“The Priests Left Their Labor to Impart the Word of God”

Church Educational System

In Alma 1, note Mormon’s comparison between the pride of Nehor and the humble priests from the church of God. Nehor wore “very costly apparel,” preached “for the sake of riches,” and was lifted up in the pride of his heart, believing he was superior to others (see Alma 1:5–6, 16). On the other hand, the true priests did not wear costly apparel, taught out of a desire to see others improve without monetary compensation, labored with their hands for their own support, and did not esteem themselves above their hearers (see Alma 1:26–27; see also Mosiah 18:24; 27:5). Throughout the Book of Mormon various apostate groups adopted the teachings or order of Nehor (see Alma 1:16; 16:1–12). This order exalted their so-called spiritual leaders to the point of creating an elite priestly class and social ranks among the people. These self-appointed elites often exploited the lay population and persecuted the poor (see Mosiah 11:3–6; 23:39; 24:8–9; Alma 31:23–32:5). In contrast, Alma 1:26 teaches that the Lord’s way is to call a lay ministry of priesthood leaders.

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)