An account of Alma and the people of yhwh who were driven into the wilderness by the people of king Noah.

  1. Now Alma having been warned of yhwh that the armies of king Noah would come upon them, had 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 yhwh 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, yes, 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, and so forth. Yes, they were industrious and did labor exceedingly.
  2. 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 says yhwh: You 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 you should have a king; nevertheless, if it were possible that you 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 kohanim. And I myself was caught in a snare, and did many things which were abominable in the sight of yhwh, which caused me sore repentance. Nevertheless, after much tribulation, yhwh 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, you have been oppressed by king Noah, and have been in bondage to him and his kohanim, and have been brought into iniquity by them; therefore, you were bound with the bands of iniquity. And now as you have been delivered by the power of Elohim out of these bonds, yes, even out of the hands of king Noah and his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity, even so I desire that you should stand fast in this liberty with which you have been made free, and that you trust no man to be a king over you; and also trusting no one to be your teacher nor your guide except he be a man of Elohim, walking in his ways and keeping his mitzvot. Thus did Alma teach his people that every man should love his neighbor as himself,136 that there should be no contention among them.
  3. And now Alma was their Kohen HaGadol, he being the founder of their assembly. And it came to pass that none received s’mikhah to preach or to teach except it were by him from Elohim; therefore he consecrated all their kohanim 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, yhwh sees fit to chasten his people; yes, he tries their patience and their faith. Nevertheless, whosoever puts his trust in him, the same shall be lifted up at the last day; yes, 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 yhwh their Elohim, yes, even the Elohim of Avraham, and of Yitz’chak, and of Ya’akov. 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.
  4. For behold, it came to pass that while they were in the land of Helam, yes, in the city of Helam, while tilling the land round about, behold, an army of the Lamanites were in the borders of the land. Now it came to pass that the brothers of Alma fled from their fields and gathered themselves together into 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 yhwh their Elohim and he would deliver them. Therefore they hushed their fears and began to cry unto yhwh that he would soften the hearts of the Lamanites, that they would spare them, and their wives, and children. And it came to pass that yhwh did soften the hearts of the Lamanites. And Alma and his brothers went forth and delivered themselves up into their hands, and the Lamanites took possession of the land of Helam.
  5. 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 kohanim 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 kohanim 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 brothers that they should not destroy their husbands. And the Lamanites had compassion on Amulon and his brothers and did not destroy them, because of their wives. And Amulon and his brothers did join the Lamanites, and they were traveling in the wilderness in search of the land of Nefi when they discovered the land of Helam, which was possessed by Alma and his brothers.
  6. And it came to pass that the Lamanites promised unto Alma and his brothers that if they would show them the way which led to the land of Nefi, 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 Nefi, the Lamanites would not keep their promise, but they set guards round about the land of Helam over Alma and his brothers, and the remainder of them went to the land of Nefi. 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 who were in the land of Helam; nevertheless, he should have no power to do anything contrary to the will of the king of the Lamanites.
  7. 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 brothers that they should be appointed teachers over his people, yes, even over the people who were in the land of Shemlon, and 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 from among the brothers of Amulon in every land which was possessed by his people. And thus the language of Nefi began to be taught among all the people of the Lamanites. And they were a people friendly one with another. Nevertheless, they knew not Elohim; neither did the brothers of Amulon teach them anything concerning yhwh their Elohim, neither the Torah of Moshe, nor did they teach them the words of Avinodi. 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 grow great, and began to be a cunning and a wise people as to the wisdom of the world — yes, a very cunning people, delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder, except it were among their own brothers.
  8. And now it came to pass that Amulon began to exercise authority over Alma and his brothers, 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 kohanim, and that it was he that believed the words of Avinodi and was driven out before the king; and therefore he was angry with him. For he was subject to king Laman, yet he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put taskmasters over them. And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to Elohim. And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries, and put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon Elohim should be put to death. And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to yhwh their Elohim, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
  9. And it came to pass that the voice of yhwh came to them in their afflictions, saying, Lift up your heads and be of good comfort,137 for I know of the covenant which you have made unto me. And I will covenant with this 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 you may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that you may know of a surety that I, Adonai yhwh, do visit my people in their afflictions. And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brothers were made light; yes, yhwh 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 yhwh.
  10. And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of yhwh came unto them again, saying, Be of good comfort, for tomorrow I will deliver you out of bondage. And he said unto Alma, You shall go before this people, and I will go with you and deliver this people out of bondage.
  11. Now it came to pass that Alma and his people in the nighttime gathered their flocks together, and also of their grain; yes, even all the nighttime were they gathering their flocks together. And in the morning, yhwh caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites; yes, and all their taskmasters 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 name of the valley Alma, because he led their way in the wilderness. Yes, and in the valley of Alma they poured out their thanks to Elohim 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 yhwh their Elohim. And they gave thanks to Elohim — yes, all their men, and all their women, and all their children that could speak, lifted their voices in the praises of their Elohim.
  12. And now yhwh said unto Alma, Hasten and get yourself and this people out of this land, for the Lamanites have awoken and do pursue you; therefore get yourself 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 to the land of Zerach’mla; and king Moshiyah did also receive them with joy.
  13. And now king Moshiyah caused that all the people should be gathered together. Now there were not so many of the children of Nefi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nefi, as there were of the people of Zerach’mla, who was a descendant of Muloch and those who came with him into the wilderness. And there were not so many of the people of Nefi and of the people of Zerach’mla as there were of the Lamanites; yes, they were not half so numerous. And now all the people of Nefi were assembled together, and also all the people of Zerach’mla, and they were gathered together in two bodies.
  14. And it came to pass that Moshiyah did read, and caused to be read, the records of Zeniff to his people; yes, he read the records of the people of Zeniff from the time they left the land of Zerach’mla until the time they returned again. And he also read the account of Alma and his brothers, and all their afflictions from the time they left the land of Zerach’mla until the time they returned again. And now when Moshiyah had made an end of reading the records, his people who remained 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 brothers 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 Elohim, and his power138 in delivering Alma and his brothers out of the hands of the Lamanites and of bondage, they did raise their voices and give thanks to Elohim. And again, when they thought upon the Lamanites, who were their brothers, of their sinful and polluted state, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls.
  15. And it came to pass that those who were the children of Amulon and his brothers, 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 Nefi, that they might be called the children of Nefi and be numbered among those who were called Nefites. And now all the people of Zerach’mla were numbered with the Nefites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nefi.
  16. And now it came to pass that when Moshiyah 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 yhwh. And he did exhort the people of Limhi and his brothers — all those that had been delivered out of bondage — that they should remember that it was yhwh 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 washed by immersion; and all his people were desirous that they might be immersed also. Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did immerse them; yes, he did immerse them after the manner he did his brothers in the waters of M’raman. Yes, and as many as he did wash by immersion did belong to the assembly of Elohim,139 and this because of their belief on the words of Alma.
  17. And it came to pass that king Moshiyah granted unto Alma that he might establish assemblies throughout all the land of Zerach’mla, and gave him power to ordain kohanim and teachers over every assembly. Now this was done because there were so many people that they could not be all governed by one teacher, neither could they all hear the word of Elohim in one assembly. Therefore, they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called assemblies, every assembly having their kohanim and their teachers, and every kohen preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma. And thus, even though there were many assemblies, they were all one assembly, yes, even the assembly of Elohim; for there was nothing preached in all the assemblies except it were repentance and faith in Elohim. And now there were seven assemblies in the land of Zerach’mla. And it came to pass that whosoever were desirous to take upon them the name of Mashiach, or of Elohim, they did join the assemblies of Elohim; and they were called the people of Elohim. And yhwh did pour out his spirit upon them, and they were blessed and prospered in the land.
  18. Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Binyamin, being little children at the time he spoke 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 Mashiach. And now, because of their unbelief, they could not understand the word of Elohim, and their hearts were hardened. And they would not be immersed, neither would they join the assembly. 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 yhwh their Elohim. And now in the reign of Moshiyah, they were not half so numerous as the people of Elohim; but because of the dissensions among the brothers, they became more numerous. For it came to pass that they did deceive many — with their flattering words — who were in the assembly, and did cause them to commit many sins. Therefore, it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the assembly, should be admonished by the assembly.
  19. And it came to pass that they were brought before the kohanim and delivered up unto the kohanim by the teachers, and the kohanim brought them before Alma, who was the Kohen HaGadol. Now king Moshiyah had given Alma the authority over the assembly. And it came to pass that Alma did know concerning them, for there were many witnesses against them; yes, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance. Now there had not any such thing happened before in the assembly. 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 you, who are accused of their brothers. Yes, and they have been taken in diverse iniquities, and they do not repent of their iniquities. Therefore we have brought them before you, that you may judge them according to their crimes. But king Moshiyah said unto Alma, Behold, I judge them not; therefore I deliver them into your hands to be judged. And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled. And he went and inquired of yhwh what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of Elohim.
  20. And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to Elohim, the voice of yhwh came to him, saying, Blessed140 are you Alma, and blessed are they who were immersed in the waters of M’raman. You are blessed because of your exceeding faith in the words alone of my servant Avinodi. And blessed are they because of their exceeding faith in the words alone which you have spoken unto them. And blessed are you because you have established an assembly among this people. And they shall be strengthened, and they shall be my people. Yes, 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 you have inquired of me concerning the transgressor, you are blessed. You are my servant, and I covenant with you that you shall have Eternal life.
  21. And you shall serve me, and go forth in my name, and shall gather together my sheep. And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep;141 and him shall you receive into the assembly, and him will I also receive. For behold, this is my assembly. Whosoever is immersed shall be washed unto repentance, and whosoever you receive shall believe in my name, and him will I freely forgive. For it is I that take upon myself the sins of the world, for it is I that have created them. And it is I that grant unto him that believes 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 shofar shall sound, then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me. And then shall they know that I am yhwh their Elohim, that I am their Redeemer, but they would not be redeemed. And then will I confess unto them that I never knew them, and they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for HaSatan and his angels. Therefore I say unto you that he that will not hear my voice, the same shall you not receive into my assembly, for him will I not receive at the last day.
  22. Therefore I say unto you, go, and whosoever transgress against me, him shall you judge according to the sins which he has committed. And if he confess his sins before you and me, and repents in the sincerity of his heart, him shall you forgive, and I will forgive him also. Yes, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. And you shall also forgive one another your trespasses. For truly I say unto you, he that forgives not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same has 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.
  23. 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 assembly according to the mitzvot of Elohim. And it came to pass that Alma went and judged those that had been taken in iniquity, according to the word of yhwh. And whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them, those he did number among the people of the assembly. And those that would not confess their sins and repent of their iniquity, the same were not numbered among the people of the assembly; and their names were blotted out. And it came to pass that Alma did regulate all the affairs of the assembly. And they began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly in the affairs of the assembly, walking circumspectly before Elohim, receiving many and immersing many. And now all these things did Alma and his fellow laborers do who were over the assembly, walking in all diligence, teaching the word of Elohim in all things, suffering all manner of afflictions, being persecuted by all those who did not belong to the assembly of Elohim. And they did admonish their brothers, and they were also admonished, every one by the word of Elohim, according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of Elohim 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 assembly by the unbelievers became so great that the assembly 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, Moshiyah, and Moshiyah consulted with his kohanim.
  24. And it came to pass that king Moshiyah sent a proclamation throughout the land round about that there should not any unbeliever persecute any of those who belonged to the assembly of Elohim. And there was a strict command throughout all the assemblies that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men, that they should let no pride nor arrogance disturb their shalom, that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself,142 laboring with their own hands for their support. Yes, and all their kohanim and teachers should labor with their own hands for their support in all cases, except it were in sickness or in much want; and doing these things they did abound in the grace of Elohim. And there began to be much shalom again in the land. And the people began to be very numerous, and began to scatter abroad upon the face of the earth — yes, 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 yhwh did visit them and prosper them, and they became a large and a wealthy people.
  25. Now the sons of Moshiyah 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 hinderance to the prosperity of the assembly of Elohim: stealing away the hearts of the people, causing much dissension among the people, giving a chance for the enemy of Elohim to exercise his power over them.
  26. And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the assembly of Elohim — for he did go about secretly with the sons of Moshiyah, seeking to destroy the assembly and to lead astray the people of yhwh contrary to the mitzvot of Elohim, or even the king — and as I said unto you, as they were going about rebelling against Elohim, behold, the angel of yhwh appeared unto them, and he descended as it were in a cloud. And he spoke 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 spoke unto them. Nevertheless, he cried again, saying, Alma, arise and stand forth! For why do you persecute the assembly of Elohim? For yhwh has said, This is my assembly, and I will strengthen it; and nothing shall overthrow it, except it is the transgression of my people. And again the angel said, Behold, yhwh has heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant Alma, who is your father. For he has prayed with much faith concerning you, that you might be brought to the knowledge of the truth. Therefore, for this purpose have I come, to convince you of the power and authority of Elohim, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith. And now behold, can you dispute the power of Elohim? For behold, does not my voice shake the earth? And can you not also behold me before you? And I am sent from Elohim. Now I say unto you, go, and remember the captivity of your fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nefi, 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 you, Alma, go your way, and seek to destroy the assembly no more, that their prayers may be answered. And this, even if you will of yourself be cast off. And now it came to pass that these were the last words which the angel spoke unto Alma, and he departed.
  27. 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 yhwh, and his voice was as thunder which shook the earth. And they knew that there was nothing except the power of Elohim 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; yes, 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 Elohim. And he caused that a multitude should be gathered together, that they might witness what yhwh had done for his son, and also for those that were with him. And he caused that the kohanim should assemble themselves together. And they began to fast and to pray to yhwh their Elohim 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 Elohim.
  28. 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 yhwh. Behold, I am born of the spirit. And yhwh said unto me, Marvel not that all mankind, yes, men and women — all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people — must be born again, yes, born of Elohim,143 changed from their carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of Elohim, becoming his sons and daughters.144 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in no way inherit the kingdom of Elohim. I say unto you, unless this be the case, they must be cast off. And this I know because I was about to be cast off. Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nearly unto death, yhwh in mercy has seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning; and I am born of Elohim. My soul has 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 Elohim. My soul was racked with Eternal torment, but I am snatched away, 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 remembers every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all. Yes, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess before him. Yes, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is Elohim; then shall they confess, who live without Elohim 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.
  29. 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 Elohim in much tribulation, being greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers, being smitten by many of them. But despite all this, they did impart much consolation to the assembly, confirming their faith, and exhorting them with long-suffering and much travail to keep the mitzvot of Elohim. And four of them were the sons of Moshiyah. And their names were Ammon, and Aharon, and Omner, and Himni — these were the names of the sons of Moshiyah. And they traveled throughout all the land of Zerach’mla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Moshiyah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the assembly, 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 Elohim in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yes, to the knowledge of their Redeemer. And how blessed are they, for they did publish shalom; they did publish good tidings of good, and they did declare unto the people that yhwh reigns.145