Alma 46 – Amalickiah wants to be a king and gathers followers. Moroni raises Title of Liberty and rallied the righteous to defend their rights and religion.
VS1-10 – We learned at the end of Chapter 45 that as Helaman and his brethren were preaching, many would not listen because of pride. These dissenters were so angry they wanted to kill them. Their leader was Amalickiah (large and strong man) and he wanted to be a king. His followers agreed with that plan. Many of his followers were lower ranking judges (also high priests) and wanted power. Amalickiah promised them he would make them rulers over the people if they made him king.
Q – What lessons do we learn from vs 8-9?
Q – Do you think appearance has anything to do with if we follow someone? Why is wanting power destructive? How can flattering words lead people to do wickedly? Any examples?
VS11-20 – Title of Liberty – Moroni is angry with Amalickiah, so he tears off a piece of his coat and, writes on it, and fastens the cloth to the end of a pole. It says “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” He puts on his armor, holds the pole, bows down, and prays to God for liberty as long as Christians possess the land. He went forth among the people, waving the flag and cried for them to enter into a covenant. (elaborate on vs 15, 17, 18)
- Ezra Taft Benson: “Improve your community by active participation and service. Remember in your civic responsibility that ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’ (Edmund Burke). … Do something meaningful in defense of your God-given freedom and liberty” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 58; or Ensign, May 1988, 51).
- Ezra Taft Benson: “In that sacred volume of scripture, the Book of Mormon, we note the great and prolonged struggle for liberty. We also note the complacency of the people and their frequent willingness to give up their liberty for the promises of a would-be provider. …“… Moroni, like the prophets whose words are recorded in the Book of Mormon, spoke of the Americas as a chosen land—the land of liberty. He led the people in battle who were willing to fight to ‘maintain their liberty.’“And the record states: ‘… that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, … and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites.’ [Alma 46:36.]“This is our need today—to plant the standard of liberty among our people throughout the Americas. “While this incident occurred some seventy years B.C., the struggle went on through one thousand years covered by this sacred Book of Mormon record. In fact, the struggle for liberty is a continuing one—it is with us in a very real sense today” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1962, 14–15).
VS20-22 – Moroni called the people to make a covenant and they ran to do so. (read aloud)
Elder Paul E. Koelliker of the Seventy: “Giving careful attention to covenant making is critical to our eternal salvation. Covenants are agreements we make with our Heavenly Father in which we commit our hearts, minds, and behavior to keeping the commandments defined by the Lord. As we are faithful in keeping our agreement, He covenants, or promises, to bless us, ultimately with all that He has” (“Gospel Covenants Bring Promised Blessings,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 94).
Q – If we keep our covenants, God will …
VS23–27 – The Prophecy of Joseph’s Coat – The torn coat of Moroni—the title of liberty—was a reminder of the preserved remnant of the coat of Joseph of Egypt. Moroni declared that the Nephites were a remnant of the seed of Joseph and would only continue to be preserved as long as they served God (see Alma 46:22–24).
President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972): “We are told that there was a prophecy in the destruction of the coat of many colors worn by Joseph. Part of it was preserved, and Jacob, before his death, prophesied that as a remnant of the coat was preserved so should a remnant of Joseph’s posterity be preserved [see Alma 46:24]. “That remnant now found among the Lamanites shall eventually partake of the blessings of the Gospel. They shall unite with the remnant which is being gathered from among the nations and they shall be blessed of the Lord forever” (The Way to Perfection , 121).
VS28 – Moroni and his followers gathered together from all parts of the land in the cause of liberty.
VS29-35 – Amalickiah and his followers realized they were outnumbered, so they went to the land of Nephi, seeking to join the Lamanites. Moroni’s army stopped most of Amalickiah’s group from reaching the land of Nephi. Many of Amalickiah’s followers entered into a covenant to support freedom. The few who would not enter into the covenant were put to death. Amalickiah and a small number of his men escaped and joined the Lamanites.
