Amulek’s words in Alma 11 made Zeezrom conscious of his guilt for lying and deceiving the people. After Amulek spoke to the people of Ammonihah, Alma stood before them. Because the people in Ammonihah had become wicked, Alma focused on truths that would help them repent of the hardness of their hearts and other sins. He emphasized the snares of Satan, the judgments that befall the wicked, and the plan of redemption provided through the Son of God that makes it possible for those who repent to return to God’s presence.
Think of how a snare works to catch an animal: A loop of rope is placed around a piece of food. As the animal reaches through the loop to take the food, the snare is tightened, and the animal is trapped.
Review how Zeezrom tried to catch Amulek in a snare in Alma 11:21–25. After Amulek perceived Zeezrom’s intent and responded to him, Alma stood to address Zeezrom and the multitude who were present (see Alma 12:1–2). Look in Alma 12:3–6 for words and phrases Alma used to describe Zeezrom’s tactics, which Alma said came from the devil (see Alma 12:5).
According to Alma 12:3, how was Alma able to know Zeezrom’s plan?
What did Alma say the devil’s intentions are in Alma 12:6?
Alma taught that the Holy Ghost can help us recognize the temptations of the adversary. In the lesson on Alma 11, you learned that if we rely on the Holy Ghost, we can overcome temptation. An important aspect of overcoming temptation is to have the Spirit help us recognize the temptation and the harm it can cause us. We can then choose to remain pure and faithful by avoiding the temptation. Have you had an experience when the Holy Ghost helped you recognize and avoid one of the devil’s temptations?
In your scripture study journal, write what you can and will do to increase your ability to recognize and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost so you can recognize and avoid the “snares” of the adversary.
Think about a career you are interested in pursuing. Estimate how much you might have to pay in tuition (payment for instruction) at a school or training program to gain the knowledge required to become successful in that career.
Read the following quotation, looking for the “tuition” Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said must be paid to receive spiritual knowledge: “The spiritual understanding you and I have been blessed to receive, and which has been confirmed as true in our hearts, simply cannot be given to [others]. The tuition of diligence and of learning by study and also by faith must be paid to obtain and personally ‘own’ such knowledge. Only in this way can what is known in the mind also be felt in the heart” (“Watching with All Perseverance,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 43).
Look for evidence in Alma 12:7–8 that Zeezrom began to be willing to pay the spiritual “tuition” needed to obtain spiritual knowledge. What do you see that indicates Zeezrom had begun to change his heart so he could learn spiritual truths?
Look for what Alma taught Zeezrom about gaining spiritual knowledge as you read Alma 12:9–11. It may be helpful to know that “mysteries of God are spiritual truths known only by revelation. God reveals his mysteries to those who are obedient to the gospel” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Mysteries of God,” scriptures.lds.org). You may want to write this definition in your scriptures next to Alma 12:9. In Alma 12:9, Alma explained that God would grant a portion of His word unto man according to what?
According to Alma 12:10–11, what is the relationship between the condition of our hearts and receiving spiritual truths?
What does it mean to “harden” your heart (see Alma 12:10–11), and how do you think such a condition is shown in someone’s life?
Alma’s message to Zeezrom teaches the following principle: The Lord reveals spiritual truths to us according to the heed and diligence we give to His words.
In your scripture study journal, write about a commandment or counsel from the Lord that you have been striving to follow by giving it “heed and diligence.” In what ways has the Lord blessed you with additional guidance, understanding, or the whisperings of His Spirit because you have been acting on what He has taught you?
After Alma explained how we come to know spiritual truth, he proceeded to answer the question Zeezrom asked in Alma 12:8 about how we will be judged. Look for what Alma taught Zeezrom in Alma 12:12–15 about resurrection and judgment. Fill in the following blanks: We will be held accountable before God for our , , and.
Ponder the following question: What difference will it make in your daily choices if you remember that you will be held accountable for your words, works, and thoughts?
Refer to what you wrote in your scripture study journal for assignment 1 in today’s lesson—about how you could be more sensitive to the Holy Ghost. Add your thoughts about how understanding your personal accountability to God may increase your desire to recognize and avoid temptation.
A chief ruler in Ammonihah named Antionah did not believe man could become immortal, stating that the Fall made it impossible (see Alma 12:20–21). Search the verses from Alma 12 listed in the following chart, and write what Alma taught in the columns below the headings:
Effects of the Fall (Alma 12:22, 24)
What God did to bring about our redemption (Alma 12:24–25, 28–33)
What we must do to be redeemed (Alma 12:24, 30, 34, 37)
When you finish filling in the chart, answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
The term “probationary state” in Alma 12:24 is a phrase used only by Alma in the Book of Mormon (see also Alma 42:4, 10, 13). Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described this probationary time: “The main purpose of earth life is to allow our spirits, which existed before the world was, to be united with our bodies for a time of great opportunity in mortality. The association of the two together has given us the privilege of growing, developing, and maturing as only we can with spirit and body united. With our bodies, we pass through a certain amount of trial in what is termed a probationary state of our existence. This is a time of learning and testing to prove ourselves worthy of eternal opportunities. It is all part of a divine plan our Father has for His children” (“Proclaim My Gospel from Land to Land,” Ensign, May 1989, 14).
To apply what you have learned, answer one or both of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How does knowing the purpose of mortality help guide you in your life?
How does your faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ help you in your mortal probation?
Read Alma 12:33–35, and notice the difference in what will happen for those who repent and to those who do not repent. It may help you better understand these verses to know that to enter into the Lord’s rest involves receiving a remission of our sins and ultimately entering into the glory of the Lord’s presence (see D&C 84:24).
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Alma 12 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: