There is power in the word of God, a supernal power that can transform human souls and rivet men’s hearts upon eternal verities. Preaching the word is prerequisite to the formation of faith. Joseph Smith, paraphrasing the Apostle Paul, said: “Faith comes by hearing the word of God, through the testimony of the servants of God; that testimony is always attended by the spirit of prophecy and revelation” (Teachings, p. 148; compare Romans 10:17).
The word is sharp and powerful, like a two-edged sword, dividing truth from error, substance from vanity, sham and pretense from reality. Later in our story Mormon will write, in regard to Alma and his companions’ approach to the apostate Zoramites:
“And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just-yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them- therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.”