“May 25–31. Mosiah 29–Alma 4: ‘They Were Steadfast and Immovable,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“May 25–31. Mosiah 29–Alma 4,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Some might see King Mosiah’s proposal to replace kings with elected judges as merely wise political reform. But to the Nephites, especially those who lived under wicked King Noah, this change had spiritual significance too. They had seen how an unrighteous king had caused “iniquity” and “great destruction” among his people (Mosiah 29:17), and they were “exceedingly anxious” to be free from such influence. This change would allow them to be responsible for their own righteousness and “answer for [their] own sins” (Mosiah 29:38; see also Doctrine and Covenants 101:78).
Of course, the end of the reign of kings did not mean the end of problems in Nephite society. Cunning people like Nehor and Amlici promoted false ideas, nonbelievers persecuted the Saints, and many members of the Church became prideful and fell away. Yet “the humble followers of God” remained “steadfast and immovable” despite what happened around them (Alma 1:25). And because of the change enacted by Mosiah, they could “cast in their voices” to influence their society for good (Alma 2:6).
Just five years into the reign of the judges, a crisis arose that would test Mosiah’s declaration that the voice of the people would usually choose what was right (see Mosiah 29:26). The issue involved religious freedom: a man named Amlici sought to “deprive [the people] of their rights and privileges of the church” (Alma 2:4). Have you noticed religious rights being threatened in your nation or community? What do you learn from the way the Nephites responded to this threat? (see Alma 2:1–7).
There are likely many important issues facing your community. How can you, like the Nephites, make sure that your voice is included in “the voice of the people”? Perhaps you live in a place where the voice of the people has limited influence on the government; if so, are there other ways you can be a positive influence in your community?
Although Nehor eventually confessed that what he taught was false, his teachings continued to influence the Nephites for many years (see Alma 1:15–16; 2:1–2; 14:14–18; 15:15; 21:4; 24:28). Why might people have found Nehor’s teachings enticing? As you read Alma 1:2–4, see if you can identify the falsehoods in Nehor’s teachings; you’ll probably notice that they’re taught alongside partial truths.
Gideon withstood Nehor “with the words of God” (Alma 1:7, 9). Can you think of scriptures that refute Nehor’s falsehoods? Here are some examples, but there are many others: Matthew 7:21–23; 2 Nephi 26:29–31; Mosiah 18:24–26; and Helaman 12:25–26. How can these scriptures help you refute falsehoods taught today?
Another way to approach your study of Alma 1 is to compare Nehor and his followers (verses 3–9, 16–20) with “the people of God” (verses 25–30; see also 2 Nephi 26:29–31). How can you be more like the people of God? Do you notice any “priestcraft” in your own service?
Chapters 1 and 4 of Alma both describe periods when the Church prospered, but Church members responded to that prosperity differently in each case. What differences do you notice? Based on what you find, how would you describe the attitude that “humble followers of God” (Alma 4:15) have toward riches and prosperity? What do you feel inspired to change about your own attitude?
What made Alma “very sorrowful” (Alma 4:15) in Alma 4? Some might say that the office of chief judge would have put Alma in the best position to solve the problems he saw among his people. But Alma felt there was a better way. What impresses you about his approach to helping his people? Your study may inspire thoughts about how you can righteously influence those around you; if so, act on those thoughts.
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
Your family might benefit from identifying the different ways Church members responded to persecution in these verses. Maybe you could practice ways to respond appropriately when others attack our beliefs. The Religious Freedom Videos might help.
What message did the Amlicites want to communicate when they “set [a] mark upon themselves”? (see Alma 3:4, 13). What messages might we send—intentionally or unintentionally—with our appearance? This might be a good time to review “Dress and Appearance” in For the Strength of Youth (2011), 6–8.
What things or experiences have “awakened [us] to a remembrance of [our] duty” toward God? (Alma 4:3). Maybe it would be effective to share these verses after waking your family in the morning. You might then discuss how the challenges of waking up physically help us understand the challenges of waking up spiritually.
How can we avoid being a “stumbling-block to those who [do] not belong to the church”? (Alma 4:10). It might also be useful to talk about how we can make sure the actions of others, particularly fellow Church members, do not become stumbling blocks for our spiritual progress.
To help your family understand the power of testimony, you could ask them to think of a time when hearing someone’s testimony affected them deeply. Why might Alma have chosen to use testimony and the word of God to touch the hearts of the people? (see also Alma 31:5). Why is this more effective than other methods people might use to persuade others to change? Are there people whose faith we could strengthen by sharing our testimonies with them?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.