It is easy for most of us to remember the big names of the Book of Mormon—Mormon and Moroni, the Lehis and Nephis, the Almas and the Benjamins.
But the record is full of numerous other interesting persons. According to the records, many of them led normal, fairly uneventful lives. Others were involved in great spiritual experiences, while still others were embroiled in politics, struggle for power, or the defense of liberty.
Thirteen of these lives are highlighted here, but their names are not given. See how many you can accurately name and identify.
After you have written your name choices, turn to page 85 [see paragraph below question 13] for the correct answers.
If you scored:
— 0–4 correct names, maybe you’d better set a goal to reread the Book of Mormon during 1973.
— 5–9 correct names, not too bad, unless you needed to tell someone about the Book of Mormon.
— 10–13 correct names, with a little effort, it looks as if you’d feel comfortable in telling Book of Mormon stories.
1. This fearless prophet was ready to go anywhere and teach whatever the Lord told him to teach. Without regard for his own life, he openly denounced the sins of a king and his servants. When they attempted to take his life, he commanded them not to touch him, and his face shone with the power of God.
Protected by the Lord, he finished delivering his message, but when his work was done, the servants again had power over him and put him to death by fire.
A wasted life? A lost message?
No, because among those who heard and accepted his words was Alma, a man who was to change the destiny of the entire Nephite nation. This prophet had not died in vain.
2. This man was one of the greatest judges of the Nephite nation and served at the time of our Savior’s birth. He was also a great prophet. These combined characteristics stood him in good stead when a robber-chieftain demanded that the Nephites surrender to his army. This man gathered his people together, called on them to repent, built fortifications, strengthened their army, then waited for the robbers to attack.
One of the greatest wars, described as the greatest slaughter since Lehi left Jerusalem, then took place. Five years later when it was all over, his people broke forth in praises to him and God.
He knew the basis of freedom: cry unto the Lord for strength, repent of all your iniquities, and prepare to the best of your ability.
3. This man was one of the top lawyers of Ammonihah, and in his hunger to “get gain,” he became the prosecuting attorney in an unbelieving people’s case against two missionaries. Instead of trapping the two defendants, he found himself trembling as they bore their testimonies, and his baited questions became diligent searchings for truth.
He was brought to repentance, but then was unable to prevent the two men he had prosecuted from being imprisoned. Conscious of the part he had played in their imprisonment he was “encircled about with the pains of hell.” When he sought their release the people turned on him as well.
Ill with the fever of guilt, he was healed by the two missionaries. He then became a staunch missionary companion to Alma.
4. His father’s teachings, “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” reached fruition one day when this man went hunting, for then the words he had often heard his father speak concerning eternal life and the joy of the saints sunk deep into his heart.
So moved was he that his soul hungered, and in an effort to reach God he prayed all day and into the night.
Then peace came within him as he heard the words, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.”
5. He saved Limhi’s people from destruction by suggesting that the king’s priests had kidnapped Lamanite maidens, for which the Lamanites were about to destroy Limhi’s people. He also proposed the plan by which Limhi’s people were able to escape from bondage.
Finally it was he, now a faithful church member, who verbally withstood Nehor, an enemy of the church. But old and enfeebled, he was unable to defend himself against a physical assault and was killed by Nehor.
6. As a young prince this person belonged to a group of delinquents who attempted to destroy the church. But after an angelic visitation he and his brothers were converted and received permission from their father to do missionary work among the Lamanites.
His mission centered around the land of Ishmael, where he voluntarily became a servant to the king. He gained fame when he singlehandedly defended the king’s flocks against would-be robbers. In seeking to learn of his servant’s power, the king opened the way for a discussion on the scriptures, and this led dramatically to the king’s conversion. With this conversion the hearts of his people were open to the gospel.
7. This man has no recorded name. He lived around 90 B.C. as a king over the entire Lamanite nation. Most of his life was spent in spiritual darkness, without his knowing if God existed. Finally, Nephite missionaries came and kindled within him the spark of faith.
Desiring to obtain the eternal life of which the missionaries had spoken, this man offered a most sublime prayer:
“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee.”
8. Without this woman’s support, it is doubtful if a prophet could have accomplished his purposes.
Her greatest trial seemed to be in sending her sons back to her hometown. Upon their safe return, she exclaimed: “Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness.”
During eight years of travel through the wilderness, she bore her husband two sons and watched two other sons grow in faith while her eldest sons shriveled up spiritually.
9. In his city, this man was surrounded by wickedness. So great was the iniquity of the people that an angel declared they would be destroyed if they would not repent.
Although this man had seen the power of God preserve the lives of the people, his heart had been hardened. His conversion began with a vision in which an angel told him to receive Alma into his home and take care of his needs.
With Alma he suffered indignities at the hands of the people and was imprisoned. His later teachings to the Zoramites on justice, mercy, prayer, and procrastination are some of the great passages found int he Book fo Mormon.
10. This man led the Nephite armies during a difficult period of internal dissension. He had been appointed commander when he was 25. One year later he began a movement to overcome those seeking to destroy his nation.
He was described as “a strong and mighty man; … a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and freedom of his country; … a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people. Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ.”
11. Of this man, his father had said “I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; … And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory.”
He later succeeded his older brother as the spiritual leader of the Nephites and keeper of the small plates. On these he wrote his own experiences and testimony. He is best known for his sermon in the temple; his quotations of the allegory of the tame and the wild olive trees; his confrontation with Sherem, the anti-Christ; and his beautiful teachings on the atonement.
12. This wicked man was a great-great-great-grandson of the man whose brother had led the Jaredites from the tower of Babel to the Promised Land.
He was one of the most unscrupulous and bloodthirsty of the ancient Jaredites. He put his father, Omer, in captivity. Other sons of Omer finally obtained the kingdom back. This man’s life was spared because he pleaded with them.
He had a daughter who equaled him in wickedness. She offered her father a plan: “… send for Akish … ; behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, that he will desire me to wife.”
The marriage would be made on condition that Akish would bring the head of Omer to him. The deed was committed. He again obtained the kingdom, but in turn was murdered by his new son-in-law, Akish.
13. This queen is unnamed, but we do know her husband’s name. For two days and nights her husband’s body had lain on a bed surrounded by a mourning family. She sent for the only man who could explain her husband’s condition. “He is not dead,” said Ammon, “but he sleepeth in God and on the morrow he shall rise again.”
Then Ammon asked, “Believest thou this?”
“I have had no witness,” she answered, “save thy word … nevertheless I believe.”
Her faith was rewarded the next day when, at the appointed hour, her husband arose and said to her, “Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou.”
She herself then underwent a great spiritual experience and received the gospel.
Answers to the Book of Mormon Quiz found on pages 74 thru 77:
1. Abinadi (Mosiah 11–17)
2. Lachoneus (3 Ne. 3–4)
4. Enos (Enos 1)
7. Lamoni’s father (Alma 22)
10. Captain Moroni (Alma 43–63)
12. Jared and his daughter (Ether 8–9)
13. Lamoni’s wife (Alma 19)