COME, FOLLOW ME LESSON AIDS — Book of Mormon Lesson 29: July 20–26 “Look to God and Live” Alma 36-38 Ensign magazine september 2017 kneeling prayer

A Deep Dive into Alma Chapters 5-7: The Power of Self-Reflection and Spiritual Evaluation | BOMSocks

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In the context of the Book of Mormon, Alma Chapters 5, 6, and 7 stand out as particularly compelling and transformative passages. Each chapter offers unique insights and underscores the importance of introspection, repentance, and spiritual growth. This blog post aims to explore these chapters in detail, focusing on the profound questions posed by Alma and their relevance to contemporary spiritual practice.

Alma Chapter 5 is especially notable for its series of incisive questions designed to provoke deep personal reflection among the members of the church in Zarahemla. In the course of his discourse, Alma asks 50 questions, each intended to compel the listener to conduct a rigorous self-evaluation of their spiritual state. These questions serve as a spiritual barometer, measuring the strength and sincerity of one’s relationship with God. Notably, verses 14 and 26 encapsulate the essence of Alma’s inquiry, asking whether individuals have experienced a “mighty change of heart” and whether they can still feel the joy of their spiritual rebirth.

The importance of maintaining one’s spiritual vitality cannot be overstated. Alma’s questions are not merely rhetorical; they are a call to action. The transient nature of spiritual experiences means that past moments of divine connection and testimonies, while valuable, are not sufficient for ongoing spiritual health. Just as physical fitness requires regular exercise, spiritual fitness necessitates continual effort and reflection. Alma’s teachings remind us that a testimony has a shelf life and must be continually nourished to remain vibrant and effective.

Elder Quentin L. Cook’s October 2012 address, aptly titled “Can Ye Feel So Now?”, further elucidates Alma’s message. Cook emphasizes that despite the extraordinary spiritual gifts and blessings available in this dispensation, many still find themselves in a state of spiritual drought. His counsel is clear: individuals must regularly assess why they cannot feel the Spirit as they once did and take proactive steps to restore their spiritual well-being. This involves not only introspection but also active participation in the ordinances and practices of the gospel.

Alma’s approach to addressing the spiritual malaise of the Zarahemla church members underscores the importance of pure testimony. By relinquishing his position as chief judge to Nephihah, Alma dedicated himself to preaching and bearing witness of Christ. This shift highlights the transformative power of testimony and the necessity of prioritizing spiritual over temporal responsibilities. Alma’s example serves as a model for contemporary believers, illustrating the profound impact of focused spiritual effort.

In addition to personal introspection, Alma’s questions encourage communal self-evaluation. The collective spiritual health of the church in Zarahemla had deteriorated due to pride and wealth, leading to strife and contentions. Alma’s probing questions served to unify the congregation by focusing their attention on shared spiritual goals and the need for collective repentance. This communal aspect of Alma’s discourse reinforces the idea that individual spirituality is inextricably linked to the health of the broader faith community.

In conclusion, Alma Chapters 5, 6, and 7 offer timeless principles of spiritual self-evaluation and renewal. Alma’s penetrating questions challenge individuals to examine their faith deeply and honestly, encouraging both personal and communal growth. By regularly engaging with these scriptures and reflecting on the state of our testimonies, we can ensure that our spiritual journey remains dynamic and robust. As we ponder Alma’s questions, may we continually strive to answer with a resounding affirmation, ever nurturing the mighty change of heart that aligns us with the divine.

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Hey, friends. Good morning, Derek here from BOMSocks. Back with another day of BOMBites, where we feast upon the words of Christ one bite at a time. Okay, friends, this week we are getting into Alma 5, 6, and 7. Three phenomenal chapters, three very different chapters, but they are very powerful ones, and I hope you enjoy them this week. To give you a little context with Alma Chapter 5, you remember this last week, how we talked about how Alma had dealt with a lot of persecution. They dealt with a lot of antichrist in the church. We had to deal with Nihor and Amlisai, and they weathered those storms pretty well. However, you get into chapter 4, and what happened is probably one of the worst things that can happen to people. They got comfortable and they got rich, and they started having all kinds of pride problems. There’s a great quote from Brigham Young when he talked about the early saints of the church, which I think totally applies here. The worst fear that I have about members of this church is that they will get rich in this country. Forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the church and go to hell.

