Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher
The following summary of the doctrines and principles students learned as they studied Alma 39–44 (unit 20) 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 39)
While studying Alma’s words to his wayward son Corianton, students learned that sexual sin is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. Alma also taught his son that repentance includes acknowledging and forsaking our sins and turning to the Lord with all our mind, might, and strength. Students read Alma’s testimony that Jesus Christ came to take away the sins of the world.
Day 2 (Alma 40–41)
Corianton was concerned about resurrection and the Final Judgment. From Alma’s response to these concerns, students learned various doctrines related to the resurrection, including the truth that we will be restored to either happiness or misery according to our works and desires in mortality. Alma also emphasized that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).
Day 3 (Alma 42)
Alma helped Corianton see that disobedience causes individuals to be cut off from the presence of God. In turn, students learned how the plan of redemption allows individuals to overcome their fallen state. Alma’s teachings confirm that Jesus Christ’s suffering satisfied the demands of justice so that mercy could be extended to those who repent.
Day 4 (Alma 43–44)
Students learned about a war between the Lamanites and the Nephites. One lesson they learned from Alma 43–44 is that if we seek and follow prophetic counsel, we will be better able to defend ourselves against the adversary. In addition, students discovered that as we pray unto the Lord concerning our righteous plans and desires, He will assist us in accomplishing them.
As recorded in Alma 39–42, Alma helped his son Corianton understand the seriousness of sexual sin, doctrines related to resurrection and the Final Judgment, and the eternal consequences of the laws of justice and mercy. This lesson will provide students with opportunities to teach and explain these doctrines to each other.
Suggestions for Teaching
Before class, prepare handouts containing the instructions in this lesson. Familiarize yourself with the instructions so you can help students succeed in their efforts to teach one another.
Begin class by inviting students to recite together Alma 39:9, a scripture mastery passage they were encouraged to memorize as part of their study this week. Ask if someone can remind the class why Alma counseled his son Corianton to repent and forsake his sins in this verse.
Remind students that in Alma 40–41, Alma also addressed Corianton’s concerns about the resurrection of the dead and the Final Judgment. To help students explain what they learned and share their feelings and testimonies about the truths found in Alma 39–41, write the following questions and scripture references on the board before class begins:
Why is it important to keep the law of chastity? (See Alma 39:1–9.)
What is the resurrection? What is the difference between mortal bodies and resurrected bodies? What happens after we are resurrected? (See Alma 40:21–26.)
How will I be judged at the Final Judgment? (See Alma 41:1–7.)
It seems like some who break the commandments are happy. Is that true? (See Alma 41:10–15.)
Ask students to imagine that they are missionaries and that they have an appointment to meet with someone who is seeking answers to these questions. Inform them that they will be given some time to prepare, and then they will have an opportunity to answer some of these questions using what they learned from Alma 39–41.
If your class size allows, divide the class into pairs that represent missionary companionships. Assign each companionship one of the questions from the board. (If your class size is smaller, you could assign the questions to individual students.) Give each companionship a copy of the instructions below, and ask them to use the verses referenced at the end of their assigned question to answer their investigator’s questions. Provide time for the students to review the verses and prepare a short lesson for their investigator. Encourage the companionships to decide which portions of the instructions each of them will be responsible to teach.
As students prepare, you may wish to move among the students so you can listen and give help as needed. If needed, help students identify doctrines from Alma 39–41 that help answer the questions they have been assigned. Use the following doctrines as a guide:
Sexual sin is an abomination in the sight of the Lord (see Alma 39:1–9).
Resurrection is the reuniting of the spirit and the body, with all things restored to their proper and perfect frame (see Alma 40:21–26).
We will be restored to either happiness or misery according to our works and desires in mortality (see Alma 41:1–7).
Wickedness never was happiness (see Alma 41:10–15).
Be ready to do the following as you teach:
Give some background information about the verses (such as explaining who was speaking, to whom they were speaking, and why).
Read parts of the scripture passage provided to help you answer the question you were assigned.
Write down a doctrine or principle taught in the verses you studied that applies to your assigned question.
Explain how the doctrine or principle you wrote helps answer the question you were assigned. You might want to suggest that those you teach write this doctrine or principle in their scriptures.
Share why this doctrine or principle is important to you, and testify of the truths you have taught.
After students have prepared to answer their assigned questions, place them in small groups so they can teach each other. (If your class is small, have each student or companionship teach the entire class.) After students have finished teaching one another, ask the class the following questions:
As you consider Corianton’s sins, why do you think understanding these doctrines would be helpful to him?
Why would it be important to be able to explain these truths to those you will associate with in your life?
Why is it important that you understand and live by these truths?
Draw a simple set of scales on the board. Invite a student to teach the concepts of justice and mercy to the class using the illustration and what he or she learned from Alma’s instructions to Corianton in Alma 42. Invite students to turn to Alma 42 in their scriptures and look for phrases and statements about justice and mercy that they marked or underlined.
To help students understand the conditions upon which mercy is available, ask the following questions:
What did Jesus Christ have to do in order for mercy to be available to us?
What must we do to receive mercy?
Invite a few students to share why they are grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
If time remains, consider asking students to review what they learned from Alma 43–44 by sharing what they wrote in their scripture study journals about fighting their spiritual battles (day 4, assignments 3 and 4). Testify of Jesus Christ and His power to extend mercy as we repent and to protect us as we come unto Him.
Next Unit (Alma 45–63)
Why were the Nephites so successful against their enemies? How were they able to fight with the strength of the Lord? The answers can be found by studying the examples of Captain Moroni and Helaman and his stripling warriors.