July 2024 Come Follow Me Ministering – Alma 32 – Experiment Upon My Words

July 2024 Come Follow Me MinisteringThe July 2024 Come, Ministering Printable ties together Elder Alexander Dushku’s April 2024 General Conference talk, “Pillars and Rays,” with “I can know for myself” in the July “Come, Follow Me” lesson from Alma 32.


Download July 2024 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)

Artwork was created using Adobe Firefly AI. You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drugstore prints them for just pennies. They are also a higher resolution if you want to enlarge them.


July 2024 Come Follow Me Ministering Message

Alma 32 – Experiment Upon My Words

In the 1990s, the nation was in the middle of a fat-free craze. The belief was that you could lose weight and avoid health problems by eliminating fat from your diet. In response, the food industry removed fats from foods and replaced them with vegetable fats and sugars to maintain the same calorie content

I remember being proud of myself for eating Red Vines because they were so low in fat. Based on the guidelines, I rationalized it was better to pick a treat high in sugar than high in fat.

Since then, food guidelines have changed a lot. Healthy fats and whole foods are the new buzzwords. Carbohydrates are the new villain.

Pursuing Worldly Knowledge

Food guidelines are an excellent example of how science evolves and changes over the years. As we learn more, it is not uncommon to learn that science was wrong. Sometimes studies and guidelines are prejudiced by our own interpretation, agendas, or weaknesses. Or we fail to ask the right question or to make important observations. Sometimes we need to learn more before we can understand the answers.

But just because we no longer treat diseases with leeches doesn’t mean we throw out science. That is because we know that using the scientific method is a process. We make observations, we come up with a hypothesis, we test it with experiments, we collect data, and make conclusions. As we discover new things, we reevaluate conclusions and conduct more tests. New understandings reshape old ideas and beliefs. And we learn how our own weaknesses are sometimes reflected in the results.

Pursuing Spiritual Knowledge

If we can allow for progress in our pursuit of worldly knowledge, shouldn’t we do the same with spiritual knowledge? In fact, even Alma called the pursuit of spiritual knowledge an experiment.

“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words” (Alma 32:27).

Alma uses a seed to describe this experiment and invites us to plant the word of God in our hearts. As we nurture the seed it will begin to swell and grow within us, showing that it is good. Alma explains that if we neglect the seed, it will wither and die. But if we nourish the seed, it will grow into a tree that bears the fruit of everlasting life. Through this process, we will come to know and feel for ourselves the truthfulness of the word of God.

Understanding this iterative process gives us the space and flexibility to learn line upon line. There are many things that I thought I understood. But with more prayer, temple attendance, maturity, and time, I have realized that my understanding was inaccurate or incomplete. When we approach knowledge as an experiment that builds upon itself, we become more humble and teachable. Rather than throwing out our testimonies when we encounter something we don’t yet understand, we can allow them to evolve as we seek and learn.

Receiving Light and Knowledge

We can discern what is true because it will enlarge our souls, enlighten our understanding, and expand our minds. This is different than the data we are used to seeing in a scientific experiment. But it doesn’t make it any less valid or real. Alma explains, “O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good;” (Alma 32:35).

Elder Alexander Dushku in his April 2024 General Conference talk, “Pillars and Rays,” testifies that, “One of the great truths of the Restoration is that the heavens are open—that we too can receive light and knowledge from on high.”

Elder Dushku explains that light usually doesn’t come all at once. Just like Alma’s experiment, it can take time, diligence and patience. He says, “The reality and power of one ray of testimony reinforces and combines with another, and then another, and another. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a ray and there a ray—one small, treasured spiritual moment at a time—there grows up within us a core of light-filled, spiritual experiences. Perhaps no one ray is strong enough or bright enough to constitute a full testimony, but together they can become a light that the darkness of doubt cannot overcome.”

Just as scientific understanding evolves through experimentation, our pursuit of spiritual knowledge can follow a similar iterative process. As we experiment with the word of God, we can be open to the same learning and growth we apply in science. If we do not understand something, we re-examine the experiment rather than throwing out the science. Much like Elder Dushku’s description of accumulating spiritual rays, our journey of faith helps us discern truth and confirms the validity and reality of our spiritual experiences.


July 2024 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout

As a nod to my previous “health” food choices, I decided to pair the printable with Red Vines! But I couldn’t believe it when I went to the grocery store and saw that they had a version that had been rebranded with the latest health craze! It could not be anymore perfect!

July 2024 Come Follow Me Ministering Red Vines Handout

 


Did you like this July 2024 Come Follow Me Ministering message? Find more Relief Society Ministering Printables for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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, Sunday School, or Family Home Evening. I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *