Account of Alma
And the people of the Lord, who were driven
into the wilderness by the people of King Noah.
abridged ca. 364 ad
Now Alma, having been warned of the Lord that the armies of King Noah would come upon them, and having made it known to his people, therefore they gathered together their flocks, and took of their grain, and departed into the wilderness before the armies of King Noah. And the Lord did strengthen them, that the people of King Noah could not overtake them to destroy them. And they fled eight days’ journey into the wilderness. And they came to a land, yea, even a very beautiful and pleasant land, a land of pure water. And they pitched their tents, and began to till the ground, and began to build buildings. Yea, they were industrious, and did labor exceedingly.
And the people were desirous that Alma should be their king, for he was beloved by his people. But he said unto them:
Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king.
For thus saith the Lord: Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or
One man shall not think himself above another.
Therefore I say unto you, it is not expedient that ye should have a king.
Nevertheless, if it were possible that ye could always have just
Men to be your kings it would be well for you to have a king.
But remember the iniquity of King Noah and his priests!
And I myself was caught in a snare, and did many things
Which were abominable in the sight of the Lord,
Which caused me sore repentance. Nevertheless, after
Much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer
My prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands
In bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth.
Nevertheless, in this I do not glory, for I am unworthy to glory of myself.
And now I say unto you, ye have been oppressed
By King Noah, and have been in bondage to him and his priests,
And have been brought into iniquity by them.
Therefore ye were bound with the bands of iniquity.
And now as ye have been delivered by the power of God out
Of these bonds; yea, even out of the hands of King Noah
And his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity,
Even so I desire that ye should stand fast in this liberty
Wherewith ye have been made free,
And that ye trust no man to be a king over you.
And also trust no one to be your teacher nor
Your minister, except he be a man of God, walking
In his ways and keeping his commandments.
Thus did Alma teach his people, that every man should love his neighbor as himself, that there should be no contention among them. And now, Alma was their high priest, he being the founder of their church. And it came to pass that none received authority to preach or to teach except it were by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers; and none were consecrated except they were just men. Therefore they did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.
And it came to pass that they began to prosper exceedingly in the land, and they called the land Helam. And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam. And they built a city, which they called the city of Helam. Nevertheless, the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people! Yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless, whosoever putteth his trust in him, the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people. For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought into bondage, and none could deliver them, but the Lord their god, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob.
And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings. For behold, it came to pass that while they were in the land of Helam, yea, in the city of Helam, while tilling the land round about, behold an army of the Lamanites was in the borders of the land. Now it came to pass that the brethren of Alma fled from their fields, and gathered themselves together in the city of Helam. And they were much frightened because of the appearance of the Lamanites. But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but that they should remember the Lord their god, and he would deliver them. Therefore they hushed their fears, and began to cry unto the Lord, that he would soften the hearts of the Lamanites, that they would spare them, and their wives, and their children. And it came to pass the Lord did soften the hearts of the Lamanites. And Alma and his brethren went forth and delivered themselves up into their hands; and the Lamanites took possession of the land of Helam.
Now the armies of the Lamanites, which had followed after the people of King Limhi, had been lost in the wilderness for many days. And behold, they had found those priests of King Noah, in a place which they called Amulon. And they had begun to possess the land of Amulon and had begun to till the ground. Now the name of the leader of those priests was Amulon. And it came to pass that Amulon did plead with the Lamanites. And he also sent forth their wives, who were the daughters of the Lamanites, to plead with their brethren, that they should not destroy their husbands. And the Lamanites had compassion on Amulon and his brethren, and did not destroy them, because of their wives. And Amulon and his brethren did join the Lamanites, and they were traveling in the wilderness in search of the land of Nephi, when they discovered the land of Helam, which was possessed by Alma and his brethren.
And it came to pass that the Lamanites promised unto Alma and his brethren, that if they would show them the way which led to the land of Nephi, that they would grant unto them their lives and their liberty. But after Alma had shown them the way that led to the land of Nephi the Lamanites would not keep their promise. But they set guards round about the land of Helam, over Alma and his brethren. And the remainder of them went to the land of Nephi, and a part of them returned to the land of Helam, and also brought with them the wives and the children of the guards who had been left in the land.
And the king of the Lamanites had granted unto Amulon that he should be a king, and a ruler over his people, which was in the land of Helam. Nevertheless he should have no power to do anything contrary to the will of the king of the Lamanites. And it came to pass that Amulon did gain favor in the eyes of the king of the Lamanites. Therefore, the king of the Lamanites granted unto him and his brethren that they should be appointed teachers over his people, yea, even over the people who were in the land of Shemlon, and in the land of Shilom, and in the land of Amulon. For the Lamanites had taken possession of all these lands: therefore, the king of the Lamanites had appointed kings over all these lands.
And now the name of the king of the Lamanites was Laman, being called after the name of his father: and therefore he was called King Laman. And he was king over a numerous people. And he appointed teachers of the brethren of Amulon in every land which was possessed by his people. And thus the language of Nephi began to be taught among all the people of the Lamanites. And they were a people friendly one with another. Nevertheless they knew not God, neither did the brethren of Amulon teach them anything concerning the Lord their god, neither the law of Moses. Nor did they teach them the words of Abinadi. But they taught them that they should keep their record, and that they might write one to another.
And thus the Lamanites began to increase in riches, and began to trade one with another and wax great, and began to be a cunning and a wise people, as to the wisdom of the world. Yea, a very cunning people, delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder, except it were among their own brethren. And now it came to pass that Amulon began to exercise authority over Alma and his brethren, and began to persecute him, and cause that his children should persecute their children. For Amulon knew Alma, that he had been one of the king’s priests, and that it was he that believed the words of Abinadi and was driven out before the king, and therefore he was wroth with him. For he was subject to King Laman, yet he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them.
And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God. And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries! And he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death. And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their god, but did pour out their hearts to him. And he did know the thoughts of their hearts. And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying:
Lift up your heads and be of good comfort!
For I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me.
And I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders,
That even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while
You are in bondage, and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses
For me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety, that
I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light! Yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying:
Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
And he said unto Alma:
Thou shalt go before this people, and I will go with thee
And deliver this people out of bondage.
Now it came to pass that Alma and his people in the night-time gathered their flocks together, and also of their grain. Yea, even all the night-time were they gathering the flocks together. And in the morning the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites, yea, and all their task-masters were in a profound sleep. And Alma and his people departed into the wilderness. And when they had traveled all day they pitched their tents in a valley, and they called the valley Alma, because he led their way in the wilderness.
Yea, and in the Valley of Alma they poured out their thanks to God because he had been merciful unto them, and eased their burdens, and had delivered them out of bondage: for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them, except it were the Lord their god. And they gave thanks to God, yea, all their men and all their women, and all their children that could speak, lifted their voices in the praises of their god. And now the Lord said unto Alma:
Haste thee and get thou and this people out
Of this land, for the Lamanites have awakened, and
Do pursue thee! Therefore get thee out of this land,
And I will stop the Lamanites in this valley that
They come no further in pursuit of this people.
And it came to pass that they departed out of the valley, and took their journey into the wilderness. And after they had been in the wilderness twelve days they arrived in the land of Zarahemla. And King Mosiah did also receive them with joy.
And now King Mosiah caused that all the people should be gathered together. Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla, which was a descendant of Muloch and those which came with him into the wilderness. And there were not so many of the people of Nephi and of the people of Zarahemla as there were of the Lamanites. Yea, they were not half so numerous. And now all the people of Nephi were assembled together, and also all the people of Zarahemla, and they were gathered together in two bodies.
And it came to pass that Mosiah did read, and caused to be read, the records of Zeniff to his people. Yea, he read the records of the people of Zeniff from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until they returned again. And he also read the account of Alma and his brethren, and all their afflictions, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until the time they returned again. And now, when Mosiah had made an end of reading the records, his people who tarried in the land were struck with wonder and amazement. For they knew not what to think: for when they beheld those that had been delivered out of bondage, they were filled with exceedingly great joy.
And again, when they thought of their brethren who had been slain by the Lamanites they were filled with sorrow, and even shed many tears of sorrow. And again, when they thought of the immediate goodness of God, and his power in delivering Alma and his brethren out of the hands of the Lamanites and of bondage, they did raise their voices and give thanks to God. And again, when they thought upon the Lamanites, who were their brethren, of their sinful and polluted state, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls.
And it came to pass that those who were the children of Amulon and his brethren, who had taken to wife the daughters of the Lamanites, were displeased with the conduct of their fathers, and they would no longer be called by the names of their fathers, therefore they took upon themselves the name of Nephi, that they might be called the children of Nephi and be numbered among those who were called Nephites. And now all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi.
And now it came to pass that when Mosiah had made an end of speaking and reading to the people, he desired that Alma should also speak to the people. And Alma did speak unto them, when they were assembled together in large bodies, and he went from one body to another, preaching unto the people repentance and faith on the Lord. And he did exhort the people of Limhi and his brethren, all those that had been delivered out of bondage, that they should remember that it was the Lord that did deliver them. And it came to pass that after Alma had taught the people many things, and had made an end of speaking to them, that King Limhi was desirous that he might be baptized. And all his people were desirous that they might be baptized also. Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them. Yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the Waters of Mormon. Yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the Church of God, and this because of their belief on the words of Alma.
And it came to pass that King Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church. Now this was done because there were so many people that they could not all be governed by one teacher, neither could they all hear the word of God in one assembly. Therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches. Every church having their priests and their teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma. And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the Church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches, except it were repentance and faith in God.
And now there were seven churches in the land of Zarahemla. And it came to pass that whosoever was desirous to take upon them the name of Christ, or of God, they did join the churches of God. And they were called the People of God. And the Lord did pour out his spirit upon them, and they were blessed, and prospered in the land.
Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of King Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people, and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers. They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ. And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God. And their hearts were hardened. And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state: for they would not call upon the Lord their god. And now in the reign of Mosiah they were not half so numerous as the People of God, but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous. For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins. Therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.
And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered up unto the priests by the teachers, and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest. Now King Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church. And it came to pass that Alma did not know concerning them. But there were many witnesses against them. Yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance. Now there had not any such thing happened before in the church. Therefore Alma was troubled in his spirit, and he caused that they should be brought before the king. And he said unto the king:
Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are
Accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in
Divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore
We have brought them before thee, that thou mayest
Judge them according to their crimes.
But King Mosiah said unto Alma: Behold, I judge them not. Therefore I deliver them into thy hands to be judged.
And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled. And he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God. And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying:
Blessed art thou, Alma!
And blessed are they who were baptized in the Waters of Mormon!
Thou art blessed because of thy exceeding
Faith in the words alone, of my servant Abinadi.
And blessed are they because of their exceeding faith
In the words alone, which thou hast spoken unto them.
And blessed art thou because thou hast established a church
Among this people, and they shall be established,
And they shall be my people.
Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name!
For in my name shall they be called, and they are mine.
And because thou hast inquired of me concerning the transgressor,
Thou art blessed. Thou art my servant.
And I covenant with thee, that thou shalt have eternal life
And thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt
Gather together my sheep.
And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep
And him shall ye receive into the church, and him
Will I also receive. For behold, this is my church
Whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance.
And whomsoever ye receive shall believe
In my name and him will I freely forgive.
For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world!
For it is I that hath created them!
And it is I that granteth unto him that believeth
Unto the end, a place at my right hand.
For behold, in my name are they called, and if they know me
They shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.
And it shall come to pass that when the second
Trump shall sound then shall they that never knew me
Come forth and shall stand before me.
And then shall they know that I am
The Lord their god, that I am their redeemer.
But they would not be redeemed.
And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them!
And they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for
The Devil and his angels.
Therefore I say unto you, that he that will not hear
My voice, the same shall ye not receive into my church,
For him I will not receive at the last day.
Therefore I say unto you, Go!
And whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye
Judge according to the sins which he has committed
And if he confess his sins before thee and me,
And repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive,
And I will forgive him also.
Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive
Them their trespasses against me. And ye
Shall also forgive one another your trespasses
For verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses
When he says that he repents, the same hath
Brought himself under condemnation.
Now I say unto you, Go!
And whosoever will not repent of his sins the same
Shall not be numbered among my people
And this shall be observed from this time forward.
And it came to pass when Alma had heard these words he wrote them down that he might have them, and that he might judge the people of that church according to the commandments of God. And it came to pass that Alma went and judged those that had been taken in iniquity, according to the word of the Lord. And whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them, them he did number among the people of the church. And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the church, and their names were blotted out. And it came to pass that Alma did regulate all the affairs of the church.
And they began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly in the affairs of the church, walking circumspectly before God, receiving many, and baptizing many. And now all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the church, walking in all diligence, teaching the word of God in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those who did not belong to the Church of God. And they did admonish their brethren; and they were also admonished, every one by the word of God, according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.
And now it came to pass that the persecutions which were inflicted on the church by the unbelievers became so great that the church began to murmur, and complain to their leaders concerning the matter. And they did complain to Alma. And Alma laid the case before their king, Mosiah. And Mosiah consulted with his priests. And it came to pass that King Mosiah sent a proclamation throughout the land round about that there should not any unbeliever persecute any of those who belonged to the Church of God. And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men. That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace. That every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support. Yea, and all their priests and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support, in all cases save it were in sickness, or in much want. And doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God. And there began to be much peace again in the land. And the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth, yea, on the north and on the south, on the east and on the west, building large cities and villages in all quarters of the land. And the Lord did visit them and prosper them, and they became a large and wealthy people.
Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers. And also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father. Nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people! Therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities. And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the Church of God: stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them.
And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the Church of God — for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church — and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king. And as I said unto you, as they were going about rebelling against God, Behold! The angel of the Lord appeared unto them! And he descended as it were in a cloud.
And he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood! And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them. Nevertheless he cried again, saying:
Alma, arise and stand forth!
For why persecutest thou the Church of God?
For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it.
And nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people!
And again, the angel said:
Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people,
And also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father.
For he has prayed with much faith concerning thee, that thou
Mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth.
Therefore, for this purpose have I come
To convince thee of the power and authority of God,
That the prayers of his servants might be answered
According to their faith. And now behold,
Can ye dispute the power of God? For behold,
Doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not
Also behold me before you? And I am sent from God.
Now I say unto thee: Go! And remember the captivity
Of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in
The land of Nephi and remember how great things he has done
For them: for they were in bondage,
And he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma,
Go thy way! And seek to destroy the church no more!
That their prayers may be answered, and this even if
Thou wilt of thyself be cast off.
And now it came to pass that these were the last words which the angel spake unto Alma, and he departed. And now Alma and those that were with him fell again to the earth, for great was their astonishment; for with their own eyes they had beheld an angel of the Lord. And his voice was as thunder, which shook the earth! And they knew that there was nothing save the power of God that could shake the earth and cause it to tremble, as though it would part asunder.
And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth. Yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands. Therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father. And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them, and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God. And he caused that a multitude should be gathered together that they might witness what the Lord had done for his son, and also for those that were with him. And he caused that the priests should assemble themselves together: and they began to fast, and to pray to the Lord their god that he would open the mouth of Alma, that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strength; that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God.
And it came to pass after they had fasted and prayed for the space of two days and two nights, the limbs of Alma received their strength, and he stood up and began to speak unto them, bidding them to be of good comfort. For, said he:
I have repented of my sins and have been redeemed of the Lord
Behold I am born of the Spirit.
And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind,
Yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues
And people, must be born again! Yea, born of God, changed
From their carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness, being
Redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters.
And thus they become new creatures and unless they do
This, they can in nowise inherit the Kingdom of God.
I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off!
And this I know, because I was like to be cast off.
Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting
Nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me
Out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.
My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds
Of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss!
But now I behold the marvelous light of God.
My soul was racked with eternal torment, but I am snatched,
And my soul is pained no more.
I rejected my redeemer, and denied that which had been
Spoken of by our fathers, but now that they may foresee that he
Will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating,
He will make himself manifest unto all.
Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him.
Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him,
Then shall they confess that he is God!
Then shall they confess, who live without God
In the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just
Upon them and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink
Beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.
And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward to teach the people, and those who were with Alma at the time the angel appeared unto them, traveling round about through all the land, publishing to all the people the things which they had heard and seen, and preaching the word of God in much tribulation, being greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers, being smitten by many of them. But notwithstanding all this, they did impart much consolation to the church, confirming their faith, and exhorting them with long-suffering and much travail to keep the commandments of God.
And four of them were the sons of Mosiah. And their names were Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni: these were the names of the sons of Mosiah. And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of King Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them. And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their redeemer. And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace. They did publish good tidings of good. And they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.
Now it came to pass that after the sons of Mosiah had done all these things, they took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi that they might preach the things which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites. That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their god, and convince them of the iniquity of their fathers. And that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that they might also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their god, that they might become friendly to one another, and that there should be no more contentions in all the land which the Lord their god had given them.
Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish. Yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them! Nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever. And it came to pass that they did plead with their father many days that they might go up to the land of Nephi.
And King Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word. And the Lord said unto Mosiah:
Let them go up!
For many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life
And I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.
And it came to pass that Mosiah granted that they might go and do according to their request. And they took their journey into the wilderness to go up to preach the word among the Lamanites. And I shall give an account of their proceedings hereafter.
Now King Mosiah had no one to confer the kingdom upon, for there was not any of his sons who would accept of the kingdom. Therefore he took the records which were engraven on the Plates of Brass, and also the Plates of Nephi, and all the things which he had kept and preserved according to the commandments of God. After having translated and caused to be written the records which were on the Plates of Gold which had been found by the people of Limhi, which were delivered to him by the hand of Limhi — and this he did because of the great anxiety of his people, for they were desirous beyond measure to know concerning those people who had been destroyed. And now he translated them by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow. Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down from generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages. And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people. And whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times.
Now after Mosiah had finished translating these records, behold, it gave an account of the people who were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people and they were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, yea, and even from that time back until the creation of Adam. Now this account did cause the people of Mosiah to mourn exceedingly, yea, they were filled with sorrow. Nevertheless it gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice. And this account shall be written hereafter: for behold, it is expedient that all people should know the things which are written in this account.
And now, as I said unto you, that after King Mosiah had done these things, he took the Plates of Brass, and all the things which he had kept, and conferred them upon Alma, who was the son of Alma. Yea, all the records, and also the interpreters, and conferred them upon him, and commanded him that he should keep and preserve them, and also keep a record of the people, handing them down from one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. Now when Mosiah had done this, he sent out throughout all the land, among all the people, desiring to know their will concerning who should be their king. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying:
We are desirous that Aaron thy son should be our king and our ruler!
Now Aaron had gone up to the land of Nephi, therefore the king could not confer the kingdom upon him. Neither would Aaron take upon him the kingdom; neither were any of the sons of Mosiah willing to take upon them the kingdom. Therefore King Mosiah sent again among the people, yea, even a written word sent he among the people. And these were the words that were written, saying:
Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren!
For I esteem you as such, I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider — for ye are desirous to have a king. Now I declare unto you that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong has declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom. And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people.
Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another, if he should be appointed in his stead. And if my son should turn again to his pride and vain things he would recall the things which he had said, and claim his right to the kingdom, which would cause him and also this people to commit much sin. And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.
Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days. Nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law. And we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God. Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just. Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people — I say unto you, if this could always be the case, then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.
And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity. And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers.
Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you. For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction! Yea, remember King Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people! Behold what great destruction did come upon them. And also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage. And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now. But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him. And because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage. And thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.
And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king, save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood. For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him, and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him. And he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God. And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness! And whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed. And whosoever doth rebel against him, he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them! And thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness. And now behold, I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.
Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord. Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right. Therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law: to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you. Yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction, even as he has hitherto visited this land.
And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge. If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people. And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord. And I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king: that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.
For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings. Therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings.
And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people. But I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.
And many more things did King Mosiah write unto them, unfolding unto them all the trials and troubles of a righteous king, yea, all the travails of soul for their people, and also all the murmurings of the people to their king. And he explained it all unto them. And he told them that these things ought not to be, but that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part. And he also unfolded unto them all the disadvantages they labored under, by having an unrighteous king to rule over them. Yea, all his iniquities and abominations, and all the wars, and contentions, and bloodshed, and the stealing, and the plundering, and the committing of whoredoms, and all manner of iniquities which cannot be enumerated — telling them that these things ought not to be, that they were expressly repugnant to the commandments of God.
And now it came to pass, after King Mosiah had sent these things forth among the people they were convinced of the truth of his words. Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land. Yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins. Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them. And they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them. And they did wax strong in love towards Mosiah. Yea, they did esteem him more than any other man: For they did not look upon him as a tyrant who was seeking for gain, yea, for that lucre which doth corrupt the soul. For he had not exacted riches of them, neither had he delighted in the shedding of blood, but he had established peace in the land, and he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage. Therefore they did esteem him, yea, exceedingly, beyond measure.
And it came to pass that they did appoint judges to rule over them, or to judge them according to the law, and this they did throughout all the land. And it came to pass that Alma was appointed to be the first chief judge, he being also the high priest, his father having conferred the office upon him, and having given him the charge concerning all the affairs of the church. And now it came to pass that Alma did walk in the ways of the Lord, and he did keep his commandments, and he did judge righteous judgments. And there was continual peace through the land.
And thus commenced the reign of the judges throughout all the land of Zarahemla, among all the people who were called the Nephites, and Alma was the first and Chief Judge. And now it came to pass that his father died, being eighty and two years old, having lived to fulfill the commandments of God. And it came to pass that Mosiah died also, in the thirty and third year of his reign, being sixty and three years old: making in the whole, five hundred and nine years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem.
And thus ended the reign of the kings over the people of Nephi.
And thus ended the days of Alma who was the founder of their church.
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