Lesson 17: Mosiah 7-11
Chapters 7-10 are, for the most part, the story of Ammon, the man who went back to the land of Lehi-Nephi (originally called the land of Nephi) to find out what had become of an earlier group that had returned. If you were to pick two major themes from these chapters, what would they be? What passages would you use to show those themes? Why do you think the Book of Mormon writers gave us this part of the book? We can easily see why we need the clearly “doctrinal” portions, like Benjamin’s sermon. But why do we need the story part of the book?
There is a great deal of moving about in the Book of Mormon, especially in these chapters. These scriptures may help you figure out the migrations.
2 Nephi 1:5
Rather than, one more time, produce more material than you can possibly use, this time I will focus my questions on chapter 11.
Verse 1: Why do you think the scriptures use the metaphor of walking on a path or road (a way) for being obedient? If something about his background might account for Noah’s wickedness, what can you imagine it might be?
Verse 2: How does the description of Noah at the beginning of the verse contrast with Mosiah 5:2. As you read from here through verse 11, think about how Noah and Solomon compare. How are they the same? How are they different? Do you think that the writer makes that comparison intentionally? If so, why?
Verses 3-6: Notice the contrast between Noah and Benjamin. Is this comparison intentional or only our inference as readers? What does it show us?
Verse 7: How does this verse explain idolatry? How does idolatry result from flattery? In our days, what might the cultural equivalent of King Noah’s priests be? How do they flatter us to idolatry?
Verse 12: What’s the point of this tower? Why does the writer tell us about it? How does it contrast with Benjamin’s tower?
Verses 18-19: How does Noah’s attitude about war compare with Moroni’s? Could Noah say, as did Moroni, that he and his soldiers are fighting for religion, their freedom, their peace, their wives, and their children (Alma 46:12)? Why or why not? If he could say something like this, how does he differ from Moroni? How do we avoid being like Noah?
Verse 20: Notice how Abinadi seems to come from nowhere. He has been among them, but no mention is made of his family or of anything else about him. Why not? Why give him such a dramatic entrance? What Old Testament prophets might Abinadi compare to? Hosea? Amos? Others? What are the circumstances in which those prophets appear, and how are they like these circumstances? Why does the Lord use the word “visit” to describe bringing his anger to the Nephites? Isn’t that a strange word to use in such circumstances? It might help to look in an etymological dictionary—like the Oxford English Dictionary—or in a copy of the 1828 Webster’s to see what meanings “visit” had when the Book of Mormon was written.
Verse 21: What is the answer to the problem Noah’s people are having with the Lamanites?
Verse 22: What does the Lord mean when he says he is jealous? Is that only metaphorical, or does he feel jealousy—or is there another alternative?
Verse 25: What does the phrase “repent in sackcloth and ashes” mean to Abinadi? Does it mean the same thing that it means in the Old Testament? Why might you think so? What might be an equivalent phrase for us, given the different way that we mourn today?
Verse 27: Does King Noah’s question about Abinadi tell us something in answer to the question above—verse 20? How can we make sense of Noah’s question about the Lord? Can you think of how someone today might say something with the same meaning?
Verse 28: Noah says Abinadi will raise contentions among the people, implying that there is a relative absence of contention now. In other words, except for the attacks of the Lamanites (whom they’ve just put to route), things are going pretty well for the Nephites right now. Why do you think the Lord sends Abinadi at a time when, in Noah’s eyes and probably in the eyes of his people, everything is going so well? Do you think they will believe what Abinadi says about their destruction, having just rejoiced in their victory over the Lamanites?