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