Thursday, May 24, 2018

Mosiah 29:25-31


25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.
29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.
30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.
31 For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings.

After warning them of the consequences of an unrighteous king, Mosiah returns to explaining why having judges selected by the voice of the people avoids these consequences.

“There would be a ranking of judges, with higher and lower ones, and the judges would regulate each other. If a lower judge did not follow the law, then a higher judge would judge the matter; if a higher judge became corrupt, then a ‘small number’ of lower judges would judge him, ‘according to the voice of the people’ (Mosiah 29:29).”[1]

The people will “be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord” (Mosiah 29:25).

The people will usually desire to do what is right. It is common the minority will desire the opposite. This is why they need to do “business by the voice of the people” (Mosiah 29:26).

If the people choose evil, then God’s judgements will bring destruction to the people. Around 10 years later, Amulek, when preaching to the people of Ammonihah, would remind them of Mosiah’s words.

“Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction” (Alma 10:19).

Some 60 years later, the Nephites would be facing the consequences of iniquity. “For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted” (Helaman 5:2).

“One of Mosiah's justifications for allowing the people to elect their judges was that ‘it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right’ (Mosiah 29:26]. But he noted that ‘if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land’ (Mosiah 29:27). Since the Nephites had not experienced such ‘great destruction’ on ‘this land,’ Mosiah must have had the destruction of the Jaredites in mind.

“Significantly, Joseph Smith did not dictate the story of the Jaredites until long after he dictated the book of Mosiah, so during that earlier effort he could not have known the historical details of Jaredite kingship. That these two widely separated records agree in such details evidences the authenticity of the account of Mosiah's having translated the book of Ether and becoming acquainted with its contents. It also is further evidence of the internal consistency of the Book of Mormon.”[2]


If there are lower judges who refuse to judge according to the law, the people can have a higher judge review that judge’s decision. If higher judges do not judge righteously, the people can have a number of lower judges meet to judge the higher judge according to the voice of the people.

“Mosiah desired to rectify the inequality that can occur when one man exerts such excessive control over the lives and actions of his fellow men and to establish instead a land in which ‘every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike’ (Mosiah 29:32).”[3]

Mosiah commanded them to “do these things in the fear of the Lord” (Mosiah 29:30). Should there be a wicked king, and he causes his people to sin, these sins will be “answered upon their own heads” (Mosiah 29:30).

The sins caused by the unrighteous king will be answer upon their heads. We saw this in Old Testament times.

 “And [the Lord] shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 14:16).

“And [Nadab the son of Jeroboam] did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 15:26).

“One of the prices of kingship is that a king must assume personal responsibility for many of the iniquities of his subjects (Mosiah 29:30-34, 38). Mosiah specifically wanted to protect his sons from this burden. He desired ‘that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part’ (Mosiah 29:34), and that each be willing ‘to answer for his own sins’ (Mosiah 29:38).”[4]



[2] King Mosiah and the Judgeship, John A. Tvedtnes, Maxwell Institute website.
[4] Mosiah: The Complex Symbolism and Symbolic Complex of Kingship in the Book of Mormon, Gordon C. Thomasson, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 2/1 (1993): 36.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mosiah 26:16-24


16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.
17 For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction!
18 Yea, remember king Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people. Behold what great destruction did come upon them; and also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage.
19 And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.
20 But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.
21 And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.
22 For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;
23 And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.
24 And now behold I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.

Mosiah points out they cannot be sure they will have a just man as king. Because of this, it is not a good idea they have a king. A wicked king can do a much iniquity. In 2 Samuel we read…

“But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him.
“For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities” (1 Kings 16:25-26).

A wicked man, Amalickiah attempted to overthrow the government, Mormon tells us, “Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man [Amalickiah] can cause to take place among the children of men” (Alma 46:9).

Proverbs warns us about a wicked king. “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12).

In the end, a wicked king can lead to the destruction of the people.

He reminded them of what happened under the rule of the wicked king, Noah.

“And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead; and he did not walk in the ways of his father.
“For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness” (Mosiah 11:1-2).

This eventually led to their downfall and bondage.

Having translated the Jaredite record, he may well have had them in mind. The Jaredites wanted a king. The brother of Jared warned them against having a king.

“And it came to pass that the people desired of them that they should anoint one of their sons to be a king over them.
“And now behold, this was grievous unto them. And the brother of Jared said unto them: Surely this thing leadeth into captivity” (Ether 6:22-23).

Jared convinced him to appoint a king. This put them on the road to the eventual destruction.

The only way the people of Noah were freed from bondage was through their repentance and God’s intervention; otherwise, they would still be in bondage.

They humbled themselves before Him. “And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions” (Mosiah 21:14).

When they repented, He extended “the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him” (Mosiah 29:20). “Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me” (Mosiah 26:30).

A wicked king can only be dethroned through the shedding of blood. He has friends supporting him and keeps his guards with him at all times. King Rehoboam is an example of this.

“And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men [OR elders], that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?
“And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.
“But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him” (1 Kings 12:6-8).

He ignores the laws and “trampleth under his feet the commandments of God” (Mosiah 29:22).

He well enact “laws after the manner of his own wickedness” (Mosiah 29:23). He will do all he can to destroy his opponents, “[perverting] the ways of all righteousness” (Mosiah 29:23).

It is not right that these abominations should come upon the people.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mosiah 29:1-15


Chapter 29

Mosiah proposes that judges be chosen in place of a king—Unrighteous kings lead their people into sin—Alma the younger is chosen chief judge by the voice of the people—He is also the high priest over the Church—Alma the elder and Mosiah die. About 92–91B.C.

1 Now when Mosiah had done this he sent out throughout all the land, among all the people, desiring to know their will concerning who should be their king.
2 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: We are desirous that Aaron thy son should be our king and our ruler.
3 Now Aaron had gone up to the land of Nephi, therefore the king could not confer the kingdom upon him; neither would Aaron take upon him the kingdom; neither were any of the sons of Mosiah willing to take upon them the kingdom.
4 Therefore king Mosiah sent again among the people; yea, even a written word sent he among the people. And these were the words that were written, saying:
5 Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren, for I esteem you as such, I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider—for ye are desirous to have a king.
6 Now I declare unto you that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong has declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom.
7 And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people.
8 Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another if he should be appointed in his stead.
9 And if my son should turn again to his pride and vain things he would recall the things which he had said, and claim his right to the kingdom, which would cause him and also this people to commit much sin.
10 And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.
11 Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.
12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.
13 Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.
14 And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;
15 And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers.


The time came when Mosiah asked the people who they wanted as their king. The voice of the people said they wanted his son, Aaron to be the king; however, Aaron had left on his mission to take the gospel to the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. All his sons had made it clear they were not willing to become king.

“[This was the] immediate situation that prompted Mosiah II to institute a system of judges to govern the Nephites was the departure of his four sons. The people asked that Aaron be appointed king, but he and his brothers had gone to the land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites and had renounced their claims to the monarchy.”[1]

“[T]he Nephite shift described in Mosiah 29 resulted from more immediate concerns, namely the succession after Mosiah2. With the rightful heir, Mosiah’s son Aaron, proselyting among the Lamanites, the king was concerned that if he appointed someone else as his successor, Aaron might return and lay claim to the throne, resulting in civil strife. No doubt his heightened awareness of the problems of royal succession in the Jaredite writings (see Ether 7-15), along with the unfortunate events surrounding King Noah (see Mosiah 11-19), influenced his decision
to end the monarchy and forestall calamity.”[2]

Mosiah sent a written epistle to his people. He wrote he was addressing their desire to have a king. He reminded them none of his sons would accept the kingship.

If he appointed someone else king, he feared this would divide the people. What if one of his sons returned and desired the kingdom. This could lead to a civil war and there would be “contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people” (Mosiah 29:7).

Such a situation had never occurred among the Nephites, but it was common among the Jaredites for brother to rebel against brother or father and draw away part of the people to wage war … Indeed, the idea in Mosiah 29:7 of ‘drawing away’ supporters is known in the Book of Mormon only from the Jaredite record.[3]

Mosiah wrote he would remain king for the remainder of his life. Then, he asked the people to appoint judges, “by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord” (Mosiah 29:25).

“‘Let us appoint judges,’ he says (Mosiah 29:11), and everyone seems to know exactly what he means, for in his speech, which is given in full, he does not have to explain the system to his hearers at all, and they adopt his suggestions quite readily and without any of the confusion and jamming that always goes with a shift from one type of government to a wholly different one.”[4]

Mosiah reminded them it is better we should be judged by God, for His judgments are always just, unlike the judgments of man which are not always just.

“The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Samuel 23:3).

“And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself” (Psalm 50:6).

“But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Psalms 75:7).

“But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (2 Nephi 21:4).

If they could ensure they would have just men to be their kings, like his father Benjamin, it would be appropriate for them to have a king.

Mosiah had given his best efforts to teach them the commandments of God and established peace throughout the land.

Those who were guilty of violations of the commandments were punished according to the crime which they committed. Punishments were given “according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers” (Mosiah 29:15).


[1] King Mosiah and the Judgeship, John A. Tvedtnes, Maxwell Institute website.
[3] King Mosiah and the Judgeship, John A. Tvedtnes, Maxwell Institute website.
[4] An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Politics in Jerusalem, Hugh Nibley, Maxwell Institute website.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mosiah 28:9-20


10 Now king Mosiah had no one to confer the kingdom upon, for there was not any of his sons who would accept of the kingdom.
11 Therefore he took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, and also the plates of Nephi, and all the things which he had kept and preserved according to the commandments of God, after having translated and caused to be written the records which were on the plates of gold which had been found by the people of Limhi, which were delivered to him by the hand of Limhi;
12 And this he did because of the great anxiety of his people; for they were desirous beyond measure to know concerning those people who had been destroyed.
13 And now he translated them by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow.
14 Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages;
15 And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people;
16 And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times.
17 Now after Mosiah had finished translating these records, behold, it gave an account of the people who were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people and they were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, yea, and even from that time back until the creation of Adam.
18 Now this account did cause the people of Mosiah to mourn exceedingly, yea, they were filled with sorrow; nevertheless it gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice.
19 And this account shall be written hereafter; for behold, it is expedient that all people should know the things which are written in this account.
20 And now, as I said unto you, that after king Mosiah had done these things, he took the plates of brass, and all the things which he had kept, and conferred them upon Alma, who was the son of Alma; yea, all the records, and also the interpreters, and conferred them upon him, and commanded him that he should keep and preserve them, and also keep a record of the people, handing them down from one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. (Mosiah 28:9-20)

By leaving on their mission to the Lamanites, the sons of Mosiah would not accept the kingdom.

Mosiah had the plates of Nephi, the brass plates, as well as the Jaredite record which was found by the people of Limhi.

The people were aware of this record. Not surprisingly, the people wanted to know about the people and why they were destroyed.

“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” (Mosiah 8:8).

Mormon refers to Mosiah using “two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow” (Mosiah 28:13). We know these and the Urim and Thummim. The Lord gave them to the brother of Jared after he received his vision of the history of our world.

“And it came to pass that the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt not suffer these things which ye have seen and heard to go forth unto the world, until the time cometh that I shall glorify my name in the flesh; wherefore, ye shall treasure up the things which ye have seen and heard, and show it to no man.
“And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up, that no one can interpret them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read.
“And behold, these two stones will I give unto thee, and ye shall seal them up also with the things which ye shall write.
“For behold, the language which ye shall write I have confounded; wherefore I will cause in my own due time that these stones shall magnify to the eyes of men these things which ye shall write” (Ether 3:21-24).

The Bible Dictionary describes the Urim and Thummim as a “Hebrew term that means ‘Lights and Perfections.’ An instrument prepared of God to assist man in obtaining revelation from the Lord and in translating languages. Using a Urim and Thummim is the special prerogative of a seer, and it would seem reasonable that such instruments were used from the time of Adam. However, the earliest mention is in connection with the brother of Jared.”

“And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees” (Abraham 3:1).

There are other scriptural references.

 “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim [HEB Lights and Perfections]; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually” (Exodus 28:30).

“And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim” (Leviticus 8:8).

“And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation” (Numbers 27:21).

“And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets” (1 Samuel 28:6).

 “And the Tirshatha [OR governor] said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim” (Nehemiah 7:65).

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation 2:17).

Mosiah2 had translated the Jaredite record. In Omni, we read Mosiah1had translated a stone with engravings.

“And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.
“And they gave an account of one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people. And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons.
“It also spake a few words concerning his fathers. And his first parents came out from the tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people; and the severity of the Lord fell upon them according to his judgments, which are just; and their bones lay scattered in the land northward” (Omni 1:20-22).

The people were saddened by what had happened to the Jaredites. Still, they were pleased with the knowledge they received.

Mormon breaks into the record, telling us “this account shall be written hereafter; for behold, it is expedient that all people should know the things which are written in this account” (Mosiah 28:19).

Since Mosiah’s sons were not present to receive the records, Mosiah gave the records to Alma2. Included were the plates and the Urim and Thummim. Mosiah commanded Alma to “keep and preserve them, and also keep a record of the people, handing them down from one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem” (Mosiah 28:20).

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mosiah 28:1-8


3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
4 And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.
5 And it came to pass that they did plead with their father many days that they might go up to the land of Nephi.
6 And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.
7 And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.
8 And it came to pass that Mosiah granted that they might go and do according to their request.

The date in the heading of Mosiah 27 tells us it occurred around 100-92 BC. In chapter 28, the heading sets the date around 92 BC, so some time has passed since Alma2 and the sons of Mosiah has repented and became stalwart church members.

The sons of Mosiah took a small group to meet with Mosiah. They wanted him to grant them permission to go up to the land of Nephi and to “impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites” (Mosiah 28:1).

They wanted to bring the word of the Lord to them. They hoped to “convince them of the iniquity of their fathers; and that they might cure them of their hated towards the Nephites” (Mosiah 28:2). Throughout the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites blamed the Nephites for wronging Laman and Lemuel.

During Jacob’s time, attempts were made to preach the gospel to the Lamanites. “And it came to pass that many means were devised to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually” (Jacob 7:24).

Mormon would explain why the sons of Mosiah wanted to teach the Lamanites.

“Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding the promises of the Lord were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance.
“Therefore, this was the cause for which the sons of Mosiah had undertaken the work, that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance; that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption” (Alma 17:15-16).

The could not bear the thought that any souls would perish. This caused them pain and torment. The people of Mosiah would feel the same way when Zeniff’s record was read to them. “And again, when they thought upon the Lamanites, who were their brethren, of their sinful and polluted state, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls” (Mosiah 25:11).

They wanted to do all they could to prevent a soul from perishing. “And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment” (Jacob 6:10).

Mormon informs us Alma2 and the sons of Mosiah “were the very vilest of sinners” (Mosiah 28:4). Ammon, speaking of God’s mercy, told us…

“Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state?
“Behold, we went forth even in wrath, with mighty threatenings to destroy his church” (Alma 26:17-18).

Apparently, Mosiah was hesitant to let them go. “[T]hey did plead with their father many days” (Mosiah 28:5). Mosiah inquired of the Lord.

The Lord promised Mosiah He would “deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites” (Mosiah 28:7).

When Ammon was watching King Lamoni’s flocks, and stood up to protect his flock from those who wanted to scatter it, Mormon referred to the promise the Lord made to Mosiah and showed how it was fulfilled. ““Therefore [those who attempted to scatter the king’s flocks] did not fear Ammon, for they supposed that one of their men could slay him according to their pleasure, for they knew not that the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands; neither did they know anything concerning the Lord; therefore they delighted in the destruction of their brethren; and for this cause they stood to scatter the flocks of the king” (Alma 17:35).

