Alma 43–58

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 184–191


Introduction

In Alma 43:3 Mormon explains, “Now I return to an account of the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites.” Some wonder why the Book of Mormon contains so much about war. President Ezra Taft Benson reminded us that those who compiled the book “saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 6). There may be several reasons why Mormon included so much about war, including the following:

  • There will be much warfare in the last days (see Revelation 9). President Benson said, “From the Book of Mormon we learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7). This includes understanding proper justification for war and proper attitudes toward bloodshed.

  • Some principles from physical battles can be applied to the spiritual war against wickedness.

  • We can learn to recognize the protection that comes when we make and keep covenants.

  • We can see how others found happiness in righteous living, even when surrounded by wickedness and destruction.

  • We can receive help in our daily gospel living and, as President Benson explained, “find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 6).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 98–102.

Suggestions for Teaching

video icon Book of Mormon Video presentation 16, “Firm in the Faith of Christ” (21:40), can be used in teaching Alma 43–48 (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

Note: You may want to refer to the map “Possible Book of Mormon Sites” in the appendix (p. 294) as you teach these chapters. You could draw it on the board or give it to students as a handout.

Alma 43:1–14, 45–54; 44:1–2; 48:10–23. Although the righteous never delight in bloodshed, they are justified in entering a war to preserve their freedom, peace, families, and rights of religion. (20–25 minutes)

Write this question on the board: Why is so much of the Book of Mormon devoted to war? Invite students to answer the question, and discuss their ideas.

Read Mormon 8:30 and look for one of the conditions of our day. Read Mormon 8:34–35 to see how the Book of Mormon writers knew we would live in a time of wars and rumors of wars. Share President Ezra Taft Benson’s statement from the first bullet of the introduction to Alma 43–58 (p. 184).

Explain that one challenge of living faithfully in a time of war is knowing when war is justified. Read Alma 43:5–8 and discuss the following questions:

  • Why did the Lamanites attack the Nephites? (List responses on the board under the heading Lamanites’ motive for war.)

  • If you were a Nephite, would you feel justified in going to war against the Lamanites? Why or why not?

Have students read Alma 43:9–14 and underline the reasons the Nephites chose to defend themselves. Invite students to share what they learned, and write their responses on the board under the heading Nephites’ motives for war. Ask: How were the Nephites’ motives different from the motives of the Lamanites? Read verses 44–48 to find how the motives of each group affected their fighting. Read Alma 43:49–44:2 and ask:

  • When the Nephites had a chance to finish the battle, how did they respond?

  • How did their military leader, Captain Moroni, feel about the death of an enemy?

Read Alma 48:11, 14, 16 and suggest that students cross-reference these verses with Alma 44:1. Ask: How did the Nephites’ beliefs regarding the shedding of blood influence them during this battle?

Have students read Alma 48:21 and mark the phrase that best describes how the Nephites felt about fighting their Lamanite brothers. Ask: What do you think “compelled reluctantly” means? Have students read verse 23 and mark two reasons the Nephites were sorry to fight the Lamanites.

Ask students what feelings they have about war. Explain that sometimes Church members live in countries that enter into destructive battles. Read the following statement issued by the First Presidency in 1942:

“The Church is and must be against war. The Church itself cannot wage war, unless and until the Lord shall issue new commands. It cannot regard war as a righteous means of settling international disputes; these should and could be settled—the nations agreeing—by peaceful negotiation and adjustment.

“But the Church membership are citizens or subjects of sovereignties over which the Church has no control. The Lord Himself has told us to ‘befriend that law which is the constitutional law of the land’ [see D&C 98:4–7]. …

“… When, therefore, constitutional law, obedient to these principles, calls the manhood of the Church into the armed service of any country to which they owe allegiance, their highest civic duty requires that they meet that call. If, harkening to that call and obeying those in command over them, they shall take the lives of those who fight against them, that will not make of them murderers, nor subject them to the penalty that God has prescribed for those who kill” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1942, 94).

Testify that war must be avoided whenever possible. However, the Lord has said that we are justified in going to war to preserve freedom, families, and the rights of religion. Additionally, if we go to war out of the duty we owe our countries and if we are faithful to the Lord’s commandments and do not delight in bloodshed, He will justify us.

Alma 43:18–38; 48:15–16; 49:1–15; 50:1–6. Just as the Nephites fortified their cities and put on armor, so we must strengthen ourselves with the word of the Lord so we can be protected from spiritual harm. (20–25 minutes)

Have students silently read the words to the following hymns, looking for what they have in common: “Let Us All Press On” (Hymns, no. 243), “We Are All Enlisted” (no. 250), “Hope of Israel” (no. 259). Invite students to look for other hymns that mention war or conflict. (These might include “Onward, Christian Soldiers” [no. 246], “True to the Faith” [no. 254].) Discuss the following questions:

  • Why do you think many of our hymns speak of battle or war?

  • Who are we at war with?

  • Read Revelation 12:7–9. According to these verses, when did the war with Satan begin?

  • Read verse 11. What weapons are available in our fight with Satan?

  • What kind of casualties does this war create?

  • Has this war affected anyone close to you? In what way?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 27:15–18. What do these verses teach us about how to protect ourselves in this conflict?

Explain to students that we can learn a lot about protecting ourselves in spiritual battles by studying the preparations and plans that Captain Moroni and his soldiers made for their physical battles. Write the following references on the board:

Divide the class into six groups and assign each group one of the passages on the board. Give students time to read their verses and to consider the following question: “How can I apply a similar strategy to protect myself from Satan’s attacks?” Have them share what they learned, and discuss their findings.

Alma 43:49–50; 44:3–5; 48:7, 15–16. Faith in God enables us to overcome our enemies. (15–20 minutes)

Ask a few students to briefly tell about times they have been afraid. Have the class suggest as many different kinds of fear as they can. Explain that the scriptures speak of fear in two different ways. Sometimes fear means “to respect or revere.” To fear God means to reverence Him and keep His commandments. At other times fear means “to be afraid of danger, evil, pain, or the unknown.” Invite students to turn to the Topical Guide or their scripture indexes. Have them look for scriptures about the second kind of fear and how we can overcome it. Write several of these references on the board, along with brief summaries of the principles taught.

Ask: What kind of fear would you experience if you were placed on a modern battlefield with only a sword to defend yourself? Read the first sentence of Alma 43:48 and ask: Did Moroni’s men have reason to fear? Why? Read verses 49–51 looking for what the Nephites did in response to their enemies’ attack. Discuss the following questions:

  • What gospel principle did the Nephites demonstrate?

  • How did their faith in God deliver them?

Tell students that when the Nephites surrounded the Lamanites, Moroni stopped the battle and addressed Zerahemnah, the leader of the Lamanites. Have students read Alma 44:3–4; 48:7, 15–16 and mark the reasons the Nephites gained power over the Lamanites. Read Alma 44:5 looking for the source of the Nephites’ happiness, even in a time of war. Ask:

  • Where is the “sacred word” found?

  • How can it help increase our faith?

  • What “enemies” could faith in Jesus Christ help you conquer?

  • Who is a greater enemy: one who hurts your physical body or one who damages you spiritually? Why?

  • In what ways does Satan attack our spirits?

Share this statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the First Presidency:

“The Church has a host of critics and an army of enemies. They mock that which is sacred. They demean and belittle that which has come from God. They pander to the desires of others who evidently enjoy seeing that which is sacred made to look funny. I cannot think of anything less in harmony with the spirit of Christ than this kind of activity.

“We are pained by the desecration of that which to us is holy. But we need not fear. This cause is greater than any man. It will outlast all its enemies. We need only go forward, without fear, by the power of faith” (Faith: the Essence of True Religion [1989], 16).

Ask:

Alma 45:1–19. The Lord knows of future events and can reveal them to His prophets. (15–20 minutes)

Read yesterday’s weather forecast of today’s weather. Ask students:

  • How accurate was the forecast?

  • How often would you guess weather forecasts are correct?

  • Why are forecasts sometimes inaccurate?

  • How is a meteorologist making a weather forecast different from a servant of the Lord prophesying?

  • Why will the Lord’s promises always come to pass?

Tell students that at the end of his ministry the prophet Alma left his family and people. Have students read Alma 45:18–19 and find where he went. Before leaving, Alma interviewed and taught his son Helaman. Have students read Alma 45:1–8 and share what Alma wanted to know about his son. Read Alma 37:1 and ask:

  • What was Helaman commanded to do that made it so important that he have a strong testimony?

  • How could you share your testimony with future generations?

Tell the class that Alma made a sobering prophecy concerning the future of the Nephites. Have students read Alma 45:10–17 and underline elements of this prophecy. Ask: What would lead to the destruction of the Nephites? Invite students to use their footnotes and chapter headings to find where in the Book of Mormon this prophecy of the Nephites’ destruction was fulfilled. (Mormon 6.) Show students the dates at the bottom of the pages in Mormon 6 and ask them when this destruction would be complete. Discuss the following:

  • How did Alma know with such accuracy an event nearly 500 years before it occurred?

  • Read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38. How did the promise of the Lord in this verse apply to the Book of Mormon people?

  • How does it apply to our day?

Share the following statements. President Wilford Woodruff said:

“If we had before us every revelation which God ever gave to man … and they were piled up here a hundred feet high, the Church and kingdom of God could not grow, in this or any other age of the world, without the living oracles of God” (“The Keys of the Kingdom,” Millennial Star, 2 Sept. 1889, 548).

Elder John Taylor, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said:

“Adam’s revelation did not instruct Noah to build his ark; nor did Noah’s revelation tell Lot to forsake Sodom; nor did either of these speak of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt. These all had revelations for themselves” (“On Priesthood,” Millennial Star, 1 Nov. 1847, 323).

President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, said, “The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works” (“Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet,” in 1980 Devotional Speeches of the Year [1981], 26). Ask: Why do you think this is true? Invite students to share times they have felt the Lord’s words come to them through His prophet. Ask: How has your life been blessed because of the words of a living prophet?

Sister Virginia U. Jensen, a member of the Relief Society general presidency, said:

“There aren’t many guarantees in this life. … Nothing man-made or man-controlled can ever be truly guaranteed! But here’s the miracle. The Lord has given some marvelous guarantees without any disclaimers. And this is one of them: He will choose the prophet, and He will never let that man lead us astray. Imagine for a moment the impact of that promise. There is at least one place we can turn for pure, unpolluted guidance” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 14; or Ensign, Nov. 1998, 13).

Alma 46. Breaking the Lord’s commandments leads to dissension and conflict, but keeping our covenants brings unity, blessings, protection, and peace. (40–45 minutes)

Show students a copy of an Ensign magazine. Ask what the word ensign means. If necessary, give a student a dictionary to look up the meaning (a flag or banner). Invite students to suggest reasons the Church might call its magazine the Ensign. Ask: Why might a military leader use a flag or ensign? Encourage students to watch for how Captain Moroni used his ensign with the Nephites.

Note: If the Ensign is not available where you live, use the following object lesson instead. Show students the flag of your country. Ask them to explain the flag’s colors and symbols. Ask: What feelings might a flag bring to people who care very much for their country? Encourage students to watch for what Captain Moroni used to gather his people.

Write the following chart on the board. Include the scriptures in the left column, but leave the answers in the other columns blank. Divide the class into four groups. Assign each group a set of verses, and have them fill in the chart for those verses.

Reference

Main leader

Were the leaders Lamanites?

Were the leaders dissenters from the Nephites?

Alma 43:5–8

Zerahemnah

No

Yes

Alma 46:3–7

Amalickiah

No

Yes

Alma 50:25–29

Morianton

No

Yes

Alma 61:8; 62:6

Pachus

No

Yes

Explain that every enemy Mormon identified in Alma 43–63 was either a group of Nephite dissenters or was led or stirred up by Nephite dissenters. Those who rebelled and left the Nephites created serious problems by their dissension. Have students read Alma 47:36 and discuss why the dissenters were such a threat to the righteous Nephites’ peace and safety.

Ask: Why do you think these dissenters would leave the Nephites and join the Lamanites in war against their former countrymen? Read Alma 45:23–46:3 to find why Amalickiah’s people dissented. Ask:

  • How can riches bring disunity to a people?

