Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ALMA 59-63

Today we finished Alma. What a great book. It is filled with doctrine, wars, peace, great leaders, bad leaders -- everything that would make you want to read it again and again. We read an epistle Captain Moroni sent to Pahoran accusing Pahoran of leaving Moroni and the warriors to fend for themselves. Capatain Moroni had some accusations about Pahoran that just were not true. So....when Pahoran received this epistle, how do you think he felt? How would you feel if someone accused you falsely? In Pahoran's epistle to Captain Moroni he tells him why he hasn't sent him help and then he tells him he is not angry. We can learn a lesson from Pahoran. He definitely would have been "justified" in being angry with Moroni, but instead he was not angry. Maybe we can turn the other cheek more often and remember Pahoran.
We read about a man name Hagoth who made ships and sailed north. In one of the verses it said that "we assume they all drowned". But modern day prophets have taught us about what happened to Hagoth and his people. President Spencer W. Kimball in an area conference in Samoa said, "And so it seems to me rather clear that your ancestors moved northward and crossed a part of the South Pacific. You did not bring your records with you, but you brought much food and provisions. And so we have a great congregation of people in the South Seas who came from the Nephites, and who came from the land southward and went to the land northward which could have been Hawaii. And then the further settlement could have been a move southward again to all of these islands and even to New Zealand. The Lord knows what he is doing when he sends his people from one place to another."
President Joseph F. Smith, when president of the Church, said to the Maori people of New Zealand, "I would like to say to you brethren and sisters from New Zealand, you ARE some of Hagoth's people, and there is NO PERHAPS about it!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It has been so long since I logged in....I forgot how. Thank goodness for a little help! I am back and ready to finish Alma, Helaman, and part of 3 Nephi before Spring break. Some of my students are VERY, VERY tired! I took a survey today thinking students who took vitamins would be less tired than kids who didn't. Turned out it doesn't matter (well, maybe it really does -- but not by my survey). Please help your kids get the rest they need. Winter is dark and gloomy and I know things will get better in the spring. But right now they are like the groundhog and want to go back into their burrow.

I had wonderful substitutes while I was gone: Brothers Mount, Mount, Roach and Bishop were the subs. I know the kids were in great hands!

Today we talked about Alma 40. Talked about all kinds of miracles from the scriptures from turning water into wine and the mummy (the mummy? it was Lazarus). Alma 40 has a great miracle -- the Resurrection. Alma gives one of the Book of Mormon's longest discussions on the Resurrection. You can think of many of the verses as puzzle pieces. Many religions have some of the pieces -- we have them all. We know that there was no Resurrection until after the coming of Jesus Christ (Alma 40:1-2), that Jesus Christ brings the Resurrection (Alma 40:3), there is a time appointed for all people to be Resurrected (Alma 40:4), there is a period of time between death and the Resurrection (Alma 40:6-9), righteous spirits await the Resurrection in a state of happiness called paradise (Alma 40:11-12), the wicked wait the Resurrection in darkness and fear of judgment (Alma 40:13-14), the body will be restored to its proper place (Alma 40:23) and the Atonement makes the Resurrection possible, and the Resurrection brings everyone back into the presence of God to be judged (Alma 42:23).

I am thankful we have all the pieces of the puzzle. I am glad I have the knowledge of the Resurrection. Knowing about our Heavenly Father's plan brings me peace. Peace in knowing that this life is not the end -- it will continue on and on and on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ALMA 27-29

Alma has a problem in chapter 27. He shows us how to solve a problem. You need to first decide what the problem is (do you have a problem?). Then you decide a plan. What are the pros and cons to your plan? Then take your solution to the Lord. I have a testimony that this will work as you solve life's problems.
Alma 27:18 tells us who will experience the greatest joy and happiness.
Mormon often used the phrase "AND THUS WE SEE" before sharing lessons from The Book of Mormon. Alma 28:10-12 tells us what has been happening. Then in Alma 28:13-14 Mormon gives us an AND THUS WE SEE. What was the lesson he was trying to teach us?
DINNER CONVERSATION: In Alma 28:1-6 we read of a great war. Why were people fasting and praying? Has fasting and prayer ever worked in your life?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ALMA 21-22

