Lesson 14 – Alma the Younger Repents

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Lesson 14
Alma the Younger Repents

Preparation

  •  Items needed: two containers of playdough, a display board, tape, a small container of water, two small Ziplock baggies, three envelopes, several small rocks (wash the rocks carefully so no grit or dirt is left on them).
  • Print and cut out the scripture story visual aids. Number the back of each story card to help keep them in the correct order.
  • Print and cut out the paper doll pattern, the steps of repentance, and the repentance story cards. Put each set of four story cards into an envelope.
  • Roll out the playdough until each is 1/4 inch thick. Put the cut out paper doll pattern on top of the play dough, and with a knife, cut out a figure from each rolled out piece of playdough. Put each playdough figure into a Ziploc bag to prevent it from drying out.

 

Attention Activity
Show the children one of the playdough figures. Point out how smooth and clean it looks. Show the children the small rocks and explain that each rock represents a sin.

Push the rocks one at a time into the figure as you tell of a sin the rock might represent such as lying, stealing, swearing, etc. Point out how the figure looks and explain that sin corrupts and pollutes our spirits so that we become distorted and unclean.

Show the other playdough figure. Explain that those who are close to us may also be affected by our sins and follow our example. (Push rocks into the other figure.) When we realize the damage we are doing to ourselves and others we may feel shame, regret, and sorrow.

Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will learn about the regret and misery that can come because of sin, and they will learn of the great joy that can come through repentance.

Scripture Story
Teach the following story using the scripture story visual aids.

Remind the children of last week’s lesson about the people of Limhi and the people of Alma escaping the bondage of the Lamanites and coming to Zarahemla. Tell the children that after Alma and his people arrived in Zarahemla, King Mosiah authorized Alma to lead and organize the church in the land of Zarahemla. The church had grown so large that it needed to be divided up into several congregations. Alma set up these congregations and ordained leaders for each of them.

Not all of the people in Zarahemla believed in the gospel. Some of these nonbelievers persecuted the believing church members. King Mosiah was made aware of the problem, and he made a law that there should be no persecutions among the people.

  • Why might a nonbeliever persecute church members? The reasons can be varied. One of the reasons may be that they feel offended or less valued because they live their life contrary to the morals and values that the church teaches. To help alleviate this problem a strict command was made throughout all the churches that there should be equality among men, and that there should be no pride or haughtiness.
  • How can we make sure that people who are not members of our church know they are valued regardless of differences in lifestyle? Answers might include: love them, emphasize the things we have in common, appreciate the good in them, invite and include them in our activities, etc.

The laws and commands helped establish peace in the land, but the sons of King Mosiah and one of the sons of Alma were among the unbelievers, and they caused many problems for the church.

  • Why might Alma and the sons of Mosiah, who had been brought up in the church, be among the unbelievers?  One reason may be that they chose to pursue other interests instead of taking the time to examine, understand, and do the things necessary to gain a testimony of the teachings of the gospel. Another reason may be that they chose to pursue sinful interests in preference to turning their lives and hearts toward God. Such was the case of Alma’s son, who was also named Alma after his father. Alma the younger chose a wicked and idolatrous lifestyle.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah secretly went among the people trying to lead the people astray and destroy the church. Alma the younger was very good at speaking, and he influenced and persuaded many to commit the same sins he was committing.  (Remind the children of the lesson about King Noah and his desire to get people to commit the same sins he was committing.)

Because Alma the younger was the son of the religious leader, and the sons of Mosiah were the sons of the king, their example and influence caused a lot of people to fall away from the church.

One day as Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were going about trying to destroy the church, an angel of the Lord appeared to them. The angel descended in a cloud. His voice was like thunder, and it caused the earth to shake. So great was their astonishment and fear that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah fell to the earth. The angel asked Alma the younger why he persecuted the church of God.

  • The Lord usually does not send angels to the wicked. Why did God send an angel to speak to Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah? (See Mosiah 27:14) Because of the prayers of the people of God, and because of the prayers of Alma’s father’s who prayed with faith that his son might be brought to a knowledge of the truth.

When Alma the younger saw the angel, he was struck with fear and amazement. The fear and astonishment of Alma was so great that he could not speak, and he became weak and could not move. The sons of Mosiah carried Alma to his father. They told his father what had happened to them. Alma’s father rejoiced.

  •  Why did Alma’s father rejoice when he saw his son in such a weak and helpless state? Alma’s father had been concerned about the spiritual welfare of his son. He rejoiced because he knew that the power of God was at work.

Alma the elder called a multitude together so they could witness what the Lord had done. He also called the priests, and they began to fast and pray for Alma the younger.

After they had fasted and prayed for two days and two nights, Alma the younger’s limbs regained strength. He stood up and began to speak to them. He said, “I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord.”

Alma’s repentance wasn’t easy. He had to go through the same steps of repentance we do in order to repent and be forgiven of our sins. When Alma saw the angel, he was afraid. He thought he would be destroyed because of his wickedness. For three days and three nights he could not move or speak. He was racked with torment for the memory of his many sins. He suffered greatly. Alma experienced the first step of repentance.

