Helaman 1 – Pahoran II becomes chief judge and is murdered by Kishkumen. Coriantumr takes Zarahemla and slays Pacumeni. Moronihah slays Coriantumr and retakes Zarahemla.
VS1-8 –Who would be the new chief judge?
Contentions began among the Nephites after Pahoran died. Three of his sons contend for the judgment seat, causing three divisions among the people. Pahoran II was appointed chief judge by the voice of the people. Pacumeni united with the voice of the people. Paanchi and his followers were very angry; he wanted to use flattery to cause a rebellion. Paanchi was tried and put to death for trying to destroy the people’s liberty.
- When I think of using flattering words, people listen without knowing all the facts. They just like what they hear.
- Difference between discussing and contending: we should discuss things with friendly persuasion and facts. We should not show disrespect toward those who have different views. Winning an argument is not more important than another person’s well-being.
- President James E. Faust of the First Presidency warned, “When there is contention, the Spirit of the Lord will depart, regardless of who is at fault” (“What I Want My Son to Know before He Leaves on His Mission,” Ensign, May 1996, 41).
- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles cautioned: “The sins of corruption, dishonesty, strife, contention, and other evils in this world are not here by chance. They are evidences of the relentless campaign of Satan and those who follow him. He uses every tool and device available to him to deceive, confuse, and mislead” (“Deep Roots,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 76).
- In contrast to the destructive impact of contention, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency emphasized the unity and peace that the Spirit of the Lord brings:“Where people have that Spirit with them, we may expect harmony. The Spirit puts the testimony of truth in our hearts, which unifies those who share that testimony. The Spirit of God never generates contention (see 3 Ne. 11:29). It never generates the feelings of distinctions between people which lead to strife (see Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 13th ed. , 131). It leads to personal peace and a feeling of union with others. It unifies souls. A unified family, a unified Church, and a world at peace depend on unified souls” (“That We May Be One,” Ensign, May 1998, 67).
VS9-12 – Kishkumen
Paanchi’s followers hired Kishkumen to murder Pahoran II. He ran away so quickly, nobody could find him. He and those that hired him entered into a covenant that they would never tell anyone Kishkumen had murdered Pahoran. Kishkumen and his band mingled among the Nephites. Kishkumen wasn’t recognized, but those of Paanchi’s followers who were recognized were put to death.
- Contention is like a path that leads to other sins and negative consequences. In this case, it led to murder. It is not as small a sin as it seems.
- What are some other examples of people keeping their unrighteous actions secret?
- Why is it unwise to help someone cover up his sins?
- Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “If you have seriously transgressed, you will not find any lasting satisfaction or comfort in what you have done. Excusing transgression with a cover-up may appear to fix the problem, but it does not. The tempter is intent on making public your most embarrassing acts at the most harmful time. Lies weave a pattern that is ever more confining and becomes a trap that Satan will spring to your detriment” (“Finding Forgiveness,” Ensign, May 1995, 77).
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “In my youth I once was negligent in a way that caused a minor injury to one of my brothers. I did not own up to my stupidity at the time, and no one ever knew about my role in the matter. Years later I was praying that God would reveal to me anything in my life that needed correction so that I might be found more acceptable before Him, and this incident came to my mind. I had forgotten about it, but the Spirit whispered that this was an unresolved transgression I needed to confess. I called my brother, apologized, and asked for his forgiveness, which he promptly and generously gave. My embarrassment and regret would have been less had I apologized when the accident happened. “It was interesting and significant to me that the Lord had not forgotten about that event of the distant past even though I had. Sins do not take care of themselves or simply fade away. Sins do not get ‘swept under the rug’ in the eternal economy of things. They must be dealt with, and the wonderful thing is that because of the Savior’s atoning grace, they can be dealt with in a much happier and less painful manner than directly satisfying offended justice ourselves” (“To Always Remember Him,” Ensign, Apr. 2011, 53).
VS13 – Pacumeni was appointed chief judge by the people.
VS14-22 The Lamanites take Zarahemla
The Lamanites had gathered a huge army, armed and armored. They were being led by Coriantumr, a large and mighty Nephite dissenter. The Lamanite king, Tubaloth (son of Ammoron), stirred his people up to anger against the Nephites and trusted Coriantumr to lead them to gain power over the Nephites. They marched to Zarahemla. The Nephites did not have many guards due to all the contentions, so the Lamanites were able to easily take possession of the land of Zarahemla. Coriantumr’s army slayed many men, even Pacumeni.
VS18 – The Lamanites easily attacked because of Nephite contention that had occurred.
Contention makes us vulnerable to the influence of the adversary.