VS29, 35 – Because Amalickiah’s people were so easily doubtful of his cause, most ended up joining Moroni’s cause of freedom when caught. What does this mean about the cause?
Think of Joseph Smith and the early Saints. Most of them remained faithful when it would have been really easy to drop their cause.
VS36-41 – Moroni had the title of liberty put on every tower in the Nephite lands. Peace resumed amongst the Nephites and the church was strong for four years. Many believers died rejoicing, mostly of old age. Some died of fevers, but not many because of plants and roots provided by God.
*Talk about vs 40-41
Alma 47 – By fraud, Amalickiah becomes king of the Lamanites.
VS1-3 – Amalickiah and his followers make it to the land of Nephi. They stir up the Lamanites to anger against the Nephites. The king tells the people to prepare for war. Many are afraid and don’t want to fight because they don’t want to die. Most of the Lamanites do not obey the king’s command. The King is angry because of their disobedience so he sends Amalickiah with his army to compel these Lamanites to fight.
VS4-9 – Amalickiah is happy about this arrangement because he wants to become king of the Lamanites. He already got the favor of the obedient Lamanites and then wanted to get the favor of the disobedient ones. He went to Onidah (the place of arms), where the Lamanite dissenters had fled. They had appointed a king and were determined not to fight the Nephites. Amalickiah and his army go on top of the Mount Antipas to prepare to fight. Amalickiah had no intention of fighting this army because he wanted their favor too. He told his army to pitch their tents in the valley near Antipas.
VS10-19 – Imagine you are Lehonti and Amalickiah is Satan. By doing this, we can learn some important lessons about Satan’s tactics for trying to defeat us. (read aloud and stop after certain verses)
VS10-12 – What did Amalickiah want Lehonti to do?
- What are some tactics Satan uses to get us to come down from higher ground? (Possible answers include tempting us to lower our standards and enticing us to go places where we are not safe spiritually.)
- One way Satan may try to entice us to lower our standards is in the way we discuss the gospel with friends and acquaintances. More and more is being written positively and negatively about the Church, online and in print. People who are honestly seeking the truth will naturally ask questions or even initiate discussions about the gospel. However, others intend only to argue for the sake of argument or to undermine faith.
Have you ever had an experience in which someone in person or online found out you were a member of the Church and then tried to entice you into an argument?
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Some may try to provoke us and engage us in argument. In the Book of Mormon, we read about Lehonti and his men camped upon a mount. The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to ‘come down’ and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned ‘by degrees’ until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. It’s where we see the first light of morning and the last light in the evening. It is the safe ground. It is true and where knowledge is. Sometimes others want us to come down off the high ground and join them in a theological scrum in the mud. These few contentious individuals are set on picking religious fights, online or in person. We are always better staying on the higher ground of mutual respect and love” (“Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 74).
VS13-16 – What did Amalickiah offer Lehonti? What did he ask for in return? Why do you think Lehonti trusted him and listened to him?
VS17-19 – Amalickiah got exactly what he wanted because someone left safety of higher ground and trusted someone who didn’t deserve trust.
Q – What are some examples of ways Satan seeks to poison us “by degrees”?
VS 20-35 – Amalickiah went back to Nephi. The king came out with his guards to meet Amalickiah, thinking he had done what he was commanded to do. Amalickiah sent his servants to the king. His servants bowed down, pretending to reverence the king, and then one of them stabbed him. The servants of the king ran away, and Amalickiah’s servants blamed the king’s servants for the murder. Amalickiah pretended to be angry and had a search done for the servants. The servants joined the people of Ammon in Zarahemla. They were not found. The next day, Amalickiah took possession of the city of Nephi. He explained, along with his servants, what had happened to the king to the queen, gained her favor, and then married her. He was the king of all the Lamanites.
VS36 – The dissenters of the Nephites, who joined them, were more wicked and ferocious.
