“July 6–12. Alma 30–31: ‘The Virtue of the Word of God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“July 6–12. Alma 30–31,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
The accounts in Alma 30–31 clearly demonstrate the power of words—for evil and for good. The “flattering” and “great swelling words” of a false teacher named Korihor threatened to bring “many souls down to destruction” (Alma 30:31, 47). Similarly, the teachings of a Nephite dissenter named Zoram led a whole group of people to fall “into great errors” and “pervert the ways of the Lord” (Alma 31:9, 11).
In contrast, Alma had unwavering faith that the word of God would have a “more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else” (Alma 31:5)—including the words of Korihor and Zoram. Alma’s words expressed eternal truth and drew upon the powers of heaven to silence Korihor (see Alma 30:39–50), and they invited heaven’s blessing on those who went with him to bring the Zoramites back to the truth (see Alma 31:31–38). These are valuable examples for followers of Christ today, when “great swelling words” and “great errors” again have a powerful effect on the minds of the people (Alma 30:31; 31:9). But we can find truth by trusting, as Alma did, “the virtue of the word of God” (Alma 31:5).
In Alma 30, Korihor is called “Anti-Christ” (verse 6). An anti-Christ is “one who would assume the guise of Christ but in reality would be opposed to Christ (1 John 2:18–22; 4:3–6; 2 John 1:7). In a broader sense it is anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel or plan of salvation and that openly or secretly is set up in opposition to Christ” (Bible Dictionary, “Antichrist”).
What “counterfeits [of] the true gospel” do you notice in today’s world? For example, Sister Julie B. Beck, former Relief Society General President, taught, “Any doctrine or principle [we] hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ” (“Teaching the Doctrine of the Family,” Ensign, Mar. 2011, 15).
As you read Alma 30:6–31, the teachings of Korihor may sound familiar. That’s because, as President Ezra Taft Benson taught, the Book of Mormon reveals and can fortify us against “the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, , 132).
Consider making a list of the false doctrines Korihor taught in Alma 30:6–31. What are some of the consequences of believing these teachings? For instance, what is the result of believing that “when a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof”? (Alma 30:18). What false doctrines taught by Korihor are similar to false doctrines you’ve noticed in the world today?
Reading about the interaction between Korihor and Alma can help you prepare for situations when others may try to deceive you. It might help to study Alma 30:29–60 to understand how Korihor was deceived (see especially verses 52–53). What can you learn from Alma’s response to Korihor’s teachings? (see Alma 30:31–35).
The problem of the Zoramites separating from the Nephites may have seemed to some like it needed a political or military solution (see Alma 31:1–4). But Alma had learned to trust “the virtue of the word of God” (Alma 31:5). What do you learn from Alma 31:5 about the power of God’s word? How have you seen the word of God lead “people to do that which [is] just”? (Alma 31:5). Ponder how you can “try” (use or test) the word of God to help someone you love.
To further understand Alma’s approach to rescuing others, you could compare his attitudes, feelings, and actions with those of the Zoramites, as described in Alma 31. A table like the following one might help. What differences do you notice? How do you feel you could be more like Alma?
Believed those outside their group were condemned to hell (Alma 31:17).
Believed the Zoramites were his “brethren” and their souls were “precious” (Alma 31:35).
Set their hearts on riches (Alma 31:24, 28).
Desired to bring souls to Jesus Christ (Alma 31:34).
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.
Consider reading and discussing Alma 30:44 together as you go on a walk outside or look at pictures of God’s creations. Family members could share what they see that testifies of God. How do these things—or other experiences we’ve had—help us know God is real?
What do we learn from Alma 30:56–60 about how the devil treats his followers? What can we do to protect our home against his influence?
After reading Alma 31:20–38 with your family, you could discuss the following questions: How was Alma’s prayer different from the prayer of the Zoramites? How can we follow Alma’s example in our personal and family prayers?
Younger children could put a rock under their pillows to help them remember to pray every morning and night. They also might enjoy decorating their rock.
What are we doing each day in our home to learn about and speak of God?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.