Book of Mormon Story: At the Waters of Mormon

“Book of Mormon Story: At the Waters of Mormon,” Friend, May 1996, 48

Book of Mormon Story:
At the Waters of Mormon

(See Mosiah 11–15; Mosiah 17–18:16; 3 Ne. 18:1–6; D&C 20:29, 68–75.)

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love (John 15:10).

King Noah was a wicked man, and he did not like it when the prophet Abinadi told him to repent. He had Abinadi burned to death, but before that happened, the prophet preached the gospel to the king and his wicked priests.

One of Noah’s priests, Alma, believed Abinadi’s words about the future birth and the mission of Jesus Christ, about the need to repent of his sins and obey the commandments. But when Alma pleaded for Abinadi’s life to be spared, Noah and the other priests cast him out and tried to slay him.

Alma repented of his sins, went to a place with water called Mormon, and began to preach the words of Abinadi “privately, that it might not come to the knowledge of the king. And many did believe his words.

“… And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord.” (Mosiah 18:3, 7.)

He also taught them the importance of the ordinance of baptism. When you are baptized in the name of the Lord, he said, you are witnessing “before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you” (Mosiah 18:10).

A man called Helam was one of the first of the people who stepped forward to be baptized. When Alma and Helam stood in the Waters of Mormon, Alma asked the Lord for His authority to perform the ordinance. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Alma, and he said, “Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ” (Mosiah 18:13).

Then both he and Helam were “buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit” (Mosiah 18:14) and “with the grace of God” (Mosiah 18:16).

About 180 years later, when Jesus Christ visited the people who then lived in Zarahemla, He introduced the sacrament and told them, “This shall ye always observe to do” (3 Ne. 18:6). He has told us to be baptized and to partake of the sacrament. When we do these things, we are obeying His commandments and, like Alma and Helam, we can rejoice, “being filled with the Spirit” and “with the grace of God.”

Illustrated by Jerry Harston