Lesson 61: Mosiah 18

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


Introduction

After Abinadi’s death, Alma secretly taught Abinadi’s words among the people. Those who believed him gathered at the Waters of Mormon to learn more. Alma preached the message of “repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord” (Mosiah 18:7). Those who accepted his teachings and repented of their sins entered into the covenant of baptism. The people were faithful to this covenant, and they helped each other temporally and spiritually.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 18:1–16

Alma teaches and baptizes the people

Ask students to think for a moment about their baptisms. To help them ponder what their baptisms mean to them, you might ask questions like the following:

  • What details can you remember about your experience?

  • How did your parents, teachers, and leaders help you prepare for baptism?

  • What do you appreciate more about baptism now than you did when you were baptized?

As students study Mosiah 18 today, invite them to look for truths that can help them more fully appreciate their baptisms and the covenants they made when they were baptized.

Abinadi before King Noah

Display the picture Abinadi before King Noah (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 75; see also lds.org/media-library). Point out the priests in the background of the picture. Explain that Mosiah 18 tells of the experience of Alma, who was one of the priests of King Noah.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 18:1, 3–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Alma did after hearing Abinadi’s testimony.

  • What did Alma do after hearing Abinadi’s testimony?

Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon

Display the picture Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon (Gospel Art Book, no. 76; see also lds.org/media-library). You may also want to point out the Waters of Mormon on the diagram “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24,” found in the appendix of this manual.

Ask students to read Mosiah 18:2, 7 silently, looking for what Alma taught the people as he prepared them for baptism.

  • According to these verses, which doctrines and principles did Alma emphasize?

  • How do you think an understanding of these truths might help someone prepare for baptism?

To help students understand what they can do to keep the baptismal covenant, and to help them appreciate the blessings they will receive as a result, copy the following chart on the board. Include only the headings of the chart at first. Students will fill in the rest of the chart as they study Mosiah 18:8–11.

I am willing to …

God promises …

Help bear others’ burdens, that they may be light (see Mosiah 18:8).

That I will be redeemed of God (see Mosiah 18:9).

Mourn with those who mourn (see Mosiah 18:9).

That I will be part of the First Resurrection (see Mosiah 18:9).

Comfort those who stand in need of comfort (see Mosiah 18:9).

That I will receive eternal life (see Mosiah 18:9).

Stand as a witness of God at all times, in all things, and in all places (see Mosiah 18:9).

He will pour out His Spirit upon me (see Mosiah 18:10).

Serve God and keep His commandments (see Mosiah 18:10).

 

Explain that before inviting the people to be baptized, Alma spoke to them about attitudes and actions that would indicate they were ready to make and keep this covenant with the Lord. (You may want to review the definition of covenant found in the first paragraph under “Covenants” in doctrinal topic 7, “Ordinances and Covenants,” in the Doctrinal Mastery Core Document.)

Divide the class in half. Invite one half of the class to search Mosiah 18:8–11 for what Alma taught we should be willing to do when we are baptized. Invite the other half of the class to search the same passage and look for how the Lord promises to bless us if we keep all of our covenants. After students have had time to study the verses, ask several of them to come to the board and write in the appropriate columns what they have discovered.

  • What doctrine can we learn from these verses about the covenant we make with God through baptism? (Help students identify the following doctrine: When we are baptized, we enter into a covenant with God that we will serve Him and keep His commandments. Invite students to consider writing this doctrine next to verse 10.)

You may want to explain that one way we serve God is by serving His children (see Mosiah 2:17). Point to the list on the board of things we are willing to do when we are baptized.

  • What do you think it means to “mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (verse 9)?

  • What are some ways we can “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (verse 9)? Whom do you know who is a good example of doing this?

  • When have you chosen to stand as a witness of God? How did your actions affect those around you?

Invite students to look at the right column of the chart.

  • How would you summarize the blessings we receive by making and keeping the covenant of baptism? (Help students identify the following principle: We receive the Spirit of the Lord and the promise of eternal life by making and keeping the covenant of baptism.)

Ask several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 18:12–16. Invite the class to follow along, looking for how the Lord began to bless the people with His Spirit. Invite students to report what they find.

Mosiah 18:17–30

Alma establishes the Church of Jesus Christ among the people

Summarize Mosiah 18:17–30 by explaining that all those who were baptized became members of the Church of Christ. Alma ordained priests and instructed them to teach only the things he had taught and the words of the prophets and to labor for their own support. He also gave additional instructions concerning how the people should keep the covenant they had made.

Write the following scripture references on the board:

Divide students into groups of three. Invite each student in each group to select one of the scripture passages referenced on the board and to read it silently, thinking about the following questions. (You may want to write these questions on the board or provide students with copies of them.)

  • How does the passage you read help us to better understand how to live according to the covenant we made at baptism?

  • How might following the counsel in this passage help us to have the Spirit of the Lord with us?

Invite students to discuss their answers to these questions in their groups. Invite a few students to share with the class something they discussed in their groups. Then ask:

  • How does your baptismal covenant influence the way you live each day? (Consider inviting students to think about how their baptismal covenant influences how they treat family members, which kinds of entertainment they choose, or how they interact with peers.)

  • How has the Lord blessed you for keeping your baptismal covenants?

Bear your testimony about how keeping covenants has brought blessings into your life.

Mosiah 18:31–35

Those who belong to the Church flee from the persecution of King Noah

Summarize Mosiah 18:31–33 by explaining that one day, when Alma and his people had gathered to hear the word of the Lord, they were discovered by the servants of King Noah. The king then sent his army to destroy them.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 18:34 aloud. Point out that footnote a refers readers to Mosiah 23:1. (You may want to invite students to consider marking this footnote.) Explain that the account in Mosiah 18:34 continues in Mosiah 23:1, after chapters 19–22 record the experiences of Limhi’s people. Ask a student to read Mosiah 23:1–2 aloud.

  • How was Alma “apprised” of the danger his people faced?

  • What principle can we learn from these verses? (After students respond, write the following principle on the board: The Lord can warn us when we are in danger. You may want to invite students to consider writing this principle in the margin next to Mosiah 18:34.)

  • What are some ways in which the Lord might warn us when we are in danger?

To illustrate this principle, invite a student to read aloud the following account told by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder Neil L. Andersen

“Working as a special agent for the FBI, my friend investigated organized crime groups transporting illegal drugs into the United States.

“On one occasion, he and another agent approached an apartment where they believed a known drug dealer was distributing cocaine. My friend describes what happened:

“‘We knocked on the door of the drug dealer. The suspect opened the door, and upon seeing us, tried to block our view. But it was too late; we could see the cocaine on his table.

“‘A man and a woman who were at the table immediately began removing the cocaine. We had to prevent them from destroying the evidence, so I quickly pushed the drug suspect who was blocking the door to the side. As I pushed him, my eyes met his. Strangely, he did not appear angry or afraid. He was smiling at me.

“‘His eyes and disarming smile gave me the impression that he was harmless, so I quickly left him and started to move toward the table. The suspect was now behind me. At that instant, I had the distinct, powerful impression come into my mind: “Beware of the evil behind the smiling eyes.”

“‘I immediately turned back toward the suspect. His hand was in his large front pocket. Instinctively I grabbed his hand and pulled it from his pocket. Only then did I see, clutched in his hand, the semiautomatic pistol ready to fire. A flurry of activity followed, and I disarmed the man.’ …

“… The Holy Ghost warned my friend of physical danger; the Holy Ghost will also warn you of spiritual danger” (Neil L. Andersen, “Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 46, 47).

  • When have you felt the Lord warn you of physical or spiritual danger? (After students share their experiences, you may want to share one of your own.)

Conclude by inviting students to ponder and write down anything they feel the Lord would like them to do based on what they have learned, thought, or felt during class today.

Commentary and Background Information

Mosiah 18:8–11. Understanding the power of the baptismal covenant

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

“I have noted throughout my life that when people come to fully understand the blessings and the power of their baptismal covenant, whether as new converts or as lifelong members of the Church, great joy comes into their lives and they approach their duties in the kingdom with contagious enthusiasm” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Alma the Elder: A Role Model for Today,” in Heroes from the Book of Mormon [1995], 84).

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency taught the following:

President Henry B. Eyring

“From the day of baptism through the spiritual milestones of our lives, we make promises with God and He makes promises with us. He always keeps His promises offered through His authorized servants, but it is the crucial test of our lives to see if we will make and keep our covenants with Him” (Henry B. Eyring, “Witnesses for God,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 30).

Mosiah 18:12–18. Why did Alma bury himself in the water when he baptized Helam?

President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) pointed out that “in the Book of Mosiah it is stated definitely that he had authority [see Mosiah 18:13].” President Smith reasoned that “if [Alma] had authority to baptize that is evidence that he had been baptized [already].” Therefore, he further explained, when Alma went down into the water with Helam, it “was not a case of Alma baptizing himself, but merely as a token to the Lord of his humility and full repentance” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. [1960], 3:203).

Supplemental Teaching Ideas

video iconMosiah 18:8–10. Video presentation—“Stand Tall”

You may want to share the video “Stand Tall” (4:08), which features a young woman named Brooke who stands as a witness of God. This video is available on LDS.org. Before showing the video, you may want to invite students to look for the influence this young woman has on her friends. After showing the video, invite students to explain some of the ways in which this young woman has influenced her friends by standing as a witness of God.

Downloads
Downloads: Small Medium Large

video iconMosiah 18:34. Video presentation—“Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes”

Rather than inviting a student to read Elder Andersen’s account aloud, you could show students the corresponding segment of his talk “Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes” (time code 0:19–2:36). This video is available on LDS.org.

Downloads
Downloads: Small Medium Large