Alma, who was a priest of the wicked King Noah, believed the words of the prophet Abinadi and repented of his sins. After Abinadi’s death, Alma privately taught others about Jesus Christ. Those who believed Alma were desirous to come into the fold of God. They entered into the covenant of baptism at a place called the Waters of Mormon. As you study Mosiah 18, look for what Alma taught concerning the promises you make when you are baptized and what the Lord will do for you as you keep those promises.
Think about your baptism. What details do you remember about the experience? How were you prepared for your baptism? What feelings do you recall about your baptism? Ponder what you may appreciate even more about your baptism now than you did when you were baptized.
Mosiah 18 helps us understand the covenant we make with God at baptism. A covenant is “an agreement between God and man, but they do not act as equals in the agreement. God gives the conditions for the covenant, and men agree to do what he asks them to do. God then promises men certain blessings for their obedience” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Covenant,” scriptures.lds.org).
To see how Mosiah 18 helps us understand the baptismal covenant, note the following outline of this chapter: Mosiah 18:1–7, Preparing for the Covenant; Mosiah 18:8–16, Making the Covenant; and Mosiah 18:17–30, Living the Covenant. You may want to write each topic (for example, Preparing for the Covenant) next to the corresponding verses in your scriptures.
Read Mosiah 18:1–2, 6–7, looking for the doctrines and principles Alma taught the people to help prepare them for baptism. In the space below, write how an understanding of what Alma taught his people would help someone today to prepare for baptism:
Mosiah 18:8–11 records how Alma helped his people understand the promises they would make and receive through the covenant of baptism.
Draw the diagram below in your scripture study journal. Search Mosiah 18:8–11 for what Alma taught about the promises we make to God (what we “are willing” to do) and the promises God makes to us when we are baptized. Write what you discover in the appropriate columns of your diagram.
One of the gospel principles evident in Mosiah 18:8–11 is: We receive the Spirit of the Lord and the promise of eternal life by making and keeping the covenant of baptism.
At the bottom of the diagram in your scripture study journal, write a summary of what you have learned about the importance of making and keeping the baptismal covenant.
Read the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and underline the blessings that can come to us as we understand the promises we make and receive at baptism: “I have noted throughout my life that when people come to fully understand the blessings and the power of their baptismal covenant, whether as new converts or as lifelong members of the Church, great joy comes into their lives and they approach their duties in the kingdom with contagious enthusiasm” (“Alma the Elder: A Role Model for Today,” in Heroes from the Book of Mormon , 84).
Write in your scripture study journal about how your baptismal covenant can affect the way you live each day. (For example, consider your promise to “stand as witnesses of God at all times” as it relates to the way you interact with others, including how you treat family members, the things you discuss with friends and acquaintances, the language you use, the kinds of movies or television shows you watch, the music you listen to, social and dating relationships, and how you respond to those who criticize your beliefs.)
Carefully search Mosiah 18:12–16, and identify examples of how the Lord fulfilled His part of the covenant with Alma and his people after their baptism. You may want to mark what you find.
Write in your scripture study journal about a time when you felt the Lord blessed you with His Spirit as you kept the promise you made at baptism to serve Him.
How often do you think about the covenants you made at baptism and renew when you partake of the sacrament? How often should you think about them? When do you usually take time to think about these covenants?
President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency taught the importance of keeping our covenants with the Lord: “The Latter-day Saints are a covenant people. From the day of baptism through the spiritual milestones of our lives, we make promises with God and He makes promises with us. He always keeps His promises offered through His authorized servants, but it is the crucial test of our lives to see if we will make and keep our covenants with Him” (”Witnesses for God,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 30).
Read Mosiah 18:17–18, 20–23, 27–29, looking for how members of the Church in Alma’s day kept their baptismal covenants. You may want to mark specific words and phrases in Mosiah 18:22, 26, 30 that indicate that great blessings come to those who keep their baptismal covenants.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal: What is one thing you will do to better keep the covenants you made at baptism? How will you keep this commitment?
Study Mosiah 18:31–33 to learn what King Noah was doing in the city of Lehi-Nephi while Alma and his people were enjoying great blessings near the Waters of Mormon. Read Mosiah 18:34 and then Mosiah 23:1–2 to find out how Alma was “apprised” of the danger his people faced.
Consider writing this truth next to Mosiah 18:34: The Lord can warn the righteous when they are in danger.
Read the following experience shared by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that illustrates this truth:
“Working as a special agent for the FBI, my friend investigated organized crime groups transporting illegal drugs into the United States.
“On one occasion, he and another agent approached an apartment where they believed a known drug dealer was distributing cocaine. My friend describes what happened:
“‘We knocked on the door of the drug dealer. The suspect opened the door, and upon seeing us, tried to block our view. But it was too late; we could see the cocaine on his table.
“‘A man and a woman who were at the table immediately began removing the cocaine. We had to prevent them from destroying the evidence, so I quickly pushed the drug suspect who was blocking the door to the side. As I pushed him, my eyes met his. Strangely, he did not appear angry or afraid. He was smiling at me.
“‘His eyes and disarming smile gave me the impression that he was harmless, so I quickly left him and started to move toward the table. The suspect was now behind me. At that instant, I had the distinct, powerful impression come into my mind: “Beware of the evil behind the smiling eyes.”
“‘I immediately turned back toward the suspect. His hand was in his large front pocket. Instinctively I grabbed his hand and pulled it from his pocket. Only then did I see, clutched in his hand, the semiautomatic pistol ready to fire. A flurry of activity followed, and I disarmed the man.’ …
“… The Holy Ghost warned my friend of physical danger; the Holy Ghost will also warn you of spiritual danger” (“Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 46–47).
Write in your scripture study journal about feelings you have had from the Holy Ghost or experiences you remember where you have been warned of or protected from physical or spiritual danger, or write about the experiences of someone you know or have read or heard about.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mosiah 18 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: