Lesson 25: They Taught with Power and Authority of God

Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999), 112–15


Purpose

To inspire class members to follow the example of the sons of Mosiah by sharing the gospel and ministering to others.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      Alma 17:1–18. The sons of Mosiah preach the gospel to the Lamanites.

    2. b.

      Alma 17:19–39; 18; 19. Ammon serves and teaches King Lamoni. The king and queen and many of the Lamanites are converted.

    3. c.

      Alma 20–22. Ammon is led by the Spirit to deliver his brethren from prison. Lamoni’s father is converted.

  2. 2.

    Ask a class member to prepare to summarize Alma 17:19–39. Ask him or her to report on the events in the account rather than doctrine or personal application, which will be discussed in class after the report.

  3. 3.

    If the picture Ammon Defends the Flocks of King Lamoni is available, prepare to use it during the lesson (62535; Gospel Art Picture Kit 310).

Suggestions for Lesson Development

Attention Activity

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

Write the following phrases on the chalkboard: To Know, To Feel, To Do

  • How could these phrases relate to missionary work?

    Elder Carlos E. Asay related the following experience:

    “Not too long ago, I heard the testimony of a new convert—a young man obviously touched by the Spirit. Among other things, he indicated that it was his great desire to share the restored gospel with his family and friends. With tears in his eyes and a quiver in his voice, he said:

    • “‘I want them to know what I know.

    • “‘I want them to feel what I feel.

    • “‘I want them to do what I have done.’

    • “There is a missionary spirit—a spirit which urges us to live outside ourselves and to be concerned for the welfare of others. And anyone who has ever served an honorable mission, assisted in the conversion of a friend, supported a son or daughter in the mission field, or enjoyed close associations with missionaries will testify of its reality” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1976, 58; or Ensign, Nov. 1976, 42).

Explain that after the sons of Mosiah were converted, they felt a great desire to share the gospel with others. Their experiences provide some of the greatest examples of missionary service in the scriptures. This lesson discusses how they were able to become instruments in the hands of God in bringing the Lamanites to a knowledge of the truth.

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. The sons of Mosiah preach the gospel to the Lamanites.

Explain that as Alma traveled to Manti, he met the sons of King Mosiah, who were returning from their 14-year mission to the Lamanites. Alma 17–26 records the experiences and preaching of the sons of Mosiah during their mission. Read and discuss Alma 17:1–18.

  • Why were the sons of Mosiah such powerful and effective teachers? (See Alma 17:2–4. Write on the chalkboard the heading Keys to Successful Missionary Work. Under the heading, write Study, fast, and pray.) How does our personal worthiness and preparation affect our ability to be effective instruments for the Lord? How have you seen a missionary or someone else be blessed because of personal preparation?

  • What sacrifices did the sons of Mosiah make to perform their missionary work? (See Alma 17:5–6.) Why were they willing to do this? (See Alma 17:9, 16; see also Mosiah 28:1–3. On the chalkboard write Love God and others.) How can we develop love and concern for others, as was demonstrated by the sons of Mosiah?

  • The sons of Mosiah went to preach to “a hardened and a ferocious people” (Alma 17:14). What comfort and counsel did the Lord give them to help prepare them for their mission? (See Alma 17:10–11.) How did the sons of Mosiah feel after receiving comfort and direction from the Lord? (See Alma 17:12.) How can these verses help us as we face challenges in our callings?

2. Ammon serves and teaches King Lamoni, and many of the people are converted.

Ask the assigned class member to summarize the events described in Alma 17:19–39. Then read and discuss selected verses from Alma 17:19–39; 18; 19. If you are using the picture of Ammon defending the king’s flocks, display it now.

  • Why did Ammon’s heart become “swollen … with joy” when the king’s flocks were scattered? (See Alma 17:29.) How did Ammon turn this into a positive experience? (See Alma 17:30–39.)

  • How did the king respond when his servants told him how Ammon had defended his flocks? (See Alma 18:2–5.) What was Ammon doing when the king asked where he was? (See Alma 18:8–9. On the chalkboard write Give service and develop trust.) How did this help prepare King Lamoni to be taught? (See Alma 18:10–11.)

  • How did the king’s servants address Ammon when he came to see the king? (See Alma 18:13.) How did Ammon’s words to King Lamoni show that Ammon was still a humble servant? (See Alma 18:14–17.)

  • Why do you think it was important for Ammon to serve the king before trying to teach him? How can serving and developing a relationship of trust with others help us present the gospel message to them? In what ways can we serve those we teach?

  • As Ammon began teaching King Lamoni, how did he help him gain an understanding about God and heaven? (See Alma 18:24–33. He taught in a way that the king could understand.) How can we follow this example when teaching the gospel?

