Lesson 46: Ether 7-15 These notes will concentrate on Ether 12.
Lesson 45: Ether 1-6 Chapter 1 Though things are complicated by the fact that Mosiah (which one?) withheld the Book of Ether from his people (Ether 4:1), it is plausible to think of the book as being like a Book of Mormon for the people of the Book of Mormon.
Lesson 44: Mormon 7-9
Lesson 43: Mormon 1-6, Moroni 9 Since I’m putting these together between conferences all over North America, the last lesson and this are not as complete as I would like. My apologies.
Lesson 42: 3 Nephi 27-30 and 4 Nephi Chapter 27 Verse 6: What does it mean to take Christâ€™s name upon us? (What sermon in the book of Mormon has the most to say about that?) When we are told to endure to the end, what are we to endure?
Lesson 41: 3 Nephi 22-26 I’ll be out of town for each of the next three weekends, but I will try to keep up on the study materials for Gospel Doctrine class.
Lesson 40: 3 Nephi 16, 20-21 Chapter 16 Verses 8-10, especially 10: Who are the Gentiles? Look at each condition for when these things will happen. What does each mean?
Lesson 39: 3 Nephi 17-19 Chapter 17 Verses 1-3: Does the Savior think what he has said is easy to understand? Are the things he has taught â€œplain and simpleâ€?? Why havenâ€™t the Nephites understood him well? In what ways are they weak? What does it mean to ponder something? What does it mean to ask the Father for understanding?
Lesson 38: 3 Nephi 12-15 This will be one of the longer sets of notes. I would apologize for their length, but even at this length I have left a great deal unexplored. Though I will continue to post following lessons, I will spend more than one week on this material in my class. There are enough extra Sundays at the end that, given where I now am in the lesson materials, I can do so and still finish all of the materials. Iâ€™ve not had time to look carefully over this to correct typographical errors, so I apologize in advance for the oneâ€™s that I am sure you will find.
Lesson 37: 3 Nephi 8-11 Chapter 8 Verses 1-23: Why might there have been so much destruction in this hemisphere at the time of the crucifixion and so little destruction in the other?
Lesson 36: 3 Nephi 1-7 We will concentrate on chapters 5-7.
Lesson 35: Helaman 13-16 Chapter 13 Verses 1,ff: Does the Lord threaten the Nephites through Samuel, telling them to â€œrepent or elseâ€?? If so, how do we understand such a threat? How does it differ from bullying? If not, how are we to understand this kind of prophecy? Verse 5: What does Samuel mean by â€œthe sword of justiceâ€?? Verse 7: What are the glad tidings which the angel brought him and which he hoped the Nephites would receive? Verse 8: Why does the Lord say he will withdraw from them because of the hardness of their hearts rather than because of their wickedness? What does the Lord mean when he says he will take his word from among them? When he says he will suffer them no longer? When he says he will turn the hearts of their brethren against them? (After all, it canâ€™t mean heâ€™ll send the Lamanites against them since the Lamanites are now righteous.)
Lesson 34: Helaman 6-12 Chapter 6 Verse 3: How does the attitude of the members of the Church compare here with Moroniâ€™s attitude? Verse 9: As soon as we read that the Nephites and Lamanites â€œbecame exceedingly richâ€? what do we expect to read about soon? Verse 17: Why do they want gain? What does it mean to be lifted up above another? Whatâ€™s wrong with it? How do we lift ourselves above others? Verse 27: Why is the comparison of the Gadianton robbers to Cain an important one for us? What does it tell us? Verse 30: What does it mean to say that Satan is the author of all sin? Does that mean I am not the author of any sins? If so, how can I be held responsible?
I’m back from a couple of weeks during which the internet wasn’t accessible–altogether, a very nice experience. This is the lesson that I will be teaching tomorrow, and I will try to get next week’s lesson out early in the week. Lesson 33: Helaman 1-5 Chapter 1 Verses 7-8: How do we understand a righteous person like Pahoran the elder having a child who was so unrighteous? For what did the Nephites condemn Paanchi to death? Why was his crime so terrible that it deserved death?
Lesson 32: Alma 53-63 Many people find it difficult to read the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. Though I certainly understand why they have difficulty, for me the most difficult chapters are those on war at the end of Alma. I understand that they show us what happened to the Nephites, an important part of the Book of Mormon’s message. But I don’t find a lot of spiritual meaning in them, so I find myself just reading through them, not stopping to think, wonder, or meditate. I am interested in what others might contribute to helping me think about these chapters.
Lesson 31: Alma 43-52 The manual gives this overview of the material in the lesson: a. Alma 43–44. Led by Zerahemnah, the Lamanites come to battle against the Nephites, seeking to bring them into bondage. The Nephites, led by Moroni, fight to defend their families and their liberty. The Nephites prevail because they are “inspired by a better cause” and because they exercise faith in Jesus Christ. b. Alma 45:20–24; 46. Amalickiah desires to be king and causes dissension among the Nephites. Captain Moroni raises the “title of liberty” to inspire the people, and they covenant to follow God. Amalickiah and a few of his followers join the Lamanites. c. Alma 47–48. Through treachery, Amalickiah becomes king of the Lamanites. He incites the Lamanites to fight against the Nephites. Captain Moroni prepares the Nephites to defend themselves righteously. d. Alma 49–52. War continues between the Nephites and the Lamanites. The king-men desire to set up a king over the Nephites,…
Lesson 30: Alma 39-42 Why is the lengthy discussion of resurrection in chapters 40-31 addressed to Corianton? Why does that part of Alma’s sermon come before his discussion of the punishment of sin (chapter 42)?
Lesson 29: Alma 36-39 Alma 35:15-16 explains why Alma says the things in these chapters to his sons, Helaman, Shiblon, and Corianton: because he grieved for the hardness of the hearts of the people to whom he and others had been sent as missionaries. (See Alma 31:6-7.) How does that explain what he says, especially since one of the three sons to whom he speaks, Helaman, was not part of that mission?
Lesson 28: Alma 32-35 Warning: this set of study questions is long, probably the longest I’ve done so far. If you bother to go through them, I think you’ll see why. If you don’t, it probably doesn’t matter why, but this should give you some idea: In the first edition of the Book of Mormon, Alma 30-35 are one chapter (16). 1. Korihor (30) 2. Zoramites (31-32a; 35) 2a. the poor in spirit (32a) 2b. faith and the atonement (32b-34) 3. Separation of the Ammonites from Jershon (35) This suggests that we should read these stories as a piece, as a story about how Alma deals with different forms of apostasy. Alma’s sermon in chapters 32 and 33, with Amulek’s response to Alma’s sermon, are the conclusion or climax of the story. Notice that the division between chapters 32 and 33 occurs in the middle of the sermon, breaking it up artificially. The result is that we tend to treat…
Lesson 27: Alma 30-31 We are all familiar with the story of Korihor, sufficiently familiar that we may read it too quickly. When we read quickly, we tend to skim over the text and “see” in it what is already in our heads rather than what it says. So take time to read through this story slowly, looking for places where it says things that you do not expect it to say. Those are places where you are likely to learn something new. Since Alma 31 fits naturally with Alma 32-35, lesson 28, I’m going to include it in those lesson materials rather than here.
Lesson 26: Alma 23-29 Those who may not have a printed lesson manual can find it here. At the heart of this material we have the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, converts of the sons of Mosiah. That story has a great deal to teach us today, but it may not be what we expect, whether we read it as a story of pacifism or as something else.
Lesson 25: Alma 17-22 Though this week’s lesson contains sermons by prophets, they aren’t its focus. Instead, it is primarily an account of part of the mission of the sons of Mosiah, particularly the missions of Ammon and, to a lesser degree, Aaron. This account makes a good story, with its tale of Ammon’s service to Lamoni and his battle with those who wanted to steal Lamoni’s sheep. We often use that story as an illustration of things such as faithful service or doing missionary work by service. Are those the reasons that the story of Ammon and Lamoni is included in the Book of Mormon? How does this story as a whole (not only the story of Ammon, but also that of Aaron and the other sons of Mosiah) fit in the context of the Book of Mormon and what are that book’s purposes for the story? How do the missionary approaches of Ammon and Aaron compare and contrast?
Lesson 24: Alma 13-16 The outline of the story in these chapters, from the Sunday School manual: a. Alma 13. Alma gives a powerful discourse on the priesthood and the doctrine of foreordination. b. Alma 14. Alma, Amulek, and other faithful believers are persecuted for their righteousness. The Lord delivers Alma and Amulek from prison because of their faith in Christ. c. Alma 15. Zeezrom is healed and baptized. Many people in Sidom are baptized. d. Alma 16. The words of Alma are fulfilled as the Lamanites destroy Ammonihah. The Lord prepares people’s hearts to receive the word preached by Alma, Amulek, and others. I will concentrate on chapter 13
Lesson 23: Alma 8-12 This is the manual’s synopsis of the story in the chapters assigned: a. Alma 8-9. After preaching in Melek, Alma calls the people of Ammonihah to repentance, but they reject him. He leaves but is commanded by an angel to return. Alma is received by Amulek, and both are commanded to preach in Ammonihah. b. Alma 10. Amulek preaches to the people of Ammonihah and describes his conversion. The people are astonished that there is another witness to Alma’s teachings. Amulek contends with unrighteous lawyers and judges. c. Alma 11. Amulek contends with Zeezrom and testifies of the coming of Christ, the judgment of the wicked, and the plan of redemption. d. Alma 12. Alma further explains Amulek’s words, warning against hardheartedness and wickedness and testifying of the Fall and the plan of redemption. To keep the study materials to a usable length, I will concentrate on chapters 11 and 12, with brief questions for chapters…
Lesson 22: Alma 5-7 In these chapters we have two magnificent sermons by Alma the Younger, more than enough material for several Sunday School lessons. These materials will focus on chapter 5, with a few things also from chapter 7. To whom is the address of chapter 5 given? How is it particularly relevant to their situation? To whom is the sermon in chapter 7 given? How is it particularly relevant to their situation?
My apologies for posting this so late. I’ve had family visiting, so blogging has had to take a back seat, along with Sunday School preparation. I think I’ll have the next lesson up by Sunday or Monday evening. Lesson 21: Mosiah 29, Alma 1-4 Mosiah 29 Verses 7-9: Aaron has just been converted in a miraculous manner, and he is obviously serious about his conversion. His mission is evidence of that. Nevertheless, here we see Mosiah worried that being king might destroy him. Does he lack confidence in his son? If so, why? If not, how do you explain Mosiah’s remarks?
Lesson 20: Mosiah 25-28; Alma 36 Warning: the materials for this lesson may be the longest I’ve produced so far. As always of course, they are intended only to help you think about the material. No lesson could cover all of the significant ideas and questions that come up in these chapters. The first part of the materials is a chronology created by Arthur Bassett. I post that chronology in response to Tom Johnson’s note (here) that I was not clear about the chronological relation between Mosiah and Alma in the materials for Lesson 19.
Lesson 19: Mosiah 18-24 Chapter 18 Verse 1: Many of the conversion stories in the Book of Mormon are more detailed and more dramatic than this brief description of Alma’s repentance. (Compare Enos’s story and Alma the younger’s, for example.) Why might this story be told so briefly?