  • Who does a proud person rely on instead of God?

  • Why would a proud person be less willing to obey the counsel of the Lord’s servants?

  • How do those who reject the Lord’s counsel often act toward those who accept it?

Read Alma 46:4–7 and invite students to underline reasons Amalickiah was successful at leading people away from the Church. Read Alma 46:8–9 and ask students to give examples, from the scriptures or from life, that show that what Mormon says in these verses is true.

Read together Alma 46:11–12 and identify six reasons the Nephites felt that going to war was justified (see also Alma 43:45–47). Divide students into six groups. Assign each group to draw on a piece of paper a picture representing one of the six reasons. Draw the title of liberty on the board, or display a large piece of cloth. Ask a student from each group to attach the group’s picture to your title of liberty and to explain that picture to the class. Read Alma 46:13–22 and discuss the following questions:

  • In addition to raising the title of liberty, how else did Captain Moroni prepare to resist Amalickiah’s efforts? (see v. 16).

  • How can prayer help bring people together in a common cause?

  • What did the people intend by tearing their garments and throwing them at Moroni’s feet? (see vv. 20–22).

  • What effect do you think covenanting to live faithfully while defending their families and freedoms had on the people?

Have students read verses 28–29, and ask: How successful was Captain Moroni in uniting the Nephites to his righteous cause? Read verses 33–35 and point out that while it would normally be wrong to enforce a covenant with the threat of death, the actions of the Amalickiahites were endangering the Nephites’ lives and freedoms. It is also important to remember that Captain Moroni acted with authority from the government. Ask: What value did Moroni place on making and keeping covenants? Explain that the people of the Book of Mormon took covenants so seriously that Moroni was willing to trust the traitors once they gave their word (see also Alma 44:6, 8, 19–20). Read Alma 46:36–41 and ask: What difference did it make when the Nephites kept their covenants?

Discuss the following questions:

  • In what ways does keeping your covenants prepare you for spiritual “battles”?

  • Why do you think keeping promises to the Lord brings greater peace and happiness?

  • In what ways does keeping covenants even when it is difficult strengthen you?

Share this promise by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Peace and freedom from fear … will come to those in Zion, including—and especially—to the children of those who have made and kept their covenants” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 291).

Alma 46:13–15. “Christians” believe in Jesus Christ. They willingly and faithfully take upon themselves His name. (15–20 minutes)

Write Are Mormons Christian? on the board. Ask students:

  • When was the last time you heard this question?

  • If someone asked you this question today, how would you answer?

Invite the class to suggest qualifications that determine if a person is Christian, and list them on the board.

Ask if the members of the Church in Book of Mormon days were Christian. Invite students to search their scripture indexes for references to Christians in the Book of Mormon. Have them read Alma 46:13–16 and underline the word Christians. Ask: How are Christians described in these verses? Suggest that students underline these descriptions. Ask:

  • How do these qualifications compare with the list on the board?

  • Why do you think the true believers “gladly” took upon them the name of Christ? (v. 15).

Suggest that students cross-reference Alma 46:14–15 with Mosiah 5:7–12. Share the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin:

“Two characteristics identify Christians: (1) they profess belief in the Savior, and (2) they act in harmony with the Savior’s teachings. Faithful members of the Church, called Saints or Latter-day Saints, qualify clearly in both characteristics. In our belief and our action, we demonstrate that ‘Jesus Christ himself [is] the chief corner stone’ of our faith [Ephesians 2:20]. …

“… By definition a Christian not only professes belief in the Savior, but a Christian lives and acts according to the teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ. He taught, ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father’ [Matthew 7:21; italics added]. Jesus also said, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments’ [John 14:15; D&C 124:87]. He commanded us to pattern our lives after His [see 3 Nephi 12:48; Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 27:27]. True disciples of the Lord must be ‘doers of the word, and not hearers only’ [James 1:22]. …

“As we take His name upon us, we most certainly are Christians, for we bear the name of Christ. Each week as we partake of the emblems of bread and water, we do it in remembrance of Him. We renew our covenant that we ‘are willing to take upon [us] the name of [the] Son [of God], and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given [us]’ [D&C 20:77]” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 96, 98–99; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 70, 72).

