Chapter 22: Mosiah 25–29

Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, (2009), 79–81


Introduction

During this period of Book of Mormon history, the prophet Alma faced significant challenges in the Church. Many of the rising generation were not converted to the gospel and would not believe the words of the prophets. Alma the Younger and the four sons of King Mosiah were among those who did not believe, and they went about seeking to destroy the Church of God. Through fervent prayer, Alma received direction from the Lord on how to proceed regarding those who dissented from the Church. Throughout this lesson, you can help students see the change that comes through repentance and conversion. Students will see that people who are converted give faithful service throughout their lives.

Some Doctrines and Principles

  • Church discipline can help sinners repent and return to full fellowship in the Church (see Mosiah 26).

  • Through the Atonement we can be born again (see Mosiah 27).

  • Conversion increases our desire to share the gospel (see Mosiah 27:32–37; 28:1–8).

  • Citizens have a duty to uphold righteous laws and leaders (see Mosiah 29).

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 26:1–4. The Rising Generation

Explain that the beliefs shared by the people who heard King Benjamin’s sermon were rejected by many of their children. Have the students read Mosiah 5:1–5 and Mosiah 26:1–4 silently, comparing the feelings of the people in King Benjamin’s day with the feelings of many of the rising generation during the reign of King Benjamin’s son Mosiah.

  • According to Mosiah 26:3, why did many in the rising generation harden their hearts?

  • In what ways might you help the next generation develop a testimony of the gospel as you have?

Mosiah 26. Church Discipline Can Help Sinners Repent and Return to Full Fellowship in the Church

This teaching idea focuses on Church disciplinary councils, a topic that can lead to difficult questions. Be careful to keep the discussion within the bounds of the approved material in this manual and in the student manual. You may also refer to the brief entry titled “Church Disciplinary Councils” on pages 37–38 in True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference. If students have questions that would require you to go beyond this approved material, politely explain that this is a sacred and sensitive topic that might not be appropriate to discuss in-depth in the classroom. Suggest that they talk with their priesthood leader.

Write the following on the board:

committed sin—verse 6

judged—verses 12, 29

admonished—verse 6

repented—verse 35

witnesses against—verse 9

numbered among the people—verse 35

taken in divers iniquities—verse 11

not numbered among the people—verse 36

Invite students to scan Mosiah chapter 26 and locate the words listed on the board. Ask the students what they think this chapter is about. As they share their ideas, ensure that they understand that Alma had authority over the Church and that Mosiah, as king, had authority over the government. King Mosiah explained that he would deal with civil crimes but that Alma was responsible to deal with serious transgressions among Church members.

Write Church Discipline on the board.

  • What does the word discipline mean?

Share the following statement by Elder Theodore M. Burton (1907–89), who served as a member of the Seventy:

“It saddens me when I hear how some of our members and even sometimes our local leaders treat people who have to be disciplined for transgression. I realize there is a tendency to equate the word discipline with the word punish, but there is a difference between these words. In English … the word discipline has the same root as the word disciple. A disciple is a student, to be taught. In dealing with transgressors, we must remember that they desperately need to be taught” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1985, 81–82; or Ensign, Nov. 1985, 65).

  • According to Elder Burton, what is the purpose of Church discipline?

Invite a student to read Mosiah 26:6, 9–13.

  • Why was Alma “troubled in his spirit”?

  • What did Alma do to learn how to judge the people?

Invite a student to read Mosiah 26:28–32.

  • What two instances of confession and forgiveness does the Lord mention in verse 29?

  • What do these verses teach about the Lord’s purposes for Church discipline?

  • What blessings come to those who fully repent?

  • In what ways can we consider Church discipline an act of love?

Point out that in verse 32, the Lord explains that those who do not repent are not to be numbered with those of the Church. However, this does not mean that Church leaders and members should stop serving and loving them.

To help students increase in their understanding of Church discipline, you may want to invite them to read the statement by Elder Theodore M. Burton on page 166 in the student manual.

Testify of the Savior’s willingness to forgive when we repent and of our need to be worthy to enjoy the blessings of membership in His Church.

Mosiah 27. Through the Atonement We Can Be Born Again

This teaching suggestion shows how our faith in Jesus Christ activates the healing power of the Atonement in our lives. It focuses on the change of heart that Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah experienced. It does not focus on all the events and experiences that led to their conversion. If some students are unfamiliar with those parts of the story, you could ask another student to briefly summarize the account.

On the board, draw your culture’s symbol for the heart. Write the word change in the middle of the heart. Ask students what it means to have a change of heart.

Have students read Mosiah 27:8–10, 32–37. Ask them to contrast the behavior of Alma the Younger and the four sons of Mosiah before and after their change of heart.

  • In what ways did these five men change?

  • What evidence do we find in verses 32–37 that their change was sincere and lasting?

Read Mosiah 27:24–29 with students.

  • In these verses, what words describe being “born again”?

  • How does living the gospel change our nature?

  • What indication did Alma give that repentance is not easy?

Help students understand that even though Alma and the sons of Mosiah seemed to change suddenly, the rebirth process does not come all at once for most of us.

Ask a student to read Alma 5:46.

  • What else did Alma declare was part of his conversion?

With students, read President Ezra Taft Benson’s explanation on page 166 in the student manual.

  • What did President Benson say about the conversion process?

Help students realize that the change that comes to a person by being born again is a direct result of applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Invite students to share their feelings about experiencing a change of heart.

Mosiah 27:32–37; 28:1–8. Conversion Increases Our Desire to Share the Gospel

Invite students to think of a time when they wanted to tell someone about good news, a beautiful sight, or a wonderful experience.

  • Why do we like to share good things with others?

Put the following chart on the board. Have students copy the chart on a piece of paper and complete it by working individually or in pairs.

 

What was the experience?

Who experienced it?

What did they desire after the experience?

1 Nephi 8:2–12

   

Enos 1:1–9, 19

   

Mosiah 28:1–4

   
  • How are these three accounts similar?

Write D&C 88:81 on the board beneath the chart. Have a student read that verse.

  • In Mosiah 28:3–4, we read about the motives that the sons of Mosiah had for sharing the gospel. How can these motives help us keep the commandment in Doctrine and Covenants 88:81?

  • What difference does it make to serve with these motives?

Encourage students to think of ways they can share the gospel.

Mosiah 29. Citizens Have a Duty to Uphold Righteous Laws and Leaders

Divide the class into three groups. All the groups will study Mosiah 29:1–36, but each group will look for something different. Ask the first group to look for information about righteous kings, the second group to look for information about unrighteous kings, and the last group to look for information about judges. After each group has had enough time, invite a student from each group to report to the rest of the class. You might want to summarize the groups’ reports on the board, using a format such as the one below:

Three Kinds of Rulers

Righteous Kings

Unrighteous Kings

Judges

(Student Answers)

(Student Answers)

(Student Answers)

Summarize this student activity by asking the following questions:

  • What can be expected of righteous kings?

  • What happens to the people when unrighteous kings rule?

  • What rules associated with the reign of judges helped ensure the protection of the people’s rights?

Have a student read Mosiah 29:27.

  • When can a government by the voice of the people fail?

  • According to this verse, what is the ultimate result of such failure?

Explain that in a government such as the one described in Mosiah 29, the burden to choose good laws and righteous leaders rests on the citizens of the nation (see D&C 98:10). You may want to have students read the statements by Elder Neal A. Maxwell and President Boyd K. Packer on page 169 in the student manual. The statement by Elder Maxwell is also available on the companion DVD A.

Conclude the lesson by reading Proverbs 29:2.

Bear testimony of this truth, and consider sharing examples of this truth that you have seen or heard about. Encourage students to be constructively active in the political process as permitted within the laws of their nation and community.