  •  What is the first step of repentance? Step One – Recognize that a wrong has been committed and feel sorrowful remorse. (Put this sign on the display board.)

As Alma was suffering, he remembered his father’s prophesies about the coming of Jesus Christ, the son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. His mind caught hold upon this thought, and he cried in his heart, “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.” After having this thought he was no longer tortured by the memory of his sins, and his soul was filled with great joy and light. He had begun the second step of repentance.

  • What is the second step of repentance? Step Two – Confess the sin and ask for forgiveness from God and from those we have hurt. (Put this sign on the display board.) Alma confessed his sinful state to God and asked for forgiveness. He now needed to confess his sins to the people he had affected and influenced.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah began from that time forward to travel throughout all the land confessing their sins. They also told the people about the angel’s appearance to them and the things which they had heard and seen, and they preached the word of God. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah attempted to repair the damage they had done to the church. It wasn’t easy because they were persecuted by many of the unbelievers, but they did their best to carry out the third step of repentance

  • What is the third step of repentance? Step Three – Do our best to make up for the wrong. (Put this sign on the display board.)
  • What is the fourth step of repentance? Step Four – Forsake the sin. Do not commit the sin again. (Put this sign on the display board) True repentance includes a desire to change one’s life and actions.

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah changed their lives. They served in the church and taught others the gospel. Alma the younger eventually became the leader of the church after his father died. The sons of Mosiah served a mission to the Lamanites to teach them the gospel. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah wanted to help bring others to a knowledge of God. They did not want anyone to suffer because of sin. They wanted others to feel the joy they had experienced through repentance.

Object Lesson

Show the children the two playdough figures again. Explain to the children that if we will follow the steps of repentance, we can be healed and become clean of sin through the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Remove the rocks and press together the damaged areas. Smooth out the creases with water on your finger tips.)

Activity
Tell the children they are going to do an activity to help them remember the steps of repentance. Put one set of the repentance story cards face down on the table. Have a volunteer pick up one of cards, read it out loud, and then put it on the display board next to the step of repentance it goes with. Have the children each take a turn doing this. If one of the children thinks their card should go somewhere that someone else has placed a card, they can put their card in that spot, but they have to put the other card where they think it goes. After all the cards have been placed, read the story out loud to the class. If all the cards are in the right place, it will tell the story in order. Do another set after completing a story.

Conclusion
Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to be happy. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to make it possible for us to repent. Through his Atonement, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins so that we can repent, be forgiven, and gain eternal life. It isn’t always easy to fix our mistakes, but the wonderful results and benefits are always worth the effort.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 27:1-37 and Alma 36:6-21

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Lesson 12 – Alma Baptizes at Waters of Mormon

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Lesson 12
Alma Baptizes at Waters of Mormon

Preparation

  • Print and cut out the visual aids, and the word strips and situation cards.
  • Items needed: medium size rocks (or cans of food with the labels removed), a backpack or heavy duty bag, chalk, some little pieces of wrapped candy and a candy bar for each child. Tape the burden situations to the rocks (or cans of food).
  • Print a new Scripture Reading Chart for each child.

Attention Activity
Explain that you are going to start off the lesson by giving each of them a small piece of candy. Point out that the piece of candy is small, but if they promise not to eat or open it, you promise to give them something bigger and better at the end of class. Emphasize the fact that you are both making promises.

Point out that eating candy is not a sin, but there are many things in life that give pleasure that are against the commandments of God because they are spiritually harmful. If we obey God’s commandments and avoid partaking in these spiritually harmful things, we can eventually receive the greatest gift of all, which is eternal life. Tell the children that in today’s lesson they will learn how the Lord tries to help us avoid these harmful things so that we can gain this eternal reward.

Scripture Story
Using the visual aids, tell the following story. As the story is told, background scenery such as a waterfall, a pool of water, and a grove of trees can be drawn on the chalkboard.

Remind the children that in last week’s lesson they learned about the prophet Abinadi being condemned to death by the wicked King Noah. They also learned about the repentant priest Alma who pleaded for Abinadi’s life. King Noah was angry with Alma and tried to have Alma killed, but Alma fled and hid. Alma hid in the wilderness at a place called Mormon.

  • Why was Mormon a good place to hide? (Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:4-5 to find the answer.) It had a fountain of pure water, it was near the border of the land, it was supposed to be infested at times with wild animals, and it had a thicket of small trees that Alma hid in during the day to avoid the searches of the king–so Alma had water, food, and seclusion and cover while hiding.

At times, Alma secretly went among the people and taught the words of Abinadi to all who would listen. Many believed Alma’s words. Those who believed his words went to the place called Mormon to hear him preach.

One day Alma was teaching a large group of believers near the waters of Mormon. He taught them faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. He asked if they desired to take the next step toward becoming God’s people.

  •  What is the next step after faith and repentance? Tell the children to think of the fourth Article of Faith. (Baptism)

In order for the believers to be called God’s people they needed to covenant (promise) to serve God and keep his commandments. Sometimes when people make promises they shake hands or sign something as a symbol of their agreement. Baptism served as a witness or sign that they were willing to serve God and keep his commandments because baptism symbolizes the death of the old sinful person and the rebirth of the new spiritual person.

