Lesson 26: Converted unto the Lord

Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, (1999), 116–119


Purpose

To encourage class members to strengthen their conversion and increase their desire to help others become converted.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:

    1. a.

      Alma 23–24. Thousands of Lamanites are converted after being taught by the sons of Mosiah. The converted Lamanites call themselves the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. As a testimony to God that they will never again sin through the shedding of blood, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies bury their swords and refuse to take them up when an army of Lamanites attacks.

    2. b.

      Alma 27–28. Ammon leads the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to seek safety among the Nephites. The Nephites give the Anti-Nephi-Lehies the land of Jershon and pledge to defend them against their enemies. The Lamanites come again to battle against the Nephites and are defeated.

    3. c.

      Alma 26, Alma 29. Ammon glories in the Lord as he reviews the success he and his brethren have had in preaching to the Lamanites. Alma wishes that joy might come to all through repentance and the plan of redemption.

  2. 2.

    If the picture The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Burying Their Swords is available, prepare to use it during the lesson (62565; Gospel Art Picture Kit 311).

Suggestions for Lesson Development

Attention Activity

As appropriate, use the following activity or one of your own to begin the lesson.

Ask class members:

  • What characteristics or behaviors distinguish people who are truly converted?

Explain that this lesson discusses a group of people who were so deeply converted to the Lord that the scriptures record that they “never did fall away” (Alma 23:6).

Scripture Discussion and Application

Prayerfully select the scripture passages, questions, and other lesson material that will best meet class members’ needs. Discuss how the selected scriptures apply to daily life. Encourage class members to share appropriate experiences that relate to the scriptural principles.

1. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies are converted to the Lord.

Discuss Alma 23–24. Invite class members to read selected verses aloud. Remind class members that Lamoni’s father, who was king of all the Lamanites, was converted through the teachings of Aaron (Alma 22).

  • What did the king of the Lamanites do after he became converted? (See Alma 23:1–2.) Why did he do this? (See Alma 23:3.) What resulted from this proclamation and the subsequent actions of Aaron and his brethren? (See Alma 23:4–7.)

  • What actions of the converted Lamanites showed that their conversion was true and sincere? (Summarize class members’ responses on the chalkboard. Some answers are listed below, with questions to encourage discussion.)

    1. a.

      They “were converted unto the Lord” (Alma 23:6). Why is it essential that Jesus Christ be at the center of our conversion? For what other reasons might people be drawn to the Church? (Answers may include the personalities of missionaries, the influence of friends, or the appeal of social programs.) Why do these things alone fail to bring about true conversion?

    2. b.

      They “were desirous … that they might be distinguished from their brethren” (Alma 23:16). In what ways did the converted Lamanites choose to distinguish themselves from their brethren who remained wicked? (See Alma 23:16–18; 27:27–30.) In what ways are we distinguished from the world when we are converted? Why is it important to distinguish ourselves in such ways?

    3. c.

      They expressed gratitude to God even in times of trial and affliction (Alma 24:6–10, 23). What afflictions did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies face as a result of their conversion? (See Alma 24:1–2, 20–22; 27:1–3.) Despite these afflictions, what were they grateful for? (See Alma 24:7–10.) How can gratitude to God help us face trials and afflictions?

    4. d.

      “They took their swords … and they did bury them up deep in the earth” (Alma 24:15–17). If you are using the picture of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, display it now. Why did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies bury their swords and other weapons? (See Alma 23:7; 24:11–13, 18–19.) Why was it significant that they buried their weapons rather than simply promising not to use them? How might we sometimes “rebel against God”? What can we do to bury our “weapons of rebellion”?

    5. e.

      They showed “great love” for their brethren (Alma 26:31). How did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies’ decision to bury their weapons show their love for their fellow men as well as for God? (See Alma 24:18; 26:32–34.) In what ways can conversion increase a person’s love for others?

  • How did the unconverted Lamanites react when they saw that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies would not take up arms against them? (See Alma 24:20–27.) According to Mormon, what can we learn from this account? (See Alma 24:27; note Mormon’s observation beginning with the phrase “thus we see.”)

2. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies seek safety among the Nephites.

Read and discuss selected verses from Alma 27–28.

  • Why did Ammon and his brethren urge the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to go to the land of Zarahemla, where the Nephites lived? (See Alma 27:1–5.) Why was the king reluctant to take his people to Zarahemla? (See Alma 27:6.) What persuaded the king to go to Zarahemla? (See Alma 27:7–14.) How can our faith in the Lord help us when we face frightening situations?

  • What did the Nephites do when Ammon asked them to admit the Anti-Nephi-Lehies into their land? (See Alma 27:20–26.) How did the Nephites help the Anti-Nephi-Lehies keep their covenant with the Lord? How can we help others stay converted to the Lord?

Point out that from the time the Anti-Nephi-Lehies settled in Jershon, they were known as the people of Ammon (Alma 27:26). Throughout the rest of the Book of Mormon, they are referred to as either the people of Ammon or the Ammonites.

  • What great tragedy occurred after the people of Ammon were settled in the land of Jershon? (See Alma 28:1–3.) After this great battle, many people mourned for those killed in battle (Alma 28:4–6). Why did some mourners fear while others rejoiced? (See Alma 28:11–12.) What can we learn from these responses? (See Alma 28:13–14.)

3. Ammon and Alma rejoice in the accomplishment of the Lord’s work.

Read and discuss selected verses from Alma 26 and 29. Point out that Alma 26 records Ammon’s feelings about the success he and his brothers experienced in bringing the gospel to the Lamanites. Alma 29 records Alma’s feelings about the success of Ammon and his brothers and expresses Alma’s desire that all people might have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel.

  • What “great blessings” did the Lord give Ammon and his brethren? (See Alma 26:1–9.) How can we become effective “instruments in the hands of God to bring about [his] great work”? (See Alma 26:22.)

  • How did Ammon respond when Aaron rebuked him for boasting? (See Alma 26:10–16, 35–37.) How can we “boast of [our] God” and “glory in the Lord”? In what ways has the Lord blessed you with strength beyond your own to help accomplish His work?

  • How had the people of Zarahemla responded when Aaron and his brothers first announced their mission to the Lamanites? (See Alma 26:23–25.) What can we learn from this situation about prejudging people’s responses to the gospel instead of allowing them to accept or reject it on their own? How can we overcome this tendency?

  • What can we learn from Ammon and his brethren about how we should respond to afflictions? (See Alma 26:27–30.) How have patience and trust in the Lord helped you experience a good outcome from a difficult situation?

  • Why did Alma wish to be an angel? (See Alma 29:1.) What did Alma say would be the result if “every soul” repented and came unto God? (See Alma 29:2; see also Alma 28:14.) What experiences have taught you that living the gospel brings joy into our lives?

  • Why did Alma feel that he sinned in his desire to be an angel? (See Alma 29:3, 6–7.) How can we be content with what the Lord has given us while still striving to grow and improve ourselves?

  • Alma said that God “granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life” (Alma 29:4). What does this mean? (See 2 Nephi 2:27.)

  • Alma rejoiced in what the Lord had done for him and his fathers (Alma 29:10–13). What has the Lord done for you and your family that causes you to rejoice? (Invite class members to ponder this question silently if they do not want to share their thoughts with the class.)

Conclusion

Review the ways the Anti-Nephi-Lehies showed that they were truly converted. As directed by the Spirit, testify of the truths discussed during the lesson.

Additional Teaching Idea

The following material supplements the suggested lesson outline. You may want to use this idea as part of the lesson.

Missionary work fosters love and joy

Ammon emphasized the love and joy that are shared between missionaries and those whom they teach (Alma 26:1–4, 9, 11, 13, 30–31, 35). Invite class members to express the love they feel for the people who taught them the gospel or the joy they have experienced in sharing the gospel with others.