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After Alma’s big speech in the previous chapter, he puts his words into actions by organizing and establishing the church.
“… he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church” (verse 1).
Many others who had not been in the church did repent and were baptized (verse 2).
Those who were in the church but did not respond to his talk, did not heed the words of the prophet, did not want to let the Lord work in their lives, they were let go “that their names were not numbered among those of the righteous” (verse 3).
This is how the church was established: those not keeping their covenants were removed, those wanting to make covenants were helped to do so, and those keeping their covenants were ordained and given callings (verse 4).
Since those who did not want to listen were weeded out, those who were left – new members and those keeping covenants they have already made – were hungry for more.
“Now I would that ye should understand that the word of God was liberal unto all, that none were deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together to hear the word of God” (verse 5).
How do they assemble themselves to hear the word of God?
They meet together often and regularly, both for Sacrament meeting and for the Temple. They did “join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God” (verse 6).
When was the last time we fasted for someone who doesn’t know God?
When was the last time we fasted for the visiting teaching people we are assigned to love?
When was the last time we were hungry to know God?
When was the last time we filled that hunger by service to Him?
These people did. And as they become strong, with the church established according to the priesthood, Alma went on his way. He left Zarahemla to preach in Gideon (verse 7). He gave them the same speech, including his testimony, “according to the spirit of prophecy which was in him, according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who should come to redeem his people from their sins, and the holy order (priesthood) by which he was called” (verse 8).