“July 13–19. Alma 32–35: ‘Plant This Word in Your Hearts,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“July 13–19. Alma 32–35,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To help class members share what they learned from reading Alma 32–35 at home, you could give them a few minutes to review these chapters and write on the board any themes or topics they noticed. As a class, discuss why these themes or topics are meaningful.
To lead a discussion about humility as taught in Alma 32:1–16, you could start by inviting class members to name experiences that might humble a person (Alma 32:2–5 gives one example). Some class members may be willing to share their own experiences with learning humility. How can being “brought to be humble” (Alma 32:12) be a blessing? The statements about humility in “Additional Resources” might help foster a discussion. You could also read Doctrine and Covenants 112:10 or sing a hymn about humility, such as “Be Thou Humble” (Hymns, no. 130), as a class.
We sometimes think of worship only as being the things we do in formal settings like a church building (see Alma 32:5, 9, 11), but Alma’s definition of worship is much broader. For example, he taught that developing and exercising faith in Jesus Christ is an important form of worship that can take place outside a formal setting. To help your class understand this principle, you might draw a picture of a seed and a tree on the board and discuss questions like the following: What does the seed represent? (see Alma 32:28; 33:22–23). How can we plant the seed—or testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement—in our hearts and nourish it? (see Alma 32:36–43; 33). What experiences can we share in which our efforts to follow the Savior brought forth precious fruit? How do Alma’s teachings influence the way we worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
The “experiment” that Alma described to help the Zoramites develop faith in Jesus Christ can also help us learn if other gospel principles are true. To help the class understand Alma’s experiment, you could talk about what an experiment is. There may be someone in the class who has done an experiment before and could help with this explanation. What is the purpose of an experiment? How is an experiment similar to what Alma invited the people to do in Alma 32:26–36? Perhaps class members could share various ways in which they have “experimented” upon the word of God. How have they come to know that “the word [of God] is good”? (Alma 32:28).
What might Alma say to someone who wants to gain or strengthen a testimony of Jesus Christ? To explore this question, you could divide the class into two groups. One group could read Alma 32:26–36 to determine what Alma might say to someone who is trying to gain a testimony, and the other group could read Alma 32:36–43 to determine what he might say to someone whose testimony has weakened. Then one person from each group could take turns representing Alma and role-playing how to help someone gain or strengthen a testimony.
You might help the class contrast Alma and Amulek’s teachings about prayer and worship with the Zoramites’ false ideas. Class members could review Alma 31:13–23 and list on the board what the Zoramites believed about prayer and worship. Then they could look for truths in Alma 33:2–11 and 34:17–29 that contrast with these beliefs. What do these verses teach us about how we might improve our prayers and our worship?
You could encourage a discussion about prayer by writing words like Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? on the board. Class members could search Alma 33:2–11 and 34:17–29 to find answers to these questions regarding prayer. For example, they could answer questions like these: Where can we pray? What can we pray for? They might also find answers in the words of a hymn about prayer, such as “Did You Think to Pray?” or “Sweet Hour of Prayer” (Hymns, nos. 140, 142). How can we improve our prayers?
Amulek used the words “infinite” and “eternal” several times to describe the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to atone for our sins. You might invite class members to find these words in Alma 34:9–14 and then look them up in a dictionary. In what ways is the Savior’s sacrifice infinite and eternal? (see Hebrews 10:10; 2 Nephi 9:21; Mosiah 3:13). According to Alma 34:15–17, what must we do to receive the blessings of the Savior’s sacrifice? What does it mean to “exercise your faith unto repentance”? (Alma 34:17).
An analogy like the following could help class members ponder the dangers of procrastinating our repentance: invite them to imagine that they’ve received an invitation to participate in an event that requires years of training and preparation, such as an Olympic competition or a musical performance (pick something that’s meaningful to your class), but this event will be held tomorrow. Discuss with the class why they probably would not succeed in the event even if they spend the rest of today preparing. How does this example relate to Amulek’s warnings in Alma 34:32–35? Why might it be dangerous to delay our efforts to repent and change? Invite class members to ponder what they can do to “prepare for eternity” (verse 33) and make plans to do it without delay.
To inspire class members to read Alma 36–38 this coming week, you could point out that Alma was “grieved for the iniquity of his people,” so he gathered his sons and taught them “concerning the things pertaining unto righteousness” (Alma 35:15–16). The next several chapters of Alma give an account of what Alma was inspired to teach his sons.
“To be humble is to recognize gratefully your dependence on the Lord—to understand that you have constant need for His support. … It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that you know where your true strength lies” (True to the Faith , 86).
Elder Quentin L. Cook explained: “When we really contemplate God the Father and Christ the Son, who They are, and what They have accomplished on our behalf, it fills us with reverence, awe, gratitude, and humility. … Humility also includes being grateful for our numerous blessings and divine assistance. Humility isn’t some grand identifiable achievement or even overcoming some major challenge. It is a sign of spiritual strength. It is having the quiet confidence that day by day and hour by hour we can rely on the Lord, serve Him, and achieve His purposes” (“The Eternal Everyday,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 52, 54).