As we study the scriptures, we are blessed to learn not only from people who are doing good, but also from people who, like us, make mistakes. In this week’s Come, Follow Me, we learn valuable truths taught to Corianton, who didn’t live a perfect life. In these chapters, we see how God’s mercy allows us to overcome mistakes.
Here are some takeaways from Alma’s counsel to his son Corianton found in Alma 39–42.
The Gravity of Sexual Sin
Alma teaches his son that sexual sin is an abomination, saying that it is “most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost” (Alma 39:5).
In this week’s episode of the Sunday on Monday podcast, the study group shares why this sin is so serious, referring to a quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments”:
Setting aside sins against the Holy Ghost for a moment as a special category unto themselves, it is [Latter-day Saint] doctrine that sexual transgression is second only to murder in the Lord’s list of life’s most serious sins. By assigning such rank to a physical appetite so conspicuously evident in all of us, what is God trying to tell us about its place in His plan for all men and women in mortality? I submit to you He is doing precisely that—commenting about the very plan of life itself. Clearly God’s greatest concerns regarding mortality are how one gets into this world and how one gets out of it. These two most important issues in our very personal and carefully supervised progress are the two issues that He as our Creator and Father and Guide wishes most to reserve to Himself. These are the two matters that He has repeatedly told us He wants us never to take illegally, illicitly, unfaithfully, without sanction.
Podcast guest Abe Mills notes, “In society in general, it's become more acceptable for people to not obey the law of chastity. So it is kind of amazing and eye opening for a lot of people to realize how close to the top that sin is.”
And though Alma uses this infraction as an opportunity to correct his son, he also uses it as an opportunity to teach about Jesus Christ and the mercy and grace He offers us.
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 above or listen to the full Sunday on Monday episode here.
The Example of Parents Teaching the Law of Chastity
Alma sets an example to parents as he teaches his son about the law of chastity. Perhaps you may find it beneficial to also have a conversation with your family about the law of chastity. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some resources suggested in the Come, Follow Me manual:
- • Alma 39:1–9
- • For the Strength of Youth: “Sexual Purity”
- • Gospel Topics: “Chastity”
- • Overcomingpornography.org
- • Video: “What Should I Do When I See Pornography?”
- • Video: “I Choose to Be Pure”
- • Video: “How to Talk to your Kids about Intimacy
The following articles previously published by LDS Living may also be helpful:
- • Talking to your kids about sexuality? These 5 takeaways from a new 'Ensign' article can help
- • Healthy sexuality and chastity: 5 ways to teach your kids (without making it awkward)
- • The dangers of using metaphors when teaching youth about sexuality
- • Why teaching morality isn’t enough: How to teach children healthy sexuality
- • The perfect thing my husband did when he discovered pornography on our child’s device
Alma’s Counsel for Avoiding Sin
In this week’s episode of “Don’t Miss This,” Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler share six tips Alma gives his son to help him avoid sin:
- • Harrow up your soul for your good (see Alma 39:7)
- • Don’t hide your crimes (see Alma 39:8)
- • Go no more after the lusts of your eyes (see Alma 39:9)
- • Counsel with “your brothers” (see Alma 39:10)
- • Refrain from your iniquities (see Alma 39:12)
- • Turn to the Lord and acknowledge your faults (see Alma 39:13)
Speaking on the last point, Butler explains, “When we talk about repentance as a turn, I love the thought of it is not a turn away from sin as much as it is a turning toward the Lord. Repentance doesn’t mean ‘I stop that.’ Repentance means ‘I turn to God with all of my heart, mind, and strength.’”
You can watch the full episode of “Don’t Miss This” below. To find more insights from this teaching duo, be sure to pick up a copy of Don’t Miss This in the Book of Mormon, which explores one verse from each chapter of the Book of Mormon.
We Can Find Hope
If you’re looking for a guest speaker for your “home church” lesson, President Boyd K. Packer could be the perfect pick.
In April 2006 general conference, President Packer centered his message on the story of Corianton and his father, titling his talk, “I Will Remember Your Sins No More.” In his remarks, he shared:
The angels of the devil convince some that they are born to a life from which they cannot escape and are compelled to live in sin. The most wicked of lies is that they cannot change and repent and that they will not be forgiven. That cannot be true. They have forgotten the Atonement of Christ.
“For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him” (D&C 18:11).
Christ is the Creator, the Healer. What He made, He can fix. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of repentance and forgiveness.
Watch President Packer’s address below.
We Are Not Defined by Our Sins
After watching the Book of Mormon video that accompanies this chapter, LDS Living author Jannalee Sandau shared the following:
I was touched by the final words [Alma] spoke to Corianton. “Ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people . . . Declare the word with truth and soberness” (Alma 42:31). This was a beautiful reminder to me that our eternal identities are not lost simply because we have sinned. It is possible to show love to others and keep sight of their potential while helping them become better when poor decisions have been made.
You can watch Alma give this counsel to his sons in the full episode listed first below, or you can watch specific counsel to Corianton using the video segments thereafter.
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