You are on page 1of 11

Gospel Doctrine, Lesson 31: Firm in the Faith of Christ, Alma 43-52

#1 Hugh Nibley: What we read about in the Book of Mormon is the Nephite Disease and we have it! ...We can be most grateful regardless of how sick others may be, that God in the Book of Mormon has diagnosed our sickness for our special benefit, and prescribed a cure for us. It is into our hands that the Book of Mormon has been placed Plainly it is meant for us, as it reminds us many times; it is the story of what happened to the Nephites, and we are the Nephites!!! (Since Cumorah, 354) #2 Brigham Young: It is our duty to preach the gospel, gather Israel, pay our tithing, and build temples. The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty and all manner of persecution, and be true. But my greatest fear is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches, for they will become the richest people on this earth (Nibley, Brigham Young, 128) #3 President Spencer W. Kimball: Victory and defeat alike leave countries devastated and the conqueror and the conquered reduced. Wickedness brings war, and war vomits destruction and suffering, hate and bloodshed upon the guilty and the innocent. This impressive book [the Book of Mormon] should convince all living souls of the futility of war and the hazards of unrighteousness. (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 414) #4 Elder Marion G. Romney: Latter-day Saints know this earth will never again during its Telestial existence, be free from civil disturbance and war. (Improvement Era,
June 1967)

#5 H. Dean Garrett: In Alma 1-42, Mormon emphasized priestcraft, materialism, socioeconomic inequality and other social problems. This period is followed in Alma 43-63 by a period of war and civil disruptions. At this point, the Savior visited the people. A similar pattern of social problems, priestcrafts, materialism, wars, government corruption, and disrupted life is prophesied for the last days leading to the Saviors second coming... Mormon and his successor, Moroni, saw our day and took from the history and prophecies of the Nephites those events that would best help the readers of their record in the day in which it would come forth. (Studies in Scripture, 70) #6 President Spencer W. Kimball: We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel-ships, planes, missiles, fortifications-and depend on them for protection and deliverance.

When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, forgetting the Savior's teaching: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:44-45.) We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us-and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas-or he will fight our battles for us. What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 417) What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 417) #7 Hugh Nibley: In this history the infallible test for distinguishing good leaders from bad is the touchstone of ambition. What [bad leaders] all had in common along with a passion to be top man was much power of speech a gift of words and a knack for telling people what they wanted to hear. Flattery and flatter occur 22 times in connection with their operations. (Since Cumorah, 362) #8 The Prophet Joseph Smith: It is a love of liberty which inspires my soulcivil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 313) #9 President Brigham Young: Very closely allied to this party spirit is the national feeling that some exhibit. This national feeling is another feature of Gentilism. Gentilism breaks up the family of man, and divides them off into parties and nations, having contrary interests. Mormonism, on the other hand, by drawing them from all nations unites the family of man. There are good and bad qualities in all nations. All real Saints, when they receive the Gospel, will readily relinquish party spirit and national feeling, and count such things as the distinctive ornaments of Satans kingdom. (Millennial Star, 16:210) #10 Hugh Nibley: War settles everything by a neat polarization: everything evil on one side and everything good on the other. No problem remains for anybody on either side but to kill people on the other side The devil does not care who is fighting or why, as long as there is fighting The moral is that wherever there is a battle, both sides are guilty (, Words,
Words, Words: Hugh Nibley on the Book of Mormon, by Marilyn Arnold)

To download past handouts, go to:

Other thoughts too great not to include:

President Gordon B. Hinckley: Two students of this University came to see me awhile ago. Six months earlier they had been married. They had declared their love one for another. They had pledged their loyalty one to another for time and eternity. Now, the young man came first. He was disillusioned. He was bitter. He was heartbroken. His wife, he said, did this and that simple little things of small consequence, such as leaving the dishes undone when she left for school in the morning. And then came his wife, a beautiful girl of great talent. She spoke of her husbands faults. He was stingy. He did not pick up his clothes. He was careless. Each had his or her faults. Every one of those faults was easily correctable. The problem lay in the fact that there was a stronger inclination to emphasize the faults than there was to talk of the virtues. With a little discipline, each could have changed. With a little desire, each could have spoken with a different tone. But neither was willing. They had permitted a negative attitude to destroy the sweetest, richest association of life. They had thrown away with careless and sour words the hopes and dreams of eternity. With criticism and shouting, they had violated the sacred promises that might have taken them on to exaltation. [And here is where this jar of pickles fits into the lesson!] My dear young friends, dont partake of the spirit of our times. Look for the good and build on it. Dont be a pickle sucker. There is so much of the sweet and the decent and the good to build on. ...I do not suggest that you simply put on rose-colored glasses to make the world look rosy. I ask, rather, that you look above and beyond the negative, the critical, the cynical, the doubtful, to the positive. I carry with me a statement that I took from an article published some years ago on Commander William Robert Anderson, the man who took the submarine Nautilus under the North Pole from the waters of the Pacific to the waters of the Atlantic. In his wallet he carried a tattered card with these words: I believe I am always divinely guided. I believe I will always take the right road. I believe God will always make a way where there is no way. Said the Lord in a dark and troubled hour to those he loved, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, BYU Speeches, 29 October 1974)

Dwight D. Eisenhower: Every gun made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. (Quoted in Studies in Scripture, vol. 8, p. 78.) Hugh Nibley: The idea of total victory was alien to him no revenge, no punishment, no reprisals, no reparations, even for an aggressor who had ravaged his country. He would send the beaten enemy home after the battle, accepting their word for good behavior or inviting them to settle on Nephite lands, even

when he knew he was taking a risk. Even his countrymen who fought against him lost their lives only while opposing him on the field of battle: there were no firing squads, and the conspirators and traitors had only to agree to support his popular army to be reinstated. By all means, let us take Captain Moroni for our model and never forget what he fought for the poor, outcast and despised; and what he fought against pride, power, wealth and ambition. BYU Today, Feb. 1984, p. 16. Jack R. Christensen and K. Douglas Bassett: Here [Alma 48:17-18] Mormon likens Captain Moroni to Ammon and the sons of Mosiah, as well as to Alma and his sons. Well, what do we know about Ammon? In the Book of Mosiah, we learn that he was of the vilest of sinners (Mosiah 28:4), but now hes being compared to Captain Moroni! Mormon continues, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah. What do we know about them? Again, they were the very vilest of sinners (Mosiah 28:4). Yea, and also Alma and his sons. And what do we know about Alma the younger? He was the worst of the lot! What about Corianton, the immoral missionary? He too is included with the group described by Mormon as being all men of God (Alma 48:18). How could that be? When the atoning blood of Christ, the blood of the Lamb, cleanses us, we are no longer, as Elder Scott says, second class citizens in the kingdom of God (Ensign, Nov. 2000). We are cleansed and made whole through the holy blood of the Lamb. This is one of the greatest passages in all of holy writ about the atonement of Christ. It is easy to understand why Satan doesnt want a young man who is involved with drugs to read the Book of Mormon, because hell realize that if Alma and the sons of Mosiah could be forgiven, then so can he. We can see why Satan doesnt want a young woman who has had a baby out of wedlock to read the Book of Mormon, because then she too will learn that shes not cast off forever (Mosiah 28:4); if Corianton can be forgiven and become a man of God, then she can be forgiven and become a woman of God. Life Lessons from the Book of Mormon, pp. 21-22. The Prophet Joseph Smith: I have been afraid to ask God to kill my enemies, said Joseph Smith, lest some of them should, peradventure, repent. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 340) and We shall go on from victory to victory, and from conquest to conquest; our evil passions will be subdued, our prejudices depart; we shall find no room in our bosoms for hatred.10 TPJS, 179) President Brigham Young: An individual with [an] abhorrence of evil [joins the Church]. He sets himself upon the watch to detect the failings of others, deeming that he is doing God a service in being so employed [for God and Country], and thus is he decoyed into the occupation of the great master of evil, to be the accuser of the brethren. And during the time thus occupied by him, he considers himself actuated by the purest of motives, arising from a detestation of sin. Yet mark the subtlety of Satan in thus leading men into a false position. Such a course, in the first place, probably arose from the purest of motives, and perhaps the individual was instrumental in rectifying some error; he feels a satisfaction for having done so, his self-esteem is gratified, and ere he is aware, he is seeking for another opportunity of doing the same, continually set[ting] himself up as being capable of sitting in judgment upon others, and of rectifying by his own ability the affairs of the kingdom of God. (Millennial Star, 6:16566.) Hugh Nibley: No people ever clung to the Constitution with greater fervor than the Latter-day Saints; they could not afford to do otherwise, and they knew it. They were convinced that they were the only people who know the worth of the Constitution. An official statement issued in Nauvoo at the height of crisis illustrates that moderation and restraint which proved their unswerving patriotism and the sublime confidence in God which made it possible: To show our loyalty to the institutions of our county and preserve peace in the county, as a people, we pledged ourselves to abide the decisions of the court, not taking vengeance into our own hands [the mob was at the time mortally afraid of the Mormons] or commencing prosecutions [which] would be construed into a desire to pick a quarrel on our part,

which we were and still are determined to avoid, even every appearance of evil We are decidedly for peace, and we ever have been. Such is the patriotism that heals. It was because they trusted in their Heavenly Father that these people could withstand the overpowering temptations to fight, which their enemies cunning placed in their way: The plan of raising a battalion to march to California by a call from the War Department was devised with a view to the total overthrow of this kingdom. I saw the whole plan concocted as plain as I saw the faces then before me, and I felt within myself that my faith in God would out general the wickedness of our enemies. Away went the battalion and the sword fell on the other side; if they had not gone, we would not have been in the valley now. (The Uses and Buses of Patriotism, Not sure who said this, but its well said: The Book of Mormon reiterates the law of the Lord on the matter. In this verse we are given two basic rules: 1) do not be guilty of the first or second offense, and 2) defend your families even unto bloodshed. The former rule could be termed the turn the other cheek rule. The Lord taught that when we are smitten (first offense) we should turn the other cheek (for the second offense). But after two assaults, we dont have any uninjured cheeks left to turn! At this point, retaliation is justified. But even then, the D&C explains that even greater blessings can be obtained if restraint is used: if your enemy shall smite you the second time, and you revile not against your enemy, and bear it patiently, your reward shall be an hundredfold. And again, if he shall smite you the third time, and ye bear it patiently, your reward shall be doubled unto you four-fold; Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy fathers, Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles. And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them. (DC 98:25-26,32-33) President Brigham Young: Some pleaded our suffering from persecution and said they were justified in stealing from our enemies because they had robbed us, but such a course tends to destroy the kingdom of Godwhich is just what the enemy wants. No, we can afford the luxury of trusting our fellow man, only because we trust in God, who has assured us that if others let us down, he will make it up to us. Elden J. Watson, Manuscript History of Brigham Young 18461847 (Salt Lake City: Watson, 1971), 13132 (4 December 1846) Boyd K. Packer: A message of the First Presidency dated April 6, 1942, states: . . . the Church is and must be against war. . . . It cannot regard war as a righteous means of settling international disputes; these should and could be settled -- the nations agreeing -- by peaceful negotiations and adjustments. But the Church membership are citizens or subjects of sovereignties over which the Church has no control. The Lord himself has told us to `befriend that law which is the constitutional law of the land': . . . . . . When, therefore, constitutional law, obedient to these principles, calls the manhood of the Church into the armed service of any country to which they owe allegiance, their highest civic duty requires that they meet that call. If, harkening to that call and obeying those in command over them, they shall take the lives of those who fight against them, that will not make of them murderers, nor subject them to the penalty that God has prescribed for those who kill. (Conference Report, Apr. 1968, p. 34) Brigham Young: The [sectarian] priests are angry because they are afraid that their religion is nothing but a sandy foundation fabric; and whenever they meditate upon the subject and humble themselves, and the Spirit of the Lord finds its way to their hearts and convicts them, the truth then is made manifest be-

fore them, and they begin to learn the falsity of their systems; and when that spirit leaves them, they become angry. Mormonism is declared to be true by hosts of witnesses, and this makes the priests angry; for this Gospel bears its own weight and testimony, and they know not how to gainsay it. True, I have aimed to point out their errors; but it is not you or me that they are opposed to, although they throw their darts at us: but it is the spirit of conviction that goes with the report of this work; for wherever it goes it strikes conviction to the heart, and that is what disturbs the priests and the people. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 75) Heber C. Kimball: Brethren and sisters, do not be the aggressors, always act on the defensive remember what you read in the Book of Mormon, where Alma tells his son not to be the aggressor; also what Mormoni said to Zerahemnah, we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way, and come not again to war against us. And now, if we do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into . That shows the mercy and compassion of our God; although his enemies are in his hands, he will have mercy upon them Just look at it, and see what kind of a God we are serving. (Journal of Discourses, 4:180) Hugh Nibley: You do not expel evil from the hearts of the children of men by shooting them or blowing them up or torturing themthe Inquisition operated on that theory. Nor can the powers of hell be shaken by heavy artillery or nuclear warheadsNobody knows that better than Moroni, whose efforts to avoid conflict far exceed his labors in battle. When he sees trouble ahead, he gets ready for it by preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God (Alma 48:7). (The Prophetic Book of Mormon, p. 492) Alma 46:21 rending their garments in token, or as a covenant While twentieth-century readers correctly view this moment as a time of great patriotism, it is important to note that any such feelings of the Nephites were founded in their covenants. The focus in the record is not upon an emotional flagwaving fervor, but upon the necessity of keeping covenants with the Lord in order to be preserved in the land. According to the record, the covenant which they made, as they cast their garments at the feet of Moroni, was: We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression (v 22). (Thomas Valletta, Book of Mormon Symposium Series, Alma, edited by PR Cheesman, MS Nyman, and CD Tate, Jr., 1988, p. 234) Josephs coat of many colors has become legendary. Yet, the language used may not be an accurate description of the garment. In fact the word garment may be a better description. A modern Torah commentary gives alternate translations such as Ornamental Tunic. [Although] the meaning is not clear. Others translate as a coat of many colors, or a robe with sleeves. (W. Gunther Plaut, Torah: A Modern Commentary, p. 244) Yet, apocryphal sources indicate that the garment was the garment of Adam which had been handed down from one patriarch to the next. This, in part, explains the anger of Josephs elder brothers when they learned that he would be the recipient of the garment. In Alma 46:21-24 we read of a particular ceremony associated with the story of Joseph's garment. Because Jewish tradition indicates that Joseph's garment was the high priestly garment of Adam, this passage may have more meaning than previously supposed. In this passage, the desecration of the garment symbolizes being ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ. (Donald W. Parry, Temples of the Ancient World, p. 695, footnote 50)

There is no shortage of traditions in the Old World about this garment of Joseph. Ginzberg recounts various stories about appearances of Gabriel to Joseph. One of these appearances was while Joseph was imprisoned in the pit before his brothers sold him into slavery. Here it is said that Gabriel placed upon him a special garment of protection which he wore throughout all his Egyptian experiences (Ginzberg, Louis. The Legends of the Jews. 7 vols. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909., 2:17). Ginzberg also records that after Joseph was reunited with his family in Egypt his father gave him two gifts, the first being the city of Shechem and the second gift was the garments made by God for Adam and passed from hand to hand, until they came into the possession of Jacob (Ginzberg, Louis. The Legends of the Jews. 7 vols. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909., 2:139). He also notes that according to the view of later authors, Joseph's coat was the holy tunic of the priest (Ginzberg, Louis. The Legends of the Jews. 7 vols. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909., 5:326). (Millet & McConkie, Gospel Symbolism, p. 140) Hugh Nibley Here the survival of Joseph's garment guarantees and typifies the survival of Joseph (Alma 46:24). In the tenth century of our era the greatest antiquarian of the Moslem world, Muhammad ibn-Ibrahim ath -Tha'labi, collected in Persia a great many old tales and legends about the prophets of IsraelAmong other things, Tha'labi tells a number of stories, which we have not found anywhere else, about Jacob and the garment of Joseph. In one, Joseph's brethren bring his torn garment to their father as proof that he is dead, but Jacob after examining the garment (and there were in the garment of Joseph three marks or tokens when they brought it to his father) declares that the way the cloth is torn shows him that their story is not true: Behold, if the bear had eaten him he surely would have rent his garment, and since he would (naturally) have fled towards the gate, verily the garment should have been torn behind. But since this is not the case it may be that Joseph still lives Most significant is Tha'labi's discussion of the two remnants of Joseph's garment, from which we quote: And when Joseph had made himself known unto them [his brethren] he asked them about his father, saying, What did my father after [I left]? They answered, He lost his eyesight [from weeping]. Then he gave them his garment [qamis, long outer shirt]. According to ad-Dahak that garment was of the weave [pattern, design] of Paradise, and the breath [spirit, odor] of Paradise was in it, so that it never decayed or in any way deteriorated [and that was] a sign [omen]. And Joseph gave them that garment, and it was the very one that had belonged to Abraham, having already had a long history. And he said to them, Go, take this garment of mine and place it upon the face of my father so he may have sight again, and return [to me] with all your families. And when they had put Egypt behind them and come to Canaan their father Jacob said, Behold, I perceive the spirit [breath, odor] of Joseph, if you will not think me wandering in my mind and weakheaded from age. . . . [for] he knew that upon all the earth there was no spirit [breath, odor] of Paradise save in that garment alone. . . . And as-Sadi says that Judah said to Joseph, It was I who took the garment bedaubed with blood to Jacob, and reported to him that the wolf had eaten Joseph; so give me this day thy garment that I might tell him that thou art living, that I might cause him to rejoice now as greatly as I caused him to sorrow then. And Ibn-Abbas says that Judah took the garment and went forth in great haste, panting with exertion and anxiety . . . and when he brought the garment he laid it upon his face, so that his sight returned to him. And ad-Dahak says that his sight returned after blindness, and his strength after weakness, and youth after age, and joy after sorrow. [Then follows a dialogue between Jacob and the King of Death]. Note here that there were two remnants of Joseph's garment, one sent by Joseph to his father as a sign that he was still alive (since the garment had not decayed), and the other, torn and smeared with blood, brought by Judah to his father as a sign that Joseph was dead. Moroni actually quotes Jacob (Now behold, this was the language of Jacob [Alma 46:26]) as saying: Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son (Alma 46:25)

These interesting little details are typical apocryphal variations on a single theme, and the theme is the one Moroni mentions; the rent garment of Joseph is the symbol both of his suffering and his deliverance, misfortune and preservation. (An Approach to the Book of Mormon, p. 218-20) The book of Genesis is an abbreviation of the lives of the Patriarchs. As with so many other instances in the Book of Mormon, we see that the Nephite record was more complete than our own. Moroni was quoting scripture to rally his people. In his version of the life of Jacob, the above prophecy was included. According to our Bible, the only thing the torn garment of Joseph represented was his death by wild animals (Gen 37:32-25). In Moronis Bible, the garment represented Josephs posterity which would be forever preserved. Hugh Nibley: The Nephite prophet Moroni tells a story, which he says was common property of his people, concerning the death of the patriarch Jacob (Alma 46:24-25). I have never come across this story except in Tha'labiwho in Joseph Smith's America had access to Tha'labi? Tha'labi, a Persian in the tenth century A.D., went about collecting old stories of the prophets from his Jewish neighbors. The story in barest outline is that when the garment of Joseph was brought to Jacob on his deathbed, he rejoiced because part of it was sound and whole, signifying that some of his descendants would always remain true; but he wept because another part of the garment was befouled and rotted away, signifying that part of his descendants that would fall away. The same story is told with the same interpretation in Tha'labi and in the book of Alma, in the latter significantly as a popular folk-tale. (The Prophetic Book of Mormon, p. 249) Howard W. Hunter: It was said of the young and valiant Captain Moroni: If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. (Alma 48:17.) What a compliment to a famous and powerful man! I cant imagine a finer tribute from one man to another. Two verses later is a statement about Helaman and his brethren, who played a less conspicuous role than Moroni: Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni. (Alma 48:19.) Not all of us are going to be like Moroni, catching the acclaim of our colleagues all day every day. Most of us will be quiet, relatively unknown folks who come and go and do our work without fanfare. To those of you who may find that lonely or frightening or just unspectacular, I say, you are no less serviceable than the most spectacular of your associates. You, too, are part of Gods army. Consider, for example, the profound service a mother or father gives in the quiet anonymity of a worthy Latter-day Saint home. Think of the Gospel Doctrine teachers and Primary choristers and Scoutmasters and Relief Society visiting teachers who serve and bless millions but whose names will never be publicly applauded or featured in the nations media. Tens of thousands of unseen people make possible our opportunities and happiness every day. As the scriptures state, they are no less serviceable than those whose lives are on the front pages of newspapers. (No Less Serviceable, Ensign, Apr. 1992, 64) Elder Rex D. Pinegar: From my own experience with lifes hardships I have learned that faith in God develops a personal love for Him which is reciprocated through his blessings to us in times of need. . . . Do not fear the challenges of life, but approach them patiently, with faith in God. He will reward your faith with power not only to endure, but also to overcome hardships, disappointments, trials, and struggles of daily living. Through diligently striving to live the law of God and with faith in Him, we will not be diverted from our eternal course either by the ways or the praise of the world (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 36; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 26).

Place on table: Easel with Newspaper Large bottle of Pepto Bismol or Aspirin, etc. Jar of Dill Pickles Picture of Moroni and the Title of Liberty

On board:

~What does todays newspaper have in common with the Book of Mormon? (both were written for usfor our day) ~There are 522 pages in the Book of Mormon. What fraction do you think are about the Nephite-Lamanite-Jaredite wars? (close to 1/3170 pages!) ~What two nations are completely wiped out? (Nephite & Jaredite. The Nephites who survived became Lamanites, see Alma 45:14) ~Did the Nephites know about the fate of the Jaredites? (yes) Lets see what they said as they were called to war by Moroni and his title of liberty: Alma 46:22 ~Who were their brethren in the land northward? (the Jaredites) ~Did knowing the fate of the Jaredites keep the Nephites from the same fate? (no) And now WE have the record of TWO nations annihilated by war. ~Will this knowledge keep us from the same fate? (only those who are righteous) Mormon 9:30 (3rd line: give thanks ~What do you think this bottle of Pepto Bismol has in common with the Book of Mormon? (both contain the cure for whats ailing usand war ought to make us sick to our stomach!) Quotation #1 ~So...fellow Nephites...what similarities can we think of between our world and the first Nephite world? (Write class ideas on board, here are more ideas: ) Remember a few weeks ago we talked about Korihor and priestcraft? How is our world doing with that? (pretty much drowning. Survival of the fittest, no need for Christ when we have our money and armies, etc Commandments are outdated, rampant materialism, etc.) ~Do we church members have materialism issues as well? Quotation #2 How about inequality? Are there poor among us? Is that pleasing to Heavenly Father? Alma 28:13 ~Do we see this in our society? The Church?

Secret Combinations Surrounded and outnumbered by enemies Contention, etc.

All of these things weve discussed are mere symptoms of and illness, and not the cause. If we do not treat the cause, what will these symptoms lead to? (war. Every time.) ~Is war the cure to any problem? (No! It is always the result of letting the disease get out of hand, and ironically the symptoms lead to both spiritual AND physical death.) ~Is there such a thing as victory in war? Really? Was it WWI that was touted as the war to end all wars? Did it? Quotation #3 ~Do you think Mormon & Moroni included so much of war and its futility so that we would be able to avoid war in our day? Is that possible? Quotation #4 ~Will the Latter-day Saints be able to prevent war in our day, then? So what value to us is the 1/3 of the Book of Mormon that is about war? Quotation #5 So lets concentrate on what WILL help us in our lives TODAY. Here are a few things: How can we be happy even in tough times? Lets read: Alma 50:22-23 ~So what is the key to yours and my happiness? (keeping the commandments) Do we need to fear? Lets see if we have the same advantage Moroni had during the wars: Alma 43:23-24 ~So what advantage over our enemies do we have? (access to a prophet of God) ~And what is the promise to ALL who live here in the promised land if we will be righteous? (Read 1 Nephi 2:23-24 ~Were the Lamanites the Nephite problem? (No! They were actually a blessing! They were there to remind the Nephites of their real problem which was to walk uprightly be fore the Lord.) Quotation #6 ~Was Moroni anti-enemy, as President Kimball said? (no, he was always pro-kingdom of God, as evidenced by how he treated his enemies, every time!) ~The righteous need not fear. Who are the righteous? (My definition is: those who are constantly repenting, forgiving, and serving. Does any one have anything to add?)

How can we tell the good leaders from the bad ones: i.e. for voting purposes? We have the two 3 opposites in our lesson today: Moroni vs. Amalickiah. Alma 46:30 ~So what do wicked leaders do? (stir up people to anger to achieve their goals) Alma 48:7 ~What is it that wicked leaders desire? (power) ~And how do they obtain it? (by fraud and deceit) ~Can we judge a good leader by how he treats people? (Note: not what they say, but what they do) Would a good leader want to cause any of his people to suffer, for example? Alma 49:10 Quotation #7 ~Would the U.S. be in the financial crisis it is today if our leaders did not continually tell us what we want to hear in order to be re-elected? I have to throw in this quote from another great leader besides Moroni: Quotation #8 I am not arguing that there is never justification for war, but is war ever really good guys vs. bad guys, according to what we read in the Book of Mormon? (It is by the wicked that the wicked are punished, see Mormon 4:5) Quotations #9 &10

So what SHOULD we as Latter-day Saints be concentrating on? Id like to share something from a talk President Hinckley gave at BYU. Please dont get hung up on the idea that hes talking about a husband and wife. It could apply to any relationshipbetween nations, friends, or ward members any situation where people interact. (See Other thoughts too great not to include in handout)