Explain to students that, in their true senses, the terms Latter-day Saint and Christian mean the same thing. Invite students to respond to the following questions on a piece of paper:

  • In what ways do I show that I am a Christian?

  • In what ways can I become a better Christian?

Alma 47; 48:11–20. Righteousness restricts Satan’s power. (45–50 minutes)

Ask students to think of a leader they admire. Have them suggest characteristics that contribute to this leader’s effectiveness. Write the headings Righteous Leaders and Wicked Leaders on the board. Read Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–43 and list on the board the characteristics of righteous leaders given in these verses. Ask: How can having these traits make us better servants of the Lord?

Explain that there are many righteous leaders in the Book of Mormon whose examples we can follow. Have students read Alma 48:11–20 and list descriptions of Captain Moroni and Helaman. Write these descriptions next to the “Righteous Leaders” list. Ask: Why would you want to follow such leaders? Have students discuss how having the righteous qualities of Moroni and Helaman could help them in their Church callings, their school, their work, and their homes.

Explain that just as learning about good leaders can help us follow them, learning about evil leaders can help us avoid being deceived by them. As a class, read Alma 46:9–10; 47:1–35; 49:10. As you read, invite students to take notes on Amalickiah’s character, goals, and tactics. When you finish reading, write their findings on the board under Wicked Leaders. Discuss the following questions:

  • How would you feel about having Amalickiah as your leader? Why?

  • Who, in addition to Amalickiah, might this list describe?

  • Read Moses 4:1–6. Which of Amalickiah’s character traits, goals, and tactics are similar to those of Satan?

  • Why is it helpful to know Satan’s strategies? (see 2 Corinthians 2:11).

Discuss the following statement by Elder James E. Faust, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“We all have an inner braking system that will stop us before we follow Satan too far down the wrong road. It is the still, small voice which is within us. But once we have succumbed, the braking system begins to leak brake fluid and our stopping mechanism becomes weak and ineffective. …

“… We need not become paralyzed with fear of Satan’s power. He can have no power over us unless we permit it. He is really a coward, and if we stand firm, he will retreat [see James 4:7; 1 Nephi 22:26]. …

“… One of Satan’s approaches is to persuade a person who has transgressed that there is no hope of forgiveness. But there is always hope. Most sins, no matter how grievous, may be repented of if the desire is sincere enough. …

“… Satan’s efforts can be thwarted by all who come unto Christ by obedience to the covenants and ordinances of the gospel. The humble followers of the divine Master need not be deceived by the devil if they will be honest and true to their fellow men and women, go to the house of the Lord, receive the sacrament worthily, observe the Sabbath day, pay their tithes and offerings, offer contrite prayers, engage in the Lord’s work, and follow those who preside over them” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 41, 43–44; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 34–36).

Alma 50:19–23. Righteousness and happiness can exist even in an atmosphere of war and rumors of war. (15–20 minutes)

Show the class a newspaper or magazine article about a recent disaster caused by extreme weather, such as a hurricane, blizzard, or flood. Ask:

  • If such a catastrophe occurred near your home, where would you want to go to be safe?

  • What is it about that location that would cause you to feel safe during turmoil or disaster?

  • Why is it possible to feel peace even in times of disaster?

Consider having the class sing “We Are All Enlisted” (Hymns, no. 250). Point out that the hymn teaches that we can be happy even in times of conflict.

Explain that when Mormon abridged the Book of Mormon, he sometimes added his own comments to explain why he was including certain accounts. Have students read Alma 50:19 looking for a phrase Mormon used to alert readers to an important principle (“and thus we see”). Ask: What does Mormon teach us in this verse about the Lord’s mercy and justice? Have students read verse 20 and underline the two-part promise the Lord made to Lehi’s descendants. Ask:

  • What is the promise to those who keep the Lord’s commandments?

  • What is lost by those who ignore His commandments?

Have students read Alma 50:21–23 and identify ways that both parts of this promise were fulfilled. Ask:

  • What phrase describes those who stayed faithful during this period of war? (“There never was a happier time among the people of Nephi.”)

