Lesson 64: Mosiah 23–24

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


Introduction

After Alma and his people fled from the army of King Noah, they established a righteous city. Even though they had become converted to the gospel, they experienced afflictions and challenges. The Lamanites put them in bondage. As Alma and his people exercised faith and patience, the Lord eased their burdens and eventually delivered them from bondage. (Note that Mosiah 23–24 covers approximately the same time period as Mosiah 19–22.)

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 23:1–29

The Lord helps Alma and his people escape from the armies of King Noah and establish a righteous city

Ask students to think of a time when they or someone they know experienced trials or afflictions even though they were keeping God’s commandments.

  • Why do you think God allows people to experience trials and afflictions even when they are keeping the commandments?

Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon

Show students the picture Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 76; see also lds.org/media-library). As students study Mosiah 23–24 today, invite them to look for truths we can learn from how Alma and his people responded to the trials and afflictions they experienced after they had chosen to live righteously.

Display the diagram “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24” (found in the appendix of this manual), and refer to journey 3.

Summarize Mosiah 23:1–19 by explaining that the Lord warned Alma and his people to flee from the Waters of Mormon because King Noah had sent his armies to destroy them. They escaped and settled in a place they called Helam. Alma refused the people’s request to be their king and instead led them as their high priest.

Point out that Alma and his people had repented of their sins and were honoring the covenants they had made at baptism.

Ask a student to read Mosiah 23:19–20 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for the conditions the people experienced in the land of Helam. Ask students to report what they find.

Invite another student to read Mosiah 23:21 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Lord does to His people, even when they are living righteously and prospering.

  • What truth can we learn from this verse about what the Lord does to His people, even when they are living righteously and prospering? (Students should identify a truth similar to the following: The Lord chastens His people by trying their patience and their faith.)

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, and ask the class to listen for the meaning of the word chasten:

Elder Lynn G. Robbins

“The word chasten comes from the Latin castus, meaning ‘chaste or pure,’ and chasten means ‘to purify’ [see Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (2003), “chasten”]” (Lynn G. Robbins, “The Righteous Judge,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 97).

  • With this definition in mind, how can the Lord’s chastening benefit those who are already striving to keep the commandments?

Invite a student to read Mosiah 23:22 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the promise we receive when we respond appropriately to the Lord’s chastening. Ask students to report what they find.

Invite students to write the following questions in their study journals or class notebooks. Ask them to ponder these questions as they study the rest of Mosiah 23–24. They should not write their answers until you prompt them to do so later in the lesson.

  • What trials are you currently experiencing?

  • How can you exercise faith and trust in God during your times of trial?

Ask several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 23:23–29. Invite the class to follow along, looking for ways Alma and his people were tried and what they did to show their trust in God.

  • What trial came into the lives of Alma and his people?

  • How did they show their trust in God?

Mosiah 23:30–24:25

Alma and his people suffer persecution, but the Lord eases their burdens and miraculously delivers them

Summarize Mosiah 23:30–39 and 24:1–7 by explaining that Amulon was the leader of the wicked priests of King Noah. Amulon, along with the other wicked priests and their Lamanite wives, had joined the Lamanites. The Lamanite king appointed Amulon to rule over all the Nephites in the land of Helam, including Alma’s people.

Invite a student to the front of the room, and ask him or her to put on an empty backpack. (The student will need his or her scriptures.) Ask the student how easy it would be to carry the empty backpack for the rest of the day.

Invite this student to read Mosiah 24:8–11 aloud. Each time the student reads about something that would have been a trial for Alma and his people, put a rock or heavy object into the backpack. When the student has finished reading, ask him or her how easy it would be to carry the loaded backpack for the rest of the day. (The student should remain at the front of the class and wear the heavy backpack until directed to sit down.)

  • What could the rocks or heavy objects in the backpack represent in our lives?

  • How do these types of burdens affect us?

Ask a student to read Mosiah 24:12 aloud. Invite the class to look for what the people of Alma did to receive help with their burdens. Invite students to explain what they find.

Write the following incomplete statement on the board: If we pour out our hearts in prayer to Heavenly Father, He will …

Invite a student to read Mosiah 24:13–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened as Alma and his people poured out their hearts to Heavenly Father.

  • According to verse 13, what did the Lord promise to do for the people of Alma? (Deliver them from bondage.)

  • According to verse 14, what else did the Lord promise to do for Alma’s people? (He promised to ease their burdens while they were in bondage.)

  • Based on what we read in verse 14, how would you complete the statement on the board to form a principle? (Using students’ words, complete the statement on the board so that it conveys the following principle: If we pour out our hearts in prayer to Heavenly Father, He will ease our burdens.)

Ask another student or two to lift the bottom of the backpack to ease the burden of the student carrying it, to symbolize how the Lord can lighten our burdens. Invite the additional student or two to continue helping the student wearing the backpack until you dismiss them later.

  • Why is it helpful to know that the Lord doesn’t always immediately remove our burdens or take away our challenges?

  • When have you felt that the Lord has given you strength to endure a trial or carry a burden?

Divide the class into pairs. Invite students to read Mosiah 24:15–20 aloud with their partners. Ask one partner to find words and phrases that further describe how the people responded to their trials, and ask the other partner to look for how the Lord helped them. Invite the two students to explain to each other in their own words any connections they see between the actions of the people and the actions of the Lord.

