Lesson 60: Mosiah 15–17

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


Introduction

As Abinadi continued preaching to King Noah and his priests, he testified of Jesus Christ’s role as the Redeemer. One of Noah’s priests, Alma, believed Abinadi. King Noah cast Alma from his court and ordered his servants to slay him, but Alma escaped and recorded the teachings he had heard from Abinadi. After Abinadi delivered the message the Lord had sent him to share, King Noah and his priests threatened to kill him if he would not take back what he had said. Refusing to deny his testimony, he “suffered death by fire” and “sealed the truth of his words by his death” (Mosiah 17:20).

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 15–16

Abinadi teaches about Jesus Christ’s role as Redeemer

Write the Father on the board.

  • When we speak of the Father, who are we usually referring to? (Our Heavenly Father.)

Point out that some passages in the scriptures refer to Jesus Christ as the Father. This does not mean that He and Heavenly Father are the same person. It means that Jesus Christ can also be called “the Father,” for a number of important reasons.

Explain that Abinadi’s words in Mosiah 15:1–7 are about Jesus Christ’s roles as the Son of God and as a Father. They are not about God the Father.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 15:1–7. Ask the class to follow along, looking for reasons why Jesus Christ may be referred to as the Father.

To help students understand the ways that Jesus Christ is a Father, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“As Abinadi taught, Christ was ‘conceived by the power of God’ [Mosiah 15:3] and therefore has the powers of the Father within him. In addition to that divine lineal relationship, Christ also acts as the Father in that he is the Creator of heaven and earth [see Mosiah 15:4], is the father of our spiritual rebirth and salvation, and is faithful in honoring—and therefore claiming the power of—the will of his Father above that of his own will” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 183–84).

  • In what ways is Jesus Christ both a Father and a Son?

To help students understand Jesus Christ’s role as Redeemer, copy the accompanying diagram on the board:

Point to the figure labeled “Offender,” and ask students to imagine that they have committed a crime. They have been sentenced to pay large fines as punishment, and there is no legal and honest way they can avoid paying the fines on their own. Ask students how they would feel facing such a penalty. Then ask them to imagine that a family member or friend offers to pay the fines for them.

  • How would you feel toward this person?

Explain that in paying the fines, the family member or friend would redeem them from their punishment. The word redeem means to release from debt or to set free by paying a ransom.

Write Us under Offender. Write Justice under Punishment. Explain that because we have sinned and broken the laws of God, we must be punished. In other words, we must meet the demands of justice.

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask students to listen for some consequences of breaking God’s laws:

Elder Richard G. Scott

“Justice … requires that every broken law be satisfied. When you obey the laws of God, you are blessed, but there is no additional credit earned that can be saved to satisfy the laws that you break. If not resolved, broken laws can cause your life to be miserable and would keep you from returning to God” (Richard G. Scott, “The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 42).

  • According to Elder Scott, what are some of the consequences of breaking God’s laws?

As students identify consequences of breaking God’s laws, erase the word Fines from the board. In its place, write Misery and Shut out from the presence of God under Punishment.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 15:8–9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Jesus Christ does to redeem us. You may want to explain that the word intercession refers to a person coming between two people or groups of people to help them become reconciled—in other words, to come to harmony with one another. The word betwixt means between.

  • According to Abinadi’s explanation, what does Jesus Christ do to redeem us? (Help students understand that the Savior does not erase the demands of justice; He stands between us and justice to satisfy justice’s demands by taking the punishment for us.)

On the board, place a picture of the Savior (such as the picture Jesus the Christ) between the offender and the punishment.

Explain that although the Savior paid the price that was required for Him to be able to stand between us and the demands of justice, we must choose to accept the Savior’s offer of redemption from our sins. In Mosiah 15:10–12 we read that Abinadi referred to those who choose to be redeemed by the Savior as His “seed,” meaning that they are the children of Christ.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 15:10–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for whom Jesus Christ redeems from their sins.

  • According to verse 11, whom does Jesus Christ redeem from their sins? (Help students identify the following truth: Jesus Christ redeems those who hearken to the words of the prophets, believe in His redeeming power, and repent of their sins.)

  • How does hearkening to the words of the prophets lead to being redeemed by the Savior? (Because prophets testify of Jesus Christ and invite us to exercise faith in Him and repent of our sins, hearkening to their words leads us to receive the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement.)

Summarize Mosiah 15:13–25 by explaining that Abinadi spoke of the prophets and others—including the Savior—who publish peace by testifying of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also taught that Jesus Christ would bring about the Resurrection of all people and that the righteous would come forth in the First Resurrection, meaning they would be resurrected before the wicked.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 16:2–5, 12. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who Abinadi indicated will not be redeemed from their sins.

  • According to these verses, who will not be redeemed from their sins? (Help students identify the following truth: Those who do not hearken to the voice of the Lord and repent will not be redeemed from their sins.)

  • What happens to the diagram on the board if the offender persists in sin and refuses to repent? (As students respond, remove the picture of Jesus Christ from the diagram. Explain that although the Savior paid for the sins of all people [see 2 Nephi 9:21], those who persist “in the ways of sin and rebellion against God” by refusing to repent place themselves in a condition “as though there was no redemption made” [Mosiah 16:5] for their sins.)

You may want to invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–17 to discover what will happen to those who refuse to repent and accept the Savior’s redemption.

Put the picture of the Savior back in its place on the board. Invite several students who are willing to share their testimonies of and appreciation for Jesus Christ’s role as our Redeemer.

Mosiah 17

Alma believes Abinadi and is cast out; Abinadi is burned

Ask students:

  • What are some situations in which it might be difficult to stand up for what is right?

As students study Mosiah 17 today, invite them to look for reasons why it is important for us to stand up for what is right, even when it may be difficult to do so.

Abinadi before King Noah

Show the picture Abinadi before King Noah (Gospel Art Book, no. 75; see also lds.org/media-library). Summarize Mosiah 17:1–6 by explaining that when Abinadi concluded his message, a priest named Alma tried to convince the king that Abinadi should be released. The king cast Alma out and sent servants to kill him. Alma hid and wrote the words of Abinadi.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 17:7–10. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Abinadi remained true to God.

  • According to verses 9–10, how did Abinadi remain true to God, even when faced with death?

Write the following incomplete statement on the board: If we remain true to God in all circumstances, …

Invite a student to read Mosiah 17:11 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Abinadi’s words affected King Noah.

  • How did Abinadi’s words affect King Noah?

  • Why do you think Abinadi’s words affected King Noah the way they did?

  • Based on how Abinadi’s words and example affected Alma and King Noah, how would you complete the statement on the board? (After students respond, complete the statement on the board so that it conveys the following principle: If we remain true to God in all circumstances, we can help others recognize the truth.)

  • What examples of this principle have you seen in your life?

Invite a student to read Mosiah 17:12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why King Noah failed to make the right choice.

  • Why did King Noah fail to make the right choice and release Abinadi?

Point out that just as Abinadi is an example of someone who was true to God in all circumstances, King Noah is an example of someone who was not true to God.

Invite students to consider writing the statement I will be true to God in all circumstances in their scriptures next to Mosiah 17:9–12.

Summarize Mosiah 17:13–18 by explaining that as Abinadi was being burned to death, he prophesied of future events, including the consequences that King Noah and his people would suffer because of their wickedness.

Direct students’ attention to Abinadi’s last words, found in Mosiah 17:19—“O God, receive my soul.” Then ask a student to read Mosiah 17:20 aloud.

  • What stands out to you about Abinadi’s last words?

Ask if any students would like to share what they have done in the past to be true to the Lord during difficult times.

Invite students to answer the following question in their study journals:

  • What will you do to be true to God in all circumstances?

After sufficient time, invite several students to share what they have written. Conclude with your testimony.

Commentary and Background Information

Mosiah 15:1–9. “The Father and the Son”

In August 1916, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued a doctrinal exposition to clarify scriptural teachings about the roles of God the Father and Jesus Christ. In this exposition, they explained the meaning of certain scriptures in which Jesus Christ is designated as the Father. The following excerpts from that statement may help students understand Abinadi’s teaching about Jesus Christ as Father and Son:

“[One] sense in which Jesus Christ is regarded as the ‘Father’ has reference to the relationship between Him and those who accept His gospel and thereby become heirs of eternal life. …

“Salvation is attainable only through compliance with the laws and ordinances of the gospel; and all who are thus saved become sons and daughters unto God in a distinctive sense. In a revelation given through Joseph the Prophet to Emma Smith, the Lord Jesus addressed the woman as ‘my daughter’ and said, ‘For verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom’ (D&C 25:1). In many instances the Lord had addressed men as His sons (e.g., D&C 9:1; 34:3; 121:7).

“That by obedience to the gospel men may become sons of God, both as sons of Jesus Christ, and, through Him, as sons of His Father, is set forth in many revelations given in the current dispensation. …

“If it be proper to speak of those who accept and abide in the gospel as Christ’s sons and daughters—and upon this matter the scriptures are explicit and cannot be gainsaid nor denied—it is consistently proper to speak of Jesus Christ as the Father of the righteous, they having become His children and He having been made their Father through the second birth—the baptismal regeneration” (“The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” Ensign, Apr. 2002, 14, 15, 17; originally published in Improvement Era, Aug. 1916, 936–37, 939).

Supplemental Teaching Idea

Mosiah 15:21–27. “The first resurrection

Abinadi used the term “first resurrection” when he referred to the resurrection of the righteous and the innocent.

Write the following on the board:

Will come forth in the First Resurrection

Will not be part of the First Resurrection

Mosiah 15:21–25

Mosiah 15:26–27

Ask half of the class to read Mosiah 15:21–25 to see who will take part in the First Resurrection. Ask the other half of the class to read Mosiah 15:26–27 to see who will not be allowed to take part in the First Resurrection. Then ask each half of the class to report what they have discovered.