Alma 31: A Mission to the Zoramites

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 120–121

At the end of Alma 30 we read that Korihor died while begging among a people called the Zoramites. In Alma 31 we read of Alma and others going to preach the gospel among them. Although they trampled Korihor under their feet, many of his ideas appeared in the religion of the Zoramites. Look for them as you read this chapter. Also, you will read two contrasting prayers in Alma 31. As you do, consider what those prayers reveal about the people who offered them.

Understanding the Scriptures

Alma 31

Tidings (v. 1)News, information
Correspondence (v. 4)Friendly relationship and communication
Dissenters (v. 8)Rebels, defectors
Supplication (v. 10)Pleading
Elected (vv. 16–17)Specially chosen
Grieved (v. 24)Saddened
Puffed up (v. 27)Full of pride and vanity
Infidelity (v. 30)Lack of loyalty or faithfulness
Infirmities, infirm (v. 30)Weaknesses
Bear (v. 33)Endure
Clapped his hands upon them (v. 36)Laid his hands upon them for a priesthood blessing

Alma 31:3—The Zoramites

Zoramite on the Rameumpton

In the Book of Mormon there are two groups of people called Zoramites. The first were the descendants of Zoram, the servant of Laban, who left Jerusalem with Nephi. The second were the followers of an apostate Nephite named Zoram who led his people in rebellion against the Nephites and the ways of the Lord.

Alma 31:5—The Power of the Word

It is interesting to note that Alma sought to solve a political problem with a spiritual cure. The Nephites were worried that the Zoramites might stir up the Lamanites to war against the Nephites. Alma felt that the best way to prevent that was to preach the gospel to the Zoramites so that they might experience a change of heart. Alma chose to work on the cause of the problem, not the symptoms.

In a talk entitled “The Power of the Word,” President Ezra Taft Benson counseled priesthood leaders about working on the roots of problems in the Church: “Often we spend great effort in trying to increase the activity levels in our stakes. We work diligently to raise the percentages of those attending sacrament meetings. We labor to get a higher percentage of our young men on missions. We strive to improve the numbers of those marrying in the temple. All of these are commendable efforts and important to the growth of the kingdom. But when individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, these other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow” (Ensign, May 1986, 81).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Alma 31.

Activity A iconWrite an Example

In Alma 31:5 you read that Alma believed the word of God has power to inspire people to do what the sword or any other instrument of force cannot do. Give an example from your own life, showing how the scriptures or teachings of Church leaders motivated you to act in a way that no one could have forced you to act or behave.

Activity B iconMake a Connection

Write the phrases from Alma 31:8–20 that show how the wicked teachings and practices of the Zoramites were similar to what Korihor taught. After each phrase, write a verse number from Alma 30 in which Korihor taught that idea.

Activity C iconMake a Comparison

Compare the attitudes and prayer of the Zoramites in Alma 31:13–18, 23 to Alma’s attitude and prayer in Alma 31:24–38. Include in your comparison at least two important ways they were different. Conclude by writing what you think modern readers should learn to help them with the principle of prayer.