In the passing of years many of the rising generation gave no heed to the Word of God. These were mostly those who were too young to enter into a covenant with the Lord at the time that King Benjamin anointed Mosiah to be his successor.
Not only did they, themselves, reject the doctrines of the Atonement, the Resurrection, and other Gospel principles, but also they led away many of the members of the Church into darkness and iniquity. They abused, reviled, and persecuted those who remained faithful to the cause of Christ.
As is so often the practice with those who deride and deny the truth when it is presented to them, the unbelief of many of these youthful apostates in Zarahemla precluded any understanding by them of the marvelous ways of the Lord and their hearts became hardened.
They would not adjust themselves with God's people, nor would they join His Church. They separated, each one of them, spiritually, from the companionship of good and upright men and women, and, therefore, they sank deeper and deeper "into their carnal and sinful state." In the darkness that blinded them, they refused to call upon the Lord for a lamp to guide their feet.
During the latter part of King Mosiah's reign over the Nephites in Zarahemla, the number of these youthful offenders became so great as to awaken fear in the hearts of their brethren. By their shameless deeds they caused much dissension even among those who professed undying faithfulness to God and His commandments. Their number increased until more fraternized with the wicked than there were those who remained true and righteous.
Now, many left the Church, not by wilful apostasy, thus declaring their intent, but by their abandonment of those truths they had formerly and voluntarily professed. For many of them it was nearly a complete desertion of their principles and faith. Iniquity abounded among them, yet, some of them retained fellowship with the people of God. Soon it became necessary to admonish the sinful. This was done both in kindness and in severely reprimanding the transgressors by the priests and teachers who labored unceasingly that the work of the Lord should proceed onward.