There you go, Brigham. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution and be true. But my greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth, and yet they have to be tried with riches. You remember back in Alma Chapter 4, they’re dealing with pride, strifes, contentions, all kinds of things. They’re looking down on people. The church begins to fail in its progress and becomes a great stumbling block to those who are not part of the church. Alma goes to his friend, Niphaha, and he says, You got this? And Niphaha says, Yep, I got I will be the chief judge. You go out and you preach pure testimony is what Alma says at the end of chapter 4. That pure testimony that you find is right here in Alma chapter 5. Now, one of the things I’ve learned over the years as a teacher is that asking questions, learning how to really ask good questions is at the heart of good teaching. Learn how to ask questions that you actually want to get answers to. Alma goes to the church in Zerahimla, and he asks them a series of questions, which is what is comprised of Alma chapter 5.

In fact, we’re going to spend couple of days here. Now, if you were to count the question marks in Alma Chapter 5, you’re going to count 50 question marks. These are 50 questions to the members of the church in Zerahimla to help them really have a spiritual evaluation. In fact, I had a missionary companion that I served with years ago, every single time during the sacrament, he would open up his scriptures to Alma Chapter 5, and he would go through, and he would read each of these questions. For him, it was more of a spiritual evaluation, and I started doing that as well. Now, not all of the questions in Alma Chapter 5 are relatable to us, but many of them are. I would invite you. One of the cool ways to go through and study this chapter is to go through and look at these questions. You can do this as an individual, you can do it as a family. It’s really from about verse 14 all the way down to verse 42. You can see all of the questions that Alma poses to the church in Zerahemla. I want to address just a couple of them today that I think are most relevant to you.

One of my favorite ones is chapter 5, verse 14, where he says, And now behold, I ask of you, again, here’s a good question, my Brethren of the Church, Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have you received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? Alma had just experienced this wonderful, mighty change, which we talked about a couple of weeks ago as his father prayed an angel here as his father prayed an angel to help him out, and Alma experienced that mighty change of heart. Now, like all things in the gospel, change is very temporary. Testimony has a shelf life. You can have an amazing, wonderful experience experience right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have it tomorrow. It’s one of those things that constantly needs to be worked on. Your testimony is like a muscle. Your spiritual growth is like that. If it is not being worked on, there’s that possibility of atrophy, and there’s that possibility of you losing it if you are not constantly working on it. We see it all through the scriptures, and we see it all through church history, for example.

You see a lot of people having powerful experiences with the Lord, powerful experiences with the prophet, and then just a few months, sometimes even a few weeks later, they have lost their testimony because they’re not working on it. Which is why when you are studying Alma 5:14, about this mighty change of heart, you cannot read verse 14 without also reading verse 26, where Alma says, And now, behold, I say unto you, my Breoth, if ye have experienced a change of heart, so if you’ve experienced this wonderful testimony growth, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? Those five words might be some of the most important words in this chapter. I remember having a seminary student years ago who had one of those Reminder Bands, and it simply said, Can you feel so now? Which I think is so awesome because if you have felt the spirit in your life and if you’ve felt that testimony grow, that is awesome. Can you feel so now? Return missionaries get caught up in this. I know I did as well for quite a while, is you find yourself referring back to your mission for your most recent spiritual experience.

Now, if you are 50 years old and you’re reaching back to when you were tracking as a for your most recent spiritual experience. Now, I don’t want to discount that. Those experiences are wonderful, but you’ve got to look at your most recent spiritual experiences, and hopefully, you are continually working on that testimony to where you could reach back to yesterday or last week. We have got to stay current with our testimonies. That is a crucial aspect to our lives as members of the church. We should be drawing upon our most recent spiritual experiences just this last week, which also helps us look forward to the future to some of our greatest spiritual experiences. If you’ve felt that change of heart, that is awesome. Can you feel so now? Now, back in October of 2012, Eleanor Quintin L. Cook gave a wonderful talk called Can Ye Feel So Now? Referring to these very verses in Alma. He said, This question, Can Ye Feel now rings across the centuries. With all we have received in this dispensation, including the restoration of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the outpouring of spiritual gifts, and the indisputable blessings of heaven, Alma’s challenge has never been more important.

It is not surprising that some in the church believe that they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not feel so now. They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you, it is important to evaluate why you cannot feel so now. It is so important to constantly evaluate our spiritual progress by asking ourselves these many questions that are found in Alma 5. I think this is a great way to start off this week. Go through, read those verses with those questions and see which ones apply the most to you and watch what it does as you give yourselves a similar spiritual evaluation that Alma wanted the people in Zerahimlet to have. I love this chapter and I’m excited to talk more about it with you tomorrow. Thanks so much for watching. Thanks for subscribing and thanks. If you like what you see, click the like button. And of course, you’ve got to go check out our amazingly comfortable gospel-themed socks at bombsocks. Com. You guys are awesome. Have a great day, and we’ll see you. Take care. Bye-bye.

 

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