Chapter 19: Mosiah 4–8

Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, (2009), 68–70


Introduction

After King Benjamin related the angel’s message concerning our fallen nature and our need for a Savior, the people fell to the earth and prayed for redemption through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. With the multitude in a state of humility, King Benjamin concluded his sermon by teaching the people how to obtain and retain a remission of sins and continually live as “children of Christ” (Mosiah 5:7). King Benjamin’s sermon provides an excellent opportunity to help students understand how to apply the Atonement. Like the Nephites, we can recognize our mortal weakness, repent, and take the name of Jesus Christ upon ourselves by making and keeping covenants.

Tower

Some Doctrines and Principles

  • Applying the atoning blood of Christ brings remission of sins (see Mosiah 4:1–8).

  • Applying the atoning blood of Christ leads to a Christlike life (see Mosiah 4:9–30).

  • Through faith we experience a change of heart and take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 5).

  • A seer is a great benefit to his fellow beings (see Mosiah 8:13–18).

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 4:1–8. Applying the Atoning Blood of Christ Brings Remission of Sins

Invite a student to read Mosiah 4:1. Then ask students to recall an experience that touched them deeply and led them to feel the power of the Spirit.

  • What did you learn from that experience?

  • How has that experience influenced you?

Ask a student to read Mosiah 4:2. Ask students to describe in their own words the experience King Benjamin’s people had.

  • What did the people pray for?

Invite students to read Mosiah 4:3 silently and identify what happened to the Nephites because of their prayer of faith. Then ask students to share what they have found.

Invite students to summarize the cause-and-effect relationship between Mosiah 4:2 and Mosiah 4:3. To guide their discussion, help them complete the following diagram on the board. Begin by writing the scripture references and drawing the arrow. Then invite a student to write what the people did (in Mosiah 4:2) and the blessings they received as a result (in Mosiah 4:3). The statements in parentheses below are examples of what students might write.

Mosiah 4:2

Mosiah 4:3

(When we view ourselves in our carnal state, pray for forgiveness, and exercise faith in Christ …)

(The Spirit of the Lord comes, bringing joy, remission of sins, and peace of conscience.)

Mosiah 4:9–30. Applying the Atoning Blood of Christ Leads to a Christlike Life

Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Have the groups review Mosiah 4:12–30 together. Instruct them to mark or list attitudes and qualities that Benjamin identifies as being typical of true followers of Jesus Christ.

After adequate time, invite students to share what they have found in their study. Because this activity will take several minutes to complete, you should limit the number of responses you choose to discuss.

To help students apply what they are learning, you might ask one of the following questions as each attitude or quality is mentioned:

  • What difference can this attitude (or quality) make in your life?

  • When have you seen examples of this attitude (or quality)? How did it affect you or another person?

Encourage students to ponder ways they can develop each attitude or quality in their lives.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 4:30 . Then ask students to summarize this portion of the lesson by reviewing the warning in verse 30.

Mosiah 5. Through Faith We Experience a Change of Heart and Take upon Ourselves the Name of Jesus Christ

Ask students to describe people they know who have been converted to the gospel. How has the gospel changed that person?

Explain that a marvelous conversion took place with King Benjamin’s people. Have a student read Mosiah 5:1–2.

  • What blessings came to King Benjamin’s people through the Spirit of the Lord? (They knew the truth of Benjamin’s words, they experienced a change of heart, and they had “no more disposition to do evil.”)

Read the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), the 13th President of the Church. Invite students to listen for additional insights about experiencing a change of heart.

“Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. …

“… True repentance involves a change of heart and not just a change of behavior. … Most repentance does not involve sensational or dramatic changes, but rather is a step-by-step, steady, and consistent movement toward godliness” (“A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 5).

  • Why do we need a change of heart and not just a change of behavior?

  • How have you seen that conversion is a process of steady and consistent improvement?

Summarize this mighty change by having a student read Mosiah 5:2–5.

  • According to these verses, what are some results of this mighty change?

  • In what ways does conversion prepare us to make and keep covenants with God?

Before class, write the following scripture reference and questions on the board, on a poster, or on a handout. Invite students to read this passage silently and to write answers to the questions on a piece of paper.

    Mosiah 5:7–12

  • What name was given to the people?

  • How do we take this name upon ourselves?

  • Where should the name be written?

  • What can cause someone to lose the name?

  • In addition to the name, what else must we know?

After students have written their answers, review the answers as a class.

Invite students to read the statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks on page 145 in the student manual (also available on the companion DVD A).

  • What does it mean to you to take upon yourself the name of Christ?

  • What can we do each day to help us keep Christ’s name written in our hearts?

Encourage students to live in such a way that people will see by their actions and their countenances that they have taken upon themselves the name of Christ and have become His sons and daughters.

Mosiah 8:13–18. A Seer Is a Great Benefit to His Fellow Beings

To help students understand the historical setting of Mosiah 8, begin by reviewing the events described in Omni 1:27–30. Explain that the group of people described in these verses eventually settled in the land of Lehi-Nephi, “the land of their inheritance,” but they were taken captive by the Lamanites. Then explain that about 80 years later, King Mosiah permitted 16 men, led by a man named Ammon, to leave the land of Zarahemla in search of these people. Ammon and his group were able to find the people, who were led by a king named Limhi. Have students read the chapter headings for Mosiah 7–8. Explain that in a conversation with King Limhi, Ammon said that King Mosiah was a seer.

Point out that at least four times each year—during two general conferences, a stake conference, and a ward conference—we raise our hands to pledge that we will sustain the President of the Church as a prophet, seer, and revelator. Write the words prophet and seer on the board. Have students read Mosiah 8:13–18, page 147 in the student manual, and the entries on “Prophet” and “Seer” in the Bible Dictionary to look for descriptions of a prophet and a seer. You may want to have students write what they learn.

  • What is the calling of a seer?

  • What are some blessings we can receive when we follow a seer?

Explain that our testimony of a seer is strengthened when events or conditions come to pass that demonstrate his seership. Invite students to turn to Doctrine and Covenants 89.

  • What is this section about?

  • In Joseph Smith’s day, what did the world know about the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol?

  • How does modern-day knowledge about these harmful effects increase your confidence in Joseph Smith as a seer?

Invite students to consider the following warning given by today’s seers:

“Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable” (For the Strength of Youth [pamphlet, 2001], 17).

You may also want to share other warnings from living prophets.

  • What counsel from a seer has brought you increased happiness?

Explain that each seer is a “watchman upon the tower” who warns us because he has “seen the enemy while he was yet afar off” (see D&C 101:54). We demonstrate our faith when we heed such warnings. Share your testimony about the blessings of being led by seers.