Lesson 25: Alma 17-22
Though this week’s lesson contains sermons by prophets, they aren’t its focus. Instead, it is primarily an account of part of the mission of the sons of Mosiah, particularly the missions of Ammon and, to a lesser degree, Aaron. This account makes a good story, with its tale of Ammon’s service to Lamoni and his battle with those who wanted to steal Lamoni’s sheep. We often use that story as an illustration of things such as faithful service or doing missionary work by service. Are those the reasons that the story of Ammon and Lamoni is included in the Book of Mormon? How does this story as a whole (not only the story of Ammon, but also that of Aaron and the other sons of Mosiah) fit in the context of the Book of Mormon and what are that book’s purposes for the story? How do the missionary approaches of Ammon and Aaron compare and contrast?
17:3: What does this verse suggest about what it means to preach “with power and authority of God”?
17:11: As I understand it, here the Lord tells us that to be an instrument in God’s hand is (1) to establish his word and (2) to suffer patiently, and it says that to suffer patiently is to be a good example “in Christ.” What does it mean to establish the word of God? Why “establish” rather than “teach”? Why does being an instrument require patient suffering? What does “patient suffering in Christ” or “good example in Christ” mean? How would that differ from mere patient suffering or good example?
17:18: This verse suggests that administering to someone and imparting the word of God to them mean the same. Why do you think the verse uses the verb “administer” rather than “minister”? Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives this definition of “administer”: “to contribute; to bring aid or supplies; to add something.” Its definition of “minister” is “to attend and serve; to perform service in any office, sacred or secular.” Does either of those help us understand this verse?
17:25ff.: Ammon becomes a servant of the king. Is Ammon a type of Christ? Does this suggest something about what it means to be a Christian?
18:1-4: Why who the people who are reporting Ammon’s deeds to the king less sure that he is the Great Spirit than Lamoni is?
18:10-11: For Lamoni, what is the most important proof that Ammon is the Great Spirit?
18:17, 21: Ammon says, “I will do whatever you ask, if it is right.” Lamoni responds, “I will give you anything you desire.” What is happening?
18:22: What is the thing that Ammon desires of Lamoni and that, given what Lamoni said in verse 21, he is bound to give Ammon?
18:36-39: In verses 23-35 Ammon establishes that Lamoni believes in an all-knowing God and Ammon testifies that he has been sent by that God to teach the people. Then, beginning with Adam, he “laid before [Ammon] the records and the holy scriptures” and the history of the descendants of Lehi. Finally, Ammon teaches the plan of salvation. The outline of his method looks like this: (1) establish that there is an all-knowing God, (2) remind Ammon of the sacred history of his people, and (3) teach the plan of salvation. Why is the first step necessary? How would we do that today? Why is a review of sacred history the second step of Ammon’s preaching? What would be comparable for us today? Are the first two steps necessary to the third? Why? How is Ammon’s sermon to Lamoni related to King Benjamin’s sermon in Mosiah 4?
19:12-13: Why do you think King Lamoni was given the privilege of seeing the Redeemer in vision?
19:29-30: Of what significance is it that this miracle is done by a servant woman, Abish, rather than by Ammon?
19:33: What does it mean to have one’s heart changed and to have no more desire to do evil. (Compare Mosiah 5:2.) Is this an experience that people have today? If so, when? If not, why not?
20:10, 13: What explains the animosity of the Lamanites toward the Nephites? What basis in fact does the accusation have? Why would conversion to the Gospel be the only possible remedy for the accusation?
22:3: What is troubling Lamoni’s father? Why would that trouble him? What does that suggest about our own social and legal obligations?
22:7-14: How does Aaron’s sermon to Lamoni’s father differ from Ammon’s sermon to Lamoni (Alma 18:23-39)? How is it different? Can you explain the difference?
22:14: What does it mean to say that no human being can merit anything of himself?
22:15 How does Lamoni’s father understand what it means to be born again? Can you explain what this means in practical, concrete terms?
22:18: What does “I will give away all my sins” mean? Why use “give away” rather than “forsake,” for example?