Lesson 19: Mosiah 18-24
Verse 1: Many of the conversion stories in the Book of Mormon are more detailed and more dramatic than this brief description of Alma’s repentance. (Compare Enos’s story and Alma the younger’s, for example.) Why might this story be told so briefly?
Verses 1-2: What has Alma learned from Abinadi’s sermons?
Verses 3-7: Alma hides by day and, evidently, preaches at night. Though he preaches in secret, a good many people hear his teaching. Yet, the king’s men cannot find him. What might this say about the relation of the king to the people?
Verses 6-7: Those who believed Alma went to the waters of Mormon to hear him. Evidently the teachings he gave in secret were fairly limited in scope. What might he have taught that motivated people to go to the waters of baptism to hear about repentance, redemption, and faith?
Verses 8-9: Notice the qualifications Alma lists for baptism:
1. That they desire to come into the fold of God
2. That they desire to be called God’s people
3. That they be willing to bear one another’s burdens that they might be light; i.e. that they might mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who need comfort
4. That they do these things so that they can stand as witnesses of God in all times and places until they die,
a. so that they may be redeemed and numbered in the first resurrection and
b. so that they may have eternal life.
The first two of these are explained fairly fully in King Benjamin’s sermon. The fourth obviously parallels what we have just seen Abinadi do. 4a and 4b (which may be the same thing) are obviously necessary to preaching repentance; we’ve seen them before. The third, however, is new in the Book of Mormon, though it anticipates what will be preached later. Why might Alma introduce this idea here?
Verse 10: He baptizes them so they can covenant to serve and obey the Lord and so the Lord can pour out his Spirit on them. Why can’t/won’t the Lord pour out his Spirit on them if they aren’t baptized?
Verses 21-29: Notice that these verses discussing the commandments that Alma gave them begin with the commandment to be one and end with a description of that unity. The theme of unity acts as parenthesis around the commandments. What might that tell us about our obedience and worship?
Verse 17: What do the scriptures mean when they say that a person is just? Does “just” mean the same as “righteous”? (For comparison, look at the scriptures that use the phrase “just man”: Genesis 6:9; Proverbs 9:9; 20:7; 24:16; Ecclesiastes 7:15, 20; Matthew 1:19; 27:19; Mark 6:20; Acts 10:22; Enos 1:1; Omni 1:25; Mosiah 2:4; 19:17; Alma 63:2; 3 Nephi 3:12; 8:1; D&C 129:6, 7; Moses 8:27.)
What does this chapter teach us about the Lamanites?
Verses 2-12: What’s the difference between these people who fight for their freedom so unsuccessfully and the people of General Moroni’s time who fight for their freedom successfully?
Verses 7-8: How do you explain Alma’s teaching here? On the one hand, he says if they had just men for kings, it would be good to have a king, implying that having a king can be a good thing. On the other hand, he tells them they shouldn’t have a king because they have been commanded that no one should think himself superior to another. Is it possible to have a king without that king thinking himself superior to his subjects? What would it take?
Verses 21-23: Notice the introduction that the writer gives to the Lamanties capture of the land of Helam. The Lord was chastening and trying his people, but those who trust the Lord will be delivered (for the Lord is the only one who can save). What’s the difference between this attitude and that which assumes that the bad things that happen to us are a punishment from the Lord?
Verses 14-15: Does this have anything to do with the covenant of baptism described in Mosiah 18:9?