“June 1–7. Alma 5–7: ‘Have Ye Experienced This Mighty Change in Your Hearts?’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“June 1–7. Alma 5–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Provide a few minutes for class members to remember what they have read in Alma 5–7 and find a truth they would like to share in class. Then ask them to share it with someone sitting nearby.
Class members were invited to reflect on the questions in Alma 5:14–33 in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. You might begin a discussion on these verses by asking class members to share what questions from these verses were meaningful to them. You could then invite class members to work in groups to review Alma 5:14–33 and discover what it means to experience a change of heart through the Savior and His Atonement. They could also look for the blessings that come from a changed heart. What other metaphors have been used to describe the change Alma describes? (For example, see John 3:1–7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Dale G. Renlund, “Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 97–99.) How do we maintain a change of heart throughout our lives? (see Alma 5:26).
Like Alma, members of your class have gained their own testimonies of the Savior and His gospel. To help them learn what Alma did to receive his witness through the Spirit, you could pass out pieces of paper with the word Testimony written at the top. Class members could work in pairs to review Alma 5:44–51 and use what they learn in these verses to write a “recipe” for a testimony. For example, the “ingredients” of the recipe could be truths that make up our testimonies. The “instructions” for the recipe could be things we need to do to gain a testimony. (See the message from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf in “Additional Resources” for some ideas.) What “ingredients” and “instructions” could they add to their recipe from their own experiences or other experiences in the scriptures? Invite the pairs to share what they learned and what they are doing to invite the Holy Ghost to testify of truth to them.
To remind class members about the importance of gathering together as a body of Saints, you could invite them to imagine that someone they know feels that belonging to a church is not necessary. What could they share from Alma 6 to teach this person about some of the blessings of belonging to a church? How can we better accomplish the purposes of gathering that Alma described?
There may be people in your class who urgently need to know what Alma 7:7–16 teaches—that the Savior took upon Himself not just our sins but also our pains, afflictions, sicknesses, and infirmities. How will you help them discover this? Perhaps you could make a chart on the board with the headings What the Savior suffered and Why He suffered. The class could complete the chart after reading Alma 7:7–16. It may also help to consider other things the Savior suffered during His life (see examples in “Additional Resources”).
After discussing what Alma taught in Alma 7:7–16, perhaps class members could share experiences when the Savior succored them, which means that He helped them (see “Additional Resources” for examples of ways Jesus succors us). You could also share the following quotation from President Dallin H. Oaks: “Our Savior has revealed that He ‘descended below all things’ (Doctrine and Covenants 88:6). … We might even say that having descended beneath it all, He is perfectly positioned to lift us and give us the strength we need to endure our afflictions. We have only to ask” (“Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 64).
Alma declared that the coming of the Redeemer “is of more importance than” anything else. Perhaps class members could imagine that they are in a history class discussing history’s most important events. What verses from Alma 7 would they share to support Alma’s claim in verse 7? What counsel did Alma give his people that can help us prepare for the Savior’s coming?
To encourage class members to read Alma 8–12, you might share with them that these chapters tell the story of two men. One was apathetic toward the Church and one was a zealous persecutor, but both became courageous defenders of the faith.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave the following scriptural pattern for “receiving a personal testimony rooted in the witness of the Holy Ghost”:
“First: Desire to believe. The Book of Mormon encourages us: ‘If [you] will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, … even if [you] can no more than desire to believe’ (Alma 32:27). … God promises us divine help even if we have only a desire to believe, but it has to be a true and not a pretended desire.
“Second: Search the scriptures. Have questions; study them out; search in the scriptures for answers. Again, the Book of Mormon has good advice for us: ‘If [you] give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart’ through diligent study of the word of God, the good seed ‘will begin to swell within your breasts’ if you will not resist with unbelief. This good seed will ‘enlarge [your] soul’ and ‘enlighten [your] understanding’ (Alma 32:28).
“Third: Do the will of God; keep the commandments. … We need to come to Christ and follow His teachings. The Savior taught: ‘My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine’ [John 7:16–17; italics added]. …
“Fourth: Ponder, fast, and pray. To receive knowledge from the Holy Ghost, we must ask Heavenly Father for it [see Alma 5:45–46; Moroni 10:3–4]” (“The Power of a Personal Testimony,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 38–39).
Temptation (see Matthew 4:1–10)
Death of a loved one (see Matthew 14:10–13)
Abandonment (see Matthew 26:55–56)
Mocking (see Matthew 27:29–31, 39–44)
Poverty (see Luke 9:58)
Betrayal (see Mark 14:43–46)
What other afflictions did the Savior experience?
Forgives our sins and removes guilt (see Enos 1:5–6)
Softens others’ hearts (see Mosiah 21:15)
Strengthens us to bear our burdens (see Mosiah 24:14–15)
Heals us of our infirmities (see 3 Nephi 17:6–7)
Makes weak things become strong and comforts us (see Ether 12:27–29)
Helps us to see afflictions in perspective (see Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–10)
In what other ways has Jesus succored us?