Helaman 6

Helaman 6

What’s happening? Nephi and Lehi, Helaman the second’s sons, preach to the Lamanites and the Nephites. The Lamanites become more righteous and don’t let the Gadianton robbers into their circles like the Nephites do.

Why does it matter? The converts wisely show us which influences they’ll allow into their lives and which ones they won’t.

Between the lines: Much of what is happening at this time in history has been prophesied to happen in our time too.

Quote of the day: “The Book of Mormon teaches that the devil is the ‘author of all sin’ and the founder of these secret combinations.He uses secret combinations, including gangs, ‘from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.’ His purpose is to destroy individuals, families, communities, and nations. To a degree, he was successful during Book of Mormon times. And he is having far too much success today.” ~ MR Ballard, 1997, Standing for Truth and Right

6:1-4 What caused the great shift of righteousness being found more in the Lamanites?

6:7-9 What was the relationship between the Nephites and Lamanites when both groups were living righteously?

6:15-19 What was the reason for the disruption of peace among the people?

6:20-21, 37-39 What did the Lamanites and Nephites each try to do about the Gadianton robbers?

6:25-31 Where do secret combinations originate?

6:32-35 How do these events relate to our day?

6:36 As with the Lamanite’s “willingness to believe,” how do we grow in testimony?

“Desire is a particle of faith that develops within us as we experience divine truth. It is like spiritual photosynthesis. The influence of the Holy Ghost, acting on the Light of Christ within every human being, produces the spiritual equivalent of a chemical reaction—a stirring, a change of heart, or a desire to know. Hope develops as particles of faith become molecules and as simple efforts to live true principles occur. As patterns of obedience develop, the specific blessings associated with obedience are realized and belief emerges. Desire, hope, and belief are forms of faith, but faith as a principle of power comes from a consistent pattern of obedient behavior and attitudes. Personal righteousness is a choice. Faith is a gift from God, and one possessed of it can receive enormous spiritual power.” ~ KW Pearson, 2009, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Helaman 5

Helaman 5

What’s happening? Miracles and the ministering of angels happen on Lehi and Nephi’s mission. 

Why does it matter? About 300 people will see these miracles and it will strengthen the faith they have already–faith centered on what they’ve learned about Jesus Christ.

Between the lines: Miracles and seeing angels doesn’t convert, but being aware of the Holy Ghost and how we receive promptings does.

Quote of the day: “[Aminadab] had once belonged to the church of God, but he became critical and contentious. He evidently sympathized with the opposition, because he was present when two young missionaries named Nephi and Lehi were taken captive by an army of Lamanites. A cloud of darkness came upon him, and he heard a still, mild voice whisper, ‘Repent … and seek no more to destroy my servants’ (Hel. 5:29–30). Surprised, he turned around and looked at Nephi and Lehi. Their faces shone through the darkness, and they appeared to be lifting their voices to heaven (see Hel. 5:36). Aminadab then recognized them for what they were. In a loud voice he told the Lamanites that the young men were servants of God. As the army turned to look, they too became aware of the darkness which surrounded them. They asked Aminadab how to dispel it, and he, drawing on truth learned, I believe, at another time, said: ‘You must repent, and cry unto the [Lord], even until ye shall have faith in Christ … ; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you” (Hel. 5:41). Now notice again, the scripture speaks of darkness overshadowing those who have abandoned the faith. The effect of darkness is to prevent one from seeing clearly. To find the way back, as Aminadab discovered, one must repent and pray until doubt and darkness disappear and important things can be seen again.'” ~ FB Howard, 1987, Come Back to the Lord

