From Feast upon the Word (http://feastupontheword.org). Copyright, Feast upon the Word.
The Book of Mormon > Alma > Chapter 36
 Verse 1
- Why does Alma counsel his sons individually rather than together?
- What does Alma mean by "prosper"? What does it mean to "prosper in the land"? What is so important about the land?
 Verse 2
- Why do we, like Helaman, sometimes need to be reminded of the miracles God has done to deliver his people in times past?
- Often when we think of God delivering people from bondage, we think of Jehovah, Moses, and the Exodus. Why does Alma instead refer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
- What is the significance of what Alma asks Helaman to remember? (Compare Mosiah 27:16.)
 Verse 3
- Why do you think Alma bears this particular testimony to Helaman: “whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day"? Why this rather than something else? What does it mean to be "lifted up at the last day"?
 Verse 4
- What kind of knowing is Alma talking about here? Wht does it mean to know "not of the carnal mind but of God"?
 Verse 5
- What does Alma mean by "born of God"?
- Why does Alma get to know "by the mouth of his holy angel" whereas we mostly expect to just have faith on his words?
- If Alma was visited "not of any worthiness of [himself]", why can't we also expect to be visited?
 Lexical notes
- Verse 1 starts a chiasmus that goes until the end of the chapter. In verse one, Alma says, “…inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.” This parallels verse thirty, “…inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.” The middle of the chiasmus is in verses 17 and 18.
- In verse 1 Alma tells his son that by keeping the commandments he will prosper in the land. Note that in the last verse of the chapter, Alma repeats this promise--that he will prosper in the land if he keeps the commandments. Most of what happens between the first and last verse of this chapter is that Alma tells the story of his conversion. One way of reading this is that Alma uses the story of his own life as an example of how someone who keeps the commandments of God prospers in the land. This reading suggests that the phrase "prosper in the land" isn't strictly about having material blessings like lots of flocks, riches or posterity. Why? Because instead of talking about these material blessings, Alma tells his son how by following the Lord he received spiritual blessings, for example, the blessings of great joy (verses 20-21; 25) and the blessing of support through trials (verse 27).
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