What’s happening? Alma’s son, Corianton, has engaged in sexual sin while on his mission. Alma is going to help him repent and turn to Jesus Christ, the one person who can really help Corianton find his way back.
Why does it matter? This chapter is a great study on where to start to repent, no matter the sin.
Between the lines: Alma, of all people, understands what it’s like to have big sins to work through. He is well positioned to speak to his son about this with love and true doctrine.
Quote of the day: ” Repentance is God’s ever-accessible gift that allows and enables us to go from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm. Repentance isn’t His backup plan in the event we might fail. Repentance is His plan, knowing that we will.” ~ LG Robbins, 2018
39:2 What was Corianton’s first mistake?
39:3-4 How important is the law of chastity? See also “Sexual Purity,” For the Strength of Youth, 35–37.
“Let me point out the need to differentiate between two critical words: worth and worthiness. They are not the same. Spiritual worth means to value ourselves the way Heavenly Father values us, not as the world values us. Our worth was determined before we ever came to this earth. ‘God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever.’ On the other hand, worthiness is achieved through obedience. If we sin, we are less worthy, but we are never worth less! We continue to repent and strive to be like Jesus with our worth intact. As President Brigham Young taught: ‘The least, the most inferior spirit now upon the earth … is worth worlds.’” ~ JD Jones, 2017
39:5 Why do you think Alma had to confront Corianton?
“Clearly among His greatest concerns regarding mortality are how one gets into this world and how one gets out of it. He has set very strict limits in these matters.… Human intimacy is reserved for a married couple because it is the ultimate symbol of total union, a totality and a union ordained and defined by God. … Marriage was intended to mean the complete merger of a man and a woman. … This is a union of such completeness that we use the word seal to convey its eternal promise” ~ JR Holland, 1998
39:6-7 What are unpardonable sins?”
All who partake of this, the greatest of sins, sell themselves as did Cain to Lucifer. They learn to hate the truth with an eternal hatred, and they learn to love wickedness. They reach a condition where they will not and cannot repent. The spirit of murder fills their hearts and they would, if they had the power, crucify our Lord again, which they virtually do by fighting his work and seeking to destroy it and his prophets.” ~ JF Smith
“All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy.” ~ Joseph Smith
“Murderers are forgiven eventually but only in the sense that all sins are forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. After they have paid the full penalty for their crime, they shall go on to a telestial inheritance. (Rev. 22:15).” ~ BR McConkie
“Perhaps there is a common element in those two sins, unchastity and murder. Both have to do with life, which touches upon the highest of divine powers. Murder involves the wrongful taking of life, while moral transgressions may lead to the wrongful giving of life. At the least, sexual transgressions involve a wrongful tampering with the sacred fountains of life-giving power. Immorality rejects the God-given sanctity of life itself.” ~ BC Hafen
39:8-9 How can we know when we need to repent?
“I invite each one of you to thoughtfully review your life…. Is there a dark corner that needs to be cleaned out?… When it is quiet and you can think clearly, does your conscience tell you to repent?” ~ RG Scott
39:11 How has your example been to people around you who are not of your faith? What can you do to be a good example to those around you who might be seeking truth?
“As in the time of Alma, the bad conduct of a few members slows the work.” ~ NA Maxwell
39:12 How can we lovingly help others change?
“After this severe rebuke, Alma the loving father became Alma the teacher…. So Alma taught Corianton. He spoke first of Christ.” ~ BK Packer39:13 How do we truly turn to the Lord?39:14 How can we remember to keep our priorities straight when it comes to the ‘vain things of this world’? See also D&C 68:31″When we place our trust in our property, we have ‘carnal security.’ In that state of mind we are inclined to say that all must be well with us and with Zion because we are prospering, thus relying on worldly success as a mark of divine favor. He who does this is an easy mark for being led ‘carefully down to hell.'” ~ DH Oaks
39:16-19 Has Jesus made provisions for the redemption of all and if so, how?
“He was acquainted with the situation of all nations and with their destiny; …He knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provisions for their redemption.” ~ Joseph Smith