The book of Alma opens in 91 B.C.and is the largest book in the entire Book of Mormon. It comprises nearly one-third of the entire text. The book of Alma commences just after the two great leaders of the Nephites, king Mosiah and the prophet Alma, had died. Prior to their passing the young son of the prophet Alma had been chosen to carry on the dual assignments of governing the people and serving as head of the Church. In this record we will refer to him as Alma the younger.
Young Alma is believed to have been about 30 years of age when he received this tremendous burden of responsibility.
The greatest political legacy left to young Alma by the good king Mosiah was a new constitution providing for a government of elected judges rather than a king. Mosiah had also provided a code of laws which was based on the Mosaic code and which had been acknowledged or voted upon by the Nephite people. Since they had approved the code while Mosiah was still alive, the Nephites were legally obliged to abide by these laws during the administration of Alma.