Alma 37: "Learn Wisdom in Thy Youth"

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 125–126


Have you ever used a compass? What can a compass do for you? There are times when we need a spiritual compass to lead and guide us. The Lord has provided us with a spiritual compass. As you read Alma 37, look for what that spiritual compass is and how helpful it can be for you today.

Understanding the Scriptures

Alma 37

Holy writ (v. 5)Scripture
Confound (v. 6)Confuse
Forbear (v. 11)Stop
Interpreters (v. 21)The Urim and Thummim (see Bible Dictionary, “Urim and Thummim,” pp. 786–87)
Gazelem (v. 23)Apparently a name given to an unknown seer
Peradventure (v. 27)Perhaps
Abhor (v. 29)Hate
Curious (v. 39)Carefully made, detailed
Slothful (vv. 41, 43, 46)Lazy
Bliss (v. 44)Great joy
Vale (v. 45)Valley; symbolic of mortal life

Alma 37:21–31—The 24 Plates and Secret Combinations

Alma warned Helaman to protect the Jaredite record (the 24 gold plates) so that the oaths, signs, and covenants of the secret combinations that destroyed the Jaredites might not be known among the Nephites. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “Down through all succeeding ages there have been groups, organizations, churches, and governments having similar secret oaths and objectives—all inspired by Satan” (Mormon Doctrine, 471).

metal plate with characters

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B and activity C as you study Alma 37.

Activity A Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Alma 37:6–7

Some people seem to think that the scriptures are just writings of the past and could not be of any help to them today.

  1. 1.

    Review Alma 37:6–7 and give one example of a “small and simple” scripture verse that has been a blessing in your life.

  2. 2.

    Search Alma 37:8–20 and list at least three “wise purposes” for which the scriptures are preserved and summarize how those purposes can bless people today.

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Alma 37:35

Think about Alma 37:35 and how you would teach it to a five-year-old child. Write an outline of what you would say, supporting your ideas with the information in verses 36–37.

Activity C iconWrite Directions

In Alma 37:38–47 Alma compared the Liahona, or director, with the scriptures, or the “words of Christ.”

  1. 1.

    Review those verses and write a set of directions on how to use the Liahona.

  2. 2.

    Explain how those directions can also help you better use the scriptures.