5:2-3 What happens when the majority of people choose evil?”We must not assume that since the Constitution embodies a “divinely inspired” political system the machinery of checks and balances, separation of powers, and other constitutional limitations will automatically preserve political and moral freedom for the individual. The prophets have made clear that no constitution or set of laws, written or unwritten, can by themselves protect a nation from corrupt leaders. Brigham Young remarked, ‘No matter how good a government is, unless it is administered by righteous men, an evil government will be made of it’ (Journal of Discourses, 10:177). Bitter experience has shown that the best way to keep corrupt individuals from subverting constitutional and legal processes is for committed citizens to maintain a constant, careful surveillance over governmental activities, opposing individuals motivated only by selfish ambition in seeking public office. Although ancient and latter-day scriptures warn that increasing political violence and corruption will precede the millennium, Latter-day Saints must continue during this premillennial period to struggle to maintain the political freedoms essential to the spread and practice of the gospel. ~ CL May, 1976, Beyond Voting: Some Duties of the LDS Citizen

5:4 What did Nephi and Lehi choose to do rather than maintain political offices?

5:6-7 What is the significance of Nephi and Lehi’s names?

“Nephi’s and Lehi’s names helped them remember the good works of their ancestors and encouraged them to do good as well. Sisters, no matter where we live, what language we speak, or whether we are 8 years old or 108, we all share a special name that has these same purposes. ‘For as many of [us] as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ … for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:27-28).” ~ LL Harkness, 2019, Honoring His Name

5:9-13 Why is it critical to remember and contemplate Jesus’ great gift of the Atonement?

“Coming to understand this great gift is an individual pursuit for each child of God. Brothers and sisters, I believe that if we could truly understand the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would realize how precious is one son or daughter of God.” ~ MR Ballard, 2004, The Atonement and the Value of One Soul

5:5-14 Why do you think the word “remember” is repeated so much?

5: 12 Why is Jesus Christ the “rock” to build our foundation?

5:19-27 What were some of the challenges Nephi and Lehi faced on their missions? Who was converted?

5:28-30 What was the voice of the Lord like?

5:35-43 What is a lasting way to gain faith?

5:44-48 What is the purpose of miracles and heavenly ministers?

Helaman 4

Helaman 4

What’s happening? We have a pride cycle encapsulated in a single chapter.

Why does it matter? Even with repentance, there are consequences for actions.

Between the lines: Change must be internal for it to stick and outlast outside influences.

Quote of the day: “Once rooted in a person’s heart, pride sets the stage for spiritual downfall: unrighteous thoughts that spring up from within can lead to an unwillingness to be submissive or to follow counsel. For some, personal prosperity reinforces the notion that they are doing fine on their own. Others begin to feel that rules can be tailored a little to meet their personal desires. Sound teachings become old-fashioned, and leaders start to seem out of touch, unfeeling, or too old. None of these thoughts happen overnight but come gradually as humility and meekness are eroded by possessions, status, and prosperity. Pride causes a hardened heart and spiritual deafness, both of which can ultimately lead to a host of more serious sins. In the worst case, a person may go beyond self-destructive behavior and become an enemy to God, desiring to fight openly against His teachings.” ~ SD Nadauld, 1996, Pride: A Challenge from Within 

4:1-5 Why did the Nephites fail?

4:6-10 What do we know about Moronihah?

4:11-12 What can these verses teach us about actions having consequences?

“Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it. That is fundamental to God’s own power. If it were not for the reality of fixed and immutable truths, the gift of agency would be meaningless since we would never be able to foresee and intend the consequences of our actions.” ~ DT Chrisofferson, 2014, Free Forever, To Act for Themselves

4:13 What’s the danger in trusting in our “own strength”?

4:19-20 What can we learn from Nephites not being able to recover their lands?

4:23-25 What behaviors cause a downward slide away from righteousness?

