FHE: Repentance and Alma the Younger

A great idea for Family Home Evenings is to teach out of the For Strength of Youth book. You can take one or two topics and teach about the topics to your children. Although I have young children, I still feel that it is important to teach them these values now. I also feel that this works well even if you do not have any children. These standards are set for the entire church, not just for the youth. The book just helps to bring them to the attention of the youth.

This week I am going to talk about the topic repentance as discussed in the For Strength of Youth Guide. You can begin the lesson by reading the section about repentance as a family. One great story of repentance in the Book of Mormon is that of Alma the Younger. You can read this account in Mosiah 27:8-37 and in Alma 36:6-24. The account in Alma is especially poignant, as it is Alma sharing the story with his son Helaman. As you read the story, you should talk about the way that Alma felt as he realized that he needed to repent. And then you should talk about how Alma felt after he had repented.

You may want to talk to your children about how repentance is changing and no longer continuing the behavior that you are repenting of. You may also want to bring up the fact that once you have truly repented that you are completely forgiven of your sins. A good scripture to read at the end of the lesson is Doctrine and Covenants 58:42.

To adapt this lesson for preschool age children, you should summarize what is stated about repentance in the For Strength of Youth Guide. Instead of reading the words of Alma out of the Book of Mormon, you may want to summarize the story for your children. You can also share the story that is told in the Book of Mormon Reader. If you have flannel figures available, it would be good to use those as well.

To adapt this lesson for adults, in addition to reading the account of Alma the Younger in the scriptures, you may want to read the article “Alma, Son of Alma,” by Jeffrey R. Holland. You can find it in the March 1977 Ensign on page 79. As a couple or as a group you can read the article and discuss the points that Elder Holland teaches about what Alma did to repent, and the anguish that he felt. It is important to remember that repentance is only possible because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. It may be appropriate to discuss how to more fully use the atonement in your lives.

From the Children’s Songbook you may want to use “Book of Mormon Stories” (especially verse 3) p 118, and “Repentance,” p 99. From “Hymns” you may want to choose As I Search the Holy Scriptures” p 277, and “Savior, Redeemer of My Hour” p 112. If you are working on the Sharing Time song with your children this month, you will want to practice “Did Jesus Really Live Again?”