- Alma 30-31: “The Virtue of the Word of God” (July 6-12)How do you respond when people challenge your faith? Korihor attracted a large number of followers by criticizing the church. He claimed that the members were naive and the leaders were exploitative. Alma tried to help Korihor recognize the truth, but it was only when he was overcome by the power of God that Korihor finally admitted his errors (Alma 30). The wealthy Zoramites also challenged Alma’s beliefs, claiming, as they prayed on a tower called the Rameumptom, they they had been elected to be saved while everyone else would be cast into hell. In response, Alma offered a heartfelt prayer on their behalf, that he and his fellow missionaries might “have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ” (Alma 31).
Lessons from Korihor
- Korihor accused Alma and the other church leaders of abusing the trust of the members and of artificially limiting their freedom. Alma refuted him by pointing out that he labored with his own hands for his support, and that the people found joy in obeying the commandments of God. How Can I Tell When Authority Is Being Used Improperly?
- When people criticize your beliefs, they may appear to have the upper hand. But their beliefs are also subject to scrutiny. What Evidence Have Ye That There Is No God? – Alma 30:40
Lessons from the mission to the Zoramites
- Teaching true principles is more effective than attempting to control behavior. Why? Because people like to make their own decisions, because principles can be applied to a variety of situations, and because people can learn to make wise decisions without constant guidance. The Preaching of the Word – Alma 31:5
- Our prayers should be humble and personal, respectful of other people, and truthful. What Lessons Can We Learn from the Prayer on the Rameumptom?
- We can learn a lot about prayer by contrasting the prayer the Zoramites offered on the Rameumptom with the humble prayer offered by Alma immediately afterward: The Preaching of the Word – Alma 31:5.
- Instead of asking God to take away our adversity, it may be better to ask Him for the strength to endure it. That I May Suffer with Patience – Alma 31:30-31
We know more than we realize. After Korihor was struck by the power of God, he began to see things differently. He acknowledged that he had been teaching falsehoods. He did so “because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind.” Over time, his mind was blinded by the approval he received from others: “I taught… Continue Reading →
As he reviews their missionary service, Ammon reminds his brothers that their success began with their individual conversion and that the blessings they have received are not unique to them: Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries… Continue Reading →
Isaiah prophesied that God would “swallow up death in victory” (Isaiah 25:8). Aaron borrowed this terminology when he taught the king of the Lamanites that Christ would “[break] the bands of death,,,and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory” (Alma 22:14). This was more than a theoretical concept…. Continue Reading →
Periodically, as Mormon relates the history of his people, he interrupts the narrative to share a lesson he hopes we’re learning. He often begins these editorial notes with the phrase, “and thus we see.” Many of these editorial notes appear during the Lamanite mission of the sons of Mosiah. Here are some of them: “And… Continue Reading →
Repentance is hard. Alma was redeemed by God only “after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death” (Mosiah 27:28). His friends, the sons of King Mosiah, “suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities” (Mosiah 28:4). And the Lamanites who were converted by their preaching had to endure “sore repentance” (Alma 27:23). No… Continue Reading →
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies, who were converted to the gospel by the preaching of the sons of Mosiah, decided as a group to renounce violence. Encouraged by their king, they buried their weapons as a symbol of their commitment to live differently (Alma 24:6-19). The buried weapons had a very literal consequence for them shortly afterward. They… Continue Reading →
As Ammon reviewed with his brothers their fourteen-year mission among the Lamanites, he enumerated the blessings they had received from God. Fearing that Ammon was letting their success go to his head, his brother Aaron cautioned him not to boast (Alma 26:10). But Ammon replied that he was praising God, not himself. If rejoicing in… Continue Reading →
How do we know what we know? To what degree is our knowledge based on our personal experience and to what degree is it based on what other people tell us? We all know that our own personal experience provides insufficient information to direct all of our decisions. That’s why we read books, ask advice… Continue Reading →
I’ve been thinking today about the role of women in the conversion of King Lamoni’s people. Here are some observations: After Ammon taught the gospel to Lamoni, the king prayed for mercy. Immediately, “he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead.” In response, “his servants took him and carried him in unto his… Continue Reading →
When Aaron visited the father of King Lamoni, who was “king over all the land” (Alma 20:8), the king was initially disappointed. He had invited Aaron’s brother Ammon to visit him and to teach him the gospel (Alma 20:27). He was willing to speak with Aaron, but he asked why Ammon had not come with… Continue Reading →
The sons of King Mosiah began their mission with two powerful assets: desire and assurance. They wanted more than anything to share the gospel with the Lamanites, whom they considered to be their brothers, not their enemies (Mosiah 28:1-3, Alma 17:9). God had promised their father that they would be protected and successful (Mosiah 28:7)…. Continue Reading →
It’s easy to think of fasting as an event. It has a defined beginning—when we stop eating—and a defined end—when we start eating again. Many of ua also mark the beginning and the end of the fast with a prayer. But in describing the spiritual growth experienced by the sons of Mosiah during their fourteen-year… Continue Reading →
I’ve been working on being a better listener, so I was inspired by Ammon’s response when King Lamoni failed to answer a question. Here’s the story: King Lamoni was overwhelmed when he learned that his new servant, Ammon, had singlehandedly driven away a large group of marauders who were trying to scatter his sheep. The… Continue Reading →
Alma’s primary goal when he gave up the office of chief judge was to address the issue of inequality among his people: He saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and… Continue Reading →
In March, 2019, I studied 20 different names or titles of Jesus Christ which appear in the Book of Mormon. I was particularly interested in the way each name was used, both in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.
In 2018, I wrote summaries of many of the sermons in the Book of Mormon. Each summary describes the setting, the purpose, an outline of the sermon’s content, and my takeaways from the sermon.
In 2019, I used the Book of Mormon to study 365 questions—one per day. Here is a list of those questions, grouped by category, with a link to the blog post for each question.