To understand our need for a Savior, we must first know that God lives, that He created all things, and that because of the Fall and our own sins, we are cut off from God's presence.
What makes a drink of water appealing?
Why does everyone need water?
Why might some not want it?
Why does food interest those who are hungry?
Why does everyone need food?
If we are not hungry, does food have the same appeal for us?
Does everyone need the Savior in their lives? Why?
Does everyone know they need Him? Why or why not?
President Benson, "Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon."
Ammon taught Lamoni about the Fall so he could understand why we all need Christ. Now Aaron is teaching the same thing to Lamoni's father. Aaron was a great missionary. President Eyring said, "Aaron taught the word of God in a way that emphasizes God's love and our need for Him." In Chapter 22:9-14 we found the doctrines of the Creation, Fall and Atonement.

DINNER CONVERSATION: What personal meaning does the Lord's suffering in Gethsemane and on Calvary have on you?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


We learned two great principles of the gospel today. First, the Holy Ghost may prompt us to do God's will, even when it is difficult. We learned this when the Lord told Ammon to go to Middoni because Aaron, Muloki and Ammah were in prison. Ammon did not know how he was going to help, but he was willing to go. "I will go and do....". The Lord did provide a way for Ammon to get his brothern out of prison.

DINNER CONVERSATION: Have you ever felt impressed to do something difficult and found a way to do it with the Lord's help?

Second, anger can lead to greater sins. King Lamoni's father became very angry with Lamoni and Ammon. Because of his anger he was ready to slay Lamoni and then Ammon. President Hinckley taught us, "May I suggest that you watch your temper now, in these formative years of your life....This is the season to develop the power and capacity to discipline yourselves. You may think it is the macho thing to flare up in anger and swear and profane the nae of the Lord. It is not the macho thing. It is an indication of weakness. Anger is not an expression of strength. It is an indication of one's inability to control his thoughts, words, his emotions. Of course it is easy to get angry. When the weakness of anger takes over, the strength of reason leaves. Cultivate within yourselves the mighty power of self-discipline." He then says, "Let no member of this Church ever lose control of himself in such an unnecessary and vicious manner."

DINNER CONVERSATION: Why do we get angry? What happens to the Spirit when we are angry?

Monday, January 11, 2010


Some of us are probably very familiar with this chapter. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you reread it. Verse 5: Why do you think the queen had a different reaction than others to the idea that her husband was dead? Verse 6: What change was Lamoni going through and what was influencing him? Bruce R. McConkie said, "Those who heed the enticements and submit to the strivings of the Holy Spirit (which is the light of Christ) are enabled to receive the Holy Spirit (which is the Holy Ghost). We have no better illustration of the full operation of the light of Christ upon an investigator of the gospel than what happened to King Lamoni."
Verse 13: What effect did Lamoni's testimony and the power of the Spirit of God have on his wife? Verse 14: How did Ammon show he was a humble missionary? Verses 16 - 17: What do we know about Abish? What opportunity did she recognize and seize? Verses 22 - 23: Read footnote 23a and read the reference. What can we learn from these verses about the Lord's promises? Verse 36: What Is Mormon telling us the lesson is (or principle)?

DINNER CONVERSATION: Like Abish, Lamononi and Ammon we can share our testimony. How can your testimony strengthen others? How does it strengthen you? How do other testimonies strengthen you?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

ALMA 17 & 18

Before Ammon started teaching King Lamoni he became his servant. Elder Eyring said, "Thouands of times every day, members of the Church are watched...by people curious to know something about our lives. Because we are under covenant to be witnesses, we will try to tell them how the gospel has brought us happiness. What they think of what we say may depend largely on how much they sense we care for them. Those we meet will feel the love....It may not be in hours or days as it was for King Lamoni, but they will feel our love after testing our hearts. And when they find our concern sincere, the Holy Spirit can more easily touch them to allow us to teach and to testify, as it did for Ammon."

Ammon 18 gives us a plan for teaching the gospel. Think of these different verses as stair steps. These are the steps Ammon used to teach the gospel to King Lamoni:
Alma 18:24-28 (what was taught?)
Alma 18:28-32 (what was taught?)
Alma 18:33-35 (what was taught?)
Alma 18:36-38 (what was taught?)
Alma 18:38-40 (what was taught?)

DINNER CONVERSATION: Why do you think Ammon chose to teach those doctrines in that order?