By studying the book of Alma, you will learn about Jesus Christ and the necessity of His Atonement and Resurrection in Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. You will also learn about the power of the word of God to overcome priestcraft, false doctrine, sin, hatred, and apostasy while leading individuals to receive a mighty change of heart and be born again. You will be edified as you read about the missionary efforts of the sons of Mosiah and the conversion and subsequent faithfulness of the people of Ammon, or Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Furthermore, as you study chapters detailing the warfare among the Nephites and Lamanites, you can learn principles that will guide you in the tumultuous times in which you live and help you prevail in your personal battles against the adversary.
Mormon compiled and abridged records from the large plates of Nephi to create the book of Alma. The book is named for Alma, who was the son of Alma and is often called Alma the Younger. At the time King Mosiah instituted the reign of the judges among the Nephites, Alma became the first chief judge and also succeeded his father as high priest over the Church (see Mosiah 29:42). He eventually resigned his position as chief judge to dedicate himself “wholly to the high priesthood” and “to deliver the word of God to the people” throughout all the land of the Nephites (Alma 4:20; 5:1). Mormon used the records of Alma’s ministry (Alma 1–44) and the writings of his sons Helaman (Alma 45–62) and Shiblon (Alma 63) to compose the book of Alma.
The original records used as sources for the book of Alma were likely written between 91 B.C. and 52 B.C. Mormon abridged those records sometime between A.D. 45 and A.D. 385. Mormon did not record where he was when he made his abridgement.