Mosiah's sons go on a mission
Mosiah's sons ask Mosiah if they can go on a mission to the Lamanites--Mosiah asks God--God says "OK, let them go on the mission"--Mosiah's
sons leave for their mission--Mosiah translates the plates of Nephi using two magic stones fastened to the rims of a bow--Only a seer can
translate plates that way--Mosiah gives everything to Alma who was the son of Alma.
|28:1 Now it came to pass that after the sons of Mosiah had done all these things,
they took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto
them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi
that they might preach the things
which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites -- ||
(28:1) Go up to the land of Nephi. |
After Mosiah's sons were done preaching to everyone in Zarahemla, they wanted a bigger challenge. They decided to ask the king
if they could go to the land of Nephi and preach to the Lamanites.
|28:2 That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and convince them of the
iniquity of their fathers; and that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that they might
also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their God, that they might become friendly to one another, and that there should
be no more contentions in all the land which the Lord their God had given them. ||
(28:2-3) That any soul should endure endless torment |
Mosiah's sons had good intentions. They wanted to improve relations with the Lamanites, and they thought that if they only bring the
Lamanites knowledge of the Lord that they might all get along. They wanted everyone to be saved, and they were really scared at the
idea of anyone being tormented forever in hell. (Who can blame them? If I really believed in hell, I'd quake and tremble too!)
|28:3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that
any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment
did cause them to quake and tremble.
|28:4 And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And
the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their
iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever. ||
|28:5 And it came to pass that they did plead with their father many days that they
might go up to the land of Nephi. ||
|28:6 And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to
preach the word. ||
(28:6-7) Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord.|
Mosiah didn't know whether or not he should let his sons go on this mission... so he asked God. God gave him a surprisingly
straightforward answer: Let them go. They'll do a good job, and I'll protect them.
|28:7 And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall
have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.
|28:8 And it came to pass that Mosiah granted that they might go and do according to
their request. ||
(28:8-10) They took their journey into the wilderness.|
So his sons left. Mosiah was reassured by God's words, but he was still nervous about one thing.
If his sons were off on the mission, who would succeed him?
|28:9 And they took their journey into the wilderness to go up to preach the word among the Lamanites; and
I shall give an account of their proceedings hereafter.
|28:10 Now king Mosiah had no one to confer the kingdom upon, for there was not any of his sons who would
accept of the kingdom. ||
|28:11 Therefore he took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, and also the plates of Nephi,
and all the things which he had kept and preserved according to the commandments of God, after having translated and
caused to be written the records which were on the plates of gold
which had been found by the people of Limhi,
which were delivered to him by the hand of Limhi; ||
(28:11-12) The plates of gold |
Now that his sons were gone, Mosiah decided to pick up an old project that he had put off for a while. He started translating the brass plates
and the plates of Nephi. His people really wanted to know what had happened to their ancestors, and since his sons were off who knows where
and he might be the last true seer in a while, he decided to get to work.
|28:12 And this he did because of the great anxiety of his people; for they were desirous beyond measure to
know concerning those people who had been destroyed.
|28:13 And now he translated them by the means of those two stones
which were fastened into the two rims of a bow. ||
(28:13-15) Two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow|
Mosiah translated the Jaredite plates using two stones fastened to the rim of a bow -- much like Joseph
Smith did when translating the Book of Mormon! These stones were prepared from the very beginning, passed down from generation to generation and preserved
by the hand of the Lord.
|28:14 Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation,
for the purpose of interpreting languages;
|28:15 And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every
creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people;
|28:16 And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner
of old times. ||
(28:16) Whosoever has these things is called seer|
A seer is someone who can translate things by looking at stones in the bottom of a hat, just like in the old times.
(28:17) From that time back until the creation of Adam
So what did Mosiah learn from the long lost plates? Just about everything. They told the history of his people right back to the very beginning,
all of the way to the tower of Babel and even to the creation of Adam. It doesn't get much better than that.
(28:18) To mourn exceedingly ... they did rejoice
The people, as usual, were both really happy and really sad to hear the story.
|28:17 Now after Mosiah had finished translating these records, behold, it gave an account of the people who
were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower, at the time the Lord
confounded the language of the people and they were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, yea, and even
from that time back until the creation of Adam.
|28:18 Now this account did cause the people of Mosiah
to mourn exceedingly, yea, they
were filled with sorrow; nevertheless it gave them much knowledge, in the which
they did rejoice.
|28:19 And this account shall be written hereafter; for behold, it is expedient that all people should know
the things which are written in this account. ||
|28:20 And now, as I said unto you, that after king Mosiah had done these things, he took the plates of brass,
and all the things which he had kept, and conferred them upon Alma, who was the son of Alma; yea, all the records, and
also the interpreters, and conferred them upon him, and commanded him that he should keep and preserve them, and also
keep a record of the people, handing them down from one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from
the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. ||
Conferred them upon Alma, who was the son of Alma
After Mosiah was done translating, he gave everything to Alma: The plates, the seer stones, all of the records, everything.
It looks like we have our new king, ladies and gentlemen! (Although Mosiah didn't want to call him that, as we learn in the next chapter.)
And it came to pass (28:1, 5, 8)