“There are those within the Church who are disturbed when changes are made with which they disagree or when changes they propose are not made. They point to these as evidence that the leaders are not inspired. They write and speak to convince others that the doctrines and decisions of the Brethren are not given through inspiration. Two things characterize them: they are always irritated by the word obedience, and always they question revelation. It has always been so. Helaman described those who ‘began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face.’ (Hel. 4:23.) ‘They were left in their own strength’ (Hel. 4:13), and ‘the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them’ (Hel. 4:24). Changes in organization or procedures are a testimony that revelation is ongoing. While doctrines remain fixed, the methods or procedures do not.” ~ BK Packer, 1989, Revelation in a Changing World

Helaman 3

Helaman 3

What’s happening? Civic and spiritual progress is happening within the Nephites.

Why does it matter? Without the influence of the Gadianton robbers and internal pride, there is prosperity.

Between the lines: Good things happen when the Lord, though his prophets, leads both countries and the church.

Quote of the day: “Have you felt the influence of righteous leaders, those disciples of Jesus Christ who have in the past and continue today to touch your life, who walk the Lord’s path with you? They may be close at home. They may be in your local congregations or speaking from the pulpit at general conference.” ~ RA Rasband, 2016, Standing with the Leaders of the Church

3:13-16 In regards to the Book of Mormon, what efforts did Mormon make in our behalf?

3:20 What acts can we perform today that are “right in the sight of God”?

“As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what does the Lord expect of us? As a Church, we must ‘renounce war and proclaim peace (D&C 98:16)’. As individuals, we should ‘follow after the things which make for peace (Romans 14:19)’. We should be personal peacemakers. We should live peacefully—as couples, families, and neighbors. We should live by the Golden Rule. We have writings of the descendants of Judah as now merged with writings of the descendants of Ephraim. We should employ them and expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family. We should bring divine love and revealed doctrines of restored religion to our neighbors and friends. We should serve them according to our abilities and opportunities. We should keep our principles on a high level and stand for the right. We should continue to gather scattered Israel from the four corners of the earth and offer the ordinances and covenants that seal families together forever. These blessings we are to bring to people of all nations. By so living, our Master will bless us.” ~ RM Nelson, 2002, Blessed Are the Peacemakers

3:21 Who were Nephi and Lehi? See also Helaman 11:23.

3:23 Why do secret combinations crop up a lot with the Nephites? How can we prevent this in our own communities?

3:24-26 In this scriptural reference, what does “prosperity” really mean?

3:27-28 How simple is it for anyone to enter heaven?

3:29 Why is scripture study so critical?

“As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths. We simply cannot rely upon information we bump into on social media.” ~ RM Nelson, 2020, Hear Him

3:33-34 How can the pride of one person affect a whole congregation?

“The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us. Pride is essentially competitive in nature.” ~ ET Benson, 1989, Beware of Pride

3:35 How do we get stronger and firmer in faith?

Helaman 2

Helaman 2

What’s happening? Wicked leaders like Kishkumen and Gadianton plot to take over or even in the case of Kishkumen, try to kill the prophet.

Why does it matter? The wicked are never allowed to prosper in the long run.

Between the lines: This is happening in our day in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

Quote of the day: “Several years before Christ came to the American continent, the Lamanites exercised such great faith and courage that they completely destroyed the influence of the Gadianton robbers in their society by ‘preach[ing] the word of God among … them’ (Helaman 6:37).” ~ MR Ballard, 1997, Standing for Truth and Right

2:2 Who was Helaman?

2:4 Of whom else does Gadianton remind us?

2:10-14 Where do we find modern day Gadianton robbers?

“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…. 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.” ~ MR Ballard, 1997, Standing for Truth and Right

Alma 29

29:1-2 How does repentance rescue from sadness?

“Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration.” ~ DT Christofferson

29:3,6 What does it mean to be content with what the Lord has allotted us?

29:8 How does the Lord help all nations?

“God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of His great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous for any one people.” ~ OF Whitney

29:9 What is the best service?

“To be able to do for fellow human beings something they could not do for themselves brings matchless satisfaction. Years of preparation are worth it.” ~ RM Nelson

29:11 Who is the Lord God?

Alma 28

28:8 How can we experience joy while in hard times?

“When we reach the point of consecration, our afflictions will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ. It does not mean we won’t have afflictions, but they will be put in a perspective that permits us to deal with them.” ~ NA Maxwell

28:14 What is the “great call” and how do we answer it?

“May I suggest a formula that will ensure our success: first, search the scriptures with diligence; second, plan your life with purpose (and I might add, plan your life regardless of your age); third, teach the truth with testimony; and fourth, serve the Lord with love.” ~ TS Monson

Alma 31

Alma Chapter 31

What’s happening? Alma and those with him see how the Zoramites have convoluted the gospel.

Why does it matter?  This chapter shows how easy it is for the prideful to fall so far away from doctrine.

Between the Lines: Here we see two prayers, juxtaposed.

Book of Mormon Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJMbPXFLHCQ&list=PLakP7xqygC1ymsX3WD5zsUw7xYBENLsBp&index=22

Quote of the day: “Prayer is a gift from God.” ~ CF McConkie, 2016

31:5 Why does “preaching of the word” lead people to do good?

31:14-23 What do the prayers of the Zoramites tell us about them?

“Pride is the great sin of self-elevation. It is for so many a personal Rameumptom, a holy stand that justifies envy, greed, and vanity.” ~ DF Uchtdorf

31:30-35 How was Alma’s prayer different than the Zoramites’ prayers?

“Alma did not pray to have his afflictions removed. He knew he was an agent of the Lord, and he prayed for the power to act and affect his situation.” ~ DA Bednar

31:38 How can we endure affliction and trials?

“For everything you have suffered, for everything that has occurred to you which you thought an evil at that time, you will receive fourfold, and that suffering will have had a tendency to make you better and stronger and to feel that you have been blessed.” ~ Lorenzo Snow

“Understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.” ~ JB Wirthlin, 2008

Alma 30

Alma Chapter 30

What’s happening? Korihor is actively deceiving the people in the land of Zarahemla. Alma is preaching the Word of God and rebuking these wicked men and their teachings.

Why does it matter?  The words of one person determined to undermine truth can take many down with them. On the flip-side, one, faithful person speaking up can have more power than anything else.

Between the Lines: The power of words—both for good and bad.

Book of Mormon Video: All Things Denote There is a God (Alma 30)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiLmBhmqqew

Quote of the day: “The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with His infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time.” ~ ET Benson, 1975

30:6 What is an antichrist?

“One who would assume the guise of Christ but in reality, would be opposed to Christ (1 John 2:18–22; 4:3–6; 2 John 1:7). In a broader sense it is anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly is set up in opposition to Christ.” ~ KJVB Bible Dictionary, “Antichrist”

“Any doctrine or principle [we] hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ” ~ Julie B. Beck

30:7-9 How do wicked people, and even antichrists, use laws to benefit themselves?

“Clever but pathetic Korihor surely has his modern counterparts…. Soon we may see such situations in which there will be ‘no laws against a man’s belief’ but also few laws against a man’s behavior.” ~ NA Maxwell

30:11 Why was Korihor arrested?

30:12-17 What are some teachings common with false teachings today?

30:23-26 What are the steps Korihor takes to lead people away? Can you think of other leaders who have done the same?

30: 27 Is living gospel values giving up independence? Why or why not?

“When we reject the counsel which comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence.” ~ HB Eyring

30:29 In the long run, have critics of the church ever impacted God’s plans for his church?

30:37-42 Why is Alma such a great example of how to deal with antichrists (or simply belligerent people who attack our beliefs)?

“Alma does not get into a philosophical debate with Korihor. He does not allow himself to get pulled onto the ground that Korihor tries to define as the area of debate. There is a great lesson in that. Alma teaches that we should combat false philosophies with revelation and doctrine, not with academic debate.” ~ GR Lund

30:48 What happens to those who seek signs instead of testimony?

30:60 Why do you think Mormon recorded Korihor’s story in such detail?