Lesson 95: Alma 38

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2012


Introduction

Shiblon served with his father, Alma, as a missionary among the Zoramites (see Alma 31:7). After this mission, Alma expressed joy in the steadiness and faithfulness Shiblon had demonstrated while suffering persecution. Alma also testified to Shiblon of the Savior’s power of deliverance and offered counsel regarding Shiblon’s continuing efforts to teach the gospel.

Suggestions for Teaching

Alma 38:1–3

Alma expresses joy in Shiblon’s faithfulness

If you invited students to do the take-home application activity at the end of the previous lesson, remind them of the two questions you invited them to ask their parents or another trusted adult:

  • How has obedience to the commandments of God helped you?

  • What advice do you have for me that could help me be wiser in my youth?

Ask students to report on their experiences with the activity. After students have shared, ask:

  • How did this experience influence your desire to keep the Lord’s commandments?

Explain that Alma 38 records counsel that Alma gave his son Shiblon. Invite a student to read Alma 38:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for phrases that describe how Alma felt about Shiblon and why. Invite students to report what they find.

  • What can we learn from Alma 38:2–3 about the effect that righteous children can have on their parents? (Students may vary in their responses. Ensure that they identify the truth that as youth are steady and faithful in keeping the commandments, they can bring great joy to their parents.)

  • When have your parents felt joy because of a good decision you have made or because of your efforts to live the gospel?

  • How do your efforts to keep the commandments influence your relationship with your parents?

You may want to share an example of how your family has been influenced by the righteous choices of children in the family.

Alma 38:4–9

Alma testifies of the Savior’s power to deliver

Explain that Alma reminded Shiblon that they had both experienced the Savior’s power of deliverance. Prepare the following chart as a handout, or display it on the board and ask students to copy it in notebooks or scripture study journals.

Shiblon (Alma 38:4–5)

Alma (Alma 38:6–8)

What was he delivered from?

  

Why did he receive the blessing of deliverance?

  

What can we learn from his experience?

  

Complete the chart as a class, or assign students to complete it in pairs. Have students refer to the scripture passages listed on the chart as they answer the questions. Encourage them to incorporate what they already know about the Lord delivering Shiblon (see Alma 38:2–3) and Alma (see Mosiah 27; Alma 36). After students complete the chart, ask the following questions to help them discuss the principles they have learned:

  • What can we learn from Shiblon’s experience? (Students may identify different principles. Make sure they identify the following truth: If we bear all things with patience and trust in God, He will deliver us from trials, troubles, and afflictions and lift us up at the last day.)

  • What can we learn from Alma’s experience? (Though students may answer differently, make sure they express that to receive a remission of our sins and find peace to our souls, we must exercise faith in Jesus Christ and seek His mercy.)

Invite a student to read Alma 38:9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Alma wanted his son to learn about the Savior.

  • Why is it important for us to know that Jesus Christ is the only “way or means whereby [we] can be saved”?

  • In what ways have you experienced deliverance through the Savior’s power? (You may want to give students time to ponder this question before asking for their responses.) What did you do to seek that deliverance?

Provide some time for students to ponder how they might seek the Lord’s help with a personal challenge.

Alma 38:10–15

Alma counsels Shiblon to continue teaching the gospel and developing righteous attributes

Explain that Alma encouraged Shiblon to develop qualities that would help him as he continued to teach the gospel and serve others. Alma’s counsel to Shiblon can apply to anyone who wants to serve, teach, or influence others for good. Invite students to read Alma 38:10–15 silently, looking for counsel that would be especially helpful to them. You may want to suggest that students mark what they find.

Give students a copy of the study guide at the end of this lesson. Explain that as they use the guide, they will see how our efforts to develop righteous attributes prepare us to teach and serve others. Invite them to choose one part of Alma’s counsel in the left column of the guide and to complete the corresponding learning activity in the right column. (If you cannot make copies of the study guide, adapt the activity by leading a class discussion and using the information in the study guide as a resource.)

When students have had enough time to complete one of the learning activities in the study guide, consider asking several of them to share what they have learned from this activity and how they plan to apply it. If you have given students copies of the study guide, encourage them to take it home and learn more about Alma’s counsel to Shiblon.

Study Guide for Alma 38:10–12

Examine different parts of Alma’s counsel listed below, and choose one that you would like to improve in. Complete the corresponding learning activity to help you apply this counsel in your life.

Alma’s Counsel

Learning Activities

“Be diligent and temperate in all things” (Alma 38:10).

Diligence is consistent, careful, and conscientious effort. To be temperate is to “use moderation in all things or to exercise self-control” (Kent D. Watson, “Being Temperate in All Things,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 38). In your scripture study journal, write about why these two traits are needed when a person teaches the gospel and serves others. Also write about any areas of your life in which you could be more diligent or temperate and about how improving in those areas will help you teach and serve others more effectively.

“See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; … do not boast” (Alma 38:11).

One aspect of pride is putting greater trust in oneself than in God. Pride is also evident when a person thinks he or she is superior to or more important than others. Write in your scripture study journal about what might happen if a Church member is prideful in his or her calling. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride” (“Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 73). Think of someone you know who teaches the gospel “with quiet confidence.” In your scripture study journal, write about this person and the effect his or her teaching has had on you. Also write one or two ways you will seek to avoid pride.

“Use boldness, but not overbearance” (Alma 38:12).

Read the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 1:14 (in the New Testament) to see how servants of God can show boldness. President James E. Faust of the First Presidency taught how we can avoid being overbearing: “I do not believe that we need to be … loud, pushy, or insensitive in our approach [to missionary work]” (in James P. Bell, In the Strength of the Lord: The Life and Teachings of James E. Faust [1999], 373). In your scripture study journal, write about how a person can be bold without being overbearing. Record a specific way you will apply the counsel to be bold but not overbearing. Also write about how this counsel can help you be successful in teaching and serving others.

“Bridle all your passions” (Alma 38:12).

To bridle means to restrain, guide, or control. A passion is a strong emotion. Ponder the following questions, and write your answers in your scripture study journal: Why do you think it is important for us to bridle our passions? How do you think bridling your passions can help you be filled with love? What will you do to follow Alma’s counsel to bridle all your passions?

“Refrain from idleness” (Alma 38:12).

Review scripture passages listed in the index to the triple combination under “Idleness, Idle, Idler.” Look for counsel about what it means to be idle and about the opposite of being idle. Choose two verses listed under the entry and study them. Write in your scripture study journal about what you learn from the verses you have chosen. Write about how the counsel to refrain from idleness will help you teach and serve others more effectively. Finally, write a specific way you will refrain from idleness.