Mosiah 27:8-37

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Home > The Book of Mormon > Mosiah > Chapters 25-29 > Chapter 27b / Verses 27:8-37
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Relationship to Chapters 25-29. The relationship of Chapter 27b to the rest of Chapters 25-29 is discussed at Mosiah 25-29.


Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 27b include:


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  • Mosiah 27:13. If the only thing that can overthrow the church is the transgression of the members, Alma has been on the right path for his purposes, persuading people to become sinners.
  • Mosiah 27:14. Whatever Alma the elder hopes Alma the younger will learn, he seems to learn it in this experience.

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  • Mosiah 27:8: This verse says that Alma was idolatrous. What does that mean? Does Mosiah 28:4 explain this remark? Notice that there is no description in the Book of Mormon of what we usually think of as idol-worship. Does that mean that the Nephites didn’t have a problem with idol-worship or just that it isn’t mentioned? Why might it not be mentioned?
  • Mosiah 27:8: Alma leads people away by flattery, something mentioned frequently in the Book of Mormon in this connection. What kind of flattery might he be using? How would flattery get people to follow him in sin? Where might we see such flattery in our own lives?
  • Mosiah 27:10: Why do Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah do what they do secretly? Why does it say that the king had forbidden what they are doing? It is against the law to persecute the saints, but is it against the law to flatter people into unbelief? Or might there be some connection between flattery and persecution? What might that be?
  • Mosiah 27:11: What do we learn from being told that they were rebelling against God? What are the connotations of that word? What is the significance of the way the angel appears to them: “as it were in a cloud” and “as it were with a voice of thunder"? What are we to envision? Is any connection being made to other appearances of heavenly beings, either by comparison or by contrast?
  • Mosiah 27:13: The angel has appeared to all five of them. Why does he address only Alma?
  • Mosiah 27:14: Alma the elder has prayed that his son might come to a knowledge of the truth. What does this mean? Surely his father has taught him. And we know from v. 11 that he was rebelling, but you can’t rebel against something if you don’t know what it is. What is it Alma the elder wants him to know that he doesn’t yet know?
  • Mosiah 27:14: Verse 14 tells us that because of the prayers of the people and the prayers of Alma (the elder),the angel has come to convince Alma the younger of the power and authority of God. There are many wayward children who are prayed over, why don't more angels appear to them to convince them of the power of God?
  • Alma the Younger and Paul: What are similarities and differences between Alma the Younger's experience here and Paul's experience on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:3-7).?
  • Why does this experience stick? Why does this experience make such a difference in Alma the Younger's life and in the lives of the sons of Mosiah? Compare Luke 16:31. Also compare Laman and Lemuel's experience seeing an angel.
  • Mosiah 27:16: Did the angel come to save Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah? Notice that the angel uses the type of Israel in captivity to Egypt and then freed by God’s power, and he applies that type to Alma the younger’s life: remember when you were in captivity and the great things that the Lord has done for you in freeing you from bondage. Why is that type so important for Alma the younger? In what ways it is important to our understanding of the Gospel? To our understanding of our own lives?
  • Mosiah 27:19: How were the experiences of Alma the Younger and the Apostle Paul after their first heavenly visitations similar? See Acts 9:8-9.
  • Mosiah 27:21: Alma the elder uses his son as a testimony of God’s power. Notice that he calls people to see “what the Lord had done for his son.” What had the Lord done besides frighten him into unconsciousness? The angel commanded Alma the younger to stop destroying the church, even if he himself wanted to be destroyed. He said nothing to him or to the sons of Mosiah about being converted. How can his father be so confident that he will be saved?
  • Mosiah 27:23: Notice that “after two days and two nights” means the same as “on the third day.” What is the significance of rising on the third day? What does it mean to be of good comfort? What does the word “comfort” mean in this context?
  • Mosiah 27:23-24: What is the difference between Alma's experience before an angel and Laman’s and Lemuel’s experience before one? Why do we have such a dramatic difference between the results of the two?
  • Mosiah 27:24: What does it mean to repent? What does the word “redeemed” mean? What does it mean to be redeemed by the Lord? What does it mean to be born of the Spirit?
  • Mosiah 27:25: Notice that “born of God,” “changed from their carnal state to a state of righteousness,” “redeemed of God,” and “becoming his sons and daughters” are parallel. How does this compare to what King Benjamin taught about becoming sons and daughters of God (Mosiah 5:7—see also Rom 8:14.) What do the scriptures tell us it means to be a son or daughter of God? How is that related to the doctrine that we are the literal spiritual offspring of God? Why is the word “changed"— in the phrase “changed from their carnal state to a state of righteousness"—passive?
  • Mosiah 27:26: What does the word “creature” mean? (Look at the first five letters of the word to see its etymology.) What does it mean to become a new creature? Does being a new creature help explain the use of the passive voice (v. 25)?
  • Mosiah 27:28: What does it mean to repent “nigh unto death"? What does it mean to be snatched from an everlasting burning? (D&C 19:6-12 may be relevant here.)
  • Mosiah 27:29: What is gall? What is “the gall of bitterness"? What does it mean to be racked? What does he mean when he says “I am snatched"? Why does he put that in the present tense rather than the past?
  • Mosiah 27:29: What difference would explain why Alma the younger went through such a horrible experience and the sons of Mosiah don’t seem to have? Both he and they seem equally converted. Why would he have to experience such torment and not they?
  • Mosiah 27:35: They explained the prophecies and scriptures to all who would hear them. What might this say about their childhood training? Had they been taught in their youth? If so, why didn’t they understand the prophecies and scriptures before? What made the difference? (Mosiah 26:3 seems relevant here.)


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