The Interview of a Parent with his child... Alma 36-38 (Helaman and Shiblon)
Attention Activity: Show a picture of a family - what a picture perfect family?
What are some examples of families in the scriptures - how did the children tun out?
Adam and Eve
What challenges can occur in families with such different attitudes and personalities?
Do we ever blame the parents for the choices of their children?
Why is this such a bogus thing to do?
What do you think - are your parents responsible for your choices? No!
How then can you apply that to your peer parents, when their children make bad/good choices?
There is no perfect family - it is an illusion. Each of us have difficulties and problems, none of us are without sin and both parents and children have their own distinct and individual weaknesses and strengths. The parents however have a stewardship and responsibilities for the care and nurture of their children. This can not be abdicated to another, no not to the Church or to any other person or organization.
We are responsible for the teaching of our children the gospel - no one else.
Section 68:25-28 - Any who teach not their children the doctrine of repentance, faith, baptism, and the gift of the holy ghost the sin be upon them
Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers provoke not your children to wrath - bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
Mosiah 4:14–15 You will not suffer your children to - go hungry, naked, fight and quarrel, serve the devil, but rather walk in sobeness and love one another
The Family a Proclamation
The Book of Mormon can help us with these obligations. It provides a patten and examples of how parents interact with their children and some things we can do ourselves to help our children make good choices.
Alma the younger - gives his charge to his children- and is taken
15 Alma being grieved for the iniquity of his people - Offended because of the word
16 Therefore he caused his sons to be gathered together that he may give every one his "charge" separately concening righteousness
Definition of a "Charge"
the responsibility of managing or watching over something
Why do you think a parent would gather his children together and give them a charge and perhaps a blessing?
Lehi did just before he died. This is a standard patten in the scriptures when an individual is old - and thinks they are dieing they do this.
Issac just before he died did the same - called Esau, and Jacob to give them a blessing.
Alma 45:16-19 Alma is taken and is never seen again - possibly translated
What other reason would cause an individual to do this in our day?
Before a child gets married, goes into military service or mission or leaves home for other purposes, etc.
Should we wait until were going to die/be translated before we do this? No
When then should we discuss with our children the gospel?
Many parents find that regular, private interviews with each child help them draw close to their children, encourage them, and teach them the gospel. Such interviews may be formal or informal and may be held often. The
parent should express love for and confidence in the child, and the child should have an opportunity to
express his or her feelings about any subject, problem, or experience. The parent should
listen carefullyand should take the
child’s problems and confidences seriously. The parent and child may want to pray together. Problems arising from the interview that involve other family members could be handled in the next family home evening (Family Guidebook, "Teaching the Gospel in the Home").
How should we perform these interviews?
Asay, Carlos E. November 1983 Parent-Child Interviews
Several years ago, I approached one of my daughters and said, “My dear, it’s time for an interview.” Her response was less than enthusiastic, and I determined within my own mind that I was boring her terribly. So instead of subjecting her to a formal conversation,
I invited her into the car and drove to the Dairy Queen where we both enjoyed a root beer float.
All the way to and from the store, I asked questions, and she freely responded. She didn’t even realize that she was being interviewed—or at least that is what I thought. A few weeks later, I announced once again that I wanted to interview her. This time she promptly asked, “Wet or dry?”
I wonder if our conduct of good practices—even the conducting of interviews with our children—is sometimes done in a dry and deadening manner. Is it possible that in our drive to perform or fulfill a Church expectancy we collide with purpose? Can we not become so obsessed with form that we forget family? If so, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether within we are “full of dead men’s bones.” (Matt. 23:27.)
In the next two lessons we will review the doctrine taught by Alma to his sons.
Today let us cover Some of the counsel given to two of his sons - namely Helaman and Shiblon.
