Alma


It is easier to be a hero when your leader expects it of you and your friends and loved ones cheer for you than when you are alone. Alma was all alone. Only he believed Abinadi’s words that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would come to earth. When the people scorned Abinadi, when wicked King Noah brought Abinadi to trial and the priests cried out to kill Abinadi, Alma alone had the courage to ask for leniency, for kindness to Abinadi.

Alma was one of the priests of King Noah. Although he was a young man, he knew Abinadi spoke the truth concerning the wickedness of the people. Alma pled with the king to let Abinadi live. This made the king angry, and he sent Alma away. Then King Noah told his servants to secretly follow Alma and to kill him.

Alma escaped from the servants. He hid from them and wrote all the words Abinadi had spoken that he could remember.

After many days Alma went back to the city and secretly began to teach the people about Jesus Christ. First one and then another listened to Alma and believed him. Alma told those who believed to go to a place called Mormon. In this place there was a fountain of pure water, and nearby a thicket of small trees where Alma hid himself in the daytime from the king’s searchers.

Many people gathered to hear Alma. He taught them faith and repentance. Helam, being one of the first to believe, was baptized with Alma. They both went down under the water, and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit. Then Alma baptized all who desired it, and he and his followers called themselves the Church of Christ.

All of this was done in Mormon, by the waters of Mormon, and the place became sacred to the people who kept themselves hidden from King Noah. However, the king became aware that something was happening, and one Sabbath he sent his servants to follow the people and see where they were going and what they did. Thus Alma and his people were discovered unto the king. This time King Noah was really angry with Alma. He sent his army out to destroy all the people who were members of the Church of Christ.

But Alma was not alone now. He had friends who warned him about the king’s army. Therefore, the people took their tents and their families and departed into the wilderness. And they were in number about four hundred and fifty.

[illustration] Painting by Arnold Friberg