Approximately 60 years before King Benjamin’s son Mosiah became king, a man named Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to live in the land of Nephi, which they considered “the land of their inheritance” (see Omni 1:27–30). King Mosiah authorized a man named Ammon to lead a small group to the land of Nephi to learn the fate of Zeniff’s group. Ammon and his companions found the descendants of Zeniff’s group living in bondage to the Lamanites. Zeniff’s grandson Limhi was their king. Ammon’s arrival brought hope to Limhi and his people. Limhi asked Ammon if he could translate the engravings on 24 gold plates his people had discovered. Ammon explained that the king in Zarahemla, King Mosiah, was a seer who could translate those ancient records.
Before studying Mosiah 7 today, it will be helpful for students to become familiar with the various journeys recorded in Mosiah 7–24. The following activity provides an overview of these journeys, which occurred during a period of approximately 80 years (200 BC to 121 BC).
Give each student a copy of the accompanying diagram. Invite students to complete the diagram by placing the number of each journey in the appropriate circle on the map. Students could do this activity on their own or in small groups, or you could complete it together as a class.
After students have had sufficient time to complete the activity, review their responses. The correct answers can be found on the diagram titled “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24,” which is located in the appendix of this manual.
Point out the land of Zarahemla on the diagram. Remind students that this is where King Mosiah and his people lived.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 7:1 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Mosiah and his people wanted to know.
What did Mosiah and his people want to know?
Explain that Mosiah allowed a small group of men, led by a man named Ammon, to search for the people who had left Zarahemla to live in Lehi-Nephi (see Mosiah 7:2–3). (This action is represented by journey 5 on the diagram titled “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24.”)
Summarize Mosiah 7:4–11 by explaining that Ammon found the city where the descendants of Zeniff’s people lived under the reign of Zeniff’s grandson Limhi. Limhi saw Ammon’s group outside the walls of the city and imprisoned them. He questioned them two days later.
Ask several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 7:12–15. Invite the class to follow along, looking for Limhi’s reaction when he learned who Ammon was and where he was from.
Why was Limhi so happy to learn that Ammon was from the land of Zarahemla?
Summarize Mosiah 7:16–19 by explaining that King Limhi gathered his people together at the temple to comfort them and to encourage them to trust in God for deliverance.
To help students recognize why Limhi’s people were in bondage, divide students into pairs. Invite them to read Mosiah 7:20–25 with their partners, looking for the main reason why Limhi’s people had been brought into bondage. After students have finished reading, ask:
According to verse 20, what is the main reason why these Nephites had been brought into bondage?
What principles can we learn from verses 20–25? (Students may identify a number of principles, including the following: If we choose to sin, then we will experience bondage and sorrow. Write this principle on the board.)
Invite students to come to the board to list examples of sins that will lead us to experience bondage and sorrow. (For example, students may write sins such as the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography, which lead to a loss of the Spirit and can lead to harmful habits and addictions.) Ask students to explain how the sins they listed can lead to bondage and sorrow.
Summarize Mosiah 7:25–32 by explaining that Limhi’s people were guilty of many sins, including killing Abinadi, which brought the consequences of bondage and afflictions.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 7:33 aloud. Ask the class to look for what Limhi exhorted his people to do in order to be delivered from bondage.
What did Limhi exhort his people to do in order to be delivered from bondage?
How would you summarize a principle from verse 33 about what we can do to be delivered from the bondage of sin? (Students should identify a principle like the following: If we turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, trust in Him, and serve Him with all diligence of mind, then He will deliver us from the bondage of sin.)
What do you think it means to “turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart … and serve him with all diligence of mind” (verse 33; italics added)? What are some ways we can do this?
In what ways can the Lord deliver us from the bondage of sin? (He can forgive us and help us overcome negative consequences of our choices.)
Consider sharing your testimony that Jesus Christ will deliver us from the bondage of sin as we turn to Him in faith and repent.
Give students time to reflect on their lives and to consider if there are any sins they need to repent of. Encourage them to do whatever is necessary to repent of those sins so they can be delivered by the Savior.
Ask two students to come to the front of the class. Blindfold one student, and then place books, pieces of paper, or other harmless objects on the floor across the room. Ask the second student to give verbal instructions to help the first student cross the room without touching any of the objects on the floor. When the task is completed, ask the blindfolded student to remove the blindfold, and invite both students to return to their seats.
What is the value of listening to someone who can see things we can’t?
As students study Mosiah 8 today, invite them to look for truths that can help them understand the value of following those who have been called by God to lead us.
Summarize Mosiah 8:1–12 by explaining that Limhi had sent an expedition to get help from Zarahemla sometime before Ammon’s arrival. The group wandered in the wilderness, and instead of finding Zarahemla, they found the remains of a destroyed civilization. There they discovered 24 gold plates with engravings on them. (These actions are represented by journey 4 on the diagram titled “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24.” A record of the Jaredites, taken from the 24 gold plates, is included in the Book of Mormon as the book of Ether.) Explain that King Limhi wanted to understand the writings that were engraved on the 24 plates. He asked Ammon if he knew of anyone who could translate them.
Invite a student to read aloud Ammon’s response in Mosiah 8:13–14. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the word Ammon used to indicate a person who has the power to translate such records.
What word did Ammon use to indicate a person who has power from God to translate? (Invite students to consider marking the word seer in verse 13.)
Ask students to search Mosiah 8:16–18 with a partner, looking for additional abilities of a seer. Ask several students to tell what they have found.
What truth can we learn from verse 18 about why the Lord provides prophets, seers, and revelators? (Help students identify the following truth: The Lord provides prophets, seers, and revelators to benefit mankind.)
How many seers do we have on the earth today? (Fifteen—the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.)
What are some things that prophets, seers, and revelators make known to us? (If students struggle to answer, ask what seers have made known about topics such as marriage and family, education, entertainment and media, or sexual purity.)
How has your life been blessed by modern-day prophets, seers, and revelators?
You may want to tell about how prophets, seers, and revelators have blessed your life. Conclude by encouraging students to follow the guidance we receive today from members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.