When the people heard they could be God’s people they clapped their hands for joy and exclaimed that it was the desire of their heart.

  • In order to be called God’s people they needed to covenant to serve God and keep His commandments. What is a covenant? A covenant is a two-way promise made between us and the Lord; both sides make promises.
  • Why does the Lord want us to make covenants? The Lord loves us and wants us to gain the blessings of eternal life, and in order to do this we must become like our Savior Jesus Christ and do the things he would do. The Lord knows that when we make bonding promises and commitments to do those things, we are more likely to do them.

Activity
Put the “Baptismal Covenants” word strip on a wall or display board. Put the word strip “We Promise” and the word strip “The Lord Promises” on each side underneath it.

We Promise
Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:8-10 to find the covenants we make at baptism. As they find each one have them put the corresponding word strips under the “We Promise” word strip.

To come into the fold of God and be called his people.
We promise to join his church and take upon us the name of Christ. As members of his church we represent Christ and are to be examples of his teachings. (See the lesson on King Benjamin to further review this principle.)

To stand as a witness of God at all times and all places.
A witness is someone who tells others what they know and have seen; so a witness of God tells others what they know about God and His church. They state their beliefs in His commandments and try to be an example of them.

To serve God and keep his commandments.
We become more like our Savior as we obey the commandments.

To serve and help others.
We become more like our Savior as we serve and help others, which includes:

o Mourning with those that mourn.
o Comforting those that stand in need of comfort.
o Bearing one another’s burdens.

  • How do we mourn with those that are mourning? Answers might include: grieving and feeling sadness for the person’s loss and sorrow.
  • How do we bear one another’s burdens that they may be light? (Discuss this by doing the following activity.)

Activity
Show the children the rocks, and explain that you are using the rocks to represent the burdens that some people carry. Read the situation title as you put each rock into a bag.  Tell the children that life’s burdens can become heavy and difficult to carry. Let each child come up and lift the bag. Ask if they would want to carry that weight for very long. Remind the children that we covenant at baptism to help each other with our burdens. Have the children take turns reaching into the bag and taking out a rock. Have them read the situation and tell how they can help someone with that burden to make it lighter and easier to bear.

The Lord Promises
• What does the Lord promise if we keep the covenants we make? (Have the children look up and read Mosiah 18:9-10 to find the things the Lord promises. As they find each one, have them put the corresponding word strips under the “The Lord Promises” word strip.

We can be redeemed of God.
This means we can be forgiven of our sins when we repent.

We can come forth in the first resurrection.
We will be ready and spiritually prepared to come forth out of the spirit world during the first resurrection.

We can have eternal life.
Eternal life is the kind of life Heavenly Father has, which includes having a fullness of joy, love, peace, knowledge, and power.

He will pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon us.
As we keep our covenants, the Lord will bless us with his spirit more abundantly. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is a wonderful blessing because the Holy Ghost guides, teaches, protects, and comforts us.

The Lord promises to pour out wonderful blessings upon us if we keep our covenants (promises) to do the things he asks us to do.

Have the children trade their small piece of candy for a full size candy bar. Ask the children what would have happened if they hadn’t kept their promise and had instead opened and eaten the small piece of candy. They wouldn’t have received the bigger, better prize. Point out that it is the same with covenants. If we partake of unfulfilling sinful pleasures while on the earth instead of keeping our covenants (promises), we may not receive the wonderful blessing of eternal life which brings true happiness and joy. (Note: If a child has opened or eaten his or her candy, tell them they can still have another chance. Give them another piece of candy, and tell them to bring it back the following week. If they bring it back uneaten and unopened, they can still earn their reward. The Lord also gives us the opportunities in life to fix our mistakes and repent.)

Scripture Story Continued
After the people told Alma they wished to become God’s people and be baptized, Alma began to baptize them in the waters of Mormon. The first one he baptized was a man named Helam. As Alma baptized Helam, Alma submerged himself also.

  •  Why did Alma immerse himself also when he baptized Helam? In Mosiah 18:13 it says that Alma had the priesthood authority to baptize. This is evidence that he had already been baptized. Therefore when Alma immersed himself with Helam it was merely as a token to the Lord of his humility and full repentance. Alma did not immerse himself again while baptizing the others. (Joseph Fielding Smith: Answers to Gospel Questions)

Alma baptized about two hundred and four souls that day at the waters of Mormon, and anyone who was baptized from that time forward was also added to the church of Christ.

King Noah eventually discovered there was a movement among the people. He sent his servants to watch the group. When the king’s servants reported what was happening, Noah said that Alma was stirring up the people to rebellion against him. Noah ordered his army to destroy them. Alma was warned of the Lord that the king’s army was coming, so he and his people took their tents and their families and departed into the wilderness. They were in number about 450 souls.

Conclusion
As we keep our baptismal covenants, we learn to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, and we become worthy to receive the greatest gift and reward we could ever receive, which is eternal life.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Give each child a new scripture reading chart, and remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Mosiah 18:1-17, 30-35

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Lesson 11 – Abinadi and King Noah

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Lesson 11
Abinadi and King Noah

Preparation
• Print the visual aids. Number the visual aids on the back in the order printed.
• Items needed: tape, an envelope or small paper bag, a clear jar full of nine opened rolls of pennies (or 450 of some other item), small pieces of paper, pencils, a Book of Mormon for each child.
• Print and cut out the situation cards. Put them in an envelope or small bag.

Attention Activity
Show the children the jar of pennies. Have them each write on a piece of paper how many pennies they think are in the jar. After they have guessed, instruct them to put their papers under their chairs. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn how one person, who stood up for the right, influenced the lives of as many people as there are pennies in the jar.

Scripture Story Activity
Attach the visual aid pictures to a wall or chalkboard in random order. Tell the following story, stopping whenever you see the initials WHN. Have the children guess “What Happens Next” by picking out a picture on the wall. After you continue, have them decide if the picture they picked goes with that part of the story. If it doesn’t, have them choose the correct picture.

Many years before King Benjamin’s address to his people, a group of people led by a man named Zeniff left Zarahemla and went back to the land of Nephi. Zeniff and his people wanted to return to the land of Nephi because they considered it to be the land of their inheritance.

• What was the problem with their plan to return to the land of Nephi? The Lord had commanded the people to leave the land of Nephi because of the danger from the Lamanites.

• Were Zeniff and his people being obedient to the Lord’s commands when they went back to the land of Nephi? What usually happens when people don’t listen to the Lord? (They have to suffer the resulting consequences and sorrows.) We need to trust in the Lord, that he knows what is best for us.

WHN – When Zeniff and his people arrived at their destination, Zeniff took four men and went to talk to the king of the Lamanites about allowing them to possess the land of Nephi.

• The Lamanite King allowed them to possess the land, but he had a reason for allowing it. What might that reason have been? (See Mosiah 9:10) The Lamanite king was cunning and devious, and he allowed them to possess the land so that the Lamanites could bring Zeniff’s people into bondage. The Lamanites were a lazy people, and they hated the Nephites. They wanted to glut themselves on the Nephite’s labor.

WHN – The king of the Lamanites allowed Zeniff and his people to live in peace for several years to give the Nephites time to establish their crops and flocks.

WHN – The king of the Lamanites then incited his people to attack Zeniff’s people.

WHN – Zeniff and his people fought against the Lamanites, and eventually they were able to drive them off because Zeniff and his people turned to the Lord for help.

They set guards around the land to keep watch so the Lamanites could not come upon them and destroy them. Zeniff eventually became old. Before he died, Zeniff conferred his kingdom upon his son Noah.

WHN – Unlike his father, Noah was not a good king, and he did not keep the commandments of God.

• What were some of the things King Noah did that were against the commandments? (See Mosiah 11:2, 5 and 14 to find the answers.)
o He had many wives and concubines, which was not lawful.
o He placed his heart upon riches. He taxed the people to support himself in luxury. He had a palace and many elegant and spacious buildings built. He used gold and other precious items to ornate them.
o He spent his time in partying, wild living, and excessive wine drinking.
o He got rid of all the consecrated priests. He appointed his own priests–men who would sustain him and his wicked life style.
o He caused and encouraged his people to commit sin.

• Why would King Noah want his people to commit sin?  Through getting others to sin, Noah may have hoped to justify his sins and make sin seem acceptable and normal. (Encourage the children to remember the story of wicked King Noah when someone tries to get them to do something wrong.)

After many years the Lamanites began to attack the people again. King Noah’s armies drove them back, but King Noah’s people had become wicked and prideful. They boasted of their strength because of their victory. They also delighted in the killing and the bloodshed of their enemies.

WHN – A prophet named Abinadi was commanded by the Lord to go among the people to preach and prophesy.

• Ask the children what they think Abinadi told the people. (See Mosiah 11:21) He warned them that unless they repented they would be delivered into the hands of their enemies and be brought into bondage.

• How did the people respond to Abinadi’s words? (See Mosiah 11:26) The people were angry with him and they wanted to kill him, but the Lord delivered him out of their hands.

• Why do you think some people get angry with those who call them to repentance? Answers may include the following: It reveals their evil actions and guilt. They desire to continue doing the evil things. Their pride is offended because they don’t want to acknowledge they have weaknesses.

Because of their anger, those who are sinning may try to make it appear as if the person who is calling them to repentance is in the wrong or at fault. King Noah became angry and tried to make Abinadi seem like a self-righteous person trying to cause contention.

• When we are told to repent and improve some area of our life, how does the Lord want us to respond? He wants us to be humble and teachable.

.Why does the Lord want us to repent? Because he loves us and does not want us to suffer the temporal and eternal consequences that result from sin.

King Noah sent his men to get Abinadi so he could kill him, but they could not find him. After two years Abinadi came back among the people.

• Why did the Lord wait two years before sending Abinadi back? To give the people time to repent.

But the people had not repented. Because they did not repent, Abinadi told them they would be smitten with bondage, afflictions, famine, and pestilence. He also said they would be utterly destroyed if they did not then change their ways.

WHN – The people were angry with Abinadi. They bound him and took him before King Noah.

WHN – The priests questioned Abinadi, trying to cross him so they would have something to accuse him of. Abinadi answered them boldly and withstood all their questions. He confounded them to their astonishment. He accused them of altering and misrepresenting the ways of the Lord for their own purposes, and he accused them of not keeping the laws that they were supposed to be teaching.

• How did King Noah respond to Abinadi’s words? (See Mosiah 13:1) King Noah wanted to kill Abinadi, and he tried to make it seem as if Abinadi was crazy. Why would King Noah try to make it seem as if something was wrong with Abinadi?

WHN – They attempted to take Abinadi, but he withstood them. He told them not to touch him because he had not finished delivering his message. The people didn’t dare lay their hands upon Abinadi because the spirit was with him, and his face shone with exceeding luster. He also spoke as with power and authority from God. Abinadi preached to them many things about the commandments and about the Savior Jesus Christ.

• When Abinadi was done with his message how did King Noah respond this time? Did King Noah repent after witnessing that the power of God was with Abinadi? (See Mosiah 17:1) King Noah commanded that Abinadi should be put to death.

• Why did King Noah want to slay Abinadi? (See Mosiah 13:7) Because it cut him to the heart that Abinadi was speaking the truth about his iniquities.

• Did anyone repent and believe Abinadi’s words? (See beginning of Mosiah 17:2) There was a priest named Alma that believed the words of Abinadi.

WHN –  Alma pleaded with the king for Abinadi’s life.

WHN – The king cast Alma out and sent his servants to kill him. Alma hid and could not be found. While he was hiding he wrote down all the words Abinadi had spoken.

King Noah and the priests told Abinadi they would kill him unless he denied the things he had said.

• How did Abinadi respond? (See Mosiah 17:9-10) Abinadi told King Noah he would not recall the words he had spoken, and if King Noah killed him, then his innocent blood would stand as a witness against the king at the last day.

To take innocent life is murder and merits eternal punishment. This made Noah fearful and he was about to release Abinadi, but the priests stirred Noah back into anger.

WHN – They whipped Abinadi, and then they burned him to death. As Abinadi was burning he cried out that even as they had done to him so would they endure the same.

• Why did the Lord allow Abinadi to be killed? Sometimes the Lord’s servants are called to seal their testimony with their blood. Their death stands as a witness of the truth of their words and also stands as a witness against the wicked.

• Why was Abinadi not afraid to die? Abinadi knew that he would receive eternal life and salvation because of his faithfulness.

WHN – After Abinadi’s death, his prophecies that God would deliver the people into the hands of their enemies began to come true when the Lamanites attacked the city.

WHN – The king commanded the people to flee, but the Lamanites pursued them and overtook them and began to slay them. The king commanded that the men should leave their wives and children.

• Why would King Noah command his men to leave their wives and children? He was concerned about his own safety, and the women and children were slowing them down.

Some of the men stayed with their families and were able to convince the Lamanites to spare them and their loved ones. They were taken captive.

WHN – The men that had left with the king wanted to return for their wives and children, but the king commanded them not to. They became angry and caused him to be burned to death.

Point out that Abinadi had prophesied that King Noah would suffer the same manner of death that he had inflicted upon Abinadi.

Discussion
Abinadi stood as a witness for God. A witness for God is someone who states his or her beliefs in God and in his commandments. Ordinarily they do not have to sacrifice their lives to do this.

• How can we stand as witnesses for God?

Activity
Tell the children they are going to do an activity to help them see how they can stand for the right and be a witness for God. Divide the children into sets of two. Have each set of children choose a situation card from the envelope. Have the children act out the scenario found on the card. Have them demonstrate how they can be a witness for God in each situation by sharing their beliefs and standing for the right.  Give the children a couple of minutes beforehand to talk about and prepare their scenes with their partners.

Conclusion
When we are valiant in standing as a witness for God we can be an influence for good in others’ lives.

• Who did Abinadi influence? Abinadi influenced Alma, the former priest of King Noah, and Alma shared Abinadi’s message with many others.

Get out the jar of pennies, and have the children get their papers from under their chairs. Tell the children that 450 souls listened to and believed Alma’s message, and there are 450 pennies in the jar. Later, Alma influenced even more people because he became the high priest in Zarahemla.

Ask the children if any of them came close to guessing how many pennies were in the jar. Praise everyone for their guesses.

Encourage the children to be witnesses of God and to be good influences upon those who are around them. Explain that even though some people may appear not be interested in listening, we may have more of an influence than we realize.

Weekly Reading Assignment  

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 11-13, Mosiah 17 and Mosiah 19:4–20.

Note: It is important to complete the lesson and do the activity to help the children see how to apply what has been learned. If there is not enough time, it may be necessary to discard the WHN activity and just show the pictures and tell the story.

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Lesson 15 – Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah

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Lesson 15
Alma and Amulek in Ammonihah

Preparation
• Items needed: a variety of fishing lures with hooks (or you can use the provided pictures of fishing lures), a nut in a shell placed in a small paper bag, chalk and eraser, a paper towel, a dry erase marker, tape or magnets, and two page protectors.
• Print and cut apart the scripture story visual aids. (The scripture story visual aids are from chapter twenty-two of Book of Mormon Stories. ) Also print and cut out the activity visual aids. Put the picture of the fishing pole and the picture of the children in the page protectors.

Attention Activity
Show the children the fishing lures (or the picture of fishing lures), and ask the children if they know what the items are used for.

Explain to the children that fishing lures are designed to attract and catch fish. Some lures are sparkly and shiny and some look like food (like bugs or small fish), but they are all traps. The lures are always attached to a hook. (Show the children the hooks.) When a fish takes the lure or bait they become hooked and can’t get away. Their lives are destroyed and they are devoured.

Satan also uses lures. His lures are appealing to people, and they are meant to entice us to sin. Many times we don’t see the danger or harm in his lures, and then we take the bait. When we take the bait and allow the hook to be set, then we’re caught. In today’s lesson we will learn about some of Satan’s lures and the destruction and damage that his traps can cause.

Scripture Story
Tell the following story using the scripture story visual aids.

As King Mosiah grew old he needed to decide who would replace him as king. His sons were the rightful heirs, but none of them wished to be king. They desired to go on a mission to the Lamanites and teach them the gospel. Instead of having a king, King Mosiah recommended to the people that they set up a system of judges. He gave them many reasons why judges would be better than having a king. The people were convinced of the truth of King Mosiah’s words, and they elected judges. Alma the younger was appointed to be the first chief judge in the land. He was also the leader over the church. His father had grown old and had conferred the leadership upon him. Alma the younger had become a strong and righteous leader in the church.

There was peace in the land for awhile. The members of the church were righteous and they prospered for a time, but then the members began to be lifted up in pride because of their riches.

• How does Satan try to lure people to sin because of riches?

o He tries to get people to think they were better than others because of their riches.
o He tries to get people to be selfish and not use their riches to help others.
o He tries to get people to think they received their riches because of their own ingenuity and not through the blessings of the Lord.
o He tries to tempt people to spend all their time seeking after riches instead of spending their time doing good things for others.

When Alma saw the problems that were occurring in the church, he selected a righteous man to take his place as chief judge. He then went among the people to preach the word of God. He wanted to help them remember their duty, and he wanted to expose Satan’s traps. After he got the church in Zarahemla in order, he began to travel to other cities to preach the word of God. One of the cities he went to was called Ammonihah. Satan had a great hold on the hearts of the people in Ammonihah, and they would not listen to Alma.

The people in Ammonihah had once been obedient members of the church, but they had allowed themselves to be influenced by the teachings of Nehor. Nehor was a Nephite that introduced priestcraft to the people. Priestcraft is when men preach to get gain and the praise of the world. They teach false and enticing things to attract people to follow them. The followers of Nehor taught that God redeems all men, and that he will give everyone eternal life regardless of what they do on the earth.

• Why do you think this type of preaching appealed to people? It meant that people could give into temptation because according to Nehor they could sin and still be saved. The people of Ammonihah allowed Satan to lure them with this false doctrine, and his hook and hold on them was great because of their desire for sin.

The people of Ammonihah reviled against Alma and cast him out of their city because the things he preached were in opposition to what they wanted to do.

Alma was very sorrowful because of the wickedness of the people of Ammonihah. As he travelled towards another city, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel told him to return to the city of Ammonihah. He was to preach to them and warn them that if they did not repent they would be destroyed.

• Do you think it would be hard to go back to a place where you had been treated cruelly? How did Alma react when he heard the news he needed to go back? (Read Alma 8:18) Alma returned speedily to Ammonihah.

• Why did Alma speedily return? He was always obedient to the Lord’s commandments, and he wanted to help the people of Ammonihah. He knew that if they did not repent they would be destroyed, and they would also suffer eternal consequences because of their sins.

When Alma entered into the city of Ammonihah, he was hungry because he had fasted many days for the people. He saw a man and asked him for food. The man said he knew that Alma was a prophet of God. The man had seen an angel in a vision, and the angel told him to receive Alma into his house. The man’s name was Amulek. He fed and took care of Alma at his house for many days.

• What might have taken place during the many days Alma stayed with Amulek? Amulek was probably being taught by Alma.

The Lord told Alma that Amulek also needed to preach and warn the people to repent. Amulek was a wealthy man with high standing in the community. He had many friends and family. He knew the ways of the Lord but had hardened his heart against them until the angel appeared to him. When the people heard Amulek’s story and heard him preach, they were astonished because there was more than one witness against them.

  • Ask the children if they think having more than one witness helped strengthen Alma’s message. Illustrate this concept by doing the following object lesson:

Object Lesson

Reach into the bag you brought and grab the nut. Show the children your closed hand. Explain to the children that there is something in your hand that can be eaten, but the thing that can be eaten has never been touched by human hands. Ask the children if they believe you. Show one of the children what is in your hand without letting anyone else see it. Have that child verify to the class that your statement is true. Ask the class if they believe you now. Show the class the shell covered nut.

