‘Come, Follow Me’ for July 8-14: What have Church leaders said about Alma 23-29?

This week’s study guide includes the Anti-Nephi-Lehies burying their weapons and Alma’s desire to speak ‘with the trump of God’

This week’s “Come, Follow Me” study guide covers Alma 23-29, which includes the Anti-Nephi-Lehies burying their weapons and Alma’s desire to speak “with the trump of God” (Alma 29:1).

Following are a few quotes from past and present Church leaders about these chapters.

Alma 23

“Through repentance we draw upon the cleansing, sanctifying power of Jesus Christ. It is a key part of the process of conversion. This is what happened to the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in the Book of Mormon. They were Lamanites who were so completely converted that they ‘never did fall away’ (Alma 23:6–8). They buried their weapons of war and never took them up again. They would rather die than break that covenant. And they proved it. We know that their sacrifice brought miracles; thousands who fought against them threw down their weapons and were converted. Years later, their sons, who we know as the mighty stripling warriors, were protected in battle against incredible odds!”

Elder Carlos J. Revillo Jr. of the Seventy, October 2021 general conference, “Miracles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

“An important lesson about the connection between testimony and conversion is evident in the missionary labors of the sons of Mosiah.

“’As many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them — yea, … as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.

“’For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more. …

“‘Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord’ (Alma 23:6–8).

“Two major elements are described in these verses: (1) ‘the knowledge of the truth,’ which may be interpreted as a testimony, and (2) ‘converted unto the Lord,’ which I understand to be conversion to the Savior and His gospel. Thus, the powerful combination of both testimony and conversion unto the Lord produced firmness and steadfastness and provided spiritual protection.

“They never did fall away and surrendered ‘the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.’ To set aside cherished ‘weapons of rebellion’ such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now.

“Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord — to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine — and they never did fall away.”

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2012 general conference, “Converted Unto the Lord

“My message today is for you first-generation members who may have been born to goodly parents and yet were not taught the gospel in your homes. Instead of being like the army of Helaman, who ‘had been taught by their mothers [that] God would deliver them’ (Alma 56:47), you may be like their parents, the people of Ammon, who grew up as nonbelievers.

“It may be helpful to review the story about the people of Ammon. They were Lamanites who had been taught the gospel by Ammon, Aaron and others (see Alma 23:1–4). When they accepted the gospel, these Lamanites were called the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and later called the people of Ammon (see Alma 23:16–17; 27:23–26). The sons of these people of Ammon were the army of Helaman, who helped fight the nonconverted Lamanites (see Alma 56:3–6).

“So the strength of the army of Helaman really began with their parents, who were the people of Ammon. They were the ones who first learned the gospel from the scriptures. They were the ones who learned about the power of prayer. And they were the ones who first made and kept covenants with the Lord. And just as it began with them, it begins with you. As first-generation members, you are the ones who begin the cycle of teaching and strengthening the next generation.”

— Sister Vicki F. Matsumori, then second counselor in the Primary general presidency, April 2007 general conference, “A Lesson From the Book of Mormon

Alma 24

“In Alma 24 we read, ‘He loveth our souls [and] he loveth our children; therefore … the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations’ (Alma 24:14).

“We begin to make the plan known to our children when we hold tight to the iron rod ourselves.

“When we are holding tight to the iron rod, we are in a position to place our hands over theirs and walk the strait and narrow path together. Our example is magnified in their eyes. They will follow our cadence when they feel secure in our actions. We do not need to be perfect — just honest and sincere. Children want to feel as one with us. When a parent says: ‘We can do it! We can read the scriptures daily as a family,’ the children will follow!”

— Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, then Primary general president, October 2010 general conference, “Stay on the Path

“Consider the power of labor. Labor well spent increases our capacity to do. … It deserves our praise and our gratitude. Without it we could not reach the heights that are otherwise ours to achieve.

“But our labor can be misdirected. One can be anxiously engaged in a meaningless cause. Or one can do something wrong a hundred times and call it experience! Some would avoid labor while pursuing the goals of wealth without working for it, or an honored position without preparing for it. The converted Lamanites taught this lesson: ‘Rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands’ (Alma 24:18).”

Then-Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 1984 general conference, “Protect the Spiritual Power Line

Elder Mikaele Saipa’ia, from Tonga, highlights scriptures while studying at the New Zealand Missionary Training Center in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. Saipa’ia was preparing to serve a mission in Perth, Australia. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Alma 25

“Trusting in His promises is not always an easy choice. Waiting upon the Lord requires a faith in Jesus Christ that can feel, at times, like it is almost more than we can muster. Yet … God’s promises are sure, and I know that the Savior will offer any help and support we need as we seek to come to know and trust our Father in Heaven, who will verify ‘his word … in every particular’ (Alma 25:17).”

— Sister Lori Newbold, then a member of the Young Women general advisory council, in the February 2022 Liahona article, “Living ‘as Though’ God’s Promises Have Been Fulfilled

Alma 26

“Through the years I, like you, have experienced pressures and disappointments that would have crushed me had I not been able to draw upon a source of wisdom and strength far greater than my own. He has never forgotten or forsaken me, and I have come to know for myself that Jesus is the Christ and that this is His Church. With Ammon, I say: ‘[For] who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy … ? Behold … I cannot say the smallest part which I feel’ (Alma 26:16). I testify that in this, the twilight of the dispensation of the fullness of times, when Lucifer is working overtime to jeopardize our journey home and to separate us from the Savior’s atoning power, the only answer for any of us is Jesus Christ.”

— Sister Sheri L. Dew, then the second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, April 1999 general conference, “Our Only Chance

“There has never been a greater need than now for an army of mature couples to go out into every far corner of this earth and retain the fruit of the harvest. The harvest is truly great, and the laborers are few. Remember the words of Ammon:

“’Our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work’ (Alma 26:3).

“Imagine what thousands of couples could do this year, followed by hosts more in succeeding years. We could move into the fields of harvest, and we could nurture, care for and gather them ‘into the garners, that they are not wasted. Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day’ (Alma 26:5–6).”

— Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, then of the Seventy, April 1992 general conference, “A Prisoner of Love

Alma 27

“We see around us the joy of so many who are standing strong by continually nourishing their spiritual roots. Their faith and obedience is sufficient to give them great hope in their Savior, and from that stems great happiness. They don’t profess to know all things, but they have paid the price to know enough to have peace and to live with patience as they seek to know more. Line upon line, their faith is cemented in Christ, and they stand strong as fellow citizens with the Saints.

“Let each of us live so that … we will remain ‘firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end’ (Alma 27:27).”

Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy, October 2017 general conference, “Seek Ye Out of the Best Books

“The assurance that the resurrection will include an opportunity to be with our family members — husband, wife, parents, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren — is a powerful encouragement for us to fulfill our family responsibilities in mortality. It helps us live together in love in this life in anticipation of joyful reunions and associations in the next.

“Our sure knowledge of a resurrection to immortality also gives us the courage to face our own death — even a death that we might call premature. Thus, the people of Ammon in the Book of Mormon ‘never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it’ (Alma 27:28).”

Then-Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2000 general conference, “Resurrection

Alma 28

“A priesthood holder is to be patient. Patience is another form of self-control. It is the ability to postpone gratification and to bridle one’s passions (see Alma 28:12). A patient man does not engage in impetuous behavior in his relationships with loved ones, which he will later regret. Patience is composure under stress. A patient man is understanding of others’ faults.

“A priesthood bearer who is patient will be tolerant of the mistakes and failings of his loved ones. Because he loves them, he will not find fault nor criticize nor blame.”

— President Ezra Taft Benson, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 1983 general conference, “What Manner of Men Ought We To Be?

Alma 29

“Each of us may have a different opinion about what is hard. Some may consider it hard to pay tithing when finances are tight. Leaders sometimes find it difficult to expect the poor to pay tithing. It may be hard for some of us to go forward with faith to marry or to have a family. There are those who find it hard ‘to be content with [what] the Lord hath allotted unto [them]’ (Alma 29:3). It may be hard to be content with our current calling (see Alma 29:6). Church discipline may seem very hard, but for some it marks the beginning of the true repentance process.

“Regardless of the issue, hard can be good for those who will move forward with faith and trust the Lord and His plan.”

— Elder Stanley G. Ellis, emeritus General Authority Seventy, October 2017 general conference, “Do We Trust Him? Hard Is Good

“‘O, that I were an angel,’ Alma said, ‘and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

“’Yea, I would declare unto every soul … the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth’ (Alma 29:1–2).

“So it should be with us, my brothers and sisters. Our love for the Lord and appreciation for the Restoration of the gospel are all the motivation we need to share what gives us much joy and happiness. It is the most natural thing in the world for us to do, and yet far too many of us are hesitant to share our testimonies with others.”

Then-Elder M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2006 general conference, “Creating a Gospel-Sharing Home

Missionaries teach in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Missionaries teach in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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