Mosiah 23–24

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 123–125


Introduction

Mosiah 23–24 continues the account of Alma and his people (see Mosiah 18). After escaping from King Noah and organizing the Church at the Waters of Mormon, these faithful Saints were brought into captivity by a group of Lamanites. Because of their faith and righteousness, the Lord delivered them from their enemies, and they were able to unite with the Nephites in Zarahemla.

These chapters, like much of the book of Mosiah, emphasize the theme of deliverance from trials and suffering. King Benjamin spoke of spiritual deliverance through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Limhi’s people, whose decisions brought them into physical bondage, were delivered after humbly submitting to the Lord’s will. Alma’s people were also delivered from physical bondage, through their continued faith and obedience. They cried to the Lord, and He heard and answered their prayers. Whether the trials we face are physical or spiritual, whether they are the result of our own decisions or of living in a fallen world, we can learn from Alma’s example where to look for deliverance.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • When a government has leaders who are elected by the people, the people share the responsibility for the good and bad in that society (see Mosiah 23:6–13; see also Mosiah 29:8–32).

  • To be authorized to preach the gospel and administer its ordinances, a man must be called of God by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority (see Mosiah 23:14–18; see also Mosiah 18:13, 17–20; Articles of Faith 1:5).

  • Our Father in Heaven is concerned with our growth. Sometimes He strengthens us so we can endure our trials. Other times He takes away our burdens (see Mosiah 23:21–24:25; see also Mosiah 21:15–16).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 66–67.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 23:6–14. When the government has leaders who are elected by the people, the people share the responsibility for the good and bad in that society. (15–20 minutes)

Tell students that today they will have the opportunity to vote for the person they would most like to be their leader. Their vote must be for one of two people: King Benjamin or King Noah. Choose two volunteers to act as “campaign managers” for the candidates. Invite the first volunteer to give a short speech to try to convince the class to vote for King Benjamin. Have the student include Mosiah 2:10–16 as part of the speech. Invite the second volunteer to give a speech in favor of King Noah, quoting from Mosiah 11:1–9. Ask the class:

  • If you had the opportunity, which of these two men would you select as your leader? Why?

  • What qualities do you think are important for leaders to have?

  • What dangers exist when a leader is wicked?

  • What responsibilities do people have when selecting a leader?

  • Why are the people who elect leaders partly responsible for the good or bad that happens in their society?

Tell students that Alma’s people wanted him to be king because of their great love for him (see Mosiah 23:6). However, Alma had concerns about kings ruling the people. Read Mosiah 23:6–14 and ask what cautions Alma gave about selecting a leader. Tell students that in the scriptures we read of times when people were led by kings and other times when they were not. Read again Mosiah 23:8, 14 and help students understand that when we have the opportunity to choose our leaders, it is important for us to choose righteous people.

Have students read Moses 7:53 looking for which king is referred to in that verse. Ask:

  • How can Jesus Christ be considered a king?

  • What traits does the Savior have that would be good for earthly leaders to have?

  • How can we show support and love for our Heavenly King?

  • When Jesus Christ reigns personally on the earth during the Millennium, how do you imagine life will be different?

  • How does Mosiah 23:8 apply to Jesus Christ being our King?

Share the following testimony from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“Jesus Christ [is] the Son of God, who by His matchless and eternal power overcame death. He is the Redeemer of the world. He gave His life for each of us. He took it up again and became the firstfruits of them that slept. He, as King of Kings, stands triumphant above all other kings. He, as the Omnipotent One, stands above all rulers. He is our comfort, our only true comfort, when the dark shroud of earthly night closes about us as the spirit departs the human form. …

“He is our King, our Lord, our Master, the living Christ, who stands on the right hand of His Father. He lives! He lives, resplendent and wonderful, the living Son of the living God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 92; or Ensign, May 1996, 67).

Mosiah 23:14–18. To be authorized to preach the gospel and administer its ordinances, a man must be called of God by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority. (20–25 minutes)

Show students a chain or draw one on the board. Tell them it is a “chain of authority,” and ask them to imagine that the first link represents the Lord and the final link represents our prophet today. Explain that the current prophet was set apart by the Apostles and that they were ordained by other Apostles going back through Peter, James, and John to Jesus Christ. Discuss the following questions:

  • Why is it important for the chain of authority to extend from Jesus Christ to the prophet?

  • What would happen if this chain of authority were broken?

  • Why is it essential for all priesthood holders to be called by proper authority?

Invite students to open their scriptures to the Articles of Faith. Ask which article of faith best summarizes what you have been discussing.

Invite students to divide the fifth article of faith into phrases that describe principles related to priesthood calls in our day (for example “called of God”), and write their answers on the board. Explain that these same principles were followed in the Book of Mormon. Have students study Mosiah 18:13; 23:16–18 and list phrases that describe these principles (for example “from God” [23:17]). Ask: Why do you think these principles are found also in the Book of Mormon?

Consider having an Aaronic Priesthood holder in the class give a presentation on the priesthood and how that authority continues in the Church today. Testify of the importance of the priesthood, and help students understand that God’s authority is found only within His Church. Conclude by reading the following statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith, who was then a member of the First Presidency:

“Priesthood is a part of God’s own power that he bestows upon his chosen servants, that they may act in his name in proclaiming the gospel and officiating in all the ordinances thereof. …

“Man cannot act legally in the name of the Lord unless he is vested with the priesthood, which is divine authority. No man has the power or the right to take this honor to himself. … Should he do so, his act is not valid or recognized in the heavens. …

“The question of priesthood, or divine authority, is a vital one, since it concerns the salvation of each of us. It is impossible for a man to enter the kingdom of God without complying with the laws of that kingdom. Only authorized officers may properly officiate in rites and ceremonies of his kingdom. No man has the right to assume the authority and officiate without being ordained to the ministry. To do so is an unauthorized and illegal act” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, 83–84).