Mosiah 8 introduces a couple of new pieces of information that are key to the story:
The 24 Gold Plates
Limhi tells Ammon that his people discovered an ancient, extinct civilization, including 24 gold plates with engravings that appear to tell the story of the people who had inhabited the ancient city. The engravings are in a different language, so nobody can read the story at this time. We later discover that this civilization was the Jaredite nation, and some of the information contained on the 24 gold plates is included in the Book of Ether.
King Mosiah Is a Seer
Ammon states that the engravings on the 24 gold plates could only be translated by a “seer” — someone who can look through a special set of interpreters and see the translation such that the information can be understood and recorded in his own language. He mentions that King Mosiah is such a seer and would be able to use his gift to translate the engravings.
Although none of us may be a seer today, we all have a need to be able to see clearly in situations that challenge us as servants of God:
- Most issues in our nation today seem to require that we choose one side or the other, yet the information available to us is slanted and conflicting. How do we decide what is right?
- Lifestyles that conflict with the Word of God are popular today. Words like “love” and “acceptance” are used to defend these lifestyles. How do we know whether we’re truly standing up for God or whether we’re being unloving and unaccepting?
- Each of us faces many life choices. Depending on what life stage we are in, we may face choices regarding relationships, employment, or where to live, as well as choices regarding our personal behavior. How do we make the best choices as a servant of God?
It would be nice if we had our own personal set of interpreters that we could look into and read the answers to our various questions. We don’t have those, but we do have the ability to consult God for understanding whenever we need it.
As James writes, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” If we’re prayerful about a particular question, then God will give us understanding regarding that question. The understanding may come as a direct revelation; it may come in church — so make sure to attend! — or it may come from reading the Word of God. If you look for the answer, you should be able to recognize it when it comes.
Being familiar with what the Word of God says on a subject is critical to receiving the proper understanding from God, who does not contradict Himself. So, if you think you’ve received an answer from God that conflicts with His Word, it’s a mistake — yours, not His — so keep praying until you receive His real answer.
Let’s do our best to ensure that our life choices and our positions on various issues be in concert with the Word of God. Then we can truly say that we’re receiving our understanding from the Lord.
Songs of Zion No. 70 “Give Me Understanding, Lord!”
When the wrong way seems right, give me understanding, Lord!
Lest I hinder the light, give me understanding, Lord!
When I’m falling behind and the race has only just begun,
Wisdom cries at the gate, open up while I wait and
Give me understanding, Lord!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.