As Alma warned his son Corianton about the consequences of sin, he also taught about life after death. He explained that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind will be resurrected. He taught about the spirit world, where the dead, depending on their choices in mortality, wait in either paradise or prison until the Resurrection.
Note: In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to teach one another. Before class, prepare handouts containing the accompanying instructions for companionships. Become familiar with each set of instructions so you can help students as they prepare to teach.
Invite a student to read aloud the following account told by President Thomas S. Monson:
“Many years ago I stood at the bedside of a young father as he hovered between life and death. His distraught wife and their two children stood nearby. He took my hand in his and, with a pleading look, said, ‘Bishop, I know I am about to die. Tell me what happens to my spirit when I do’” (Thomas S. Monson, “Precious Promises of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Oct. 2011, 4).
Invite students to consider what they would have said to this young father if they had been in President Monson’s position.
Ask a student to continue reading aloud President Monson’s account:
“I offered a silent prayer for heavenly guidance and noticed on his bedside table a copy of the triple combination [the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price]. I reached for the book and fanned the pages. Suddenly I discovered that I had, with no effort on my part, stopped at the 40th chapter of Alma” (Thomas S. Monson, “Precious Promises of the Book of Mormon,” 4).
Explain that Alma 40 is a continuation of Alma’s teachings to his son Corianton and contains doctrines that can answer questions about what will happen to us after we die.
Invite students to read Alma 40:1 silently. Ask students to identify why Alma discussed resurrection with his son.
Why did Alma teach Corianton about resurrection?
As you recall Corianton’s choices, why might he have been worried about resurrection?
Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Alma 40:2–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Alma taught Corianton about the Resurrection. Ask students the following questions, and invite them to consider marking the answers in their scriptures.
According to verses 2 and 3, who did Alma say would make the Resurrection possible? (Jesus Christ. You may want to point out that Jesus Christ was the first person on this earth to be resurrected [see 1 Corinthians 15:20–23].)
According to verse 4, who will come forth from the dead and be resurrected?
Write the following doctrine on the board: Because of Jesus Christ, all mankind will be resurrected.
Why is it important to know that everyone will be resurrected because of Jesus Christ?
Write the following questions on the board:
Divide the class into pairs. Assign each pair a number: 1 or 2. Invite each pair to work as if they were a missionary companionship, preparing to teach a brief lesson to answer the questions on the board that correspond to their assigned number. To help them prepare, give them a copy of the instructions corresponding to their number (see the accompanying handouts).
Explain that after students have studied the instructions, they will have an opportunity to share what they have learned by teaching others. They will have about five minutes to prepare and about seven minutes to teach. Encourage both students in each pair to participate in preparing and teaching the lesson.
Organize students into small groups so they can teach each other in a missionary role play. Each group should consist of two companionships, with each companionship having prepared answers to a different set of questions. Assure them that the Holy Ghost can inspire them and those they teach if they are sincere in their instruction and responses. As students teach one another, you may want to walk around the room so you can listen and help as needed.
After students have had time to teach each other in groups, consider asking the class some of the following questions:
What did you learn as you prepared to teach or were taught by other students?
Why do the truths we have discussed today matter to you?
Remind the class of the account of the young father who wondered what would happen to his spirit when he died. Explain that President Monson read Alma’s teachings about paradise to the young father. Invite a student to read aloud the remainder of President Monson’s account:
“As I continued to read about the Resurrection, a glow came to the young man’s face and a smile graced his lips. As I concluded my visit, I said good-bye to this sweet family.
“I next saw the wife and children at the funeral. I think back to that night when a young man pleaded for truth and, from the Book of Mormon, heard the answer to his question” (Thomas S. Monson, “Precious Promises of the Book of Mormon,” 4).
Testify of Jesus Christ’s role in making available the blessings of the Resurrection. Encourage students to think of ways they can show their gratitude for the truth that we will be resurrected because of Jesus Christ.