As Alma and Amulek continued to teach the people of Ammonihah, a lawyer named Zeezrom offered Amulek money to deny the existence of God. Zeezrom also tried to twist Amulek’s words and discredit his teachings about Jesus Christ. As Amulek defended himself against Zeezrom’s attempts to snare him, he testified that salvation from sin comes only through Jesus Christ. Amulek also testified that all mankind will be resurrected and will be brought to “be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit” on the Day of Judgment (Alma 11:44).
Invite students to discuss the following questions in pairs or small groups (you may want to write these questions on the board before class):
Why would a person who knows right from wrong make a wrong choice?
What are some situations in which youth might be tempted to act contrary to what they know is right?
After sufficient time, invite several students to report their answers to the entire class.
As students study Alma 11 today, invite them to look for truths that can help them overcome temptation.
Explain that Alma 11 continues the account of Alma and Amulek teaching the people of Ammonihah. Summarize Alma 11:1–20 by explaining that Mormon described the Nephite monetary system and how judges and lawyers were compensated for their work. Many of the judges and lawyers in Ammonihah were wicked and endeavored to stir up contention among the people in order to increase their own income.
Remind students that as Amulek taught, he was confronted by a lawyer named Zeezrom (see Alma 10:31). Invite a student to read Alma 11:21–22 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Zeezrom offered Amulek, and for what reason.
What did Zeezrom try to persuade Amulek to do?
What did Zeezrom offer Amulek if he would “deny the existence of a Supreme Being” (verse 22)?
Point out that Mormon’s explanation of the Nephite monetary system in Alma 11:4–19 helps us understand the size of Zeezrom’s bribe. Help students understand that an onti was a piece of silver with the greatest value (see Alma 11:6, 11–13). One onti was equal to approximately one week’s wages for a judge (see Alma 11:3, 11–13), which means that six onties was equal to about six weeks of wages for a judge.
Why might Zeezrom’s offer have been enticing to some people?
Ask students to consider what they would have said to Zeezrom if they had been in Amulek’s situation.
Invite a student to read Alma 11:23–25 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how Amulek responded to this temptation to deny the existence of God. (You may want to explain that lucre means money.)
What does Amulek’s response indicate about him?
To help students identify how Amulek was able to resist Zeezrom’s offer, ask them to review Alma 11:22 silently, looking for what Amulek said would guide him in his response to Zeezrom.
What did Amulek say would guide him in his response to Zeezrom? (The Spirit of the Lord.)
What principle can we learn from Amulek’s response that can help us overcome temptation? (While students’ answers may vary, they should reflect the following principle: When we rely on the Holy Ghost, we can overcome temptation. Invite students to consider writing this principle in their scriptures next to Alma 11:22.)
How do you think being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost can help us overcome temptation?
Invite a student to read aloud the following counsel from President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit. This promise applies to all members of the Church. …
“If you are slipping into things that you should not slip into or if you are associating with people who are pulling you away in the wrong direction, that is the time to assert your independence, your agency. Listen to the voice of the Spirit, and you will not be led astray.
“… As a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit” (Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Youth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 18).
What do you do to rely on the Holy Ghost? How does that help you to avoid or overcome temptation?
When has the Holy Ghost helped you to overcome temptation? (Caution students not to share too much detail about temptations to sin.)
Testify that as students live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, they can experience greater confidence to stand for truth and overcome temptation.
Invite students to write in their class notebooks or study journals what they will do to better rely on the Holy Ghost in their efforts to avoid and overcome temptation.
Explain that after Zeezrom failed to get Amulek to deny the existence of God, he changed his tactics and began to attack Amulek’s faith in Jesus Christ.
Invite two students to come to the front of the class. Ask them to take turns reading aloud from Alma 11:26–35, with one student reading the verses that record Zeezrom’s words and the other student reading the verses that contain Amulek’s words. (Note that the word he in verses 29, 31, and 33 refers to Amulek and that verse 34 includes the words of both Zeezrom and Amulek.) Ask the class to follow along, looking for the way in which Zeezrom tried to twist Amulek’s words. After the students have finished reading, thank them and invite them to be seated. Ask the class:
How did Zeezrom try to twist Amulek’s words? (Zeezrom claimed that Amulek had stated that the Son of God will not save His people, when in reality Amulek had taught that the Son of God will not save His people in their sins [see verse 34].)
Invite a student to read Alma 11:36–37 aloud. Ask the class to look for Amulek’s explanation of why we cannot be saved in our sins.
What doctrine did Amulek teach to explain why we cannot be saved in our sins? (Help students identify the following doctrine: No unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven. You may want to invite students to consider marking this doctrine in their scriptures.)
Invite a student to read Alma 11:40 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Amulek taught about whom Jesus Christ will redeem from their sins.
According to verse 40, whom will Jesus Christ redeem from their sins? (Explain that the phrases “his people” and “those who believe on his name” include all people who exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent of their sins, receive the saving ordinances of the gospel—such as baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost—and keep the associated covenants.)
Point out that Zeezrom and many of the other people of the city of Ammonihah were after the order of Nehor, who had taught that “all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, … [for] all men should have eternal life” (Alma 1:4; see also Alma 16:11).
Invite a student to read Alma 11:46 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the truths Amulek taught affected Zeezrom.
How did Amulek’s teachings affect Zeezrom? (He “began to tremble.” Explain that Alma 12:1 explains that Zeezrom “began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt.” In other words, he began to fear because of his sins.)
Divide students into pairs or small groups. Invite them to search Alma 11:41–45 together, looking for truths Amulek taught that may have caused Zeezrom to tremble.
After sufficient time, ask the class:
What truths did Amulek teach that may have caused Zeezrom to tremble? (List students’ responses on the board. They may identify several truths, including the following: All people will be resurrected and will stand before God to be judged according to their works.)
Point out the simple definition of resurrection in Alma 11:45: “They can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided.” (You might want to encourage students to mark this statement.)
What details do we learn from verses 43–44 about resurrected bodies? (Every part of the body will be restored to its perfect and proper frame.) Why is this important for us to know?
According to verse 43, what will those who have not repented remember when they are brought before God to be judged? (After students respond, you may want to point out that the prophet Jacob taught that at the Day of Judgment “the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity” [2 Nephi 9:14].)
Why do you think these truths about resurrection and judgment may have caused Zeezrom to tremble?
How does the knowledge that you will be resurrected and judged affect the way you choose to live each day?
Testify that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected and stand before God “to be judged according to their works” (Alma 11:44). Invite students to prepare for that experience by striving to live righteously each day and by following the guidance of the Holy Ghost as they seek to avoid and overcome temptation.