Summary: Alma preaches in private—He sets forth the covenant of baptism and baptizes at the waters of Mormon—He organizes the Church of Christ and ordains priests—They support themselves and teach the people—Alma and his people flee from King Noah into the wilderness. About 148—145 B.C.
This chapter shows how righteous of a soul and how much God loves and is willing to protect his children who willingly choose good and follow him. Alma, a servant of the wicked King Noah, was converted by the words of Abinadi and realizes he needs to remove himself from his environment and position.... so he flees. How scary that must have been knowing that he could have been caught and imprisoned and killed... but he felt and knew too much to stay in his wicked state. He is kept safe at the hand of the Lord and repents and then immediately begins to teach (privately) the words of Abinadi to people he meets in the wilderness. I would say that is true conversion!
In the private place Alma taught these people there was a fountain of pure water.... where he hides himself in the thicket of trees from the searches of the kings... and where he begins baptizing about 240 souls! A new convert preaching, teaching, and baptizing hundreds of new converts! Sounds like amazing missionary work.
In 2002 I had the opportunity to travel with my family to Guatemala with my sister's mission president on a "Book of Mormon lands" tour. It was amazing! As we were in the middle of the gorgeous green jungle somewhere in Guatemala President Mask (now a member of the 70) took us to the place HE thinks is the Waters of Mormon... the very place spoken of in this chapter. We sat there near the water and read the account in the scriptures and I felt that it very well could have been the place. He let us form our own opinions based on our experiences. I tell you what, it was neat, but I don't know any better now, having stood in that place, than I did before that the Book of Mormon is true and that the prophets and doctrines found therein are real and applicable for our modern lives.
As the chapter continues to unfold we see how Alma, after converting and baptizing so many, Alma continued to establish the Church complete with teachers and priests.
21 And he commanded them that there should be no acontention one with another, but that they should look forward with bone eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts cknit together in unity and in love one towards another.
Somehow the wicked King Noah discovered the movement among the people....
33 And now the king said that Alma was stirring up the people to rebellion against him; therefore he sent his aarmy to destroy them.
35 And they were in number about afour hundred and fifty souls.