Mosiah 17-18: Alma Believes Abinadi

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 85–87

In Mosiah 12–16, Abinadi rebuked King Noah and his wicked priests and called them to repentance. As you might expect, the wicked king rejected the message and ordered that Abinadi be killed. But one of King Noah’s priests believed Abinadi’s message and repented. He even tried to save Abinadi. This man has an important role throughout the rest of the book of Mosiah. What kind of courage do you think it would take to stand up to the king and fellow priests and defend a man they are angry with and want to kill?
Abinadi burned

© 1966 Ronald K. Crosby

Alma as priest of Noah


Understanding the Scriptures

Mosiah 17

An accusation against thee (v. 7)A crime to charge you with
Reviled (v. 12)Insulted, offended
Scourged (v. 13)Beat, whipped
Faggots (v. 13)Bundles of twigs, sticks, or branches

Mosiah 18

Ascension (v. 2)Going up, raised up
Resorted thither (v. 5)Went there
Thicket (v. 5)Thick growth
Contention (v. 21)Arguing, fighting
Impart (v. 27)Give, share
Apprised (v. 34)Told about

Mosiah 18:13—How Did Alma Get the Authority to Baptize?

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “We may conclude that Alma held the priesthood before he, with others, became disturbed with King Noah. Whether this is so or not makes no difference because in the Book of Mosiah it is stated definitely that he had authority [see Mosiah 18:13, 18]” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:203).

Alma baptizing at Waters of Mormon

Mosiah 18:14–15—Can a Person Baptize Himself?

When Alma baptized Helam at the waters of Mormon, he put Helam under the water and he went under the water with him. With the next baptism, Alma only immersed that person and did not go under the water himself. President Joseph Fielding Smith explained: “When Alma baptized himself with Helam that was not a case of Alma baptizing himself, but merely as a token [sign] to the Lord of his humility and full repentance” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 3:203).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B and one of the other activities (C–E) as you study Mosiah 17–18.

Activity A iconWhat Did Abinadi Do That Was “Worthy of Death”?

After listening to Abinadi, it took Noah and his priests three days to find an accusation against Abinadi and declare him “worthy of death” (see Mosiah 17:6–8).

  1. 1.

    Read Mosiah 17:6–8 and Limhi’s previous explanation in Mosiah 7:26–28. What was their accusation against Abinadi?

  2. 2.

    Why do you think Noah and his priests were so angry because of that “crime”?

Activity B iconWrite an Eyewitness Account

Mosiah 17:9–20 records the last testimony and prophecy of Abinadi. Study those verses, and then write an account of the event as if you had been there as a reporter for a newspaper. Be sure to explain what Abinadi added in this prophecy to what he had already prophesied about King Noah in Mosiah 12:3.

Activity C iconGive a Modern Example

Before inviting the people to accept baptism, Alma explained to them some of the promises that are made with that covenant.

  1. 1.

    In your notebook, make a chart like the one shown here. As you study Mosiah 18:8–10, use the words in parentheses to help you identify the requirement Alma mentioned, the promises we make, and the promises the Lord makes. Fill out the chart with the information you find. You may want to mark and number those promises in your scriptures.

An Initial Requirement

What I Promise

What the Lord Promises

1. (desirous)

1. (burdens)

1. (redeemed)

2. (mourn)

2. (first)

3. (comfort)

3. (eternal)

4. (stand)

4. (Spirit)

5. (serve)

6. (keep)

  1. 2.

    Select three of the promises that we make at baptism and give a modern example of what they mean in the Church today.


Activity D iconCompare Your Feelings

Mosiah 18:11–16 describes what happened and how the people felt as Alma baptized at the waters of Mormon. In your notebook, write a paragraph describing how you felt at your baptism. How have you seen the Lord’s promises fulfilled in your life? What do you appreciate about your baptism more now than you did then?

Alma organizing Church

Activity E iconWrite a Description of a Church Leader

After Alma baptized the people, he needed to organize the Church in the wilderness to care for them. Mosiah 18:18–26 tells about the priests, or Church leaders, that he called.

  1. 1.

    Study those verses, and then write a description of the requirements for those Church leaders. (For example: “A Church leader is … and is willing to …”) How are those requirements like those for the calling of a bishop or branch president today?

  2. 2.

    Read Mosiah 18:21–30 and write another description of what was expected of the new members.

  3. 3.

    Why do you think those people were so happy?