Alma’s son Shiblon served with him as a missionary to the Zoramites. Following this mission, Alma expressed joy in the steadiness and faithfulness Shiblon had demonstrated while suffering persecution among the Zoramites. Alma testified to Shiblon of Jesus Christ’s power of deliverance and counseled him to continue to teach the gospel.
Alma expresses joy in Shiblon’s faithfulness
Take a minute to think of a time when your parents felt joy because of a good decision you or another family member made or because of the way you are living your life.
Read Alma 38:1–3, and look for phrases that describe how Alma felt about Shiblon and why. Write some of the phrases you found: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
From these verses we learn this principle: As we begin in our youth to be steady and faithful in keeping the commandments, we can bring great joy to our parents.
Take a moment to ask one of your parents, guardians, or Church leaders how your good decisions affect him or her. Write their answers in your scripture study journal.
Alma testifies of the Savior’s power to deliver
Alma reminded Shiblon that they had both experienced the Savior’s power of deliverance, although in different ways. Read Alma 38:4–8, and complete the chart below. Also use what you know about Shiblon from Alma 38:2–3 and what you have learned about Alma from other chapters in the Book of Mormon to help you complete the chart.
Shiblon (Alma 38:2–5)
Alma (Alma 38:6–8)
What was he delivered from?
How did he receive the blessing of deliverance?
From Shiblon’s experience, we can learn: If we bear all things with patience and trust in God, He will deliver us from trials, troubles, and afflictions and lift us up at the last day. From Alma’s experience we also learn: To receive a remission of our sins and find peace to our souls, we must exercise faith in Jesus Christ and seek His mercy.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What do you learn from the account of Shiblon and Alma about the Savior’s power to deliver you?
Choose one of the principles shown in bold type in the preceding paragraph, and write a few sentences about how you can apply that principle to your life.
Read Alma 38:9, and look for what Alma wanted Shiblon to learn. You may want to mark a phrase in this verse that you feel summarizes what Alma wanted his son to understand.
Think about a time when the Savior’s power delivered you from trials, troubles, or unworthiness. What did you do to seek that deliverance? Do you have trials or sins in your life now? How can you turn to the Savior for deliverance?
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think it is important for you to know that the only “way or means” by which you can be saved is through the Savior? (see Alma 38:9).
Alma counsels Shiblon to continue developing righteous attributes
Think of a teacher or Church leader who has had a positive influence on your life. Consider the qualities in that person that you admire.
As recorded in Alma 38:10–15, Alma encouraged Shiblon to continue to develop qualities that would help him as he continued to teach the gospel and serve others. The counsel Alma gave Shiblon can apply to anyone who wants to influence others for good through service, teaching, and in other ways. Study Alma 38:10–15, and identify any counsel you feel could be especially helpful for you. You may want to mark what you find.
Below is a study guide to help you further understand and apply Alma’s counsel to his son Shiblon (see Alma 38:10–15). From the left column choose two or three parts of Alma’s counsel that you feel would be of most worth to you. Complete the corresponding learning activities in the right column. Write your response in your scripture study journal.
Alma 38:10–12 Study Guide
“Be diligent and temperate in all things” (Alma 38:10).
A person who is diligent puts consistent and energetic effort into life’s activities. A person who is temperate uses moderation in all things and exercises self-control. In your scripture study journal, write why these two traits are needed when serving others. Write how you could be more diligent or temperate in one or more areas of your life and how doing so could help you serve others more effectively.
“See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; yea, see that ye do not boast” (Alma 38:11).
Pride, in the scriptures, is when a person puts greater trust in himself or herself than in God. It also means that a person thinks he or she is superior to others. The opposite of this unrighteous pride is humility. Those who are humble strive to think of others in the same way they think of themselves, and they love God and put Him first in their lives. Write in your scripture study journal what might happen if a Church member was prideful and boastful in his or her calling. Think of your Church calling or another opportunity you have to serve. Write one or two ways you will seek to be humble and avoid pride or boasting as you serve.
“Use boldness, but not overbearance” (Alma 38:12).
To be bold means to be confident that God is with us and can help us act without fear in His service. To be overbearing can mean to push our beliefs or attitudes on others without being sensitive to their needs and feelings. In your scripture study journal, write why you think the Lord would want us to be bold. Also record a specific way in which you can apply the counsel to use boldness but not overbearance as you seek to serve others.
“Bridle all your passions” (Alma 38:12).
To bridle means to guide or control. A passion is a strong emotion. Ponder the following questions and record your answers in your scripture study journal: Why do you think it is important for us to bridle our passions—in other words, to guide or control our strong emotions? How do you think bridling your passions can help you be filled with love? What will you do to follow Alma’s counsel to bridle all your passions?
“Refrain from idleness” (Alma 38:12).
Look up “Idle, Idleness” in the Guide to the Scriptures (scriptures.lds.org) or “Idleness, Idle, Idler” in the Topical Guide to learn more about what it means to be idle. Choose two of the verses listed under that topic, and study them. Record what you learn from these verses in your scripture study journal. Write how the counsel to refrain from idleness will help you serve others more effectively. Finally, write a specific way in which you will seek to refrain from idleness.
Alma’s counsel to Shiblon in Alma 38:10–15 teaches this principle: Developing righteous attributes prepares us to teach and serve others. Ponder how developing the righteous attributes you read about in Alma 38 can bless your life and the lives of those around you.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Alma 38 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: