“May 18–24. Mosiah 25–28: ‘They Were Called the People of God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“May 18–24. Mosiah 25–28,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Some class members may be struggling to have consistent personal and family scripture study. Would the experiences of other class members help? Perhaps you could begin your class by inviting class members to share something they did in their personal or family study that worked well.
Repentance and forgiveness are recurring themes in these chapters. You could explore these themes by writing Repentance and Forgiveness on the board and asking class members to list under those headings what comes to mind when they think of these words. Then they could search Mosiah 26:22–24, 29–31; and 27:23–37 for words and phrases that teach them about repentance and forgiveness. Class members could add these words and phrases to the lists on the board. How does God feel about those who repent and seek forgiveness?
Some people may wonder if their repentance has been sufficient for God to forgive them. To help any in your class who might feel that way, you could invite class members to imagine that they are Alma the Elder and that a member of the Church in Zarahemla has asked them how to obtain forgiveness of his or her sins (maybe you could role-play this scenario). What did Alma learn from the Lord in Mosiah 26:15–31 that could help this Church member? (see also Moroni 6:8; Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43). This statement from President Henry B. Eyring could also help: “If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost today, you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life” (“Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times,” Ensign, June 2007, 23).
Many of us can relate to the feelings of Alma the Elder, whose son was “rebelling against God” (Mosiah 27:11). Perhaps class members could discuss how they might use the account in Mosiah 27:8–24 to give hope to someone who has a wayward family member. Understanding that we cannot demand a miracle or override someone’s agency, what can we appropriately pray for when a loved one goes astray? (see also Alma 6:6).
Here are some questions that could help class members learn about being born again: What does it mean to be spiritually reborn? (see Bible Dictionary, “Conversion”). How do we strive to act toward others when we are spiritually reborn? To help class members answer these questions, you could invite them to search Mosiah 27:22–28:4 for signs that Alma and the sons of Mosiah had been spiritually reborn.
Everyone has a conversion story, for as Alma said, “all mankind … must be born again” (Mosiah 27:25; italics added). Maybe a few class members could share how they became converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ—whether through powerful spiritual events in their lives or through a gradual, sometimes imperceptible process that might be recognized only in hindsight. You could also give class members time in class to record their experiences. (If there isn’t time to do this in class, you could suggest that they do it at home.) To emphasize that our conversion should be ongoing, you might suggest that class members periodically review what they wrote and add new experiences.
Alma and others throughout the scriptures have used the metaphor of being born again to describe the change that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings to our lives. Elder David A. Bednar compared this change to a cucumber becoming a pickle (see “Additional Resources”). To help class members ponder what these comparisons teach about conversion, you could bring a cucumber and a pickle to class. Or you could invite someone to bring a baby and discuss why birth is a good analogy for what happened to Alma and the sons of Mosiah. (See Mosiah 27:23–28:7.)
To inspire class members to read Mosiah 29–Alma 4 next week, you might mention to them that in these chapters, the people of Nephi were given a voice in their government. What can we learn from their experiences as we try to influence our communities for good?
Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught: “Being born again, unlike our physical birth, is more a process than an event. And engaging in that process is the central purpose of mortality” (“Born Again,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 78).
Elder David A. Bednar shared the following analogy comparing spiritual rebirth to pickling cucumbers:
“A pickle is a cucumber that has been transformed according to a specific recipe and series of steps. The first steps in the process of changing a cucumber into a pickle are preparing and cleaning. …
“The next steps in this process of change are immersing and saturating the cucumbers in salt brine for an extended period of time. … Cucumbers can only become pickles if they are totally and completely immersed in the brine for the prescribed time period. The curing process gradually alters the composition of the cucumber and produces the transparent appearance and distinctive taste of a pickle. An occasional sprinkle of or dip in the brine cannot produce the necessary transformation. Rather, steady, sustained, and complete immersion is required for the desired change to occur.
“The final step in the process requires the sealing of the cured pickles in jars that have been sterilized and purified. The pickles are packed in canning jars, covered with boiling hot brine, and processed in a boiling-water-bath canner. All impurities must be removed from both the pickles and the bottles so the finished product can be protected and preserved. …
“Just as a cucumber must be prepared and cleaned before it can be changed into a pickle, so you and I can be prepared with ‘the words of faith and of good doctrine’ (1 Timothy 4:6) and initially cleansed through the ordinances and covenants administered by the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood. …
“Just as a cucumber is transformed into a pickle as it is immersed in and saturated with salt brine, so you and I are born again as we are absorbed by and in the gospel of Jesus Christ. … This phase of the transformation process requires time, persistence, and patience. …
“The boiling-water-bath procedure enables the pickles to be both protected and preserved over a long period of time. In a similar way, we progressively become purified and sanctified as you and I are washed in the blood of the Lamb, are born again, and receive the ordinances and honor the covenants that are administered by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood” (“Ye Must Be Born Again,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 19–21).