Alma 23

What’s happening? The King of the Lamanites grants religious freedom to all.

Why does it matter? This allows regions and groups to live according to their beliefs, as well as the gospel to be preached unhindered.

Between the lines: To the outsider, it looks like the King of the Lamanites and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies are being influenced by Nephite culture, not living the way they want to live. It’s going to make some non-believers very angry.

Quote of for the day: “They did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.” ~ Alma 23:7

23:1 What is our role in preserving freedom so the gospel can be taught?

“Religious freedom all over the world is also under attack. It is important for your generation to become well educated on this issue and assume responsibility for ensuring that the religious freedom you have inherited is passed on to future generations. We must work together to both protect religious freedom and restore morality. Please understand this is not an effort to coerce religious belief. As John Locke asserted, ‘religious worship does not have value unless it is voluntary.’” ~ QA Cook

23:7-8, 13 What are modern day weapons of rebellion?

“To set aside cherished ‘weapons of rebellion’ such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness preceded the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion.” ~ DA Bednar

23:14 Why do you think none of the Amulonites and only one Amalekite were converted?

23:16-17 Why the name Anti-Nephi-Lehis?

“They were Lehites but they were not Nephites; thus the name: the Lehites or Lehies, opposite or apart (Greek for anti) from the Nephites.” ~ Ogden and Skinner

23:18 What were some of the temporal changes that occurred because of the people’s spiritual changes?

“Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is the power and capacity to do it.” ~ RG Scott, 2009

Alma 38

What’s happening?  Alma is giving advice to his son, Shiblon.

Why does it matter?  Alma is directing not only his son, but the mission efforts of the church in his words here.

Between the lines: Shiblon’s instruction is very short, yet teaches a lot.

Quote of the day: “Shiblon was one of the sons of Alma the Younger. We are more familiar with his brothers Helaman, who would follow his father as the keeper of the records and the prophet of God, and Corianton, who gained some notoriety as a missionary who needed some counsel from his father. To Helaman, Alma wrote 77 verses (see Alma 36–37). To Corianton, Alma dedicated 91 verses (see Alma 39–42). To Shiblon, his middle son, Alma wrote a mere 15 verses (see Alma 38). Yet his words in those 15 verses are powerful and instructive. In addition to speaking to Shiblon, Alma also spoke about him to Corianton. It appears that Shiblon was a son who wanted to please his father and went about doing what was right for right’s sake rather than for praise, position, power, accolades, or authority. Helaman must have known and respected this about his brother, for he gave Shiblon custody of the sacred records he had received from his father. As seems truly characteristic of Shiblon, there is not much recorded about him from the time he took possession of the sacred records until he gave them to Helaman’s son, Helaman (see Alma 63:11). Shiblon was truly good and without guile. He was a person who sacrificed his time, talents, and effort to help and lift others because of a love for God and his fellowmen (see Alma 48:17–19; 49:30). He is described perfectly by the words of President Spencer W. Kimball: “Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion.” ~ MT Ringwood, 2015

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.

38:2-3 What does it mean to have “steadiness” and “faithfulness”?

38:4-5 How do we put our trust in God and what are the rewards when we do?

“It isn’t as bad as you think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry-I say that to myself every morning. it will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us…. If we will put our trust in him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings. He will hear our prayers.” ~ GB Hinckley

38:8-9 Nearly every plan has a backup plan, but why does salvation only have one plan and it is only through Jesus?

38:10-12 What kind of missionary was Shiblon?

“If a missionary or member really believes that he or she is an agent of the Lord and engaged in the Lord’s business, that person’s confidence and boldness will wax strong, providing he or she is doing things according to the will of the Lord.” ~ CE Asay

38:12 What does a bridle do and how does it work?

“Bridling increases strength, increases power, increases love. There are absolutely two ways you can control a horse. One is to kill it; one is to bridle it. Alma never said kill your passions. The implication is not that passions are evil, that we shouldn’t have them. On the contrary, we bridle something we love, something whose power we respect. A horse is stronger than a man, so the man bridles it, thus controlling its power and using that power for good. Passions are stronger than we are, so we bridle them, thus controlling their power and using that power.” ~ PH Dunn, 1981

Alma 37

What’s happening?  Alma continues his instructions to Helaman.

Why does it matter?  Alma is passing the torch on to his son, Helaman, and is giving him the instructions he feels are the most vital for him.

Between the lines: Scriptures are small and simple things, compasses are small and simple things, and even prophets are small and simple things. Reliance on the Lord makes everything and everyone strong and useful.

Quote of the day: “Remember: the heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.” ~ DF Uchtdorf

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.

37:3-5 Why are scriptures so important? How can you see the Lord’s hand in getting scriptures into your hands?

“Scripture study helps us receive both spiritual direction and protection during our mortal journey.” ~ DA Bednar

37:6-7 What are some small and simple things that truly matter?

“We observe vast, sweeping world events; however, we must remember that the purposes of the Lord in our personal lives generally are fulfilled through the small and simple things and not the momentous and spectacular…. Through these small and simple things, we have the promise that our lives will be filled with peace and joy.” ~ MR Ballard

37:8 In what ways can scriptures enlarge our memories?

“The scriptures enlarge our memory by helping us always to remember the Lord and our relationship to Him and the Father… The scriptures also enlarge our memory by helping us not forget what we and earlier generations have learned…. Those who either don’t have or ignore the recorded word of God eventually cease to believe in Him and forget the purpose of their existence. You will remember how important it was for Lehi’s people to take the brass plates with them when they left Jerusalem. These scriptures were key to their knowledge of God and the coming Redemption of Christ.” ~ DT Christofferson

37:15-16 In what ways do keeping the commandments and appealing to the Lord for guidance in all things protect us from Satan’s power? See also Luke 22:31-32; 3 Nephi 18:18-19; D&C 52:12-15.

37:18-19 What are some of the wise purposes the Lord uses and will use the Book of Mormon to accomplish?”

[The Book of Mormon] will proclaim the everlasting gospel; it will gather Israel; it will build the New Jerusalem; it will prepare a people for the Second Coming; it will usher in the Millennium–at least it will play such an important part in all of these that its value and power can scarcely be overstated.” ~ BR McConkie

37:23 Who is Gazelem?

The person is unidentified, but could refer to a code name used for Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants, Gazelam. Alma may be referring to Joseph using the Urim and Thummim to translate part of Ether’s records. See BR McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine for more information.

37:24 Why were these stones needed? What do we know about them?

37:34 How does the Lord see meekness and how do worldly people view meekness?

37:35 Why is it good to learn to be wise while young?

“My beloved younger brothers and sisters, you are among the best the Lord has ever sent to this world. You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser and have more impact on the world than any previous generation!” ~ RM Nelson, 2018

37:36-37 What should we include in our prayers? When and where should we call upon Him?

“Seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields. Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and or your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all your labors and everything that you engage in.” ~ Joseph Smith

37:38-40 What are some modern day Liahonas?

“The same Lord who provided a Liahona for Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way…. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing.” ~ TS Monson

37:41 Why is the Liahona a good example of a small and simple means?

37:43-47 What does it mean to look to God and live? What are some objects throughout the scriptures that are symbols of looking to God? See also Numbers 21:6-9

Alma 36

What’s happening? Alma recounts being stopped by an angel to his son Helaman.

Why does it matter?  This is one of the most dramatic conversion stories recorded.

Between the lines:  We understand what it’s like to repent from serious sin.

Quote of the day: “Godly sorrow is a gift of the Spirit. It is a deep realization that our actions have offended our Father and our God. It is the sharp and keen awareness that our behavior caused the Savior, He who knew no sin, even the greatest of all, to endure agony and suffering.” ~ ET Benson

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.

36:1,30 What is prosperity and is it really as simple as keeping the commandments? Compare deliverance in Omni 1:6-7; Mosiah 2:31; 7:29, 33; Alma 9:9, 13; 36:29-30.

36:3 What is the key to overcoming troubling times?

36:5 How did hearing the angel more than seeing him impact Alma?

36:14 In what way does Alma mean he’d committed murder?

36:17-18 Why do you think Alma’s father’s teachings about Jesus came to him at the right moment?

36:19-21 Can you think of any comparable times in your life when your joy has been like Alma’s?

“God did not promise that we would not remember our sins. Remembering will help us avoid making the same mistakes again. But if we stay true and faithful, the memory of our sins will be softened over time. This will be part of the needed healing and sanctification process.” ~ DF Uchtdorf

36:22-26 Why did Alma sacrifice so much to teach the gospel?

“Only those who have significantly developed the taste buds of the soul will even be partially prepared for the incredible beauties of the world ahead.” ~ NA Maxwell

36:27-29 Why is it good to recognize the times you’ve trusted in the Lord as well as the times people throughout history have (especially our ancestors, as Alma does)?

Alma 35

What’s happening? The believers are cast out among the Zoramites, war is brewing, and Alma realizes he needs to start at home to preach faith.

Why does it matter? This is a pivotal point in the further separation of the followers of Christ from those who refuse to believe.

Between the lines: The Lord here is separating the wheat from the tares for His coming, just like He is today.

Quote of for the day: “They did nourish them, and did clothe them, and did give unto them lands for their inheritance; and they did administer unto them according to their wants.” 

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.

35:3,8-10 Why do the wicked always threaten those who are trying to follow Jesus Christ? See John 15:18-23

35:15 How is it being a good friend, parent, or leader by inviting our associates to repent?

