Lesson 75

Alma 9–10

“Lesson 75: Alma 9–10,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


Introduction

Alma and Amulek had little success preaching to the people of Ammonihah because Satan had a “great hold upon the hearts of the people” (see Alma 8:9). Many of them had hardened their hearts against the gospel, and they resisted Alma and Amulek’s invitation to repent. Nevertheless, Alma and Amulek faithfully called them to repentance, testifying that because they had been taught the truth and had experienced the power of God, the Lord expected them to be more righteous than the Lamanites, who had not been taught the truth. Alma and Amulek taught that if the people of Ammonihah would not repent, they would face destruction.

Suggestions for Teaching

Alma 9

Alma warns the people of Ammonihah to repent and prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ

Before class, write the following question on the board: What gifts and blessings have you experienced because you are a member of the Lord’s Church?

Ask students to respond to this question in their class notebooks or study journals. After sufficient time, invite several students to share with the class what they wrote.

As students study Alma 9 today, invite them to look for a truth that helps them understand what the Lord expects of those who have received great blessings from Him.

To help students understand the context of Alma 9, explain that this chapter records the words Alma preached to the people of Ammonihah in an effort to help them repent and return to the Lord.

Summarize Alma 9:1–7 by explaining that as Alma began preaching to the people of Ammonihah, they began to contend with him. Their comments to Alma revealed their lack of understanding of the gospel and God’s power.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Alma 9:8–13. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words and phrases that indicate why these people had little faith of God and His power.

  • What words or phrases in these verses indicate why the people of Ammonihah had little faith in God and His power? (Answers should include “ye have forgotten” and “do ye not remember.”)

  • What are some reasons why people who have been taught the gospel might forget what they have learned?

Explain that the reason why the people of Ammonihah had forgotten the things they had been taught was that they had chosen to harden their hearts against the gospel (see Alma 9:5, 30).

Copy the following chart on the board, and ask students to copy it in their class notebooks or study journals. (Be sure to leave plenty of space to write.)

The spiritual background of the people

What the Lord expected of the people, and what the Lord promised the people

Lamanites (Alma 9:14–17)

   

People of Ammonihah (Alma 9:18–24)

   

Divide students into pairs. Invite each pair to complete the chart using the scripture references.

After sufficient time, ask:

  • Based on what you learned from filling in the chart, how did the Lord’s expectations for the Nephites differ from His expectations for the Lamanites?

Point out the phrase “a highly favored people of the Lord” in Alma 9:20. (You might want to invite students to consider marking this phrase.)

  • According to Alma 9:19–23, what gifts and blessings had the Nephites (including the people of Ammonihah) experienced because they were the Lord’s covenant people?

  • Based on what we learn from these verses, how would you state a truth about the Lord’s expectations for those who have received the knowledge and blessings of the gospel? (Students may use different words, but their answers should reflect the following truth: The Lord expects greater obedience from those who have received the knowledge and blessings of the gospel. Write this truth on the board, and invite students to consider writing it in their scriptures.)

  • Why is it fair for the Lord to have higher expectations for those who have received the knowledge and blessings of the gospel?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Sister Sheri L. Dew, who served as a member of the Relief Society General Presidency. While she referred to the women of the Church, it applies to all Church members:

Sheri L. Dew

We are unique. We are unique because of our covenants, our spiritual privileges, and the responsibilities attached to both. We are endowed with power and gifted with the Holy Ghost. We have a living prophet to guide us, ordinances that bind us to the Lord and to each other, and the power of the priesthood in our midst. We understand where we stand in the great plan of happiness. And we know that God is our Father and that His Son is our unfailing Advocate.

“With these privileges comes great responsibility, for ‘unto whom much is given much is required’ (D&C 82:3)” (Sheri L. Dew, “We Are Women of God,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 98).

Invite students to respond to the following questions in their class notebooks or study journals. You may want to write these questions on the board or provide them on a handout.

  • How can remembering the gifts and blessings you have received from the Lord help you desire to be more obedient to Him?

  • What is one way you will seek to be more obedient to the commandments and counsel the Lord has given you?

Consider inviting a few students to share with the class what they wrote. Remind them to not share anything that is too private or personal.

