“May 25–31. Mosiah 29–Alma 4: ‘They Were Steadfast and Immovable,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“May 25–31. Mosiah 29–Alma 4,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Class members may have noticed parallels between events described in Mosiah 29–Alma 4 and things that are happening in today’s world or their own lives. Give them a few minutes to review the chapters to find an example. Invite them to share what they found with someone sitting nearby.
If class members would benefit from discussing how to influence society for good, you could invite them to think of some issues that face your community and list a few on the board (avoid detailed discussions of these issues). Class members could review Alma 2:1–7 to find what issue the Nephites were facing and what they did about it. What might have happened if “the people of the church” had not made their voices heard? What else do we learn about being good citizens from this account, from Mosiah 29:26–27, and from the story in “Additional Resources”? Class members may want to think of something they will do to influence their community for good with regard to one of the issues on the board.
The example of Gideon resisting Nehor could be inspiring to your class. Maybe you could ask someone in advance to review Gideon’s history and share it with the class (see Mosiah 19:1–8; 20:15–22; 22:1–9; and Alma 1:2–9). Based on this review, class members could list some of Gideon’s inspiring characteristics. For example, when Gideon heard Nehor’s false teachings, Gideon withstood Nehor “with the words of God” (verse 9). In their personal study, class members may have found scriptures that refute the teachings of Nehor found in Alma 1:3–6. Invite them to share the scriptures they found. Several scriptures are also suggested in “Additional Resources.” How can we be more like Gideon in our defense of the truth?
Nehor’s false teachings, described in Alma 1:3–6, can help us recognize tactics that Satan uses to deceive us. For example, he often hides his lies within truth. Consider inviting class members to search Alma 1:3–4 and identify the lies Satan told and the truths he used to make them appealing. What are some lies mixed with truth that deceive people today? How can we help our families and loved ones distinguish between truth and error?
Class members could sing or read a hymn about humility, such as “Be Thou Humble” (Hymns, no. 130), and discuss how its message differs from Nehor’s message in Alma 1:2–9. They could also contrast what Nehor taught about gospel teachers with what Alma and other Church leaders taught and exemplified (see Alma 1:26; 4:15–20). What was Nehor’s motivation? How was it different from Alma’s? Encourage class members to ponder their own motivations for serving in the Church. What does Alma 1:26 suggest about our responsibility as learners?
Discussing Alma 1 and Alma 4 can help class members understand how pride affects both individuals and the Church. You could divide the class into two groups and ask one group to learn about the state of the Church as described in Alma 1:19–30, while the other group learns about the state of the Church a few years later, described in Alma 4:6–15. Ask each group to share what the Church and its members were like according to the verses they read. They might plan together a creative way to do this—for example, they could draw a picture or prepare a short dramatization. After the groups share with each other, ask them to discuss what they learned about the effects of pride on the Church and its members and the blessings of humility. What lessons do these accounts hold for us today?
Many people can relate to what Alma felt when he was “very sorrowful” (Alma 4:15) about the wickedness and afflictions of his people. Maybe class members could think about a loved one they are worried about and keep that person in mind as they read Alma 4:12–20. After class members read, you might ask questions like these to prompt discussion of the verses: What brought joy to the people in their difficult circumstances? What does the phrase “the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him” mean to you? (Alma 4:15). What sacrifices did Alma make to help his people, and what sacrifices are we sometimes asked to make? What examples have we seen of the power of “pure testimony”? (Alma 4:19). How can we share our testimonies without lecturing or being judgmental? You might give class members time to write a message of testimony to their loved ones.
Perhaps class members would benefit from discussing what “pure testimony” is. The video “Apostle Testimony Montage” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) has some excellent examples. How do these testimonies, or others we have heard, “stir [us] up in remembrance of [our] duty”? (Alma 4:19). How do these testimonies help us overcome pride and contention?
Soon after Sister Belle S. Spafford was called as Relief Society General President in 1945, Relief Society leaders were invited to attend a meeting of a prominent national women’s council. Relief Society general leaders had been members of this council for many years, but they felt they had recently been treated poorly by the council. After discussion with her counselors, Sister Spafford recommended to President George Albert Smith, the President of the Church, that the Relief Society should terminate its membership in the council.
As they discussed the recommendation, Sister Spafford said, “You know, President Smith, we don’t get anything from the Council.”
She later recounted:
“The President looked at me with surprise. He said, ‘Sister Spafford, do you always think in terms of what you get? Don’t you think it is well at times to think in terms of what you have to give? I believe,’ he continued, ‘that Mormon women have something to give to the women of the world, and that they may also learn from them. Rather than have you terminate your membership, I suggest that you take several of your ablest board members and go back to this meeting.’
“Then he said with emphasis, ‘Make your influence felt’” (Belle S. Spafford, A Woman’s Reach , 96–97).
Sister Spafford obeyed this counsel. She served for many years in the council and was eventually elected as one of its leaders.