5 Homecoming Talks: The Missions of the Sons of Mosiah and Alma




NEPHIHAH: 

Welcome to the Zarahemla First Ward Sacrament Meeting.  My name is Nephihah, the Chief Judge.1  Alma, the son of Alma who is presiding asked that I conduct.  I'd like to thank everyone for moving towards the middle of the rows since we have lots of visitors today.  We also have set up the Relief Society room as an overflow.  The reason for the large crowd is because we have five missionary homecoming talks today.  I know we are all excited to hear about their missions, so without further ado, let's have our opening hymn.  Open your hymn plates to Hymn #4 Hold to the Rod.  Helaman, the son of Alma will give the opening prayer.  We will then have the animal sacrifice by the priests. 

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We'd like to thank the priests for the reverent manner in which they administered the sacrifice and the shedding of blood.  You may get cleaned up and go sit with your families.2

We are first going to hear from Himni who has been in Zarahemla for a while now, the rest just got back from Jershon after having served in Antionum. Next his brother Omner will speak.  We'll have a special music number by the Primary children, "I Will Go, I Will Do."  Then Aaron, Ammon, and Alma, the son of Alma, will speak.  We'll proceed to that point.  First, Himni. 

HIMINI:

Thank you, Nephihah.  My brothers asked that I begin by first giving a brief history as to how we ended up serving our missions teaching the Lamanites. 

As most of you know, we all used to be on a mission of a different kind. A mission to destroy the Church.  This was back when our father, Mosiah, was king.  Alma was doing this too while his father, Alma, was the high priest. 

We had a very dramatic experience that turned our hearts around.  An angel appeared before all of us.  We fell to the ground.  The angel said, "Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God?"  He told us that we need to remember the power of God and stop trying to destroy the Church.  Alma, couldn't move after that and we carried him back to his house.

When he finally woke up, he told us that he had repented of his sins.  We all decided to cast off our former selves and become new creatures.  The first thing we did was try to fix the damage we had done here in Zarahemla.  We told as many people as we could find that we had been wrong and now we wanted to teach the truth.  (Mosiah 27).

Afterwards, we approached our dad and asked him if we could go back to the land of Nephi where the people of Limhi and the people of Alma had been in bondage.  We wanted to serve our missions down there.  I guess it wouldn't be hard to imagine what our dad's initial response was. 

After many days of pleading (Mosiah 28:5) he finally agreed to let us go after he had asked the Lord.  The Lord promised him that many would believe us and we would be return.  So we left.  We took with us spears, bows and arrows, swords, and slings.  We did this so we'd have a way to get food. (Alma 17:7).

When we got to the borders, we fasted and prayed to find out exactly what to do.  We decided to each go our separate ways and then meet together again at the end of our missions.  (Alma 17:13). 

Now, I'm not going to pretend that our missionaries were easy just because they were successful.  Even though we were able to teach them in their homes, on the streets, in the hills, in their temples and synagogues, we also were mocked, thrown out, beaten, stoned, spit on, tied up, and thrown into prison.  But just like our dad was promised, we were delivered and we are here now. 

I'm so grateful I got to serve a mission, they were the best 14 years of my life. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

OMNER:

Thank you, Himni.  Like my brother said, it was a good mission but a hard mission.  I will say that it did get a bit easier after the king of all the Lamanites was converted and sent a proclamation that no one could lay a hand on us anymore or throw us into prison.  Afterwards we were able to convert thousands of people. (Alma 23:1-5). 

We wanted the converted Lamanites to join the people of Zarahemla, but we were concerned with how they would be received.  We were on our way back home to find out when the most amazing thing happened.  

We ran into Alma, the son of Alma.  We said, "What are you doing over here?  We heard that you become the chief judge after our dad died."

Alma told us he had been for about 9 years but then decided to hand it over to Nephihah so that he could be a missionary like us. I'll let Alma tell you himself how that came about.  But what was amazing was that because of the missionary work Alma had been doing right here, our converts have been accepted with open arms.  I just want to thank all of you for being willing to love them.  Just as you have accepted mine and my brothers' change of heart, you have also been willing to accept that these people can change too.  

Afterwards, Alma took me, Aaron, Ammon, his sons Shiblon and Corianton, his former missionary companions Amulek and Zeezrom, and some others down to Antionum.  (Himni and Helaman stayed here in Zarahemla.)  Alma had heard that Zoram had taken a group of people down there. (Alma 31:1) Since this was so close to the Lamanite border, and because Zoram was communicating with the Lamanites, obviously we were worried that they might join forces against us.  Alma decided that teaching them the truth would be the best way to stop the alliance. (Alma 31:5). 

What's interesting about the Zoramites is that they had already had the gospel taught to them.  So what we found when we got there was a strange perversion of the truth.  They had built a tower called Rameumpton.  Only the wealthy could pray on it.  After their prayers on the tower, they just went about their lives not even acknowledging God.  We didn't have much success trying to teach them.  Then we came upon some of the poor Zoramites who had been cast out of the synagogues.  Amulek and Alma gave some beautiful sermons on faith and the atonement of Jesus Christ (Alma 32, 33, & 34). 

In case you don't know, these converted Zoramites had to flee Antionum and went to Jershon to live with the people of Ammon (the Lamanite converts formerly known as Anti-Nephi-Lehies).  Eventually the Zoramites threatened to destroy the whole group; we moved them all to Melek so that the Nephite armies could move into Jershon.  (Alma 35:13).  And that's when we decided to come back here.  We hope that our messages will touch your hearts so that they won't wax hard.  We have a very real enemy and we need to do all we can to fight and protect our wives and children.  

I'm going to go ahead and wrap up because like you I too am excited to hear the children sing.  I'm grateful I got to serve among the Lamanites.  I'm grateful for my time serving with Alma among the Zoramites.  I know that as long as we continue to have faith, pray, and look forward to the coming of Christ, we will not fail.  

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

     

AARON: 

Many thanks for that sweet musical number by the Primary children.  

Like my brothers said, our missions started in the land of Nephi teaching the Lamanites.  But for me that's not technically true.  At first I ended up in Jerusalem, a place where the Amulonites and Amalekites lived.  These are not Lamanites, but Nephites who have apostatized.  They practice what I call Nehorism, or the teachings of Nehor.   Their hearts are harder than the Lamanites.  (Alma 21:1). 

My time in Jerusalem did not go well.  Only one Amalekite was converted (Alma 23:14) and I was mocked when I tried to teach them from the scriptures. (Alma 21:10).  I went over to the village Ani-Anti and found that Muloki and Ammah weren't having much luck either.  So we all went to Middoni.  

We were a little more successful in Middoni. We had a few converts.  Then the king Antiomno threw me, Muloki and Ammah in prison.  I don't want to go into great detail here in a Sacrament Meeting, but it was really bad conditions.  They took our clothes and our skin was worn through from being bound up.  They gave us very little food or water.  (Alma 20:29).  

Imagine my surprise when my brother Ammon shows up with Lamoni, a Lamanite king, to get me out of prison.  It was a true miracle.  The Spirit had told my brother while he was in Ishmael that I needed to be rescued.  Lamoni knew Antiomno and agreed to help.  But while they were on their way to rescue me, they ran into the Lamoni's father who was the king of all the Lamanites.  He wanted Lamoni to kill Ammon, but Lamoni refused.  (Alma 20:14-15).  Lamoni stood up to his dad and testified that we were all men of God.  Lamoni's father got angry and threatened to kill his own son.  But Ammon defended Lamoni and ended up hurting the king's arm so that he couldn't use it.  

That's when Lamoni's father knew that Ammon was strong enough to kill him and he begged for his life. Of course Ammon wasn't going to kill the king. Once the king realized the love Ammon had for Lamoni and all the people, he agreed to help me and my companions get out of prison.  He then said he wanted us to come visit him.  

Brothers and sisters, the referral program works.  It's so much easier to teach someone who has already expressed an interest in learning.  After we were freed from prison, I had the privilege of teaching the king over all the Lamanites in the land of Nephi.  I was welcomed into his house. (Alma 22:1).  I taught him about the three pillars of salvation: creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He believed my words and prayed to God to repent of his sins.  (Alma 22:18).  

And then he fell down as if he were dead.  The servants ran to tell the Queen, and when she came, she thought he was dead.  She tried to have us killed.  I knew I needed to do something.  I put my hand on the king and commanded him to stand up.  He did.  Then he started to teach his wife and everyone in their household were converted as well.  

Afterwards, he sent out the decree that Omner mentioned that we were to no longer be persecuted.  

I just want to end with my testimony.  There were times on my mission when I didn't know if I was going to live or die, but I was able to bear it all with patience because of Christ.  I testify to you that Christ breaks the bands of death.  Through him the grave has no victory. We can have hope in his glory. (Alma 22:14). 

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

AMMON: 

Aren't my brothers awesome?  Can you see why thousands of Lamanites were converted to the Lord?  Before I begin my talk, let me give you a list of all the places where thousands of Lamanites were converted: Ishmael, Middoni, the land of Nephi, Shilom, Shemlon, Lemuel, and Shimnilom.  (Alma 23:9-12).   

When we first left Zarahemla to start our missions, I never imagined we would have this kind of success.  (Alma 26:1) If we hadn't left on these missions, they'd still be living in darkness today.  They would still hate the Nephites, and they would still be strangers to God. 

Wait hold on... Aaron is handing me a note.  The note says: "Cool it, Ammon."  (Alma 26:10). 

Just to be clear, I am not boasting about how great missionaries we were, but how great God is.  He is the one who saves, not us.  We have just been instruments in His hands.  I'm so grateful that we didn't leave Zarahemla with the intent to fight but rather to teach.  

Anyway, after we had thousands of converts, eventually the Lord told me we needed to take the converts to Zarahemla where they'd be safe.  As you now know, they were anxious about living among the Nephites.  Did you know they even offered to become your slaves?  I told them we had laws against slavery.  (Alma 27:8-9).  We agreed to head up to Zarahemla to make sure that you all would be okay with accepting the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. That's when we ran into Alma like Omner mentioned.  

We went back to Alma's house and told the chief judge everything that had happened. Nephihah sent a proclamation that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies were to be welcomed with open arms.  You all were so awesome.  Not only did you agree to let them come and live with you, but you also gave them the land of Jershon as their inheritance, and even went so far to keep guards around so that they wouldn't have to break their covenant and fight.  (Alma 27:24).  They are now with the converted Zoramites in Melek so that the Nephite armies could move into Jershon.  

My guess is that many of you came to hear the story that is getting around Zarahemla about how King Lamoni came to be converted in the first place.  I don't want to get into too much detail today because I want to leave time for Alma to talk about his mission.  

When I first arrived in Ishmael, I was bound and taken before King Lamoni.  I let him know that I came to dwell among them and to serve them.  Just three days later we were taking the sheep over to the water of Sebus so they could get some water.  Some Lamanites scattered the sheep and they went in all directions.  (Alma 17:27).

Of course this made the other servants worried for they feared getting in trouble.  I told them we should work to gather the sheep and protect them so they can't get scattered again, which we did.  I then found the Lamanites who had caused all the trouble.  I don't want to get too graphic about what happened next.  Let's just say it was a disarming experience. 

After King Lamoni heard about what happened, I was able to teach them from the scriptures.  I taught the three pillars of salvation: the creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Like Alma, he lay there for 2 days as if he were dead.  Lamoni's wife had so much faith, I've never seen such faith like it.  (Alma 19:10) She and some other servants also fell as if they were dead.

I just have to mention a woman servant Abish who was amazing during all of this.  Not everyone could understand what was happening. Some people thought I had killed the king and his court.  Abish's father had had some dreams which he shared with Abish, so she was already converted.  She basically saved my life because she witnessed what had really happened and stood up for me.  I'm so grateful for Abish and her testimony.  It could not have been easy to live among so many unbelievers for so long.  

You might have noticed that Aaron had a similar experience when he too taught Lamoni's father the three pillars of salvation.  If you don't mind I'd like to share with all of you what I shared with Aaron.  If any of you have an opportunity to be a missionary and teach the gospel to a nonbeliever, here's my advice.  

1. Serve before you preach.  Your actions are your loudest sermons. 
2. Listen before you explain.  Silence can be a powerful teaching tool. 
3. Protect before you attack.  Be wise yet harmless. 
4. Boldly teach pure doctrine.  The Spirit will give you the words to say. 

I'd like to close with one last thought.  The Anti-Nephi-Lehies, now called the people of Ammon, are like those sheep.  They have made a covenant not to ever fight again.  They are full of faith but vulnerable.  Let us do all that we can to protect them so they can continue to drink the Living Water, even Jesus Christ.  

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

ALMA, THE SON OF ALMA:

I know these men who just spoke to you today are not my brothers by blood, but they are my brothers in Christ.  You are all now first-hand witnesses to what amazing missionaries they are.  How blessed we are because of their diligent efforts.  Not one convert has fallen away (Alma 23:6).  

