Lesson 57: Mosiah 9–10

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


Introduction

A man named Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to settle among the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. Mosiah 9–22 contains an account of the experiences of these people. The king of the Lamanites allowed Zeniff’s people to settle among them because he secretly planned to bring them into bondage. The Lamanites’ false traditions and hatred of the Nephites eventually led to war. Zeniff’s people relied on the Lord for strength, and they were able to drive the Lamanites out of their land.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 9:1–13

Zeniff leads a group of Nephites to return to the land of Nephi

Ask students to think of some objects (such as particular items of clothing or electronic devices) that they have desired in the past or currently would like to have. Invite a few students to tell the class about an object they thought of.

Explain that today students will learn about a man who wanted something so intensely that he failed to see the possible consequences of his desires. As students study Mosiah 9–10 today, invite them to look for what can cause us to make decisions that will bring undesirable consequences.

Invite students to look at the diagram “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24: Matching Activity” from the previous lesson (or you can show them the diagram “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24,” found in the appendix of this manual). Remind them that a man named Ammon led a group that journeyed from Zarahemla and found Limhi and his people in the land of Nephi (see journey 5).

Explain that from Mosiah 8 to Mosiah 9, the story line goes back in time more than 60 years to give the account of King Limhi’s grandfather Zeniff.

Invite a student to read aloud Mormon’s preface to the record of Zeniff at the beginning of Mosiah 9. Then ask another student to read Mosiah 9:1–2 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for what happened the first time a group of Nephites tried to return to the land of Nephi. Ask students to report what they find.

Ask another student to read Mosiah 9:3 aloud. Invite the rest of the class to follow along, looking for (1) how Zeniff described himself and (2) what he was slow to remember as he sought to reclaim the land of Nephi. Ask students to report what they find.

  • What does it mean to be overzealous? (To be overly eager or excessively interested in the pursuit of something.)

  • What do you think it means to be slow to remember the Lord?

Explain that because Zeniff was overzealous and slow to remember the Lord, he did not foresee the consequences of his choices. Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 9:5–7, 10. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Zeniff failed to see.

  • What did Zeniff fail to see because of his overzealous desire to obtain the land of Nephi?

  • What are the dangers of being overly eager in obtaining our personal desires and neglecting to remember the Lord when making decisions? (Help students identify a principle similar to the following: Being overzealous and slow to remember the Lord can lead us to make choices that result in negative consequences. Write this principle on the board.)

  • What are some situations youth might experience today in which they may be tempted to disregard the Lord’s will and do what they strongly desire to do instead?

As you discuss students’ answers to the preceding question, mention the following scenarios as examples:

  1. 1.

    A young man eager to pursue his university studies decides to not serve a full-time mission.

  2. 2.

    A young woman decides to date a young man who does not share her moral standards.

  • What are the potential consequences of these decisions?

  • How might the principle on the board help youth avoid making mistakes they would later regret?

Summarize Mosiah 9:11–13 by telling students that after 12 years, Zeniff’s people had grown so prosperous that the Lamanite king grew nervous that he wouldn’t be able to bring them into bondage, so he “began to stir up his people that they should contend with [Zeniff’s] people” (Mosiah 9:13).

Mosiah 9:14–10:22

The Lamanites attempt to bring Zeniff’s people into bondage

Ask students to identify some challenges commonly faced by youth. Students might mention difficulties with schoolwork, sports, leadership, work, friends, family, or temptation.

Ask the class to ponder which areas they would like to have more strength and support in.

As students continue their study of Mosiah 9–10 today, invite them to look for how they can receive additional strength and support in areas where they feel they need it.

Explain that Mosiah 9 and 10 recount two times when the Lamanites came to battle against Zeniff and his people. Copy the accompanying chart on the board, but do not include the answers in parentheses. Tell students that they will be searching the scripture passages in the chart, looking for answers to the questions along the top of the chart. Invite half of the class to use the passages in the first row to find answers regarding Zeniff and his people. Invite the other half of the class to search the passages in the second row for answers regarding the Lamanites. Have a student from each group write their answers on the board as they find them.

Zeniff and his people

The Lamanites

What did the people do to prepare?

Mosiah 9:14–16; 10:1–2, 7, 9–10

(They armed themselves and went to battle.)

Mosiah 10:6–8

(They armed themselves and went to battle.)

