Lesson 18: God Himself-Shall Redeem His People

Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999), 79–83


Purpose

To help class members appreciate the importance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and stay true to their testimonies of the Atonement.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      Mosiah 12–13. Abinadi calls King Noah and his priests to repentance. He exhorts them to keep the commandments. He teaches them that the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses are types, or symbols, of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

    2. b.

      Mosiah 14–16. Abinadi quotes Isaiah. He testifies of the Atonement and exhorts Noah’s priests to teach the people that redemption comes through Christ.

    3. c.

      Mosiah 17. Alma, one of Noah’s priests, repents and records the words of Abinadi. Abinadi seals his testimony of the Savior with his life.

  2. 2.

    If the picture Abinadi before King Noah is available, prepare to use it during the lesson (62042; Gospel Art Picture Kit 308).

  3. 3.

    If you use the attention activity, bring to class some or all of the pictures listed in the activity.

Suggestions for Lesson Development

Attention Activity

As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson.

Explain that there are many scriptural accounts of the Lord commanding people to fulfill difficult missions.

  • What are some difficult missions or callings recorded in the scriptures? (Some possible responses are listed below, along with item numbers of pictures that depict some of the events.)

    1. a.

      Noah preaching to the people (62053; Gospel Art Picture Kit 102)

    2. b.

      Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt (62100)

    3. c.

      Lehi warning the people in Jerusalem (62517; Gospel Art Picture Kit 300)

    4. d.

      Esther going before King Ahasuerus (Gospel Art Picture Kit 125)

    5. e.

      Abinadi preaching to King Noah (62042; Gospel Art Picture Kit 308)

    6. f.

      Samuel preaching in Zarahemla (62370; Gospel Art Picture Kit 314)

    7. g.

      Joseph Smith fulfilling his mission as the Prophet of the Restoration (62470; Gospel Art Picture Kit 403)

  • Why were these missions difficult? Why do you think these people were willing to fulfill their missions despite the difficult circumstances?

Display the picture of Abinadi before King Noah, and explain that this lesson discusses the teachings of Abinadi. Encourage class members to look for reasons why Abinadi was willing to give his life in order to preach to the people.

Scripture Discussion and Application

Prayerfully select the scripture passages, questions, and other lesson material that will best meet class members’ needs. Discuss how the selected scriptures apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share appropriate experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

1. Abinadi calls Noah and his priests to repentance, exhorts them to keep the commandments, and teaches of the Atonement.

Discuss Mosiah 12–13. Invite class members to read selected verses aloud. If you are using the picture of Abinadi before King Noah, display it throughout the lesson.

  • Two years after Abinadi had originally preached to Noah’s people, he returned to tell them that because they had not repented, they would suffer and be brought into bondage (Mosiah 12:1–7). He also said that they would be destroyed if they did not repent (Mosiah 12:8). How did the people respond to this message? (See Mosiah 12:9–16.) Why do you think they defended Noah?

  • After Abinadi withstood the priests’ efforts to “cross him,” one of the priests asked him a question about a scripture passage (Mosiah 12:20–24; have a class member read these verses aloud). Why were the priests unable to understand this scripture passage? (See Mosiah 12:25–27. Note that the meaning of this passage is discussed later in the lesson.) What does it mean to apply our hearts to understanding? Why is it important to apply our hearts as we study and teach the gospel? (See D&C 8:2–3.)

  • What did Abinadi reveal was the problem with the priests’ claim that they taught the law of Moses? (See Mosiah 12:28–37.) Why is it important that we strive to live according to the truths we teach?

  • What happened to make it possible for Abinadi to deliver his message? (See Mosiah 13:1–9. Point out that the Lord did this so Abinadi would be able to testify of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This illustrates the importance of the message of the Atonement.)

  • Why did Abinadi read the Ten Commandments to Noah and his priests? (See Mosiah 13:11.) What does it mean to have the commandments “written in [our] hearts”? How might having the commandments written in our hearts affect our efforts to obey them?

  • After calling Noah and the priests to repentance for not keeping the law of Moses, Abinadi said, “Salvation doth not come by the law alone” (Mosiah 13:28). How does salvation come? (See Mosiah 13:14, 28, 32–35; Articles of Faith 1:3.)

  • What was the purpose of the law of Moses? (See Mosiah 13:29–33. Explain that the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses were types, or symbols, of things to come. They were given to help the people look to Christ.)

2. Abinadi quotes Isaiah, testifies of the Atonement, and exhorts Noah’s priests to teach the people that redemption comes through Christ.

Read and discuss selected verses from Mosiah 14–16.

  • As part of his testimony of Jesus Christ, Abinadi quoted the prophet Isaiah. What are some things we learn about the Savior from the prophecy quoted in Mosiah 14? (Have class members take turns reading verses in this chapter to find answers to this question. Summarize their answers on the chalkboard. Some possible answers are listed below.)

    1. a.

      The Savior lived meekly and humbly (Mosiah 14:2).

    2. b.

      Many people rejected Him (Mosiah 14:3).

    3. c.

      He carried our griefs and sorrows (Mosiah 14:4).

    4. d.

      He took upon Himself the sins of all people (Mosiah 14:5–6, 8, 10–12).

    5. e.

      He willingly subjected Himself to persecution and death (Mosiah 14:7–9).

    6. f.

      He was without sin (Mosiah 14:9).

  • Abinadi said that the Savior “satisfied the demands of justice” (Mosiah 15:9). What are the demands of justice? (See Alma 42:11, 14.) What did the Savior do to satisfy the demands of justice? (See Mosiah 15:9; Alma 42:12–13, 15.)

  • Abinadi spoke of the seed, or the sons and daughters, of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 15:10; see also Mosiah 14:10). What does it mean to be the Savior’s sons and daughters? (See Mosiah 15:11–14; see also Mosiah 5:5–7. Explain that Jesus Christ is the author of salvation. There is a Father-child relationship between Him and those who accept His gospel. We become His seed, or His sons and daughters, when we believe in Him, repent of our sins, and covenant to do His will and obey His commandments.)

  • Remind class members that one of Noah’s priests asked Abinadi to interpret Isaiah’s statement “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings” (Mosiah 12:20–24). What are these good tidings? (See Mosiah 15:19–25; D&C 76:40–42.) Who are the messengers who share these good tidings? (See Mosiah 15:13–18. The Savior Himself, the prophets, and others who share the gospel.) How can we help bring these good tidings to others?

  • How will we be blessed after we die if we have believed in Christ, followed Him, and accepted His Atonement? (See Mosiah 15:21–23; 16:8–11.) What will happen to us if we have rejected Christ and His Atonement? (See Mosiah 15:26–27; 16:2–3, 5, 10–12.)

  • At the end of his discourse, what did Abinadi exhort Noah and the priests to do? (See Mosiah 16:13–15.) How can we apply this counsel in our lives?

3. Abinadi seals his testimony of the Savior with his life.

Read and discuss selected verses from Mosiah 17.

  • Was Abinadi successful in his mission to King Noah and his people? Why or why not? Who was converted because of Abinadi’s teachings? (See Mosiah 17:2–4; Alma 5:11–12; see also the fourth additional teaching idea.)

  • After Abinadi had given his message, what did King Noah and the judges decide to do to him? (See Mosiah 17:1, 7.) What could Abinadi have done to avoid being put to death? (See Mosiah 17:8.) Why did he refuse to recall the words he had spoken? (See Mosiah 17:9–10, 20.) Although we will likely not need to die for our faith, in what ways can we follow Abinadi’s example?

    President Ezra Taft Benson said: “Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world. Men changed for Christ will be captained by Christ. … Men captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. … Their will is swallowed up in His will. (See John 5:30.) They do always those things that please the Lord. (See John 8:29.) Not only would they die for the Lord, but more important they want to live for Him” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1985, 5–6; or Ensign, Nov. 1985, 6).

Conclusion

Point out that the actions of Abinadi and Alma can help us see the importance of the Atonement. Abinadi’s life was preserved by the Lord so he could testify of the Atonement (Mosiah 13:1–9). After Abinadi had shared this message, he “sealed the truth of his words by his death” (Mosiah 17:20). Alma wrote “all the words which Abinadi had spoken” (Mosiah 17:4). He then obeyed Abinadi’s command to “teach … that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 16:15). Encourage class members to stay true to their testimonies and share the message of the Atonement.

