“Lesson 73: Alma 6–7,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 73,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
After setting the Church in order in Zarahemla, Alma went to the city of Gideon. He found the people there to be more faithful than those in Zarahemla had been. Therefore, his message in Gideon was different from his message in Zarahemla. He encouraged the people to continually rely on the Lord and seek to apply His Atonement in their lives. He testified that the Savior would take upon Himself death and our sins, and that He would also take upon Himself our pains, afflictions, sicknesses, and infirmities, that He might know how to help us.
Before the lesson, invite a student to prepare to briefly share with the class some ways he or she has felt blessed for his or her efforts to attend church. To begin the lesson, ask this student to come to the front of the class and share the thoughts he or she has prepared. You might also share how you have been blessed through Church attendance.
Introduce Alma 6 by explaining that this chapter teaches how Alma and other priesthood leaders strengthened the Church in Zarahemla.
Invite a student to read Alma 6:4–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what members of the Church in Zarahemla did for those who did not know God. Invite students to report what they learn.
Write the following truth on the board: The Church is established for the welfare of all people. To help students think about how this truth can influence their lives, ask:
How do you think the Church today can bless those who do not know God?
Invite students to think of someone who needs to know God better. This person may be a member of the Church or a member of another faith. Testify of the blessings we receive because we are members of the Church, and encourage students to invite others to share in those blessings.
Divide the class into pairs. Ask each pair to discuss their answers to the following question:
What are some future events that you are excited about?
After the pairs have had time to discuss their answers to this question, ask a few students to share their responses with the entire class. Then explain that after Alma set the Church in order in Zarahemla, he went to the city of Gideon. He told the people there that of all things to come in the future, one thing was “of more importance than they all” (Alma 7:7). He taught principles that would help the people prepare for the blessings that would come because of this future event.
Invite a student to read Alma 7:3–6 aloud. Ask the class to look for the hopes Alma had concerning the people in Gideon. Then invite another student to read Alma 7:18–19 aloud. Ask students to describe what Alma learned by inspiration about the people of Gideon.
Invite students to read Alma 7:7, 9–10 silently, looking for the event Alma felt was most important for the people to know about.
According to Alma, what was the “one thing which [was] of more importance” than anything else that was to come? Why do you think the coming of the Savior is the most important event of all time?
Why do you think Alma would tell a people who already believed and had strong faith that they needed to repent?
Explain that Alma then taught why the coming of Jesus Christ was the most important event in all of human history. Ask a few students to take turns reading aloud from Alma 7:11–13. Invite the rest of the class to follow along and identify what the Savior took upon Himself for us. (You may need to explain that succor means to give relief or to go to someone’s aid.)
Point out that Alma 7:11–13 is a scripture mastery passage. You might want to suggest that students mark this passage in a distinctive way so they will be able to find it easily.
List students’ answers as headings across the top of the board. Answers may include pains, afflictions, temptations, sicknesses, death, infirmities (weaknesses or inabilities), and sins.
You may want to suggest that students mark the phrase “of every kind” in Alma 7:11. Ask them to name examples of each condition written on the board. As students give examples, write them underneath the corresponding headings. (For example, cancer might be listed under sicknesses, and physical disabilities could be listed under infirmities.)
Invite a student to read the following statement by Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy:
“The Atonement is not just for sinners” (“Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 1990, 7). You may want to write this statement on the board and suggest that students write it in their scriptures next to Alma 7:11–13.
Based on what we have read in Alma 7:11–13, what do you think Elder Hafen meant when he said that “the Atonement is not just for sinners”?
Write the following truth on the board: Jesus Christ suffered to save us from sin and death and to help us through the challenges of mortality.
To help students further understand how they can rely on the Savior’s Atonement, read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
“Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs or gambling, or the pernicious contemporary plague of pornography? … Are you confused with gender identity or searching for self-esteem? Do you—or someone you love—face disease or depression or death? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. …
“This reliance upon the merciful nature of God is at the very center of the gospel Christ taught. I testify that the Savior’s Atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair. [See Alma 7:11–12.] From the beginning, trust in such help was to give us both a reason and a way to improve, an incentive to lay down our burdens and take up our salvation” (“Broken Things to Mend,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 70–71).
How can an understanding of Alma 7:11–13 help us when we face challenges?
To illustrate some of the ways we can receive help and strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, read the following situations. After reading each one, ask students to explain how Jesus Christ, through His Atonement, can help a person facing such a challenge.
A young woman was in an automobile accident that left her legs paralyzed.
A young man is ashamed of some bad choices he has made. He feels depressed and worthless.
A young man’s father recently passed away, and the young man has moved to a new town with his mother. He feels sad and lonely, and he can’t see how anything will ever be right again.
Share your testimony of the power of the Atonement and the extent of its reach. Then give students a few minutes to respond in notebooks or scripture study journals to one of the following questions. (You may want to write these questions on the board before class, prepare a handout with the questions, or read the questions slowly so students can write them.)
When has the Atonement helped you or someone you know in one of the ways mentioned in Alma 7:11–13?
What will you do to rely on the Atonement as you face challenges?
Invite a few students to share with the class what they have written. (Remind them that they do not need to share anything that is too personal or private.)
To remind students how Alma described the spiritual condition of the people in Gideon, invite one of them to read Alma 7:19 aloud. Emphasize that the people were “in the path which leads to the kingdom of God.” Explain that Alma wanted to help them stay on that path.
To help students see that by living the principles of the gospel, we follow the path to the kingdom of God, draw a path across the board. At the beginning of the path, write Mortality. At the end of the path, write Kingdom of God. Divide the class into two groups. Invite one group to study Alma 7:14–16 and the other group to study Alma 7:22–24. Ask the groups to look for what we need to do and what we need to be in order to follow the path leading to the kingdom of God.
After students have had enough time to read, invite a few of them to come to the board. Ask them to write along the path the actions and attributes they have found that lead to God’s kingdom. You might consider asking students what some of the actions or attributes along the path mean to them. You might also ask them to think about how they can follow this path in their lives. Testify that when we live faithfully, we are “in the path which leads to the kingdom of God” (Alma 7:19).