Alma 30–35

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 165–173


Introduction

To help us grow spiritually in these difficult times, our Heavenly Father has given us His word. President Ezra Taft Benson explained, “The word of God, as found in the scriptures, in the words of living prophets, and in personal revelation, has the power to fortify the Saints and arm them with the Spirit so they can resist evil, hold fast to the good, and find joy in this life” (“The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 80). Alma 30–35 illustrates the power of the word of God to change lives and fortify the Saints against enemies of the Lord’s work.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • Satan uses those who come under his power to teach his false doctrines. The words of prophets and scripture expose Satan’s lies (see Alma 30:6–18).

  • The peace and joy that come from the Spirit, together with the testimonies of prophets, the scriptures, and all of creation, are evidence that God exists (see Alma 30:34–44; see also Moses 6:63).

  • The word of God has the power to change people’s thoughts and attitudes and lead them to choose the right (see Alma 31:5; 35:3; see also 1 Nephi 11:25; Helaman 6:37).

  • People must be humble before they will repent and accept the gospel (see Alma 31:24–28; 32:6–8, 12–16, 25; see also D&C 136:32–33).

  • Faith is a “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). Gaining faith in Jesus Christ can be a gradual process (see Alma 32:21–43; 33:12–23; see also Hebrews 11:1; Ether 12:6).

  • God hears and answers our prayers. Daily prayer helps us recognize our dependence on the Savior (see Alma 33:2–11; 34:17–27, 39).

  • The infinite and eternal Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central feature of the plan of redemption (see Alma 34:2, 6–16).

  • Mortality is the time for us to repent. We will carry the qualities and habits we gain in this life with us into the next life (see Alma 34:32–35).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 87–92.

Suggestions for Teaching

Alma 30:1–18. Satan uses those who come under his power to teach his false doctrines. The words of prophets and scripture expose Satan’s lies. (25–30 minutes)

Arrange with two students in advance to help you with the following object lesson. Use a nail to poke a small hole in the bottom of a soda can and allow the contents to drain out. Have one student show the can to the class without revealing that it is empty and offer to sell it to the highest bidder. As students begin to make offers, have the second student step forward, examine the can, and tell the class what is inside. Point out that the can may look appealing, but its appearance is deceiving. Ask:

  • How did the second student know what the rest of the class did not know?

  • How may we compare the second student to the Lord’s prophets and scriptures?

The prophet Alma’s experience with Korihor provides an example of how the prophets and the scriptures reveal truth and expose false doctrines. To help students understand the context of Alma 30, have them quickly read verses 1–5, and ask:

  • How well were the people of Nephi living the commandments of the Lord?

  • What blessings did this bring them?

Have them quickly read verses 6–11, and ask:

  • What laws of the Nephites allowed people to preach against the coming of Christ?

  • What is an anti-Christ? (Someone who counterfeits the true gospel plan and opposes Christ.)

  • Read verse 12. What was the name of the anti-Christ?

Write the following matching exercise on the board. Have students read Alma 30:12–18 and take turns matching the teachings of Korihor in the left column with their implications in the right column. (The answers are given at the end.)

Teachings of Korihor the Anti-Christ

1. “No man can know of anything which is to come” (v. 13).

A. Unless you have physical evidence of religious truths, you should not believe.

2. “These things which ye call prophecies … are foolish traditions” (v. 14).

B. There is no such thing as sin.

3. “Ye cannot know of things which ye do not see” (v. 15).

C. People prosper by their own efforts alone, not by God’s blessings.

4. There is no remission of sins (see v. 16).

D. The scriptures are not true.

5. “Every man [fares] in this life according to the management of the creature” (v. 17).

E. You cannot believe the prophets or their prophecies.

6. “Whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” (v. 17).

F. Since there is no Christ, there can be no atonement for sin.

7. When a person dies, that is the end of him (see v. 18).

G. There will be no future accounting or judgment since there is no life after death.

(Answers: 1–E, 2–D, 3–A, 4–F, 5–C, 6–B, 7–G)

Have students read verse 18 and tell what effect Korihor’s teachings had on many of the people. Discuss the following questions:

  • Which of Korihor’s teachings have you heard taught?

  • Why do so many of Korihor’s teachings continue to be popular today?

Tell students that the Lord inspired the prophet Alma to expose and confound Korihor’s false teachings. Ask: What has the Lord given us to protect us from enemies of the truth?

Testify that Heavenly Father has blessed us with scripture and modern prophets to help us discern the false teachings of our day. President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, explained:

“The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (See 2 Ne. 3:12.) It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 94–95; or Ensign, May 1975, 64).

Elder Henry B. Eyring taught:

“Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 33; or Ensign, May 1997, 25).

Alma 30:19–60. When confronted with opposition from enemies of the Lord’s Church, we can respond without contention and in harmony with the Savior’s teachings. (30–35 minutes)

Share the following Chinese fable, related in 1857 by Elder George A. Smith, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“A man travelling through the country came to a large city, very rich and splendid; he looked at it and said to his guide, ‘This must be a very righteous people, for I can only see but one little devil in this great city.’

“The guide replied, ‘You do not understand, sir. This city is so perfectly given up to wickedness, corruption, degradation, and abomination of every kind, that it requires but one devil to keep them all in subjection.’

“Travelling on a little further, he came to a rugged path and saw an old man trying to get up the hill side, surrounded by seven great, big, coarse-looking devils.

“‘Why,’ says the traveller, ‘this must be a tremendously wicked old man! Only see how many devils there are around him!’

“‘This,’ replied the guide, ‘is the only righteous man in the country; and there are seven of the biggest devils trying to turn him out of his path, and they all cannot do it.’” (in Journal of Discourses, 5:363–64).

Invite students to discuss the principle Elder Smith was teaching with this fable. Ask them how the fable helps them understand the opposition the Church has faced since the First Vision. Testify that because the restored gospel is a threat to Satan’s efforts, there will be those who oppose the Church. We can learn much about dealing with false doctrine by reading how Book of Mormon prophets dealt with opposition.

If you have already taught Alma 30:1–18, move to the questions below. Otherwise you first need to introduce Korihor and briefly share some of his teachings (see vv. 13–18).

  • Read Alma 30:18. How did the people of Zarahemla respond to Korihor’s teachings?

  • Read verses 19–20. What did the people of Ammon do with Korihor when he started teaching in their land?

  • Why do you think Mormon said they were more wise than many of the Nephites?

  • Read verses 21–22. Why was Korihor unsuccessful in Gideon?

  • Read verses 23–31. What accusations did Korihor make against Church leaders?

  • Were the accusations justified? (see v. 35).

Alma’s response to Korihor provides a good example of how to deal with opposition. Alma, in accordance with the Savior’s teachings, did not contend with Korihor (see 3 Nephi 11:29; D&C 60:14). He corrected Korihor’s false accusations against Church leaders. He showed how Korihor was twisting the truth. And he used his testimony and the teachings of the prophets and the scriptures to defend the truth. Read Alma 30:31–45 with your students to see Alma’s approach. Choose some ideas from the accompanying chart and the questions that follow to help your discussion.

Alma 30

Korihor Said

Alma Responded

Church leaders glut themselves on the labor of the people (see v. 31).

You know Church leaders don’t profit from their service in the Church; our only profit is rejoicing in the joy of our brethren (see vv. 32–34).

You can’t know things that you can’t see (see v. 15). God never was and never will be (see v. 28).

I know there is a God (see v. 39). You have no evidence that there is no God (see v. 40). Church leaders, prophets, the scriptures, and all of creation testify that there is a God (see v. 44).

I do not believe in God (see vv. 37–38, 45).

I know you believe, but you are possessed of a lying spirit (see v. 42; see also vv. 52–53).

I won’t believe in God unless you show me a sign (see vv. 43, 45, 48).

You already have signs (see vv. 44–45). As an additional sign, you will be struck dumb (see vv. 49, 51).

Alma 30:37–43

  • What does Korihor’s request for a sign teach us about him? (see Matthew 16:4; see also the commentary for Alma 30:37–43 in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, p. 88).

Alma 30:39, 44

  • What four evidences did Alma give for the existence of God? (His testimony, the testimony of Church members and prophets, the scriptures, and the existence of the earth and movement of the planets.)

  • Which of these evidences exist today? (see the commentary for Alma 30:44–45 in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, p. 88).

Alma 30:48–51

  • Why do you think the Lord chose to strike Korihor dumb rather than give him some other sign? (Note: Remind students that not all who deny the Lord or fight against His work are immediately struck dumb, but ultimately they will receive the consequences of their acts.)

Alma 30:54–56

  • How did Alma know that Korihor would again lead others to sin?

