Textual: We know that these are the words of Mormon abridging information from his sources, but we don’t have a clear indication of what the text on the plates might have been. Consequently, it is not completely certain that Mormon is reciting Alma’s reasoning, or imputing that reasoning to him. It is likely, however, that Alma did leave some justification for his action in the original record, and of the two options it would appear safe to assume that Mormon is accurately reflecting Alma’s reasons for giving up the judgment seat.
This is the end of a chapter in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. It is also the end of a literary unit where Mormon was primarily an abridger rather than a copyist. This division in chapters between 4 and 5 is a separation between abridgement and quotation. Mormon has set up the conditions which led to Alma’s journey to save the church, and he will now embark on a much longer section where he primarily copies from his source material.