The Book of Mormon is an ancient text that was recorded and then hidden by the prophet Moroni. Later Moroni, as a heavenly messenger visited the Prophet Joseph Smith and told him where to find the records. Joseph Smith then translated the Book of Mormon with divine help. Alma the Younger is one prophet whose story is related in the Book of Mormon.
Alma the Younger, lived in the lands of the Book of Mormon. The history of Alma begins when he is a youth sometime between 100 and 92 B.C. Alma and his friends including the four sons of King Mosiah, were working to destroy the Church of Christ. Alma the Younger’s father, Alma the Elder, was the leader of the Church and he was very worried about his son and prayed that the Lord would somehow help his son change. Alma and the four sons of Mosiah were traveling when an angel appeared to them. They were scared and fell to the ground.
The angel then spoke to Alma, “Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: ‘This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.’ Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith. And now behold, can ye dispute the power of God? For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God. Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.” (Mosiah 27:14-16)
The angel left, and Alma was so overcome with the spirit that he could not speak, or move. The sons of Mosiah carried him to his father’s house. When Alma the Elder heard what had happened he knew that his prayers had been answered. He asked members of the Church to fast and pray for Alma so that he could again move and speak. They fasted for two days and nights. During this time, Alma was repenting of his many sins. Afterwards Alma recorded, “Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God. My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.” (Mosiah 27:28-29)
After being unable to move for three days and nights Alma got up and told the people what he had learned and that he knew that Christ was the Redeemer and that the Church he had been trying to destroy was Christ’s Church. After this Alma and the sons of Mosiah changed, they went throughout the land teaching the people about the gospel and trying to undo the damage they had done.
The account of Alma’s conversion is found in two places in the Book of Mormon; Mosiah 26-28 and Alma 36, where Alma the Younger recounts his conversion to his son. For a long time Alma taught the people, he converted many to the truth. The sons of Mosiah were so devoted to teaching the gospel that none wanted to take his place as King, so a judging system was set up, and Alma the Younger was voted in as the first chief judge. He was also the prophet and leader of the Church. Later, Alma gave up the position of chief judge to go out and preach again to the people.