I'd like to give the backstory to the people that Aaron first met on his mission in Jerusalem.  The Amalekites and the Amulonites.  He mentioned that they followed the teachings of Nehor.  

When I first became the chief judge, I faced an interesting challenge.   Now in Zarahemla, we had many different groups of people living together.  We had the Mulekites who had come over from the old country and settled Zarahemla.  We had the Nephites who had come up from the land of Nephi with King Mosiah, the father of King Benjamin.  We had the people of Limhi who had escaped bondage living in the land of Nephi.  We had my people who had been happily living in Helam until we were in bondage under Amulon's rule.  This was a lot of different cultures to blend into one.  It was a vulnerable time for us.  

Nehor took advantage of this and inserted himself into the mix.  He introduced priestcraft to us. (Alma 1:12).  He taught false doctrine.  He convinced people to pay him to speak so he wouldn't have to work.  He drove many people away from God.  He also killed our beloved Gideon—and for that crime he was punished with death. (Alma 1:15)

But even though Nehor is gone, his teachings remain.  I'm sure none of us can forget Amlici.  He tried to destroy our democracy and wanted us to go back to a monarchy.  But like King Mosiah warned us, monarchy only works when the king is righteous, and Amlici was anything but.  After his failed attempt to become king, he started a civil war unlike anything we had ever experienced before.  I'm sure many of you are still mourning the loss of a loved one from that war.  

I want you all to turn your attention to Aaron for a second.  Look at this great man.  This is the one you wanted to be king after his father, Mosiah, died.  He said no, he'd rather teach the gospel as a missionary.  And where does he go first?  To Lamanites?  No! He goes right into the belly of the beast, to those who had lost the civil war, the ones who had believed Nehor and followed Amlici.3 He is abused, tortured, and almost dies. But he endures with patience because he knows who the true king is, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

I know some of you have wondered why I would give up my position as chief judge to Nephihah.  I saw the pride and wickedness again creeping into our church. (Alma 4:11).  The gap between the rich and the poor was growing wider.  Wealthy church members were willing to let others go hungry.  This had to stop.  So I retained my position as the high priest of the church and focused on teaching the gospel.  

I started right here in Zarahemla, then on to Gideon and Melek.  I had great success in all three places.  Then I moved on to Ammonihah.  

Ammonihah was a community where the teachings of Nehor were alive and well.  I was cast out of the city.  But God showed me a way back in and I met a wonderful man named Amulek.  Amulek has been a great missionary companion.  Together we were able to teach a lawyer named Zeezrom who eventually converted.  It was in Ammonihah that Amulek and I were thrown into prison and miraculously escaped because of the power of God.  

Throughout my years as a high priest, I have seen many believers (not just those in Ammonihah) fall away because of the teachings of false doctrine.  May I offer you some advice to protect yourself from it ever happening to you?  

1. Put your trust in God.  He will lift you up in the last day. (Alma 38:5) 
2. Only look to Christ save you, nothing else can.  He is the light and the life of the world. (Alma 38:9) 
3. Don't be lifted up in pride.  This is proving to be the downfall of many. (Alma 38:11) 
4. Be bold but not overbearing. (Alma 38:12) 
5. Work hard and don't be lazy. (Alma 38:12) 
6. Repent and ask for forgiveness of your sins often. (Alma 38:14)

May God bless all of your souls.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

NEPHIHAH:

What a powerful meeting this has been.  I'm sure many of you will want to visit with these amazing missionaries after our service ends.  I ask that you please give them a chance to leave the synagogue and gather outside in the courtyard.  

After our closing hymn, found in your hymn plates #6 Rejoice, the Lord is King, Corianton will give our closing prayer.  Oh wait, is Corianton not here?  Shiblon, would you be willing to offer the benediction?  

For a modern retelling of the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, click here. 

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1. There is no reason to believe that Nephihah would be conducting because he was the chief judge. I just wanted to include him.  
2. This is just my imagination combining modern services with ancient rituals.  The priests did not sacrifice the animals as part of the synagogue service.  
3. Some scholars suppose that Amalekites is actually a misspelling of the word Amlicites. 


This is not an official publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This is a fictional event.  This is merely an attempt to summarize the missions of the Sons of Mosiah and Alma, the son of Alma.  

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