Anti-Nephi-Lehies remained true to their covenant. They never fought or took up weapons again. Many were eventually killed by the Lamanites, but their powerful example actually helped convert those who had come to kill them. The Lord would have us bury our swords.
Ask: What are some “swords” that we may need to bury? Why is it hard sometimes to leave our “swords” behind?
Read aloud: Once we bury our swords, we should do all we can to never dig them up. At the start of a new year, we have a chance to recommit ourselves to the following Jesus Christ and to letting go of those things we need to bury. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland once said:
So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.
Finish the lesson by discussing how you can do better in the upcoming year and bearing your testimony on the power of Christ’s help to change.
Fortune Cookies or Jewel Jell-OCake
-3 egg whites
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon almond extract
-3 tablespoons water
-1 cup all purpose flour
You will also need a sheet pan, parchment paper, fortune strips, and muffin tin.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and have your fortune strips ready to go.
3. In a stand mixer (or large bowl with a hand mixer), whip the egg whites and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes or until frothy.
4. Add melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water, flour and beat after each addition. Make sure each ingredient is absorbed before adding the next.
5. With a tablespoon, spoon the batter onto the parchment paper and spread it out into an even 3 inch circle. I recommend not doing any more than 2-3 at a time, since they set very quickly and you will not be able to fold more than that.
6. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes or until the edges brown slightly. If you let them brown too much, they will snap when you shape them. Conversely, if they don’t brown a little bit, they will also break (but tear, rather than snapping).
7. Remove them from the oven and quickly scoop the circle off, and fold your fortune cookie in half, into a semicircle. Slip your note into the cookie (quickly) because if you slip it in right at the beginning, the cookie will be too hot and your paper will stick to the cookie. Since the cookies will be very hot when they come out of the oven, you can use a thin towel to handle them, or you could use gloves.
8. Place semicircle cookies onto the edge of a cup, and quickly fold the ends down, to shape into a fortune cooking.
9. Hold the cookie down to let it set, and stick it in a muffin tin to let it cool and hold its shape.
10. Serve and enjoy!
(Courtesy of ifood.tv)
-4 packages of Jell-O (3 oz. each) in different colors
-1 can of sweetened condensed milk
-2 envelopes of unflavored (Knox) gelatin
-1 cup heavy cream
-1/2 teaspoon unflavored (Knox) gelatin
-4 tablespoons powdered sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
With each package of jell-o, mix with 1 cup of hot water, stir until it dissolves, and put it in the fridge. You’ll need 4 separate containers for the 4 different colors. Let this chill until it turns to gelatin.
To make your white filling, add both of your Knox gelatin packets to 2 cups of hot water and stir until it dissolves. Stir in your can of sweetened condensed milk, and then let this sit and come to room temperature. While you’re waiting, prepare your jell-o “jewels”!
Now take all of your jell-o, cut it into squares, and pour the squares into your pan. I used a springform pan, but you could use any jell-o mold you wanted or just a glass dish.
Once you have all of your jewels in place, pour the white filling over them.Place your dish in the fridge, and allow this to set up. It will take at least 3 hours. When it’s ready, loosen the edges by running a butter knife around, and place it on your serving dish.
Put 1/2 tsp of Knox gelatin in a coffee mug with 1 tablespoon of cold water and let it soften for several minutes. Heat up 2 cups of hot water in a small sauce pan, and then hold the bottom of the mug in the hot water to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, allow to cool to room temperature. While it’s cooling, whip your heavy cream into whipped cream. Add the gelatin mixture at the same time as your powdered sugar, and vanilla. Frost your cake immediately, and then chill.
(Courtesy of Catholic Icing)
Bury Your Swords or New Years Time Capsule
Bury Your Swords
Give each member of your family a piece of paper. You will need scissors and pens as well. Have everyone cut out a sword, then write something they want to bury on it. Then, let your family bury their swords by either literally going outside to bury them in the ground or placing them at the bottom of a large container filled with dirt. Encourage them to remember that their swords are now buried.
Create a time capsule?
1- Find a small box, pens, pencils, , markers, tape, envelopes, a bowl and paper
2- Write the following questions on small pieces of paper and put them in the bowl.
- What is your favorite memory from this year?
- What is the funniest thing that happened this year?
- What is the most important lesson you learned last year?
- What was one of your greatest challenges last year?
- What is something that you improved in, or became better at, last year?
- What is something you gained a stronger testimony about?
- What is a prayer that was answered in your life?
3- Give everyone a piece of paper and then take turns pulling the questions out of the bowl, answering the questions on your own paper as you go.
4- Go around and share your answers
5- Have everyone write a letter to themselves in the future. Have them include the spiritual, physical, social, etc. goals that they have, what they want to get better at in their lives, and specifics about the kind of year they hope to have.
6- Seal up their letters in individual envelopes, and have each person address it to themselves.
7- Put everything in the box and then wrap up and decorate the box. You could have everyone sign it and put, “To be opened on ____________(date of the first family home evening of 2025)”
8- Select a spot in the house to put the time capsule that is out of the way, but a place where each person will see it often and be reminded of their goals for the year.
(Courtesy of The Red Headed Hostess)
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.