July 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering – Look to God and Live
This month, the July 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable ties together Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé’s April 2020 General Conference talk “A Living Witness of the Living Christ” with this July’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson from Alma 36-38 on “Look to God and Live.”
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society, or Sunday School. While church gatherings are temporarily on hold due to the recent pandemic, I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to. We can’t visit each other, but we can drop off something as a little pick-me-up!
Download July 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable
If you are looking for something sweet in July, watermelon is perfect! So I decided to pair Bishop Caussé’s quote with a watermelon kitchen towel.
But there are plenty of yummy watermelon candies you can include it with too. Like Sour Patch Watermelon candies! These are probably one of the most amazing candies ever!
July 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable
Alma 36-38: Look to God and Live
History gives context to our present-day experiences. Through the lives of others, we see different perspectives and we gain context for our own time. We see warnings and we see hope. It is what makes the Book of Mormon so remarkable. It was written for our day. Even though the people in it lived thousands of years ago, there is so much we have in common. While reading about Alma the Younger this time, I really identified with him. I had always seen Alma through a vignette of his experiences. But until recently hadn’t stepped back and placed him in the time and culture he lived in.
Alma the Younger’s Time
Alma the Younger lived in an incredibly tumultuous time. A time that I found myself really identifying with. In only a few generations, the Nephite nation changed dramatically. They were joined by the Mulekites, Alma the Elder and his followers, and Limhi with his people. There would have been different royalty bloodlines, different languages, different political systems, differing levels of gospel maturity, and different traditions.
With so many new people, they couldn’t rely on a closely-centralized church anymore. So King Mosiah appoints Alma to establish seven churches that are part of one church, the Church of God. We also see a kind of separation with church and state.
Unfortunately, many of the rising generation rebel from the church, including Alma’s son and the sons of King Mosiah. Things are so new that King Mosiah and Alma aren’t sure who does what yet. When addressing what to do with recent apostates and their persecution of the saints, the two men have to work to define their new roles.
Alma the Younger’s Conversion
Things get so bad that King Mosiah issues a strict commandment against persecution. He reminds them that all are equal. We also see Alma the Younger’s miraculous conversion when an angel admonishes him and he lays helpless for three days. Alma the Younger goes from chief agitator against the church to missionary, to steward over the sacred records, to chief judge, and to high priest.
When Alma the Elder and Mosiah die, Alma is left to hold the church and the nation together. With all the recent changes and adjustments, the obstacles hit hard and fast. We see the rise of priestcraft, Amlici trying to overthrow the government, civil war, and a Lamanite invasion. The wars lead to a loss of homes, farms, sons, and fathers.
Seeing the wickedness and inequalities, Alma leaves the judgment seat and turns his attention to his role as high priest. But his struggles don’t end there. In Ammonihah, they throw him into prison and make him watch the burning of women and children. Later, the nation is further shaken up by refugee converts from the Lamanites and Zoramites and the resulting battles with the Lamanites for taking the refugees in.
Focusing on the Sweet Joy of the Atonement
Understanding Alma’s life and times helps us understand the counsel he gives to his son in Alma 36. Alma knew sin, he knew war, he knew sorrow, he knew trials. But despite all he has been through, Alma’s focus is on the sweet joy of the Atonement. He knows firsthand that despite what is happening in our lives, this is where happiness is found.
“Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.” (Alma 36:21)
When the angel came to Alma, Alma turned from darkness and never let go of the light. Even when all was dark around him.
The Song of Redeeming Love
In the April 2020 General Conference, Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé poses one of Alma’s questions to us. “If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:26)
Then Bishop Caussé says, “Alma’s question could also be rephrased to ask, when was the last time you felt the sweet influence of the Savior’s Atonement in your life? This happens when you feel an “exquisite and sweet” joy come over you that bears witness to your soul that your sins are forgiven; or when painful trials suddenly become lighter to bear; or when your heart is softened and you are able to express forgiveness to someone who has hurt you. Or it may be each time you notice your capacity to love and serve others has increased or that the process of sanctification is making you a different person, patterned after the Savior’s example.”
As I reflect on the life of Alma, I see the same darkness and turmoil around me. It is comforting to know that as Alma did over two thousand years ago, I can find the same sweet joy in Christ’s Atonement. I can choose again and again to turn from darkness to light, from despair to hope. Like Alma shared with his son, we must “look to God and live” (Alma 37:47). There is so much comfort and unity that comes from reading the scriptures. And I am grateful for the scriptures as they turn me again and again to the Savior’s Atonement.