Summarize Alma 9:25–34 by explaining that Alma again called the people of Ammonihah to repentance and told them that it would not be long before the Son of God would come and redeem those who had repented and been baptized. He taught that all mankind will receive either salvation or damnation, depending on what their works have been. Explain that after Alma addressed the people, they were angry and wanted to cast him into prison. Amulek bravely addressed the people and added his witness to Alma’s.

Alma 10:1–12

Amulek heeds the call of the Lord and affirms the divine calling of Alma

Ask students how they woke up this morning. (For example, were they awakened by an alarm clock, or did another family member awaken them? If you have an alarm clock or a picture of an alarm clock, consider displaying it.) Ask students how many of them had to be “called” more than once to get out of bed.

Summarize Alma 10:1–4 by explaining that Amulek was a descendant of Nephi. He was a hardworking man who had built substantial wealth. He was also well known and was “of no small reputation” among his many family members and friends (see Alma 10:4). However, before he met Alma, he had not been living according to the gospel truths he had been taught.

Invite a student to read Alma 10:5–6 aloud. Ask the class to look for Amulek’s response to the spiritual “wake-up calls” he had received from the Lord.

  • What do you think Amulek meant when he said “I would not hear” and “I would not know”?

Invite students to read Alma 10:7–10 silently, looking for the key points of Amulek’s opening testimony to his people.

  • In what ways do you think Alma’s influence would have been a blessing to Amulek?

  • How had Amulek’s experiences prepared him to be a second witness of Alma’s message to the people of Ammonihah?

Invite a student to read Alma 10:11–12 aloud, and ask the class to look for ways others were influenced by Amulek’s decision to heed the Lord’s call.

  • In addition to Amulek, who was blessed by his decision to hear and obey the Lord’s call?

  • What principle can we learn from these verses about what happens when we hear and obey the Lord’s call? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: When we hear and obey the Lord’s call, blessings come to us and to others. You might want to invite students to consider writing this principle in their scriptures next to Alma 10:11–12.)

  • In what ways does the Lord call to us? (Possible answers include promptings from the Holy Ghost, instruction from parents and Church leaders, Church callings, and the scriptures.)

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency. Ask students to listen for how we can hear and obey the Lord’s call.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Perhaps, like Amulek, you know in your heart that the Lord has ‘called [you] many times,’ but you ‘would not hear’ [see Alma 10:6].

“Nevertheless, the Lord sees in you what He saw in Amulek—the potential of a valiant servant with an important work to do and with a testimony to share. There is service that no one else can give in quite the same way. … Listen with your heart and follow the promptings of the Spirit” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Learn from Alma and Amulek,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 73).

  • According to President Uchtdorf, how can we hear and obey the Lord’s call to us?

  • When have you felt that you were blessed because you obeyed a call from the Lord?

  • How have you seen blessings come to others because you or someone else responded to the Lord’s call?

  • How do these experiences influence your desire to listen for and obey calls from the Lord?

You may also want to share an experience about a time when you obeyed a call from the Lord and explain how you or others were blessed as a result.

Alma 10:13–32

Amulek responds to those who oppose him and exhorts the people to repent

Summarize Alma 10:13–32 by explaining that several lawyers in the crowd began to question Amulek with the intention of making him appear guilty of some crime or contradict himself. However, Amulek detected their intentions and rebuked them. He warned them that if they did not repent of their iniquities, the Lord would smite them by famine, pestilence, and the sword. Explain to students that as they study the coming chapters, they will see how this prophecy was fulfilled.

You may want to conclude by testifying of the principles students learned in this lesson.

Commentary and Background Information

Alma 10:22–23. “Prayers of the righteous”

Note the effect that the prayers of the righteous had on the people of Ammonihah. Later, the prayers of the righteous also kept the Nephites from being destroyed during the days of Captain Moroni and Samuel the Lamanite (see Alma 62:40; Helaman 13:12–14).

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said the following about prayers offered in our day:

President Spencer W. Kimball

“There are many many upright and faithful who live all the commandments and whose lives and prayers keep the world from destruction” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Voices of the Past, of the Present, of the Future,” Ensign, June 1971, 16).

Once the righteous were destroyed or removed from Ammonihah, the prayers of the righteous ceased to protect the city, and “every living soul of the Ammonihahites was destroyed” by the Lamanites (Alma 16:9).