After Alma and his people escaped from King Noah’s army, the people who remained with Noah began to suffer the consequences prophesied by Abinadi. The account of the Nephites in the land of Lehi-Nephi reminds us that when we reject the counsel of the Lord’s servants, we experience serious consequences. On the other hand, when we obey the prophets, we enjoy peace and safety even through our trials. As you study this lesson, think about how you can receive the peace and safety that come from hearkening to the counsel of the Lord’s modern prophets.
Read the following experience shared by Elder David R. Stone, who was then serving as a member of the Seventy, and think about the significance of spiritual warnings we receive through prophets:
“One Sunday morning … we awoke to a beautiful day in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean sun was shining, and the sky was clear. A gentle breeze was blowing, barely ruffling the leaves on the trees; it was warm and peaceful and still. But far out to sea, beyond the reach of our physical senses that day, the deadly destroyer was coming our way, implacable and irresistible. The Hurricane Center, with responsibility to track and predict the path of Hurricane Georges, was constantly updating the information available on the Internet. In the peaceful, placid quiet of that morning, by virtue of those seeing eyes in the sky, I saw the predicted path of the storm, aimed like an arrow at the heart of Santo Domingo.
“Within 48 hours the storm struck the island with intense … fury, leaving in its path destruction, desolation, and death. …
“Great as the damage and destruction and death from these awesome phenomena of physical force can be, there is even more desolation caused in people’s lives by spiritual hurricanes. These furious forces often cause far more devastating damage than physical cyclones, because they destroy our souls and rob us of our eternal perspective and promise. …
“We place ourselves in the path of these spiritual hurricanes when we indulge in anger, alcohol, and abuse; lust and licentiousness; promiscuity and pornography; drugs, pride, greed, violence, envy, and lies—the list is long. …
“But we also have our spiritual hurricane guardians, those whose calling it is to watch and warn, helping us avoid spiritual damage, destruction, and even death. Our watchmen on the tower are known to us as apostles and prophets. They are our spiritual eyes in the sky, and they know, through inspiration and insight and pure intelligence, the course these storms may take. They continue to raise their voices in warning to tell us of the tragic consequences of willful and wanton violations of the Lord’s commandments. To intentionally ignore their warnings is to court misery, sorrow, and ruin. To follow them is to follow the chosen servants of the Lord into spiritual pastures of peace and plenty” (”Spiritual Hurricanes,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 31–32).
Take a moment and ponder what dangers you have heard prophets and apostles warn us about. How can their words protect us from “spiritual hurricanes”?
God sent Abinadi to warn the people of Lehi-Nephi of the destruction that was coming if they did not repent.
Copy the following chart into your scripture study journal, leaving enough room to write under each reference:
Prophecy about King Noah’s people (Mosiah 12:1–2)
Prophecy about King Noah (Mosiah 12:3)
Fulfillment (Mosiah 19:18–20)
Review Abinadi’s prophecies to the Nephites in the land of Lehi-Nephi by reading the scripture references in the left column of the chart. Under the appropriate scripture references, write the consequences Abinadi said King Noah and his people would face if they did not repent. At the bottom of the left column (A), write how you think you might have felt and what you might have done if you had heard Abinadi’s warnings.
Before you begin working on the right column of the chart, complete the activity below in the manual. This activity will help you become more familiar with the events of Mosiah 19–20 and to recognize the fulfillment of Abinadi’s prophecies recorded in these chapters.
As you study Mosiah 19–20, number the following 11 events in the order in which they occur in the scriptures. The chapter summaries at the beginning of each chapter will provide helpful clues to guide you.
_____ Gideon seeks to kill King Noah.
_____ Nephite women and children plead with the Lamanites not to slay them.
_____ King Noah suffers death by fire.
_____ The Lamanite army comes into the borders of Shemlon.
_____ Priests of King Noah abduct (kidnap) 24 daughters of the Lamanites.
_____ The Lamanite king pleads with his army to spare the people of Limhi.
_____ Some of Noah’s people flee before the Lamanites, leaving the women and children behind.
_____ Limhi orders his people not to slay the Lamanite king.
_____ There is peace between the Nephites and Lamanites for two years.
_____ Limhi promises that his people will pay one-half of their possessions to the Lamanites.
_____ The Nephites repel a Lamanite attack and capture the Lamanite king.
(The answers to this activity are found at the end of this lesson.)
After you have successfully numbered the 11 statements, return to the chart in your scripture study journal. Search the scriptures in the right column for details about how Abinadi’s prophecies were fulfilled. Record these details in your chart in the right column. At the bottom of the right column (B), explain what you have learned about the consequences of rejecting a prophet’s words of warning.
Read Mosiah 20:21, and mark Gideon’s statement that shows his understanding that rejecting the words of the Lord’s servants brings suffering and sorrow.
Read Doctrine and Covenants 133:63, 70–72 to see how this principle applies to those in the last days who will not listen to the Lord or His servants. You may want to write this reference in your scriptures as a cross-reference for Mosiah 20:21. Look at the most recent general conference addresses in the Ensign or Liahona magazines (May and November issues) or on LDS.org to find words of the prophets concerning these matters.
Ponder this question: What have you heard prophets teach recently that would help individuals, families, and nations avoid suffering and sorrow?
To see an example of the sorrow and suffering that can come from rejecting the Lord’s prophets, look for the consequences that Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said would come to those who engage in pornography:
“Pornography impairs one’s ability to enjoy a normal emotional, romantic, and spiritual relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It erodes the moral barriers that stand against inappropriate, abnormal, or illegal behavior. As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed, regardless of its effects on their life and the lives of others.
“Pornography is also addictive. It impairs decision-making capacities and it ‘hooks’ its users, drawing them back obsessively for more and more” (“Pornography,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 89).
Think of some examples of the sorrow and suffering that come from ignoring the prophets’ counsel on subjects such as gambling, pornography, the Word of Wisdom, cheating, tattoos, body piercing, dressing immodestly, or dating before the age of 16.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How could following counsel from the Lord’s servants on topics such as strengthening families, living the law of chastity, or obeying the Word of Wisdom help individuals and families avoid some of the suffering and sorrow they experience?
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified that we can have peace and return to God’s presence by following prophets:
“I give my testimony that the prophets of this day have the qualities of the prophets of old and the other prophets of this dispensation. …
“… Our spiritual safety lies in turning to the clear voice of our living prophet. If we listen to his voice and obey his counsel, we will be able to live as Christ would have us live and endure to the end so that one day we, along with our families, will return back into the presence of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ” (”Hear the Prophet’s Voice and Obey,” Ensign, May 1995, 17).
Write in your scripture study journal about how you would like your study of Mosiah 19–20 to affect the way you listen to the counsel of the Lord’s prophets. Think of an experience about how you have received peace and spiritual safety by following the counsel of the Lord’s servants and record it in your scripture study journal.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mosiah 19–20 and completed the lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher:
Answers to ordering activity: 1, 4, 5, 2, 8, 11, 3, 10, 7, 6, 9.