Mosiah 25–29

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 125–131


Introduction

Mosiah 25–29 is a record of what happened in Zarahemla from approximately 120 to 91 B.C. The people of Zeniff’s colony, including Limhi’s people and Alma’s followers, had returned to Zarahemla and were united safely under King Mosiah’s rule. This was a time of peace and prosperity, even though many members of the Church were led into sin by unbelievers.

King Mosiah ruled the people in righteousness. During the final years of his life, many important events transpired that helped to bless and protect his people even after his death: (1) Mosiah gave Alma the Elder the authority to organize the Church in Zarahemla; (2) Mosiah enacted laws to help believers and unbelievers live together in peace; (3) Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah were converted miraculously and dedicated their lives to God’s service; (4) Mosiah translated the Jaredite records by means of the interpreters (the Urim and Thummim); (5) Mosiah gave Alma the Younger charge of the brass plates and the other religious records and artifacts, and commanded him to continue the record of God’s people; (6) Mosiah proposed that judges, instead of kings, rule the people, and the people agreed; and (7) Alma the Younger served as high priest over the Church and as the first chief judge.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 68–70.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 25. Church members strengthen each other as they gather together to listen to the prophets declare the word of God. (25–30 minutes)

Tell students that members of the Church often make great sacrifices to attend conferences where a prophet or apostle will be speaking. Share the following account by Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, or invite students to share a similar account they may be aware of:

“I was assigned to preside over a regional conference in La Paz, Bolivia. Some members came from small towns and villages far away, showing great sacrifice and commitment to attend the meetings. Prior to the priesthood leadership training session, I greeted the brethren as they gathered. I noticed that one older brother’s shirt was a different color from the middle of his chest down; the upper portion was white, while the lower part was brownish-red. He and three of his companions, all Melchizedek Priesthood holders, had traveled for many hours, walking most of the way and fording two rivers where the brownish-red water came up to their chests. They had flagged down a truck and stood in the back of it for the last two hours of their journey.

“Their sacrifice and their attitude about it made me feel extremely humble. One of these faithful men said to me: ‘Elder Ballard, you are one of the Lord’s Apostles. My brethren and I would do whatever was required to be taught by you.’” (“The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, Oct. 1998, 11–12).

Discuss the following questions:

  • What motivates people to make these kinds of sacrifices?

  • What blessings can come when members of the Church gather together? (see D&C 6:32).

Invite students to read Mosiah 25:1–4 and ask:

  • Who gathered together for this special meeting?

  • How long had it been since the people of Zarahemla had been united with the people of Limhi and Alma? (About eighty years; see the footnotes for Mosiah 9:1; 24:25.)

  • What do you imagine it was like for these people to be reunited in this special meeting?

Tell students that this meeting in Zarahemla can be compared to general conference today. Have the class do activity A for Mosiah 25 in the student study guide. When they finish, correct and discuss their answers.

Mosiah 26. Receiving personal revelation sometimes requires great spiritual effort. (35–40 minutes)

Write the following questions on the board, and discuss them as a class:

•What is the most difficult problem young people face?

•What is the most difficult problem you believe parents face?

•What would you guess is the most difficult problem the prophet faces?

Tell students that while it is important to identify our problems, it is more important to solve them. Discuss the following questions:

  • What is the first step you take when trying to solve your problems?

  • What other steps do you take?

  • What have your parents or the prophets taught you about solving problems?

Read the following statements and discuss how they apply to solving problems. President Marion G. Romney said:

“The major reason for the world’s troubles today is that men are not seeking to know the will of the Lord and then to do it. Rather do they seek to solve their problems in their own wisdom and in their own way. The Lord, in the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, … pointed this out and marked it as one of the causes of the calamities which he foresaw coming upon the inhabitants of the earth. Listen to this ringing declaration:

“‘They have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;

“‘They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way’ (D&C 1:15–16)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 22; or Ensign, May 1983, 17–18).

Elder Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said:

“If you want the blessing, don’t just kneel down and pray about it. Prepare yourselves in every conceivable way you can in order to make yourselves worthy to receive the blessings you seek” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee [1996], 129).

Later, as President of the Church, President Lee said:

“The most important thing you can do is to learn to talk to God. Talk to Him as you would talk to your father, for He is your Father, and He wants you to talk to Him. He wants you to cultivate ears to listen, when He gives you the impressions of the Spirit to tell you what to do. If you learn to give heed to the sudden ideas which come to your minds, you will find those things coming through in the very hour of your need. If you will cultivate an ear to hear these promptings, you will have learned to walk by the spirit of revelation” (Teachings, 130).

Discuss the following saying with students: “Pray as if everything depended on the Lord, and then work as if everything depended on you.”

Draw the accompanying diagram on the board. Tell students that this pattern for solving problems is used in Mosiah 26.

diagram

Invite students to read Mosiah 26:1–10, and discuss the following questions:

  • What problem did Alma face?

  • What caused the wickedness in the rising generation?

  • What did Alma feel as a result of this problem?

  • What causes similar problems in our day?

  • How concerned do you think parents and priesthood leaders are about these problems? Why?

Read verses 11–12 and ask:

  • What did Alma do to try to solve this problem?

  • Why might it have been helpful to consult with Mosiah?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–8. How do these verses relate to Alma’s action?

Ask a student to read the following statement by Elder Mark E. Petersen, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“Let us not suppose that a few feeble prayers will be sufficient to call down [God’s] aid. It will take more than halfhearted supplications to save us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1968, 62).

Read Mosiah 26:13–14, and ask:

  • What words in these verses show that Alma’s prayer was more than just “halfhearted”?

  • Why must we pray with our whole soul in order to receive answers that help us solve our problems?

Invite students to mark the word blessed each time it occurs in Mosiah 26:15–19. Explain that the Lord gave comfort and assurance to Alma in answer to his pleadings. Testify that He will do the same for us as we ask Him for help with our problems. Read Mosiah 26:20–21 and look for the great blessing Alma was given.

Have students quickly read Mosiah 26:22–32 looking for the Lord’s instructions to Alma concerning this problem. Ask:

  • What did the Lord ask Alma to do with the unbelievers?

  • What were His instructions concerning those who repented?

  • Why is the doctrine taught in verse 30 so important to know and believe?

Have students look for words or phrases in Mosiah 26:33–39 that show Alma followed the Lord’s counsel. Discuss their findings.

Share an appropriate example of a time the Lord inspired you in solving a problem, or invite a student to do so. Encourage the students to follow this pattern when they face difficulties in their lives.

weekly iconMosiah 27. To repent we must confess, feel sorrow, forsake the sin, make restitution, forgive others, and have a change of heart. Repentance brings spiritual rebirth and the joy of the Lord’s forgiveness. (50–60 minutes)

Use the following analogies or some of your own, and ask how each analogy relates to repentance:

  • Show one dirty and one clean dish or cloth. (Repentance is a cleansing process.)

  • Show two strings or ropes, one of which is tied into many knots. (Repentance helps “undo” our mistakes.)

Invite students to think of other analogies for repentance, and discuss them as a class. Read Mosiah 27:25–29 and ask:

  • What do these verses teach about repentance?

  • What words are used to describe this process?

  • Why is everyone in need of some change or redemption? (Because everyone sins.)

  • What do you think it means to become “new creatures”? (v. 26).

Tell students that we can learn much about repentance from Alma the Younger’s experience recorded in Mosiah 27. For most of us the process of repentance is not so dramatic, but the principles of repentance in Alma’s experience apply to each of us.

Write on the board the headings Alma Before and Alma After. Have students read Mosiah 27:8–12 looking for words that describe what Alma was like before he repented, and list them on the board under Alma Before. Ask:

  • What part of this description stands out the most to you? Why?

  • Which of these behaviors is common among people today?

Read Mosiah 27:32–37 looking for the changes that took place in Alma. List what students discover on the board under Alma After. Discuss the following questions:

  • What impresses you most about Alma at this time in his life?

  • How do you think Alma’s joy after he repented compared to the misery he felt before? (see vv. 28–29).

  • Do you believe this kind of change can occur in people today? Why or why not?

Read Mosiah 27:24, 28 and invite students to mark the words repented and repenting. Testify that this change can only come into people’s lives as they repent and apply the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Share the following principles of repentance with students. Read the accompanying statements by Elder Neal A. Maxwell and discuss the questions that follow to help students understand that Alma’s repentance was based on the same principles that apply to us.

Each of us has need to repent

“Repentance [is] one of the most vital and merciful doctrines of the kingdom. It is too little understood, too little applied by us all. … Personal repentance is part of taking up the cross daily (see Luke 9:23). Without it, clearly there could be no ‘perfecting of the Saints’ (Ephesians 4:12). …

“Repentance is a rescuing, not a dour doctrine. It is available to the gross sinner as well as to the already good individual striving for incremental improvement. …

“Real repentance involves not a mechanical checklist but a [reining in] of the natural self. Often overlapping and mutually reinforcing, each portion of the process of repentance is essential. This process rests on inner resolve but is much aided by external support.”

  • Read Mosiah 27:11–17. What part did the prayers of Alma’s father and the people play in helping Alma?

  • Who came to Alma to call him to repentance?

  • How is the message of repentance given to us? (Prophets, scriptures, the Holy Ghost.)

We must recognize what is wrong

“There can be no repentance without recognition of wrong. Whether by provocation, introspection, or wrenching remembrance, denial must be dissolved. As with the prodigal son who finally ‘came to himself’ (Luke 15:17), the first rays of recognition help us begin to see ‘things as they really are’ (Jacob 4:13). … Recognition is a sacred moment, often accompanied by the hot blush of shame.”

  • Read Alma 36:12–13. What phrases show that Alma recognized the seriousness of his sin?

  • Why do you think it is important to recognize when we have sinned?

We must feel godly sorrow

“After recognition, real remorse floods the soul. This is a ‘godly sorrow,’ not merely the ‘sorrow of the world’ nor the ‘sorrowing of the damned’ when we can no longer ‘take happiness in sin’ (see 2 Corinthians 7:10; Mormon 2:13). …

“There can be no real repentance without personal suffering and the passage of sufficient time for the needed cleansing and turning. This is much more than merely waiting until feelings of remorse subside. …

“Real remorse quickly brings forth positive indicators, ‘fruits meet for repentance’ (Matthew 3:8; see also Acts 26:20; Alma 5:54). In process of time, these fruits bud, blossom, and ripen.”

We must confess our sins

“True repentance also includes confession. … As confession lets the sickening sin empty out, then the Spirit which withdrew returns to renew. …

“All sins are to be confessed to the Lord, some to a Church official, some to others, and some to all of these. A few may require public confession. Confessing aids forsaking. We cannot expect to sin publicly and extensively and then expect to be rescued privately and quickly, being beaten with only a few stripes (see D&C 42:88–93).”

  • Read Mosiah 27:35. To whom did Alma confess his sins?

  • How do you think his confessions helped the people he had injured?

  • What blessings do you believe come as a result of appropriately confessing our sins?

We must forsake our sins

“In real repentance, there is the actual forsaking of sinning. ‘Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin’ (Ezekiel 18:30). …

“Thus, when ‘a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them’ (D&C 58:43).

“Genuine support and love from others—not isolation—are needed to sustain this painful forsaking and turning!”

  • Read Alma 36:23–25. What evidence shows that Alma forsook his sins?

  • How easy do you think it is to forsake sins? Why?

  • How can we develop the power to forsake our sins?

We must make restitution where possible

Restitution is required too.

“‘Because he hath sinned, … he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found’ (Leviticus 6:4).

“Sometimes, however, restitution is not possible in real terms, such as when one contributed to another’s loss of faith or virtue. Instead, a subsequent example of righteousness provides a compensatory form of restitution.”

  • Read Mosiah 27:35. What does the word restitution mean?

  • What did Alma do to make restitution for his sins?

Great blessings follow repentance

“As we do repent, however, special assurances await:

“‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool’ (Isaiah 1:18).

“‘All his transgressions … shall not be mentioned unto him’ (Ezekiel 18:22).

“‘I, the Lord, remember [their sins] no more’! (D&C 58:42).

“Along with all the foregoing reasons for our individual repentance, Church members have a special rendezvous to keep, brothers and sisters. Nephi saw it. One future day, he said, Jesus’ covenant people, ‘scattered upon all the face of the earth,’ will be ‘armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory’ (1 Nephi 14:14). This will happen, but only after more members become more saintly and more consecrated in conduct” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 39–41, 43; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 30–32).

Explain that following these principles of repentance does not bring forgiveness of itself but puts a person in a position to obtain forgiveness from the Lord. Actual forgiveness is given by the Lord and allows a person to feel peace.

Invite students to share experiences that show that this joy is possible for each of us. Sing “Come unto Jesus” (Hymns, no. 117). Encourage students to turn to the Lord and repent of their sins.

Mosiah 28:1–9. Having a testimony of Jesus Christ, a love for others, and a desire for their eternal welfare can motivate disciples of Jesus Christ to serve missions. (20–25 minutes)

Ask: What reasons might prospective missionaries give for wanting to serve a mission? List responses on the board. These might include:

  • “I want to strengthen my testimony and think this will be a great way to draw closer to the Savior.”

  • “I believe a mission will prepare me for life’s challenges, including education, employment, and family life.”

  • “It is a commandment, and I believe in keeping the commandments.”

  • “I love the Savior and want to share His gospel.”

  • “All of my friends have gone, and they say they are having a great time. I think it will be a really fun experience, even if it is difficult.”

Discuss the reasons listed, asking questions such as the following:

  • How did you feel about each of the reasons listed for serving a mission?

  • What do you believe ought to motivate a missionary to serve?

Invite students to read Mosiah 28:1–3 and mark the reasons the sons of Mosiah wanted to serve a mission. Ask:

  • How do their reasons compare to those on the board?

  • What difference do you think it would make for a missionary to have that kind of motivation?

Read the following statement by Elder David B. Haight, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“To serve the Lord as a full-time missionary is a privilege; the primary purpose of full-time missionary service is the building up of the kingdom of God. And the Lord needs His best. Young men and young women who respond to the call must be prepared for the most rigorous challenge of their young lives—prepared spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically.

“Although our missionaries are strengthened, elevated, and magnified by their service, that is not their primary purpose, and neither they nor their families nor their leaders should regard a mission as the solution to unresolved problems. The Lord needs our best; He needs those who can run, not just walk—but to run physically and spiritually—those who can wield eternal influence with purity and strength and conviction” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 82–83; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 62).

Read Mosiah 28:5–9 looking for what happened to the sons of Mosiah. Discuss the following questions:

  • Who called the sons of Mosiah on a mission?

  • What did the Lord promise Mosiah concerning his sons?

  • What do you think the sons of Mosiah sacrificed in order to serve a mission?

  • What sacrifices might someone have to make to serve a mission today?

Tell students that the “account of their proceedings” referred to in verse 9 is found in the book of Alma. As they study this account they will discover that the blessings the sons of Mosiah received from serving a mission were worth the sacrifices they made.

Testify that just as in the days of the sons of Mosiah, mission calls today come through revelation from the Lord. Encourage your students to remain worthy to serve an honorable full-time mission.

Mosiah 28:10–20. One who has possession of the Urim and Thummim is called a seer. (10–15 minutes)

Write the following Hebrew phrase on the board (which means “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord”; see Psalm 3:8):

Hebrew letters

Invite students to imagine that the information in this sentence is necessary for their salvation. Discuss the following questions:

  • How useful is this information to you if you don’t read Hebrew? Why?

  • How important would it be to you to have it translated?

Tell students that the scriptures are so important that the Lord provided the means to translate them when the people have no other way to read the language they are written in. Have students search Mosiah 28:10–20 looking for answers to the following questions. (The questions could be written on the board before class.) Discuss their findings.

  • What concerns did Mosiah have after his sons received their mission calls?

  • What was Mosiah called because he possessed the interpreters? (see v. 16).

  • What phrases in verses 12 and 19 show the importance of having scriptures translated in a language we can understand?

  • What Church material is available to you in your language?

  • Of what value is that material to you?

  • Who did Mosiah entrust with the sacred records, the interpreters, and the other sacred relics? (see v. 20).

  • What evidence can you find that Alma was qualified and worthy to receive these records?

Mosiah 29. We believe in being subject to our political leaders and obeying our nation’s laws. Leaders have the responsibility to make righteous judgments and serve in accordance with the laws of God. (20–25 minutes)

Tell students that in chapter 29 King Mosiah wrote a proposal concerning the government and sent it among his people. Read Mosiah 29:1–4 and ask: What circumstances led to this proposal? (Mosiah was nearing death, and his sons refused to be king.)

Divide students into three groups, and assign each to learn about one of the following kinds of leaders: righteous kings, unrighteous kings, and judges. Have each group quickly read Mosiah 29:11–25, 28–36 and find what Mosiah said about the kind of leader they were assigned, and why it was important for the Nephites to change their form of government. Discuss their findings. Read Mosiah 29:37–42 and ask:

  • How did the people respond to Mosiah’s words?

  • How did the people feel toward Mosiah? Why? (see v. 40).

  • Who was appointed the first chief judge?

  • What other position did Alma the Younger occupy?

Read Mosiah 29:39 and discuss with students why having the liberty to choose their leaders would cause the Nephites to rejoice. Ask:

  • What freedoms do you have?

  • How do those privileges make you feel?

  • How do you think life would be different if those freedoms were removed?

Share the following statement by Elder Royden G. Derrick, then a member of the Presidency of the Seventy:

“The history of the people of ancient America, recorded in the Book of Mormon, teaches that civilizations are built on moral foundations; that when people are morally strong, they do well; that when they are morally weak, they suffer. It teaches us that freedom cannot outlive morality and that freedom is not free—it must be earned” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1981, 88; or Ensign, May 1981, 66).

Ask students: Why do you think freedom must be earned? Discuss any examples they can think of from the Book of Mormon that show that the people prospered when they were morally strong but suffered when they were wicked. Read Mosiah 29:26–27 and ask:

  • How do these verses support Elder Derrick’s statement?

  • What can you do to influence other people to desire and seek what is right?

  • In what ways can each of us be “anxiously engaged in a good cause”? (D&C 58:27).

Testify that agency is a vital part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. Make sure students understand that the freedom to choose brings with it the responsibility for our choices. Encourage students to be a “voice” for righteousness.