In Mosiah 25–28, Limhi's people, Alma's people, and Mosiah's people all become one group known as the Nephites. Despite their unity as a single group, unbelievers emerge, including Alma the Younger. Here are five lessons you can explore from this week's Come, Follow Me.
- • Becoming New Creatures — Elder L. Tom Perry
- • “The Immediate Goodness of God” — Emily Belle Freeman
- • “Only through the Father and the Son” — Elder Neil L. Andersen
- • Repenting in Two Days and Two Nights — Book of Mormon Video
- • Understanding Why God Weeps with the Sunday on Monday Study Group
We hope these topics, in addition to the Come, Follow Me manual, will enhance your understanding of these chapters.
Becoming New Creatures — Elder L. Tom Perry
In his October 1974 general conference address, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the story of Alma the Younger. He explained how Alma the Younger became a "new creature" and how that conversion caused him to "strengthen his brethren." He taught that we are to do the same.
All of the abundance, fullness, and plenty of this earth was given to us by God to be enjoyed in righteousness. We in turn are expected to love him; to be converted to him and his ways and to feed his sheep; to multiply, replenish, and strengthen our brethren. I pray that we may all catch the vision of what conversion means and focus our service on the effort to build the kingdom of God here on earth; that we may be likened unto Alma, Peter, or President John Taylor and the other great prophets and leaders of the Church throughout the dispensations of time who caught sight of his marvelous work and proceeded to dedicate their lives for its purposes.
Watch his full remarks below.
“The Immediate Goodness of God” — Emily Belle Freeman
Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler explore one verse from each chapter in the Book of Mormon in their book, Don’t Miss This in the Book of Mormon. Freeman highlights a phrase in Mosiah 25:10: “When they thought of the immediate goodness of God, . . . they did raise their voices and give thanks.” Read her thoughts on this verse in the excerpt below:
I am intrigued by the thought of the immediate goodness of God. As I read this verse, I assume that it means the most recent goodness of God, what just happened. It makes me question what the immediate goodness of God looks like in my life right now. When was the last time I recognized it? I have also started to realize that if I’m not taking the time to recognize it, I won’t ever remember to give thanks for it.
So I sit down with a paper and pen and set my stopwatch for two minutes, intent on writing down every immediate goodness that comes to mind. I go through the names of each of my children and clearly see how God is blessing them, blessing their families. Things are hard, but God is there. The grandkids should each count as double goodness, every single one. The yellow Jeep. The opportunities I have to serve, and to teach, and to testify of Christ. Good friends. Projects I am passionate about. A weekend spent with family. All immediate goodness. I realize that I have remembered to thank God for some of those things, but not all of them. Some of the goodness has gone unnoticed.
I have decided to try something for this one week. Every night I am going to start my prayers by pondering on the immediate goodness of God. I want to recognize and remember all of it. And I want to give thanks.
You've read the Book of Mormon before, but Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler, hosts of the popular YouTube scripture-study channel Don't Miss This, have created a new approach that will change the way you read your scriptures. Along with short, devotional-style lessons, their invitations will lead you to a more meaningful personal study of the Book of Mormon and vibrant discussions with your family and friends about its teachings. Available now at deseretbook.com.
“Only through the Father and the Son” — Elder Neil L. Andersen
In his new book, The Divine Gift of Forgiveness, Elder Neil L. Andersen explains that forgiveness, like the forgiveness experienced by Alma the Younger, can only come through our relationship with God. Read an excerpt from his book below:
A reminder checklist of things we need to do in our process of repentance may be helpful, but only if they accompany the most important determination: communicating directly with our Heavenly Father. When our actions have offended God, we go to Him first and throughout the journey of repentance. This deeply honest, intense speaking and listening with our Heavenly Father is not complicated, but it is not always easy. Enos described it as a wrestle within his spirit: “And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.”1
The righteous Saints who heard King Benjamin’s powerful address were described as having “fallen to the earth,” viewing themselves as “less than the dust of the earth.”2 The scripture then says, “And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ.”3
Remember the dramatic experience of Alma the Younger as he explained that he was “racked with torment, . . . harrowed up by the memory of [his] many sins.” Just at that time, he remembered his father speaking of Jesus Christ. He remembered his father saying that Jesus Christ would come to earth “to atone for the sins of the world.”4
Alma the Younger said, “Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.”5
Crying unto the Lord
We must realize that we begin to receive the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives through our prayers. It begins as we look to the Father in the name of His Son. It begins as soon as we ask with real intent.