“A permissive parent, an indulgent friend, a fearful Church leader are in reality more concerned about themselves than the welfare and happiness of those they could help. Yes, the call to repentance is at times regarded as intolerant or offensive and may even be resented, but guided by the Spirit, it is in reality an act of genuine caring.” ~ DT Christofferson

35:16 When circumstances get tough and wickedness abounds, where should we start to make life better and brighter?

Alma 34

What’s happening? Amulek backs up Alma’s testimony and teachings.

Why does it matter? Again, having two or more witnesses helps strengthen a case and a testimony.

Between the lines: All teachings should lead its hearers to turn towards Jesus Christ.

Quote of for the day: “This is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea infinite and eternal.” 

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.

34:6 Why is Jesus Christ the only way to salvation and exaltation? See also John 17:334:8. What can we learn from Amulek’s style of preaching?

“Some of us are naturally reserved and timid about bearing our testimony with words. Perhaps we should not be so timid…. When we do bear testimony, we should testify with a spirit of humility. Perhaps we do not always remember that it is the power of the Spirit that carries our testimony into the hearts of others. Our testimony is our own. It cannot be challenged by someone else. It is personal and real to us. But it is the Holy Spirit that gives a similar witness to another.” ~ JE Faust

34:10 What do we need to understand about Jesus’ efforts on our behalf?

34:17 What is faith unto repentance?

“The combination of faith in Christ plus faith unto repentance is vitally important…. Apparently faith great enough to move mountains is not required; faith enough to speak in tongues or to heal the sick is not needed; all that we need is enough faith to recognize that we have sinned and need to repent of our sins, to feel remorse for them, and to desire to sin no more but to please Christ the Lord.” ~ RE Wells

34:21 Why is family prayer powerful?

“Think of the power for good as you gather your family together and thank God for all of His blessings…. Think of the strength that will come to your family as daily, one member or another, pours out his or her soul in love to God for other family members.” ~ JH Groberg

34:28-29 How does it change us to know about Jesus’ mercy on our behalf?

“Jesus said that He came to serve, not to be served. So it must be with you. You must look outward and care about others. You can be compassionate; you can be friendly; you can share; you can help others in a hundred small ways. As you do, the gospel of Jesus Christ will become a part of you.” ~ DT Christofferson

34:32 How do we feel about meeting God and how can we prepare?

“Thank God for one more day to prepare to meet God. Don’t try to live too many days ahead. Seek for strength to attend to the problems of today. Do all that you can do and leave the rest to God, the Father of us all.” ~ HB Lee

34:33-34 Can we wait to improve after we’re dead?

“A man can do as much in this life in one year as he can do in ten years in the spirit world without the body. …If a person… chooses in this life to deny or defy that light, to reject the truth and avoid the works of righteousness when he knows better, it becomes extremely difficult for him to turn around, to change directions at the time of death.” ~ Joseph Smith, as quoted by OG Huntington

34:35 How can Satan ‘seal you his’?

“When they shall be subjected to the buffetings of Satan sufficient to have satisfied justice, then they shall be brought forth out of the grasp of Satan and shall be assigned to that place in our Father’s celestial, terrestrial, or telestial world merited by their life here upon this earth.” ~ HB Lee

34:36-38 How can we have a life centered around Jesus Christ?

“Can you imagine how your life would improve if you lived in thanksgiving daily? Can you imagine how your life would improve if others did the same? Do you think the world would be happier place? Less stressful? Less angry? More spiritual?” ~ JB Wirthlin

Alma 33

What’s happening? Alma quotes the prophets to testify of Jesus Christ.

Why does it matter? Testimony increases by listening to a prophet, but it is also reinforced when there is more than one witness.

Between the lines: Alma is handing us the path to salvation by pointing us to our Brother, Jesus Christ.

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.

Quote of for the day: “Each child in each generation chooses faith or disbelief. Faith is not an inheritance; it is a choice.” ~ President Henry B. Eyring 

33:2 What are some places where we can be worshiping God?

“If we place any person or thing above the love of God, we worship that thing or person. This is called idolatry.” ~ True to the Faith

33:8 What is the value in private, individual prayer? See Matthew 6:6.

33:16 Why is it important to understand Jesus’ mercy for us?

“I have learned there are many who believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He is the Savior of the World, but they do not believe that He can save them. They believe in His identity, but not in His power to cleanse and purify and to save…. As our understanding of the Atonement increases, our ability to forgive ourselves and others increases as well. When we more fully understand the depths to which the Savior descended, the breadth to which He reached, and the heights to which He ascended, we can more readily accept that our own sins are within that vast sphere of his conquered domain. ~ TR Callister

33:22-23 What do we receive when we trust the Lord with our burdens?

“The Savior offers us sustaining strength and support, and in His own time and way, He offers deliverance…. Mercifully, the Son of God offers us deliverance from the bondage of our sins, which are among the heaviest of all the burdens we bear.” ~ WH Clayton

Alma 32

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