Lesson 2

Alma 36–42

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 assignment 4 and any one of the other assignments:

1.   Alma 36:2–29. Deliverance from Bondage

Alma 36 begins and ends with Alma’s counsel to his son Helaman to remember the captivity of their fathers and their eventual deliverance by the power of God (see Alma 36:2, 28–29). Write a statement about how Alma’s own life was an example of that principle.

As you read Alma 36, make a list of the different people and ways in which God delivered them from “bondage.” Include the verse number by each group or individual you list.

Read the institute student manual commentary “Alma 36:11–16: Godly Sorrow” (pages 233–34). Write several sentences explaining the difference between worldly sorrow and godly sorrow.

According to Alma 36:17–22, explain in writing what was the source of Alma’s relief from his pain and captivity. Describe the feelings Alma felt that replaced his sorrow.

From verses 23–27 and the student manual commentary “Alma 36:23–24: Evidence That a Person Has Been Born Again” (page 234), write a paragraph describing what a person can do to demonstrate that they trust in the Lord and are grateful for the cleansing effect of the Atonement in their life. Include in your paragraph a statement of your own gratitude for the powers of the Atonement in your life.

2.   Alma 37. Small and Simple Things

As you read through Alma 37, make a list of 10 or more simple phrases that teach great truths from within this chapter. One example might include: “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (verse 6).

From your list of phrases, mark those involving counsel from the Lord that tell us what we should be doing.

The greatest improvements in our lives often take place when we make small changes in often-repeated actions. From the phrases you marked, select two and write out a plan to help you make small changes that will bring about “great things” (verse 6) in your own life.

Review Alma 37:35–37, and read the student manual commentary “Alma 37:35: What Blessings Come from Learning in Our ‘Youth to Keep the Commandments of God’?” (page 236). Write a paragraph that explains how the principles taught by these verses could bless the lives of the youth and young adults in the Church today.

Along with the other plates, Alma gave to Helaman the Jaredite account recorded on 24 gold plates. These records contained the secret combinations that caused the destruction of the Jaredites and the Nephites (see Ether 8:21). Write the warning concerning the secret combinations that Alma gave to Helaman. How can this apply to us in modern times concerning the things we read?

3.   Alma 38:10–15. Continue to Teach

Read Alma 38:10–15. Here Alma gave to his son Shiblon counsel about how he could continue to be faithful after his mission to the Zoramites. There are as many as 18 points of counsel. Mark as many of them as you can in your scriptures and then pick five that you feel are most relevant to you and explain in one or two paragraphs how you can better incorporate them in your life.

4.   Alma 38–39. A Comparison Between Shiblon and Corianton

Juxtaposition (to place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast) is often used in the scriptures to teach important principles. Shiblon’s steadiness can be emphasized by a comparison to Corianton’s unsteadiness. Steadiness can be defined as being firm and unwavering in belief, determination, and adherence.

Read Alma 38:1–4 and make a list of words describing Shiblon’s behavior.

Read Alma 39:1–5 and make a second list of words that show contrasting descriptions of Corianton’s behavior. Write a paragraph about the mistakes Corianton made and how they compare with mistakes made by many youth of today. Include in your paragraph a statement of how youth could avoid those mistakes.

From Alma 39:8–19, make a list of what Alma counseled Corianton to do to repent and regain spiritual strength.

Read JST Matthew 16:26 (footnote for Matthew 16:24) and the student manual commentary “Alma 39:9: ‘Go No More after the Lusts of Your Eyes’” (page 239). Write a simple definition of what is meant by the phrase “cross yourself in all these things” (Alma 39:9). Also write a paragraph explaining how crossing yourself can help us avoid lusts of the flesh, such as pornography and other sexual sins.

Read Alma 43:1; 48:18–19; 49:30; 63:1–2, 10 and write a statement describing whether or not Corianton’s life changed, and why.

5.   Alma 40. Life after Death

Read Alma 40:6–15 and the student manual commentaries “Alma 40:11: The Spirits of All Men ‘Are Taken Home to That God Who Gave Them Life’” and “Alma 40:11–15: The State of the Soul between Death and the Resurrection” (pages 242–43). Write a paragraph that explains the state of a person between death and the Resurrection.

What additional understanding does Revelation 14:13 and Doctrine and Covenants 138:29–36, 57–58 teach about what takes place in the spirit world?

Read Alma 40:1–5, 16–26 and the student manual commentaries “Alma 40:16–22: The First Resurrection” and “Alma 40:23: ‘Proper and Perfect Frame’” (pages 243–44). Summarize in writing the teachings of Alma, President Joseph Fielding Smith, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and President Joseph F. Smith to explain what happens to someone after the spirit world. Include in your explanation the nature of a resurrected body.

6.   Alma 41–42. Laws of Restoration, Justice, and Mercy

Corianton obviously had been confused by Zoramite philosophy to the point that he wondered why it mattered how we live our lives if eventually we will all be resurrected. Read Alma 41:3–13. Cite three or four points that Alma taught Corianton concerning the Restoration and Resurrection that corrected his false impressions. How do Alma 34:34 and Mormon 9:14 reinforce these teachings?

Corianton questioned how God could be loving and merciful, yet still punish a sinner (see Alma 42:1). From Alma 42, write answers to the following:

  • From Alma 42:1–10, make a list of consequences that came upon man as a result of the Fall of Adam and Eve.
  • Read Alma 42:11; 2 Nephi 9:8–9; and 1 Nephi 15:34. Write what would happen to each of us if there were no plan of redemption made on our behalf.
  • From Alma 42:12–26 cite at least five things Alma pointed out that illustrate what God has done or provided so that a person who sins may still have hope and not have to suffer eternally.

Read Alma 42:27–28. Write what awaits the individual who rejects what God has provided to help overcome the effects of sin.