Lesson 95: Alma 38

“Lesson 95: Alma 38,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)

“Lesson 95,” 2017 BoM Seminary Teacher Manual

Lesson 95

Alma 38


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

Invite students to think about their relationships with family members, particularly their parents.

  • What are some ways in which our actions can affect our relationships with family members?

Explain that Alma 38 records counsel that Alma gave his son Shiblon. Point out that the beginning of this chapter illustrates how our actions can affect our relationships with family members.

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 principle 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, but make sure it is clear that as youth are steady and faithful in keeping the commandments, they can bring great joy to their parents.)

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

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 their class notebooks or study journals.

Shiblon (Alma 38:4–5)

Alma (Alma 38:6–9)

What was he delivered from?

Why did he receive the blessing of deliverance?

What principles or doctrines 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.

After students complete the chart, ask the following questions to help them discuss the principles they have learned:

  • What principles or doctrines can we learn from verses 4–5? (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 are some ways our Heavenly Father may deliver us from trials, troubles, and afflictions as we bear all things with patience and trust in Him?

  • What principles or doctrines can we learn from verses 6–9? (Students may identify several doctrines or principles, including the following: To receive a remission of our sins and find peace to our souls, we must exercise faith in Jesus Christ and seek His mercy. We can be saved only in and through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Life and the Light of the World.)

Provide some time for students to ponder how they might seek the Lord’s help to be delivered from a personal challenge or from any sins they may have committed. Invite students to write their ideas in their class notebooks or study journals. (You might caution students not to write anything that is too personal or private.)

Alma 38:10–15

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

Ask students:

  • What are some opportunities you currently have or will have to serve and teach others? (List students’ responses on the board. These may include serving in a quorum or class presidency, being a home or visiting teacher, conversing with peers in person or on social media, serving as a full-time missionary, and becoming a parent.)

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.

Divide students into pairs. Invite students to read Alma 38:10–15 with their partners, looking for counsel that can help them in their efforts to serve or teach others. Invite students to consider marking what they find.

  • What counsel did you find in these verses that can help you in your efforts to serve and teach others?

Point out that Alma’s counsel was intended to help Shiblon develop righteous attributes. Write the following principle on the board: Our efforts to develop righteous attributes prepare us to teach and serve others. Invite students to consider writing this principle in their scriptures near Alma 38:10–15.

To help students understand specific ways they can apply this principle, provide them with copies of the accompanying study guide. 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.)

handout, study guide

Study Guide for Alma 38:10–12

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual—Lesson 95

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).

Write your answers to the following questions in your class notebook or study journal:

  • Why do you think diligence and temperance are needed when a person teaches the gospel and serves others?

  • What are some areas of your life in which you could be more diligent or temperate?

  • How might improving in those areas 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. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride” (Robert D. Hales, “Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 73).

Write your answers to the following questions in your class notebook or study journal:

  • What might happen if a Church member is prideful in his or her calling?

  • Think of someone you know who teaches the gospel “with quiet confidence.” What effect have this person’s example and teachings had on you?

  • What are some ways you will seek to avoid pride?

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

Alma’s counsel to “use boldness” means to teach the word of God without fear (see Philippians 1:14). President James E. Faust (1920–2007) 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).

Write your answers to the following questions in your class notebook or study journal:

  • How can a person be bold without being overbearing?

  • How could being bold but not overbearing help you be successful in teaching and serving others?

  • How will you specifically apply the counsel to be bold but not overbearing as you teach and serve others?

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

A bridle is the headgear used on a horse. It includes reins and sometimes a bit, which give the rider control. A passion is a strong emotion. A bridle is intended to direct—not destroy—desires and passions. “Alma taught his son: ‘See that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love.’ (Alma 38:12; emphasis added.) He did not say eliminate or even suppress your passions, but bridle them—harness, channel, and focus them. Why? Because discipline makes possible a richer, deeper love” (Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, The Belonging Heart: The Atonement and Relationships with God and Family [1994], 302).

Write your answers to the following questions in your class notebook or 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).

To be idle is to spend time doing nothing of significance. “Idleness can lead to inappropriate behavior, damaged relationships, and sin. One form of idleness is spending excessive amounts of time in activities that keep you from productive work, such as using the internet, playing video games, and watching television” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 40).

Write your answers to the following questions in your class notebook or study journal:

  • What are some activities that may keep you from productive work?

  • How will refraining from idleness help you teach and serve others more effectively?

  • What is a specific way you will refrain from idleness, starting today?

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.

Consider using this segment from the Book of Mormon Videos as you teach this part (see the Book of Mormon Videos: Seminary Teacher Instructions).

Conclude by sharing your testimony of the principles you have discussed today and inviting students to apply what they have learned. 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.