“July 13–19. Alma 32–35: ‘Plant This Word in Your Hearts,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“July 13–19. Alma 32–35,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
For the Zoramites, prayer was a self-centered, routine practice that happened only once a week. It consisted of standing where all could see and repeating vain, self-satisfied words. Perhaps worse, the Zoramites lacked faith in Jesus Christ—even denied His existence—and persecuted the poor (see Alma 31:9–25). By contrast, Alma and Amulek boldly taught that prayer has more to do with what happens in our hearts than on a public platform. And if it doesn’t lead to compassion toward those in need, it is “vain, and availeth … nothing” (Alma 34:28). Most important, it is an expression of faith in Jesus Christ, who offers redemption through His “infinite and eternal sacrifice” (Alma 34:10). Such faith, Alma explained, is born of humility and a “desire to believe” (Alma 32:27). It grows gradually, like a tree, and requires constant nourishment. As you read Alma 32–35, you might consider your own faith and prayers; do you ever feel any Zoramite-like attitudes creeping in? How will you nourish your faith in Jesus Christ so it will become “a tree springing up unto everlasting life”? (Alma 32:41).
What experiences have humbled you? What have you done to become more humble? These verses could teach you how to choose humility rather than be compelled to be humble. For example, what is the difference between being “poor as to things of the world” and being “poor in heart”? (verse 3). What does it mean to “humble [yourself] because of the word”? (verse 14).
See also “Humility,” Gospel Topics, topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Why do you think Alma spoke about planting a seed in response to the Zoramites’ questions about worship? What is the seed that Alma spoke of? (see Alma 32:28; 33:22–23). As you read Alma 32:17–43, note words and phrases that help you understand how to exercise faith in Jesus Christ and His word. What do you learn about what faith is and what it is not? Then, as you read chapters 33–34, search for answers to the Zoramites’ question “How [do we] plant the seed?” (Alma 33:1).
Here’s another way to study Alma 32–34: Draw pictures representing different phases of a seed’s growth. Then label each picture with words from Alma 32:28–43 that help you understand how to plant and nourish the word in your heart.
See also Matthew 13:3–8, 18–23; Hebrews 11; Neil L. Andersen, “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 65–68; “Faith in Jesus Christ,” Gospel Topics, topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Alma and Amulek’s counsel about worship and prayer was meant to correct specific misunderstandings the Zoramites had (see Alma 31:13–23). But the truths they taught can help any of us understand prayer and worship better. Maybe you could make a list of truths about prayer that you find in Alma 33:2–11 and 34:17–29. Next to that list, make a list of possible misconceptions about prayer that these truths correct (see Alma 31:12–23). How will the things you learn from these verses affect the way you pray and worship?
Zenos and Zenock were prophets who testified of Jesus Christ during Old Testament times, but their teachings are not found in the Old Testament. The Nephites had access to the teachings of these prophets, probably because they were included in the brass plates that Nephi obtained from Laban. They are also mentioned in 1 Nephi 19:10–12; Jacob 5:1; and Helaman 8:19–20.
As you read Alma 34:30–41, consider how you might “improve [your] time while in this life” (verse 33). How can repentance and patience help you prepare to meet God? Are there changes you need to make that you have been procrastinating? Be sure to act on any spiritual impressions you receive.
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.
What would it be like if we were allowed to worship and pray only on Sunday? As you read these verses together, family members could discuss how they can worship every day and why they are thankful that they can.
A picture of a tree accompanies this outline; you might use it to illustrate Alma’s words in these verses. Or your family could go for a walk to find plants at different stages of growth and read verses from Alma 32 that compare a growing plant to our faith. Maybe each family member could plant a seed and discuss what we need to do to help it grow. Over the coming weeks you could check on your seeds and remind each other of the need to continually nourish our testimonies.
What do these verses suggest about how we can improve our individual and family prayers?
What experiences have shown us that when we repent, we begin “immediately” to experience the blessings of the plan of redemption?
Does your family know what it means to procrastinate? Maybe someone can share examples of procrastination and its negative consequences. What does it mean to “procrastinate the day of [our] repentance”?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Faith,” Children’s Songbook, 96–97.