  • How did the Nephites respond to the burdens that were placed upon them? (Invite students to consider marking the phrase “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” in verse 15.)

  • How did the Lord help them during this time of affliction?

  • What principle can we learn from these verses that can help us when we are experiencing trials and affliction? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: When we submit cheerfully and patiently to the will of the Lord, He will strengthen us and deliver us from our trials in His time. Write this principle on the board.)

  • Why do you think that submitting cheerfully and patiently to the will of the Lord, rather than responding to trials with anger or impatience, allows us to be strengthened by the Lord?

Share your testimony that when we submit cheerfully and patiently to the will of the Lord, He will strengthen us and deliver us from our trials in His time. You may also want to invite students to share examples of how the Lord has strengthened them in their trials.

Display the diagram “Overview of Journeys in Mosiah 7–24,” and refer to journey 7.

Summarize Mosiah 24:18–25 by explaining that Alma and his people were able to escape because “the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites” (verse 19). The Lord then led Alma and his people to Zarahemla, where King Mosiah welcomed them with joy.

Invite the student at the front of the class to remove the backpack, and invite all the students at the front of the class to be seated. Ask the student who wore the backpack to describe how it feels to be free of the burden. Invite the same student to read Mosiah 24:21–22 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what we can do when the Lord eases our burdens or delivers us from our trials.

  • What principle can we learn from Alma and his people about how to respond when the Lord eases our burdens or delivers us from our trials? (Help students identify a principle such as the following: When the Lord eases our burdens or delivers us from our trials, we can choose to give thanks to Him. You might ask the student who wore the backpack to share how he or she can relate to what Alma’s people did after they were delivered.)

Testify of the truths you have discussed in this lesson.

To conclude, invite students to write responses to the two questions they wrote in their class notebooks or study journals earlier in the lesson. Ask them to reflect on their trials and how they will choose to exercise faith and trust in God. Invite one or more students to share with the class how they will seek to apply what they have learned today.

Commentary and Background Information

Mosiah 21–24. Contrasting the bondage of Limhi’s people with the bondage of Alma’s people

Limhi’s people

Alma’s people

They were placed in bondage because of iniquity (see Mosiah 7:25; 20:21).

They were placed in bondage as a trial of their faith (see Mosiah 23:21).

They were placed in bondage after much bloodshed (see Mosiah 21:5–13).

They were placed in bondage with no bloodshed (see Mosiah 23:35–38).

The Lord was slow to hear their cries because of their iniquities (see Mosiah 21:15).

The Lord answered their prayers quickly (see Mosiah 24:10–13).

Their burdens were eased because the Lord softened the hearts of the Lamanites (see Mosiah 21:15).

The Lord strengthened them so they could bear their burdens with ease (see Mosiah 24:14–15).

Gideon conceived a plan of escape (see Mosiah 21:36; 22:1–9).

The Lord told them, “Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage” (Mosiah 24:16).

They got the guards drunk (see Mosiah 22:10).

The Lord caused the guards to sleep (see Mosiah 24:19).

Mosiah 23:21. How can our trials be a benefit for us?

Even though the people who followed Alma had repented and been faithful, the Lord allowed them to be temporarily oppressed by the Lamanites as a trial of their patience and faith.

Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that everything we experience teaches us valuable lessons:

Elder Orson F. Whitney

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (as quoted in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 98).

Mosiah 24:15–16. How can our attitude affect our personal growth through trials?

It may be helpful to prayerfully consider the possible causes of our trials in order to determine how to respond to them. True to the Faith suggests several possible sources for the adversity we experience in mortality:

“Adversity comes from different sources. You may at times face trials as a consequence of your own pride and disobedience. These trials can be avoided through righteous living. Other trials are simply a natural part of life and may come at times when you are living righteously. For example, you may experience trials in times of sickness or uncertainty or at the deaths of loved ones. Adversity may sometimes come because of others’ poor choices and hurtful words and actions. …

“Different kinds of adversity require different responses. For example, if you are stricken with illness, you may simply need to be patient and faithful. If you suffer because of others’ words or actions, you should work toward forgiving those who have offended you. If you are a victim of abuse, you should seek help immediately. If trials come because of your own disobedience, you should correct your behavior and humbly seek forgiveness” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 8, 9–10).

Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged us to rely on the Lord when we face challenges:

Elder Richard G. Scott

“The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you [see 1 Nephi 3:7]” (Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, 25).

Supplemental Teaching Ideas

Mosiah 23:21. The Lord chastens His people by trying their patience and their faith

To help students better understand why the Lord may chasten us by trying our patience and our faith, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott (1928–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder Richard G. Scott

“Testing … is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to [God’s] commandments.

“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Prov. 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain” (Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16–17).

How can this statement help us better understand why righteous individuals may experience difficult trials? (Make sure it is clear that it is not the will of God that His children suffer abuse from others. Those who are victims of abuse should seek help immediately.)

video iconMosiah 24:15–16. Video presentation—“Lifting Burdens”

Invite a student to read Mosiah 24:15–16 aloud. Show the video presentation titled “Lifting Burdens” (3:35), in which members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testify of the Savior’s power to lift, heal, and strengthen us. This video is available on LDS.org. As students watch the video, encourage them to think about a time when the Lord lifted their burdens or strengthened them. After showing the video, ask:

  • When have you felt strengthened by the Lord or felt Him ease your burdens?

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