Plant This Word in Your Hearts Alma 32-35
This week's lesson comprise some of the most quoted and well known verses from the Book of Mormon, so there is so much to be gained from studying them! If we don't do the work to plant this word in our hearts, it will be exceptionally hard to stay on the strait and narrow path.
I found a quote in my study that really stood out to me:
“You have felt the quiet confirmation in your heart and mind that something was true. And you knew that it was inspiration from God. … It may have come during a talk, lesson, or hymn in church. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Truth. You feel peace, hope, and joy when He speaks to your heart and mind that something is true. Almost always I have also felt a sensation of light. Any feeling I may have had of darkness is dispelled, and my desire to do right grows” (Henry B. Eyring, “Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times,” Ensign, June 2007)
How do you study each week?
One of the talks I read this week really emphasized how we study the scriptures. You can't very well plant these words in your heart if you aren't truly studying. I've talked before about how the "old me" used to lay in bed and ready my scriptures each night, and I was lucky if the book didn't hit me in the nose as I dozed off. Luckily those days are gone, because I have to be honest, I rarely got much out of it.
Now I have a new plan...
Each week I start by reading the lesson in the manual, then follow it with the Book of Mormon itself. I want to pray and read, and hear what the Lord has to say to me personally, without the "noise" of other commentary. These are the times when I find those verses that stand out to me and really speak to my soul.
Then I go back with my Book of Mormon Study Guide and study the same chapters, paying attention to the notes in the margins as I go. This is generally when I start looking for talks or articles that help me.
And then I take a third pass through the chapters. This is when I pull out my David Ridges books. I know I have spoken of them before, and if you don't have them, I highly recommend them! I love how he breaks things down, and sometimes even covers the same verses twice to point out different things.
I know it might seem like a lot, but honestly, it isn't as time consuming as it sounds, and it's the best 30 minutes of my day! For the first time in my life, I really do feel like I'm planting the word in my heart. I'm not perfect, for sure, but I'm doing better.
Five Steps to Stronger Faith
In the David Ridges book he talks about the five steps that are outlined in Alma 32 that Alma tells the Zoramites will lead to stronger faith. It's amazing how simple it really is! For me, and I'm sure for many, the problem is patience. Testimonies don't generally grow overnight and spawn from nowhere.This is a lifelong process.
Desire to Believe
"...even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even in a manner that ye can give place fora portion of my words." (Alma 32:27)
The first step to help plant this word in your hearts is to hope that it's true. If you hope that the gospel is true, you will look for those things that support your hope and desire. We find what we are looking for
Sadly, the opposite is true as well. If you're looking for a reason to prove it's false, you'll find that evidence too.
Having hope that the gospel is true provides us with the beginnings of faith.
Experiment Upon My Words
If we have the hope, it's time to put our faith into action. We often hear the story about how you have to step out into unseen territory, having faith that the light will come.
Recognize the Spirit and allow it to work in you
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and she told me how she sometimes feels like she doesn't receive personal revelation in her life. After reflection on that statement, she started to realize that she is receiving guidance from the Holy Ghost all day long, and maybe she had just begun to take it for granted.
I think it's easy to do. But if you are truly listening and paying attention, you can realize that the Spirit really is there all the time as long as you are making a good place for the Spirit to dwell.
Keep nourishing your faith and live the gospel
We can plant the word in our hearts, but it isn't going to grow unless we continue to work on it. The Lord will not force the gospel upon us, it is our agency that allows us to continue to ask for guidance and we are responsible for inviting the Spirit.
Feast on the Fruit
This, for me, is where scripture study comes in. I love the scriptures, and I love to study the words of the living prophets. I have seen the results of doing it for the last couple of years in my life. I still have so much to learn and do, but I'm working on it.
The speed with which we head along the strait and narrow path isn't as important as the direction we are traveling -- Marvin J. Ashton
This week's lesson helps
I hope you love this week's lesson! Be sure to grab the Challenge Cards that go with it, they are available for adults and kids! I know this has been a difficult time for many parents as we've not had regular church services and Primary has not been happening, so hopefully these challenge cards will give you a little extra help as you try to worship at home. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter to get the new challenge cards each week right to your email!
Here are links for the activities:
Alma and Amulek Teach about Faith in Jesus Christ
Faith is not by chance but by choice
Faith is like planting a seed (LDS Kids)
The Atonement: A Bible Story for Children
Why is the Savior's Atonement Important?