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Book of Mormon – Lesson 20

“My Soul is Pained No More”

Taught By Jeff Stone

June 8, 2008

Scriptures:

Mosiah 25, 26, 27, 28; Alma 36

Lesson Details:

In reading the chapters in Mosiah and Alma it’s a good idea to continually review the approximate geography so that we can keep straight which group(s) of people we are reading about. So for more details about the travels that we reviewed today make sure you review the “Book of Mormon Travels” Handout.

In Mosiah 25, we learn of four groups of people who unite in the Land of Zarahemla; all of whom take the name “Nephites” as their “title.”

The Groups:
  1. Limhi’s people who escaped from the Lamanites
  2. Alma’s people who had escaped the from the Waters of Mormon
  3. The Original Group of Nephites who remained in Zarahemla
  4. The Original inhabitants/founders of Zarahemla (Descendants of Mulek who was the son of King Zedekiah in Jerusalem)

Remember, King Zedekiah was the King of Jerusalem when Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. See 1 Nephi 1:4 and 2 Kings 24:18. King Zedekiah was taken captive into Babylon where he was tortured and forced to watch the execution of his sons right before his eyes were poked out. See 2 Kings 25:7.

However, one of his sons, Mulek, escapes and makes his way (with some others) to the Promised land approximately the same time that Lehi and his family leave Jerusalem. In Helaman 6:10, we see that Mulek and his party settled north (Zarahemla), and that Lehi and his family settle south – initial settlement, then the Land of Lehi-Nephi.

Once the four groups were reunited in Zarahemla, King Mosiah had the stories of Limhi and Alma read to the people. In Mosiah 25, we see the joy and excitement felt by the Nephites for the delivery of their people as well as the sorrow they feel for their brethren the Lamanites. Many were baptized and became very productive members of the church.

Preachy Old Men and The Stubborn Youth:

In Mosiah 26, we learn that many of those who were youth during the time of King Benjamin were now becoming adults. As they grew into young adulthood, they felt that they knew better and were not as receptive to the words of the Lord as were the previous generations. Many were led away from the church. Many of the members were persecuted by the non-believers.

In Mosiah 27, we learn that Alma’s son Alma was one of the main persecutors along with the four sons of Mosiah. The five of them were leading people away from the church. However, after fasting and prayer from Alma (Alma-the-Younger’s father), an angel visited the five “trouble-makers.” They had a complete change of heart and became some of the most successful missionaries in the church.

Alma-the-Younger describes the account in his own record in Alma 36. We also get an abridged version of it in Mosiah 27. Below is a comparison of what Alma felt before and after his conversion:

BEFORE AFTER
Carnal and fallen, to be cast off
(Mosiah 27:25–27; Alma 36:11)
Redeemed of God, born of the Spirit (Mosiah 27:24–25; Alma 36:23)
Wading through much tribulation (Mosiah 27:28) Snatched out of an
everlasting burning
(Mosiah 27:28)
In the gall of bitterness and
bonds of iniquity
(Mosiah 27:29)
Redeemed from the gall of
bitterness and bonds of iniquity
(Mosiah 27:29)
In the darkest abyss
(Mosiah 27:29)
Beheld the marvelous light of God (Mosiah 27:29)
Racked with eternal torment
(Mosiah 27:29)
Soul pained no more
(Mosiah 27:29)
Harrowed up by the memory of his many sins (Alma 36:17) No longer harrowed up by
the memory of his sins
(Alma 36:19)
Felt exquisite and
exceeding pain
(Alma 36:20–21)
Felt exquisite and exceeding joy
(Alma 36:20–21)
Soul racked with horror at
the thought of being in
the presence of God
(Alma 36:14–15)
Soul longed to be in the
presence of God
(Alma 36:22)

Hopefully by the end of this lesson, we realize that we are likely nowhere near as far off the path as Alma and the sons of Mosiah were. Yet they were able to change their hearts and become great missionaries. I think that this is a beaming message of hope for all of us. If they can do it, we can do it.