“August 10–16. Alma 53–63: ‘Preserved by His Marvelous Power,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“August 10–16. Alma 53–63,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To encourage class members to share what they learned from Alma 53–63, you might ask them to scan the chapters and look for a verse they could share with someone who is facing challenges. Invite them to share these verses with someone outside of class.
You can add richness to your class discussion about Helaman’s warriors by drawing on what class members learned at home. One way to do this could be to invite class members to share characteristics of the stripling warriors that impress them (some of these can be found in Alma 53:17–21; 56:45–48; 57:20–21, 26–27; 58:40). How did these characteristics help the stripling warriors during their battles? How can they help us during our spiritual battles? Class members could also share stories of modern-day “stripling warriors.”
The parents in your class probably hope that their children will develop faith like Helaman’s young warriors. To help parents and future parents in your class learn from their story, you could organize a panel of several individuals who can share ideas about building faith in children. Ask these panel members to read Alma 56:47–48 and 57:20–27 beforehand and prepare to share insights about what helped the stripling warriors develop faith. Give class members time to share their insights as the panel members present ideas. Other resources that could enhance this discussion include Sister Joy D. Jones’s words in “Additional Resources” and President Russell M. Nelson’s message “A Plea to My Sisters” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 95–97). At the end of the discussion, you could give class members a few minutes to ponder questions like the following: Who might be relying on your testimony? What can you say and do to strengthen them?
Helaman’s reaction when his armies were not receiving support can be a powerful example for us when we feel wronged. To encourage a discussion about his example, you could invite a class member to come prepared to summarize Helaman’s situation and the reasons the government was not responsive to his needs (see Alma 58:1–9, 30–37; 61:2–8). You could write on the board Helaman’s response and Other possible responses. Then invite the class to search Alma 58:1–12 and 30–37 and write under each heading descriptions of what Helaman thought, said, and did in response to his situation and, in contrast, what he could have thought, said, or done. What can we do to follow Helaman’s example when we feel wronged or neglected?
When Moroni criticized Pahoran in Alma 60, Pahoran could have chosen to take offense. Instead he responded that he was “not angry” and “[rejoiced] in the greatness of [Moroni’s] heart” (Alma 61:9). To help class members learn from Pahoran’s example, you could ask them to imagine that they have been asked to write an article for a Church magazine that draws on Pahoran’s example in Alma 61 to teach about how to avoid being offended by others. You could then divide class members into groups and ask them to read Alma 61:3–14 and list some points that they might include in their articles. Elder David A. Bednar’s counsel in “Additional Resources” could also help.
Moroni wrote that God would hold Pahoran responsible if he knowingly neglected the needs of the Nephite armies. Consider inviting class members to read Alma 60:7–14 together, and then ask them to think of someone they know who might be in need and feeling neglected. What can we do to be aware of and meet the needs of others? How have our needs been met by others, including our ministering brothers and sisters?
The Nephites’ reactions to both difficult and prosperous times (see Alma 62:39–41, 48–51) show that we can choose to be humble whether we are experiencing adversity or prosperity. You could invite class members to read these verses and share what impresses them. You might invite them to discuss their thoughts in pairs before asking a few to share with the whole class.
To inspire interest in Helaman 1–6, you could explain to the class that in these chapters the Nephites become wicked and the Lamanites righteous. This role reversal holds important lessons for us in these perilous latter days.
Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President, shared the following keys to raising “a sin-resistant generation”:
“To begin, … we must help [our children] know without question that they are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father and that He has divine expectations of them.
“Second, understanding the doctrine of repentance is essential for becoming resistant to sin. Being sin-resistant doesn’t mean being sinless, but it does imply being continually repentant, vigilant, and valiant. Perhaps being sin-resistant comes as a blessing from repeatedly resisting sin. …
“… A third key to helping children become sin-resistant is to begin at very early ages to lovingly infuse them with basic gospel doctrines and principles—from the scriptures, the Articles of Faith, the For the Strength of Youth booklet, Primary songs, hymns, and our own personal testimonies—that will lead children to the Savior. …
“… Helping children understand, make, and keep sacred covenants is another key. … Teaching children to keep simple promises when they are young will empower them to keep holy covenants later in life” (“A Sin-Resistant Generation,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 88–89).
In his message “And Nothing Shall Offend Them” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 89–92), Elder David A. Bednar gave the following counsel:
Recognize that being offended is a choice. “To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation.”
Look to the Savior. “The Savior is the greatest example of how we should respond to potentially offensive events or situations” [see 1 Nephi 19:9].
Be understanding of others’ weaknesses. “One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others.”
Communicate directly. “If a person says or does something that we consider offensive, our first obligation is to refuse to take offense and then communicate privately, honestly, and directly with that individual. Such an approach invites inspiration from the Holy Ghost and permits misperceptions to be clarified and true intent to be understood.”