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 3 and assignment 1 or 2:
1. Alma 43–63. Fighting the Battles of Our Day
Doctrine and Covenants 76:29 states that Satan “maketh war with the saints of God.” From the war in heaven through each of the earth’s dispensations, Satan has made war against the Saints who love God. The war continues in our day, and we should be active participants.
Alma 43–63 is filled with accounts of war. These chapters can easily be likened to our daily battles with Satan. As you look up the following references, fill in the chart, identifying lessons we can apply today in our battle with Satan.
Select two favorite references from these chapters in Alma that demonstrate how likening that scripture to you can help us fight our spiritual battles against the adversary. Write a paragraph explaining your feelings about each passage.
Study Alma 53:20–23; 56:46–48, 56; 57:20–21, 27; 58:10–11, 39–40. Identify in writing seven or eight characteristics that led these young warriors to be so blessed. Also list how the Lord blessed them both spiritually and physically. What could the youth of today do to be recipients of equivalent blessings in their spiritual lives?
Read the student manual commentaries “Alma 43:2–3: ‘The Wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites’”; “Alma 43:45–47: ‘Even unto Bloodshed’”; “Alma 51:13: Take Up Arms to Defend One’s Country”; and “Alma 53:20–21: Being Good Examples in Military Service” (pages 248–51, 255, 257). Write a couple of paragraphs summarizing the Church’s position regarding war.
2. Alma 43–63. Characteristics of Great Leaders
Study the characteristics of the two Nephite leaders listed below. As you read the accompanying verses, make a list of the qualities you see in each of these leaders.
- Moroni. Read Alma 43:16–19, 23–30, 45–54; 46:10–24; 48:7–17; 49:13–14; 50:1–12.
- Helaman. Read Alma 45:2–8; 48:19–20; 53:13–19; 56:5–12; 58:19–27.
From your study of Moroni and Helaman as leaders, respond in writing to the following questions:
- Which of their qualities do you think would be helpful in the war against Satan?
- Which of their qualities do you see in your local Church leaders today?
- Which of their qualities would you like to more fully develop in your life?
- How will you implement these qualities in your life?
3. Alma 43–63. Avoiding Contention and Keeping Covenants
Read Alma 46:3–7, 10; 47:4, 18; 49:25–27. Then read the student manual commentary “Alma 46–50: The Contrast between Wicked and Righteous Leadership” (page 252). Identify in writing five or six characteristics or objectives of Amalickiah, and then explain in what ways they are like the objectives of Satan.
Amalickiah and his armies were one source of contention for the Nephites. Read Alma 50:21; 51:13–16; 60:16–17 and identify another source of contention for the Nephites. Write how this source of contention was a greater threat to Nephite society than Amalickiah or his Lamanite armies.
Answer the following questions:
- In what ways did contention weaken the Nephite nation?
- In what ways does contention weaken families, communities, and nations today?
- How have you noticed Satan trying to make contention a part of your life? Be specific.
- What have you found that helps you overcome personal contention?
- What have you found helps overcome social contention and dissension?
Keeping covenants brings protection from the Lord. Read Alma 46:12–23; 53:10–21; and the student manual commentary “Alma 53:10–18: The Importance of Covenants” (page 256). Mark in your scriptures the words oath and covenant or derivatives of them in your scriptures. Write answers to the following questions:
- What covenants were made by the people?
- In what ways were the covenants of the parents or the sons a blessing to the people as a whole?
- How does keeping or not keeping your covenants affect others around you?
Considering what you have learned as you have studied these chapters in Alma that focus so much on warfare and its outcomes, explain in writing why you think people respond in the two ways described in Alma 62:41. What can you do in your life to more consistently respond to trials or tribulations with a “softened” heart?