This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.
This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Relationship to Chapters 25-29. The relationship of Chapter 26-27a to the rest of Chapters 25-29 is discussed at Mosiah 25-29.
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 26-27a include:
This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Mosiah 26:3: Belief and understanding. Notice in v.3 that in order to understand the scriptures we must believe.
- Mosiah 26:1-5: Hardened hearts. In the King James Version of the Old Testament, heardened hearts can refer to either a) hearts that are made strong or firm, as in stiffening the will (Heb chazaq), or hearts that may be made heavy (Heb kabad--the same word used for honor or glory). In Joseph Smith's time, Webster's 1828 dictionary defines hardened, in part, as "made unfeeling; made obstinate; confirmed in error or vice."
- Mosiah 26:6-10. While the Book of Mormon calls Mosiah a king, in current anthropological terminology, early Nephite kings such as Mosiah may have functioned more as a "Big Man" who rules more by power of personal influence than by the ability to marshal enforcement of laws or edicts. Besides a hesitancy to judge harshly, other evidence for this may be Mosiah and Benjamin's growing of their own food--something that doesn't usually happen in a more hierarchically organized chiefdom or kingdom. On the other hand, the position of king was inherited, and Noah (who came from that same tradition) was able to rule very harshly.
- Mosiah 27:6: Cities. Apparently, before this time, all of the Nephites (consisting of the people of Mosiah, people of Zarahemla, and Alma and Gideon's recent emigrants from the Land of Lehi-Nephi, had all lived in the land of Zarahemla. But now, apparently the people are spreading out into new cities and villages. This will place a huge burden on the leaders in Zarahemla who might want to maintain some sort of rulership over the separate cities, and along with the change of heart in the sons of Mosiah (also recounted in this chapter), and probably served as the death knoll for the Mosiah-Benjamin-Mosiah egalitarian leadership style and nascent dynastic chiefdom. Anthropologically, when rank village or city societies become so large that they extend across several cities or villages, they become stratified into castes or ranks, and leadership becomes more powerful under a centralized and hereditary complex chiefdom. So, in a real sense, this chapter is recounting how the small Nephite society is thrust into a new level of complex politics (and political instability) due to the building of new cities and the loss of the presumed Nephite royal heirs.
This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Mosiah 26:1: Why wouldn't the rising generation be able to understand the words of king Benjamin? What was it about the words that were so difficult to understand?
- Mosiah 26:1: Why would their being little children when Benjamin gave his speech make it hard for them to understand his words later, when the speech could be read to them? Was there something about the context of the speech--the temple festival, perhaps--that the children couldn't get from the written account of his words?
- Mosiah 26:1: Why wouldn't the young people believe the tradition of their fathers? What other influences or belief systems were present to provide an alternative?
- Mosiah 26:1: Why is it so important for the young people to understand King Benjamin’s words? Is there something about that specific sermon that is essential to them?
- Mosiah 26:1: Tradition. What does the word “tradition” mean? What tradition could their parents have given them that would have taught them what Benjamin meant? Can we teach our children the meaning of Benjamin’s sermon by our tradition? How?
- Mosiah 26:2: Why wouldn't the young people believe in the resurrection of the dead? Did they not believe in the resurrection at all, or was it something specific about Benjamin's teachings that didn't resonate with them?
- Mosiah 26:2: Why wouldn't the young people "believe concerning the coming of Christ"? What was it exactly about the Christ narrative that they didn't believe?
- Mosiah 26:3: What is the relation between unbelief and understanding the word of God? Does this passage imply that it is impossible to understand ("they could not") the word of God "because of...unbelief"?
- Mosiah 26:3: What does it mean to have a hardened heart? What is the difference between simply not believing and having a heard heart?
- Mosiah 26:3: What is the relationship between unbelief and having a hardened heart?
- Mosiah 26:4: What was it that led these people to eschew baptism?
- Mosiah 26:4: What did it mean to "join the church" at this period of time?
- Mosiah 26:4: What is this "separate" faith mentioned here? Are these the Nehors?
- Mosiah 26:4: How does not being baptized or joining the church leave these people in a "carnal and sinful state"? What is the relationship between calling upon the Lord and remaining in a carnal and sinful state?
- Mosiah 26:4: How is Christ "the Lord their God" if the people don't "call upon" Him?
- Mosiah 26:5: If "not half" of the people "became more numerous", does that mean that they became a majority? Are we being told that most of the people now are not members of the Church?
- Mosiah 26:5: If all of the people (accept the little children) had accepted king Benjamin's covenant, and Alma and Limhi's people had all joined the newly organized church, what happened to make perhaps a majority of the people dissent away from the church?
- Mosiah 26:5: Dissensions. What are dissensions?
- Mosiah 26:10-12: Why do Alma and Mosiah each seem to shirk from judging the people who have been brought before them?
- Mosiah 26:17: What does it mean that Alma’s people shall be the Lord’s people? How does this tie in with King Benjamin’s sermon? Does it help explain why that sermon was so important? How is it important to us?
- Mosiah 26:20: Three things occur in this verse: the Lord calls Alma his servant; the Lord covenants that Alma will have eternal life; and the Lord says that Alma will serve him. (This rhetorical pattern, a cousin of chiasmus, is called inclusion.) How are these things connected to one another? Why is the covenant “sandwiched” between the descriptions of Alma as a servant—what does the arrangement tell us? What is a covenant? (It is more than a contract or mutual promise.) What does this covenant mean? What does it mean to have eternal life?
- Mosiah 26:29: Alma asked what to do about the transgressors in vv. 13-14. Not until v. 29 does he receive an answer. Before giving Alma the answer to his prayer, the Lord blesses Alma, reaffirms the covenant relation with him, and tells Alma about the Atonement and the final judgment. Why that long interlude between Alma’s question and the Lord’s answer?
- Mosiah 26:31: This verse suggests that we are to take the word of the person who tells us that he or she has repented. Why?
- Mosiah 27:1: Why are the priests called Mosiah's priests in this verse? Was there a separate priesthood for the court, or perhaps the temple, that operated separately from the Church organized by Alma?
- Mosiah 27:2: What is the "land round about"? Is this the first indication of Mosiah ruling beyond the immediate environs of Zarahemla?
- Mosiah 27:3: What types of persecutions are being represented here?
- Mosiah 27:3: What does there being no persecutions have to do with their being "an equality among all men"?
- Mosiah 27:3: Who is giving this command "throughout all the churches? Does this come from Alma, the leader of the Church? Or is this a royal edict from Mosiah?
- Mosiah 27:3: How can there be a command to be equal? What does it mean to be equal "among all men"?
- Mosiah 27:3: Not only are the non-members forbidden to persecute the members, but the members are forbidden to persecute one another. How might members do that? How might we persecute each other today?
- Mosiah 27:3: The members are told that there should be equality among all men. What does “equality: mean in this instance? In what or in what way are people supposed to be equal? Equality is grammatically parallel to the absence of persecution. Does that tell us something about what each means?
- Mosiah 27:4: Does this verse explain at least some of what it means not to persecute and to be equal?
- Mosiah 27:4: Does this verse tell us what led to persecutions and inequality--i.e. pride and haughtiness?
- Mosiah 27:4: How does pride or haughtiness "disturb" peace? What does it mean to disturb peace?
- Mosiah 27:4: Laboring for who? While the pronoun use is a little ambiguous here, is it possible to read this as stating that every person should labor "with his or her own hands for the support of their neighbor?" Or is this just saying that each person should support their own self?
- Mosiah 27:4: If this verse is just stating that everyone should support themselves, what does this have to do with esteeming his neighbor as himself"
- Mosiah 27:3-4: Litany of "thats." Is this just a list of commandments, or is there something else going on here? Are these somehow related to each other? Can each of these "thats" be read as leading somehow to the other--i.e. does persecution lead to inequality? Inequality lead too pride and haughtiness, which disturbs the peace, etc.?
- Mosiah 27:6: Cities. Why is it important that Mormon mentions the building of cities and villages?
This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.