The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.
Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.
Complete three of the following assignments:
1. Alma 1:1–6, 12, 16, 26–28. Priestcraft and Priesthood
Study the institute student manual commentaries “Alma 1:3–4: Nehor Taught That a ‘Teacher Ought to Become Popular’” and “Alma 1:5–6, 16, Priestcrafts,” (pages 170–71). After reading the following verses on priestcraft and priesthood, answer the questions:
- What is priestcraft?
- Why were Nehor’s teachings popular? (see also Helaman 13:27–28).
- In what ways is priestcraft a concern in our world today?
- What would be the result if priestcraft was allowed to flourish?
- How should the priests of God conduct themselves?
- How should the teachers of religion regard those whom they teach? Why is this attitude important when teaching others?
- What are some of the similarities between the righteous priests of Alma’s day and modern Church teachers, leaders, and missionaries?
2. Alma 2–3. Good Conquering Evil
After reading Alma 2–3, write three paragraphs contrasting the actions and motives of Amlici and his followers with Alma and the Nephites. In your third paragraph explain how you could apply the principles from this historical experience in conquering evil in your own life.
The Amlicites rebelled against Alma and the Nephites. As part of that rebellion, they placed a mark upon themselves. Think of what you read in Alma 3 and also read the student manual commentaries “Alma 1:27: Dress and Appearance”; “Alma 3:4: The Amlicites Marked Their Bodies”; and “Alma 3:5: The Amilicites Changed Their Appearance to Follow the Lamanites” (pages 173–74). Then write answers to the following questions:
- What are some modern ways people mark themselves in opposition to authority?
- In contrast to the wicked who often mark themselves in their way, what marked changes do the righteous experience according to Alma 5:14?
3. Alma 4. Alma Devoted Himself to the Ministry
Read Alma 4 and write a paragraph describing the reasons the Church began to fail in its progress. Include in your paragraph ways you could follow Alma’s example in your own life.
- How can you use the counsel given by Elder M. Russell Ballard to help you share your testimony?
- Why does the bearing of testimony often result in greater conversion of both the one who bears testimony and the one who hears it?
4. Alma 5. A Mighty Change of Heart
Imagine a friend is to be baptized in a few days and he asks you what it means to “be born again.” Study Alma 5 and the student manual commentaries “Alma 5:12–14: A ‘Mighty Change in Your Hearts’” and “Alma 5:14: ‘Born of God’” (pages 178–79). Prepare a note that you could give your friend, listing insights and impressions you feel answer this question. Your list should include direct phrases from the scripture block.
Alma asked over 40 questions in his sermon to the people of Zarahemla (Alma 5). Following the “note” to your friend, choose 10 questions from Alma 5 that you would have your friend ask himself to help determine if he has experienced “a change of heart.”
5. Alma 6:7–8; 7:1–26. One Thing More Important Than All Others
Read Alma 6:7–8 and identify Alma’s goal and purpose. Record the description of Alma’s ability to “declare the word of God” by completing Mormon’s phrase “according to . . .”
Alma went to the city of Gideon “having great hopes and much desire that I should find that ye had humbled yourselves before God” (Alma 7:3). After reading Alma 7:5–6, 17–20, list the evidences that his hope was not in vain.
Read Alma 7:11–13 and the student manual commentaries “Alma 7:11–12: Our Pains, Afflictions, Temptations, Sicknesses, and Infirmities” and “Alma 7:12: ‘Succor His People’” (pages 182–83). List seven different things Jesus Christ suffered for in performing the Atonement. According to these verses, what would come to the Lord because he suffered these things “according to the flesh”?
Read Alma 7:22–24. Make a list of characteristics that allow us to stand “blameless before [God]” (verse 22). Write a short definition of each of the characteristics. Explain how each characteristic helps us be “blameless before [God].”