“August 3–9. Alma 43–52: ‘Stand Fast in the Faith of Christ,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“August 3–9. Alma 43–52,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To invite class members to share what they are learning from Alma 43–52, you could ask them how they would respond to someone who says, “I just don’t see how the wars described in the Book of Mormon have any relevance in my life.”
In their individual and family study this week, class members may have pondered or recorded their thoughts about how the Nephites successfully defended themselves against the Lamanites and how the Lamanites attacked the Nephites. If class members did this at home, invite them to share what they found. Or you could give class members time to find these insights during class using scriptures such as those found in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. As class members share what they find, encourage them to discuss how we can follow the example of the Nephites in defending ourselves against evil and how we can recognize Satan’s spiritual attacks on us.
How can you help class members follow the example of Moroni in courageously defending their faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ? Class members could read Alma 46:11–22 and identify what Moroni did and what he taught that inspired his people to be more faithful. You could write these things on the board under the heading Moroni’s Example. Then you could ask class members to ponder Moroni’s actions and suggest what we can do today to defend our beliefs. You could write their insights under the heading Courageously Defending the Gospel Today. What truths and values has our prophet taught us recently that we should teach and defend?
How can you help class members apply what Moroni did with the title of liberty to their own lives? Invite them to read Alma 46:11–22 and identify the truths that Moroni was teaching and asking his people to support. What truths and values have our Church leaders emphasized in our day? (You might review some of them in For the Strength of Youth, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” or recent general conference messages.) What challenges do we have in defending our beliefs in the world today? What can we learn from Moroni’s example? Give class members the opportunity to create their own title of liberty that can remind them to courageously live and defend their beliefs.
Your class may benefit from studying Alma 47, which shows how Amalickiah’s treachery resembles what Satan does to deceive us. You could start by asking someone to summarize the account found in Alma 47. To add interest, you could invite two class members to imagine that they are Amalickiah and Lehonti and tell the story. What did Amalickiah do that reminds us of things Satan does to tempt and deceive us? Encourage class members to refer to specific verses as they discuss this question. The quotation in “Additional Resources” contains another good example of how Satan deceives us. What advice can we give each other to help us be aware of how Satan tempts us today? What can we do to protect ourselves?
A discussion about the attributes of Moroni could inspire class members to strive to follow his example. You might start by showing a picture of Moroni, such as the one in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. Then invite class members to study Alma 44:3–4 and 48:7–13 and write on the board words and phrases that describe Moroni. You could then read together Alma 48:17 and discuss how Moroni’s attributes, such as those listed on the board, allowed him to overcome the influence of Satan and become like Jesus Christ. How can we be more like Moroni?
Members of your class might benefit from hearing each other talk about how they can protect themselves and their families against Satan’s deceptions and temptations. To inspire such a discussion, you could read together Alma 48:7–9; 49:1–9; and 50:1–6. As we think about our need for spiritual defenses against sin, what can we learn from the Nephites’ efforts to defend themselves? How can we build spiritual defenses to protect ourselves and our families against sin and evil influences? Encourage class members to share ideas that have worked for them. Why is it important to “not stop making preparations”? (Alma 50:1).
One way to encourage class members to read Alma 53–63 could be to tell them that the account in these chapters might inspire them and their families to be more obedient and develop stronger faith.
To teach that “serious sin enters into our lives as we yield first to little temptations,” President Spencer W. Kimball shared this fable:
“[A] camel and his owner … were traveling across the desert sand dunes when a wind storm came up. The traveler quickly set up his tent and moved in, closing the flaps to protect himself from the cutting, grinding sands of the raging storm. The camel was of course left outside, and as the violent wind hurled the sand against his body and into his eyes and nostrils he found it unbearable and finally begged for entrance into the tent.
“‘There is room only for myself,’ said the traveler.
“‘But may I just get my nose in so I can breathe air not filled with sand?’ asked the camel.
“‘Well, perhaps you could do that,’ replied the traveler, and he opened the flap ever so little and the long nose of the camel entered. How comfortable the camel was now! But soon the camel became weary of the smarting sand on his eyes and ears … :
“‘The wind-driven sand is like a rasp on my head. Could I put just my head in?’
“Again, the traveler rationalized that to acquiesce would do him no damage, for the camel’s head could occupy the space at the top of the tent which he himself was not using. So the camel put his head inside and the beast was satisfied again—but for a short while only.
“‘Just the front quarters,’ he begged, and again the traveler relented and soon the camel’s front shoulders and legs were in the tent. Finally, by the same processes of pleading and of yielding, the camel’s torso, his hind quarters and all were in the tent. But now it was too crowded for the two, and the camel kicked the traveler out into the wind and storm” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 106–7).