FHE Tonight! Nephi Builds a Ship

Nephi's boat title

A few Sundays ago, my son gave the cutest little talk in Primary at church. He chose his favorite scripture story to talk about–when Nephi builds a boat. I thought it would make a fun and simple Family Home Evening lesson, too, so I’m sharing it with all of you. As always, you can prepare this in a short amount of time, and adjust it according to your family dynamic.

To play this out, we used a picture of Nephi’s family sailing to the promised land, some construction paper and bamboo skewers to make our own boats, and of course, the scriptures.

Nephi's boat 2

When I review 1 Nephi chapter 17, my heart floods with memories of my mission in Chile. My very last companion had gone through some tough times, but had been taught an awesome lesson from this passage of scripture. She was taught to change the words in verse 51 so that instead of Nephi telling his brothers that through the Lord he could build a ship, through the Lord, she could BE A SUCCESSFUL MISSIONARY. There are so many powerful verses in this chapter!  Nephi KNOWS by now that when the Lord commands something, he provides a way for us to accomplish it. Whatever it is!

To apply this lesson in your family, share the story of Nephi being commanded to build a boat and read some of your favorite verses. Ask everyone to think of something the Lord has asked them to do–maybe something that is a challenge for them. Then change the words in the scripture 1 Nephi 17: 51 so that it applies to them. Remind your family that when the Lord commands us to do something, no matter what it is, he provides a way. Then I like to show the picture of Nephi’s family sailing to the promised land on the ship he actually built!

Nephi's boat 4

If you want to continue with the theme of Nephi’s ship, you can all build your own paper ships like Nephi, and write on the sails one of the things YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH! Follow the steps below, and then poke your sail right into the top of the boat. Display them in your house as a reminder that the Lord provides a way!

1. Fold your paper in half, with the open side on the bottom. 2. Fold top corners into the center. 3. On both sides, fold bottom flaps up so it now looks like a hat. 4. Open the hat and fold it into a square with corners over-lapping. 5. Fold the bottom corners up to make a triangle. 6. Open your triangle and flatten to make a square. 7. Pull the top corners open slowly and form your boat!

paper boat instructions

Cut rectangles out of colorful paper for the sails, and poke your skewer through (I broke mine in half). Then poke them through the tops of your boats!

Nephi's boat 5

Paper ships

“And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.” –1 Ne 17:50

I just LOVE Nephi!


  1. says

    This sounds like such a fun FHE. My kids love making paper airplanes, I’m sure paper boats would be another that they love. Thanks for the great idea!

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