Alma does an excellent work in his communication with his son Corianton in this chapter. He doesn’t just correct his son, he helps him to see that his actions had consequences, and shows him how to guard himself in the future, as well as give him hope!
Alma shows Corianton 5 ways that he went wrong:
1. Corianton stopped listening to prophetic counsel (Alma 39:2).
2. He forsook his mission (Alma 39:3).
3. He went where he shouldn’t have gone- to the land Siron, after a harlot (Alma 39:3).
4. He made excuses for his behavior (Alma 39:4).
5. He made light of his circumstance (Alma 39:5).
Alma also illustrates what the results of Corianton’s behavior:
1. Corianton, and Alma lost credibility with those they were trying to teach (Alma 39:11).
2. If he continues in this behavior and doesn’t change, he cannot “inherit the kingdom of God.” (Alma 39:9)
3. This behavior will eventually bring the offender to feel guilty (Alma 39:7).
Alma shows Corianton how to prevent this in the future:
1. Corianton must “cross” himself in this weakness. In other words, there is some degree of individual effort that Corianton must go through to avoid this in the future. He has to make a decision and then stick with his resolution (Alma 39:9).
2. Corianton should counsel with his brothers, or seek the advice of those who can strengthen him (Alma 39:10).
3. He can act upon his circumstances, instead of being acted upon. He was one who was led, and Alma is requiring that he now lead for himself (Alma 39:11).
Alma offers hope:
1. Christ suffered that we may be forgiven of wrongs such as these. This is the good tidings that Alma says comes as we come unto Jesus Christ (Alma 39:15).
2. Corianton’s soul is precious (and so are those that live and read Alma’s words today!), therefore knowing how Jesus feels after the transgressor will give them power to resist temptation and have hope for the future (Alma 39:17).
3. There is power in turning to the Lord and having him become our strength (Alma 39:13).
There are many resources that can be used to teach the law of Chastity in this chapter. I appreciate the video entitled, “Chastity, what are the limits?” You can download this video here. Another great video that teaches how youth can take a stand and make a difference regarding modesty is “195 dresses” which is located here. I also value the counsel offered by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the talk entitled, “Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments.”