Later we read, after a crowd formed after King Lamoni and his wife were overcome by the Spirit we read…

“Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead.
“Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord” (Alma 19:22-23).

With that promise, Mosiah granted his sons’ request.

President Henry B. Eyring discusses the characteristics of those who faithfully share the gospel.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mosiah 27:32-37


32 And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward to teach the people, and those who were with Alma at the time the angel appeared unto them, traveling round about through all the land, publishing to all the people the things which they had heard and seen, and preaching the word of God in much tribulation, being greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers, being smitten by many of them.
34 And four of them were the sons of Mosiah; and their names were Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni; these were the names of the sons of Mosiah.
35 And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.
36 And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.
37 And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth. (Mosiah 27:32-37).

Alma2 began to teach the people and recounting the things which they had seen and heard. The four sons of Mosiah, Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni, were with him.

They faced persecution by the unbelievers who, we can assume, had supported them in the past.
In spite of this persecution, “they did impart much consolation to the church, confirming their faith, and exhorting them with long-suffering and much travail to keep the commandments of God” (Mosiah 27:33).

“After conversion comes the desire to share—not so much out of a sense of duty, even though that responsibility falls on the priesthood, but out of a sincere love and appreciation for that which has been received. When such a ‘pearl of great price’ comes into our lives, we cannot be content just to admire it by ourselves. It must be shared! And here is the great joy and happiness of the gift!”[1]

They traveled all around the land of Zarahemla. They did all they could to repair the damage they had caused. They publicly confessed their sins. Alma2 would talk to his son, Corianton, emphasizing the importance of confessing sins.

“And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;
“That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and acknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done” (Alma 39:12-13).

They were able to bring many into the church, giving them a knowledge of Christ. “[T]hey did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth” (Mosiah 27:37).


[1] “Go Ye Therefore, and Teach All Nations,” Elder L. Tom Perry, April 1984 General Conference.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mosiah 27:18-31


18 And now Alma and those that were with him fell again to the earth, for great was their astonishment; for with their own eyes they had beheld an angel of the Lord; and his voice was as thunder, which shook the earth; and they knew that there was nothing save the power of God that could shake the earth and cause it to tremble as though it would part asunder.
19 And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.
20 And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them; and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God.
21 And he caused that a multitude should be gathered together that they might witness what the Lord had done for his son, and also for those that were with him.
22 And he caused that the priests should assemble themselves together; and they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their God that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strength—that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God.
23 And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort. (Mosiah 27:18-23)


Alma2 is on the ground. The sons of Mosiah were also astonished. The angel’s voice was like thunder and it shook the earth. They knew only the power of God could do this.

Alma was struck dumb and cold not move. He was carried by the sons of Mosiah to his father.

They told Alma1 what had happened. He “rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God” (Mosiah 27:20). He had many gather to “witness what the Lord had done for his son, and also for those that were with him” (Mosiah 27:21).

He then gathered the priests together. They began to fast and pray for Alma2. They asked he would regain his strength and the people would see the goodness and glory of God. They fasted and prayed for two days and nights. Alma2 received his strength, stood, and began to speak to them.

24 For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.
25 And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
26 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
27 I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.
28 Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.
29 My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.
30 I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all.
31 Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye (Mosiah 27:24-31).

He told them he repented of his sins and was redeemed of the Lord. “God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me” (Psalm 49:15). He was “born of the Spirit” (Mosiah 27:24).

Alma was told we all must be born of God. King Benjamin taught this to his people during his great sermon. And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters” (Mosiah 5:7).

Alma would also preach on this when teaching in Zarahemla.

“And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts…
“And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again” (Alma 5:14, 49).

We all must change from our carnal state to a righteous state. We will become the sons and daughters of the Lord. “Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ” (Moroni 7:19).

When we become the sons and daughters of the Lord, we become new people. Unless this is done, we cannot inherit the kingdom of God. “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

Those who reject this, “must be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off” (Mosiah 27:27).

After suffering for his sins, he repented and was snatched from everlasting burning and was born of God. Jacob described this burning. “And assuredly, as the Lord liveth, for the Lord God hath spoken it, and it is his eternal word, which cannot pass away, that they who are righteous shall be righteous still, and they who are filthy shall be filthy still; wherefore, they who are filthy are the devil and his angels; and they shall go away into everlasting fire, prepared for them; and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever and has no end” (2 Nephi 9:16).

Alma2’s soul was redeemed from bitterness and bonds of iniquity. “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness [OR on my peace came great bitterness]: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back” (Isaiah 38:17).

His soul was racked with eternal torment. King Benjamin described this torment. “Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever” (Mosiah 2:38).

But, he had been forgiven and he has no more pain caused by his sins.

He rejected Christ and denied all that had been spoken of Him. He will come and make Himself manifest to all.

“For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
“And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit” (D&C 84:45-46).

The day will come when every knew shall bow and every tongue confess Jesus is the Christ.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

“And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth—for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying: Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come” (D&C 88:104).

“And the saints rejoiced in their redemption, and bowed the knee and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the chains of hell” (D&C 138:23).

This confession will happen at the judgement. Those who live without Christ will face judgement. “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

“Being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ means to walk in a newness of life. It means learning to yield to the Spirit and responding to the things that the Lord expects us to respond to. It means caring for and serving others with deep, considerate feelings rather than pursuing the natural desires of our own lives. In our day and time there has been a great tendency to shrug off the things of the Spirit as we become more and more involved in worldly things. We seem to be living in a world where people give little thought to others, as they are busily caring for their own needs. As followers of Christ, we must live outside ourselves and lose ourselves in service to others.”[1]


[1] A More Excellent Way, Elder Robert E. Sackley, October 1988 General Conference.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mosiah 27:8-16


8 Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities.
9 And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them.
10 And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king—
11 And as I said unto you, as they were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a cloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood;
12 And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them.
13 Nevertheless he cried again, saying: Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.
14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
15 And now behold, can ye dispute the power of God? For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God.
16 Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off (Mosiah 27:8-16).

It is at this point in the record we are introduced to Alma2 and the sons of Mosiah.

The sons of Mosiah and Alma1 were among the wicked. Mormon described Alma as “a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities” (Mosiah 27:8).

Alma2 was successful. He “became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God” (Mosiah 27:9). People left the church through his efforts. He sowed dissension among the people. He gave the devil his chance “to exercise his power over them” (Mosiah 27:9).

We have been warned people like Alma2 will be present in the Church today.

“Behold, verily I say unto you, there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power ...
“But the hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will; and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world” (D&C 50:7-8).

He didn’t do this openly. He, and the sons of Mosiah, did this secretly. They desired to destroy the church. In many ways, Alma2 was similar to Saul before he received his vision of Christ. “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3).

Things were about to change for Alma2 and the sons of Mosiah. An angel of the Lord appeared to them. He spoke to them with a voice of thunder. They were so astonished, they fell to the earth and could not understand his words.

The angel again addressed Alma2. He told him to stand. He asked him why he persecutes God’s church. This is the Lord’s church and nothing will defeat it save it be apostasy of the members.

Alma2 was leading people to the mists of darkness. And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost” (1 Nephi 8:23).

“And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost” (1 Nephi 12:17).

The angel continued, telling him the prayers of the people had bene heard. Amulek would explain the importance of the prayers of the righteous. “Yea, and I say unto you that if it were not for the prayers of the righteous, who are now in the land, that ye would even now be visited with utter destruction; yet it would not be by flood, as were the people in the days of Noah, but it would be by famine, and by pestilence, and the sword” (Alma 10:22).

He told him his father had prayed that he would be brought to the church. He came to convince him of the power of God. Alma2 would later refer to this. “And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me” (Alma 29:10).

“What a joy and blessing to have the Spirit in our homes! And what a blessing it is to invite it through prayer, studying the scriptures, speaking kindly, and showing appreciation to one another! Let us prepare our teaching moments by praying as Alma prayed for his son, “with much faith”15 and all the energy of our souls; by fasting, searching the scriptures, repenting of our sins, and allowing the Holy Ghost to fill our hearts with love, forgiveness, and compassion. And then it will fill our homes. Then, let us trust the Good Shepherd. (emphasis in original)”[1]

The angel told him, “can ye dispute the power of God? For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God” (Mosiah 27:15).

16 Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off

He told him to remember the captivity of his father and his people in Helam and how they were eventually delivered. He was commanded to cease his attempts to destroy the church. If he doesn’t, he will be cast off.

When Alma2 confronted Korihor, he told him words similar to what the angel told him. “But behold, it is better that thy soul should be lost than that thou shouldst be the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by thy lying and by thy flattering words; therefore if thou shalt deny again, behold God shall smite thee, that thou shalt become dumb, that thou shalt never open thy mouth any more, that thou shalt not deceive this people any more” (Alma 30:47).


[1] With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families, Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2004 General Conference.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Matthew 8:14-27


14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever [GR lying sick and feverish].
15 And he touched [GR took hold of] her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself [GR He Himself] took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer [GR let, allow] me first to go and bury my father.
22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Having healed the Centurion’s son, Jesus continued to Peter’s home. There, his mother-in-law was sick. Jesus took her hand and she was healed “and ministered unto them” (Matthew 8:15).

In the evening, people brought those who were sick or had infirmities. He cast out devils. “And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy [GR paralysis]; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24).

“As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
“And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel” (Matthew 9:32-33).

He healed the sick, fulfilling that which was written by Isaiah.[1]

A scribe came to Jesus and told him, “Master, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest” (Matthew 8:19).  Following Jesus requires a commitment. Nephi wrote, “And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father” (2 Nephi 31:10).

Mormon tells us if we follow Jesus, there is no middle ground. “For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil” (Moroni 7:11).

His response to the scribe gives us some insight into His life. “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).

“Throughout the Savior’s public ministry, He was an itinerant preacher. As far as we know, He owned no house and was not employed in a trade. Although those who heard Him preach in Nazareth asked, ‘Is not this the carpenter (tekton)[2]’ (Mark 6:3), there is no evidence in the Gospel accounts that He plied His trade during His public ministry, unlike some of His disciples who periodically returned to fishing … We also learn from His time in the wilderness that although He would later use His priesthood power to feed others, He refused to use it to satisfy His own physical needs.”[3]

Jesus and the twelve departed and went on a ship. While they were sailing across the Sea of Galilee, a storm arose. The ship was tossed to-and-fro. While the twelve panicked, Jesus slept. They woke Him and said, “Lord, save us: we perish” (Matthew 8:25). He rebuked them, saying, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith” (Matthew 8:26). He then commanded the Sea to be calm.

“These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
“For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
“They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
“They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
“Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” (Psalm 107:24-29).

The twelve were amazed. “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him” (Matthew 8:27).

“We know who Jesus is, or at least we have an improved understanding that is informed by the light of the Resurrection and Restoration. Many of us grew up signing the hymn based on this story, ‘Master the Tempest is Raging;’ therefore, we know how the story ends and sometimes wonder why the disciples did not! They were, of course, on a journey of discovery – learning who He was every step of the way. They were, as we would have been too, full of wonder, amazement, and even fear: ‘Who is this man?’”[4]


[1] “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).
[2] The Greek word tekton primarily refers to someone who works in wood, but it can also apply to draftsmen of other materials such as stone or iron.
[3] Life and Teachings of Christ, From the Transfiguration Through the Triumphal Entry, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Gaye Stratheran.
[4] Life and Teachings of Christ, From the Transfiguration Through the Triumphal Entry, Jesus Before Easter, Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Thomas A. Wayment.