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

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?


Janelle said...

20:26 And when he saw that Ammon had no desire to destroy him, and when he also saw the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly.

Much of the successful missionary work in our ward has been through part member families. The inactive spouse always cites the love that was shown their spouse as the motive behind their change of heart and acceptance of the discussions being taught in their home. This may occur over decades in the marriage but their heart is softened when they see the love of the people for their wife/husband and children.

I also love when non member family members are invited to the baptism and although they come skeptical and angry they typically are impressed by the love of the ward family taking such a personal interest in their son or daughter.

In my at home scripture study group we are studying Preach My Gospel and we have challenged each other to bring a nonmember family into our homes within the next month or so and we want the entire family present to meet us. So often we fellowship an individual and their family is left confused as to all the fervor about this new church and its teachings. We want to include the entire family from the get go so that all members have a chance to see who we are and what is going on in our homes. If nothing else we hope to build community with our neighbors so they will not believe the craziness that is reported about LDS members in the media.

vs 30 And as it happened it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardrened and a more stiffenecked people therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out and smitten them and had driven them from house to house...

I love that Aaron and his brothers were no less righteous just because they didn't have the success of their brother Ammon, it just happened to be their lot. This happens to a lot of good missionaries who are faithful and true but it just happens to be their lot that they get sent to a more hardened part of the world.

vs. 21 I am so glad I am reading this as we celebrate our own Independence and religioius freedom... "And he did also declare unto them that they were a people who were under him and that they were a free people that they were free from the oppressions of the king his father; for that his father had granted unto him that he might reign over the people who were in the land of Ishmael, and in all the land round about. And he also declared unto them that they might have the liberty of worshiping the Lord their God according to their desires in whatsoever place they were in.

We had the missionaries for dinner tonight, what a pleasure that is. Reading these chapters in Alma always sets my missionary heart on fire. I am thankful for Alma, Ammon and his brothers' examples of patience, long suffering and love for the people they served.

TaLaisa said...

I loved chapter 20! To see Ammon's humility and strength was amazing. He loves Lamoni so much, and is such a great natural servant because of that love.

Lamoni's father seemed to have a change of heart when he saw the power Ammon had. And the fact that Ammon would not let him slay his own son. He used boldness in the delivery and did not sugar coat anything. The change continued when Ammon did not ask for anything but the freedom for his brethren. His desires were in the right place.

chapter 21
v.3 Were they led away by the unbelieving of those who had once known?? That's what it sounds like to me.

v. 7-10 Reminds me of the persecution that saints have always had. I've seen many conversations in my own time where members of the church are defending their very belief system. How many of the apostles touched upon the subject that we are Christians? It seems as though it is a never ending battle.

v. 13-17 They were persistent, they knew of what they spoke, they knew of the great importance of their message and the call to share it and they succeeded at turning many hearts to Christ.

v. 19 Ammon is endlessly loyal to Lamoni. The measure of his service knew no bounds. I think that sometimes we(I) get stuck thinking that once the conversion takes place and the baptism is performed that all the work is done. It isn't. True service and missionary work doesn't end at the baptismal font. Because the full time missionaries are not going to always be there, it becomes the blessing of the members to help sustain the new members and old members alike.

When I perform something with zeal, it no longer becomes a chore or a hassle but a great blessing and joy to do.

In that light, I have to say that studying the scriptures according to the lesson manual and exchanging ideas with others, through this blog, has really helped make scripture reading something I cherish because I'm able to understand more and I am learning and applying so much. It has become something I do with zeal. I may not always have time ,immediately after reading, to comment. But I am reading and loving it. Thanks to everyone who contributes so much!