Mosiah 8: What Is a Seer?

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 79


In Mosiah 7, King Limhi briefly explained what had happened to his people since the time that his grandfather, Zeniff, led that colony of Nephites from the land of Zarahemla back to the land of Lehi-Nephi. In Mosiah 8, Ammon explained to Limhi how ancient records can be translated and what the difference is between a prophet and a seer. Why did Limhi need that information? How does this chapter help increase your appreciation for Church leaders today?

Understanding the Scriptures

Mosiah 8

Rehearse, rehearsed (vv. 2–3)Repeat, review
Interpret (v. 6)Translate
Cankered (v. 11)Pitted, damaged
Interpreters (v. 13)The Urim and Thummim
Impenetrable (v. 20)Hardened, unteachable

Mosiah 8:16—“A Seer Is a Revelator and a Prophet Also”

From Ammon’s description in Mosiah 8:13–18, we learn that while a prophet and a seer both declare the word of God, a seer has means of receiving revelation from God not available to every prophet (see v. 13). He not only can see the future, but also the past and hidden things with divine clarity (see v. 17). A seer “sees” by the power of God that which cannot be seen with the natural eye (see Moses 6:35–36). Each time we sustain the leaders of the Church at a general conference, we recognize the First Presidency of the Church and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.

Conference Center

Studying the Scriptures

Do any two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Mosiah 8.

Activity A iconSend a Message and a Map

Limhi told Ammon of a search party that was sent north to find Zarahemla. They did not find Zarahemla and discovered instead the land of the Jaredites (also called the Land Northward or Desolation).

  1. 1.

    In your notebook, draw a map like the one in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Mosiah 7:1–6 and add a line for the route this search party might have taken (see also the map on p. 203).

  2. 2.

    Suppose you were the leader of that group. Study Mosiah 8:7–11 and write a message describing what you found there.

Activity B iconTell What It Means Today

  1. 1.

    Study Mosiah 8:13–18 and describe the gifts King Mosiah had as a seer that made him more than a prophet (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Mosiah 8:16 for additional help).

  2. 2.

    Review some of the recent messages we have received from our modern prophets, seers, and revelators (from conference addresses, Church magazine and Church News articles, or other sources you have available) and describe some of the truths and dangers that they “see” that most people in the world do not see.

Activity C iconUse the Bible Dictionary

Review Mosiah 8:13–18 and read about the Urim and Thummim in the Bible Dictionary (pp. 786–87). Write a brief summary of what those “interpreters” are used for and who uses them.