The four sons of King Mosiah chose to decline the opportunities and luxuries at home so they could preach the gospel among the Lamanites. The accounts of these four missionaries illustrate how students can prepare to effectively teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to others.
Before class, write the following incomplete statement on the board or on a piece of paper:
Invite a few students to tell what it was like when they saw a family member or a friend return from faithfully serving a full-time mission. Then ask: How was the person different after his or her mission? What do you think caused the change?
Ask students how they might complete the statement on the board. After students respond, share with them how Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles completed the statement:
“The single most important thing you can do to prepare for a call to serve [a mission] is to become a missionary long before you go on a mission” (David A. Bednar, “Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 45).
In what ways can young men and young women follow Elder Bednar’s counsel and become missionaries before they serve full-time missions?
Share the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson:
“Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord. Maintain your health and strength. Study the scriptures. Where such is available, participate in seminary or institute. Familiarize yourself with the missionary handbook Preach My Gospel.
“A word to you young sisters: while you do not have the same priesthood responsibility as do the young men to serve as full-time missionaries, you also make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome your service” (Thomas S. Monson, “As We Meet Together Again,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 6).
Write the following on the board: The Lord will bless us with the Holy Ghost and power to teach His word as we …
Divide the class into four groups. Assign each group one of the following scripture passages: (1) Alma 17:1–4; (2) Alma 17:9–13; (3) Alma 17:19–25; 18:1–9; (4) Alma 17:26–30. (Adapt this activity if you have a small class.)
Invite students to read their assigned passages silently, looking for what the sons of Mosiah did that blessed them with the Spirit and with power as they taught the gospel. Explain that when students are done, you will ask them to share what they discovered and how they would complete the sentence on the board.
After sufficient time, invite a person from each group to explain what the sons of Mosiah did and how the group members would complete the principle on the board. Students’ answers may include the following: search the scriptures, fast and pray, be patient, set a good example, trust in the Lord, genuinely serve others, and love others as our brothers and sisters. As students share their answers, list them on the board. Ask students to explain how they think each action or characteristic could help an individual share the gospel more effectively.
If any of your students were converted to the gospel after being taught by full-time missionaries, you may want to ask them to share how they felt as they were learning the gospel.
Remind students that after Ammon defended the king’s flock, King Lamoni was astonished at Ammon’s power as well as his obedience and faithfulness in fulfilling the king’s commands (see Alma 18:8–10). Lamoni was prepared to hear the message Ammon had come to share with him.
Invite several students to read Alma 18:24–29 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Ammon built on Lamoni’s understanding of God so he could prepare Lamoni to understand true doctrine.
If you had a conversation about God with a friend of another faith, how could you use beliefs you both share, as Ammon did? How might this effort help your friend?
What other gospel topics could you talk about with your friends to open opportunities to share the gospel with them?
Remind students that King Lamoni became receptive to hearing about the gospel of Jesus Christ, as did his father. Invite one student to read Alma 18:39–41 aloud—Lamoni’s response to learning about Jesus Christ. Invite another student to read Alma 22:14–18 aloud—Lamoni’s father’s response. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the similarity in the responses of these two men.
What did both men want to do when they learned about Jesus Christ?
Explain that Lamoni and his father were touched by the Spirit through the teachings of missionaries. As a result, they wanted the blessings of the gospel and were willing to give up their sins and repent. Remind students of the truth they studied this week: We must be willing to forsake all our sins in order to be spiritually changed and born of God.
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (also found in the lesson for day 3 in the student study guide):
“The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change. ‘Repent’ is its most frequent message, and repenting means giving up all of our practices—personal, family, ethnic, and national—that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Repentance and Change,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 37).
Invite students to think about their lives and to consider if they need to forsake any sins in order to be spiritually changed as Lamoni and his father were. Conclude by sharing your encouragement and testimony that as we are willing to give away our sins, the Lord will help us change and grow.
Ask the students to consider this question: What would you say to someone who is an anti-Christ? Explain that in the next unit they will learn how Alma dealt with the questions and ridicule of Korihor, who was an anti-Christ. In addition, they will learn more about faith as they learn how Alma and others strove to teach the apostate Zoramites, who were perverting the ways of the Lord.