I had SO much fun creating this engaging activity to help you while teaching Book of Mormon Stories this year as part of your 2024 Book of Mormon Come Follow Me songs! It was inspired by my reading of these scripture heroes needing to use a reformed Egyptian to write on the plates as their language was unique and wouldn’t be understood by anyone. And even with the reformed Egyptian, translation would be necessary.
What a great way to tie in these ancient texts in a more meaningful (and fun) way to the primary children than with this Book of Mormon Stories Ancient Code singing time idea! You’ll use a cipher with simple letter swaps to decode the heroes names. Keep in mind, the code was designed to be simple and easy to decode so even young kiddos can participate.
See all Book of Mormon Stories Singing Time Ideas here!
Book of Mormon Stories Ancient Code
Before Primary, print out the name strips from the verses you plan to teach. You can print on an off-white paper to add to the effect or simply crinkle and then flatten out your paper. You can even burn the edges! Then, hide them in a shallow bin with kinetic sand, dry beans, rice, small gravel, etc. Whatever you have access to will work great!
Sing through Book of Mormon Stories using this flip chart for all the verses you’d like to include this week once, before you start this activity.
Then, tell the children that they are going to be archaeologists this week and help you dig to find ancient parchments to help you pick which verse to sing next.
Invite a child to come up and dig for one of the hero name cards. Have them show the card to everyone in the room. Oh wow, this looks really ancient! It even has really old unique letters. Here, this code will help! Can you find the correct letters? Have the child write the correct letters from the key up on the board and then reveal which hero to sing about. Sing through their verse!
Continue to invite a helper to dig for a name card and then crack the code.
The secret ancient code was designed to be easy for young kids to solve so they’ll feel great that they can decode the letters and not end up frustrated. You could invite the kids to take home a copy of the ancient code and try writing a letter to a friend!
- Nephi – Verse 1
- Lamanites – Verse 2
- Alma – Verse 3
- Abinadi – Verse 4
- Ammon – Verse 5
- Stripling Warriors – Verse 6
- Samuel – Verse 7
- Christ – Verse 8
- You can, of course, skip the dig and just hide the name cards around the room. Hunt for the name cards this way instead and then decode their name.
- Let the children pick a color or simply randomly draw one of the full-page name cards. They can write right on the page and decode the name! No need to find and seek.
- Let a child pick a keyword from the song. Write the keyword up on the board in the ancient code language. Then, everyone will silent sing the word as you sing the verse. You’ll find one bonus word card per verse included here to get you started. Have your helper use the word card to then write in the code below or up on the board.
- Write “Righteously” up on the board extra large in the code language. Can they decode your special word before the end of the activity? What do we learn from all of these heroes about being righteous?
For another fun similar activity, head over to see this Tell Me Dear Lord Crack the Code singing time activity!
Book of Mormon Stories Ancient Code Printable Cipher
This free in-post printable includes the first 4 verses scripture hero cards and the ancient code cipher.
Join INSTANT Primary Singing for extended printables including full page, 1/2 page name cards for all 8 verses. Plus bonus keyword cards and mini ancient code cipher. You’ll find these bonus files included when Book of Mormon Stories is the featured song of the month.
To access the free in-post printables for this post, you’ll just need to create a free account or login with the Grow.me tool. Then, confirm by email and refresh the page and ALL my free printables will automatically unlock in every post!
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For another fun way to review this song, continue reading with this Book of Mormon Stories Arrange the Melody activity.
What other fun ways will you use this ancient code singing time activity in your Primary room?