VS15-34 – Moronihah defeats and slays Coriantumr as he tried to take Bountiful
Coriantumr took courage because of how easy it was to take Zarahemla, so he started marching toward Bountiful. Moronihah actually had an advantage over Coriantumr because he took Zarahemla. Most of Moronihah’s armies were in the borders of the Nephite lands, so he Lehi head them off before they reached Bountiful. The Lamanites started to retreat, and Moronihah battled them from the other side. Many were slain, including Coriantumr. The Lamanites surrendered and Moronihah took back Zarahemla.
Helaman 2 – Helaman became the chief judge. Kishkumen attempts to murder him, and is instead killed. Gadianton flees with his band of robbers.
VS1-3 – New chief judge
Helaman was appointed to be the new chief judge. Kishkumen wanted to kill him too, and his band supported him in this.
VS4-5 – Gadianton
Gadianton, an expert in murder and robbery, became the leader of Kishkumen’s band. Gadianton flattered them saying if they made him chief judge he would give them power and authority among the Nephites.
VS6-9 – Kishkumen is killed while going to kill Helaman
Kishkumen went on his way to murder Helaman and was met by one of Helamsn’s servants who had spied on the Gadianton robbers. This servant, posing as a robber, gave Kishkumen their secret sign and pretended to help him murder Helaman. Instead, this servant, knowing Kishkumen and the robbers were all murderers, killed Kishkumen. He then told Helaman what happened.
- D&C 10:5 – 5 aPray always, that you may come off bconqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may cescape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.
- During the general conference following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) referred to terrorist organizations determined to foster murder, tyranny, fear, and wicked control:
“Terrorist organizations … must be ferreted out and brought down.
“We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.
“We are people of peace. We are followers of the Christ, who was and is the Prince of Peace. But 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).
VS10-14 – Gadianton Robbers flee
Helaman seeks to execute the Gadianton robbers. Gadianton and the band flee into the wilderness and are not found. Mormon forshadows that the Gadianton robbers will overthrow the people of Nephi.
One stick/group of sticks object lesson – When many individuals are unified, it is hard to break them. Strength in numbers can be used for righteous purposes, but also wicked purposes.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that the threat of secret combinations still exists in our day:
“The Book of Mormon teaches that secret combinations engaged in crime present a serious challenge, not just to individuals and families but to entire civilizations. Among today’s secret combinations are gangs, drug cartels, and organized crime families. The secret combinations of our day function much like the Gadianton robbers of the Book of Mormon times. They have secret signs and code words. They participate in secret rites and initiation ceremonies. Among their purposes are to ‘murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God’ [Helaman 6:23].
“If we are not careful, today’s secret combinations can obtain power and influence just as quickly and just as completely as they did in Book of Mormon times. Do you remember the pattern? The secret combinations began among the ‘more wicked part’ of society, but eventually ‘seduced the more part of the righteous’ until the whole society was polluted [Helaman 6:38]. …
“The Book of Mormon teaches that the devil is the ‘author of all sin’ and the founder of these secret combinations [Helaman 6:30; see 2 Nephi 26:22]. He uses secret combinations, including gangs, ‘from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men’ [Helaman 6:30]. His purpose is to destroy individuals, families, communities, and nations [see 2 Nephi 9:9]. To a degree, he was successful during Book of Mormon times. And he is having far too much success today. That’s why it is so important for us as priesthood holders to take a firm stand for truth and right by doing what we can to help keep our communities safe” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1997, 51–52; or Ensign, Nov. 1997, 38).
Helaman 3 – Many Nephites move north. The church prospers but many become proud and persecute the righteous.
VS1-12 – Many Nephites migrate Northward
There was a little pride for a while that was settled. After a couple years, many contentions occurred, so much that many people left Zarahemla and went north until they came to large bodies of waters and many rivers. They spread out in places that weren’t desolate. Not much timber was found, so they worked much with cement. They multiplied and spread throughout the whole earth. They used tents and cement houses mostly, but planted trees to use later on. They started to import timber so they could build cities. Many people of Ammon moved to this parts of the land.
VS13-16 – Records
Mormon mentions that not even 100th part of the records of the Nephites are contained in the Book of Mormon. All the records were handed down until the they became wicked and ferocious and joined the Lamanites.
VS17-19- Much contention amongst the Nephites
VS20-21 – Helaman was a good chief judge, and father to Nephi and Lehi
Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy emphasized the importance of keeping our covenants as a way of developing consistency in doing good:
“Perhaps of all the evidence of true conversion and a remission of sins, this is the most significant: the disposition to do evil no more, but to do good continually. …
“We can strengthen our disposition to do good each time we make and keep covenants. Each time we participate in priesthood ordinances, the powers from on high reach downward and draw us nearer to the heavens. Those who partake of the sacrament and temple ordinances with pure hearts and who faithfully keep their covenants require no lengthy instructions regarding modest dress, the payment of generous fast offerings and tithing, observance of the Word of Wisdom, or keeping the Sabbath day holy. They need no stern reminders to share the gospel with others, to attend the temple frequently, to conduct family history research, or to do their home teaching or visiting teaching. Nor do they need nudges to visit the sick and to serve those in need.
