In Alma 43–44, Mormon began to write about the wars between the Lamanites and Nephites. As Alma and his sons continued to minister to the people, the Zoramites joined with the Lamanite army to attack the Nephites. Captain Moroni demonstrated faith and wisdom in defending the Nephites against the Lamanite army. Even though they were outnumbered, the Nephite army’s preparation and their faith in Jesus Christ gave them the advantage in battle. When they knew they would be defeated, the Lamanites made a covenant of peace and departed out of the land for a season.
In your scripture study journal, write a list of some of your plans, goals, and desires for your future. As you write, consider including spiritual goals and desires, such as a mission, temple marriage, and family.
After you are done writing your list, identify the desires and goals you feel Satan would not want you to accomplish. As you study Alma 43–44, look for principles that will help you accomplish your righteous goals despite the efforts of the adversary to prevent your success.
In Alma 43:1–4, despite Alma’s efforts to bring the Zoramites back into the Church, many of them joined the Lamanites in their preparation to attack the Nephites. Read Alma 43:5–8, and identify the “designs” (plans) of the Lamanite leader Zerahemnah. You may wish to mark Zerahemnah’s intentions as you discover them. Ponder how Zerahemnah’s designs or desires for the Nephites may be like the designs Satan might have for you.
Next read Alma 43:9–11, and identify the designs or desires of the Nephites. Now ponder how these desires may be similar to the righteous desires you have.
Captain Moroni, the chief captain of the Nephite armies, prepared his people to defend their land and families from the evil intentions of Zerahemnah. Read Alma 43:16–19, looking for what preparations Captain Moroni and the Nephites made.
In your scripture study journal, draw two of the things that Moroni gave to his men to prepare them for war.
Now read Alma 43:20–22 to discover how the Lamanites reacted to the Nephite preparations. Ponder why the Lamanites withdrew their attack even though they outnumbered the Nephites.
As we study the accounts of physical battles in the Book of Mormon, we can liken them to the spiritual battles we face.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What can you learn from Moroni’s preparations for war about defending yourself against Satan’s attacks and temptations?
After the Lamanites retreated, Moroni did not know where his enemies would attack next. If you were Moroni, what might you do to try to prepare for another attack?
Read Alma 43:23–24 to find out what Moroni did.
From Moroni’s example we learn: If we seek and follow prophetic counsel, we will be better able to defend ourselves against the adversary. Just as the prophet Alma was able to tell Moroni how to defend the Nephites against their enemies, the Lord’s prophets today teach us how to defend ourselves against the spiritual attacks of the adversary.
In your scripture study journal, write a few sentences about what prophetic counsel has been given in the latter days that, if you heed it, can help you defend yourself from Satan’s designs and temptations.
As recorded in Alma 43:25–43, Moroni acted on the knowledge he received from the prophet by dividing his army and hiding them along the path of the oncoming Lamanites. As the Lamanites approached, one half of the Nephite army attacked and drove the Lamanites to the river Sidon. After the Lamanites crossed the river, the other half of the Nephite army attacked. When the Lamanites saw they were surrounded, they fought so ferociously that the Nephites began to falter.
You can learn principles about how to accomplish your righteous goals and desires from studying the remainder of Alma 43. Read Alma 43:43–54, and contrast the sources of strength for both the Lamanites and Nephites.
Ponder what was better about the cause the Nephites were fighting for than the Lamanites’ cause. As we compare Moroni and his faithful army to our battles with the adversary, we learn that as we pray for help in accomplishing our righteous plans and desires, God will help us accomplish them.
In your scripture study journal, write about a time when you experienced the Lord’s help in accomplishing your righteous goals.
Recall that in Alma 43 when Captain Moroni saw that the Lamanites were encircled and terrified, he commanded his men to stop fighting. Read Moroni’s words in Alma 44:1–6, and look for whom Moroni credited the Nephite victory.
Based on Moroni’s testimony in Alma 44:4–6, write a truth in your scripture study journal that could help you face your spiritual battles.
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, promised the youth that the Lord would protect them as they remain faithful. As you read his words, highlight those parts that are comforting to you and that you feel apply to you.
“Youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit.
“Dress modestly; talk reverently; listen to uplifting music. Avoid all immorality and personally degrading practices. Take hold of your life and order yourself to be valiant. Because we depend so much on you, you will be remarkably blessed. You are never far from the sight of your loving Heavenly Father” (“Counsel to Youth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 18).
In Alma 44:7–10, Zerahemnah declared that he did not believe God was the source of the Nephites’ strength. He offered to have the Lamanites give up their weapons, but he refused to make a covenant of peace. Read Moroni’s response in Alma 44:11. Consider why you think it was important to Moroni to have the Lamanites make a covenant of peace.
While many of the Lamanites made a covenant of peace, Zerahemnah rallied the remainder of his men to contend with Moroni’s army. As the Nephites fell upon the Lamanites and began to slay them, Zerahemnah saw that his army’s destruction was imminent and promised to enter into a covenant of peace (see Alma 44:12–20).
In your scripture study journal, write how you will apply some of the principles and truths you learned in this lesson to protect yourself against the temptations and attacks of the adversary and to accomplish your righteous desires and goals.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Alma 43–44 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: