387: Insiders and Outsiders (Come Follow Me BoM Week 36, Reissued)

These chapters are about Samuel the Lamanite posting to his wall (I know, bad joke, but some of us can relate to the stones and arrows). Samuel’s wall top preaching alternates between predictions of destruction, contrasting the Lamanite reaction to the truth, and prophesying concerning the coming of Christ. This lesson and discussion will focus on:

  • Samuel and intertextuality (the teachings he refers back to and prophecies he points toward)
  • Steadfastness and firmness
  • God and destruction
  • Freedom of choice

Reading: Helaman 13-16

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You can access my Lesson Notes here

Prepare yourself for a thought-provoking discussion with NatashaAmber, and Kenton.

385: Aug 24; The Beginning of the End (Come Follow Me BoM 34, Reissued)

Even with the impending ministry of Christ among the Nephites, Mormon sees this section as the beginning of the end (Hel. 2:13). Helaman is a dark book with powerful highlights. This is a bad time to be a chief judge, and a bad time for the Nephites. The Nephites expand their territory, but wars divide the land–the Nephites to the north, Lamanites to the south. In this lesson and discussion we will cover:

  • Lessons from Helaman to his sons
  • A bright episode in dark chapters–the miraculous ministry of Lehi and Nephi
  • The beginning of an extreme “pride cycle” and Mormon’s commentary
  • Mormon’s provocative use of the term “church”
  • The connection between adversity and sanctification

Reading: Helaman 1-5

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You can access my Lesson Notes here.

Prepare yourself for a thoughtful and heartfelt discussion with ChelseaGwenevereWhitney and Jonathan.

Art: Ave, Caesar! Io, Saturnalia! (1880) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, with the Praetorian Guard hailing Claudius (veiling himself in a curtain) as the new emperor after the assassination of Caligula.

Hey, it seemed to fit all the king assassinations in these chapters.

371.1: Kings, Judges, and War (BoM Gospel Doctrine Week 20)

“Alma … Did Judge Righteous Judgments”

Reading: Mosiah 29-Alma 4

In these chapters, we need to challenge the narrator. Mormon assures us that Alma is right and Nehor is wrong, that the Nephites are just and the Amlicites are wicked. But a closer reading challenges, or at least nuances these claims, giving us an opportunity o explore bias and the critical question of how to constructively reach those who disagree with us.

You can access the Annotated Reading here.

You can access the Lesson Notes here.

Resources

Elder Renlund’s Facebook post about loving and respecting those who live differently

What to say to a friend leaving the Church, RationalFaiths

The necessity of compromise, BYU Magazine

A democrat and republican are stranded on an island, BYU Magazine

Anti-universalistic rhetoric in the Book of Mormon, Dan Vogel

Why Mormons Leave

Resources for responsible voting

VoteSmart.org

Isidewith.com

BallotPedia

Resource for comparing candidates’ platforms