After setting the Church in order in Zarahemla, Alma went to the city of Gideon. He found the people there to be more faithful than those in Zarahemla had been. Therefore, his message in Gideon was different from his message in Zarahemla. He encouraged the people to continually rely on the Lord and seek to apply His Atonement in their lives. He testified that the Savior would take upon Himself death and our sins, and that He would also take upon Himself our pains, afflictions, sicknesses, and infirmities, that He might know how to help us.
Display a small mirror. Invite students to explain how the mirror might represent the questions Alma asked the people of Zarahemla that are recorded in Alma 5. (Alma asked the people to consider if they had received the Savior’s image in their countenances and if they had experienced a mighty change in their hearts and were prepared to stand before God to be judged [see Alma 5:14–15].)
Summarize Alma 6 by explaining that Alma ordained priesthood leaders to preside and watch over the Church in Zarahemla. Their responsibilities included baptizing those who had repented of their sins and removing from the records of the Church the names of those who would not repent of their wickedness. The Church leaders ensured that all people had the opportunity to gather and “hear the word of God” (Alma 6:5), and Church members joined together “in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God” (Alma 6:6). After Alma set the Church in order in Zarahemla, he went to the city of Gideon.
Divide the class into pairs. Ask each pair to discuss their answers to the following question:
What are some future events that you are excited about?
After the pairs have had time to discuss their answers to this question, ask a few students to share their responses with the entire class.
Summarize Alma 7:1–7 by explaining that Alma told the people of Gideon about his great joy in knowing that the people of Zarahemla were once again living righteously, and he expressed his hope that he would also have joy because of the people of Gideon. He told the people there that of all things to come in the future, one thing was “of more importance than they all” (Alma 7:7).
Invite students to read Alma 7:7, 9–10 silently, looking for the event Alma felt was most important for the people to know about.
According to Alma, what was the “one thing which [was] of more importance” than anything else that was to come?
Why do you think the coming of the Savior is the most important event of all time?
Ask a few students to take turns reading aloud from Alma 7:11–13. Invite the rest of the class to follow along and look for what the Savior took upon Himself for us.
What did Alma testify the Savior would take upon Himself for us?
List students’ answers as headings across the top of the board. Answers may include pains, afflictions, temptations, sicknesses, death, infirmities (weaknesses or inabilities), and sins.
Invite students to consider marking the phrase “of every kind” in Alma 7:11. Ask them to name examples of each condition written on the board. As students give examples, write them underneath the corresponding headings. (For example, cancer might be listed under sicknesses, and physical disabilities could be listed under infirmities.)
According to verse 12, why did Jesus Christ take our infirmities upon Himself? (You may need to explain that succor means to give relief or to go to someone’s aid.)
Based on Alma 7:11–13, how would you state a doctrine summarizing what Jesus Christ has done for us? (Using students’ words, write the following doctrine on the board: Jesus Christ suffered to save us from sin and death and to help us through the challenges of mortality.)
Divide students into pairs or small groups. Provide them with the following handout, and ask them to follow the instructions on it.
After sufficient time, invite several students to report what they learned through their discussion with their groups.
Share your testimony of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the extent of its reach. Then give students a few minutes to respond in their class notebooks or study journals to the following questions. (You may want to write these questions on the board.)
When has Jesus Christ helped you or someone you know in one of the ways we have discussed today?
What will you do to rely on Jesus Christ as you face challenges?
Explain that after teaching the people of Gideon about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Alma explained what the people needed to do in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Summarize Alma 7:14–18 by explaining that Alma invited the people of Gideon who needed to repent of their sins and be baptized to do so.
Display or draw on the board the following diagram of a person on a path:
Invite a student to read Alma 7:19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what path Alma told the people of Gideon they were on.
What path did Alma say the people of Gideon were on? (Write the kingdom of God to the right of the path drawn on the board.)
Invite three students to take turns reading aloud from Alma 7:23–25. Ask the class to look for what we need to do and what we need to be in order to follow the path leading to the kingdom of God.
According to these verses, what do we need to do and what do we need to be in order to follow the path that leads to the kingdom of God? (Write students’ answers on the board along the path.)
Based on what we learn from these verses, how would you state a principle about what we need to do in order to follow the path that leads to the kingdom of God? (Students may identify a principle such as the following: By living the principles of the gospel, we follow the path to the kingdom of God.)
You might consider asking students what some of the actions or attributes along the path mean to them. You might also ask them to think about how they can follow this path in their lives. Testify that when we live faithfully, we are “in the path which leads to the kingdom of God” (Alma 7:19). Encourage students to continue their efforts to press forward on this path.