• Point out that having more than one witness helped the children believe what you had told them.

Alma and Amulek warned the people that if they did not repent they would be utterly destroyed by the Lamanites. (Read Alma 9:18)

In Ammonihah many kinds of sins were being committed, including greed and corruption in the system of judges. The judges and lawyers often stirred up the people to rioting, disturbances, and all manner of wickedness because they were paid according to the amount of time they worked. They stirred up the people against Alma and Amulek so they might get more employ and more money. A man named Zeezrom was one of their most cunning lawyers. He, and other lawyers, tried to trick Alma and Amulek into saying contradictory things. Alma and Amulek had the spirit with them so they knew the thoughts of those trying to deceive them, and they could not be tricked.

Zeezrom was convinced of the power of God because Alma and Amulek had the power to know his thoughts and intents. Alma and Amulek talked to the people about the judgments of God after death. They told the people that they would be judged according to their works, words, and thoughts. After hearing Alma’s and Amulek’s preaching’s, Zeezrom began to tremble because of his guilt.

Activity
• Zeezrom was guilty of many sins. What kind of sins does Satan try to get people to commit? To use profanity, watch bad movies, disobey parents, cheat, steal, lie, listen to bad music, dress immodestly, use drugs, drink alcohol, to smoke, etc.

Explain to the children that Satan uses lures to try to get people to commit these sins. Put the tackle box on the board and the cut out cards of the lures below the tackle box. Put the fishing pole on the board, and have a child write one of the sins on the fishing line with the dry erase marker. Have the child then choose one of the lures that Satan might use to entice someone to commit that sin.

Tell the children that just as fishing lures are not what they appear to be, Satan’s lures are deceitful and false. They are lies meant to entice people into his traps so he can capture and hook them. (Discuss the ways that the lure is a lie.)

• When a person decides to commit a sin how do they become hooked? Their thoughts may dwell on the sin. They may want to try it again. Each time they do the sin it becomes easier to keep doing it. It then becomes a habit and a regular part of their life. They are hooked, and if they try to pull away it can be physically and emotionally difficult and painful.

Satan wants people to get caught and hooked in his traps so he can destroy their lives.

• In what ways does sin destroy and damage lives? ( (Put the picture of the children on the board next to the fishing pole. With the dry erase marker, have the child write a way that the sin might damage or destroy someone’s life on the picture of the children.) Answers may include: People may not trust them anymore. They lose the guidance, safety, and protection of the Holy Ghost. They may hurt those they care about with their actions and words; their relationships become broken and damaged. Their bodies can become damaged if it is a Word of Wisdom problem. They may end up having their freedoms taken away, such as being put in prison. They will lose the opportunity for eternal life unless they repent.

Erase the sin on the fishing line and have another child write a different sin on the line, choose a matching lure, discuss how the lure is a lie, and then write a consequence on the picture of the children. Continue in this way until all the children have had a turn, or all the lures have been used.

Conclusion
Sin always causes misery and unhappiness, and Satan wants us to believe that once we are caught by his lures and hooks there is no way to escape. But the Lord has provided a way we can escape: it is called repentance, and it may be painful and difficult. Imagine how a fish feels having a hook removed from its mouth. It can be very painful. But imagine how the fish feels if it is set free, back into the water. Removing the hook of sin from our lives may be difficult, but the wonderful feeling of being free from its destructive hold is worth the effort. But it is better if we never allow ourselves to be caught in the first place.

• What do we learn from the story of Alma concerning ways to prevent being caught in Satan’s traps?

o Alma preached the word of God to help expose the traps of Satan to the people. We need to learn the word of God by reading the scriptures and listening to the prophet so we can see and avoid the traps of Satan.
o When the wicked lawyers of Ammonihah tried to trick and tempt Alma and Amulek, the Holy Ghost warned and helped them and Alma and Amulek were not deceived. We need to seek for and listen to the guidance of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger.

Bear testimony that God provides guidance and help, but we need to seek for and follow His direction in order to avoid the destructive traps that are set by Satan.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week: Alma 8:8–32, Alma 10:31-32, Alma11:20-25, and Alma 12:1-7

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Lesson 13 – The People of Alma and the People of King Limhi

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Lesson 13
The People of Alma and the People of King Limhi

Preparation
• Print a copy of the scripture story word strips. Cut the large word strip sets apart on the dotted lines. At the end of each word strip is a letter and a number. Put each word strip with matching letters and numbers into a large Ziploc bag or large envelope. There are four sets, so you will have four bags of word strips by the time you are done.  Mix up the strips in each bag.  Label the outside of each bag with which story it is and what set it is, “Limhi’s People” L-1 or L2, or “Alma’s People” A-1, A-2.
• Items needed: four rolls of tape, a diamond jewellery item and a piece of coal (or the picture of a diamond and a piece of coal).

Attention Activity
Show the children the diamond and the coal. Explain that a long time ago the diamond started out as a piece of coal. The coal was deep in the earth, and extreme heat and pressure was applied to the coal. After a long period of time the coal transformed into valuable diamond stone. Inform the children that in today’s lesson they will learn how adversity, hardship, and difficulty can apply pressure in life and help refine us and change us. They will examine how two groups of people grew stronger and better because of adversity.