As directed by the Spirit, testify of the truths discussed during the lesson.

Additional Teaching Ideas

The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use one or more of these ideas as part of the lesson.

1. Hymn

With class members, sing or read the words to a hymn about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, such as “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193) or “How Great the Wisdom and the Love” (Hymns, no. 195). Or play a recording of a hymn about the Atonement.

2. Video presentation

As you discuss Abinadi’s testimony of the Savior and the reaction of King Noah and his priests, show “What Think Ye of Christ?” a five-minute segment of Family Home Evening Video Supplement 2 (53277).

3. “The Father and the Son” (Mosiah 15:2)

Use the following information to explain Abinadi’s teachings in Mosiah 15:1–9:

When Abinadi spoke of Jesus as “the Father and the Son,” he did not teach that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the same being. Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct personages (D&C 130:22).

When ancient prophets spoke of God or of the Lord, they often referred to Jehovah, the premortal Messiah (Mosiah 13:33–34; 14:6). Thus, Abinadi taught of Jesus Christ when he said, “God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people” (Mosiah 15:1; see also Mosiah 7:27–28). Abinadi’s teachings in Mosiah 15:1–9 refer to Jesus’ Fatherly roles and to His roles as the Son of God.

Jesus’ roles as Father include (a) His work as “the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning” (Mosiah 3:8); (b) His mission as the Father of those who accept His gospel and follow Him (Mosiah 5:7; 15:10–13; Ether 3:14); and (c) His authority to speak and act in behalf of Heavenly Father, which has been termed “divine investiture of authority.” Jesus’ roles as the Son of God include (a) His Atonement for the sins of the world (Mosiah 15:6–9) and (b) His service as our Mediator and Advocate with Heavenly Father (Jacob 4:10–11; D&C 45:3–5).

Abinadi said that Jesus was called the Son “because he dwelleth in flesh” and the Father “because he was conceived by the power of God” (Mosiah 15:2–3; see also D&C 93:3–4). When Abinadi spoke of “the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Mosiah 15:7), he referred to Jesus subjecting His flesh to His spirit (Mosiah 15:2–5; see also 3 Nephi 1:14). When Jesus subjected His flesh to His spirit, He also subjected His will to the will of Heavenly Father (Matthew 26:39; D&C 19:16–19).

4. The unseen results of missionary work

Explain that Abinadi may have died without knowing if anyone believed his teachings. But Alma was converted because of Abinadi’s efforts, and he and his descendants had a great influence on the Nephites for many generations. Share the following story told by President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“You don’t know how much good you can do; you can’t foresee the results of the effort you put in. Years ago, President Charles A. Callis, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, but who previously was president of the Southern States Mission for twenty-five years, told me this story. He said that he had a missionary in the southern [United States] who came in to get his release at the conclusion of his mission. His mission president said to him, ‘Have you had a good mission?’

“He said, ‘No.’

“‘How is that?’

“‘Well, I haven’t had any results from my work. I have wasted my time and my father’s money. It’s been a waste of time.’

“Brother Callis said, ‘Haven’t you baptized anyone?’

“He said, ‘I baptized only one person during the two years that I have been here. That was a twelve-year-old boy up in the back hollows of Tennessee.’

“He went home with a sense of failure. Brother Callis said, ‘I decided to follow that boy who had been baptized. I wanted to know what became of him. …

“… ‘I followed him through the years. He became the Sunday School Superintendent, and he eventually became the branch president. He married. He moved off the little tenant farm on which he and his parents before him had lived and got a piece of ground of his own and made it fruitful. He became the district president. He sold that piece of ground in Tennessee and moved to Idaho and bought a farm along the Snake River and prospered there. His children grew. They went on missions. They came home. They had children of their own who went on missions.’

“Brother Callis continued, ‘I’ve just spent a week up in Idaho looking up every member of that family that I could find and talking to them about their missionary service. I discovered that, as the result of the baptism of that one little boy in the back hollows of Tennessee by a missionary who thought he had failed, more than 1,100 people have come into the Church.’

“You never can foretell the consequences of your work, my beloved brethren and sisters, when you serve as missionaries” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 360–61).