What’s happening? Alma is teaching the poor (in spirit and financially) how faith is like a seed.
Why does it matter? Many people have received their testimonies based on this chapter because the lesson Alma uses is so relatable. We know how a seed works and the miracle that it is, but mostly faith is the first step to conversion.
Between the lines: It takes humility to be prepared to hear what God wants us to hear.
Quote of for the day: “O then, is this not real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good.”
Read the following verses then ask yourself the questions. If there are any corresponding quotes, read them and see how they relate to the verses above it.
32:2 Why were the poor cast out? “Bad religion breeds bad societies. The Zoramites created a class system that ostracized their less fortunate brothers and sisters from the very synagogues they had built.” ~ R Turner, “Faith unto Salvation”
32:6-7 How are people prepared to “hear the word”?“Building faith is often preceded by shaping circumstances, benefiting those who are ‘in a preparation to hear the word’. These beginnings require at least a ‘desire to believe,’ and then comes the exercising of a ‘particle of faith’. ~ NA Maxwell, 1991
32:12 What is true humility? How would famous people act differently if they followed the need for humility?“Humility is teachableness—an ability to realize that all virtues and abilities are not concentrated in one’s self…. Humility is never accusing, not contentious…. Humility is repentant and seems not to justify its follies. It is forgiving others in the realization that there may be errors of the same kind or worse chalked up against itself…. Humility makes no bid for popularity or notoriety; demands no honors…. It is not self-abasement, the hiding in the corner, the devaluation of everything one does or thinks or says; but it is the doing of one’s best in every case and leaving of one’s acts, expressions, and accomplishments to largely speak for themselves.” ~ SW Kimball
32:13-16 Why must someone be humble before they can truly repent?There are three ways to repent: (1) in humility and by our own will, (2) compelled by circumstances, (3) In front of Heavenly Father’s judgement seat. (See also R. Turner’s FAITH UNTO SALVATION.)
32:21 What is faith?Two kinds of faith, 1. Confidence in things scheduled to happen, 2. Faith that causes things to happen. ~ paraphrased from BK Packer
32:26-28 What role does desire play in gaining a testimony?“God promises us divine help even if we have only a desire to believe, but it has to be a true and not a pretended desire.” ~ DF Uchtdorf
BONUS: vs. 28 Acrostic poem for SEED: “Swell within your breasts; Enlarge my soul; Enlighten my understanding; Delicious to me.”
32:33 What are some ways faith is like a seed?“Do not be disappointed if you have read and reread and yet have not received a powerful witness. You may be somewhat like the disciples spoken of in the Book of Mormon who were filled with the power of the God in great glory ‘and they knew it not’ (see 3 Nephi 9:20).” ~ BK Packer
32:35 Why is recognizing something is “good” in some ways even better than a sure knowledge testimony? See also Bible Dictionary “Gospels” and Genesis 1:31.
32:37-40 How does a testimony grow?“When Alma compared the word of God to a seed, he explained that the seed grows into a fruit-bearing tree gradually, as a result of our ‘faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering’. It’s true that some blessings come right away; soon after we plant the seed in our hearts, it begins to swell and sprout and grow, and by this we know that the seed is good. From the very moment we set foot upon the pathway of discipleship, seen and unseen blessings from God begin to attend us.” ~ DF Uchtdorf
32:40-43 Why do you think Alma uses the example of the tree of life?“In Alma’s example, the tree of life grows within each person to change his or her heart and soul. Holding fast to the iron rod in Lehi’s dream is the equivalent” ~ MJ Bateman