Aaron, one of Ammon’s brothers, attempted to teach the Amalekites and Amulonites about Jesus Christ and the Atonement, but the people rejected him. He and some of his companions ended up in prison in the land of Middoni. They remained faithful during their time of adversity. After Ammon and King Lamoni secured their release, Aaron taught Lamoni’s father how to be “born of God” (Alma 22:15). The king learned that by repenting of his sins, he could come to know God and eventually receive eternal life. The faithfulness of Aaron and his brethren helped many Lamanites come to know God and His way of redemption.
Aaron and his brethren preach the gospel despite trials and imprisonment
Think of a time when you were trying hard to keep the commandments and yet faced difficulties. Then ponder the following questions: What did you do to be faithful despite the trials you faced? As you look back on the experience, how do you feel the Lord blessed you during that time?
While Ammon was teaching King Lamoni and his people (see Alma 17–19), Aaron and his companions experienced tremendous adversity as they attempted to teach in a different part of the land. For a brief overview of the trials Aaron and his companions suffered while in prison, read Alma 20:28–30. Then read the passages from Alma 21:1–17 identified in the activity below. Look for how Aaron and his brethren handled their trials.
Copy the following chart in your scripture study journal, leaving room for your comments after each scripture:
Challenge or Difficulty
How Aaron and His Companions Responded
After reading each scripture passage, in the left column of the chart, write the challenges or difficulties that Aaron and his companions faced. In the right column, write how Aaron and his companions responded. Then answer the following questions:
Why do you think it would have been easy for them to become discouraged, give up hope, and go back home to a friendlier place among the Nephites?
How can we, as member missionaries, benefit from studying this account?
Read Alma 21:16–17, and look for how the Lord helped Aaron and his brethren do His work as they persisted with faith. Through Aaron and his brethren, we learn this principle: If we faithfully persist through our trials, the Lord will help us do His work. You may want to write this principle in your scriptures or scripture study journal.
Think of what kinds of work God has for you to do now and in the future and what challenges you might face in trying to accomplish this work. Read the following statement from President Thomas S. Monson, who taught that we may have trials as we strive to do the Lord’s work:
“To reach, to teach, to touch the precious souls whom our Father has prepared for His message is a monumental task. Success is rarely simple. Generally it is preceded by tears, trials, trust, and testimony. …
“… Servants of God take comfort from the Master’s assurance: ‘I am with you alway’ (Matthew 28:20). This magnificent promise sustains you. … It comforts you during those moments of discouragement, which come to all” (“Tears, Trials, Trust, Testimony,” Ensign, May 1987, 43).
In your scripture study journal, write about an experience when you faithfully persisted through trials. Or you could write about how you plan to be faithful in a present challenge, using the principles in this lesson. Also, write about a few future situations when you think you might need to persist through trials when doing the Lord’s work.
Read Alma 21:18–23 to see what Ammon did after helping Aaron and his brethren be released from prison. Look for how the Lamanites’ lives were changed because Ammon taught them the gospel.
Think about how the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed the life of someone you know. Ponder how you could share the gospel with someone you know, or think about someone who could be influenced by the example of Aaron and his brethren. Consider sharing with that individual what you have learned from the example of Aaron and his brethren as they faithfully persisted in the Lord’s work.
Lamoni’s father, who is king over all the land, believes the gospel as taught by Aaron
Recall Ammon’s encounter with Lamoni’s father, which was reviewed in the previous lesson. Reread the king’s specific request to Ammon, recorded in Alma 20:27. As you read Alma 22:1–3, look for how the king responded to Aaron’s visit.
Reflect upon the following questions (it may be helpful to remember the similar discussion about King Lamoni in Alma 17–18):
Why did the king need to believe in God in order to understand repentance?
How did knowing about the Fall help the king understand repentance?
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why is it essential to understand the Fall of Adam and the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to understand repentance?
Search Alma 22:15, looking for what the father of King Lamoni was willing to give up in order to receive joy and eternal life, and consider marking it in your scriptures.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think the attitude King Lamoni’s father had is important for everyone to have who desires to come to know God?
Read Alma 22:16 to see how Aaron answered the king’s question about how to receive eternal life. (Consider marking important truths you see being taught in this verse.) How can accepting and living the truths Aaron taught lead a person to receive eternal life? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Read Alma 22:17–18, looking for how the king responded to Aaron’s instructions. Ponder the following question: What can we learn about being born of God from King Lamoni’s father?
You may want to mark this phrase in Alma 22:18: “I will give away all my sins to know thee.” Ponder the following truth, and write it in your scriptures or in your scripture study journal: We must be willing to forsake all our sins in order to be spiritually changed and born of God.
Read the following statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change. ‘Repent’ is its most frequent message, and repenting means giving up all of our practices—personal, family, ethnic, and national—that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change” (“Repentance and Change,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 37).
Ponder what you need to do in your life now to be spiritually changed.
Read Alma 22:19–22 to see what events followed the king’s prayer. Read Alma 22:23–27, looking to see what Lamoni’s father did because he had received a change of heart and had obtained the Spirit of the Lord for himself.
In your scripture study journal, write what you have learned about being born again from studying about King Lamoni’s father. Explain how you think his example could help youth today make changes in their lives to help them be born of God.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Alma 21–22 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: