“June 15–21. Alma 13–16: ‘Enter into the Rest of the Lord,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“June 15–21. Alma 13–16,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
“Enter into the Rest of the Lord”
Lasting conversion requires more than an inspiring Sunday School lesson once a week. Encourage class members to seek personal spiritual experiences throughout the week.
Record Your Impressions
What might prompt class members to share with each other their experiences with learning and living the gospel? Maybe you could invite them to share an insight they found in Alma 13–16 that surprised them or that they hadn’t thought of before. As they share, ask them how they feel this new insight will make a difference in their lives.
Teach the Doctrine
Priesthood ordinances help God’s children receive redemption through Jesus Christ.
Some members of your class may have found something that deepened their appreciation for the priesthood as they studied Alma 13. Invite them to share what they found. You could also read together verses 2 and 16 and ask a question like “How do the priesthood and its ordinances help you ‘look forward to [God’s] Son for redemption’?” If it’s helpful, a list of ordinances can be found in True to the Faith, 109–10.
Many people in Ammonihah were followers of Nehor, who taught false ideas about the role of priests. To help class members learn about the true nature of the priesthood, you could ask them to contrast Nehor’s view of what priests should do (see Alma 1:3–6) with what Alma taught (see Alma 13:1–12). In what ways are Nehor’s teachings similar to the world’s views about power and leadership? How are Alma’s teachings different?
Reading Alma 13:1–19 might lead to a discussion about being “prepared from the foundation of the world” for our responsibilities in the Lord’s work. What does Alma 13:3 suggest about the way we should view or approach these responsibilities? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 138:56).
The Lord invites us to enter into His rest.
Alma taught that the priesthood helps us “enter into the rest of the Lord” (Alma 13:16). To start a discussion about this idea, you could ask class members to read Alma 13:6, 12–13, 16, and 29 and share what these verses teach about “the rest of the Lord.” They could also identify the characteristics of people who “enter into the rest of the Lord.” What can we do to experience the rest of the Lord during our mortal lives?
In times of trial and tragedy, we must trust the Lord.
Alma 14 could be an opportunity to discuss how we can respond faithfully when we or our loved ones face persecution or trials even when we’re trying to be righteous. You might begin by inviting class members to imagine that they are journalists reporting on an event in Alma 14. What kinds of questions might they ask Alma or Amulek about the event? For example, “Why did the Lord allow you and other righteous people to suffer?” or “What advice do you have for those who are experiencing difficult trials?” Based on what we know from Alma 14, how might Alma or Amulek answer these questions?
Most of us can relate somewhat to the way Amulek felt when he witnessed the suffering of the faithful people of Ammonihah: we “also [are] pained” (Alma 14:10), and we wish we could do something about it. What do we learn from what Alma said in this situation? (see Alma 14:8–13). You could share the statement from President Spencer W. Kimball in “Additional Resources.” Perhaps class members could summarize the main message of President Kimball’s statement in their own words.
Discipleship requires sacrifice.
This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests listing what Amulek gave up and what he gained when he embraced the gospel. Maybe class members would be willing to share the lists they created, or they could make these lists in class. These scriptures can help: Alma 10:4–5; 15:16, 18; 16:13–15; and 34:8. Why was Amulek willing to make such sacrifices? Why are we willing to do so? How can we follow the example of Alma, who “strengthened [Amulek] in the Lord”?
The words of the prophets will be fulfilled.
Alma 16 gives examples of someone who trusted a prophet and people who did not. To help class members learn from these examples, you could write on the board two headings: Zoram and People of Ammonihah. Class members could read Alma 16:1–10 and write under each heading words and phrases that describe the attitude these people had toward the words of the prophet Alma. What are we doing to show Heavenly Father that we have faith in the words of the living prophets?
Encourage Learning at Home
Consider asking class members if they’ve ever wished they could be better at sharing the gospel. Reading Alma 17–22 can inspire them with ideas to help them accomplish this goal.
God does not always prevent tragedy.
President Spencer W. Kimball once commented on the many seemingly inexplicable tragedies that happen in the world:
“Could the Lord have prevented these tragedies? The answer is, Yes. The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, … even [protect us] from death, if he will. But he will not. …
“If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith. …
“… If we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery. …
“… I am grateful that even through the priesthood I cannot heal all the sick. I might heal people who should die. I might relieve people of suffering who should suffer. I fear I would frustrate the purposes of God.
“Had I limitless power, and yet limited vision and understanding, I might have saved Abinadi from the flames of fire when he was burned at the stake, and in doing so I might have irreparably damaged him. He died a martyr and went to a martyr’s reward—exaltation.
“I would likely have protected Paul against his woes if my power were boundless. I would surely have healed his ‘thorn in the flesh.’ [2 Corinthians 12:7.] And in so doing I might have foiled the Lord’s program. …
“I fear that had I been in Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844, I might have deflected the bullets that pierced the body of the Prophet [Joseph Smith] and the Patriarch [Hyrum Smith]. I might have saved them from the sufferings and agony, but lost them to the martyr’s death and reward. …
“With such uncontrolled power, I surely would have felt to protect Christ from the agony in Gethsemane, the insults, the thorny crown, the indignities in the court, the physical injuries. I would have administered to his wounds and healed them, giving him cooling water instead of vinegar. I might have saved him from suffering and death, and lost to the world his atoning sacrifice. …
“In the face of apparent tragedy we must put our trust in God, knowing that despite our limited view his purposes will not fail” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 14–17, 20).