Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher
The following summary of the doctrines and principles students learned as they studied Alma 25–32 (unit 18) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of students.
Day 1 (Alma 25–29)
Students learned the following principles as they studied about Ammon’s joy in the success he and his brothers experienced preaching the gospel: As we humble ourselves, the Lord strengthens us and uses us as an instrument in His hands; we experience joy as we faithfully serve the Lord and His children. As the Lamanites converted to the gospel and refused to take up arms, students learned that when we are fully converted to the Lord, we keep the covenants we have made with Him. From Alma’s example, students recognize we will experience joy as we help others repent and come unto Jesus Christ.
Day 2 (Alma 30)
By reading about the teachings of Korihor, an anti-Christ, students learned that Satan uses false doctrines to entice us to commit sin. Alma responded to Korihor’s teachings by declaring that all things testify of God as Supreme Creator. After reading that Korihor was trampled to death, students understood Mormon’s recorded principle: “The devil will not support his children [his followers] at the last day” (Alma 30:60).
Day 3 (Alma 31)
As students read about Alma’s intention to reclaim the Zoramites from apostasy, they learned the following principles: As we study the word of God, it will lead us to do what is right. Daily efforts to pray and keep the commandments fortify us against temptation. If we pray and act in faith, then we will receive divine help in our trials.
Day 4 (Alma 32)
As students read about Alma’s success in preaching to the poor among the Zoramites, students learned that humility prepares us to receive the word of God. Alma compared exercising faith to planting a seed and nourishing it. Students learned that if we diligently nourish our faith in God’s word in our hearts, our faith and our testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel will grow.
Begin this lesson with an activity to help students seek to be instruments in God’s hands. The majority of the lesson, however, will focus on the consequences of believing and acting on false ideas in contrast to believing and acting on the word of God, as illustrated in Alma 30–32.
Suggestions for Teaching
As recorded in Alma 26, Ammon and his brethren rejoiced over their success in the work of the Lord. Have students read Alma 26:1–4, 11–13 and look for what Ammon and his brethren accomplished and how they were able to accomplish it. Remind students that these verses teach the following principle: As we humble ourselves, the Lord strengthens us and uses us as instruments in His hands.
Show the class a seed. Ask them to list examples of things they like that come from seeds. In contrast to some of the plants, fruits, and vegetables students may have mentioned, point out that it is possible that a seed could grow into a plant that produces bitter or even poisonous fruit or that could choke out other good plants.
Write the words idea and belief on the board and ask: How might an idea or a belief be like a seed?
Explain that as students study and discuss Alma 30–32 in class today, they will contrast the consequences of following false ideas with the consequences of following the word of God.
Ask students to explain who Korihor was. Invite them to read Alma 30:12–18, 23 and identify the false ideas Korihor taught. After they have had time to read, invite them to list on the board or on a piece of paper two or three of Korihor’s false ideas that they think could be especially dangerous to someone’s religious beliefs. Then ask the following questions:
What are some actions that these ideas might lead to? (As students answer, point out that an idea leading to an action is like a seed growing into a plant.)
According to Alma 30:18, what did Korihor’s teachings lead the people to do? (As students answer, emphasize that Satan uses false doctrines to entice us to commit sin.)
Remind students that the Zoramites believed false ideas and had fallen into false, or apostate, practices. In Alma 31:5 we learn that as we study the word of God, it will lead us to do what is right.
Remind students that though many of the Zoramites refused to receive the word of God, Alma began to have success among the poor. He taught them how to exercise faith. Have students review Alma 32:21, a scripture mastery verse. Ask them to explain what this verse teaches them about faith.
Remind students that Alma used a seed to teach about the process of developing faith. Then ask the following questions:
What phrases in Alma 32:28 indicate that a seed, or in this case the word of God, is good?
What effect does the word of God have on us when we allow it to be planted in our hearts?
Tell students that Alma urged the Zoramites to experiment with the word, or to plant it in their hearts by believing it and acting on it. Invite them to read Alma 33:22–23, looking for what “word” Alma specifically desired that the people plant in their hearts. You may want to encourage students to write these verses as a cross-reference next to Alma 32:28.
Have students read Alma 32:28–29, 31, 37, 41–43, looking for the rewards we receive from believing and acting on the word of God. As students respond, be sure the following principle is clear: If we diligently nourish our faith in God’s word in our hearts, our faith and our testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel will grow.
To conclude this lesson, invite students to share their response to lesson 4, assignment 4 in their scripture study journals—about the results they have seen in their lives as they have followed the experiment Alma described in Alma 32.
Next Unit (Alma 33–38)
What is the danger of procrastinating repentance? Amulek answers this question and gives a warning. Also, Alma counsels two of his sons as he approaches the end of his life. He gives details about his conversion—changing from someone who fought against God to someone who fought for God—and about how he felt when he was freed from the guilt and pain of his sins.