What did they do to put their trust in the Lord?

Mosiah 9:17

(They prayed and remembered that the Lord had delivered their ancestors.)

Mosiah 10:11

(Nothing. They relied on their own strength.)

What was the result?

Mosiah 9:18; 10:20

(The Lord strengthened them, and they were successful in driving the Lamanites out of their land.)

Mosiah 10:19–20

(The Lamanites were driven from the land with a great slaughter.)

After students complete the chart, ask:

  • What similarities and differences do you see between how Zeniff’s people and the Lamanites approached their battles?

  • What truths can we learn from this comparison? (Students may identify several principles, including the following: If we pray and go forth in faith, we can face our challenges in the strength of the Lord. Write this principle on the board.)

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask the class to listen for the relationship between prayer and going forth in faith.

Elder David A. Bednar

“Blessings require some effort on our part before we can obtain them, and prayer, as ‘a form of work, … is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings’ [Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”]. We press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer, after we say ‘amen,’ by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father” (David A. Bednar, “Ask in Faith,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 95).

  • Why do you think it is important that we pray and then act on the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father?

Refer back to the principle listed on the board, and ask:

  • How could this principle help someone who is experiencing challenges?

Testify that the Lord will strengthen us as we pray and go forth in faith.

Invite students to answer one of the following questions in their class notebooks or study journals:

  • When have you felt the Lord strengthen you as you prayed in faith and put forth the necessary effort?

  • How will you apply this principle to help you with the challenges you are facing now?

Invite a few students to share with the class what they wrote. (Remind students that they should not share anything that is too personal or private.)

Explain that before Zeniff and his people went to battle the second time, Zeniff explained to his people why the Lamanites were filled with hatred for the Nephites. Write the words wroth and wronged on the board, and ask students if they can explain what these words mean. (To be wroth is to be intensely angry; to be wronged is to be offended or dealt with unfairly or in an unjust manner.)

Divide students into pairs and have them read Mosiah 10:11–17, looking for reasons why the descendants of Laman and Lemuel continued to hate the descendants of Nephi.

After the partners have read the verses together, ask the following questions:

  • Why did the Lamanites hate the Nephites so intensely?

  • According to verse 11, how can a person’s anger affect his or her family, now and in the future? (Help students identify the following principle: Taking offense and holding on to anger can prevent individuals and their children from knowing the Lord and His strength.)

Read aloud the following statement by Elder Bednar. Before you read, explain that as a stake president Elder Bednar would visit people who had stopped coming to church because they had taken offense at the words or actions of another person. Ask students to listen for how taking offense and holding on to anger can prevent individuals and their children from knowing the Lord and His strength.

Elder David A. Bednar

“As we talked, eyes often were moist with tears as these good people recalled the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost and described their prior spiritual experiences. … However, they were not presently participating in Church activities and meetings.

“And then I would say something like this. ‘Let me make sure I understand what has happened to you. Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. You have withdrawn yourself from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your children’s children, and the generations that will follow’” (David A. Bednar, “And Nothing Shall Offend Them,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 89).

  • According to Elder Bednar, what are some blessings that multiple generations can miss out on because someone took offense?

Conclude by inviting a few students who are willing to share their testimonies of the principles they have identified today.

Commentary and Background Information

Mosiah 9. The record of Zeniff

The heading before the chapter summary of Mosiah 9 was written by Mormon and was part of the original record given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Similar headings, also written by Mormon, appear at the beginning of some other books and chapters in the Book of Mormon. (The phrase “comprising chapters 9 to 22 inclusive” was added in 1879, when the Book of Mormon was published in chapter format. The word inclusive was deleted in 2013. The brief summaries that precede each chapter of the Book of Mormon were added in the 1920 edition.)

Mosiah 10:12–18. What should I do if I feel I have been wronged?

Elder Harold G. Hillam (1934–2012) of the Seventy shared insights about how to deal with feelings of anger:

Elder Harold G. Hillam

“If you feel you have been wronged, be ready to forgive. If there is, for some reason, an unpleasant memory, let it go. Where necessary, talk to your bishop; talk to your stake president.

“To all, but especially to those who some day will be great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers, your eternal blessings and those of your posterity are far more important than any prideful reason which would deny you and so many others of such important blessings” (Harold G. Hillam, “The Worth of Souls,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 32).