Book of Mormon
“They Taught with Power and Authority
The sons of Mosiah preach the gospel to the Lamanites.
Ammon serves and teaches King Lamoni, and many of the people are converted.
Ammon is led by the Spirit to deliver his brethren. Lamoni's father
A study of this lesson will inspire us to follow the example of the sons of
Mosiah by sharing the gospel and ministering to others.
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 25 Handout (PDF)
The Missions of the Sons of Mosiah
The four sons of Mosiah, along with Alma the younger, had previously been
working to cause:
Dissension among the people.
The people to commit iniquity.
The destruction of the Church.
WHO WERE THE SONS OF MOSIAH?
Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni.
While engaged in these destructive activities with Alma the Younger, the sons of
were present when the angel appeared to Alma.
These five men heeded the message of repentance from the angel and were
from their carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness, being redeemed
of God" (Mosiah 27:25).
Grateful for the miracle in their own lives, they longed to share the joys that come from forgiveness.
The sons of Mosiah made a request to their father to go to the land of
Nephi to teach their Lamanite brothers.
"The very thoughts that any soul should endure endless
torment did cause them to quake and tremble" (Mosiah 28:3).
A real indication of how deep the change in their lives.
These four brethren left on their mission in the first year of the reign
of the judges.
The events recorded in Alma 1 to Alma 17 transpired while the sons
of Mosiah were on their mission.
The story now goes back in time to when the sons of Mosiah first began
WHY DID THE SONS OF MOSIAH WANT TO SERVE AS MISSIONARIES TO THE LAMANITES?
To bring them to a knowledge of the Lord.
They hoped to cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that there
might be no more contentions in the land. As with all righteous people, they longed
for peace in the world.
They wished for the Lamanites to rejoice in the Lord.
They could not bear the thought that any human soul should perish. Such thoughts did cause them to quake and tremble.
The Spirit of the Lord did work upon them.
The reason they had taken upon themselves this work
was "that perhaps they might bring them unto repentance;
that perhaps they might bring them to know of the plan of redemption"
HOW DO OUR MOTIVES FOR SERVING GOD AFFECT OUR ABILITY
TO SERVE HIM?
Without question, the righteous motives of the sons of Mosiah enabled them to
accomplish a great work that had a positive effect on the salvation of many
As I recall my mission experience, I saw missionaries
who went out for a variety of reasons:
Some went to please their parents.
Some went to please their girl friends.
Some went because their parents forced them (almost).
Some went because of their peers or it was the thing
Most went because they truly loved the gospel and had a
desire to serve the Lord. I recall two missionaries in particular that remind me
somewhat of the sons of Mosiah. One was a missionary who came out to teach and
serve. He seemed to hit the ground running and baptized ten times the people of
the average missionary. He only could do that by "thrusting in his sickle with
all his might." He made a difference. The second was an Elder, four to five
years older than the rest of us. He had already served in the military, but had
a great desire to serve the Lord. He brought an incredible spirit into the
mission field and was instrumental in the conversion of many.
It was absolutely clear to
me that the motives of missionaries made all the difference in the success
of the work. Those that came for the wrong reasons usually struggled,
some during their entire mission. Others changed and caught the spirit
of the work. When their motives changed, so did their ability to
teach and bring the gospel to others.
HOW CAN WE PURIFY OUR MOTIVES?
We must go through the same spiritual transformation as
the sons of Mosiah, which includes repentance and an invitation to increase the
spirit of the Lord in our lives.
What happened with Enos when he found forgiveness
for his sins?
His desires and motives were then directed at others.
HOW DID THE SONS OF MOSIAH PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR
They had searched the scriptures diligently.
They had given themselves to much fasting and prayer
which blessed them with the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation.
Notice the simplicity of their preparation. These are what we and our children must do to be successful on missions
and in our church service.
HOW WERE THEY BLESSED FOR THEIR PREPARATION?
were brought to the knowledge of the Lord."
The record states that the sons of Mosiah "had searched
the scriptures diligently."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES?
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU SEARCH FOR SOMETHING?
Example: I spent my career working for the U.S. Passport Office. In that capacity, I
had the opportunity to review passport applications. People often apply for passports because they lost their valid
passport. We required a written statement explaining how the passport was lost
and what they have done to locate it. We saw a variety of statements
such as, "I searched through all of my belongings," or "I looked throughout
the house," or "I searched through every drawer and box." My favorite
is, "I turned the house upside down." People go to great efforts
to locate their passport. It is a valuable commodity, especially
if you have planned international travel.
Do you truly SEARCH the scriptures? Are you
looking for the treasures found therein? Have you turned your scriptures
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN BLESSED AS YOU HAVE SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES?
WHAT INSTRUCTIONS DID THE LORD GIVE THE SONS OF MOSIAH
AS THEY PREPARED FOR THEIR MISSIONS?
Go forth among the Lamanites and establish the word
of the Lord.
Be patient in long-suffering and afflictions.
Be good examples.
The promise: The Lord will make them an instrument
in the salvation of many souls.
HOW DID THESE INSTRUCTIONS HELP THE SONS OF MOSIAH?
It gave them courage to go
forth (see v12).
HOW HAS THE LORD HELPED YOU GAIN COURAGE TO SHARE
- Instructions for modern day missionaries:
- Elder M. Russell Ballard: "What we need now is the
greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the Church. We need
worthy, qualified, spiritually energized missionaries who, like Helaman’s 2,000
stripling warriors, are “exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength
and activity” and who are “true at all times in whatsoever thing they [are]
entrusted” (Alma 53:20)....
"We don’t need you to just
fill a position; we need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking,
passionate missionaries who know how to listen to and respond to the whisperings
of the Holy Spirit. This isn’t a time for spiritual weaklings. We cannot send
you on a mission to be reactivated, reformed, or to receive a testimony. We just
don’t have time for that. We need you to be filled with “faith, hope, charity
and love, with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C
"As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I call upon you
to begin right now—tonight—to be fully and completely worthy. Resolve and commit
to yourselves and to God that from this moment forward you will strive
diligently to keep your hearts, hands, and minds pure and unsullied from any
kind of moral transgression. Resolve to avoid pornography as you would avoid the
most insidious disease, for that is precisely what it is. Resolve to completely
abstain from tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. Resolve to be honest. Resolve
to be good citizens and to abide by the laws of the land in which you live.
Resolve that from this night forward you will never defile your body or use
language that is vulgar and unbecoming to a bearer of the priesthood.
"And that is not all we expect of you, my young brethren.
We expect you to have an understanding and a solid testimony of the restored
gospel of Jesus Christ. We expect you to work hard. We expect you to be covenant
makers and covenant keepers. We expect you to be missionaries to match our
glorious message." (Ensign, Nov 2002)
Ammon teaches King Lamoni.
WHAT DID AMMON DO TO BE IN A POSITION TO TEACH KING
LAMONI AND HIS PEOPLE?
He made an impression on the king by stating that
he desired to live among the people of Lamoni,
"perhaps until the day
I die" (Alma 17:23).
Rather than accept the daughter of Lamoni as a wife
(and its attendant royal privileges) he desired to become a servant of
He was sent out to help in watching the flocks of
the king (Alma 17:24-25).
He was willing to stand in defense of the kings flocks
In the process he gained favor of the other servants by
preserving their lives.
These same servants reported the incident to the
When the king inquired as to the whereabouts of Ammon,
it was reported that Ammon was caring for the horses and preparing them
for the kings journey (Alma 18:8-9).
The scripture says Lamoni was
because of the faithfulness of Ammon" (Alma 18:10).
Because of Ammon's faithfulness he was able to perceive
the thoughts of the king (Alma 18:16-18).
HOW DID AMMON'S GOOD EXAMPLE AFFECT KING LAMONI AND
They were so touched by his example that their hearts
and minds were open to his message.
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN CHURCH MEMBERS' EXAMPLES AFFECT
While serving on my mission in Oklahoma I was privileged
to participate in the teaching and baptism of a wonderful Cherokee family. Unfortunately, the eldest daughter was against the Church and would having
nothing to do with the baptism of her other family members. The baptism
of her family brought this young lady into contact with an LDS family with
a daughter about the same age. The example of that LDS family, in
particular their teenage daughter, was such that over a period of several
weeks, the girl's heart was changed and she became receptive to
the message of the gospel. One evening she asked us about faith and
testimony and we taught her Alma's wonderful discourse on faith in Alma
32. She attended the next branch baptism as an observer. When
the baptism was over, she came up to us and asked if she could be baptized
the following week.
The power of example is great. When an LDS girl, who lived
her testimony, came in contact with this young Cherokee lady, a heart was
and she saw something she desired.
WHAT HAPPENED TO LAMONI AFTER AMMON TAUGHT HIM?
Lamoni cried for mercy from the Lord and fell to
the ground (Alma 18:40-43).
WHY DO YOU THINK LAMONI WAS SO PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED
WHEN AMMON TAUGHT HIM THE GOSPEL?
Ammon truly taught by the Spirit, and Lamoni's heart
had been prepared to be touched by the Spirit.
HOW CAN WE TEACH BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST?
Prepare ourselves for teaching as did the sons of Mosiah
by diligently searching the scriptures, praying diligently, and fasting
from time to time. Also, as Elder Ballard has stated, we need to purify
I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the
word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach
it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
"And if it be by some other way it is not of
"And again, he that receiveth the word of truth,
doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
"If it be some other way it is not of God.
"Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand
and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth
it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
"Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth,
understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together."
President Ezra Taft Benson: "Our
preaching and our teaching must be by the power of the Holy Ghost. There
are so many passages that counsel us to teach by the power of the Holy
Ghost. We must ever remember that in this glorious work, the most essential
element is the Spirit." (Teachings of
Ezra Taft Benson, p313)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "The
crowning, convincing, converting power of gospel teaching is manifest when
an inspired teacher says, 'I know by the power of the Holy Ghost, by the
revelations of the Holy Spirit to my soul, that the doctrines I have taught
are true.' This divine seal of approval makes the spoken word binding upon
the hearers." (The Promised Messiah, p516)
ALMA 21:1-8. Response
to the preaching of Aaron.
HOW DID AARON AND HIS BROTHERS RESPOND TO THIS REJECTION?
Aaron continued teaching, using the scriptures to teach
the people concerning Christ. (v9)
When the people would not hear his words
Aaron joined his brethren preaching in Ani-Anti. (v11)
When the people hardened their hearts they
went on to the land of Middoni and continued preaching there. (v12)
When they were cast out into prison and delivered by the
Lord, they continued their preaching. (v14-15)
THE PRINCIPLE: It did not matter what reception or treatment
these missionaries received, Aaron and his brethren were persistent in their mission
to share the gospel.
WHY IS IT IMPROPER TO JUDGE MISSIONARY SUCCESS SOLELY
BY THE NUMBER OF BAPTISMS?
See President Hinckley's story near the conclusion
of Lesson 18.
HOW DID THESE MISSIONARIES DETERMINE WHERE THEY SHOULD
GO TO TEACH THE GOSPEL?
WHAT EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT?
If we are going about the Lord's work, then we need to live
worthy and tune in to that quiet voice of the Spirit which speaks to our soul. As we do so, we will not be alone, but we will have a powerful companion in our
Ammon & His Brethren as a
Type of Christ
Ammon and his brothers gave up their right as heirs
to the kingdom in order to teach the gospel to a hardened and idolatrous
Christ left the kingdom of his Father to come down
to a fallen world where he would suffer many afflictions to bring us salvation.
Ammon, rather than marrying Lamoni's daughter and
receiving the attendant privileges of royalty, choose to become the king's
Christ was willing to humble himself, even by washing
the feet of his disciples. He taught,
"He that is greatest among
you shall be your servant." (Matthew 23:11)
Both were willing to endure great temptation.
Ammon was willing to put his life on the line to
bring the gospel to the Lamanites.
Sister Camille Fronk: "Ammon's
humility as a servant never changed throughout the course of events. Position, notoriety, and scheming tricks to manipulate others were not
desires or concerns for him. He seemed to always remember that he
was the instrument in the Master's hand, not the source of conversion and
power. He was there to assist and be the Lord's servant in whatever
capacity he was asked. Such sincerity, testimony, and genuine compassion
cannot be feigned--it comes from God."
(Studies In Scripture, p329)
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the missionary experiences of the sons of Mosiah.
What principles can you apply to your teaching and missionary service?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Studies in Scripture, Volume 7, edited by Kent P. Jackson.
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson.
The Promised Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
03 May 2016