  • After establishing a level of understanding with King Lamoni, what essential doctrines did Ammon teach him? (See Alma 18:34–39. On the chalkboard write Teach the plan of redemption from the scriptures.) Why is the Book of Mormon an important tool in teaching these truths today?

  • What did King Lamoni do after hearing and believing Ammon’s words? (See Alma 18:40–41.) Why is it important for people to seek forgiveness when they are taught the principles of the gospel? Why is prayer necessary in the conversion process?

  • After praying, King Lamoni fell to the earth. How did the queen demonstrate her faith when Lamoni appeared to be dead? (See Alma 19:1–5, 8–9.)

  • What did Lamoni emphasize when he spoke to the queen after his conversion? (See Alma 19:12–13.)

  • After speaking to the queen, Lamoni again fell to the earth, as did the queen and all of the servants except Abish (Alma 19:13, 15–16). Who was Abish? (See Alma 19:16–17. As class members discuss Abish, you may want to point out how she can serve as an example of remaining converted to the Lord even when those around us are not.) What did Abish do when she understood what had happened? (See Alma 19:17.) How can we better recognize and use opportunities to share the gospel?

  • What were some of the different responses of the people when they arrived at the house of the king? (See Alma 19:18–28.) How did Abish try to resolve the contention among the people? (See Alma 19:28–29.) How did the king and queen demonstrate their conversion after they arose? (See Alma 19:29–31, 33.)

  • What do you think Mormon wanted us to learn from the experiences of Ammon and King Lamoni and his people? (See Alma 19:36. Answers could include that the arm of the Lord is “extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.”)

3. Ammon is led by the Spirit to deliver his brethren. Lamoni’s father is converted.

Read and discuss selected verses from Alma 20–22.

  • What did Lamoni want to do after the Church was established in his kingdom? (See Alma 20:1.) Why is it important for new converts to share their testimonies with others? How can we continue to have such enthusiasm?

  • How did the conversation between Lamoni and his father demonstrate the depth of Lamoni’s conversion? (See Alma 20:13–15.)

  • What astonished King Lamoni’s father about Ammon? (See Alma 20:26–27.) Why are love and testimony so powerful in softening a person’s heart? (Invite class members to share experiences of how the love and testimony of others have softened their hearts or the hearts of their family members or friends.)

Explain that Alma 21 begins the account of Ammon’s brother Aaron and his fellow servants. They preached the gospel to the Amalekites and Amulonites in Jerusalem, but these apostate Nephites were extremely hard-hearted and refused to listen. Aaron and his brethren left and began preaching in the land of Middoni, where they were thrown into prison and mistreated.

  • What did Aaron and his brethren do as soon as they were released from prison and fed and clothed? (See Alma 21:14–15. On the chalkboard write Go forth despite tribulation.) Why is it important for us to continue in our labors in God’s kingdom even when we face suffering and affliction?

  • How did Aaron and his brethren know where they should go to teach the gospel? (See Alma 21:16.) How were they blessed as they were led by the Spirit? (See Alma 21:17.) How have you been blessed by heeding the promptings of the Spirit?

  • Aaron was led by the Spirit to the house of King Lamoni’s father (Alma 22:1). How had Ammon’s example helped prepare Lamoni’s father to be taught? (See Alma 22:2–3. On the chalkboard write Be a good example.) How have you seen the examples of Church members influence others for good?

  • How was Aaron’s teaching of Lamoni’s father similar to Ammon’s teaching of Lamoni? (Compare Alma 18:24–39 with Alma 22:7–14.) What did Aaron say when Lamoni’s father asked what he should do to obtain a hope of redemption? (See Alma 22:16. List class members’ answers on the chalkboard. They might include those listed below.)

    1. a.

      “Bow down before God.”

    2. b.

      “Repent of all thy sins.”

    3. c.

      “Call on [God’s] name in faith.”

  • What sacrifices was the king willing to make to know God? (See Alma 22:15, 17–18.) What can we learn from the king’s example?

    Referring to Alma 22:15, 18, President Ezra Taft Benson said: “Each of us must surrender our sins if we are to really know Christ. For we do not know Him until we become like Him. There are some, like this king, who must pray until they, too, have ‘a wicked spirit rooted’ from them so they can find the same joy” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1983, 63; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, 43).

  • Like his son Lamoni, the king was physically overcome by the Spirit. After the king had risen, he declared his testimony, and many were converted through this experience (Alma 22:18–26). What did the king do following his conversion that helped the missionaries bring thousands to a knowledge of the Lord? (See Alma 22:26; 23:1–6.) What experiences have you had or known of where the conversion of one person had a positive effect on many others?

Conclusion

Point out that our present approach to missionary work is similar to that of Ammon and Aaron: missionaries are encouraged to build relationships of trust, follow the Spirit, and teach the plan of redemption from the scriptures.

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