And it came to pass that Alma and the people of the Lord were apprised of the coming of the king’s army; …
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 took their tents and their families and departed into the wilderness. And they were in number about four hundred and fifty souls.
…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. p>
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.