I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Challenge to Become - Elder Dallin H. Oaks (oct. 2000)

This talk comes from the the November issue of the Ensign. I found this talk while doing some research for a talk I was asked to give in church. I really enjoyed reading it. I enjoyed it a whole bunch. So, read and discuss. If you'd like to.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mormon 4 and 5

I really enjoyed these chapters. They are still sad, but look! Mormon sent a message to people like me who found these chapters sad.

Mormon 5:8-11

And now behold, I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes; but I, knowing that these things must surely be made known, and that all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops—

9 And knowing that a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these people, and also unto the Gentiles, who the Lord hath said should scatter this people, and this people should be counted as naught among them—therefore I write a small abridgment, daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen, because of the commandment which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people.

10 And now behold, this I speak unto their seed, and also to the Gentiles who have care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come.

11 For I know that such will sorrow for the calamity of the house of Israel; yea, they will sorrow for the destruction of this people; they will sorrow that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus.

Why do you think these people chose not to repent?

Why do you think Mormon decided to be the commander of the armies again?

Do you think that it was good that Mormon held back in his description of the wickedness of the people or do you think it would be helpful to compare and contrast to our day?

Even as wicked as we are today, I think that in times of desperation we as a nation, people still turn to God for help. That gives me hope.

Who do you think the "remnant of Jacob" is who could come and be as a young lion and tear to pieces the unrepentant gentiles. I think this is in the last verse of Chapter 5. I have my guesses, just wondering if you concur.

I'll post again today with Mormon 6 and Moroni 9.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mormon 3

"And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ." Mormon 3:22

Mormon, you have persuaded me.

Thank you.


Monday, November 17, 2008

The Day of Grace Was Passed With Them

Mormon 2 is SAD!

Like super uber duper sad.

Here are my favorite verses:

13 But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.
14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.
15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually;

Wickedness never was happiness. Same is true today. I have friends who have chosen wayward paths who profess to be "happier than ever" than they had been in the church. And yet, their full attention is given to the tearing down and humiliation of the church. It doesn't look happy to me. It looks angry, spiteful and lonely.

In these scriptures you can see why Mormon aged so quickly: grief. Sorrow for the sins of the world. It was interesting that in 3 Nephi, Mormon pointed out that the 3 Nephites had been transfigured so that no harm or sickness could come upon them, aside from the sorrow for the sins of the world.

President Monson is such a happy guy, so was President Hinckley. Nevertheless, I do think they are acquainted with this type of sorrow. Sometimes we experience these same feelings in our families and in our callings. It makes you grow up spiritually.

Right now, I'm hoping Mormon is light years happier than he was than when he wrote this chapter.

Happy Monday!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Could Ye Have Departed From the Ways of The Lord.

Hi! This is Janelle. I blog at janelles.wordpress.com. Julie and I are blogging buddies. She invited me to post alongside TaLaisa's wonderful Conference studies. I will post once a day in preparation for next week's Sunday School Lesson: Mormon 1-6 Moroni 9

We skipped last week which was 3 Nephi 27 - 30 and 4 Nephi. In these beautiful scriptures we get a look into the peaceful state of a Zion community after the visitation of the Lord. There was perpetual peace and Mormon says there was never a happier people on all the earth. I know I wish I was alive in that time. Don't you?

We also learned all about the three Nephites and their calling and work on earth. I'm sad we didn't discuss these chapters because I loved them so much. I hope you don't skip them.

We must press forward so today we're talking about Mormon 1.

When Mormon was 10 he was approached by the record keeper Ammaron to receive the plates when he was 24.

At age 15, Mormon was visited by the Lord.

In 3 Nephi Mormon testified that he was ministered to by the 3 Nephites.

Mormon was commanded NOT to preach the things He learned from these ministrations because of the willful rebellion of the people.

How does knowing the character and life of Mormon affect your thoughts on the Book of Mormon as a whole?

How does knowing Mormon to be so young when he first was singled out by the Lord make you reflect on yourself and your children?

How did you feel when you learned that the Apostles had been taken from the earth? From what is written how do you think Mormon felt about this?

Tomorrow, I'll post about Mormon 2.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Living Scripture- Go Ye Therefore by Silvia H. Allred

This week we'll read this one. Go Ye Therefore by Silvia H. Allred
As in the past, please share your thoughts and insights from your reading.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

He Did Expound All Things Unto Them

I've obviously been seriously slacking over here lately. Thanks, TaLaisa, for keeping us going with Living Scripture. I'd like to continue that this week, if you'll get us a new talk to study.

As for Book of Mormon study, our ward is in 3 Nephi 22-26. As we have from the start, I think we'll just keep with my ward's schedule, so as to keep the confusion low.

