After Alma and his people evaded King Noah’s army, King Noah and his people began to suffer the consequences of their unrighteousness, as prophesied by Abinadi—they were attacked and brought into bondage by the Lamanites, and King Noah suffered death by fire. Noah’s son Limhi became king after Noah’s death. When the former priests of Noah abducted a group of Lamanite daughters, the Lamanites blamed Limhi’s people and prepared to attack them. Limhi’s people fought valiantly, and they injured and captured the king of the Lamanites. Limhi pacified the Lamanite king, who then persuaded his people to return to their own land in peace.
Show students pictures of storms like tornadoes or hurricanes, or of the effects these storms can have.
What is the worst storm you have ever experienced?
Were you prepared for the storm, or did it take you by surprise?
Invite a student to read aloud the following account by Elder David R. Stone (1936–2014) of the Seventy. Ask the class to listen for the conditions that existed before a storm Elder Stone experienced and how he and others were made aware of its coming.
“One Sunday morning … we awoke to a beautiful day in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean sun was shining, and the sky was clear. A gentle breeze was blowing, barely ruffling the leaves on the trees; it was warm and peaceful and still. But far out to sea, beyond the reach of our physical senses that day, the deadly destroyer was coming our way, implacable and irresistible. The Hurricane Center, with responsibility to track and predict the path of Hurricane Georges, was constantly updating the information available on the Internet. In the peaceful, placid quiet of that morning, by virtue of those seeing eyes in the sky, I saw the predicted path of the storm, aimed like an arrow at the heart of Santo Domingo.
“Within 48 hours the storm struck the island with intense … fury, leaving in its path destruction, desolation, and death” (David R. Stone, “Spiritual Hurricanes,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 31).
What were the conditions preceding the storm?
How did Elder Stone know the storm was coming?
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Stone:
“Great as the damage and destruction and death from these awesome phenomena of physical force can be, there is even more desolation caused in people’s lives by spiritual hurricanes. These furious forces often cause far more devastating damage than physical cyclones, because they destroy our souls and rob us of our eternal perspective and promise” (David R. Stone, “Spiritual Hurricanes,” 31).
As students study Mosiah 19–20 today, invite them to look for how they can be protected from spiritual storms that may not be visible to them.
To help students understand the context of Mosiah 19–20, remind them that the Lord had sent Abinadi to warn the Nephites of the impending consequences of their sins. Abinadi prophesied that King Noah’s people would be taken into bondage and that King Noah would be killed by fire. (See Mosiah 12:1–3; 17:17–18.)
Review Mosiah 12:13–15 by inviting a student to read these verses aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how King Noah’s people reacted to Abinadi’s warning as he called them to repentance.
How did the people react to Abinadi’s warning?
What danger did the people’s response place them in?
Summarize Mosiah 19:1–6 by explaining that contention began to grow among the people, some of whom wanted to kill the king. Just as a man named Gideon was about to kill Noah, a Lamanite army attacked the Nephites.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 19:7–9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Noah did when he realized the Lamanites were attacking his people.
What did Noah do when he realized the Lamanites were attacking his people?
What does verse 8 teach us about King Noah?
Invite a student to read Mosiah 19:10–11 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened as the Nephites were fleeing from the Lamanites.
What happened as the Nephites were fleeing from the Lamanites?
What did King Noah command the men to do?
Why do you think Noah may have given this command? (Since Noah cared more about himself than about his people [see verse 8], he likely wanted the men to protect him from the Lamanites.)
Invite students to imagine they had been in this situation and had been forced to decide whether to run and save their own lives or to stay and possibly perish with their family members.
If you had been in this situation, how do you think you would have responded to King Noah? Why do you think you would have responded this way?
Ask a student to read Mosiah 19:12 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for how the men responded to King Noah’s command. Ask students to report what they find.
What thoughts do you have about the men who chose to stay behind with their families?
Why do you think some of the men chose to follow Noah’s command to leave their wives and children?
Summarize Mosiah 19:13–17 by explaining that the Lamanites decided to spare and take captive the Nephite women and children, as well as the men who had not fled with King Noah. Among the captives were Limhi, one of King Noah’s sons, and Gideon.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 19:18–21 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what occurred between King Noah and those who had followed him. Invite students to report what they find.
What words or phrases in verses 19 and 20 indicate the men regretted their decision to follow King Noah and his priests into the wilderness?
What principles can we learn from the choices of the men who followed King Noah? (Students may identify several principles, including the following: Choosing to follow unrighteous individuals can lead us to make poor decisions we will later regret. Write this principle on the board.)
What are some examples of how we might relate this principle to our lives?
Write or display the following questions on the board, and encourage students to ponder their responses to them:
Testify that choosing to follow unrighteous individuals can lead us to make poor decisions we will later regret. Encourage students to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost in avoiding individuals and influences that could lead them to make poor decisions they will later regret.
Divide students into small groups. Provide each group with a copy of the following handout, and invite students to complete the activity in their groups.
Give students 5 to 7 minutes to complete this activity. Then use the list to review the story line of the events recorded in Mosiah 19–20. (The correct sequence of the events, beginning at the top of the list, is as follows: 3, 6, 5, 2, 1, 4.)
Point out that the Nephites were in danger of suffering a second attack by the Lamanites until Gideon explained that Noah’s priests, not the Nephites, must have kidnapped the Lamanite daughters. Gideon also pointed out why the Nephites had been brought into bondage and were suffering.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 20:21 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why the Nephites were suffering.
What did Gideon say was the cause of the people’s suffering?
What principle do you think Gideon wanted the people to understand? (While they may use different words, students should identify a principle such as the following: Ignoring or rejecting the words of the Lord’s servants brings suffering and sorrow. Write this principle on the board.)
Remind students of Elder Stone’s account of the hurricane and the role the hurricane detection center played in warning the people that a storm was coming. Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Stone. Ask the class to listen for how apostles and prophets are like a hurricane detection center.
“We … have our spiritual hurricane guardians, those whose calling it is to watch and warn, helping us avoid spiritual damage, destruction, and even death. Our watchmen on the tower are known to us as apostles and prophets. They are our spiritual eyes in the sky, and they know, through inspiration and insight and pure intelligence, the course these storms may take. They continue to raise their voices in warning to tell us of the tragic consequences of willful and wanton violations of the Lord’s commandments. To intentionally ignore their warnings is to court misery, sorrow, and ruin. To follow them is to follow the chosen servants of the Lord into spiritual pastures of peace and plenty” (David R. Stone, “Spiritual Hurricanes,” 31–32).
How are apostles and prophets like a hurricane detection center? (Point out that although the information provided by hurricane detection centers may sometimes be inaccurate, the warnings God gives us through His prophets are always accurate.)
What are some examples of dangers that prophets have warned us about?
When have you seen someone experience suffering and sorrow because he or she did not follow prophets’ warnings? (Caution students to not mention individuals by name.)
Conclude the lesson by testifying of the peace and spiritual safety that comes from following the counsel of the Lord’s servants. Provide each student with a copy of the For the Strength of Youth booklet (or you could invite them to use their electronic devices to view recent general conference addresses from members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles). Give students time to search for prophetic counsel that will help them avoid suffering and sorrow. Invite them to set a goal concerning how they will follow this counsel.