And now, it came to pass that Alma, who had fled from the servants of king Noah, repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi 18:1
And many did believe his words. 18:3Apparently he was a pretty good speaker, and he created quite the following. He took his followers to a land called Mormon. It's called "Mormon" because it's infested with wild beasts. Makes sense.
And it came to pass that as many as did believe him did go forth to a place which was called Mormon, having received its name from the king, being in the borders of the land having been infested, by times or at seasons, by wild beasts. 18:4Alma takes his followers to the Waters of Mormon and baptizes them all. Then he ordains priests, one for every 50 followers.
Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit. 18:14
And again, Alma took another, and went forth a second time into the water, and baptized him according to the first, only he did not bury himself again in the water. 18:15
And after this manner he did baptize every one that went forth to the place of Mormon; and they were in number about two hundred and four souls; yea, and they were baptized in the waters of Mormon, and were filled with the grace of God. 18:16
The priests were required to support themselves, though. Alma didn't want any spoiled priests like Noah had.
18:24 And he also commanded them that the priests whom he had ordained should labor with their own hands for their support.He also seemed to favor progressive taxation. He demanded little of those with little, and more from those with more to give.
And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had; if he have more abundantly he should impart more abundantly; and of him that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given. 18:27Everything seemed to be going well in the land of Mormon. They didn't even mind the word "Mormon" back then. They actually seem to use it an amazing amount.
And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever. 18:30Of course, nowadays you are supposed to call them "Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". You could turn this verse into a whole page if you did that!
Everything was good until King Noah sends out spies and found out about them. Of course, Noah sent his army out to destroy them, and they fled into the wilderness, as usual.
But behold, it came to pass that the king, having discovered a movement among the people, sent his servants to watch them. Therefore on the day that they were assembling themselves together to hear the word of the Lord they were discovered unto the king. 18:32
And now the king said that Alma was stirring up the people to rebellion against him; therefore he sent his army to destroy them. 18:33
And it came to pass that Alma and the people of the Lord were apprised of the coming of the king's army; therefore they took their tents and their families and departed into the wilderness. 18:34Earlier we learned that there were 200 followers of Alma, but 450 people flee from King Noah's army. It must have been hard to depart in the wilderness with so many small children, but I'm sure they are used to it.