Lesson 86: Alma 25–26

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2012


Introduction

After destroying the city of Ammonihah, the Lamanites had many other battles with the Nephites and were driven back. Having suffered great losses, many Lamanites laid down their weapons of war, repented, and joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. As the sons of Mosiah and their companions concluded their 14-year mission among the Lamanites, Ammon praised the Lord and expressed gratitude for the blessing of being instruments in the hands of God to bring the gospel to the Lamanites.

Suggestions for Teaching

Alma 25:1–12

The prophecies of Abinadi and Alma are fulfilled

Before class, copy the following chart on the board:

Prophecy

Fulfillment of the Prophecy

Alma 9:12. What did Alma prophesy to the people of Ammonihah?

Alma 25:1–2 (see also Alma 16:2–3, 9–11)

Mosiah 17:14–19. What did Abinadi prophesy would happen to the descendants of King Noah and his priests?

Alma 25:4–9

Write the word trust on the board. Ask students to name some people in whom we often place our trust. (Possible answers include the Lord, prophets, parents, teachers, and coaches.) Ask students:

  • Why is it easier to place trust in some individuals than in others?

  • Of all the people on the earth today, in whom is it most easy for you to place your trust?

Tell students that Alma 25 contains evidence that the Lord’s word to His prophets will always be fulfilled. Explain that students will use the chart on the board to study two prophecies by Book of Mormon prophets and the fulfillment of those prophecies. Ask students to copy the chart in notebooks or scripture study journals. In the first column, have them write answers to the questions, using the provided scripture references. In the second column, have them write about the fulfillment of the prophecies. Invite a few students to report what they find.

Invite a student to read Alma 25:11–12 aloud. Ask the rest of the class to follow along, looking for what Mormon said happened with the words of Abinadi. You might want to suggest that students mark the phrase “these words were verified” in verse 12.

  • What does the phrase “these words were verified” mean?

You may want to suggest that students write D&C 1:38 in their scriptures next to Alma 25:12. Invite a student to read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for a phrase that is similar to the phrase “these words were verified.” (“Shall all be fulfilled.”)

  • What do we learn from Alma 25:1–12 about prophecies and promises made by prophets? (Write the following truth on the board: The inspired words of prophets will all be fulfilled.)

Point out that the examples in the chart show that prophets’ warnings to the unrighteous will always be fulfilled. Prophets also share promises for those who will turn to the Lord. These promises will also be fulfilled. To help students see application of this principle in their lives, read the following statement by the First Presidency from For the Strength of Youth. Ask students to listen for promises to those who keep the standards in the booklet.

“The standards in this booklet will help you with the important choices you are making now and will yet make in the future. We promise that as you keep the covenants you have made and these standards, you will be blessed with the companionship of the Holy Ghost, your faith and testimony will grow stronger, and you will enjoy increasing happiness” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], ii).

  • What did the First Presidency promise?

  • When have you seen these promises fulfilled?

Alma 25:13–17

Many Lamanites repent and join the Anti-Nephi-Lehies

Ask a student to read Alma 25:13–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what many of the Lamanites did after they realized they could not defeat the Nephites.

  • What impresses you about the Lamanites’ actions?

Have students read Alma 25:17 silently, looking for the feelings of the sons of Mosiah about the success they had had among the Lamanites.

  • How was the success of the sons of Mosiah an example of the words of the Lord being verified? (If students need help answering this question, refer them to Mosiah 28:5–7 and Alma 17:11.)

Alma 26

Ammon rejoices in the Lord’s mercies toward him and his brethren and toward the Lamanites

Display some tools (such as a hammer, a screwdriver, a wrench, a pen or pencil, a paintbrush, a pair of scissors, a computer, and a musical instrument). Explain that another word for tool is instrument.

  • What are some things a skilled craftsman or artist can do with the right instrument?

  • What do you think it means for someone to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord?

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Alma 26:1–5, 12. Ask the class to identify ways Ammon and his fellow missionaries were instruments in the hands of God.

  • What did the Lord accomplish through Ammon and his fellow missionaries?

  • How would you restate Alma 26:12? How does Ammon’s statement in this verse relate to being an instrument in the Lord’s hands?

Invite students to read Alma 26:11, 13, 16 silently, looking for all the times the words joy and rejoice appear. You may want to suggest that students mark these words in their scriptures. Invite a student to read Alma 26:13–16 aloud, and ask the class to look for reasons Ammon gave for his rejoicing.

  • Why did Ammon rejoice?

  • What principles can we learn from these verses? (Students may mention many different principles. The following principle may serve as a summary of their comments: We experience joy as we faithfully serve the Lord and His children. You may want to write this principle on the board.)

  • Why do you think we experience joy when we are in the service of the Lord?

Write the following scripture references and questions on the board. (Consider writing them before class.) Divide students into pairs. Ask each pair to select and read one of the passages and to discuss answers to the accompanying question.

Alma 26:17–20. What kind of people were Ammon and his brothers before they were converted?

Alma 26:23–25. According to what the Nephites told Ammon and his brethren, what were the Lamanites like before they were converted?

Provide time for a few students to explain their answers to these questions. Invite students to read Alma 26:23–29 silently, identifying obstacles Ammon and his brothers faced in their service to the Lord and the Lamanites.

  • Which of these obstacles do you think missionaries might face today?

  • According to Alma 26:27, 30, what motivated Ammon and his fellow missionaries to continue to serve? (Comfort and promises from the Lord and a desire to “be the means of saving some soul.”)

Ask students to read Alma 26:31–34 silently, looking for some of the results of the labors of the sons of Mosiah. When they have had enough time to read, ask them to share what they have found.

Invite a student to read Alma 26:35–37 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, pondering reasons they have to rejoice in the goodness of God.

  • What messages do you see in these verses?

Point out that one of the many messages in these verses is that the Lord is merciful to all who repent and believe on His name. To help students feel the truth and importance of this principle, read the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

President Boyd K. Packer

“Letters come from those who have made tragic mistakes. They ask, ‘Can I ever be forgiven?’

“The answer is yes!

“The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance. Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness” (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19).

Testify of the power of the Atonement to allow forgiveness of sins, big or small, for those who have faith in Jesus Christ and repent. Also testify of the joy that comes into our lives when we serve as instruments in the hands of the Lord.

Supplemental Teaching Idea

Alma 26:1–37. “Reason to rejoice”

To help students understand the joy that comes from repentance and forgiveness, read the following story told by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“In April of 1847, Brigham Young led the first company of pioneers out of Winter Quarters. At that same time, sixteen hundred miles to the west the pathetic survivors of the Donner Party straggled down the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Sacramento Valley.

“They had spent the ferocious winter trapped in the snowdrifts below the summit. That any survived the days and weeks and months of starvation and indescribable suffering is almost beyond belief.

“Among them was fifteen-year-old John Breen. On the night of April 24, he walked into Johnson’s Ranch. Years later John wrote:

“‘It was long after dark when we got to Johnson’s Ranch, so the first time I saw it was early in the morning. The weather was fine, the ground was covered with green grass, the birds were singing from the tops of the trees, and the journey was over. I could scarcely believe that I was alive.

“‘The scene that I saw that morning seems to be photographed on my mind. Most of the incidents are gone from memory, but I can always see the camp near Johnson’s Ranch.’ [“Pioneer Memories,” unpublished, as quoted on “The Americanization of Utah,” PBS television broadcast.]

“At first I was very puzzled by his statement that ‘most of the incidents are gone from memory.’ How could long months of incredible suffering and sorrow ever be gone from his mind? How could that brutal dark winter be replaced with one brilliant morning?

“On further reflection, I decided it was not puzzling at all. I have seen something similar happen to people I have known. I have seen one who has spent a long winter of guilt and spiritual starvation emerge into the morning of forgiveness.

“When morning came, they learned this:

“‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more’ [D&C 58:42]” (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 18).

After reading this story, ask students to tell about a time when they have seen joy come into the life of someone who has repented. (Remind students that they do not need to share anything that is too personal or private.)