Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Sunday, April 26, 2020

“In the Strength of the Lord”



Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog


As we all know we most certainly live in trying times, and we know that there will be more to come as we move closer to the coming of Jesus Christ. So what are we doing to endure, how are we maintaining? Since the changes of the church have occurred and we moved to a home centered Sunday, how are you making your home the center of gospel learning? Have you seen the blessings that come from your efforts? How has this effected your lives? Thinking upon the answers to these questions we come this week to Mosiah 7–10 in the Book of Mormon, as we make a study of this section, lets think about how are lives are going right now. We know its harder than ever before, but these sections of Mosiah can help us to see that as we rely upon the Lord and His counsel He will deliver us. 

History and Background

To understand the historical setting of Mosiah 7–8, you may need to review the events contained in Omni 1:27–30 and the chapter summaries from Mosiah 7–8.

After Lehi’s death, the Lord commanded the followers of Nephi to separate from the followers of Laman. The Nephites settled in a land that they called the land of Nephi 2 Nephi 5:5–8. The land was later also known as “the land of Lehi-Nephi” Mosiah 7:1.

About 400 years later the Nephites were led by a king named Mosiah. The Lord commanded Mosiah to flee from the land of Nephi with “as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord.” Mosiah and his people discovered a group of people called the people of Zarahemla. The two groups of people united and called themselves Nephites. Mosiah was appointed to be their king Omni 1:12–19.

A group of Nephites left the land of Zarahemla to regain part of the land of Nephi Omni 1:27. They obtained land there under the leadership of a man named Zeniff, who became their king Mosiah 9:1–7

About 79 years later King Mosiah II, the grandson of the first King Mosiah, “was desirous to know concerning the people who went to dwell in the land of Lehi-Nephi.” He permitted a man named Ammon to lead an expedition for this purpose (note that this Ammon was not the son of Mosiah who later preached the gospel among the Lamanites). Ammon and his brethren found King Limhi and his people. Limhi was Zeniff’s grandson Mosiah 7:1–11.

In studying these chapters of the Book of Mormon, it will be helpful for us to become familiar with the various journeys recorded in Mosiah 7–24 which occurred during a period of approximately 80 years (200 B.C. to 120 B.C.).  The following shows our current study of chapters 7-10 and provides an overview of these journeys,The information in the shaded boxes on the chart explains what happened between the journeys.
Journey
Who Traveled Where
1
Zeniff and other Nephites traveled from Zarahemla to the land of Nephi, which had become occupied by Lamanites. These Nephites fought among themselves, and the survivors returned to Zarahemla (see Omni 1:27–28; Mosiah 9:1–2).
2
Zeniff and others left Zarahemla and settled in the land of Nephi (see Omni 1:29–30; Mosiah 9:3–7).
Mosiah 7–8 
King Mosiah was the son of King Benjamin, who was the son of the first Mosiah mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Approximately 80 years before Mosiah became king, a man named Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to return to live in the land of Nephi  Omni 1:27–30 Mosiah 7 explains that King Mosiah authorized “a strong and mighty man” named Ammon and a small group to travel to the land of Nephi (sometimes called the land of Lehi-Nephi) and determine the fate of Zeniff’s group. Ammon discovered the descendants of Zeniff’s people, who were now led by Zeniff’s grandson Limhi. Ammon’s arrival brought hope to Limhi and his people, whose iniquities had allowed them to be placed in bondage to the Lamanites. Earlier, while attempting to find Zarahemla and ask for help, a group of Limhi’s people found 24 gold plates with engravings on them. When Limhi asked Ammon if he could translate the engravings, Ammon explained that a seer, like King Mosiah, could translate the ancient records.

During the reign of King Benjamin, Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to settle among the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. Because the king of the Lamanites planned to bring Zeniff’s people into bondage, he allowed them to stay. The Lamanites’ false traditions and hatred of the Nephites eventually led to war. When the Lamanites sought to bring them into bondage, Zeniff’s people turned to the Lord, who strengthened them and helped them drive the Lamanites from their land.


Part 1 Mosiah 7:14–33 If we turn to the Lord, trust Him, and serve Him, He will deliver us

Have you ever wanted to be delivered from bad feelings, a painful situation, a challenging or oppressive circumstance, or guilt from sin? The experiences of Limhi’s people can inspire each of us to repent and turn to the Lord for deliverance. They teach us where to seek it, how to invite it, and even how to wait for it. 

In an overview of this chapter approximately 60 years before King Benjamin’s son Mosiah became king, a man named Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to live in the land of Nephi, which they considered “the land of their inheritance” Omni 1:27–30. King Mosiah authorized a man named Ammon to lead a small group to the land of Nephi to learn the fate of Zeniff’s group. Ammon and his companions found the descendants of Zeniff’s group living in bondage to the Lamanites. Zeniff’s grandson Limhi was their king. Ammon’s arrival brought hope to Limhi and his people. Limhi asked Ammon if he could translate the engravings on 24 gold plates his people had discovered. Ammon explained that the king in Zarahemla, King Mosiah, was a seer who could translate those ancient records.

14 And now, it came to pass that after Limhi had heard the words of Ammon, he was exceedingly glad, and said: Now, I know of a surety that my brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla are yet alive. And now, I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice also.
15 For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bondage, or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites.
16 And now, king Limhi commanded his guards that they should no more bind Ammon nor his brethren, but caused that they should go to the hill which was north of Shilom, and bring their brethren into the city, that thereby they might eat, and drink, and rest themselves from the labors of their journey; for they had suffered many things; they had suffered hunger, thirst, and fatigue.
17 And now, it came to pass on the morrow that king Limhi sent a proclamation among all his people, that thereby they might gather themselves together to the temple, to hear the words which he should speak unto them.
18 And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he spake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made.
19 Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them.
20 And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage.
21 And ye all are witnesses this day, that Zeniff, who was made king over this people, he being over-zealous to inherit the land of his fathers, therefore being deceived by the cunning and craftiness of king Laman, who having entered into a treaty with king Zeniff, and having yielded up into his hands the possessions of a part of the land, or even the city of Lehi-Nephi, and the city of Shilom; and the land round about—
22 And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into subjection or into bondage. And behold, we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us, or our lives.
23 And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn.
24 Yea, I say unto you, great are the reasons which we have to mourn; for behold how many of our brethren have been slain, and their blood has been spilt in vain, and all because of iniquity.
25 For if this people had not fallen into transgression the Lord would not have suffered that this great evil should come upon them. But behold, they would not hearken unto his words; but there arose contentions among them, even so much that they did shed blood among themselves.
26 And a prophet of the Lord have they slain; yea, a chosen man of God, who told them of their wickedness and abominations, and prophesied of many things which are to come, yea, even the coming of Christ.
27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—
28 And now, because he said this, they did put him to death; and many more things did they do which brought down the wrath of God upon them. Therefore, who wondereth that they are in bondage, and that they are smitten with sore afflictions?
29 For behold, the Lord hath said: I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them.
30 And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.
31 And again he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction.
32 And now, behold, the promise of the Lord is fulfilled, and ye are smitten and afflicted.
33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.

Ammon found the city where the descendants of Zeniff’s people lived under the reign of Zeniff’s grandson Limhi. Limhi saw Ammon’s group outside the walls of the city and imprisoned them. He questioned them two days later.

How did Ammon explain his presence in the land of Nephi? Mosiah 7:12–13 
12 And now, when Ammon saw that he was permitted to speak, he went forth and bowed himself before the king; and rising again he said: O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness;
13 For I am assured that if ye had known me ye would not have suffered that I should have worn these bands. For I am Ammon, and am a descendant of Zarahemla, and have come up out of the land of Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren, whom Zeniff brought up out of that land.

How did King Limhi respond? Mosiah 7:14-15   
14 And now, it came to pass that after Limhi had heard the words of Ammon, he was exceedingly glad, and said: Now, I know of a surety that my brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla are yet alive. And now, I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice also.
15 For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bondage, or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites.

Why were Limhi’s people brought into bondage? Mosiah 7:20  Limhi’s people were guilty of many sins, including killing Abinadi, which brought the consequences of bondage and afflictions.

20 And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage.


What message did Limhi share with his people after talking with Ammon?  Mosiah 7:17–18
 17 And now, it came to pass on the morrow that king Limhi sent a proclamation among all his people, that thereby they might gather themselves together to the temple, to hear the words which he should speak unto them.
18 And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he spake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made.

What can we learn from Limhi of how God delivers His people? Mosiah 7: 19–20
19 Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them.
20 And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage.

What principles does Limhi teach us about choices in verses 20–25?   If we choose to sin, then we will experience bondage and sorrow. 

20 And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage.
21 And ye all are witnesses this day, that Zeniff, who was made king over this people, he being over-zealous to inherit the land of his fathers, therefore being deceived by the cunning and craftiness of king Laman, who having entered into a treaty with king Zeniff, and having yielded up into his hands the possessions of a part of the land, or even the city of Lehi-Nephi, and the city of Shilom; and the land round about—
22 And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into subjection or into bondage. And behold, we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us, or our lives.
23 And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn.
24 Yea, I say unto you, great are the reasons which we have to mourn; for behold how many of our brethren have been slain, and their blood has been spilt in vain, and all because of iniquity.
25 For if this people had not fallen into transgression the Lord would not have suffered that this great evil should come upon them. But behold, they would not hearken unto his words; but there arose contentions among them, even so much that they did shed blood among themselves.

How would you summarize verse 33 about what we can do to be delivered from the bondage of sin?  If we turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, trust in Him, and serve Him with all diligence of mind, then He will deliver us from the bondage of sin.

33 But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.

What do Mosiah 7:17–20; Ether 12:27; and 2 Corinthians 12:7–10 add to our understanding? 

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

What do you think it means to “turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart … and serve him with all diligence of mind”?   From the experience of Limhi’s people, we learn that recognizing our iniquities and feeling godly sorrow for them can lead us to turn to the Lord for deliverance.

What are some ways we can do this?  Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles provided the following counsel about beginning the repentance process: “Study and ponder to determine how serious the Lord defines your transgression to be. That will bring healing sorrow and remorse. It will also bring a sincere desire for change and a willingness to submit to every requirement for forgiveness” (“Finding Forgiveness,” Ensign, May 1995, 76).

In what ways can the Lord deliver us from the bondage of sin?  He can forgive us and help us overcome negative consequences of our choices.


**Point to Ponder: As children of God we have opportunities to inspire others to turn to God when they are in the bondage of sin or suffering from other afflictions.  

How can we follow Limhi’s example as we encourage our loved ones to trust God?

Are there ways you could share experiences in which you were delivered by the Lord, even in small ways, because you showed faith in Him? 


Part 2 Mosiah 7:26–27 Man is created in God’s image

In these verses, Limhi explained some of the truths taught by Abinadi that were hard for the people to accept.  As we certainly know it is not much different in our day, many truths are hard for people to accept.  

26 And a prophet of the Lord have they slain; yea, a chosen man of God, who told them of their wickedness and abominations, and prophesied of many things which are to come, yea, even the coming of Christ.
27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth

What truths can you identify in these verses?

How do these truths affect the way we see God and ourselves?


Part 3 The Lord provides prophets, seers, and revelators to benefit mankind Mosiah 8:12–19

Ammon had an opportunity to explain to Limhi the role of a seer and to testify of the importance of prophets, seers, and revelators. 

12 And I say unto thee again: Knowest thou of any one that can translate? For I am desirous that these records should be translated into our language; for, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people who have been destroyed, from whence these records came; or, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of this very people who have been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their destruction.
13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.
14 And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.
15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.
19 And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying: Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men.

Limhi told Ammon that he once sent 43 people to search for their brethren in Zarahemla. What did this group find instead?  Mosiah 8:8–11; see also Ether 1:1–2. They found the remains of the Jaredite civilization. The Jaredites had settled there centuries before the Nephites arrived.


8 And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla but returned to this land, having traveled in a land among many waters, having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind, having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel.
9 And for a testimony that the things that they had said are true they have brought twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold.
10 And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large, and they are of brass and of copper, and are perfectly sound.
11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate?
 
1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account of those ancient inhabitants who were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country.
2 And I take mine account from the twenty and four plates which were found by the people of Limhi, which is called the Book of Ether.

What did Limhi request of Ammon regarding the 24 gold plates of the Jaredites?  Mosiah 8:11–12.) 

11 And again, they have brought swords, the hilts thereof have perished, and the blades thereof were cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates. Therefore I said unto thee: Canst thou translate?
12 And I say unto thee again: Knowest thou of any one that can translate? For I am desirous that these records should be translated into our language; for, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of a remnant of the people who have been destroyed, from whence these records came; or, perhaps, they will give us a knowledge of this very people who have been destroyed; and I am desirous to know the cause of their destruction.
 
How did Ammon respond to Limhi’s request?  Mosiah 8:13–14. He said that Mosiah, the king in Zarahemla, was a seer who could translate the records.

13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.
14 And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.


What other titles did Ammon associate with the title of seer? Mosiah 8:16.
16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.

Whom do we sustain today as prophets, seers, and revelators? Members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

What are the roles of a seer?  Mosiah 8:13, 17–18
17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.

How do latter-day prophets, seers, and revelators fulfill these roles?   Elder Boyd K. Packer said:
“The scriptures speak of prophets as ‘watch[men] upon the tower’ who see ‘the enemy while he [is] yet afar off’ and who have ‘beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye … [for] a seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people.’“[Many years ago] the Brethren warned us of the disintegration of the family and told us to prepare. … The weekly family home evening was introduced by the First Presidency. … Parents are provided with excellent materials for teaching their children, with a promise that the faithful will be blessed. “While the doctrines and revealed organization remain unchanged, all agencies of the Church have been reshaped in their relationship to one another and to the home. … The entire curriculum of the Church was overhauled—based on scriptures. … And years were spent preparing new editions of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. …“We can only imagine where we would be if we were just now reacting to [the] terrible redefinition of the family. But that is not the case. We are not casting frantically about, trying to decide what to do. We know what to do and what to teach. …“The course we follow is not of our own making. The plan of salvation, the great plan of happiness, was revealed to us, and the prophets and Apostles continue to receive revelation as the Church and its members stand in need of more” (Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 24–25; or Ensign, May 1994, 20).
What do we learn from Mosiah 8:18 about why the Lord provides prophets, seers, and revelators?  The Lord provides prophets, seers, and revelators to benefit mankind.

18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.

For us in our day, each member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a prophet, seer, and revelator. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “These 15 men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators are given divine power to see what [others] sometimes do not see” (“Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes,” Ensign May 2005, 47).


Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the meaning of the title “prophet, seer, and revelator”:  “A prophet is a teacher of known truth; a seer is a perceiver of hidden truth; a revelator is a bearer of new truth. In the widest sense, the one most commonly used, the title, prophet, includes the other titles and makes of the prophet, a teacher, perceiver, and bearer of truth” (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham, 3 vols. in 1 [1960], 258).

Considering these teachings in current light of things; how have latter-day prophets, seers, and revelators been “a great benefit” to you?

How can we, like Ammon, speak boldly about the need for prophets, seers, and revelators?Mosiah 8:13–18

13 Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer.
14 And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.
15 And the king said that a seer is greater than a prophet.
16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
17 But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.
 
What did you hear in the most recent general conference that we could share with our friends, family members, and neighbors to teach them about the need for prophets?

The Prophet Joseph Smith is the seer who stands at the head of this dispensation  Doctrine and Covenants 21:1. What do you learn from Ammon’s description of a seer that helps you know this?  

In which ways was Joseph Smith a seer?  Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 and Moses 6:36

3 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!


36 And he beheld the spirits that God had created; and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye; and from thenceforth came the saying abroad in the land: A seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people.

Part 4  Mosiah 9:14–19; 10:6–10 We can face our challenges “in the strength of the Lord

During the reign of King Benjamin, Zeniff led a group of Nephites from Zarahemla to settle among the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. Because the king of the Lamanites planned to bring Zeniff’s people into bondage, he allowed them to stay. The Lamanites’ false traditions and hatred of the Nephites eventually led to war. When the Lamanites sought to bring them into bondage, Zeniff’s people turned to the Lord, who strengthened them and helped them drive the Lamanites from their land.

14 For, in the thirteenth year of my reign in the land of Nephi, away on the south of the land of Shilom, when my people were watering and feeding their flocks, and tilling their lands, a numerous host of Lamanites came upon them and began to slay them, and to take off their flocks, and the corn of their fields.
15 Yea, and it came to pass that they fled, all that were not overtaken, even into the city of Nephi, and did call upon me for protection.
16 And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle.
17 Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.
18 And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty-three; we did slay them even until we had driven them out of our land.
19 And I, myself, with mine own hands, did help to bury their dead. And behold, to our great sorrow and lamentation, two hundred and seventy-nine of our brethren were slain.

6 And it came to pass that king Laman died, and his son began to reign in his stead. And he began to stir his people up in rebellion against my people; therefore they began to prepare for war, and to come up to battle against my people.
7 But I had sent my spies out round about the land of Shemlon, that I might discover their preparations, that I might guard against them, that they might not come upon my people and destroy them.
8 And it came to pass that they came up upon the north of the land of Shilom, with their numerous hosts, men armed with bows, and with arrows, and with swords, and with cimeters, and with stones, and with slings; and they had their heads shaved that they were naked; and they were girded with a leathern girdle about their loins.
9 And it came to pass that I caused that the women and children of my people should be hid in the wilderness; and I also caused that all my old men that could bear arms, and also all my young men that were able to bear arms, should gather themselves together to go to battle against the Lamanites; and I did place them in their ranks, every man according to his age.
10 And it came to pass that we did go up to battle against the Lamanites; and I, even I, in my old age, did go up to battle against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that we did go up in the strength of the Lord to battle.


From Mosiah 8 to Mosiah 9, the story line goes back in time more than 60 years to give the account of King Limhi’s grandfather Zeniff.. Zeniff was a member of a group of Nephites who wanted to regain from the Lamanites some of the land of Nephi. Mosiah 9 and 10 recount two times when the Lamanites came to battle against Zeniff and his people.

What did the people of Zeniff and the Laminites do to prepare? Mosiah 9:14–16  They armed themselves and went to battle

14 For, in the thirteenth year of my reign in the land of Nephi, away on the south of the land of Shilom, when my people were watering and feeding their flocks, and tilling their lands, a numerous host of Lamanites came upon them and began to slay them, and to take off their flocks, and the corn of their fields.
15 Yea, and it came to pass that they fled, all that were not overtaken, even into the city of Nephi, and did call upon me for protection.
16 And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle.

What did the people of Zeniff do to put their trust in the Lord?  Mosiah 9:17  They prayed and remembered that the Lord had delivered their ancestors.

17 Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.


What did the Laminites do to put their trust in the Lord? Mosiah 10:11 Nothing. They relied on their own strength.


What was the result of these choices? Mosiah 9:18   The Lord strengthened them, and they were successful in driving the Lamanites out of their land.

18 And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might; yea, we did go forth against the Lamanites, and in one day and a night we did slay three thousand and forty-three; we did slay them even until we had driven them out of our land.

The phrase “in the strength of the Lord” appears twice in these verses of Zeniff’s record of his people and their battles with the Lamanites.   

What do you feel this phrase means? If we pray and go forth in faith, we can face our challenges in the strength of the Lord. 
 
Elder David A Bednar taught: “Blessings require some effort on our part before we can obtain them, and prayer, as ‘a form of work, … is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings’ [Bible Dictionary, “Prayer”]. We press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer, after we say ‘amen,’ by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father” 
(David A. Bednar, “Ask in Faith,” Ensign May 2008, 95)

What are your experiences in successfully facing challenges in the strength of the Lord? 


Part 5 Mosiah 10:11–17 Our choices can influence generations.

Sometimes in life, when we are caught up, we fail to recognize that the choices we are making will not only affect us, but have the ability to affect generations to come. This is a great lesson we learn from this chapter of Mosiah.  

11 Now, the Lamanites knew nothing concerning the Lord, nor the strength of the Lord, therefore they depended upon their own strength. Yet they were a strong people, as to the strength of men.
12 They were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers, which is this—Believing that they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers, and that they were wronged in the wilderness by their brethren, and they were also wronged while crossing the sea;
13 And again, that they were wronged while in the land of their first inheritance, after they had crossed the sea, and all this because that Nephi was more faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord—therefore he was favored of the Lord, for the Lord heard his prayers and answered them, and he took the lead of their journey in the wilderness.
14 And his brethren were wroth with him because they understood not the dealings of the Lord; they were also wroth with him upon the waters because they hardened their hearts against the Lord.
15 And again, they were wroth with him when they had arrived in the promised land, because they said that he had taken the ruling of the people out of their hands; and they sought to kill him.
16 And again, they were wroth with him because he departed into the wilderness as the Lord had commanded him, and took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, for they said that he robbed them.
17 And thus they have taught their children that they should hate them, and that they should murder them, and that they should rob and plunder them, and do all they could to destroy them; therefore they have an eternal hatred towards the children of Nephi.

Why did the Lamanites hate the Nephites so intensely?

How can a person’s anger affect his or her family, now and in the future? Taking offense and holding on to anger can prevent individuals and their children from knowing the Lord and His strength.

As a stake president Elder Bednar, now of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, would visit people who had stopped coming to church because they had taken offense at the words or actions of another person:  “As we talked, eyes often were moist with tears as these good people recalled the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost and described their prior spiritual experiences. … However, they were not presently participating in Church activities and meetings.
“And then I would say something like this. ‘Let me make sure I understand what has happened to you. Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. You have withdrawn yourself from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your children’s children, and the generations that will follow’” (David A. Bednar, “And Nothing Shall Offend Them,” Ensign Nov. 2006, 89).

How does taking offense and holding on to anger prevent individuals and their children from knowing the Lord and His strength? 

According to Elder Bednar, what are some blessings that multiple generations can miss out on because someone took offense?


Elder Donald L. Hallstrom shared how the faithfulness of his grandparents blessed future generations:  “My paternal grandparents had two children, a son (my father) and a daughter. … [Their daughter] married in 1946 and four years later was expecting a child. There is something very special for parents to anticipate a daughter (in this instance an only daughter) giving birth for the first time. No one knew that she was carrying twins. Sadly, she and the twins all died during childbirth.

“My grandparents were heartbroken. Their grief, however, immediately turned them to the Lord and His Atonement. Without dwelling on why this could happen and who might be to blame, they focused on living a righteous life. My grandparents never had wealth; they were never among the socially elite; they never held high position in the Church—they were simply devoted Latter-day Saints. …
“The faithfulness of Grandpa Art and Grandma Lou, especially when faced with difficulty, has now influenced four generations that have followed. Directly and profoundly, it affected their son (my father) and my mother when my parents’ own daughter, their youngest child, died due to complications caused by giving birth. At 34 years of age, she passed away 10 days after childbirth, leaving 4 children, 10 days to 8 years old. With the example that they had seen in the previous generation, my parents—without hesitation—turned to the Lord for solace” (“Turn to the Lord,” Ensign May 2010, 78–79)


What should I do if I feel I have been wronged?  Elder Harold G. Hillam (1934–2012) of the Seventy shared insights about how to deal with feelings of anger:  “If you feel you have been wronged, be ready to forgive. If there is, for some reason, an unpleasant memory, let it go. Where necessary, talk to your bishop; talk to your stake president.  To all, but especially to those who some day will be great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers, your eternal blessings and those of your posterity are far more important than any prideful reason which would deny you and so many others of such important blessings” (Harold G. Hillam, “The Worth of Souls,” Ensign May 2005, 32)

Conclusion
Have you ever wanted something very intensely that you would do anything to get it or achieve it? Today we learned about a man who wanted something so intensely that he failed to realize the consequences of his actions. Are we at times guilty of the same? We also learned how to face challenges in the strength of the Lord, that the Lord provides guidance from those whom he has called to see us through the good and tough times, man is created in God's image and if we turn to the Lord trust in him and stand with him he will deliver us. Though this message is timeless, it is of particular help during our current circumstances in the world today. I personally testify that these things are true, and have the power to pull us from the darkest and hardest of times, and change our lives and world. As we consider, ponder and pray about these events that have taught us, let us ask ourselves in what areas of our life can we trust the Lord more completely and ask Him to strengthen us.  In this we will surely find peace.  

Resources
Book of Mormon Student Manual
Ensign
Conference Reports
Doctrine and Covenants
Peal of Great Price
Holy Bible King James Version
John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations




The Fall of Adam and Eve

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