Who were Helaman and Shiblon
Alma 53:14-18 Became Leader of 2000 stripling warriors
Alma 63:1-2 Takes possession of the sacred things and records - just man, obedient
Alma 63:10-13 Shiblon gives records to Helaman the son of Helaman
Alma Speaks to Helaman - 36-37
Things of Interest: Alma 36 is a Hebraic Poem Book Of Mormon Student Manual - Chiasmus
Focus of the Poem is I remembered Jesus Christ and cried to him for forgiveness!
Keep the commandments! See Lesson2 Themes of the Book of Mormon
Alma 36:1-3 If you keep the commandments you shall prosper in the land and supported if not you will not be.
Alma 36:30 If you keep commandments you shall prosper if not you shall be cut off
Alma 37:13 If you keep the commandments you shall prosper - if not you shall be cut off
Alma 37:14-18 If you keep the commandments you will maintain sacred things - if not you will lose them
Alma 37:20 keep the commandments as they are written
Alma 37:35 lean in thy youth to keep the commandments of God
Alma bears his testimony to his children:
36:1 I swear unto you . . .
36:3 Lean of me for I do know . . .
36:4 I know of myself . . .
36:5 God has made these things known unto me. . .
36:26 I have tasted . . . I have seen . . . I do know . . . The knowledge which I have is of God.
36:28 I know he will raise me up . . .
36:30 Ye ought to know as I do know.
He does this by telling of his own experiences and how they have influenced his belief/life.
Alma 36:5-21 Alma tells his son that he was wicked in his youth but he was converted and his conversion story.
Why is it important for a child to hear the testimony of his parents? What impact might the story of Alma’s conversion have on Helaman?
Was his example always a good one?
How can sharing the weaknesses and follies of a parent in their youth help their children? Is it always a good idea?
Your children know your not perfect... and so should you. Admitting your own imperfections can help them accept their own.
Alma gives command to his son Helaman to keep the records and sacred things:
What sort of responsibilities do we lay upon our children concening righteousness?
Small and simple things confound the wise!
4 They shall be kept and handed down to teach the people
5 They must retain their brightness
6 Ye may suppose this is foolishness
In what way have you seen in your life that the small things - can bring forth great things!
The Allegory of the Liahona: an example of a small and simple thing
40 It worked for them according to their faith If they believed - the spindles moved
41 These miracles were worked by small and simple means
44 It is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ as it was our fathers to look to the Liahona
to point them to their promised land
45 Is there not a type in this thing? just as surely the words of Christ will guide us to a better land after this life!
46 let us not be slothful for so it was with our fathers if they would but look they might live even so it is with us
47 see that ye take care of the sacred things - that ye look to god and live
Alma Speaks to Shiblon- 38
He starts with the same counsel - keep the commandments! See Lesson2 Themes of the Book of Mormon
Alma 38:1-5 If you keep the commandments you shall prosper in the land and supported if not you will not be.
He gives praise and encouragement of good behavior:
He was in bonds but was patient even unto being stoned
the lord will deliver you and ye shall be lifted up in last day
He tells his own experiences:
Alma 38:6-8 I beheld an angel - and was 3 days in anguish - I cried to Jesus and was saved
He gives specific counsel to his son based upon his strengths/weaknesses:
11 be not lifted up into pride - do not boast in your own wisdom or strength
12 Use boldness but not overbearance - bridle all your passions - refrain from idleness
13 Do not pray as the Zoramites - to be seen of men
14 Do not say we are better than our brethren - but rather forgive me of my unworthiness
15 May the Lord bless your soul - be Sober my son Farewell
What can we lean about his son via these verses?
Was he different than his other children, yet the same in others?
What does it mean to bridle our passions? How could this relate to what he talks to his other son Corianton about?(Fonication)
To bridle means to control and direct - like as we do with a horse.
We need to do as Alma did and counsel with our children in righteousness. We should encourage/strengthen them where they are weak, and help them not be proud where they are strong. We should always do so with an eye to their etenal potential, and have faith in them, even if they seem to be making bad choices. We also should not judge a parent by the choices made by a child.