Scripture Story Activity
Divide the children into four groups. Give each group a bag of word strips and a roll of tape. Tell the children they have some mixed up strips of paper in their bag. Each bag of word strips tell half of a scripture story. Their job is to put the papers in the right order on the wall. Have the groups with the story strips about Limhi’s people put their word strips in order on the far left side of the wall. Have the groups with story strips about Alma’s people put their word strips in order on the far right side of the wall. When each group has finished putting their word strips in order, have them sit down. Tell them you are going to read each story, and they can check and see if their strips are in the correct order. Have somebody from their group fix any mistakes as you read. Start with Limhi’s group and read the story from the small word strip pages. After each group’s story has been read, and all the word strips have been fixed, ask the following questions.

• Who were both groups of people in bondage to? The Lamanites

• Why were they brought into bondage? Because of their wickedness.

The prophet Abinadi had warned the people to repent or they would suffer bondage and affliction. Two years after that warning they still had not repented. Abinadi told them bondage would come upon them, and if they still didn’t repent after being put into bondage, they would be destroyed. Even though Alma and his people had repented before being put into bondage, their repentance occurred after Abinadi’s second visit. They did not repent soon enough to escape the prophesied bondage and affliction. The Lord tested their faith while they were in bondage.

Activity
Compare the differences between what happened to Limhi’s people and what happened to Alma’s people by having the children look for the answers to the following questions in their story’s word strips. When they find the correct word strip, have them each move it to the middle of the wall so the two can be compared.

How did the Lamanites treat each group of people they had in bondage?
Limhi’s People – “The Lamanites would smite the people on their cheeks, and they put heavy burdens upon their backs and drove them like animals.”
Alma’s People –“The Lamanites began to persecute them and put tasks upon them and taskmasters over them.”

What did each group of people do when they were first put under heavy bondage?
Limhi’s People – “The people went forth against the Lamanites in battle to drive them out of their land.” (Limhi’s people tried to use their own strength to get out of bondage.)
Alma’s People – “Great were their afflictions and they did cry mightily unto God.” (Alma’s people turned to the Lord for help.)

• What were the results of Limhi’s people’s several attempts to fight against the Lamanites to try and free themselves? They were not successful, and many people were killed.

• Why could they not deliver themselves from the bondage? Have the children read Abinadi’s prophecy found in Mosiah 11:23 to find the answer. Point out that it says only the Lord could deliver them.

When did each group of people humble themselves and turn to the Lord for help?
Limhi’s People – “They went again a third time to battle and suffered in like manner. They then did humble themselves and submitted to the bondage and did cry unto God to deliver them out of their afflictions.” (Limhi’s people were not humble until after they were compelled to be humbled.)
Alma’s People – “They began to cry unto the Lord that he would soften the Lamanite’s hearts and that they would spare them.” (Alma’s people were humble and relied on Lord from the beginning.)

• Why did Limhi’s people finally humble themselves? Because they could not deliver themselves, and they knew they needed help.

When did the Lord hear each group’s prayers?
Limhi’s People – “The Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities.”
Alma’s People – “The Lord softened the Lamanites hearts and they spared their lives.” (From the very beginning the Lord helped them.)

• Why was Heavenly Father slow to hear the cries of Limhi’s people? Because of their iniquities, and because they had been slow to turn to him.

• Why did the Lord bless Alma’s people quicker? Because Alma’s people had repented of their sins, and they had turned their hearts to the Lord.

How did the Lord help each group of people with their burdens?
Limhi’s People – “He did eventually begin to hear their cries, and He did soften the hearts of the Lamanites, and the Lamanites did ease their burdens.”
Alma’s People – “Alma and his people did pour out their hearts unto God in their thoughts. The Lord did strengthen them that they could bear the burdens with ease.”

How did the Lord help each group of people escape from the Lamanites?
Limhi’s People – “Gideon set forth a plan. The Lamanite guards at the back wall of the city were drunk at night. Gideon proposed that they pass by the guards at the back wall when they were drunken and asleep.”
Alma’s People – “The Lord did cause a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites in the morning time, and Alma and his people did depart into the wilderness.”

• Which escape was miraculous? Alma’s people, but both groups had the Lords help being delivered from bondage.

Conclusion
• How were Limhi’s people like the coal at first? Their thoughts and actions were dark and unrefined.

• How did they become like the diamonds? The heat and pressure of adversity made them realize they needed the Lord’s help in their lives. They changed and became humble, obedient, prayerful, and faithful.

• How did the adversity affect Alma’s people? They became stronger in their faith in the Lord, and they developed other Christ like characteristics such as patience.

Sometimes the Lord allows us to suffer adversity, even when we are keeping the commandments, because adversity can refine us and help us develop characteristics of great value and worth.

Share an example and bear testimony of how Heavenly Father blessed you or your family during a time of adversity.

Weekly Reading Assignment

Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 21:5–16, 22:1-16, 23:1-5, 23:25-30, 23:36-37, 24:9–25

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