Mosiah 7

The Book of Mosiah is the eighth book in the Book of Mormon…

Mosiah is most likely linked to the Hebrew term; “Moshia”, which represents a Champion of Justice against oppression, appointed by God, whose Mission is to liberate a chosen people from oppression, especially by non-violent means.

               After the space of 3 years of peace, king Mosiah decides to check up on the people who dwelt in the land of Lehi-Nephi. Remember Mosiah found the people of Zarahemla back in the Book of Omni. King Mosiah sends “…sixteen of their strong men…” (Mosiah 7:2). Mosiah appoints “…Ammon, he being a descendant of Zarahemla…” (Mosiah 7:3)

               Ammon and his group travel through the wilderness to go to the land of Lehi-Nephi, however, “…they knew not the course they should travel…” (Mosiah 7:4), because of this they wandered in the wilderness for 40 days, being lost, but arriving at a hill north of the land of Shilom, where they created camp. Ammon took three (Amaleki, Helem and Hem) with him to go down among the land of Nephi. When they arrive, they meet the king and the kings guard, and are bound and thrown into prison.

               “…when they had been in prison two days they were again brough before the king… their bands were loosed… and were… commanded, that they should answer [the] questions…” (Mosiah 7:8)

               Limhi, the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff, who had also come out of the land of Zarahemla inquires of them; “…I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards without the gate?” (Mosiah 7:10) King Limhi adds that if he didn’t have a desire to know who they were, he would have had them killed then and there.

He then permits them to speak, Ammon responds by bowing before the king.

“O king, I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness; For I am assured that if ye had known me ye would not have suffered that I should have worn these bands. For I am Ammon, and am a descendant of Zarahemla, and have come up out of the land of Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren, whom Zeniff brought up out of that land.” (Mosiah 7:12-13)

King Limhi rejoices with this news and causes that a team should go to gather the rest of Ammon’s team from the hill, that they might be able to eat, drink and rest in the city. King Limhi then sends a proclamation to his people that in the morning they should meet at the temple, so that he can address his people.

King Limhi addresses his people:

“O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies… lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them.” (Mosiah 7:18-19)

               King Limhi comforts his people, assuring them that they should rejoice, for God will help them overcome their enemies, just as God helped the children of Israel leave the land of Egypt. He explained that King Zeniff had entered into a treaty with King Laman, who with his cunning and craftiness, did deceive King Zeniff. He tells them that it was through their own “…iniquities and abominations that [they brought us into bondage.” (Mosiah 7:20)

Because of this, they were in bondage, paying “…tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites… And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn. (Mosiah 7:22-23)

King Limhi reminds his people that because of their iniquities, they have lost many through contentions and have these great burdens to bear.

For God will not protect his children when they turn from him. “…I [the Lord] will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them.” (Mosiah 7:29) However, the same is true of the opposite, if we shall humble ourselves before God and “…turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.” (Mosiah 7:33)

Here we learn a very simple, yet powerful truth. If we chose to follow God, He will not always allow us to prosper and could through up stumbling blocks. However, if we put our full trust in Him, and have a heart full of purpose, He will deliver us out of bondage.

Jacob 1

Jacob 1: Wickedness Prevails Among the Nephites

                Jacob picks up the story of the Nephites nearly 55 years after Lehi had left Jerusalem with his family to travel to the Promised Land (America). Nephi gives command to his brother Jacob to continue the history of the people, known as the People of Nephi, or, the Nephites.

Jacob explains that he and his people; “…labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest…” (Jacob 1:7) Jacob explains that his brother Nephi was growing old and because his people loved him as a king, they were desirous that future kings be called after him in the manner of 1st, 2nd, 3rd Nephi and so forth. Jacob explains that Nephi did grow old, and did die.

We learn from Jacob that there were many groups; Lamanites, Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Leumeulites and Ishmaelites. However, Jacob chose to categorize the people who were against the Nephites as “Lamanites” and those people for the Nephites as “Nephites”.

“It came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices… they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.” (Jacob 1:15-16)

                Jacob, seeing this great wickedness went to the Temple to teach the people, explaining that he and his priests would take; “…upon [themselves] the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon [their] own heads if [they] did not teach them the word of God with all diligence…” (Jacob 1:19)

Jacob begins his Seven Chapter section of the Book of Mormon…

2 Nephi 5

2 Nephi 5: Lamanites are Cursed

                Because of the continued anger from Laman, Lemuel and their families over Nephi being their ruler… Nephi was warned from the Lord that they sought to take away his life and that he should depart into the wilderness with everyone who believed on his words. Nephi departed into the wilderness and traveled many days with those who believed on his words.

Nephi and his people stopped in an area that they called Nephi and the people named themselves the ‘People of Nephi’; “…we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.” (2 Nephi 5:10)

                Nephi and his people began to prosper in the land, because the Lord was with them. Nephi took the sword of Laban and did make many swords like unto it as defense in case the Lamanites returned to kill the Nephites, because of their great hatred toward them. Nephi taught his people; “…to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.” (2 Nephi 5:15)

Nephi and his people even built a temple like the Temple of Solomon; “…the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.” (2 Nephi 5:16)

Because of their prosperity, the people of Nephi desired that he be their king. However, Nephi desired that they have NO king! Nephi explains that because the Lamanites disobeyed God, they were cut off from His presence and; “…the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” (2 Nephi 5:21)

Because Nephi and his people followed the commandments of God, they; “…lived after the manner of happiness.” (2 Nephi 5:27)

Nephi explains that he writes the things that are desirous of God; “And I [Nephi] engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.” (2 Nephi 5:32) Essentially, if you believe in the Lord and have faith on Him… you will believe in all His words… including the Book of Mormon.

1 Nephi 12

1 Nephi 12: The Loathsome and Filthy

                Nephi sees another vision;

“…I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea… I beheld multitudes gathered together to battle, one against the other; and I beheld wars, and rumors of wars, and great slaughters with the sword among my people.” (1 Nephi 12:2)

Nephi saw many generations pass away because of these wars, he also saw a mist of darkness upon the face of the land of promise. Nephi explains; “…I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof.” (1 Nephi 12:4) After seeing this great destruction, Nephi beheld a vapor of darkness go before the world which was like unto a mist that was a representation of 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 explains that the Large and Spacious building which Lehi and Nephi had now both seen in visions was the; “…vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them…” (1 Nephi 12:18) However, the Love of God is strong, because he sent his Only Begotten Son to Atone for the sins of the world, Nephi saw; “…the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them… I also saw and bear record that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen.” (1 Nephi 12:6-7) The Angel then explains to Nephi that Jesus Christ ordained Twelve Apostles to minister when he was gone and that those Twelve Apostles; “…shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel… And these twelve ministers whom thou beholdest shall judge thy seed [the seed of Nephi]…” (1 Nephi 12:9-10)

The Angel then shows Nephi how many of his seeds generation would pass away, and how eventually they would be overcome by the seed of his brothers and because of great wars and temptations the seed of Nephi would “…dwindle in unbelief.” (1 Nephi 12:22) Because of this unbelief they would become; “…a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.” (1 Nephi 12:23)