“August 3–9. Alma 43–52: ‘Stand Fast in the Faith of Christ,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“August 3–9. Alma 43–52,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
When we read these words at the beginning of Alma chapter 43—“And now I return to an account of the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites”—it’s natural to wonder why Mormon included these war stories when he had limited space on the plates (see Words of Mormon 1:5). It’s true that we have our share of wars in the latter days, but there is value in his words beyond the descriptions of the strategy and tragedy of war. His words also prepare us for the war in which “we are all enlisted” (Hymns, no. 250), the war we are fighting each day against the forces of evil. This war is very real, and the outcome affects our eternal lives. Like the Nephites, we are “inspired by a better cause,” which is “our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our [families].” Moroni called this “the cause of the Christians,” the same cause we are fighting for today (Alma 43:45; 46:12, 16).
Reading about the wars between the Nephites and Lamanites might be more meaningful to you if you look for parallels to your personal spiritual battles. As you read Alma 43–52, notice what the Nephites did that made them successful (or unsuccessful). Then ponder how you can use what you learn to help you win your spiritual battles. As you study verses like the following, write your thoughts about how you can follow the Nephites’ example:
Alma 43:19 The Nephites were prepared with armor. (I can strive to prepare myself with spiritual armor.)
Alma 43:23–24 They sought the prophet’s guidance.
Also notice how the Lamanites and the Nephite dissenters tried to defeat the Nephites. These things can warn you about how the adversary might try to attack you. As you study, write how Satan might attack you in similar ways:
Do you wish you could become more like the Savior and lessen the power of the adversary in your life? One way is to follow the admonition in Alma 48:17 to become “like unto Moroni.” Pay attention to Moroni’s attributes and actions that are described throughout Alma 43–52 but particularly in 46:11–28 and 48:7–17. What impresses you about this “mighty man”? How can attributes and actions like his weaken the power of the devil in your life? Ponder what you feel inspired to do to follow Moroni’s example and become more like the Savior.
Satan knows that most of us aren’t willing to commit big sins or believe big lies. Therefore, he uses subtle lies and temptations to lead us into seemingly small sins—as many as he thinks we will accept. He continues to do this until we have strayed far from the safety of righteous living.
You can find this pattern in the account of Amalickiah deceiving Lehonti, found in Alma 47. As you study, ponder how Satan may be trying to deceive you, as described by Elder Robert D. Hales:
“The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to ‘come down’ and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned ‘by degrees’ until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. … It is the safe ground” (“Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 74).
In the circumstances recorded at the beginning of Alma 50, it looked like the Lamanites had no chance against the Nephites. The armor, fortifications, and unified efforts of the Nephites made them seem unconquerable (see Alma 49:28–30 and 50:17–20). But the Lamanites soon captured many of their cities—including those that Moroni had fortified (see Alma 51:26–27). How did that happen? Look for answers as you read these chapters (see particularly Alma 51:1–12). Ponder what warnings this account may have for you and your family.
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.
Reading these verses together might inspire your family to hold one-on-one gospel conversations with family members, as Alma did with Helaman.
The title of liberty inspired the Nephites to keep the commandments of God and defend their faith. What inspires us to do the same? Perhaps your family could create your own title of liberty—a flag or banner with words or images that remind you to keep the commandments of God each day.
As your family reads about the Nephites’ fortifications, you could discuss how you are fortifying your home against the adversary. Children might enjoy building a fort out of objects like chairs and blankets, or they could draw what they imagine the Nephite fortifications looked like.
What do these verses teach about what can happen within our family when we have contention? How can we increase our unity?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.