  • In what ways does our prophet warn us about those who would lead us to sin?

Alma 30:59–60

  • What do these verses teach us about the kind of people the Zoramites were?

  • Read Mormon 4:5. How does Korihor’s death illustrate the principle taught in this verse?

  • What is the difference between the devil’s support and the support we receive in the Church?

Share the following conclusions drawn by Elder George A. Smith about the fable related earlier:

“The Devil has … the whole world … so perfectly at his disposal, that it only takes a very few devils to keep them all in subjection; and the whole legion of devils have nothing to do but look after the ‘Mormons’ and stir up the hearts of the children of men to destroy them—to put them out of existence” (in Journal of Discourses, 5:364).

Share the following counsel from Elder Carlos E. Asay, who was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy:

“How do we respond to such malicious and evil designs? Do we strike back? Allow me to suggest a course of action—one which is in harmony with the teachings of the Savior, and one which, if followed, will be in harmony with the wise counsel of prophets past and present:

“1. Avoid those who would tear down your faith. Faith-killers are to be shunned. The seeds which they plant in the minds and hearts of men grow like cancer and eat away the Spirit. True messengers of God are builders—not destroyers. …

“2. Keep the commandments. President Brigham Young promised, ‘All we have to do is to go onward and upward, and keep the commandments of our Father and God; and he will confound our enemies.’ (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957, p. 347.) …

“3. Follow the living prophets. … ‘Always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it. … But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.’ (Heber J. Grant, quoted by Marion G. Romney in Conference Report, Oct. 1960, p. 78.) …

“4. Do not contend or debate over points of doctrine. The Master warned that ‘the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil.’ (3 Ne. 11:29.) We are inconsistent if we resort to Satanic tactics in attempting to achieve righteous ends. Such inconsistency results only in frustration, loss of the Spirit, and ultimate defeat. …

“5. Search the scriptures. Few of us would go astray or lose our way if we regarded the scriptures as our personal guide or compass. …

“6. Do not be swayed or diverted from the mission of the Church. … Satan used a diversion ploy when he tempted Christ in the wilderness. The Savior’s decisive response, ‘Get thee hence, Satan’ (Matt. 4:10), is a proper example for all of us. …

“7. Pray for your enemies.

“8. Practice ‘pure religion.’ Involve yourself in Christian service. …

“9. Remember that there may be many questions for which we have no answers and that some things have to be accepted simply on faith” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1981, 93–94; or Ensign, Nov. 1981, 67–68).

Alma 31. The word of God has the power to change people’s thoughts and attitudes and lead them to choose the right. (40–45 minutes)

Prior to class invite a student who is a good reader to participate in the following activity. Without giving any scripture reference or explanation to the class, have the student come to the front of the room and read Alma 31:15–18. Ask students if they know where this prayer came from. Explain that it is a prayer the Zoramites offered while standing on a high tower. Ask the class to estimate the spiritual level of these people. Have students read the first two phrases from the chapter heading of Alma 31 and compare the phrases with their own guesses.

Write on the board we, us, and our. Invite students to read Alma 31:15–18 and find the number of times these words appear in the prayer. What does this teach us about the Zoramites? Draw the accompanying charts on the board. Include the word self on both charts, but leave off the other words. Ask which chart best represents the Zoramites’ prayer. Invite students to suggest words and ideas from the prayer that could be written in the arrows of the chart they chose to illustrate the self-centered nature of the Zoramites’ prayer. (Students’ answers may not agree exactly with the ones suggested here.)

As a contrast to the Zoramites’ prayer, read the prayer Alma offered prior to teaching the Zoramites (see Alma 31:26–35). Have students identify words from Alma’s prayer that could be placed in the arrows pointing outward.

Read Alma 31:13, 21–22 looking for how the Zoramites worshiped. Have students take turns reading verses 8–10, 23–25, 27–28 and summarize what these verses say about the Zoramites. Have them read verses 1–2 and tell how the Zoramites’ wickedness affected Alma. Have students imagine that Alma came to them for advice on how to deal with the Zoramites, and ask: What would you suggest? Read verses 3–4 and ask: If Alma decided to send an army to the land of the Zoramites, do you think that would change their beliefs and behavior? Why or why not?

Have students read Alma 31:5 and mark the tool Alma decided to use with the Zoramites and his reason for doing so. Ask: Why is the word of God effective in leading people to do what is right? Read Helaman 6:37 and look for what weapon the Lamanites used to destroy the Gadianton robbers. Share the following statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer:

“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.

