The People of Gideon were members of a Nephite community residing in the land of Gideon, a territory named in honor of a righteous man, Gideon, who had previously been killed by the anti-Christ Nehor. This land and its people are noted in the Book of Mormon for being the recipients of a significant sermon delivered by Alma the Younger, commonly referred to as Alma². Alma was a former high priest over the Church and a prominent spiritual leader among the Nephites. The discourse, which took place at a gathering of the church in Gideon, is particularly renowned for its explication of the mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ, described with profound compassion and insight.
In his sermon, recorded in Alma chapter 7, verses 11 to 13, Alma the Younger spoke directly to the afflictions and trials faced by the People of Gideon and addressed their spiritual concerns. He emphasized the Savior’s willing sufferance of pain, afflictions, temptations, and even death, with the express purpose of understanding and succoring His people in their own tribulations and to loose the bands of death that held them captive. Alma taught that the Savior’s Atonement was comprehensive; not only did it cover sins and transgressions, but it also extended to pains, sicknesses, and infirmities, allowing Him to empathize with humanity and extend mercy according to their needs.
Thus, the People of Gideon were directly touched by prophetic teachings concerning the coming of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Their story highlights the Nephites’ understanding of and faith in the Savior’s role in their lives, and the account of Alma’s sermon in Gideon provides one of the most profound doctrinal expositions on the Savior’s empathy and willingness to succor His people as recorded in the Book of Mormon.