CLICK HERE to read Mosiah 28.
The sons of Mosiah also (like Alma the younger) have to, in their own way, do this work of repentance-becomes-mission.
So they go back to their father, King Mosiah, to ask permission to go on a mission (verse 1). They want to go to the Lamanites, “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… that they might also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their God… (even becoming) friendly one to another, and that there should be no more contentions in the land” (verse 2).
Except this is important what he says in that verse, not just no more contentions in the land, but “no more contentions in the land which the Lord their God had given them” (verse 2). This is all one land given to one people, and the mission of the sons of Mosiah is to make the people at-one.
“Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish…” (verse 3). This is the depth of understanding they have of truth, and the vastness of the love they have for the people they want to serve.
This obedience, this love, this becoming-ness brings the blessings that help them fulfill their mission.
“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” (verse 4).
The natural response to understanding what the Savior has done for us is to want to share that with others. The natural response to true conversion is to want to serve a mission.
And so the boys did “plead with their father many days that they might go…” (verse 5).
King Mosiah prayed about the request of his sons for a mission (verse 6), and the Lord answered his prayers by telling him to let his sons go. The Lord promises King Mosiah that they will testify of Christ, and so will have eternal life (because they have fulfilled their premortal covenant). The Lord also promises King Mosiah that the sons (and Alma) will be safely returned home unharmed by the Lamanites (verse 7).
So Mosiah let them go (verse 8), and the boys were off on their mission (verse 9)!
In the meantime, King Mosiah did not have anyone to pass his kingdom on to because now his sons had converted and gone off on a mission, wanting to be in the ministry instead of political business (verse 10).
But before he can figure out what to do about that, he has to address the anxiety of the people regarding their wanting to know what happened to the “those people who had been destroyed” (verse 12), so he had to translate the records that King Limhi’s people had found and brought back with them (verse 11). He translated them “by the means of two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow” (verse 13). These were handed down generation after generation, “for the purpose of interpreting languages” (verse 14), “and they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord” (verse 15) so that everyone can know the Gospel plan: what happens to the people without God, and how He can deliver them.
The person with the authority and ability to use these is called a “seer” (verse 16).
Mosiah finished translating the records, which “gave an account of the people who were destroyed”. Their history went back to the time of the Tower of Babel, and even all the way back to Adam (verse 17). Because the account told of the destruction of the people, it “did cause the people of Mosiah to mourn exceedingly; yea, they were filled with sorrow…” (verse 18).
Yet, at the same time, “it gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice” (verse 18).
So now we have two asides in this chapter, with the writer speaking directly to the audience.
First, he mentions that the records (history) of the mission that the sons of Mosiah (and Alma) go on will be included in the records (of the Book of Mormon). We know this to be the next book following this one, in the book of Alma (the younger).
Secondly, he mentions that this account of the people destroyed (which we know to be the Jaredites) will be included in the records (of the Book of Mormon). We know this to be the book of Ether.
But he emphasizes the importance of this, stating that “it is expedient that all people should know the things which are written in this account” (verse 19).
All people. Including me. Including you.
When all this was done being taught, King Mosiah took the records he had preserved and bestowed them upon Alma the younger (son of Alma the prophet), commanding him to “also keep a record of the people, handing them down one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem” (verse 20).