There are 5 chapters to study this week and so I should be posting one per day, but I am going to ease myself back into the habit of moderating by having us study all the chapters as one post and comment as we go. If you find something in a particular chapter you like, comment about it! You can always add more later.

Here are the study suggestions from the Class Member Study Guide:

  • • After quoting prophecies of Isaiah, Jesus commanded the people to “search these things diligently” (3 Nephi 23:1). What does it mean to search the scriptures instead of merely read them?

  • • In his record, Mormon included only “the lesser part” of what Jesus taught the people (3 Nephi 26:8). How can we receive “the greater things”? (See 3 Nephi 26:9.)

  • • Read 3 Nephi 26:19–21. How can we follow this example in our marriages, families, wards, and stakes?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts as we study! And stay tuned for a Living Scripture post, as well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Living Scripture-Let Him Do It with Simplicity by Elder L. Tom Perry

For this week, we'll read this talk by Elder Perry and discuss what we've learned from the reading.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Living Scripture- Welcome to Conference by President Monson

I had a dream last night and in this dream I recalled several wonderful messages given during Conference, I remembered them with great fondness but I could not recall what I felt prompted to do with that new knowledge. Nor could I specifically recall who said what.

When I woke up I decided that I needed to follow the scriptures and not be just a 'hearer of the word, only'. Conference talks are living scriptures, we can learn so much from them.

If it's okay with Julie and everyone else, I'd like to read and review a talk a week. Maybe more, if we get a good response. I will post an online link to the talk so everyone can read it. Then leave your impressions, things that touched you, something you learned and an action we are called to do, through the talk.

We'll just go in order beginning with the Saturday morning session. The first talk was the Welcome to Conference message by President Monson.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good For My Word

I said I was going to post today and it's still today, right?!

This week's reading is Helaman chapters 13-16. We're being blessed with just 4 chapters to cover, which I appreciate, because I like when we can go chapter by chapter and really discuss. Plus I need a slower pace this week!

So for today & tomorrow (Tuesday & Wednesday), let's read chapters 13 & 14. These are the beginning of Samuel the Lamanite's prophecies concerning the coming of Christ.

Let's look for the prophecies he gives here. And if you're really keen to, cross-reference the fulfillment of those prophecies in later chapters.

Also, I loved verse 1 of chapter 13 "...the Lamanites did observe strictly to keep the commandments of God..." It was something I noticed from the last several chapters of Helaman, too. There's safety in strictness. I love that word and I want to pursue its meaning and how to accomplish it. What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Helaman 3, 4 & 5

This is tomorrow's reading. Fridays seem to be a little more quiet around here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Editorial Note

Hi everyone. It's been quiet around here, I hope everyone is still staying caught up on the reading. I'm going to be helping out and posting the prompts and the chapter assignments.

This week we are in Helaman. We'll be covering Chapters 1-5.

For tomorrow's discussion read Helaman 1 & 2.

In chapter 1 there is a lot of contention for the judgment seat. How does it parallel what we've seen occur in our time? How does contention affect people in this way? How did it contribute to the eventual downfall of the Nephite nation? How did contention help their enemies defeat them?(v.18-20) What parallels do you see in our own lives? What good came of this? For who?

Other points to consider; What were the objectives of the secret combinations? (2:8) Consider Mormon's comments on the effects the secret combinations had upon the Nephite civilization (12-14).

How can contentions enter a home, ward, neighborhood, family or any group? How can we avoid them?

What are some other observations you had while reading these verses?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Alma 56-57

Truth be told, I'm tired today. I haven't reviewed the chapters enough to ask any questions. But I did like this from the class member study guide:

• From whom did the young Ammonite warriors learn to have such great faith and courage? (See Alma 56:47–48; see also Alma 53:21; 57:21.) Why is it important for children to know the strength and certainty of their parents’ testimonies?

Study the following scriptures about motherhood:

Alma 56:47–48

1 Samuel 1:27–28

Genesis 24:60

Proverbs 1:8

Exodus 20:12

Moses 4:26

  • • The young Ammonites asked the prophet Helaman to be their leader (Alma 53:19; 56:1, 5). How did they respond to the commands they received? (See Alma 57:21.) What are some specific things you must do to follow the prophet “with exactness”?
Please overlook the formatting errors. I just cut and pasted. Happy studying!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We're Back!

Well, I took an unplanned week off. Sure...I planned on having baby, but I didn't plan on being consumed by the diapers and nursing. I really have had a baby before....I promise! I had some serious amnesia this time around.
I'm still elbow deep in nursing pads and diapers, but I've really missed the scripture study and reading your comments. And now we've missed 10 chapters!! And really good ones, too. All about Captain Moroni. Darn! But, in the spirit of the Flylady, we're not going to try and "catch up," we're just going to start with this week's Gospel Doctrine lesson. The chapters are Alma 53-63. I'm feeling challenged as to how we can really study in depth 11 chapters in just 5 days. Any thoughts? For now, I'm thinking we'll do chapters 53-55 Monday, 56-57 Tuesday, 58-59 Wednesday, 60-61 Thursday, and 62-63 Friday. These are not short chapters, either. So, we'll do our best, okay?

