Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mosiah 25 & 26

Mulekites, Nephites and Lamanites

King Mosiah gathered all the people of Mulek and Nephi together so that he could read the account of Zeniff to them. At this time, there were twice as many Lamanites as there were Nephites and Mulekites. And there were more Mulekites than there were Nephites. So it seems that the Nephites … the true descendants of Nephi, Jacob, Joseph and all those who followed Nephi … were in the minority.


In Mosiah 25:16, Alma counsels the people of Limhi to "remember that it was the Lord that did deliver them." How many times are we delivered by the hand of the Lord and then after the trial we credit our own ingenuity? We should always be quick to thank the Lord for our blessings and his hand in our lives. When was the last time the Lord blessed you in a matter? Did you thank him for it?

Mosiah Delegates

Mosiah 25:19 marks the beginning of a shift in power. The verse reads, "Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church." Apparently the people of Alma and Limhi either recognized the authority of Mosiah or willfully submitted themselves to be his subjects upon their return from the Land of Nephi. Mosiah 23:17 notes that Alma had previously consecrated priests and teachers among his people when they were in the Land of Nephi. Now Mosiah is granting Alma power over the Nephites and Mulekites in Zarahemla to set up churches and ordain priests and teachers.

We can only assume that this power was retained by Mosiah before Alma entered Zarahemla. Later we will read that Mosiah ensures that this authority remains with Alma (Mosiah 26:10-12). To me, Mosiah's delegating this authority to Alma and then re-enforcing with Alma that this authority belongs to Alma, shows that Mosiah was indeed a great leader.

Mosiah the non-Micro-Manager

There were many in the "rising generation" that could not understand the words of King Benjamin and subsequently did not believe in the traditions of their fathers. Didn't the parents teach their children? We are not given enough information, but I think there must have been other factors not discussed because it sounds like their unbelief is a bit stronger than a lack of belief.

Dissensions among the people multiplied the number of unbelievers (Mosiah 26:5). These two factors (dissension and unbelief) caused many members of the church to sin. These sinners were then brought before Alma to be judged. Nothing like this had happened before and Alma did not know what to do so he took these people before King Mosiah to be judged (Mosiah 26:10).

Mosiah 26:12 again demonstrates the leadership of Mosiah. "But the king said unto Alma; Behold I judge them not; therefore I deliver them into thy hands to be judged." King Mosiah was not trying to avoid this issue. Rather he was fortifying his previous decision to delegate this authority to Alma. Had he done as Alma had requested, he would have set a precedent and Alma would not have learned a valuable lesson.

A Recipe for Problem Solving

Alma was presented a problem: what ought to be done with these people who sinned and do not repent?

It seems that Alma first looked to the past to see if there were a precedent for such a case. (Mosiah 26:10). Seeing that this problem was unique, Alma "was troubled in his spirit." Alma was genuinely concerned about doing the right thing. Since there was no previous ruling to make a judgment on the current problem, Alma sought the advice of the king who had probably had a lot of experience with such matters. But as we've seen, Mosiah deferred the matter to Alma.

Alma was left on his own to figure out how to solve this problem. When he had no where to go, he went to his knees. The Lord was pleased with Alma's choice to seek Him in this matter (Mosiah 26:19). The Lord taught Alma important principals and then instructed him what to do with the transgressors.

After receiving this instruction from the Lord, Alma wrote down all the words he had heard so that "he might have them, and that he might judge the people of that church according to the commandments of God." (Mosiah 26:33)

Do we approach the Lord with our problems or do we try to find a way on our own? I have learned that all the problems I have faced have been solved by going to the Lord in earnest prayer. I did not receive all my answers at once. Rather, most of the answers to my problems came after much struggle. Sometimes answers came while reading the scriptures or studying the words of the prophets. Still other times, answers came as a thought has popped into my mind … much like a light being turned on in an instant. Elder Richard G. Scott reminded us in the April 2007 General Conference, "He will always hear your prayers and will invariably answer, however his answers will seldom come while you are on your knees praying. Even when you may plead for an immediate response, rather, he will prompt you in quiet moments when the Spirit can most effectively touch your mind and heart." Elder Scott when on to teach us about D&C 8:2 and D&C 9:8-9.

I used to get very discouraged when I did not receive answers to problems quickly enough. But over the years, I have learned to really appreciate the struggle of solving problems with the Lord's help. In our fast-paced world today, we must take the time to study the problem in our mind. Often this part takes considerable time. We ought to use the scriptures and teachings of the prophets to guide us in our thinking. Then, when we think we have a solution, we should approach the Lord in prayer. If the Lord is pleased with our solution, we will feel good about it … we will be at peace. If our solution is not correct, then we will have a stupor of thought. Elder Scott described this stupor of thought as an "unsettling feeling." Sometimes we may receive no answer. Elder Scott counsels us that we should "proceed with trust" knowing that Heavenly Father will not let us go astray.

In conclusion, we can fully trust in the Lord when it comes to finding answer to our problems. Remember to search, ponder and pray when you need an answer to a problem.

No comments: