Book of Mormon
“Give Us Strength According to Our
Faith … in Christ”
Alma gives a powerful discourse on the priesthood and foreordination.
Alma, Amulek, and other believers are persecuted for their righteousness.
Zeezrom is healed and baptized.
The words of Alma are fulfilled as the Lamanites destroy Ammonihah.
A study of this lesson will help us recognize the importance of honoring our
foreordained roles, callings, and priesthood responsibilities and to help us
understand that following the counsel of prophets helps us enter into the rest
of the Lord.
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 24 Handout (PDF)
ACCORDING TO ALMA, WHAT IS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE WHO HOLD
"to teach his commandments unto the children of
men, that they also might enter into his rest" (v6).
WHAT OTHER IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES ARE TAUGHT IN THESE VERSES?
It teaches of our pre-existence and our agency.
We were left to choose between good and evil (v3).
Ordinations were "called and prepared from the
foundation of the world" (v3).
Joseph Smith: "Every man who has a calling to
minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose
in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose I
was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council." (TPJS,
Those ordinations were confirmed in this life according to the exercise
of faith (v3).
Others who had been foreordained to great callings, did not receive their
calling in this life because they did "reject
the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness
of their minds" (v4).
President Harold B. Lee: "I fear there are
many among us who because of their faithfulness in the spirit world were
'called' to do a great work here, but like reckless spendthrifts
they are exercising their free agency in riotous living and are losing
their birthright and the blessings that were theirs had they proved faithful
to their calling. Hence as the Lord has said, 'there are many
called but few are chosen'." (Decisions For Successful Living,
In Alma 13, there are several references to "entering into the rest of
the Lord" (see verses 6,12,13,16, & 29).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ENTER INTO THE REST OF THE LORD?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "The rest of the Lord,
where mortals are concerned, is to gain a perfect knowledge of the divinity
of the great latter-day work. [President Joseph F. Smith said,] 'It
means entering into the knowledge and love of God, having faith in his
purpose and in his plan, to such an extent that we know we are right, and
that we are not hunting for something else; we are not disturbed by every
wind of doctrine, or by the cunning and craftiness of men who lie in wait
to deceive.' It is 'rest from the religious turmoil of the world;
from the cry that is going forth, here and there--lo, here is Christ; lo,
there is Christ.' The rest of the Lord, in eternity, is to inherit eternal
life, to gain the fulness of the Lord's glory." (Mormon Doctrine,
HOW CAN WE BECOME WORTHY TO ENTER INTO HIS REST?
ALMA 13:27-29. Alma pleads with the people to
IF WE UNDERSTAND THE NECESSITY OF REPENTING, WHY DO MANY OF US PROCRASTINATE
THE DAY OF OUR REPENTANCE?
HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THIS TENDENCY TOWARDS PROCRASTINATION?
Hold to the rod - it will persuade us to change our ways and move us forward in
doing good works.
HOW DID THE PEOPLE OF AMMONIHAH RESPOND TO ALMA'S CALL TO REPENTANCE?
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE BECOME ANGRY WHEN THEY ARE CALLED TO REPENTANCE?
Pride. There is a loss of humility. They actually believe they
are in the right and when it is challenged they become defensive.
They like their sins. They have become comfortable and content in
their iniquitous lifestyle and see no reason to change.
HOW CAN WE OVERCOME FEELINGS OF PRIDE AND ANGER?
HOW CAN WE APPROPRIATELY HELP OTHER PEOPLE TO REPENT?
"No power or influence can
or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion,
by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure
knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and
without guile- Reproving betimes with
sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards
an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem
thee to be his enemy; That he may know that
thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death." (D&C
HOW DID THE PEOPLE OF AMMONIHAH RESPOND WHEN ZEEZROM CONFESSED HIS SINS
AND PLEADED FOR ALMA AND AMULEK?
According to verse 7:
They reviled him.
They spit on him.
Cast him out from among them and also those who believed in the words of
Alma and Amulek and sent men to cast stones at them.
Sometimes the obstacles in repenting are great. We may not have to face the
being cast out, as did Zeezrom, but there may be those who
fail to respect our choices and may even seek to intimidate us. How committed
are we to making the tough, yet correct choices?
While on my mission, I had the privilege of teaching the discussions to
a wonderful couple. They listened intently and applied the principles
of learning truth. They were serious about choosing baptism and
changing their ways, until they started discussing this change with their
friends. Their friends said that they could not accept this change. Though this couple had learned the truth, they were unable to overcome
social ostracism and chose not to be baptized. My hope is that
they have since reconsidered. If not, what have they given up for
The events in Ammonihah reached a climax when those that believed Alma
and Amulek were burned.
WHY DID THE LORD ALLOW THE WICKED PEOPLE OF AMMONIHAH TO KILL THE RIGHTEOUS?
The Spirit constrained Alma that he must not extend his hand.
Certainly the Lord could have saved these righteous souls.
The Lord would receive these people unto himself.
The blood of the innocent would stand in judgment against the wicked people
President Spencer W. Kimball: "Now, we find many
people critical when a righteous person is killed, a young father or mother
is taken from a family, or when violent deaths occur. Some become
bitter when oft-repeated prayers seem unanswered. Some lose faith
and turn sour when solemn administrations by holy men seem to be ignored
and no restoration seems to come from repeated prayer circles. But
if all the sick were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the
wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and
the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended.
"If pain and sorrow and total punishment
immediately followed the doing of evil, no soul would repeat a misdeed. If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good,
there could be no evil--all would do good and not because of the rightness
of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development
of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, no Satanic controls.
"Should all prayers be immediately
answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding,
then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or
even death; and if these were not, there would also be an absence of joy,
success, resurrection, eternal life, and godhood." (Improvement
Era, Mar 1966, p180 & 210)
Alma 15 & 16
After the repentant people of Ammonihah were burned, Alma and Amulek were
They refused to answer and were thrown into prison.
They were able to escape from prison when it miraculously collapsed and
all within the prison were killed.
CAN OUR SINS AFFECT OUR PHYSICAL WELL BEING?
WHAT MUST WE DO?
See Alma 15:6-11. We must believe and have faith in the redeeming
power of the atonement.
DID AMULEK LOSE BY CHOOSING TO LIVE THE GOSPEL AND SERVE AS A MISSIONARY?
WHAT DID HE LOSE?
See Alma 15:16-18.
His gold, silver, and precious things (car, stereo, nice clothes).
Rejected by his friends and family.
WHAT DID HE GAIN?
The peace of having served God and blessing the lives of others.
A wonderful friend in Alma and the other members of the Church.
WHAT SACRIFICES HAVE YOU MADE IN CHOOSING TO LIVE AND TEACH THE GOSPEL?
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN BLESSED FOR THIS?
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF AMMONIHAH?
Wickedness will receive its due reward in time.
"O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust
in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh;
for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm."
(2 Nephi 4:34)
HOW CAN WE TRUST MORE IN GOD AND LESS IN WORLDLY KNOWLEDGE, POWER, OR POSSESSIONS?
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings and experiences of Alma
and Amulek? What lessons have you learned that can be applied to your life?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Decisions For Successful Living by Harold B. Lee.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS).
The Improvement Era.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
25 April 2016