  • Why do you think they were happy during such trying times?

  • How could this apply to members of the Church in today’s world?

Share the following statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard:

“Through faith we can find peace, comfort, and the courage to endure. As we trust in God and his plan for our happiness with all our hearts and lean not unto our own understanding (see Proverbs 3:5), hope is born. Hope grows out of faith and gives meaning and purpose to all we do. It can give us comfort in the face of adversity, strength in times of trial, and peace when we have reason for doubt or anguish” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 30; or Ensign, May 1995, 23–24).

weekly icon Alma 53:10–21; 56:44–56; 57:19–27. Children who follow the teachings of righteous parents, who grow up in righteousness, and who are full of faith can see great miracles in their lives. (45–50 minutes)

Display the following pictures from the Gospel Art Picture Kit side-by-side on the board: The Anti-Nephi-Lehies Burying Their Swords (no. 311) and Two Thousand Young Warriors (no. 313). Ask:

  • Who is depicted in these pictures?

  • What clues suggest that these are pictures of the people of Ammon (the Anti-Nephi-Lehies)?

Invite any students who may have read these chapters to tell how the young warriors were related to the people of Ammon.

Write The People of Ammon above the first picture and Sons of the People of Ammon above the second. Ask half the class to read Alma 24:13, 16, 18. Have a student from the group write beneath the first picture the main points of the covenant made by the people of Ammon. Ask the rest of the class to read Alma 53:16–17. Have a student from that group write beneath the second picture the main points of the covenant made by the young soldiers.

Have students read Alma 53:10–13 and explain why the people of Ammon were about to break their oath. Read verses 14–15 and ask:

  • Why did Helaman persuade them to keep their covenant?

  • What does this teach about the importance of keeping covenants?

  • What covenants have you made with the Lord?

Have students read verses 19–21 and underline the qualities of these young men. Invite students to discuss how having these qualities could help them stay faithful through the “battles” they face each day.

Assign six students to each read one of the following sets of verses from Alma 56: verses 1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 7–8, 9–10, 16–17. Have the students briefly summarize their verses. Explain that Helaman’s small, inexperienced army was asked to go to battle against the stronger Lamanite army (see vv. 34–44). Read Alma 56:45–46 and ask:

  • Who did these young men trust?

  • What did the young men say that showed who they trusted?

  • Read verses 47–48. Why were they so courageous?

  • Read verses 49, 54–56. What brought Helaman “great joy” after the battle?

  • Why do you think all of these young men were protected?

  • Why do you think the righteous are not always preserved physically in battle?

  • Read Alma 57:36. How are the faithful victorious even if they lose their lives?

Summarize for students how the sons of Helaman entered a second battle in which they were outnumbered (see Alma 57:1–19). Read Alma 57:20–22, 25–27 and ask:

  • How did these men act during this battle?

  • To whom did Helaman attribute their great character?

  • In what ways have the teaching, testimony, and example of your parents influenced you?

  • How did the results of this battle compare to the results of the previous one? (see Alma 56:56).

  • To what did the soldiers attribute their protection?

Invite students to share times they were helped by God’s power because they had faith in Him. Bear your testimony of the power of faith. Share this statement by Elder Rex D. Pinegar:

“From my own experience with life’s hardships I have learned that faith in God develops a personal love for Him which is reciprocated through his blessings to us in times of need. … Do not fear the challenges of life, but approach them patiently, with faith in God. He will reward your faith with power not only to endure, but also to overcome hardships, disappointments, trials, and struggles of daily living. Through diligently striving to live the law of God and with faith in Him, we will not be diverted from our eternal course either by the ways or the praise of the world” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 36; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 26).

Ask students to recall who first taught these soldiers about faith (see Alma 56:47–48). Share the following guidance from the First Presidency:

“We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform” (First Presidency letter, 11 Feb. 1999).

Discuss the following questions:

  • Who is this advice from the First Presidency addressed to?

  • Why do you think it isn’t addressed only to parents?

  • What can you do to help your family make family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome activities your highest priority?

  • How can following this counsel strengthen your faith and the faith of your family?