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

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.