Alma loved his son Corianton. It is true that Corianton had disappointed and embarrassed him. But there is no hint of bitterness, frustration, or anger in Alma’s words to his son. Instead, Alma briefly (and somewhat reluctantly) provides needed correction (Alma 39:1-14), and then proceeds to answer some of Corianton’s questions. Alma makes it clear that he believes that Corianton’s misbehavior is related to his misunderstanding of some key principles, and that if Corianton understood the gospel better, his behavior would improve. In any event, Alma was not afraid to tackle Corianton’s difficult questions. Here is a list of the questions which Alma tackles:
- Is it reasonable for people to know about the Savior before he was born? (Alma 39:15-19)
- What is the resurrection, and when will it happen? (Alma 40)
- Why does it matter if we sin? Can’t God just forgive our sins and fix everything? (Alma 41)
- Is it fair for sinners to be judged and punished? (Alma 42)
Here is my summary of the interview, with key takeaways:
Here are some blog posts about these chapters:
Teaching and learning
- Crucial conversations: Ye Cannot Hide Your Crimes from God – Alma 39:7-8
- Parenting and agency: Alma 42:3-5 Lest He Should Put Forth His Hand
- Be vulnerable to be teachable: Acknowledge Your Faults – Alma 29:12-13
- Teaching others when our own understanding is imperfect: I Admit It May Be Termed a Resurrection – Alma 40:15-18
- Prioritizing our learning activities: This Is the Thing of Which I Do Know – Alma 40:7-9
- Acknowledging the boundaries of our knowledge: I Give It as My Opinion – Alma 40:20-21
Life after death
- Paradise and spirit prison: What Happens After We Die?
- Overcoming both physical and spiritual death: What Does the Book of Mormon Add to Our Understanding of the Resurrection?
Making wise decisions
- Stop and think before you act: Cross Yourself in All These Things – Alma 39:9
- Finding joy in righteous living…even before the blessings come: Wickedness Never Was Happiness – Alma 41:10
- The evidence of our desires is the decisions we make each day: They Are Their Own Judges – Alma 41:7
- Beyond the Golden Rule, or Karma: That Which Ye Do Send Out – Alma 41:14-15
God’s plan for our happiness
- The gift of time: What Is a “Probationary State?”
- Life is not arbitrary: What Is the Plan of Redemption?
- A constraint motivated by love: Why Did God Prevent Adam and Eve from Partaking of the Tree of Life?