“The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17).

Read also the statement by President Ezra Taft Benson in the teaching suggestion for Alma 4:11–20 (p. 135).

Alma 32:1–16. People must be humble before they will repent and accept the gospel. (10–15 minutes)

Show the class a piece of soft clay and a piece of clay that is dry and hard. (If clay is not available, you might use hard and soft soil.) Ask:

  • Which piece is easiest to work with? Why?

  • How could you compare the soft clay to a new convert to the Church?

  • What does it mean to have a soft heart? a hard heart?

  • Why is it necessary to have a soft heart to be able to learn gospel principles?

Remind students of the spiritual condition of the Zoramites (see Alma 31:20–25). Invite them to read Alma 32:1–3 to find which Zoramites were most willing to listen to the message of Alma and his companions. Ask: Why do you think poor people are sometimes more willing than the prosperous to listen to the gospel message? Read Alma 32:5–6 looking for why these people were prepared to be taught. Ask:

  • What times in your life have you been the most enthusiastic or willing to learn gospel principles?

  • In what ways might the Lord help humble us?

Read Alma 32:14 and look for ways Alma said we could become humble. Ask:

  • How can we receive the Lord’s word? (Answers might include studying the scriptures, listening to prophets and inspired leaders, following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, studying our patriarchal blessings.)

  • How can the word of the Lord make us humble?

Have students read Alma 32:13, 16 and compare the two ways to be humble. Read Alma 32:15–16 and ask: Why might Alma say we are more blessed if we humble ourselves than if we are compelled to be humble? Ask students to ponder whether they are humble because of the word or whether they must usually be compelled to be humble.

Share the following statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell:

“The gospel requires us to yield our minds as well as bend our knees. Minds are often more arthritic than knees” (That Ye May Believe [1992], 101).

Ask: How does this statement relate to Alma 32:15–16?

Testify that humility can come from simple, daily experiences such as prayer, scripture study, recognizing our dependence on the Lord, and sharing our testimony with others.

scripture mastery iconAlma 32:21 (Scripture Mastery). Faith is a “hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (5–10 minutes)

Ask if any of your students have been to Japan (or some other far-away but well-known country). Address the following questions to those who haven’t been to that country:

  • How do you know it exists?

  • What evidence do you have that it exists? (They may know people who have been there, or may have seen pictures of it, or heard the language, or seen it on maps.)

  • How could you eventually know for yourself that it exists?

Read Alma 32:21 and ask students to compare faith in God to knowing a country exists when you haven’t been there. Read Hebrews 11:1 and look for additional insights on faith. Ask:

  • How can we come to know that the President of the Church is a prophet of God?

  • If you didn’t have a testimony that he is a prophet, how could you receive one?

Explain that Alma compared the word of the Lord to a seed. If we plant a seed and nourish it, and if it is a good seed, our faith can grow into a perfect knowledge (see v. 34). But even then we must continue to exercise faith by planting other seeds. Tell students that as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and live a principle, our testimonies will grow (see John 7:17).

weekly iconAlma 32:21–33:23. Gaining faith in Jesus Christ can be a gradual process. (50–55 minutes)

Before class draw the accompanying diagram on the board (do not include the scripture references).

Show students a seed and a piece of fruit that grows from that kind of seed. Ask how many students have planted and cared for a garden. Discuss what is required to grow fruit from a seed. Include the following elements:

  • Your soil must be fertile.

  • Your seed must be good.

  • You must plant the seed.

  • You must water it, weed it, fertilize it, and give it sunlight.

  • You must harvest the fruit.

Ask students to compare developing faith in Jesus Christ to growing a garden. Invite them to watch for how Alma uses this same analogy to teach the Zoramites.

Read Alma 32:21 and invite two or three students to tell Alma’s message in their own words. Have students read verses 22 and 26 looking for what Alma is inviting them to exercise faith in. (His words.) In Alma 32:28, Alma compares the word to a seed. Before studying his discourse, have students search Alma 33:1, 11, 13–14, 16–18, 22–23 to find what “the word” refers to. (The gospel, centering on Jesus Christ and His Atonement.) Discuss their findings. Have students compare Alma 30:12 and Alma 31:16. Ask: What false doctrine did Alma encounter again as he started teaching the Zoramites? (That there would be no Christ.) Be sure students understand that Alma 32 is more than a lecture describing faith. It is counsel on how to develop or rekindle faith in Jesus Christ.

Refer students to the drawings on the board. Read Alma 32:6, 27–43; 33:22–23. As you read, invite the students to look for verses that match each tree in the drawings, and write these on the board. The following questions and suggestions may help your discussion:

Alma 32:6

Ask: What kind of heart must we have for the seed to grow in us?

Alma 32:27

Ask students to identify phrases that describe what else we must do to cultivate our soil. (Answers might include “awake and arouse your faculties,” “desire to believe,” “give place for a portion of my words.”)

Alma 32:28

Explain that Alma compares “the word”—not faith—to a seed. “The word” refers to the gospel, centering in Jesus Christ. Ask:

  • How do we plant this word in our hearts?

  • What must we not do to the seed?

  • How will we know when our testimony of the word begins to grow? (We will feel swelling motions, and it will enlarge our soul, enlighten our understanding, and begin to be delicious to us.)

Alma 32:30

Ask: What will we begin to know about the seed, or the word of God, when we start to feel it growing? (That it is a good seed; see also vv. 31–32.)

Alma 32:34–36

  • Once we begin to feel that the word is good, why must we not stop searching and praying?

  • What would happen to a garden if you stopped watering it?

Alma 32:37–40

Ask: What are some spiritual activities that could be likened to weeding, watering, and fertilizing? (Searching and pondering the scriptures, praying, hearkening to Church leaders, obeying the commandments, fasting, giving service, strengthening family and others, accepting church callings, and so forth.)

Alma 32:41–43

Ask: Why are faith, diligence, and patience such important elements to a growing testimony of the Savior? Alma says the tree will eventually bear fruit that is sweet, white, and pure, and that we may feast on this fruit until we are filled. Ask: What does this fruit represent? (Help students see that the fruit represents a life of obedience to gospel principles, the blessings that come from living the gospel, and the joys of eternal life; see 1 Nephi 8:10–12; 15:36; D&C 14:7.)

Alma 33:22–23

  • What was the message Alma said we should plant in our hearts, nourish by our faith, and allow to grow?

  • According to verse 23, how can our burdens be made light? (see also Matthew 11:28–30).

Invite students to tell of burdens the Lord has made light for them or others they know.

Review with your students the process of gaining a testimony of the Savior and His gospel. Help them see that it must include humility, a desire to believe, faith in the Lord, correct doctrine, study, prayer, patience, obedience, and diligence. Our testimony must be centered in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Share these statements by President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“The strength of the Church lies in the conviction carried in the hearts of its members, by the individual members of the Church. It is the privilege, it is the opportunity, it is the obligation of every Latter-day Saint to gain for himself or herself a certain knowledge that this is the work of the Almighty, that God our Eternal Father lives and watches over His children when they look to Him in faith; that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of all mankind, who rose from the dead to become the firstfruits of them that slept. That testimony … is the most precious possession that any of us can hold” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 647).

“I am satisfied, I know it’s so, that whenever a man has a true witness in his heart of the living reality of the Lord Jesus Christ all else will come together as it should. … That is the root from which all virtue springs among those who call themselves Latter-day Saints” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 648).

Alma 33:2–11; 34:17–27. God hears and answers our prayers. Daily prayer helps us recognize our dependence on the Savior. (20–25 minutes)

Display the picture Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (Gospel Art Picture Kit, no. 227). Ask students what Jesus prayed for in Gethsemane (see Matthew 26:39, 42, 44). Have them list other times He prayed during His ministry. (Answers might include the night before He chose the Twelve Apostles [see Luke 6:12–13]; at the Last Supper when He prayed on behalf of His disciples [see John 17]; while visiting the Nephites [see 3 Nephi 17:15–17].) Discuss the following questions:

  • Under what circumstances have you turned to Heavenly Father in prayer?

  • Why does prayer require humility?

Explain that the Zoramites had accepted false forms of worship and prayer. Read Alma 33:1 with students and help them understand that the humbled Zoramites wanted to know how to plant the seed. Read Alma 32:4–5 looking for a concern of the poorer Zoramites. Write the following questions on the board:

•When can the Lord hear and answer our prayers?

•Where can we pray and worship?

•What should we pray for?

•How does prayer help us recognize our need for Heavenly Father and His Son?

•What are some of the circumstances in which Heavenly Father grants us His mercy?

