- Alma 53-63: “Preserved by His Marvelous Power” – August 10-16The worst of times can bring out the best in us. That seems to be Mormon’s message as he highlights the remarkable faith and courage of Captain Moroni, Teancum, and the sons of Helaman during the seven-year war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. This week, we are studying the following events:
- Helaman recruits 2,000 young warriors, known as “the sons of Helaman,” “the armies of Helaman,” or the “stripling warriors” (Alma 53).
- Moroni attempts to negotiate for the exchange of prisoners, then finds a way to rescue the Nephite prisoners without bloodshed (Alma 54-55).
- Helaman describes the miraculous success of his young warriors in a letter to Captain Moroni (Alma 56-58).
- Moroni and Pahoran exchange letters about the reasons for the lack of support from the government (Alma 59-61).
- The final battle, including the death of Teancum (Alma 62).
- Epilogue: What happened just after the war (Alma 63).
Lessons from the Sons of Helaman
- We earn trust by being serious and sensible: They Were Men Who Were True at All Times – Alma 53:20-21
- Young people can accomplish miracles as they trust in the faith of their parents: What Can We Learn from the Women in the Book of Mormon?
- Commit to a course of action and hold steady: How Can We Overcome Our Doubts?
- It’s important for a leader to have good judgement: We Were Not Sufficiently Strong – Alma 56:39-40
- Respect the agency of those you lead: What Say Ye, My Sons? – Alma 56:43-44
- Focus your thoughts on your highest priorities: They Did Think More… – Alma 56:47
- Be vigilant; don’t throw your freedom away: What Does It Mean to “Stand Fast in the Liberty Wherewith God Hath Made Us Free?”
- Trust the promises of God, even before you see them being fulfilled: The Lord Our God Did Visit Us with Assurances – Alma 58:10-11
- Unity creates power: With Exactness – Alma 57:21
- Be honest, but speak in hopeful and constructive terms: Is It Wrong to Complain?
Lessons from the Rescue of the Nephite Prisoners
- Hypocrisy is unsustainable: I Am a Bold Lamanite – Alma 54:23-24
- The way you define your mission will affect the way you fulfill it, including how you treat other people along the way: He Did Not Delight in Murder or Bloodshed – Alma 55:18-19
Lessons from Moroni and Pahoran
- Deal promptly with the root causes of an issue: What Does It Mean to Cleanse the Inward Vessel?
- Don’t avoid difficult conversations, even if they are messy: Was Captain Moroni Right to Chastise Pahoran so Harshly?
- Leaders have an extra responsibility to be diligent, because their negligence affects other people: Ye Ought to Have Stirred Yourselves More Diligently – Alma 60:8-10
- Words of truth, courageously spoken, can inspire courage in others: I Was Somewhat Worried Concerning What We Should Do – Alma 61:19-20
- Keep things in perspective, set aside your ego, and maintain your composure: I Am Not Angry – Alma 61:9
Lessons from the End of the War
- Adversity can strengthen us—depending on how we respond: “They Did Humble Themselves” – Mosiah 21:13-14
- Be courageous, but not reckless: What Can We Learn from Teancum’s Assassinations of Two Lamanite Kings?
- Some tasks can’t be effectively delegated, because the leader needs firsthand knowledge: Moroni Went Forth – Alma 62:20-21
- Don’t hold back from pursuing new opportunities: They Took Their Course Northward – Alma 63:5-9
When Captain Moroni learned that reinforcements had not been sent to Helaman, he immediately wrote to Pahoran, the chief judge, requesting assistance. Shortly after, the city Nephihah fell to the enemy because reinforcements had not been sent there either. Moroni became gravely concerned about the state of the war and the lack of support from… Continue Reading →
The Lamanites who were converted by the preaching of Ammon and his brothers had previously been “a hardened people,” quick to engage in violence (Alma 17:14). After their conversion, as a symbol of their changed hearts, they buried their weapons “deep in the earth” (Alma 24:17). And this they did, it being in their view… Continue Reading →
After successfully fending off an attempted invasion by the Lamanites, Moroni and his people immediately got busy fortifying their cities further and preparing for the next attack. During this time of uncertainty and hard work, Mormon tells us that their emotional state was unexpectedly positive: But behold there never was a happier time among the… Continue Reading →
When the Lamanite armies, under the leadership of Zerahemnah, arrived at the land of Jershon, they were dismayed. Captain Moroni and the Nephite army were prepared in a way that they had not anticipated: Moroni had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they… Continue Reading →
Never underestimate the influence that one person can have. Mormon opens his account of the seven-year war between the Nephites and the Lamanites by focusing on two leaders: Amalickiah and Moroni. After describing the influence Amalickiah had over many of the Nephites and the disruptive effect of his leadership, Mormon explains what we can learn… Continue Reading →
Mormon’s description of the end of Alma’s life is mysterious: He departed out of the land of Zarahemla, as if to go into the land of Melek. And it came to pass that he was never heard of more; as to his death or burial we know not of (Alma 45:18). Those are the facts…. Continue Reading →
Two different military leaders asked Alma for guidance on two different occasions. Notice how similar these two stories are: Now Zoram and his two sons, knowing that Alma was high priest over the church, and having heard that he had the spirit of prophecy, therefore they went unto him and desired of him to know… Continue Reading →
Captain Moroni was a successful military leader partly because of his emotional intelligence. He made it a point to observe the “intent” of the enemy and the “intent” of his own troops. For example: As Moroni knew the intention of the Lamanites, that it was their intention to destroy their brethren, or to subject them… Continue Reading →
As we’ve studied about Alma’s words to Corianton this week, I’ve wondered about Corianton’s subsequent activities. Alma is clearly concerned about him, not only because of his behavior but because of misunderstandings which have thus far held him back from repenting. Were Alma’s words effective in helping Corianton to change? We don’t hear much more… Continue Reading →
Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would come to fix broken things and to give people things they had lost: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the… Continue Reading →
In March, 2019, I studied 20 different names or titles of Jesus Christ which appear in the Book of Mormon. I was particularly interested in the way each name was used, both in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.
In 2018, I wrote summaries of many of the sermons in the Book of Mormon. Each summary describes the setting, the purpose, an outline of the sermon’s content, and my takeaways from the sermon.
In 2019, I used the Book of Mormon to study 365 questions—one per day. Here is a list of those questions, grouped by category, with a link to the blog post for each question.