“June 29–July 5. Alma 23–29: They ‘Never Did Fall Away,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“June 29–July 5. Alma 23–29,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
You could invite class members to write on the board verses that stood out to them during their personal or family study. Spend a few minutes inviting several people to discuss a truth they learned from the verses they wrote.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are all striving to deepen our conversion. Perhaps the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies can encourage those you teach in their efforts to do this. You might start by writing on the board a question like the following: What does it mean to be converted? or What kinds of changes occur in people’s lives when they are converted? Class members could look for answers in these passages: Alma 23:6–7, 17–18; 24:17–19; 25:15–16; and 27:26–30. They might be able to share insights from other verses they have read in Alma 23–25 and 27. Class members may also find helpful answers to these questions in Elder David A. Bednar’s message “Converted unto the Lord” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 106–9; see also “Additional Resources”). What changes did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies make as a result of their conversion? How does their example inspire us to deepen our conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel?
How can you inspire class members to abandon any false traditions and bury their weapons of rebellion, as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies did? Consider reviewing Alma 23:5–7 together. What are some good traditions that the gospel helps us develop? What might the Lamanites’ “weapons of … rebellion” represent in our day? How can we “bury them up deep in the earth”? (Alma 24:17). Invite class members to ponder what false traditions or weapons of rebellion they need to leave behind so they can live the gospel more completely.
If you feel prompted to have a class discussion about repentance, the account of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in Alma 24 is an inspiring example to use. You could assign each class member a verse to read from Alma 24:7–16 and ask them to write on the board something they learn from their verse about repentance. They could then search the following scriptures to find additional insights about repentance: Isaiah 53:5–6; 2 Nephi 2:6–8; and Mosiah 5:2.
In Alma 23–29, the word “joy” appears 24 times, making these chapters a good place to learn how living the gospel—and sharing it—brings joy. You could divide class members into groups and ask each group to review some of the following verses, looking for reasons why Ammon, the sons of Mosiah, and Alma rejoiced: Alma 24:13–15; 26:12–22; and 29:1–17. Class members could list what they found on the board. What do we learn from these verses about how the gospel brings us joy?
President Russell M. Nelson taught: “When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy” (“Joy and Spiritual Survival,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 82). Perhaps class members could share experiences that have helped them understand the truth of President Nelson’s words.
Alma and Ammon found great joy in sharing the gospel. You might invite class members to find verses in Alma 26 and 29 that could inspire a young person to serve a mission—or inspire anyone to share the gospel with others. Consider providing a few minutes for class members to plan something they can do to share the gospel. Invite them to act on their plans, and in a future class you can encourage them to talk about their efforts.
When Alma helped others repent, he was reminded of God’s goodness (see Alma 29:10–13). Perhaps you could give class members a few moments to study these verses and list what Alma remembered. What reminds us of God’s goodness? How have we seen God’s goodness in our lives?
To help class members explore what it means to be “instruments in the hands of God” (Alma 26:3), you might display various types of instruments or tools. You could also invite class members to bring some tools that they use. How are these instruments useful? How are we like instruments in God’s work? You could invite class members to identify ways Ammon and his fellow missionaries were instruments in the hands of God (see, for example, Alma 26:1–5, 11–12). What insights do we gain from Doctrine and Covenants 4 about being instruments in His hands? Class members could also share experiences when they have felt the joy that comes from being an instrument in God’s hands.
Many of the same false ideas that lead God’s children astray today were also common in Alma’s day. Tell class members that in Alma 30–31 they will see how Alma and others responded to these false teachings.
Elder David A. Bednar taught:
“The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through the Savior’s Atonement. True conversion brings a change in one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God (see Acts 3:19; 3 Nephi 9:20) and includes a conscious commitment to become a disciple of Christ.”
After quoting Alma 23:6–8, Elder Bednar went on to explain:
“Two major elements are described in these verses: (1) the knowledge of the truth, which may be interpreted as a testimony, and (2) converted unto the Lord, which I understand to be conversion to the Savior and His gospel. Thus, the powerful combination of both testimony and conversion unto the Lord produced firmness and steadfastness and provided spiritual protection.
“They never did fall away and surrendered ‘the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.’ To set aside cherished ‘weapons of rebellion’ such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now.
“Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord—to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine—and they never did fall away” (“Converted unto the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 107–9).