“June 22–28. Alma 17–22: ‘I Will Make an Instrument of Thee,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“June 22–28. Alma 17–22,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To give class members an opportunity to share something they learned in their personal or family study, you could invite them to pick a person described in Alma 17–22 and complete a sentence like the following: “Abish taught me ” or “Lamoni taught me .”
Class members have probably heard multiple times the importance of simple gospel habits. Alma 17:1–4 can help them see the powerful effect these habits can have on our lives. You could ask half the class to search these verses for what the sons of Mosiah did and the other half to search for the results of what they did. What have been the results of doing these things in our lives?
For a deeper discussion on some of the habits that strengthened the sons of Mosiah, you could write on the board Searching the Scriptures, Prayer, and Fasting. Then class members could search for scriptures that teach about blessings that come from scripture study, prayer, and fasting (the Topical Guide or Guide to the Scriptures may be helpful). They could write on the board what they find and share with each other ideas about how to improve their scripture study, prayer, and fasting in a way that draws them closer to God.
There are many ways to share the gospel, and all of them are more effective when love is the motivation. Perhaps class members could identify verses in Alma 17–18 that show how Ammon was motivated by love to share the gospel. What other truths about sharing the gospel do we learn from his example? Class members may be able to share experiences in which sincere love softened someone’s heart and allowed him or her to be more receptive to the gospel message. The statement by President Dallin H. Oaks in “Additional Resources” could also help members understand the importance of making sure our efforts are founded on love.
Minerva K. Teichert (1888–1976), Ammon Saves the King’s Flocks, 1935–1945, oil on masonite, 35 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
Once Ammon and Aaron gained the trust of King Lamoni and his father, they were able to help them understand essential gospel truths. Perhaps it would be helpful if class members made a list of the truths Ammon taught Lamoni (see Alma 18:24–39) and compared it with a list of the truths Aaron taught Lamoni’s father (see Alma 22:1–16). Half of the class could work on one list while the other half works on the other list. Why might understanding these truths have led Lamoni and his father to believe and trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ?
The accounts of Aaron and Ammon teaching King Lamoni and his father provide a great opportunity to discuss effective gospel teaching and learning. What principles of teaching do class members notice? (see, for example, Alma 18:24–28 and Alma 22:7–13). What principles of learning do they find in the examples of King Lamoni and his father? (see, for example, Alma 18:25–31; 22:17–18).
To learn about how the doctrine of the gospel can influence our lives, class members could search Alma 18:40–41; 20:1–15; and Alma 22:15–18, 25–27 to find out how King Lamoni and his father felt and acted after they understood gospel truths and were converted. How do these truths help us come unto Christ? What can we do to help ourselves and our loved ones understand and live these truths?
During their personal study of Alma 19–22, class members may have pondered the far-reaching effect that one person’s testimony can have on others. Encourage them to share what they learned. What do the accounts in Alma 19–22 suggest about our personal efforts to share the gospel? President Gordon B. Hinckley’s story in “Additional Resources” can help emphasize this point.
What are some good analogies you could share to illustrate what can happen when we share our testimonies with others? Possible examples are a pebble making ripples in a lake or yeast helping dough rise. After reviewing some examples of people sharing their testimonies in Alma 19–22, class members could share how they have been affected by the testimonies of others.
You might ask class members if they have ever wondered how to make their conversion steady and enduring. In Alma 23–29, they will read about a group of people who accepted the gospel and “never did fall away” (Alma 23:6).
President Dallin H. Oaks shared a valuable lesson he learned from an experience he had as a young man:
“I was assigned to visit a less-active member, a successful professional many years older than I. Looking back on my actions, I realize that I had very little loving concern for the man I visited. I acted out of duty, with a desire to report 100 percent on my home teaching. One evening, close to the end of a month, I phoned to ask if my companion and I could come right over and visit him. His chastening reply taught me an unforgettable lesson.
“‘No, I don’t believe I want you to come over this evening,’ he said. ‘I’m tired. I’ve already dressed for bed. I am reading, and I am just not willing to be interrupted so that you can report 100 percent on your home teaching this month.’ That reply still stings me because I knew he had sensed my selfish motivation.
“I hope no person we approach with an invitation to hear the message of the restored gospel feels that we are acting out of any reason other than a genuine love for them and an unselfish desire to share something we know to be precious” (“Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 8).
President Gordon B. Hinckley related a story in which a missionary reported to his mission president at the conclusion of his service. The missionary said:
“I haven’t had any results from my work. I have wasted my time and my father’s money. It’s been a waste of time. … I baptized only one person during the two years that I have been here. That was a twelve-year-old boy up in the back hollows of Tennessee.”
The mission president decided to keep track of the boy this missionary baptized. He grew up, married, and moved to Idaho. His children went on missions, and their children went on missions. The mission president traveled to Idaho and asked members of that family about their missions. He later said, “I discovered that, as the result of the baptism of that one little boy in the back hollows of Tennessee by a missionary who thought he had failed, more than 1,100 people have come into the Church” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley , 360–61).
Reserve time for learners to share. “When learners share what they are learning, they not only feel the Spirit and strengthen their own testimonies, but they also encourage other class members to discover truths for themselves. ... Reserve time for student sharing in every lesson—in some cases, you may find that these discussions are the lesson” (Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 30).