Unit 21: Day 4, Alma 59–63

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 215–16


Introduction

Helaman wrote a letter to Captain Moroni, telling him about the army’s efforts and asking for help from the Nephite government. Captain Moroni rejoiced in learning about Helaman’s successes, but he was angry at the government for neglecting to send reinforcements. Captain Moroni wrote a letter of rebuke to the chief judge, Pahoran. In his reply, Pahoran told of a rebellion against the government. Moroni marched to his aid and defeated the rebels. Then the Nephite armies were able to unitedly defeat the Lamanites. After 14 years of war, the Nephites again had peace in the land, allowing Helaman and his brethren to focus on building up the Church.

Alma 59

The Nephites lose a stronghold, and Captain Moroni grieves because of the wickedness of the people

When Captain Moroni received a letter from Helaman describing his army’s successes, Moroni and his people rejoiced. Moroni then sent a letter to Pahoran, the Nephite leader in Zarahemla, asking him to send reinforcements and provisions to Helaman. But no reinforcements were sent. Therefore, when the Lamanites attacked the city of Nephihah, the people of Nephihah were forced to flee and the Lamanites conquered the city.

Read Alma 59:9–12 to learn Moroni’s reaction to the Lamanite victory. Consider marking in your scriptures this phrase in Alma 59:9: “it was easier to keep the city from falling into the hands of the Lamanites than to retake it from them.” From this phrase, we can learn this principle: It is easier and better to remain faithful than it is to return to the faith after going astray.

  1. journal icon1.

    Study the phrase you have marked in Alma 59:9 and the bold principle in the previous paragraph. Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Why is it easier to avoid addictions to harmful substances than to overcome an addiction?

    2. b.

      Why is it easier to maintain a testimony than to regain it after losing it?

    3. c.

      Why might it be easier for a person to remain active in the Church than to return to the Church from inactivity?

Alma 60–62

Moroni asks Pahoran about the cause of the government’s neglect

After the city of Nephihah was captured by the Lamanites, Captain Moroni decided to write an appeal to Pahoran, the chief judge in Zarahemla. Read Alma 60:17–24, and look for the accusations that Moroni made about Pahoran and the people in Zarahemla.

Read Alma 60:23 again, and note Captain Moroni’s reference to cleansing the “inward vessel” first. He was referring to the need to remove corruption from the Nephite government and its people. However, this verse can apply to our lives as well. Imagine putting dirt or mud on the inside of a cup. Even if you washed the outside of the cup, would you feel comfortable drinking from the cup?

  1. journal icon2.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      If we think of ourselves as “vessels,” what do you think it means to cleanse the inner vessel?

    2. b.

      Why would cleansing our inner vessel help us be of greater service in the Lord’s kingdom?

As recorded in Alma 60:33–36, Captain Moroni told Pahoran to quickly send men and provisions to his army and to Helaman’s army. If Pahoran did not, Moroni said he would lead a military force to Zarahemla and force him to do these things. Pahoran received Moroni’s letter and quickly wrote back to him. Read Alma 61:1–5 to discover what was happening in Zarahemla.

Read Alma 61:9–14, and think about how Pahoran responded to Moroni’s accusations. Consider marking those statements that reveal the greatness of Pahoran’s character. Instead of taking offense, Pahoran invited Moroni to unite with him in the strength of the Lord to fight the enemy. Read Alma 62:1 to discover how Moroni felt when he received Pahoran’s response.

Consider writing the following truths in your scripture study journal: We can choose to not be offended by the words or actions of others. When we unite in righteousness with others, we are stronger in our battles against evil.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:

Elder David A. Bednar

“Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. ‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them’ (Psalm 119:165). …

“… Moroni … wrote to Pahoran ‘by the way of condemnation’ (Alma 60:2) and harshly accused him of thoughtlessness, slothfulness, and neglect. Pahoran might easily have resented Moroni and his message, but he chose not to take offense. …

“One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others. A thing, an event, or an expression may be offensive, but you and I can choose not to be offended—and to say with Pahoran, ‘it mattereth not’ [Alma 61:9]” (“And Nothing Shall Offend Them,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 90–91).

  1. journal icon3.

    Think about a time when you chose not to be offended by the words or actions of others. Write a short paragraph about the importance of choosing not to be offended.

As recorded in Alma 62, Captain Moroni brought his army to Zarahemla to help Pahoran overthrow the king-men—Nephite dissenters who wanted to establish a king and enter into an alliance with the Lamanites. The king-men had prevented Pahoran from sending men and supplies to the aid of Moroni and Helaman. Moroni and Pahoran then united their forces and received help from other Nephite armies to drive the Lamanites out of the land. During this time many Lamanites repented and joined the people of Ammon.

Imagine some of the challenges that might have existed for families and individuals at the end of such a war. Read Alma 62:39–41 to see how the Nephites were affected by the trials of war. As you read, look for truths you can identify in these verses.

Write the following principle or truth in your scriptures by Alma 62: 39–41 or in your scripture study journal: We can grow closer to the Lord during our trials.

  1. journal icon4.

    Write answers to the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Why do you think some people grow closer to the Lord when faced with trials while others turn away from Him?

    2. b.

      What have the chapters on war taught you about being a disciple of Jesus Christ in times of difficulty or trial?

Alma 63

Many Nephites travel to the land northward

After Helaman died (see Alma 62:52), his brother Shiblon took possession of the sacred records. Read Alma 63:1–2 to see what kind of a man Shiblon was. As recorded in Alma 63, Moroni and Shiblon died, and Moroni’s son, Moronihah, took command of the Nephite armies.

Read Alma 63:10–13. Before he died, Shiblon gave Helaman, who was the son of Helaman, charge of the sacred records. Helaman preserved the records that were already written and began keeping the record that would become the book of Helaman.

Alma 63:5–8 records that many Nephites traveled by ship to lands northward and were never heard from again. Also, the end of Alma 63 reveals that once again there began to be some contention between the Lamanites and the Nephites, thus ending the long and inspiring book of Alma.

  1. journal icon5.

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

    I have studied Alma 59–63 and completed this lesson on (date).

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