“These are the faithful Saints of the Most High who keep the sacred covenants they have made in the house of the Lord, ‘having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins’ (D&C 20:37). Covenant keepers … live the law of consecration. Their time, talents, and financial resources all belong to the Lord.
“Keeping their covenants has caused them to develop a disposition to do good continually” (“A Disposition to Do Good Continually,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 14, 19).
VS24-26 – Church is prosperous and many are baptized.
While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder Dean L. Larsen observed a relationship between faithfulness to the Lord and prosperity:
“When the lives of the people are in harmony with the Lord’s will, all of the essential factors that produce the blessings God deigns to give to his children seem to come into line. Love and harmony prevail. Even the weather, the climate, and the elements seem to respond. Peace and tranquility endure. Industry and progress mark the lives of the people. …
“… We have the Lord’s assurance that he will bless and prosper his people if they will keep his commandments and remember to look to him as the source of their blessings” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 58–59; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 41–42).
VS27-28 – When we pray, the Lord will be merciful, and when we believe on Christ, the gates of heaven will be open.
VS29-“Lay Hold upon the Word”
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) taught that certain blessings come only through diligent scripture study: “Success in righteousness, the power to avoid deception and resist temptation, guidance in our daily lives, healing of the soul—these are but a few of the promises the Lord has given to those who will come to His word. Does the Lord promise and not fulfill? Surely if He tells us that these things will come to us if we lay hold upon His word, then the blessings can be ours. And if we do not, then the blessings may be lost. However diligent we may be in other areas, certain blessings are to be found only in the scriptures, only in coming to the word of the Lord and holding fast to it as we make our way through the mists of darkness to the tree of life” (“The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 82).
VS30 -“Sit Down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob”
- The phrase “to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob” means that the faithful will merit the association of these three great patriarchs and the reception of celestial-like rewards. According to Doctrine and Covenants 132:37, “Abraham … as Isaac also and Jacob … have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.”
- Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that Church members may become heirs to the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: “The covenant that the Lord first made with Abraham and reaffirmed with Isaac and Jacob is of transcendent significance. …“We are also children of the covenant. We have received, as did they of old, the holy priesthood and the everlasting gospel. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are our ancestors. We are of Israel. We have the right to receive the gospel, blessings of the priesthood, and eternal life. Nations of the earth will be blessed by our efforts and by the labors of our posterity. The literal seed of Abraham and those who are gathered into his family by adoption receive these promised blessings—predicated upon acceptance of the Lord and obedience to his commandments” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 42–43; or Ensign, May 1995, 33).
VS31-32– Much joy and peace in the church.
VS33-34, 36 – Pride started to enter into the hearts of some who said they belonged to the church of God. They persecuted their humble brethren and were filled with pride. Because of their richness and prosperity, they became prideful.
- President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “Think of what pride has cost us in the past and what it is now costing us in our own lives, our families, and the Church. “Think of the repentance that could take place with lives changed, marriages preserved, and homes strengthened, if pride did not keep us from confessing our sins and forsaking them. (See D&C 58:43.) “Think of the many who are less active members of the Church because they were offended and their pride will not allow them to forgive or fully sup at the Lord’s table. “Think of the tens of thousands of additional young men and couples who could be on missions except for the pride that keeps them from yielding their hearts unto God. (See Alma 10:6; 3:34–35.) “Think how temple work would increase if the time spent in this godly service were more important than the many prideful pursuits that compete for our time” (“Beware of Pride,” Ensign,
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve: “How can you make the gospel of Jesus Christ not just an influence in your life but the controlling influence and, indeed, the very core of what you are? …“As a first step, you must lay aside any feeling of pride that is so common in the world today. By this I mean the attitude that rejects the authority of God to rule in our lives. … You hear it expressed today in phrases such as ‘Do your own thing’ or ‘Right and wrong depend on what I feel is right for me.’ That attitude is a rebellion against God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2004, 9; or Ensign, May 2004, 11).
- Pride is the universal sin. Draw a circle and put the word pride in it. Draw arrows coming out from the circle and put a sin at each arrow.
VS35 – Sanctification of the Heart
- Sanctification has been defined as “the process of becoming free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the atonement of Jesus Christ (Moses 6:59–60)” (Guide to the Scriptures).
- President James E. Faust taught: “Christlike conduct flows from the deepest wellsprings of the human heart and soul. It is guided by the Holy Spirit of the Lord, which is promised in gospel ordinances. Our greatest hope should be to enjoy the sanctification which comes from this divine guidance; our greatest fear should be to forfeit these blessings” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 23; or Ensign, May 1998, 20).
- Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “Personal persistence in the path of obedience is something different than achieving perfection in mortality. Perfection is not, as some suppose, a prerequisite for justification and sanctification. It is just the opposite: justification (being pardoned) and sanctification (being purified) are the prerequisites for perfection. We only become perfect ‘in Christ’ (see 10:32), not independently of Him. Thus, what is required of us in order to obtain mercy in the day of judgment is simple diligence” (“Justification and Sanctification,” Ensign, June 2001, 24–25).
VS35 -They Did Wax Strong in Their Humility
“To be humble is to recognize gratefully your dependence on the Lord—to understand that you have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that your talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that you know where your true strength lies. You can be both humble and fearless. You can be both humble and courageous. …“The Lord will strengthen you as you humble yourself before Him” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 86).
VS35 -Firm in the Faith
Elder Russell M. Nelson pointed out that such firmness in behavior and attitude is obtained individually: “Only as an individual can you develop a firm faith in God and a passion for personal prayer. Only as an individual can you keep the commandments of God. Only as an individual can you repent. Only as an individual can you qualify for the ordinances of salvation and exaltation” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2003, 47; or Ensign, Nov. 2003, 44).
VS35 -Yielding Our Hearts to God
- The phrase “yield our hearts” means to surrender or give our hearts to God. When one yields his or her heart to God, he is surrendering his personal desires in exchange for the Lord’s desires. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that yielding our hearts and souls to God is the highest form of consecration to the Lord: “Ultimate consecration is the yielding up of oneself to God. Heart, soul, and mind were the encompassing words of Christ in describing the first commandment, which is constantly, not periodically, operative (see Matthew 22:37). If it is kept, then our performances will in turn be fully consecrated for the lasting welfare of our souls (see 2 Nephi 32:9). “Such totality involves the submissive converging of feelings, thoughts, words, and deeds” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2002, 41; or Ensign, May 2002, 36).
VS36 – Helaman died and his son, Nephi, filled the judgment seat.
Helaman 4 – Lamanites with Nephite dissenters take over Zarahemla and many Nephite lands. When the Nephites start to repent, Moronihah is able to start taking back lands.
VS1-6 – Nephite dissenters join the Lamanites and they battle.
Contentions in the church led to bloodshed. The rebellious Nephites were driven out and they joined the Lamanites. They tried to stir the Lamanites to anger, but they were afraid to fight. When more dissenters came a couple years later, they were able to stir up the Lamanites to anger and they prepared for war. The next year, they battled the Nephites continually until they overtook Zarahemla and all the lands up to the land near Bountiful. Moronihah and his armies were driven into Bountiful.
VS7-10 – Moronihah takes some lands back
Moronihah foritifed against the Lamanites from the west sea to the east sea. The Lamanites had gotten possession of the southern Nephite lands, but the next year, Moronihah got many cities back. They got half back within a year.
VS11-13 – Wickedness caused this bloodshed
The slaughter could have been avoided had some church members not been prideful and wicked. Because they boasted in their strength, they were left in their own strength.
VS14-16 – Many repented after Moronihah, Nephi and Lehi preached to them. During this time, Moronihah was able to get half the lands back.
VS18-20 – Moronihah couldn’t take anymore lands, so his armies focused on keeping the ones they had. The Lamanites were so numerous, the Nephites got very scared.
VS21-26 – The Nephites who had been wicked truly realized how wicked they had been. They knew because of their wickedness, the Spirit was not with them, and the Lord did not preserve them.
- Elder M. Russell Ballard gave this warning: “You must be honest with yourself and remain true to the covenants you have made with God. Do not fall into the trap of thinking you can sin a little and it will not matter. Remember, ‘the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance’ (D&C 1:31). … Some youth foolishly rationalize that it is ‘no big deal’ to sin now because they can always repent later when they want to go to the temple or on a mission. Anyone who does that is breaking promises made to God both in the premortal life and in the waters of baptism. The idea of sinning a little is self-deception. Sin is sin! Sin weakens you spiritually, and it always places the sinner at eternal risk. Choosing to sin, even with the intent to repent, is simply turning away from God and violating covenants” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 6; or Ensign, May 1993, 7).
- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Do not be afraid of scars that may come in defending the truth or fighting for the right, but beware scars that spiritually disfigure, that come to you in activities you should not have undertaken, that befall you in places where you should not have gone” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 101; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 77).