“June 1–7. Alma 5–7: ‘Have Ye Experienced This Mighty Change in Your Hearts?’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“June 1–7. Alma 5–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Alma did not know about today’s lifesaving heart transplant surgeries, which replace a damaged or diseased heart with a healthy one. But he knew about a more miraculous “change of heart” (Alma 5:26)—one whereby the Savior gives us a newness of spiritual life, like being “born again” (see Alma 5:14, 49). Alma could see that this change of heart was exactly what many of the Nephites needed. Some were rich and others poor, some prideful and others humble, some persecutors and others afflicted by persecution (see Alma 4:6–15). But all of them needed to come unto Jesus Christ to be healed—just as we all do. Whether we are seeking to overcome pride or to endure afflictions, Alma’s message is the same: “Come and fear not” (Alma 7:15). Let the Savior change a hardened, sinful, or wounded heart into one that is humble, pure, and new.
The introspective questions that Alma asked the people of Zarahemla, found in Alma 5:14–33, can help you search your own soul and understand what it means to experience a “mighty change of heart” throughout your life. President M. Russell Ballard explained the value of these questions: “I need to regularly take time to ask myself, ‘How am I doing?’ It’s kind of like having a personal, private interview with yourself. … As a guide for me during this private, personal review, I like to read and ponder the introspective words found in the fifth chapter of Alma” (“Return and Receive,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 64).
Consider reading Alma’s questions as if you were interviewing yourself and examining your heart. You may want to record your responses to the questions. What do you feel inspired to do as a result of your interview?
See also Dale G. Renlund, “Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 97–99.
Alma bore powerful testimony of the Savior and His gospel, and he also explained how he gained that testimony. As he testified, he did not mention his experience with seeing and hearing an angel (see Mosiah 27:10–17) but rather described the price he paid to know the truth for himself. What do you learn from Alma 5:44–51 about how Alma came to know the truth? How can you follow his example in your efforts to gain or strengthen your testimony? What do you learn about the Savior from Alma’s teachings in Alma 5:33–35, 48–50, and 57–60?
The people of Gideon were not struggling with the same dilemmas as the people in Zarahemla, so the Spirit helped Alma perceive their needs and teach them differently (see Alma 7:17, 26). You might notice some differences between Alma’s messages in Zarahemla (see Alma 5) and in Gideon (see Alma 7). For example, Alma perceived that the people of Gideon were “in the path which leads to the kingdom of God” (Alma 7:19). Throughout his sermon to them, Alma taught them many things about how to stay on that path (see Alma 7). What counsel did he give them? What can you apply to your life now?
Have you ever felt that no one understands your struggles or challenges? If so, the truths taught in Alma 7:7–16 can help. Elder David A. Bednar testified: “The Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy” (“Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 90).
As you read Alma 7:7–16, reflect on what these verses help us understand about the purposes of the Savior’s sacrifice. How do we access His power in our lives? Consider recording your thoughts.
See also Isaiah 53:3–5.
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.
Why did Alma want his people to remember the Lord’s mercy toward their ancestors? What stories from your family history teach you about His mercy? Maybe you could visit familysearch.org/myfamily to record these stories.
Members of your family may know what it feels like to be prepared—or unprepared—for a camping trip, a test at school, or a job interview. What recent experiences could they share to illustrate the importance of being prepared? You could invite family members to review Alma 5:14–33 and find questions Alma asked to prepare his people to meet God. Perhaps each family member could choose a question and share how it can help us prepare to meet God. Your family could also display several of Alma’s questions around your home for family members to ponder.
What are some of the reasons we gather as Saints? How can we make our time at church more helpful to ourselves and others?
What do we learn in these verses that helps us “fear not” (Alma 7:15) when we need to repent and change? What do these verses teach us about turning to the Savior when we need help? What other things have we done to receive His help? How has He succored us?
Who do we know who is a good example of one or more of the qualities listed in this verse? Why is it important to develop these qualities?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.