Invite half the class to read Alma 33:2–10 and the other half to read Alma 34:17–27. Have them look for and discuss answers to the questions on the board.

Read Alma 33:11 and ask:

  • How can our afflictions help us recognize our need for the Savior?

  • Why must our prayers be sincere?

  • How can our prayers provide us with daily access to the Lord’s mercy?

Read Alma 33:1; 34:8 and ask: What did Alma and his companions teach? (Faith in the Savior.) Explain that we have been commanded to pray to the Father in the name of the Son (see 2 Nephi 32:9; 3 Nephi 18:19). Prayer reminds us of our dependence on the Savior as we ask forgiveness for our sins and request help in living the commandments. Prayer allows us to seek the companionship of the Spirit each day.

Share this statement by Elder Gene R. Cook, a member of the Seventy:

“To pass successfully through the trials we encounter, we must keep our eyes and our hearts centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself’ (Alma 22:14); therefore, we needed an advocate, an intercessor, a mediator to assist us. ‘And it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto [us]’ (Alma 33:11; italics added)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 98; or Ensign, May 1993, 80).

Invite students to answer the following questions on a piece of paper:

  • What can I do to improve my prayers?

  • How can prayer help me remember the Savior?

Alma 34:1–16. The infinite and eternal Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central feature of the plan of redemption. (20–25 minutes)

This activity should help your students understand the second witness that Amulek provided for Alma’s teachings to the Zoramites. Give students the worksheet “Amulek Testifies That the Word Is in Christ” from the appendix (p. 301). Have them work through it individually or in pairs. Correct the handout as a class and discuss what they learned.

Answers

1. Faith, patience.

2. “Whether the word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be no Christ.”

3. Alma, Zenos, Zenock, Moses, and Amulek.

4. All are fallen and lost.

5. Infinite, eternal.

6. It was fulfilled. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

7. Salvation. Faith unto repentance.

8. Student choice.

Share the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“In the gospel sense repentance is the system, ordained of God, whereby fallen man may be saved. It is the plan of mercy that enables sinners to be reconciled to God. It is the way whereby all men, being sinners, can escape the grasp of justice and be encircled forever in the arms of mercy. It operates in and through and because of the infinite and eternal atonement; and if there had been no atonement, the doctrine of repentance would serve no purpose and save no souls. Salvation comes because of the atonement and is reserved for those who repent” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 217).

scripture mastery iconAlma 34:32–34 (Scripture Mastery). Mortality is the time for us to repent. We will carry the qualities and habits we gain in this life with us into the next life. (10–15 minutes)

Write on the board Procrastination is the thief of eternal life (see Joseph Fielding Smith, “Procrastination Is the Thief of Eternal Life,” Improvement Era, June 1969, 37). Ask students to discuss the meaning of this sentence. Read the following account by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“I knew a man, now deceased, not a member of the Church, who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure, as he supposed, in living after the manner of the world. A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stenched his breath, and profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired.

“His wife was a member of the Church, as faithful as she could be under the circumstances. One day she said to him, ‘You know the Church is true; why won’t you be baptized?’ He replied, ‘Of course I know the Church is true, but I have no intention of changing my habits in order to join it. I prefer to live the way I do. But that doesn’t worry me in the slightest. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway.’

“He died and she had the work done in the temple. We do not sit in judgment and deny vicarious ordinances to people. But what will it profit him?” (“The Seven Deadly Heresies,” in 1980 Devotional Speeches of the Year: BYU Devotional and Fireside Addresses [1980], 77).

Ask three students to each read a verse of Alma 34:32–34. Have them share what phrases they would have read to the man in the story if he had been willing to listen. Invite the class to underline the phrases shared by the three students.

Have students think about any personal sins of which they have not repented. Encourage them to decide to make a change in their life. Read Helaman 13:38–39 and discuss how it relates to these scripture mastery verses. Share the following counsel by President Harold B. Lee:

“Now, if you have made mistakes, make today the beginning of a change of your lives. Turn from the thing that you have been doing that is wrong. The most important of all the commandments of God is that one that you are having the most difficulty keeping today. If it is one of dishonesty, if it is one of unchastity, if it is one of falsifying, not telling the truth, today is the day for you to work on that until you have been able to conquer that weakness. Put that aright and then you start on the next one that is most difficult for you to keep. That’s the way to sanctify yourself by keeping the commandments of God” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 82).