Lesson 24: Alma Counsels His Son Corianton

Primary 4: Book of Mormon, (1997), 83–86


Purpose

To help the children understand that there are good and bad consequences depending on our choices.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Alma 39. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account. (See “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

  2. 2.

    Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  3. 3.

    Make a chart of the items listed in the attention activity, or write them on the chalkboard.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed: a Book of Mormon for each child.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Ask the children to imagine that they are alone on a raft in the middle of the ocean. They discover that they must lighten their load because the raft is riding low in the water. They must throw overboard all but two items of their supplies. From the following list, ask them to choose the two items they will keep:

  • Life jacket

  • First aid kit

  • Chest filled with gold

  • Fishing pole, fishing tackle, and bait

  • Case of one dozen bottles of fresh water

  • Two-way radio

  • Box of emergency flares

  • Large can of shark repellent

List the choices on the chalkboard, and ask the children to explain the reasons for their choices. The choices in this activity should pose a dilemma. Point out that choosing would be difficult because they would not know what would happen in the future: they might sink and need the life jacket, become thirsty and need the water to drink, become hungry and need the fishing pole, encounter sharks and need the repellent, need the radio to seek help, get hurt and need the first-aid kit, need the flares for a nighttime rescue, or get rescued in the next few hours and wish they had kept the treasure.

Explain that in life we have many difficult choices to make, but Heavenly Father has given us commandments to help us. This lesson is about making choices.

Scripture Account

Teach the children the account of Alma counseling his son Corianton from Alma 39. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Note: Do not teach the specific content of Alma 39:3–6. Simply summarize it by explaining that Corianton committed a very serious sin while on a mission among the Zoramites. If the children ask about the nature of Corianton’s sin, suggest that they discuss it with their parents.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • What kind of example had Corianton’s brother set for him? (Alma 39:1.) Whom do you look to for a righteous example? What righteous choices have they made?

  • Why did Alma say he was unhappy with Corianton? (Alma 39:2.) What does it mean that Corianton did not give heed to his father’s words? (Corianton did not obey Alma.) Why do we need to obey our parents? What does it mean to boast? (To brag or put ourselves above others.) Why is it wrong to boast?

  • Why did Alma say he was reminding Corianton of his sins? (Alma 39:7–9. Explain that to “cross yourself in all these things” [verse 9] means to turn away from these evils.) Who knows of all our sins? (Alma 39:8.) How can feelings of guilt lead a person to repent?

  • Who did Alma say could give Corianton good advice in making choices? (Alma 39:10.) How have your parents and family helped you make right decisions? From what other sources can you receive righteous counsel?

  • How did Corianton’s unrighteous actions affect the Zoramites? (Alma 39:11.) In what ways may our choices affect others?

  • What are some of the choices you have to make? How might the Holy Ghost help you know when you are doing something wrong? How might the Holy Ghost help you know you have made a good decision? Invite class members to share experiences when the Holy Ghost has helped them make decisions.

  • What did Alma teach Corianton about repentance? (Alma 39:13.) What do you think it means to “turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength”? Why should we apologize to those whom we have hurt by our wrong choices?

  • What was Alma’s counsel about seeking riches? (Alma 39:14.) What happens to people when riches become the most important things in their lives?

  • What did Alma teach Corianton about the mission of Jesus Christ? (Alma 39:15.) What was Corianton supposed to teach about? (Alma 39:16.) What can we do to share the gospel with those around us?

You could use enrichment activities 2 and 3 to help the children understand the consequences of choices they make in their lives.

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Review and discuss the second article of faith, and have the children memorize it. Point out that each person is responsible for what he or she does.

  2. 2.

    Discuss with the children choices they can make in the following or similar areas. Use ideas that are potential problems for the children in your class. Ask them what kinds of choices Jesus would want them to make. Help them consider the consequences of the various choices they could make.

    • The language they use

    • Keeping the Sabbath day holy

    • The clothes they wear

    • Obeying their parents

    • The music they listen to

    • Stealing

    • The movies, videos, and television shows they watch

    • Telling the truth

    • The books and magazines they read

  3. 3.

    Have the children role-play situations involving choices and consequences, such as the following:

    • A friend tells a lie about someone.

    • A friend wants you to watch an inappropriate movie or video.

    • A friend tells you an inappropriate story.

    • A friend wants you to cheat in school.

    • A friend wants you to break the Word of Wisdom.

    • Someone offers you illegal drugs.

  4. 4.

    Discuss with the children the consequences of the following decision made by President Spencer W. Kimball:

    “I made up my mind while still a little boy that I would never break the Word of Wisdom. … I knew that when the Lord said it, it was pleasing unto him for men to abstain from all these destructive elements and that the thing I wanted to do was to please my Heavenly Father. And so I made up my mind firmly and solidly that I would never touch those harmful things. Having made up my mind fully and unequivocably, I found it not too difficult to keep the promise to myself and to my Heavenly Father” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, p. 127; or Ensign, May 1974, p. 88).

  5. 5.

    Make a small handout for each child in your class of the words I will make righteous choices. Place the handouts face down on a table, and have the children come one at a time to the front and choose one. Ask each child to answer the following questions:

    • What will you use to guide you in making righteous choices this week?

    • What can be a consequence (result) of making wrong choices?

    • What can be the result of making righteous choices?

    At the conclusion of the activity, emphasize the importance of thinking of the consequences before we make choices.

  6. 6.

    Discuss the eleventh article of faith and how each person is responsible for his or her choices.

    • Why should we not try to force someone to believe the gospel?

    • Why should we expect others to let us worship God as we desire?

    Help the children memorize the eleventh article of faith.

  7. 7.

    Sing or read the words to “Choose the Right Way” (Children’s Songbook, p. 160) or “Dare to Do Right” (Children’s Songbook, p. 158).

Conclusion

Testimony

Testify that deciding to follow Jesus Christ will lead to making righteous choices and that this is the only way to find true happiness.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Alma 39:12–19 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.