When we come boldly, we come honestly without pretense, not covering our sins before our Heavenly Father but expressing them, understanding the sorrow and pain they have caused to our Savior, to others, and to ourselves. Boldly means we come with a determination to change and to return more fully to the path our Savior has shown us. We come realizing that the great gift of forgiveness will come only through the grace and power of the Savior Jesus Christ, and in no other way.
We turn to the Lord in prayer, as Amulek teaches, “that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you; Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening. Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies. Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. . . . But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness. Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.”8
We come willing to offer our whole soul to God. In the short book of Omni, Amaleki pleads with us, “I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him.”9
In this book, Elder Andersen writes especially to those who are "awakening" unto God—those who are just beginning to discover or who seek the divine gifts and power of repentance and forgiveness in their lives. Filled with powerful doctrine along with stories and experiences, this book will help all readers become more devoted disciples of the Savior. Available now at deseretbook.com.
- Enos 1:4.
- Mosiah 4:1, 2.
- Mosiah 4:2.
- Alma 36:17.
- Alma 36:18.
- Moses 5:8.
- Hebrews 4:16.
- Alma 34:18–23, 26–27.
- Omni 1:26.
Repenting in Two Days and Two Nights—Book of Mormon Video
Alma the Younger's conversion story is captured in two chapters in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 27 and Alma 36. A Book of Mormon video combines both accounts of his experience.
LDS Living's Jannalee Sandau shared the following insight after watching the video:
In the 11-minute video recounting the story of Alma the Younger’s conversion, we get a unique perspective on the familiar story of Alma the Elder and his wife praying for their wayward son. After Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah are rebuked by the angel, I was not surprised to see a representation of Alma the Younger’s harrowing experience of remembering all of his sins. What I was surprised by was how many times it switched between scenes of Alma’s internal torment and scenes of his family, friends, and neighbors praying for him in his home. It felt like it went on for a very long time, but when I thought about it, the switching scenes really did a good job of visually representing the two days and two nights that Alma the Younger lay tormented by his sins.
As I reflected on this representation, I thought about the repentance process that Alma the Younger experienced in a new way. When we are reading the story in the scriptures, it only takes a few verses for the rebellious son to see an angel and be left without strength for two days. Then, the first recorded words he says when his strength returns are “I have repented of my sins . . .” (Mosiah 27:24). While this repentance process may seem fast, as I watched the video, I realized that to someone tormented by sin, two days and two nights must have felt like an eternity.
Read more of Sandau's thoughts here.
Understanding Why God Weeps with the Sunday on Monday Study Group
This week’s Sunday on Monday study group digs into the ins and outs of repentance. We learn from Alma the Younger’s experience to see what role confession plays, how we can embrace those who have sinned, and most importantly, how those harrowing feelings don't need to last.
One of the guests on this week's podcast is Fiona Givens, who co-authored The God Who Weeps with her husband. As part of the podcast, she shares a reason why God weeps and explains it isn't just because we sin.
My favorite reference to the God who weeps is in Moses 7:37 where we read, ". . .wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?" . . .God is weeping because His children are not getting along. In fact, they're behaving appallingly to each other, and that is what creates the pain. So it's over the suffering that is a result of our. . . being wretched brothers and sisters. And it's interesting, I think it's significant that He doesn't say, "I'm weeping because they're sinning." He says, "I'm weeping because they are suffering." And to me, that is so powerful because it's such a radical move from God the Father, who most of us within our Church community and also without, see as a violent, wrathful, vengeful God. And in Moses 7, I think particularly this idea that God is suffering, that He is vulnerable, that He feels our pain and that inflicting pain would not be possible for Him on any level.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original presented by LDS Living. You can access the full study group discussion through the Bookshelf app. Listen to a segment of this week's episode below or listen to the full Sunday on Monday episode here.