Mosiah 26: Apostasy in the Rising Generation

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 92–93

With all of the Nephites safely back in Zarahemla and free from the Lamanites, you might expect that life would be peaceful and problem-free. But that does not seem to be the way life is very often. Many of the adults among the Nephites had experienced firsthand the severe trials that come from wickedness and the joy that comes from gaining the Lord’s forgiveness and deliverance. Their children, however, had not had those same experiences and many rejected the teachings and testimonies of their parents. Are there young people today who struggle in that same way and rebel against their parents? As you read Mosiah 26, look for what the Lord identified as the cause of such rebellion and for where it leads.

Understanding the Scriptures

Mosiah 26

Dissensions (v. 5)Disagreements, contentions
Admonished (v. 6)Warned against sinful practices
Divers iniquities (v. 11)Various sins
Transgressor (v. 19)Person who breaks a law
Regulate (v. 37)Govern, manage
Circumspectly (v. 37)Carefully, watchfully

Mosiah 26:5–12—The Laws of God and the Laws of Man

It is important to understand that there may be a difference between what is a sin and what is a crime. A crime is a violation of the laws of the land, while a sin is a violation of the laws of God. Often an act can be both, but some acts that are sins may not be against the laws of man. Alma sought the help of the king because of the wrongdoings of his people. King Mosiah realized that although many of the beliefs of these people were false and that some members of the Church had been deceived by the “flattering words” (Mosiah 26:6), they were not contrary to Nephite law. Alma then turned to the Lord to help him deal with the wrongdoings in the Church. See Doctrine and Covenants 134 for a modern revelation on this same subject.

Studying the Scriptures

Do any two of the following activities (A–D) as you study Mosiah 26.

Activity A iconFind the Causes

It seems that in every generation there are young people of the “rising generation” (Mosiah 26:1) who reject the lessons their parents have learned and taught. Mosiah 26 describes such a situation in Zarahemla.

  1. 1.

    Study Mosiah 26:1–5, and then draw a diagram in your notebook similar to the one shown here. Replace the question mark (?) in the boxes with what led to, or caused, the problem listed in the scripture verses.

  1. 2.

    Think of people you may know who will not try to understand the gospel, or those who refuse to join or be active in the Church. Write a paragraph explaining the similarities you see between the causes of their problems and the causes of those problems in Zarahemla.

  2. 3.

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 136:32–33 and explain what we can do to overcome these problems and their causes.

Activity B iconDiscover the Process

Spencer W. Kimball

In Mosiah 26, Mormon described a difficult problem Alma faced as head of the Church. Official Declaration 2, at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants, describes a difficult problem President Spencer W. Kimball faced as President of the Church in our day.

  1. 1.

    Study Mosiah 26:1–12 and describe the problem Alma faced.

  2. 2.

    Read Official Declaration 2 and describe the problem President Kimball faced.

  3. 3.

    Read Mosiah 26:13–14 and list words or phrases that describe how Alma felt and what he had to do before the “word of the Lord came to him.”

  4. 4.

    Search Official Declaration 2 and list the words and phrases that describe what President Kimball and the First Presidency did before that revelation was given.

  5. 5.

    What do these lists teach you about the preparations for receiving revelation?

Activity C iconFind the Blessings

The word blessed is mentioned in each verse of Mosiah 26:15–19.

  1. 1.

    Search those verses and list who the Lord said is “blessed” in each verse and why they are blessed.

  2. 2.

    What covenant or promise did the Lord give Alma in Mosiah 26:20?

  3. 3.

    Read the information in the Bible Dictionary, “election” (pp. 662–63) and explain why you think Alma was given such a promise.

Activity D iconFind the Answers

Alma sought the Lord and received a revelation on what to do about Church members who commit serious sin. As you read Mosiah 26:21–39, look for the answers to the following questions:

  1. 1.

    What does the Lord do for those who believe and are baptized? (see vv. 21–24).

  2. 2.

    What is the fate of those who refuse to repent and accept the gospel? (see vv. 25–28).

  3. 3.

    What is the Church to do when a member commits serious sin and thereafter repents? (see vv. 29–31).

  4. 4.

    What is the Church to do if the member is unwilling to repent? (see v. 32).

  5. 5.

    What does it mean to “not be numbered” among the people of the Lord? (see v. 36).

  6. 6.

    What effect did Alma’s actions have on the Church? (see vv. 37–39).