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.
As recorded in Alma 26, Ammon and his brethren rejoiced over their success in the work of the Lord. Ask students to read Alma 26:1–4, 11–13, looking for what Ammon and his brethren accomplished and how they were able to accomplish it. Remind them 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 students 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 the following question:
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. Ask students to review Alma 32:21, a scripture mastery verse. Then ask them to explain what this verse teaches 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 study journals—about the results they have seen in their lives as they have followed the experiment Alma described in Alma 32.
Ask students: What is the danger of procrastinating repentance? Explain that Amulek answered this question and gave a warning. In next week’s lessons they will also study the counsel Alma gave to two of his sons as he approached the end of his life. He gave 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.