“July 6–12. Alma 30–31: ‘The Virtue of the Word of God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“July 6–12. Alma 30–31,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
If you feel that class members are hesitant to share, you might give them a few minutes to review Alma 30–31 or any notes they made in their study at home this week. Then they could share with a partner or the class one powerful message they found.
As you consider the needs of your class, would it help them understand the difference between gospel truths and Satan’s counterfeits if you used an object lesson? If so, you could show them some fake items, such as play money or toy food, along with real money or real food. How can we tell that the fake items are not real? The class could then identify the false teachings of Korihor in Alma 30:6–31. What might be enticing about these teachings? What do gospel truths offer us that Satan’s counterfeit teachings cannot offer? Invite class members to share what helped Alma discern between true doctrine and false doctrine (see Alma 30:32–54). What other ways have class members found helpful?
To help class members learn how to protect themselves from the effects of false doctrine, you could review the description of an anti-Christ in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. Which verses in Alma 30:6–31 show that Korihor fits this description? Which of his teachings are similar to false teachings in our day? (see Alma 30:12–18, 23–28). How can we avoid being deceived by these teachings?
Because we live in a world similar to Alma’s, where some people teach that there is no God, Alma’s testimony in Alma 30:39–44 could be helpful to members of your class. You could invite them to read these verses and make a list on the board of truths and evidences Alma gives that testify there is a God. What other testimonies do we have that God lives? As part of the discussion, consider sharing the statement by President M. Russell Ballard in “Additional Resources.” You might also invite someone to come prepared to sing a hymn about the goodness of God, such as “How Great Thou Art” (Hymns, no. 86), or you could sing the hymn together.
As Alma talked with Korihor, he perceived that Korihor had “put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in [him]” (Alma 30:42). Consider asking class members to search Alma 30:39–46, looking for other references to the Holy Ghost. What role does the Holy Ghost play in testifying to us of the reality of God and Jesus Christ? How can we help those who have doubts or questions seek truth through the Holy Ghost?
Are there members of your class who could share an experience when “the virtue of the word of God” (Alma 31:5) helped them or someone they know make changes in their life? You might want to contact class members in advance so they can be prepared to share their experiences. Encourage them to share verses from Alma 31 that apply to their experiences. Other class members could also share ways in which God’s word has had a “powerful effect upon [their] minds” (Alma 31:5). Members might benefit from reading other scriptures that testify about the power of God’s word (see “Additional Resources” for a few examples).
As members of your class studied Alma 31 this week, they may have been inspired by Alma’s example of praying for the Zoramites. Consider asking them what they learned from this chapter about reaching out to family members or friends who have left the gospel path or are struggling with their faith. You could also ask them to search Alma 31 together and list on the board things they notice about Alma that helped him rescue the Zoramites. How can we use the word of God more in our efforts to rescue others? (For additional insights, you could share the quotation by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in “Additional Resources.”)
What do class members find in Alma 31:30–38 that can help those who sorrow for the sins of others as Alma did?
Ask class members what doctrine or gospel principles they might teach to counter the falsehoods Alma discovered among the Zoramites. Tell them that as they read Alma 32–35 they’ll discover how Alma used God’s word to help the Zoramites see the need to change.
President M. Russell Ballard taught that the “eternal evidences” Alma gave for the existence of God “continue to testify to us today” (see Alma 30:44):
“Astronauts viewing the earth from space have stated how incredibly beautiful it is and how alive it appears. United States Senator Jake Garn wrote of his experience in space: ‘It is impossible for me to describe the beauty of the earth. It is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring, spiritual experience to view the earth from space while traveling at twenty-five times the speed of sound. I could also look into the blackness of the vacuum of space and see billions of stars and galaxies millions of light-years away. The universe is so vast as to be impossible to comprehend. But I did comprehend the hand of God in all things. I felt his presence throughout my seven days in space. I know that God created this earth and the universe. … I know that God lives and is the Creator of us all’ (letter to M. Russell Ballard, 3 March 1988)” (“God’s Love for His Children,” Ensign, May 1988, 58).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“Are we really nurturing our youth and our new members in a way that will sustain them when the stresses of life appear? Or are we giving them a kind of theological Twinkie—spiritually empty calories? … During a severe winter several years ago, President Boyd K. Packer noted that a goodly number of deer had died of starvation while their stomachs were full of hay. In an honest effort to assist, agencies had supplied the superficial when the substantial was what had been needed. Regrettably they had fed the deer but they had not nourished them. …
“Satan is certainly not subtle in his teachings; why should we be? Whether we are instructing our children at home or standing before an audience in church, let us never make our faith difficult to detect. … Give scripturally based sermons. Teach the revealed doctrine” (“A Teacher Come from God,” Ensign, May 1998, 26–27).