Unit 21: Day 1, Alma 45–49

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 207–10


Introduction

After Alma gave his final instructions to his son Helaman, he departed from the people of Nephi and was never heard of again. During the difficult times that followed for the Nephites, Helaman and Captain Moroni became their spiritual and military leaders. The Lamanite leader Amalickiah selfishly pursued his unrighteous desires, using tactics that resembled those of the devil. Captain Moroni prepared his people to be faithful to God during those perilous times.

Alma 45

Helaman believes the words of his father, Alma, and begins his ministry

Recall an interview you have had with a parent or priesthood leader. Think of the kinds of questions you were asked. Before Alma departed out of the land, he asked Helaman three important questions. Read Alma 45:2–7, and identify and mark these questions. (The “words” Alma referred to in verse 2 can be found in Alma 37:1.) Think about how you would answer Alma’s questions: Do you believe in the scriptures? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Will you keep the commandments?

man and young man

After Helaman declared his testimony, Alma spoke to him about the future of the Nephites. He prophesied of their destruction and the destruction of any other people who would ripen in iniquity on this chosen land. Read Alma 45:16, and consider the following truth in this verse: The Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.

To help you understand this principle, remember that through His Atonement, the Savior paid the price for all our sins if we will repent and seek His forgiveness. God cannot tolerate sin in any degree. However, because the Savior was willing to suffer in our behalf, we do not have to suffer for our sins if we repent.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 1:31–33. You may want to write these verses as a cross-reference near Alma 45:16.

  1. journal icon1.

    Respond to the following question in your scripture study journal: What are your feelings about the Savior when you think about His willingness to pay the price for your sins?

As recorded in Alma 45:20–24, Helaman began his ministry as the prophet of the Lord and leader of the Church. He and other Church leaders appointed priests and teachers throughout the congregations, but because of contention and increasing pride the people refused to listen to their leaders.

Alma 46

Captain Moroni rallies the righteous to defend their rights and their religion

Come Forth

As recorded in Alma 46:1–7, some people who were angry with Helaman and his brethren chose to leave the Church and follow a wicked man named Amalickiah, who wanted to be king. Read Alma 46:8–10, and look for the lessons Mormon wanted us to learn from this dangerous situation.

To help defend the liberty of the people, Moroni, who was the chief captain of the Nephite armies, tore his coat and used a piece of it to make a “title of liberty” to rally the people in defense of liberty.

Read Alma 46:12–13, and mark what Moroni wrote on the title of liberty. Identify how he prepared to present the title of liberty to the people. Ponder what these verses teach you about Moroni’s character. Also read Alma 48:11–13, 17–18 to gain more insight into the character of Captain Moroni. You may want to mark the characteristics of Moroni that you would like to develop more fully in your own life.

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    In your scripture study journal, write about one or more of Moroni’s characteristics from Alma 46:12–13 and Alma 48:11–13, 17–18. Explain why you would like to have these characteristics and how you can strive to develop them.

Read Alma 46:18–22, and look for how the people responded to Moroni’s invitation to fight for liberty. The covenant described in verse 20 is a special promise that this group of Nephites made with God.

According to Alma 46:20, why did Moroni want the Nephites to make a covenant with God that they would defend their rights and their religion? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

As recorded in Alma 46:28–37, the Nephites who joined with Captain Moroni captured the army of Amalickiah. However, Amalickiah and a few others escaped and joined the Lamanites. Many of Amalickiah’s followers who were captured entered into the covenant to support freedom. Those who would not do so were put to death. From the Nephites’ experience, we can learn this principle: When we are valiant in keeping the commandments as Captain Moroni did, God will strengthen and bless us.

Following the battle, Captain Moroni had the title of liberty hoisted onto every Nephite tower as a “standard” or reminder of what they had covenanted to fight for and protect (see Alma 46:36).

In the For the Strength of Youth booklet, the First Presidency said: “Our dear young men and young women, we have great confidence in you. You are beloved sons and daughters of God and He is mindful of you. You have come to earth at a time of great opportunities and also of great challenges. The standards in this booklet will help you with the important choices you are making now and will yet make in the future. We promise that as you keep the covenants you have made and these standards, you will be blessed with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, your faith and testimony will grow stronger, and you will enjoy increasing happiness” ([2011], ii).

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    From what you learn in that message from the First Presidency, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      What are the promises made to you if you keep the gospel covenants you have made and the standards in the For the Strength of Youth booklet?

    2. b.

      Look at the contents page of the For the Strength of Youth booklet, and choose one of the standards in the booklet. How has keeping this standard blessed your life, or how may it bless your life in the future?

Alma 47

Amalickiah becomes king of the Lamanites through betrayal and deception

What would you do if you were at war and someone presented you with a book that revealed what your enemy planned to do to destroy you and your family? Alma 47 can provide some insight into the plans of our enemy, the devil.

Alma 47 records the many deceptions that Amalackiah used to become king of the Lamanites so that he could lead the Lamanite army to war against the Nephites. His ultimate desire was to bring all the Nephites into bondage, with him as their king.

Amalackiah and his followers first went to the land of Nephi, where the Lamanites lived. The king of the Lamanites desired to go to battle against the Nephites, but many of his people were afraid. So the king asked Amalackiah to compel the fearful Lamanites to join the battle. Amalickiah marched to the mountain refuge where these people had fled, but he did not want to help the king. He wanted to become the leader of the fearful Lamanites by tricking their leader, Lehonti, into coming down off his mountain refuge. Amalickiah intended to kill Lehonti with poison after he came down.

Study Alma 47:10–12. How many times did Amalickiah tempt Lehonti to leave his place of safety? Also read Alma 47:17–19. How did Amalickiah kill Lehonti after he came down off the mountain?

Elder Robert D. Hales

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that people today may try to destroy our faith and testimony by tempting us to leave our places of spiritual safety and come into the devil’s territory: “In the Book of Mormon, we read about Lehonti and his men camped upon a mount. The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to ‘come down’ and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned ‘by degrees’ until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. … It is the safe ground. It is true and where knowledge is” (“Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 74).

  1. journal icon4.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      What are a few ways that Satan seeks to get us to “come down” from spiritual high ground?

    2. b.

      Do you think that Satan tries to entice young people to lower their standards “by degrees”? What is an example of how he tries to do this?

    3. c.

      What specific thing can you do to stay on spiritual high ground? What gospel standard do you need to work on so that you do not lower this standard “by degrees”?

As he did with Amalickiah, Satan seeks to destroy us and entices us by degrees to lower our standards.

Alma 48–49

Captain Moroni inspires the Nephites to fortify themselves physically and spiritually

While Amalickiah was trying to obtain power by “fraud and deceit” (Alma 48:7) over the Lamanites and the Nephites, Moroni was acting in very different ways. Read Alma 48:7–10, and look for what Moroni did when he knew that Amalickiah would soon lead the Lamanite armies against the Nephites. You may want to mark these ideas: (1) He prepared the people to be faithful to God in times of difficulty (see verse 7). (2) He helped the people strengthen areas in which they were weak (see verses 8–9). (3) He prepared the people to support and defend the “cause of Christians,” or the Church (see verse 10).

Just as Moroni helped his people prepare for and endure difficult times, Church leaders in our time give us counsel to help us prepare for times of difficulty. Consider writing the following truth in your scriptures near Alma 48:7–10: As we follow the counsel of the Lord’s servants, we will be prepared for life’s difficulties.

The Lamanites initially planned to attack the city of Ammonihah and then the city of Noah, which had been weak Nephite cities. Read Alma 49:4–5 to see the response of the Lamanites when they saw the Nephites’ preparation at the city of Ammonihah. The Lamanites decided not to attack the city because it was so well prepared against attack. Read Alma 49:12–14 to see the Lamanites’ response when they tried to attack the city of Noah.

  1. journal icon5.

    Take a few minutes to review several talks from the most recent general conference (in the Ensign or Liahona). In your scripture study journal, summarize the counsel given by one or more of the speakers. How can this counsel help you prepare for times of difficulty in your life? How can you use this counsel in your life?

  2. journal icon6.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Alma 45–49 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: