Chapter 17

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“Chapter 17,” Book of Mormon Teacher Manual (2009), 61–63

“Chapter 17: Enos–Words of Mormon,” Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, 61–63

Chapter 17

Enos–Words of Mormon


Your students are probably already familiar with the account of Enos praying all day and all night. You can help them deepen their understanding of this story. As they read and discuss it, they can learn about efforts and attitudes that can make their prayers more meaningful. They can also see how the blessings of the Atonement affect their lives.

The books of Jarom, Omni, and Words of Mormon document how some of the Nephites struggled because they chose not to follow the teachings of the prophets. As you teach, you can help students see how trusting the Lord and His prophets provides peace even in times of trial and adversity.

Some Doctrines and Principles

Suggestions for Teaching

Enos 1:2–15. Prayer Is Spiritual Communication with God

Book of Mormon (religion 121-122) instructor's guide
Ask the class to tell you everything they know about Enos. Answers might include the following:

  1. He was the son of Jacob, the grandson of Lehi, and the nephew of Nephi.

  2. He was a righteous man.

  3. He prayed all day and night.

  4. The voice of the Lord assured him that his sins were forgiven.

  5. He prayed for the welfare of others.

Divide the class into pairs. Have the pairs read Enos 1:1–5 and work together to find actions and attitudes that make prayer meaningful. After a few minutes, ask students to share what they have found.

Write students’ answers on the board. Invite students to privately write principles from this discussion that will help them improve their personal prayers. For further insights, you might refer to the statements by Elder Robert D. Hales and Elder Neal A. Maxwell on pages 130–31 in the student manual.

Enos 1:5–27. As We Receive Forgiveness for Our Sins through Faith in Christ and the Healing Power of His Atonement, We Desire to Help Others Receive Salvation

Book of Mormon (religion 121-122) instructor's guide
Draw the following diagram on the board:

Desire for the salvation of others

Forgiveness for our sins through the Atonement

Invite a student to read Enos 1:5–8.

  • What feeling let Enos know he had experienced the cleansing power of the Atonement?

  • How can we feel the same power in our life?

Have a student read Enos 1:9–12.

  • Once Enos felt forgiven through the Atonement, whom did he think of next?

  • Why do you think he would begin to think of others?

  • How might this pattern help us?

Explain that when we have been cleansed and changed through the Atonement, we are better prepared to serve others.

Invite students to share examples of individuals whose lives demonstrate a desire for the spiritual welfare of others. Challenge students to seek personal blessings through the power of the Atonement and then to help others receive those blessings as well.

Enos 1:22–23; Jarom 1:10–12; Words of Mormon 1:15–18. Sometimes Leaders Must Warn with Sharpness to Motivate People to Repent

Book of Mormon (religion 121-122) instructor's guide
Show a few illustrations depicting warnings or cautions. (These may include traffic signs, poison warnings, and so on.)

  • Why do we have these warnings?

  • What might be the consequences of not heeding a warning?

Ask students to read Enos 1:22–23.

  • What do you think it means to be “stiffnecked”? If we see this attitude in ourselves, what can we do to change?

Ask students to read Jarom 1:10–12.

  • Why do you think some leaders and teachers are able to remain diligent and long-suffering, even when people reject their message?

Ask students to read Words of Mormon 1:15–18.

  • What does it mean to speak the words of God with power and authority? Why is it sometimes necessary to speak with sharpness?

  • What are some clear warnings our leaders have given us?

  • How can we see sharp warnings as expressions of love?

Encourage students to heed warnings that come from prophets, local priesthood leaders, and parents, who desire their well-being.

Omni 1:12–19. Faithful Saints Will Be Sustained and Led in Times of Trial and Adversity as They Hearken to Prophets

Book of Mormon (religion 121-122) instructor's guide
Before class, prepare the following exercise on the board or on a handout for each student:

  1. What land did Mosiah and his people find?

  2. What did Mosiah have that caused the people of Zarahemla, who were descendants of Mulek, to rejoice?

  3. Where had the people of Zarahemla come from?

  4. What had happened to the language of the people of Zarahemla?

  5. Who became king of both the Nephites and the people of Zarahemla?

  1. Corrupted

  2. Jerusalem

  3. Mosiah

  4. Plates of Brass

  5. Zarahemla

Ask students to read Omni 1:12–19 silently. Invite them to complete the exercise on the board or on their handouts as they read, matching the questions with the corresponding letters. After sufficient time, briefly review the correct answers. (1–E, 2–D, 3–B, 4–A, 5–C.)

  • How were the faithful Saints who followed Mosiah into the wilderness sustained and led from danger?

  • How did the arrival of Mosiah’s people save the people of Zarahemla from spiritual blindness?

  • 1 Nephi 4:13 contains the Lord’s explanation of why Nephi needed to kill Laban and get the brass plates. How does this verse relate to Omni 1:14–17? (Because the people of Zarahemla had not brought records with them, their language had become corrupted and they had lost their belief in God. They were a nation that was dwindling and perishing in unbelief. They rejoiced when they saw that the people of Mosiah had a record of the Jews on the brass plates.)

Explain that being obedient to the prophet’s counsel does not guarantee freedom from all difficulties of life. However, by following the prophet, we can have the assurance that we are on the safest path and that we will be sustained through trials.

Read Doctrine and Covenants 21:4–6 with the class.

  • Why can we have faith in the prophet’s counsel?

  • In what ways has counsel from the prophet helped you through difficult times?

Omni 1:25–26. “Offer Your Whole Souls as an Offering unto Him”

Book of Mormon (religion 121-122) instructor's guide
Have students look in the chapter heading of Omni 1 to determine how many authors contributed to this book. Point out that Amaleki, the fifth author, was the last to contribute to the small plates of Nephi and wrote more than half of the book of Omni (see Omni 1:12–30).

Invite students to read Omni 1:25–26 silently. Instruct them to underline (or list on a separate piece of paper) specific items of exhortation and counsel that Amaleki gave. After sufficient time, invite students to share what they found.

  • What significance do you find in the repeated invitation to “come”?

  • What do you feel is the relationship between coming unto Christ and offering our “whole souls as an offering unto him”?

Share the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), the 13th President of the Church:

“God loves us. He is watching us. He wants us to succeed. We will know some day that He has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. … This is our day to show what we can do—what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly make for God. If we give our all, we will get His all from the greatest of all” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” Ensign, Dec. 1988, 6).

Why must we offer our “whole souls” to receive the blessings of salvation?

Ask students to silently consider what they can sacrifice this week to come unto God more completely. Testify of the blessings that come from accepting the Lord’s invitation to come unto Him.

Words of Mormon 1:1–9. The Lord Knows All Things That Are to Come

Book of Mormon (religion 121-122) instructor's guide
Invite students to find the dates that correspond to the book of Omni and the Words of Mormon and note the difference between when the book of Omni was written and when Words of Mormon was written. Explain that Words of Mormon contains some of Mormon’s comments about his compilation of the sacred records of his people.

Ask several students to read Words of Mormon 1:1–9, one or two verses per student.

  • What did Mormon feel impressed to do with the small plates he found? Why?

  • What event in Church history illustrates why the Lord inspired Mormon to add this record at this point?

Ask a student to read the introduction to Doctrine and Covenants 10.

  • How were Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon protected by Mormon’s inclusion of the small plates of Nephi? How have we been blessed because of Mormon’s inclusion of these plates?

Encourage students to highlight the phrase “the Lord knoweth all things which are to come” in Words of Mormon 1:7.

  • How does it help you to know that the Lord knows all things? How can this understanding influence our faith in the Lord and His plan for each of us?

Refer students to the statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell on page 135 in the student manual.

Invite students to share experiences that have helped them recognize Heavenly Father’s awareness of their future needs. You may also want to share your own feelings about how you have seen the foreknowledge of God working in your life.