- Manual says: The Book of Mormon repeatedly warns that those who belong to the Church and then “dissent” become hard in their hearts and are apt to “entirely [forget] the Lord their God” (Alma 47:36).
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004): “There are the dissenters who leave the Church, either formally or informally, but who cannot leave it alone. Usually anxious to please worldly galleries, they are critical or at least condescending towards the Brethren. They not only seek to steady the ark but also on occasion give it a hard shove! Often having been taught the same true doctrines as the faithful, they have nevertheless moved in the direction of dissent (see Alma 47:36). They have minds hardened by pride (see Daniel 5:20)” (Men and Women of Christ , 4).
- Elder Russell M. Nelson:
“‘He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me [saith the Lord]’ … (3 Nephi 11:29–30). …
“Throughout the world, Saints of the Lord … have learned that the path of dissent leads to real dangers….”
“How divisive is the force of dissension! Small acts can lead to such great consequences. Regardless of position or situation, no one can safely assume immunity to contention’s terrible toll. …“Contention fosters disunity” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 86–88; or Ensign, May 1989, 68, 70).
Alma 48– Amalickiah and Moroni prepare their people for war, but in different ways.
VS1-6 – Amalickiah’s preparations – Amalickiah got the Lamanites angry towards the Nephites. He wanted to be king over all the land. He hardened their hearts and blinded their minds (why do you think he changed their minds when the past king couldn’t?) He wanted to bring the Nephites into bondage. He made the Zoramites chief captains because they knew most about Nephite strategem. They started towards Zarahemla.
VS7- 10 – Moroni’s preparations – Moroni prepared the minds of his people to be faithful to God. He also strengthened his armies by building more fortifications, as well as putting the most men in the weakest areas (read vs 10)
- What have modern-day prophets taught us to help us fortify our areas of spiritual weakness?
- As we follow the counsel of the Lord’s servants, we will be fortified against temptation.
- With the tide of wickedness in the world today, President Gordon B. Hinckley has advocated that “there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization, just as Moroni rallied his people in his day to the defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty (see Alma 48:10)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 88; or Ensign, Nov. 2001, 72).
VS11-13, 16-17 – Qualities of Moroni (read aloud)
- Do you see any qualities that you share with Moroni or some you’d like to develop?
- How did Moroni’s faith in Christ influence his character? How did his faith influence his efforts to defend his people?
- Thomas S Monson – “Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently.” (Manful means having or showing boldness, courage, or strength; resolute.)
- Mormon said that if all people were like Captain Moroni, “the devil would never have power over [their] hearts” (Alma 48:17). Why is this true?
VS14-16 – Reiteration of Nephites’ beliefs on war and their faith that God would help them
Alma 48 VS19 – “No less serviceable”
President Howard W. Hunter: “Even though Helaman was not as noticeable or conspicuous as Moroni, he was as serviceable; that is, he was as helpful or useful as Moroni. …
“Not all of us are going to be like Moroni, catching the acclaim of our colleagues all day every day. Most of us will be quiet, relatively unknown folks who come and go and do our work without fanfare. To those of you who may find that lonely or frightening or just unspectacular, I say, you are ‘no less serviceable’ than the most spectacular of your associates. You, too, are part of God’s army.
“Consider, for example, the profound service a mother or father gives in the quiet anonymity of a worthy Latter-day Saint home. Think of the Gospel Doctrine teachers and Primary choristers and Scoutmasters and Relief Society visiting teachers who serve and bless millions but whose names will never be publicly applauded or featured in the nation’s media.
“Tens of thousands of unseen people make possible our opportunities and happiness every day. As the scriptures state, they are ‘no less serviceable’ than those whose lives are on the front pages of newspapers.
“The limelight of history and contemporary attention so often focuses on the one rather than on the many” (“No Less Serviceable,” Ensign, Apr. 1992, 64).
VS20-25 – Any comments?