Alma 5-7: Have Ye Experienced This Mighty Change in Your Hearts
We read a lot in the scriptures about a mighty change of heart, and these chapters in Alma are a really strong testimony of how important it is that we ALL experience it. One of the most beautiful things in Alma 5-7 is that Alma is speaking to all kinds of people! He speaks to those who are in need of repentance, those who have already experienced this might change, and those that have not yet joined with the Church.
There is so much to learn in this lesson I don't know how to fit it all in, to be honest. But we'll start here:
How am I doing?
One of my favorite things about the new Come Follow Me program is how I am trying to spend time each day of the week with the lesson. I love to find talks that go with the lesson from current leaders that help me apply what I am learning to my own life.
One of the talks that goes with this week's lesson is by M. Russell Ballard called "Return and Receive" He talks about how he likes to read Alma 5 and ask himself some questions about how he is doing. So that is what I did!
Interview Yourself! Have you experienced this mighty change in your heart?
One of my favorite resources for studying is this David Ridges book. (I do have to add though, that I generally try to read my regular scriptures FIRST and then turn to this book. I love his commentary, but sometimes I feel like it hampers me from getting my own personal revelation from what I'm reading.)
In the book, he breaks down Alma's speech and gives a good list of the questions we can ask ourselves in this personal "interview". I will list a few here:
- Do you remember and appreciate past blessings from God?
- Do you believe in the words of our prophet today?
- Are you teachable? Are you being consistently faithful to God?
- Can you humbly picture the Lord at the final judgment welcoming you to live with Him forever?
- Are you constantly improving, repenting as needed, and keeping yourself clean? Are you humble enough to let this continue to happen?
Altogether, there is a list of 19 questions.
I have a printable journal page of the questions if you'd like a copy to help you do your own interview!
I seriously read and reread Alma 5 as I asked myself these questions. There is nothing that compares with a good, personal introspection of yourself to discover that you're actually doing better that you thought you were. And of course, the areas where you could use some improvement.
Are you living the gospel that you claim to believe?
This question in particular was one that stood out to me. I like to believe that I am, but as I read the words of Alma, I had to take a long hard look at not just my actions, but my thoughts as well. I saw patterns, some good and some bad, in my life that are now leading me to set some goals for myself that I might not have thought about before.
Experiencing this mighty change in your heart is a never ending process
The lesson that I took from this week's reading is that as long as I live, I will never stop learning and growing. I need to be constantly vigilant in my efforts to experience this mighty change every single day.
It makes me appreciate the Come Follow Me program all the more, knowing that I'm getting guidance from living prophets to help me along the way, and leads me to ask the last question a little more fervently: "Do you take the words of the leaders of the Church seriously?"
Additional helps for this week's lesson
There is so much great information to go with this week's lesson! I'm going to share some links below for all the great content I found, but first I want to talk about challenge cards: what they are and how to use them for those that aren't familiar.
What are challenge cards?
In a nutshell, challenge cards are a way to do something each day to help you keep your scripture study going all week. I create a new set each week that go with that week's lesson, and there is a set of cards for teens/adults and kids! The cards give you some kind of supplemental idea to go with the lesson, whether it's a video to watch, a talk to read, or a topic for a journal entry.
You can cut them out and stick them in your scriptures, your journal, or hang them on a mirror. They are small enough to fit in a traveler's notebook, too.
Best of all, the challenge cards are FREE! I send them out each week to my subscribers. All you have to do it print them out, cut them out, and they are ready to go. I send each week's challenge cards out on Sunday night with an email about the upcoming lesson. You can check out some of the challenge cards from past week's lesson here in my FREE STUFF. I post them to the free stuff category at the end of the month, so the only way to get the current week's cards is to subscribe.
These links will tie directly in with the challenge cards as well, so if you print them out, you can easily find the activities right here! That way you don't have to do a search to find the videos/talks/and activities from the cards.
A Test of Worthiness (video)
Alma Preaches the Word of God (video)
Return and Receive by M. Russell Ballard (talk)
Discussions on the Book of Mormon: Alma 5-7 (video) This video is done by BYU Religious Education. It is longer (about 25 min) but really a great one!
Alma sets the Church in order in Zarahemla (video) This video is a shorter version of the one listed above, so it may be a great option for children to keep their attention if the other one is too long.
The Other Prodigal by Jeffrey R. Holland (talk)
Joy and Spiritual Survival by Russell M. Nelson (talk)
Can Ye Feel So Now? by Quentin L. Cook (talk)
Enjoy the lesson!