Let's get started! Chapter 53 introduces us to the 2,060 young warriors commanded by Helaman. As you read chapters 53-55 today, think about what sort of faith it took for these young men, and their parents, to make the choice they did.
What can we learn from their parents?
What else do you find significant from these chapters?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

...Only Let Your Sins Trouble You...

For perhaps the best explanation of the Fall and its relation to the Atonement, we need look no further than Alma 42.

I think it would be useful to read this in tandem with 2 Nephi 2 today.

This is the last chapter we'll study this week. Please share your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

...Wickedness Never Was Happiness...

Chapter 41 is all about "restoration." I find it interesting that Corianton is worried about these things....I suppose he had listened to the false doctrine spread by Korihor and others? Alma answers these concerns so directly, though, it just leaves no room for doubt about the plan and how it will be administered.

Verse 5 -- This verse gives me comfort. What are your thoughts about it?

How can verses 9 & 10 help us to avoid sin? Do you believe the doctrine taught here? Why is it that people can commit sin and still be happy, yet "wickedness never was happiness"? I don't disbelieve the doctrine, just wondering your thoughts on how the two coexist? What does Alma mean? I do love the lead up in verse 9 and feel like it gives some answers.

Verses 11-13, again -- these are so important! How should/can/do they affect our everyday actions?

Any other thoughts or comments?

Monday, August 4, 2008

This week we're studying Alma's counsel to his son, Corianton. You'll remember, Corianton was disobedient while serving his mission among the Zoramites. (That was in chapter 39 -- hopefully you read it on your own...). Alma, as a loving father & mission president, not only helps Corianton understand how his sins affected other people, but, in chapters 40-42, gets deeper into the concerns Corianton has about the doctrine of the resurrection. It is one of the great sermons on the plan of happiness, don't you think?

So, let's focus on chapter 40 today.

The first part of the chapter speaks of the state of souls between death and the resurrection. To us, this is pretty basic doctrine. As you read these verses, consider what it would be like to be learning this for the first time. What impact would that have upon you? How would you change your life?

What do you think about verse 25? Can we "shine forth in the kingdom of God" even now? How?

And how about verse 26? "...consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup." This description reminds me of Doctrine and Covenants 19:1-20. What are your thoughts about this?

Slothful Moderator...

Please forgive me for not posting on Chapter 39 on Friday. I'm back to "normal," so hold me to consistent posts this week, will ya?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

...He is the Word of Truth and Righteousness...

Today we are in Alma 38 -- Alma's commandments to his son Shiblon. As I studied this chapter tonight, I noticed a recurring theme in Alma's messages to Helaman and Shiblon.

So, what similarities do you find between these two conversations?

What differences do you notice?

How can we follow the counsel Alma gives?

Oh, and what are your thoughts on verse 4? I have some, but as you can tell, I'm struggling to get my thoughts together here. I'll share in the comments section tomorrow if I can get it together.

And for your reference...we'll be in chapter 38 for Thursday and 39 for Friday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

...Learn in Thy Youth to Keep the Commandments of God...

Chapter 37 of Alma continues Alma's preaching to Helaman. He entrusts the brass plates and other sacred records to his son and gives him tremendous counsel regarding faith, prayer, and obedience.

What has the Lord commanded us to do for "a wise purpose?" (vs. 14) What purpose do our own personal records serve?

What can we learn from vs. 33 regarding our sharing of the Gospel -- with our families and with others?

What are your thoughts about the Liahona analogy Alma makes?

What do you want your children to know you know? What can you do to ensure that happens?

Monday, July 28, 2008

...Whosoever Shall Put Their Trust in God Shall be Supported in Their Trials...

I love the three chapters we'll be studying this week. They underscore the importance of sharing our testimonies with our children and also the need to share those by the Spirit. I love that Alma knew each of his sons so well and tailored his message to each individually. He bears witness of the same doctrine, the same gospel, but does it in a way that it is personalized for each son.

Today, we read his testimony to Helaman.

Alma shares his coversion with Helaman in verses 5-24. How does sharing our own stories of conversion affect our children? When and how can we do this?

What are other verses are catching your eye today?

Also, for further study, go to the Class Member Study Guide for a chain of scriptures referencing parents' counsel to their children.

Friday, July 25, 2008

...They Did Administer to Them According to Their Wants...

Please forgive the late post. I've had internet troubles this morning. Back up and going -- hooray!

We'll finish up this week with Alma 35. It's a short chapter, but sets the stage for the next big "story" in the Book of Mormon -- Helaman and his stripling warriors. Also, it introduces the next couple of chapters where Alma c0unsels his sons.

Before we get to those chapters, though, as I read over chapter 35 today, I was struck by how much good doctrine, example, etc. there was even in this brief chapter. One thing in particular was the people of Ammon's immediate compassion and response to the newly converted Zoramites.

What things are you learning in chapter 35 today?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Alma 34

Updated 7/23, 7:45 pm -- We will continue studying Alma 34 tomorrow (July 24th). Friday will conclude with Alma 35. Have a terrific Pioneer Day and please feel free to comment on any back posts if you feel so inclined. You can subscribe to comments (meaning they'll be sent to your inbox). Just follow the instructions on the comment page.

True confession: I haven't even looked at Alma 34 yet today. But it's a good one. Since I'm off to a doctor's appointment and have just spent my time in other ways this morning, please pick up the slack (as you typically do in the comments anyway!) and share your thoughts on this chapter.

Your thoughts, please!

I just updated the sidebar of the blog to more accurately reflect what goes on around here. Do you approve? Any changes you'd like me to make?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

...Would Ye Not Behold Quickly?....

After such a stirring lecture on faith in chapter 32, Alma gives us a simple directive in chapterr 33 -- If you want to know it, try it.

As you study Alma 33 today:

*What does verse 2 teach us about the importance of having the Spirit present when we study the scriptures?

*What do these verses from Zenos remind you of or teach us?

*I love verse 14. It's so straightforward. It is the very essence of Moroni's challenge in Moroni 10:3-5, don't you think?

*Alma uses the children of Israel as an example in verses 19-21 -- how are we like them? How can we avoid being like them? What are some of the simple things Alma is talking about?

*I just love the promise in verse 23 -- makes the whole experiment worthwhile, doesn't it?

Monday, July 21, 2008

This week, we're into the great faith chapters in the Book of Mormon -- Alma 32-35.  When I was a missionary, Alma 32 was always a chapter that we loved to read with investigators -- there is so much here to be learned about faith and action.

As we read Alma 32 today, think about how you can "give place" to Alma's words.  What does it mean to "give place?"  

I love the thought of the truth swelling within your breast.  What does this feeling describe?

What does Alma teach us about faith versus knowledge?  How should that affect us in our day to day lives?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Words of Hope & Consolation at the Time of Death

Alma 30 & 31 are the only chapters in the lesson this week!  That gives us a couple of options -- all of which I think we will pursue.

1 -- Keep studying and commenting on these chapters throughout the rest of the week.  Just do it on those posts.
2 -- Read the Relief Society lesson today and tomorrow.  In our ward it's Lesson 14, Words of Hope and Consolation at the Time of Death.  I'm teaching this Sunday, so I've read it a couple of times already -- it's so worth your time.

Keep commenting on Alma 30 & 31 and leave any thoughts or comments or insights on Lesson 14 from the Joseph Smith manual in this post.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

...Wilt Thou Comfort Their Souls in Christ...

Alma 31 is the account of Alma's preaching to the Zoramites.  There are two prayers given in this chapter -- the first is the blasphemous prayer of the Zoramites on the Rameumptom.  The second is Alma's prayer for his fellow missionaries.  

While we read today, let's note some of the differences between these two prayers.

Also, what can we do to avoid falling for the false doctrines of men (or more accurately, Satan)?

What else strikes you in this chapter?

Monday, July 14, 2008

...All Things Denote There is A God...

Today we are studying Alma 30.  This is the account of Alma the Younger's encounter with Korihor, an Anti-Christ.  I can't help but wonder if Alma hoped he would have a similar success with Korihor as he did with Zeezrom.  

What are some differences you can see between Korihor and Zeezrom.  

Why do you think Zeezrom was receptive to the message and Korihor wasn't?

What things in your own life "denote there is a God?"

What are some ways we can acknowledge, remember, and act upon these things?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Sorry for the late post today -- been tending to the little ones. I am going to be at my little guy's cardiologist appointment tomorrow, so there won't be a post. We have only one chapter left -- Alma 29. This is Alma's great psalm -- there is so much to be learned here about humility, strength, wisdom, and love. Please share your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

...That We May Protect our Brethren...

As I read Alma 27 & 28 today, I was struck by how willing the Nephite members of the Church were to help the newly converted Lamanites keep their covenants. How can we do that with newly baptize, newly activated, or even long-time members of the Church? How can we help each other keep our covenants?
Which verses in these chapters illustrate ways to do that?
Alma 27:28-30 describe the way the people of Ammon viewed their past sins. What does this teach us about repentance?

Thoughts on Alma 28?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today we'll study Alma 25 & 26.

Alma 25 recounts the fate of the seed of Amulon and the priests of king Noah. What consequences did they suffer for their actions?
Also, how can we relate verses 15 & 16 to our day and time?

As you read Alma 26, the rejoicings of Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni after the end of their mission, think about your own success in life. These verses, I think, can be attributed not only to missionary success, but all aspects of our lives. Who is the ultimate author of every good thing? Who wants us to succeed both spiritually and temporally?
What can we learn from Ammon's recitation of their mission?

Monday, July 7, 2008

...As Many as...Were Converted Unto the Lord, Never Did Fall Away....

Isn't that a beautiful thought? It's found in Alma 23:6 -- speaking of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies or the converts from Ammon's missionary service. We have several chapters to cover this week and they are so good. We can learn so much about true conversion and discipleship from the Anti-Nephi-Lehies -- let's make that a point of discussion as we study and comment this week.

For today, let's read chapters 23 & 24. I loved the questions about these chapters from the Class Member Study Guide, so I'm going to shamelessly use them to guide our discussion today. At least I'm giving credit, right?!

  • • The Anti-Nephi-Lehies “were converted unto the Lord” (Alma 23:6). Why is it essential that Jesus Christ be at the center of our conversion?

  • • The converted Lamanites chose to distinguish themselves from their brethren who remained wicked (Alma 23:16–18; 27:27–30.) In what ways are we distinguished from the world when we are converted?

  • • Despite their afflictions, what were the Anti-Nephi-Lehies grateful for? (See Alma 24:7–10.) How can gratitude to God help us face trials and afflictions?

  • • The Anti-Nephi-Lehies “took their swords … and they did bury them up deep in the earth” (Alma 24:15–17). Why was it significant that they buried their weapons rather than simply promising not to use them? What can we do to bury our “weapons of rebellion”?

After a busy week of Independence Day celebrations, let's redouble our efforts in studying!

Friday, July 4, 2008

...I Will Give Away All My Sins to Know Thee...

Happy Independence Day, everyone! I hope it is a happy and safe one.

We'll end with Alma 22 today -- the conversion of king Lamoni's father. As you read this chapter, think about what you are willing to give up to know Christ.

What is the level of conversion we should be seeking?

When we share the Gospel with others, what should be our goal?

I know this will be an eventful day for everyone. Just try to get these chapters read during the weekend -- they're too good to pass up!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

...They Were Zealous for Keeping the Commandments of God...

We'll be studying Alma 20 & 21 today. Here we meet Lamoni's father, king over all the Lamanites -- his conversion begins when he witnesses the love Ammon has for his son. Consider that theme as you read these chapters.

Chapter 20

Why is love such an important element in sharing the Gospel? TaLaisa, I liked your thoughts about this from yesterday.

We begin to see the change in the king's heart in chapter 20 -- what causes these first changes to happen?

Chapter 21

Vs. 3 -- Why were the Amalekites and Amulonites more hard than the Lamanites? What effect do we have on those who haven't been taught the Gospel?

Vs. 7-10 -- What are your thoughts about these scriptures?

Vs. 13-17 -- What can we learn about sharing the Gospel from these missionaries and their experiences?

Vs. 19 -- I just noticed this this time reading -- Ammon went back to his duties as a servant to the king! Isn't that neat? Of course, Lamoni at this point knew Ammon would be much more useful preaching the Gospel and so allowed him to do that. But Ammon's intention was still pure and filled with love -- he would continue serving king Lamoni for all his days, just as he had promised in chapter 17. What do you feel about this?

Vs. 20-23 -- What happens when people are truly converted? Are we "zealous for keeping the commandments of God?"

Any other thoughts or feelings about these chapters?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

...There Has Not Been Such Great Faith Among All The People of The Nephites...

A continuation of Ammon's mission to King Lamoni and his people. In this chapter we are introduced to King Lamoni's wife, who Ammon says has greater faith than all the people of the Nephites. I like that distinction -- one that is worth striving for.

Vs. 1-3 -- Ammon waits until the queen summons him. Why?

Vs. 9-10 -- What does this teach us about the power of personal testimony and of bearing testimony?

Vs. 16 - Wouldn't you love a record of that vision?
What does Abish teach us?

Vs. 22-23 -- Another reminder to us as parents, right? What do we learn here?

Vs. 24-36 -- What are your thoughts? How can our missionary efforts improve?

Alma 18

Sorry, everyone, for the late post. I have an unexpected Dr. appointment this morning, so I won't be able to do a full post.

Alma 18 continues Ammon's teaching King Lamoni. Please share your thoughts and insights about this chapter.

Monday, June 30, 2008

...They Were Still His Brethren in the Lord...

It's week 3, can you believe it? I am so enjoying the discussions we are having here -- thank you for your contributions! Keep them coming.

This week we'll be studying Alma 17-22. Since we have 5 days to cover 6 chapters, we'll do 17 on Monday, 18 on Tuesday, 19 on Wednesday, 20&21 on Thursday, and 22 on Friday. That's the 4th of July, so we may not get a ton of comments, but please keep up with your reading -- it does make a huge difference, don't you think?

Alma 17 begins the missionary account of the sons of Mosiah. They spent 14 years among the Lamanites, preaching the Gospel and serving the people.

*vs. 2&3-- I feel like if we all met, this would be the experience we'd have. What exactly made this such a great reunion? What can we learn from this as parents, friends, etc? What kind of relationships should we be developing with those around us?

*vs. 9&11 -- What can we learn as lifetime missionaries from these verses? Also, what do we learn about faith from verse 10?

*vs. 12-16 -- How is this similar/different from our call today?

*vs. 20-25 --What was it that made King Lamoni trust Ammon? What can we learn from this?

*vs. 26-39 -- Not just a great story, although it is that. What symbolism is in these verses regarding our missionary service? And our service to our families?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekend Challenge

I've enjoyed these chapters so much this week! Thank you for your insights.

I feel prompted to share a challenge with each of us...if you'd like to participate, please do. Maybe we'll do this every weekend as a wrap-up to our reading. We'll see what we feel.

So, my challenge this week is to include the Gospel related events of my weekend/week with a neighbor.

Hope your weekend is nice. We'll be studying Alma 17-22 next week.

...That They Might Receive the Word with Joy...

Alma 16 recounts the fulfillment of Alma's prophecy to the Ammonihahites (I won't miss typing that word every day!) and the preaching of the Gospel among the Nephites.

*vs. 2, 9-11 -- the fulfillment of Alma's prophecy. What can we learn?

*vs. 4-8 -- God cared enough to answer this request for information. What can we learn from this? What about when it comes to voting this fall (but let's keep our discussion free of heated political debate ;))?

*vs. 13-14 -- How can we apply these verses?

*vs. 16-17 -- Is this happening today? Are we praying that it will? This reminds me of Alma 6:6.

*vs. 18-21 -- How does this compare to our day?

*Any other verses that struck you? Insights?

And I might be the last person in the world to discover this, but did you know you (as in NOT the publisher of the post) can have the comments emailed to you? You can. Just click the "email follow-up comments to..." box in the comment form before you hit publish and you'll get all the discussion emailed right to your inbox. How's that for technology? Thanks, Cheryl!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

...Believest Thou in the Power in the Power of Christ Unto Salvation?...

Alma 15: Alma and Amulek are commanded to leave Ammonihah and go to Sidom. There they meet the believers who had survived and escaped the wickedness of the Ammonihahites. Among them is Zeezrom, who has become very ill. His fever is caused by his feelings of guilt and sorrow for his sins and the consequences they have brought upon others.

In verse 4, Zeezrom discovers Alma and Amulek are in Sidom and sends for them. The verses that follow tell much of Zeezrom's level of conversion.

*Vs. 4-12 -- what does Zeezrom's conversion teach us about repentance? What sort of feelings should we have when we repent? How can we know we are forgiven? What must we do to retain that forgiveness?

*Vs. 13-15 -- what caused this "flocking" to the Church from all the land round about? What can we learn from terrible acts of wickedness all around us?

*Vs. 16 -- I had never noticed this before -- Amulek's family were among the wicked. What do we learn about true conversion from this?

*Vs. 17 -- I love the phrase "seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts." How do we do this? What causes it?

*Vs. 18 -- Tender mercies of the Lord?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alma 14

I am not yet prepared to do a post with specific questions. But I do want us all to get started on chapter 14, so here we go --

*Here's your chance to send the discussion in the direction you'd like! Share your thoughts and insights from this chapter.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sorry everyone, I'm running a little late this morning (heading to Idaho to visit sis & new twins!!!). I won't be posting this morning as a result. There is still plenty to talk about in chapter, so we'll keep going with it today.
And please, if you've never left a comment before, consider this your invitation! And if you have, then consider this your time to do it again!

See you Wednesday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

...Being Called and Prepared from the Foundation of the World...

So, it's going to be a crazy week for me -- office party to host, visit to my sis (the mommy of new twins!), birthday, visit from Cheryl, dinner to a neighbor, etc....). But we have 4 great chapters to study this week! I love the continuation of Zeezrom's story we'll read in a few days.

Here's how this week will work -- we'll do chapter 13 today, 14 on Tuesday, 15 on Wednesday, and 16 on Thursday. I've noticed we don't get many comments on Fridays, so we'll call that a catch up day this week. And Amanda -- I've missed your thoughts this week! Hope you're enjoying your new summer schedule!

Alma 13 continues Alma's sermon (3rd witness?) to the wicked Ammonihahites.
*In verses 1-7 he lays out the doctrine of foreordination. Why do you think this was important for this people to understand? How about us?
*Some quotes from prophets about this doctrine:
The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “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” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 365).

President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “Before we came here, faithful women were given certain assignments while faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks. While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to. You are accountable for those things which long ago were expected of you just as are those we sustain as prophets and apostles!” (“The Role of Righteous Women,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 102).

*verses 12&13 -- what are your thoughts?

*verse 20 -- how do we "wrest" the scriptures?

*the last 10 verses are just beautiful. What are your thoughts? Do you feel this way in our day?

Friday, June 20, 2008

,,,He That Will Not Harden His Heart, to Him is Given the Greater Portion of the Word...

Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter this morning! There was just SO much great news in Alma's follow-up to Amulek's testimony.

*vs. 1-8 suggest that Zeezrom is beginning to experience a change of heart. What was it about Amulek's words that caused this? What can we learn from that?
*vs. 9-10 -- what do you think about these? I have some thoughts, but want to hear what you think about it.
*vs. 12-118 -- Janelle, this is similar to what you said in the last post, don't you think? What can we do to avoid the circumstances Alma describes? Why did Alma have to use such language with this people?
*vs. 20 - From this verse, I think you're right, Janelle, these people must have been like the Jews in Christ's time who were well versed in the scriptures, but knew nothing of the doctrine. What significance does this have for us as members of the Church? What does Alma want us to learn?
*vs. 23-27 - probably the greatest sermon on the Fall there is, don't you think? What are your insights from these verses?
*vs. 28-29 - what do these verses reveal about God's love for His children?
*vs. 37 - Are we part of this group Alma describes? What can we do if we are?

There was just so much to talk about in this chapter -- I know Friday is a busy day for everyone and I'll be heading out of town this afternoon myself, but I hope we'll take the time to study this chapter -- it's sort of the culmination of the things we've studied this week! It's answered some of my questions from earlier chapters and has really enriched my day already!

And now we have a weekend to catch up! Isn't it nice to feel prepared for Sunday?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

In this chapter, Amulek contends with Zeezrom, one of the most successful lawyers in the land of Ammonihah. They have a very memorable exchange. Zeezrom offers Amulek six onties of silver to deny the existence of a Supreme Being. I wondered what exactly that amount was and in my research found this:
At this juncture, a reader naturally asks, what are "six onties of silver" and how large was the offered bribe? It seems that the Nephite record keepers anticipated these sorts of questions from readers and therefore listed the relative values of the weights and measures used by the Nephites at that time to calculate wealth. Zeezrom's bribe was an impressive sum. A judge earned one onti of silver for seven days of work. Hence, six onties of silver would equal a judge's salary for 42 days of work; or if seven judges were involved in a case, enough to pay them all for a six-day trial. Zeezrom's six onties probably looked quite sizable, physically. If one has spent time in a village marketplace where merchants sell goods measured out by using old metal weights, one notices how bulky the weights themselves are. Because an onti of silver would purchase seven measures of barley in the marketplace (see Alma 11:6–7), it is safe to conclude that an onti represented a significant amount of silver in raw weight.
Weighing and Measuring in the Worlds of the Book of Mormon John W. WelchProvo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1999. Pp. 36–46
I found that very interesting and even helpful as I listened to their exchange throughout the chapter.

*What can we learn from Amulek's response to Zeezrom in vs. 26-27. How should we answer questions presented to us about the Gospel?
*Zeezrom's words really are cunning, aren't they? Amulek's response reminds me of Christ's temptation in the wilderness -- they both use scripture to rebuke their tempter. What can we learn from this?
*Verses 39-46 are some of the best about the ressurrection and judgement, don't you think? One thing I noticed this time is how Amulek's message was tailored specifically to his audience. Verse 44 must have shaken Zeezrom and the wicked judges right to the core. What can we learn about teaching by the Spirit from this chapter?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

...There Was More Than One Witness...

The scriptures make it pretty clear that truth is confirmed by two witnesses. Amulek serves as that second witness to the people of Ammonihah. He is a unique second witness, though, different from a typical missionary companion bearing testimony to what his companion has taught. Amulek was one of the Ammonihahites.

*What can we as member missionaries learn from this?
*What effect did Amulek's witness have upon the people? Why? What was it about Amulek that made his testimony so astonishing to the people?
*What similarities does vs. 26 have to our own day?
*It's late and I'm a little fuzzy, so share your other insights from the chapter (you're all really good at that anyway, thank you!)

...I Would That Ye Should Remember...

Sorry for the late post. I am going to try to get these up every night, but last night we had unexpected guests. I'll repent and do better!

In Alma 9, Alma and Amulek begin their missionary companionship. As has been mentioned, this is perhaps the greatest pairing in missionary history. We're headed into some great chapters here!

*What are some of the stumbling blocks Alma faces as he preaches to the Ammonihahites? What are their excuses for not listening to his message? Why is this significant?

*Alma talks a lot about remembering in this sermon. Why do we need to remember our ancestors? What about our posterity?

*What are your thoughts about verse 23?

*How do we personally "prepare...the way of the Lord...." (vs. 28)?

*Any other inspiration?

Monday, June 16, 2008

...That the Lord Might Show Forth His Power in Them...

Alma 5 & 7 were sermons to members of the Church in Zarahemla and Gideon. Alma 8 is the beginning of Alma's missionary journey -- he is preaching to people who do not have the Gospel; who are unbelievers.

*Why do you think Alma had this great wrestle with God in mighty prayer concerning the wicked Ammonihahites? Who was changed as a result?

*After Alma is cast out of Ammonihah, he is visited by an angel who tells him to return. Verse 18 tells Alma's reaction to that command. What can we learn from his reaction?

*Upon returning, he meets Amulek. What do we learn about God's character from His dealings with Alma in this chapter?

*This is absolutely a missionary chapter -- how can this chapter help us share the Gospel more effectively? What characteristics does Alma have that will help us?

*How about as friends and parents? What can we learn about life from these verses?

*This chapter is completely tied in with the next several chapters. While you study, keep in mind the experiences Alma and Amulek had as they taught together.

Now, a bit of housekeeping. Is one chapter per day too much? Do you like a post the night before so you have plenty of time to study and comment or do you have enough time with a morning post?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Weekend!

I won't be posting anything for Saturday and Sunday. Use them for studying your Relief Society Lesson or catching up! Next week we'll be studying Alma 8-12.

And if you have anything you'd like to add to previous posts, please do! You're not too late -- I think we all like to go back and check if there's anything new out there.

Have a great weekend -- and a restful Sabbath!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Alma 7 -- There is one thing of more importance than they all

It's Friday and we're on the last chapter of this Sunday's lesson material. Many of you didn't add your thoughts on chapter 6-- if you have things you'd like to add -- keep doing it all weekend.

Alma chapter 7 is Alma's sermon to the people in Gideon. According to Alma (vs. 3 & 5) , these people were in a much more righteous state than the people of Zarahemla.
*With this in mind, what are the differences between the two sermons?
*What about verses 7 & 8? What do they teach us about our time?
*If you feel it appropriate to share, what are some of your experiences with Jesus?
*How do verses 17-19 apply to us as parents? Teachers? Leaders?
*What other insights, thoughts, questions do you have?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alma 6 -- The Church in Zarahemla is cleansed and set in order

This is a much shorter chapter after a huge one in Alma 5! If you have more insights from continued study of that chapter, keep commenting on that post!

Alma 6 is short, yes, but as I quickly read through it, I feel that there's enough there for a good discussion.
As you read this chapter, think about how the Church is set-up today. Why is this order necessary?
What are your thoughts about verse 5? What does Mormon mean?
And verse 6 - what are your thoughts about this as a missionary tool? Have you had any experiences with this?
We certainly don't need to restrict ourselves to these questions, but just to get us started...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Alma 5 -- Have Ye Recieved His Image in your Countenances?

I just realized something as I got ready to do this first post -- although there is a uniform curriculum throughout the Church, we sometimes get off by a few weeks due to Stake Conference and other events. So, since we're not in the same ward we're going to have to sort of go with the flow. For now, since I'm the moderator, we'll go with the lesson my ward is studying. If we find there's a tremendous amount of variance from that, we'll adjust as necessary. Sound good? Good.

Our first reading section will be Alma 5. This is Alma speaking to the people of Zarahemla. According to the class member study guide, Alma asks over 40 questions during this sermon. Wow!

Let's read this chapter looking for those questions
And to get the discussion started, think about these things:

*What questions stand out to you? Why?
*Which are especially applicable to Latter-day Saint Women?
*What can we challenge ourselves to improve based on Alma's sermon?

For now, I'm thinking we won't set a time to "meet" online, as we all have differing schedules. But let's do this: read the chapter on the day it's posted (add this to your Google Reader!) and come to the post that day. It will be fun to check the comments throughout the day as time permits and see what others are thinking. We'll be able to communicate, discuss, ask questions, etc. through the comments section. And I will try to post the reading section by 9:00 am MST.

And I am certainly open to any suggestions as we go along -- as in how we could make this go more smoothly, encourage discussion, etc.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Scripture Study Group

I'm considering starting an online scripture study group. Would you be interested? I'll moderate. We'll pick a study topic for each day or every few days and have a discussion via the comments section. Would you be interested?