Chapter 25: Alma 8–12

Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, (2009), 88–91


Introduction

When Alma arrived to preach in the city of Ammonihah, most of the people there were in an advanced state of apostasy. The wicked people in Ammonihah immediately rejected Alma and cast him out of their city. However, an angel visited him, encouraged him, and delivered a command from the Lord that he was to return to Ammonihah. After returning “speedily” to the city (Alma 8:18), he met Amulek, whom the Lord had prepared as a missionary companion for Alma. Alma and Amulek responded to the hard-heartedness of the people by teaching powerful doctrines concerning the plan of redemption, Resurrection, and Judgment. As students discuss these teachings, you can help them see that when we build our testimony on the truths of the plan of salvation, we gain strength to listen to God’s servants and to obey His commandments. We prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord.

Some Doctrines and Principles

  • If we are faithful and diligent, the Lord will provide a way for us to accomplish what He has commanded (see Alma 8).

  • All people will rise from the dead and stand before the Lord to be judged (see Alma 11:41–46; 12:1–18).

  • God provided the plan of redemption to save us from our fallen condition (see Alma 12:22–37).

Suggestions for Teaching

Alma 8. If We Are Faithful and Diligent, the Lord Will Provide a Way for Us to Accomplish What He Has Commanded

Write Alma 8:8–18 on the board. Divide the class in half. Assign half of the class to read these verses, looking for information about the people of Ammonihah. Assign the other half of the class to read the same verses, looking for information about Alma. Explain that when they have finished reading, you will ask them questions about what they have read.

When students have finished reading, ask the following questions about the people of Ammonihah:

  • What was the result of Satan’s “hold upon the hearts of the people” of Ammonihah? (See Alma 8:9.)

  • How did the people of Ammonihah characterize the teachings and practices of the Church? (See Alma 8:11.)

  • What did the inhabitants of Ammonihah do to Alma? (See Alma 8:9–13.)

  • Why did the people treat Alma so harshly, even though he was the high priest over the Church? (See Alma 8:11–12.)

Ask the following questions about Alma:

  • How did Alma respond to being rejected in Ammonihah? (See Alma 8:14.)

  • What happened to change Alma’s mind as he was leaving Ammonihah? (See Alma 8:14–16.)

  • How do you think the angel’s message influenced Alma’s perspective on his mission to Ammonihah? (See Alma 8:15–17.)

  • What can we learn from Alma’s response to the angel’s message? (See Alma 8:18.)

Invite students to read Alma 8:19–27. Ask them to look for evidence that the Lord opened a way for Alma to preach the gospel in Ammonihah.

  • Why did Amulek receive Alma differently from the way other people in Ammonihah received him? (See Alma 8:20.)

Share the following quotations with students. The statement by President Monson is also available on the companion DVD A. Ask how these statements relate to Alma’s experience in Ammonihah.

President Thomas S. Monson, the 16th President of the Church, taught: “Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, … we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2005, 61; or Ensign, May 2005, 56).

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), the 15th President of the Church, counseled: “Rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 696).

  • In what ways might these statements and the account in Alma 8 help you face challenges?

Invite a few students to share examples of how the Lord has helped them face challenges. As part of this discussion, you may want to point out that the Lord’s help often comes in small and simple ways, such as quiet guidance from the Holy Ghost or a kind act of a friend.

Read Alma 8:30–31 together, asking students to look for what the Lord did for Alma when Alma returned to Ammonihah.

  • What did the Lord do to help Alma share the gospel with the people of Ammonihah?

Share your testimony about the Lord’s power to provide a way even when it seems impossible to fulfill His commands. “The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7 ).

Alma 9. “How Have Ye Forgotten the Tradition of Your Fathers”?

Ask students to list skills or ideas that youth sometimes resist learning from their parents. (Students might offer responses such as homemaking, construction and maintenance, study habits, or music.)

  • Why do you think some people resist valuable knowledge from previous generations?

Read Alma 9:7–14 with students. As you read, have students look for phrases or ideas that Alma repeated (such as “have ye forgotten” and “do ye not remember”).

  • What had the Ammonihahites forgotten? Why do you think this forgetfulness led to apostasy and wickedness?

  • How have you benefited from knowledge of the good traditions, teachings, and experiences of previous generations? What can we do to remember such blessings?

Invite students to read Alma 9:19–22 silently and identify the spiritual blessings and experiences that the Nephites had previously enjoyed. Ask students to share what they find.

Ask students to read Doctrine and Covenants 82:3 .

  • How does this verse apply to the people of Ammonihah?

Invite a student to read Alma 9:23–24 and 10:22–23, 27 aloud. Ask the other students to read along silently, looking for warnings of difficulties that would come to the people of Ammonihah if they would not repent.

  • What warnings did Alma and Amulek give the people?

  • According to Alma, why was the wickedness of the people of Ammonihah worse than the wickedness of the Lamanites?

Refer again to Alma 9:19–22, where Alma lists some of the blessings and experiences the Nephites had once enjoyed.

  • Why is it helpful to remember past spiritual experiences?

Share your feelings about the importance of remembering personal spiritual experiences and the spiritual experiences of people in previous generations. Invite students to carefully record the sacred events of their lives in personal journals.

Before going on to Alma 11, you may want to suggest that Amulek was an ideal missionary companion for Alma. Alma 10:4–12 lists some of his experiences that prepared him to serve with Alma. You might also point out that Amulek experienced a period of being a less-active member of the Church before he became a powerful missionary. This could provide hope for young men and women who have doubted that they will be able to serve full-time missions.

Alma 11:41–46; 12:1–18. All People Will Rise from the Dead and Stand before the Lord to Be Judged

This section gives you another opportunity to testify that the Savior’s Atonement overcomes the effects of the Fall.

Before class, prepare the following test on an overhead transparency or on a handout for the students. For each statement, have the students write T for true or F for false. Ask students to take the test without using their scriptures.

  1. 1.

    When we are judged, we will remember our guilt. (See Alma 11:43; see also 2 Nephi 9:14; Alma 5:18.)

  2. 2.

    Those who have lost arms or legs in mortality will have their limbs restored when they are resurrected. (See Alma 11:43–44.)

  3. 3.

    Although all major deformities or defects will be removed when we are resurrected, we will still have scars and other minor blemishes. (See Alma 11:43–44; see also Alma 40:23.)

  4. 4.

    A resurrected person will never die physically again. (See Alma 11:45.)

  5. 5.

    At the Final Judgment, we will be judged according to our works alone. Nothing else will be considered. (See Alma 11:41, 44; 12:14; see also D&C 137:9.)

  6. 6.

    Those who harden their hearts against the truth eventually come to know nothing concerning the mysteries of God. (See Alma 12:9–12.)

  7. 7.

    The Final Judgment will be a joyful experience for all people. (See Alma 12:13–14, 17.)

(Answers: 1-T; 2-T; 3-F; 4-T; 5-F; 6-T; 7-F)

After students have completed the test, have them work either alone or in pairs to read the scripture references and check their answers. Then ask the following questions:

  • How does understanding the Resurrection and the Final Judgment help us better understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

  • In what ways might a correct understanding of these doctrines influence our day-to-day lives?

As students discuss these questions, you may want to have them read the statements by Elder Dallin H. Oaks on pages 187 and 188–89 in the student manual. These statements are also available on the companion DVD B C.

Invite students to ponder this question silently:

  • Is there anything in your life that you need to change so you will not fear the Final Judgment?

Urge students to humble themselves in prayer, to ask the Lord for forgiveness of sins, and to seek His help in overcoming their sins. Help them understand that now is the time to prepare for the Resurrection and the Final Judgment (see Alma 34:32–34 ).

Alma 12:22–37. God Provided the Plan of Redemption to Save Us from Our Fallen Condition

Consider contacting one or two students in advance and inviting them to prepare to share their testimonies of the plan of salvation and the peace it brings to their life.

Before class, prepare a handout with the following questions and the scripture references:

  1. 1.

    What were some results of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit? (See Alma 12:22, 24.)

  2. 2.

    What did God put in place to remedy the effects of the Fall? (See Alma 12:25.)

  3. 3.

    How were people taught the plan of redemption? (See Alma 12:28–30.)

  4. 4.

    What did God give people so that they could use their agency in a manner consistent with His plan of redemption? (See Alma 12:31–32.)

  5. 5.

    How do we receive the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement? (See Alma 12:33–37.)

Read the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“Without a knowledge of the gospel plan, transgression seems natural, innocent, even justified. There is no greater protection from the adversary than for us to know the truth—to know the plan” (Our Father’s Plan [1984], 27).

  • How might our knowledge of Heavenly Father’s plan protect us from the adversary?

Explain that Alma 12 contains important details about our Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. Knowing that we would fall into transgression, Heavenly Father provided a way for us to be redeemed and return to live with Him forever. Help students see that the better they understand Heavenly Father’s plan, the happier they will be.

Distribute copies of the handout. Assign each student to find the answers to one or two of the questions on the handout and to prepare to share their thoughts with the class.

After students answer the questions, help them discuss the following two topics so they can share what they have learned and apply the doctrine in their lives more fully.

Topic 1: Alma and Amulek taught many truths about the plan of redemption.

Ask students to review the scriptures they have studied today and identify some of the truths Alma and Amulek taught. You might want to list students’ answers on the board.

Invite students to choose one of the truths listed and to explain how knowledge of that truth will help protect them from the adversary.

Topic 2: Alma said that God gave His children commandments “after having made known unto them the plan of redemption” (Alma 12:32; italics added).

  • Why do you think it was important for people to learn about the plan before they received commandments?

If you asked one or two students to prepare to share their testimonies of the plan of redemption, invite them to do so now. As appropriate, you may also share your testimony and invite other students to share theirs.