Mosiah 7–8

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 107–109


Introduction

King Mosiah and his people wondered what had become of a large group of people who had left Zarahemla years earlier to return to the land of Nephi (see Omni 1:27–30). Sixteen men under the direction of Ammon embarked on a journey to find the group. Mosiah 7–8 records Ammon’s journey to the land of Nephi.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • The scriptures contain many types and shadows of the life of Jesus Christ (see Mosiah 7:1–8, 16; see also Moses 6:63).

  • Disobedience can lead to temporal and spiritual bondage. Those who trust in the Lord and serve Him will enjoy temporal and spiritual freedom (see Mosiah 7:17–33; see also Alma 36:27; 38:5).

  • A seer is a revelator and a prophet whose power is a gift from God. A seer can translate unknown languages and can know the past, the future, and hidden things (see Mosiah 8:6–18).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 59–61.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 7:1–5. Several different groups traveled from Zarahemla to the land of Nephi. (5–10 minutes)

Draw on the board the map “Seven Journeys in the Book of Mosiah” found in the appendix (p. 298), or give it to students as a handout. Explain that the book of Mosiah includes accounts of seven major journeys, and that today they are going to study the first two. Read Omni 1:27 and tell students that in about 200 B.C. a large number of Nephites wanted to return to the land of Nephi. Read Mosiah 9:1 and ask:

  • Why was Zeniff sent to spy on the Lamanites?

  • Read Omni 1:28 and Mosiah 9:2. What caused contention in the group after Zeniff made his report?

  • What was the fate of this expedition?

Show the course of this ill-fated expedition on the map. Explain that Zeniff later mounted a second, more successful expedition to the land of Nephi. Have students read Omni 1:29 and Mosiah 9:3, and ask:

  • Why did Zeniff organize the second expedition?

  • Why did this expedition meet with much affliction? (see Mosiah 9:3).

  • Read Mosiah 9:4–7. What lands did the Lamanites leave to make room for the new colony?

  • Read Mosiah 7:9. Who was the first king of this colony? How was he chosen?

Show the course of Zeniff’s journey on the map.

Have students look up the scripture references included with the map for all seven of the major journeys in the book of Mosiah. Invite them to write the names of the journeys in the margins of their scriptures.

(Note: This overview will help students better understand what they read as they study these chapters of Mosiah. Consider displaying the map in the room throughout your study of the book of Mosiah. The questions in this teaching suggestion are adapted from the commentary for Mosiah 7:1–14; 8:7–21 in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122 [pp. 59–61]. The Book of Mormon Student Manual includes similar questions for the other seven journeys that you could use if desired.)

Have students read the chapter heading for Mosiah 7 to briefly review what happens in this chapter.

Mosiah 7:1–8, 16. The scriptures contain many types and shadows of the life of Jesus Christ. (15–20 minutes)

(Note: This teaching suggestion covers some of the same material as the teaching suggestion for Mosiah 11–17 [p. 119]. This one uses Ammon as an example, and the other uses Abinadi. You could use either one of the teaching suggestions, or use both to reinforce how types in the scriptures serve to remind us of Christ.)

Write on the board What is the purpose of the Book of Mormon? Discuss the question with students. Point out the full title of the Book of Mormon from the introduction (The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ). Invite students to read 2 Nephi 25:26, and repeat the question on the board. Share the statement by President Ezra Taft Benson from the teaching suggestion for the title page of the Book of Mormon (p. 17).

Show students a rock, a clear glass of water, and a piece of bread. Write the following references on the board: Helaman 5:12; Jeremiah 17:13; John 6:47–51. Ask students to read the verses and discuss ways a rock, water, and bread could represent, or be types of, Jesus Christ. Read the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve: “A type … is a likeness or reminder of something else” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 51; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 37).

Invite students to read Moses 6:63 and find how many of God’s creations are types of Christ. Help students understand that events in the scriptures can also serve as types of Christ. For example, there are several parallels between the account of Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice and our Heavenly Father offering His Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice (see Jacob 4:5). By looking for parallels in the scriptures to the life and mission of Jesus Christ, we can learn more about Him and better remember Him. Share the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“No doubt there are many events in the lives of many prophets that set those righteous persons apart as types and shadows of their Messiah. It is wholesome and proper to look for similitudes of Christ everywhere and to use them repeatedly in keeping him and his laws uppermost in our minds” (The Promised Messiah, 453).

Invite students to read Mosiah 7:1–8, 16 and look for parallels to the life of Jesus Christ. Use the accompanying chart to help your discussion. (You could show it on an overhead projector or give it to students as a handout.)

Ammon

Jesus Christ

Parallel

Mosiah 7:2

John 5:36

The king sent Ammon. Heavenly Father sent Jesus.

Mosiah 7:3

Psalm 24:8

Both Ammon and Jesus are described as mighty and strong.

Mosiah 7:4, 16

Matthew 4:1–2

Both experienced forty days of hunger, thirst, and fatigue.

Mosiah 7:6

Matthew 26:37

Both took three others and went a little further.

Mosiah 7:7

John 18:12

Both were bound and taken away.

Mosiah 7:8

Luke 23:7

Both were brought before kings and questioned.

Mosiah 7:18; see also Mosiah 22:11

D&C 138:23

Ammon led the people out of physical bondage. Jesus delivers the people from death and hell.

Review Elder McConkie’s statement above. Refer students to the sacrament prayer (see Moroni 4:3) and ask: How could looking for types and shadows help us “always remember him”? Read Doctrine and Covenants 52:14 and look for another blessing that comes from looking for types. Ask: How could avoiding deception help you in your life? Read with students Ether 12:41 and look for a blessing that comes to those who seek Jesus Christ. Ask: How long will that grace abide with those who seek Him? Read 3 Nephi 27:27 and ask:

  • According to this verse, who should we strive to be like?

  • Who do you know who seems Christlike?

  • What does this person do that reminds you of the Savior?

Ask students to consider the following questions:

  • What traits do you have that are like the Savior’s?

  • What could you do to make your life more like His?

Encourage students to look for types of the Savior in the scriptures and the world around them.

Mosiah 8:6–18. A seer is a revelator and a prophet whose power is a gift from God. A seer can translate unknown languages and can know the past, the future, and hidden things. (10–15 minutes)

Draw on the board some of the following characters copied by Joseph Smith from the gold plates:

Book of Mormon characters

Invite students to imagine how Joseph Smith must have felt after being given the difficult task of translating the gold plates. Have them read Joseph Smith—History 1:62 and look for what the Lord gave Joseph to help him translate the Book of Mormon. Explain that today they will learn about the Urim and Thummim and those who used it. Read Mosiah 8:6–17 and ask:

  • What question did King Limhi ask Ammon? (see v. 6).

  • What had King Limhi commanded a group of forty-three people to do? (see v. 7).

  • Why did King Limhi want someone who could translate unknown languages? (see vv. 8–9, 12).

  • By what power was King Mosiah able to translate? (see vv. 13–14; to clarify what the interpreters described in verse 13 are, read the Bible Dictionary entry for “seer” [p. 771]).

  • What is a person called who possesses this power to translate? (see v. 13).

Share the following statement by Elder John A. Widtsoe, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“A seer is one who sees with spiritual eyes. He perceives the meaning of that which seems obscure to others; therefore he is an interpreter and clarifier of eternal truth. He foresees the future from the past and the present. This he does by the power of the Lord operating through him directly, or indirectly with the aid of divine instruments such as the Urim and Thummim. In short, he is one who sees, who walks in the Lord’s light with open eyes” (Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham, 3 vols. in 1 [1960], 258).

Ask:

  • What did King Limhi say about the value of a seer? (see v. 15).

  • What did Ammon say to help King Limhi better understand seers? (see v. 16).

  • What does a seer know? (see v. 17).

Share with the class the following from the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple:

“I then made a short address, and called upon the several quorums, and all the congregation of Saints, to acknowledge the Presidency as Prophets and Seers, and uphold them by their prayers. They all covenanted to do so, by rising.

“I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the Twelve Apostles, who were present, as Prophets, Seers, Revelators, and special witnesses to all the nations of the earth, … and uphold them by their prayers, which they assented to by rising” (History of the Church, 2:417).

Ask:

  • Who do we sustain today as prophets, seers, and revelators? (The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.)

  • How does understanding the calling and authority these men have affect the way we receive their counsel?