“Lesson 64: Mosiah 23–24,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 64,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
After Alma and his people fled from the army of King Noah, they established a righteous city. Even though they had become converted to the gospel, they experienced afflictions and challenges. The Lamanites put them in bondage. As Alma and his people exercised faith and patience, the Lord eased their burdens and eventually delivered them from bondage. (Note that Mosiah 23–24 covers approximately the same time period as Mosiah 19–22.)
Show students the picture Alma Baptizes in the Waters of Mormon (62332; Gospel Art Book , no. 76). Invite a student to tell the class what he or she knows about the man who is baptizing the others in the picture. (If students have trouble responding, you might suggest that they read the chapter summary for Mosiah 18 to remind them of the account of Alma and his people at the Waters of Mormon.)
Divide students into pairs. Invite each partnership to take turns reading to each other from Mosiah 23:1–5, 19. Ask them to look for phrases that show how the Lord blessed Alma and his people as they repented and chose to live righteously. (You might want to suggest that they mark these phrases.) Ask students to report what they have found.
Invite students to look at their diagrams showing the overview of journeys in Mosiah 7–24. Instruct them to draw the land of Helam on their diagrams in the appropriate location. Also have them draw an arrow from the Waters of Mormon to the land of Helam, and have them label this arrow “Alma and his people depart.” (For the complete diagram, see the appendix at the end of this manual.)
Briefly explain that in Mosiah 23:6–14, we read that Alma rejected the people’s request that he become their king. Invite a student to read Mosiah 23:9–10, 12 aloud. Ask the class to look for Alma’s description of the effect King Noah had on him and his people. Ask students to report what they have found.
What do the phrases “caught in a snare” and “bound with the bands of iniquity” teach about the effects of sin?
Why is it helpful for us to recognize the influences that have led us to sin in the past?
After we repent, why might it be important to remember how “sore” repentance can be?
Ask a student to read Mosiah 23:13 aloud. Point out Alma’s counsel to “stand fast in this liberty wherewith ye have been made free.”
How does this counsel apply to the process of repentance? (Help students understand that once the Lord has delivered us from sin and we experience the freedom of forgiveness, we must make righteous choices to maintain that liberty.)
Invite students to search Mosiah 23:14–18 silently, looking for some of the things Alma taught the people to do to maintain their liberty. Ask a few students to report what they find.
Invite a student to read Mosiah 23:19–20 aloud. Ask the class to identify the phrase that indicates that the Lord blessed the people when they chose to live righteously (“prosper exceedingly”).
How would you summarize what you have learned from the experience of Alma and his people? (Among other truths, students may say that when we repent and choose to live righteously, the Lord will bless us and free us from the bonds of iniquity.)
When have you seen this principle fulfilled in your life or in the life of a friend or family member? (Remind students that they do not need to share experiences that are too personal or private.)
To help students understand that those who are righteous must still experience trials, ask students to think of a time in their lives when they could relate to the following statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Testing … is needed even when you are living a worthy, righteous life and are obedient to [God’s] commandments. Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously” (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16).
Ask students to search Mosiah 23:21–22 to discover why the Lord would allow those who are choosing to live righteously to experience trials and adversity. As students report what they have found, help them understand that the Lord will try our patience and faith to help us increase our trust in Him.
Invite students to write the following questions in their scripture study journals or class notebooks. Ask them to ponder these questions as they study the rest of Mosiah 23. They should not write their answers until you prompt them to do so later in the lesson.
What trials are you currently experiencing?
How can you exercise faith and trust in God during your times of trial?
Ask students to read Mosiah 23:23–29. Invite them to look for ways Alma and his people were tried and what they did to show their trust in God.
How can praying and following the counsel of a prophet help us during a trial? (They can help us increase in patience and faith. They can also help us receive strength, personal revelation, peace, and confidence so we can endure our trials or find deliverance from them.)
To help students understand Amulon’s relationship with the Lamanites and their king, summarize Mosiah 23:30–39 and 24:1–7. Explain that Amulon was the leader of the wicked priests of King Noah, who had cast Alma out for supporting Abinadi. Amulon, along with the other wicked priests and their Lamanite wives, had joined the Lamanites. Amulon gained the favor of the Lamanite king, who then appointed him to rule over all the Nephites in the land of Helam, including Alma’s people.
Invite a student to the front of the room, and ask him or her to put on an empty backpack. (The student will need his or her scriptures.) Ask the student how easy it would be to carry the empty backpack for the rest of the day. Invite this student to read Mosiah 24:8–11 aloud. Each time the student reads about something that would have been a trial for Alma and his people, put a rock or other heavy object into the backpack. When the student has finished reading, ask him or her how easy it would be to carry the loaded backpack for the rest of the day. (The student should remain at the front of the class and wear the heavy backpack until directed to sit down.) Ask the class:
What could the rocks or heavy objects in the backpack represent in our lives?
How do these types of burdens affect us?
Ask a student to read Mosiah 24:10–12 aloud. Invite the class to look for what the people of Alma did to receive help with their burdens. Invite students to explain what they find.
How can prayer help us when we have difficult burdens?
When we experience trials, why might it be comforting to know that God knows the “thoughts of [our] hearts”?
Invite students to read Mosiah 24:13–15 to find out what happened to the people of Alma as they continued to pray for help.
What did the Lord promise to do for the people of Alma? (As students respond, you might ask another student or two to lift the bottom of the backpack to ease the burden of the student carrying it—to symbolize how the Lord can lighten our burdens.) How did this promise relate to the covenant they had made at the Waters of Mormon? (See Mosiah 18:8–10.)
Why is it helpful to know that the Lord doesn’t always immediately remove our burdens or take away our challenges?
What can we learn from the way Alma and his people responded to their trials?
When have you felt that the Lord has given you strength to endure a trial or carry a burden?
Invite students to read Mosiah 24:16–17, 21 silently. Ask them to find words and phrases that further describe how the people responded to their trials and how the Lord helped them. Invite one or two students to explain in their own words any connections they see between the actions of the people and the actions of the Lord. Write the following principle on the board: When we submit patiently to the will of the Lord, He will strengthen us and deliver us from our trials in His time.
Invite the student at the front of the class to remove the backpack. Ask him or her to describe how it feels to be free of the burden. Invite the same student to read Mosiah 24:21–22. You might ask the student to share how he or she can relate to what the people did in these verses.
Summarize Mosiah 24:18–25 by explaining that Alma and his people were able to escape because the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites. The Lord then led Alma and his people to Zarahemla, where King Mosiah welcomed them with joy. Alma and his people “poured out their thanks to God,” knowing that “none could deliver them except it were the Lord their God” (Mosiah 24:21; see also Mosiah 25:16).
On their diagrams depicting the overview of journeys in Mosiah 7–24, have students draw an arrow from the land of Helam to the land of Zarahemla. Instruct them to label this journey “Alma’s people escape.”
To conclude, invite students to write responses to the two questions they wrote in their scripture study journals earlier in the lesson. Ask them to reflect on their trials and how they can exercise faith and trust in God to help them endure. Share your testimony that if we submit patiently to the will of the Lord, He will strengthen us and deliver us from our trials in His time. You may also want to invite students to share examples of how the Lord has strengthened them in their trials.
They were placed in bondage after much bloodshed (see Mosiah 21:5–13).
They were placed in bondage with no bloodshed (see Mosiah 23:35–38).
The Lord was slow to hear their cries because of their iniquities (see Mosiah 21:15).
The Lord answered their prayers quickly (see Mosiah 23:10–13).
Their burdens were eased because the Lord softened the hearts of the Lamanites (see Mosiah 21:15).
The Lord strengthened them so they could bear their burdens with ease (see Mosiah 24:14–15).
The Lord told them, “Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage” (Mosiah 24:16).
They got the guards drunk (see Mosiah 22:10).
The Lord caused the guards to sleep (see Mosiah 24:19).
Even though the people who followed Alma had repented and been faithful, the Lord allowed them to be temporarily oppressed by the Lamanites as a trial of their patience and faith.
Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that everything we experience teaches us valuable lessons:
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle , 98).
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles further explained the value and purpose of trials:
“When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Prov. 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain” (“Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16–17).
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged us to rely on the Lord when we face challenges:
“The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you” (“Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, 25).