“Lesson 56: Mosiah 7–8,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 56,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
Approximately 80 years before King Benjamin’s son Mosiah became king, a man named Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to live in the land of Nephi, which they considered “the land of their inheritance” (see Omni 1:27–30). King Mosiah authorized a man named Ammon to lead a small group to the land of Nephi to learn the fate of Zeniff’s group. Ammon and his companions found the descendants of Zeniff’s group living in bondage to the Lamanites. Zeniff’s grandson Limhi was their king. Ammon’s arrival brought hope to Limhi and his people. Limhi asked Ammon if he could translate the engravings on 24 gold plates his people had discovered. Ammon explained that the king in Zarahemla, King Mosiah, was a seer who could translate those ancient records.
Write the following on the board: mourn: to feel regret or sadness
What are some reasons people might mourn?
Invite a student to read Mosiah 7:24 aloud, and ask the rest of the class to follow along. Point out the phrase “all because of iniquity.” Explain that this verse refers to circumstances that came about because of the unrighteous choices of a group of people. Invite students to ponder whether they have ever mourned regarding a situation that happened “because of iniquity.” Explain that today they will study Mosiah 7–8 to learn about a king named Limhi and the causes of his people’s regret. Invite students to look for what Limhi encouraged his people to do to overcome their sadness.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 7:1 aloud. Ask the class to identify the two locations mentioned in this verse. Copy the first diagram that accompanies this lesson on the board, and invite students to do the same in their scripture study journals or class notebooks. As you use this diagram, explain that the Church has no official position about Book of Mormon geography except that the events occurred in the Americas.
Note: During their study of the book of Mosiah, students will add more details to their diagrams. To ensure that they have enough space to add these details, copy the diagram on the board as shown. Point out the extra space before students begin drawing. (The completed diagram is located in the appendix at the end of this manual.)
Explain that when Lehi’s family arrived in the promised land, they established themselves in the land of Nephi (sometimes referred to as the land of Lehi-Nephi or the land of first inheritance). Shortly after Lehi died, the Lord commanded Nephi to flee into the wilderness, taking all those who would go with him. Nephi’s people continued to live in the land of Nephi but were separated from those who followed Laman and Lemuel. Many years later, the Lord commanded a group of Nephites to flee from the land of Nephi. This group eventually settled in a land called Zarahemla, which was north of the land of Nephi.
Several generations later, a man named Zeniff led a group of Nephites to the land of Nephi to “possess the land of their inheritance” (see Omni 1:27–30). Zeniff had been part of another group that had failed to secure land in that area (see Mosiah 9:1–2). Invite students to draw an arrow from Zarahemla to the land of Nephi and to label it “Nephite group led by Zeniff.” This group left Zarahemla about 80 years before Mosiah became king.
Invite students to scan Mosiah 7:1 again, looking for what Mosiah wanted to know. After they report, invite them to read Mosiah 7:2–3 to find out what Mosiah did to get an answer to his question. Ask students to draw a second arrow from Zarahemla to the land of Nephi, representing the journey of the search party led by Ammon, and to label it accordingly.
Summarize Mosiah 7:4–11 by explaining that Ammon found the city where the descendants of Zeniff’s people lived under the reign of Zeniff’s grandson Limhi. Limhi saw Ammon’s group outside the walls of the city. Thinking they were some of the wicked priests of his deceased father, Noah, he had his guards arrest them and imprison them (see Mosiah 21:23). He questioned them two days later. Ask students to read Mosiah 7:12–15 silently, looking for Limhi’s reaction when he learned who Ammon was and where he was from.
Why was Limhi so happy to learn that Ammon was from the land of Zarahemla?
Refer again to the word mourn on the board. Summarize Mosiah 7:16–19 by explaining that King Limhi gathered his people together to introduce Ammon to them, to speak to them about the causes of their sadness and regret, and to help them know where to turn for deliverance.
Write the word causes on the board under the definition of mourn. Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 7:20–28. Ask the class to find actions that Limhi identified as the causes for his people’s trials and sorrow. (It may be helpful to inform students that the prophet mentioned in Mosiah 7:26 is Abinadi, who was burned to death during the reign of Limhi’s father, Noah.) After the verses have been read, invite a few students to list on the board under causes what they have discovered.
What seems to have been the main cause of this people’s sorrow? (Iniquity, or sin.)
Ask students to read Mosiah 7:29–32 silently. Invite them to choose a phrase that shows Limhi’s understanding of the connection between the people’s sins and the people’s sorrow. (You may need to explain that the word chaff refers to the leftover debris after the grain has been separated from wheat stalks. In Mosiah 7:30, “reap the chaff” means to get something useless.) Invite a few students to read and explain the phrases they have chosen.
How can recognizing the consequences of our sins be helpful to us?
Invite a student to read Mosiah 7:33 aloud. Ask the class to look for what Limhi exhorted his people to do.
What principles can we learn from Limhi and his people about the effect of recognizing and feeling sorrow for our sins? (As students identify truths from this chapter, help them see that recognizing and feeling sorrow for our sins can lead us to turn to the Lord for deliverance. You may want to write this principle on the board.)
To help students better understand this principle, ask them to imagine that they have a loved one who feels remorse for his or her sins and who desires to repent and turn to the Lord but isn’t sure how to do so. Testify that Limhi’s counsel to his people in Mosiah 7:33 contains keys to overcoming the sorrow and regret that accompany sin. Invite students to search Mosiah 7:33 silently, searching for phrases that would help someone know how to “turn to the Lord.” (You might want to suggest that they mark these phrases.)
After sufficient time, invite a few students to share phrases that stand out to them. Have each student explain the meaning of the phrase he or she has chosen by (1) putting it in his or her own words or (2) giving examples of actions or attitudes of someone who is striving to apply the principle expressed by the phrase.
Ask students to ponder whether they have sins of which they have not repented that could be causing sorrow and regret for them and those they love. Invite students to write an answer to the following question in their scripture study journals:
How can you apply Mosiah 7:33 in your life today?
Share your testimony that as we turn to the Lord with our whole hearts and minds, He will deliver us from the mourning that comes from our sins.
Ask two students to come to the front of the class. Blindfold one student, and then place books, pieces of paper, or other harmless objects on the floor across the room. Ask the second student to give verbal instructions to help the first student cross the room without touching any of the objects on the floor. Then have the second student put on the blindfold. Rearrange the objects on the floor, and have the first student give directions. This time, however, the blindfolded student will intentionally disregard the instructions. (Speak to this student secretly before class, and ask him or her to ignore the instructions.)
What is the value of listening to someone who can see things we can’t?
Summarize Mosiah 8:5–12 by explaining that Limhi had sent an expedition to get help from Zarahemla sometime before Ammon’s arrival. The group wandered in the wilderness, and instead of finding Zarahemla, they found the remains of a destroyed civilization. There they discovered 24 gold plates with engravings on them. (You might want to explain that the ruins discovered by Limhi’s people were all that remained of the Jaredite civilization. A record of the Jaredites, taken from the 24 gold plates, is included in the Book of Mormon as the book of Ether.) Add this journey to the diagram on the board, as shown in the illustration on this page. Have students add it to their diagrams as well. Explain that King Limhi wanted to understand the writings that were engraved on the 24 plates. He asked Ammon if he knew of anyone who could translate them.
Invite a student to read Ammon’s response in Mosiah 8:13–15. Ask the class to look for the title Ammon used to indicate a person who has the power to translate such records. Ask students to search Mosiah 8:16–19 silently, looking for additional abilities of a seer. Ask several students to tell what they have found.
Write the following statement on the board: The Lord provides prophets, seers, and revelators to benefit mankind.
How many seers do we have on the earth today? (Fifteen—the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.)
What are some things that prophets, seers, and revelators make known to us? (If students struggle to answer, ask what seers have made known about topics such as marriage and family, education, entertainment and media, or sexual purity.)
How has your life been blessed by modern-day prophets, seers, and revelators?
You may want to tell about how prophets, seers, and revelators have blessed your life. Invite students to read and ponder on their own a recent conference address by a member of the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and to follow the counsel in that address.