Alma the son of Alma becomes the first Nephite judge--Nehor preaches that all will be saved--Gideon
opposes his teachings--Nehor kills Gideon with a sword--He is forced to confess and is then executed--Non-believers
persecute believers--The Nephites treat everyone equally--The church prospers and church members become wealthy--Those
who do not belong to the church commit all manner of wickedness. (91-90 BCE)
1 Now it came to pass that in the first year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, from this
time forward, king Mosiah having gone the way of all the earth, having warred a good warfare, walking uprightly before
God, leaving none to reign in his stead; nevertheless he had established laws, and they were acknowledged by the
people; therefore they were obliged to abide by the laws which he had made.
After Mosiah died, Alma, the son of Alma, became the first judge of the Nephites.
2 And it came to pass that
in the first year of the reign of Alma in the judgment-seat, there was a man brought
before him to be judged, a man who was large, and was noted for his much strength.
In his first year as judge, a man named Nehor (v. 15) was brought before Alma.
3 And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God,
bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and
they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.
Nehor said that priests should be popular among, and supported
by, the people,
4 And he also testified unto the people that
all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they
need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and
had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.
and that everyone will be saved. 
5 And it came to pass that he did teach these things so
much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.
Many of the people believed him and supported him by giving him money.
6 And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even
began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.
He wore expensive clothes and established his own church.
7 And it came to pass as he was going, to preach to those who
believed on his word, he met a man who belonged to the church of God, yea, even one of their teachers; and he began to
contend with him sharply, that he might lead away the people of the church; but the man withstood him, admonishing him
with the words of God.
8 Now the name of the man was Gideon; and it was he who was an instrument in the hands of God in
delivering the people of Limhi out of bondage.
One day while Nehor was preaching, he met an elderly member of the Church of God, whose name was Gideon. 
9 Now, because Gideon withstood him with the words of God he was wroth with Gideon, and drew his sword
and began to smite him. Now Gideon being stricken with many years, therefore he was not able to withstand his blows,
therefore he was slain by the sword.
Gideon opposed Nehor, admonishing him with the words of God.
This upset Nehor so much that he killed Gideon with a sword.
10 And the man who slew him was taken by the people of the church, and was brought before Alma, to be
judged according to the crimes which he had committed.
11 And it came to pass that he stood before Alma and
pleaded for himself with much boldness.
The people brought Nehor to Alma to be judged.
12 But Alma said unto him: Behold, this is the
first time that priestcraft has been introduced among
this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword;
and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people it would prove their entire destruction.
Alma said to Nehor,
This is the first time priestcraft has be introduced here.
You are no only guilty of priestcraft, but of trying to enforce it with the sword.
And if priestcraft is enforced here, it would destroy us all.
13 And thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man, yea, a man who has done much good
among this people; and were we to spare thee his blood would come upon us for vengeance.
You killed a righteous man. 
If we don't kill you, his blood will come upon us for vengeance.
14 Therefore thou art condemned to die, according to the law which has been given us by Mosiah, our last
king; and it has been acknowledged by this people; therefore this people must abide by the law.
So you are condemned to die.
15 And it came to pass that
they took him; and his name was Nehor; and they carried
him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the
earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious
The people carried Nehor to the top of a hill and forced him to confess that he had taught things contrary to the word of God.
Then they killed him in such a way that he suffered an ignominious death. 
Church members vs non-members
16 Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there
were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did
for the sake of riches and honor.
But Nehor's death didn't end the priestcraft.
17 Nevertheless, they durst not lie, if it were known, for fear of the law, for liars were punished;
therefore they pretended to preach according to their belief; and now the law could have no power on any man for his
18 And they durst not steal, for fear of the law, for such were punished; neither durst they rob, nor
murder, for he that murdered was punished unto death.
They couldn't be put to death, because they weren't committing any crimes. They didn't rob, murder, or steal.
And they weren't technically liars, since they claimed to believe in their preaching, and the
law couldn't punish a man for his beliefs.
19 But it came to pass that
whosoever did not belong to the church of God began to persecute those that
did belong to the church of God, and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
Those who didn't belong to the church began to persecute those who did and who had taken on the name of Christ.
20 Yea, they did persecute them, and afflict them with all manner of words, and this
because of their
humility; because they were not proud in their own eyes, and because they did impart the word of God, one with
another, without money and without price.
Non-members persecuted church members by calling them names, because the church members were so humble and because they
preached the word of God for free.
21 Now there was a strict law among the people of the church that there should not any man, belonging
to the church, arise and persecute those that did not belong to the church, and that there should be no persecution
The church and a strict law that no one in the church could persecute those who didn't belong to the church.
And church members could not persecute one another.
22 Nevertheless, there were many among them who began to be proud, and began to contend warmly with
their adversaries, even unto blows; yea, they would smite one another with their fists.
23 Now this was in the second year of the reign of Alma, and it was a cause of much affliction to the
church; yea, it was the cause of much trial with the church.
But the church members still argued with each other and hit each other with their fits.
24 For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no
more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them.
25 Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the
faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was
heaped upon them.
Many had hard hearts, so their names were blotted out.
26 And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left
their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned
again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no
better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they
did all labor, every man according to his strength.
But everyone worked hard and was equal.
27 And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and
the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet
they were neat and comely.
28 And thus they did establish the affairs of the church; and thus they began to have continual peace
again, notwithstanding all their persecutions.
They gave to the poor and the sick.
And although they didn't wear expensive clothes, they were neat and comely.
29 And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance
of all things whatsoever they stood in need -- an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also
abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and
and all manner of good homely cloth.
Although the church became exceedingly rich, with abundance of silk and
fine-twined linen, 
30 And thus, in their prosperous circumstances,
they did not send away any who were naked, or that were
hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts
upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether
out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.
it helped the poor and was liberal to all.
31 And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their
And so church members were far more wealthy than non-members.
32 For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or
idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their
own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness;
nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible.
who were all a lazy, wicked, babbling, idolatrous, and proud bunch of whores, thieves and murderers.
33 And it came to pass that by thus exercising the law upon them, every man
suffering according to that which he had done, they became more still, and durst not commit any wickedness if it were
known; therefore, there was much peace among the people of Nephi until the fifth year of the reign of the judges.
But they were all caught and punished for their wickedness. And so there was peace among the people of Nephi until
the fifth year of the reign of the judges.
- All mankind should be saved. (v.4)
Nehor preached the doctrine of universalism (i.e., that everyone will be saved). Since Nehor's doctrines were condemned by Gideon,
and Gideon was speaking for the church of God, universalism must be contrary to LDS teaching.
- The name of the man was Gideon (v.8)
This is the Gideon that accused King Noah's priests of stealing the Lamanite
daughters (Mosiah 20:17-18) and came up with the plan to get the
Lamanites drunk and escape through the back door (Mosiah 22:3-8).
- Thou hast shed the blood of a righteous man. (v.13)
Has there ever been a righteous man?
- What he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominious death.
The people carried Nehor to the top of a hill, and forced him to confess that he had taught things contrary
to the word of God. Then they killed him in such a way that "he suffered an ignominious death" -- more for heresy
than for murder.
Were there laws against disbelief?
- Abundance of silk and fine-twined linen (v.29)
They had an abundance of silk and linen, though
neither silk nor
linen existed in the New World at the time (supposedly 91 BCE).
And it came to pass: 1:1, 2, 5, 7, 11,
15, 19, 33
Yea: 1:6, 7, 13, 20, 22,
1:25a Stand fast in the faith. -- 1 Corinthians 16:13
1:25b Be ye steadfast, unmoveable. -- 1 Corinthians 15:58
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- What the Book of Mormon says about the poor (and why Mitt Romney should be concerned about them)
- The Annotated Book of Mormon
- Alma 1