After their conversion, the sons of Mosiah felt a strong desire to preach the gospel to the Lamanites. King Mosiah supported their decision, but he was then left without a successor to his throne and a caretaker for the scriptural records. He gave Alma (the son of Alma) the responsibility for the records. Instead of appointing another king, he instituted a system of judges as the new form of government.
Next to each of the statements below, rate your desires in the following areas. Use a scale of 1 to 10 (1 indicates “no desire,” and 10 indicates an “extremely strong desire”).
I have a sincere desire to help others find eternal happiness.
I am willing to sacrifice to help others.
I have a desire to share the gospel with others.
If you are a young man, evaluate your desire to serve a full-time mission. (If you are a young woman, you may also choose to evaluate your desire.)
Review Mosiah 27:8–10, and identify how Alma and the sons of Mosiah would have rated in the above statements before their conversion.
Now read Mosiah 28:1–3, and identify how the sons of Mosiah changed in the areas identified above. As you read, remember that the word perish refers to being lost spiritually.
Write your answers to the following questions:
With whom did the sons of Mosiah want to share the gospel?
From what you have studied in the Book of Mormon thus far, what difficulties or dangers could the sons of Mosiah have encountered on a mission to the Lamanites?
Read Mosiah 28:4, and consider how you would restate it in your own words. Notice how the conversion of the sons of Mosiah influenced their desire to share the gospel. In Mosiah 28:1–4 we learn the principle: As our conversion deepens, our desire to share the gospel increases.
Read the following statement from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (you may want to write it in the margin of your scriptures next to Mosiah 28:1–4): “The intensity of our desire to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion” (“Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 7).
In the first sentence of Mosiah 28:4, mark how the sons of Mosiah were influenced in their desire to share the gospel. Notice that the Spirit of the Lord has an important role in increasing our desire to share the gospel.
Answer one of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How has your desire to share the gospel increased as you have strengthened your testimony?
What experiences in your life have led you to want to share the gospel with others?
If you do not feel that you have a strong desire to share the gospel at this time, what can you do to strengthen that desire? (Read Alma 17:2–3.)
Imagine a young man who is a member of the Church but has little or no desire to serve a full-time mission. In your scripture study journal, write a letter to him, suggesting what he could do to increase his desire to share the gospel. You may want to recall what has deepened your conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ and suggest similar activities or experiences for this young man. Remember as you write that greater conversion will lead to an increased desire to share the gospel with others.
As you continue your study of Mosiah 28, imagine how you would feel if someone you loved wanted to go live among a violent people who hated those who were not like them. Read Mosiah 28:5–9, and identify why Mosiah let his sons go on such a dangerous mission. In the book of Alma, you will learn about the “many [who] shall believe on their words” (Mosiah 28:7)—the thousands of Lamanites who were converted as a result of the efforts of the sons of Mosiah.
The remainder of Mosiah 28 records that King Mosiah was growing older and felt the need to select the next caretaker of the sacred records before he died. For the preceding two generations, the king had given the plates to the next king. But because King Mosiah’s sons had gone on missions, he had no son to inherit the throne and therefore did not have a caretaker for the records. Included in these records were the Jaredite plates, which Mosiah translated by the power of God (see Mosiah 28:11–19).
If you had to pick someone to care for sacred records, what characteristics would you want that person to have?
Describe how you would feel if someone selected you to care for the plates.
Read Mosiah 28:20, and look for the name of the person Mosiah chose to care for the plates.
Write in your scripture study journal what King Mosiah’s decision teaches you about Alma’s change of heart. (To answer this question, you may need to review Alma’s previous actions, recorded in Mosiah 27.) Also, explain how Mosiah’s trust in Alma might give hope to those who repent.
As recorded in Mosiah 29, King Mosiah proposed that the Nephite government no longer be administered by a king, but by a system of judges. Read and compare Mosiah 23:7–8 and Mosiah 29:13, 16–18. According to these scriptures, under what circumstances or conditions is a monarchy (being governed by a king or queen) a good form of government? Why did Mosiah counsel the Nephites against continuing their monarchy?
Read Mosiah 29:11, 25, and circle the following answers that indicate what Mosiah said about how the judges were to judge the people: (a) with great mercy, (b) according to the laws, (c) according to the commandments of God, (d) with strictness.
Read Mosiah 29:26, 30, 33–34, 37–38, and discover the people’s role in the new form of government King Mosiah proposed.
Write in your scripture study journal why you believe it is important for every citizen of a country to “bear his part” in serving his or her country (Mosiah 29:34).
Alma was appointed to be the first chief judge, and he fulfilled his role in righteousness (see Mosiah 29:41–43).
In your own words, write one principle you have learned from Mosiah 29:
One principle this chapter teaches is: Each person has a duty to uphold righteous laws and leaders.
Write in your scripture study journal one way you can support righteous laws and leaders in your country.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mosiah 28–29 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: