Alma’s Sermon to the People of Gideon

A Contrast to Zarahemla

Alma 7:1–2

Alma begins by explaining how he was previously to busy to attend to the spiritual matters of the people as chief judge.

Behold my beloved brethren, seeing that I have been permitted to come unto you, therefore I attempt to address you in my language; yea, by my own mouth, seeing that it is the first time that I have spoken unto you by the words of my mouth, I having been wholly confined to the judgment–seat, having had much business that I could not come unto you.

And even I could not have come now at this time were it not that the judgment–seat hath been given to another, to reign in my stead; and the Lord in much mercy hath granted that I should come unto you.

Alma 7:3

Alma is pleased that the people of Gideon are living righteously.

And behold, I have come having great hopes
and much desire that I should find
that ye had humbled yourselves before God,
and that ye had continued in the supplicating of his grace,
that I should find that ye were blameless before him,
that I should find that ye were not in the awful dilemma
that our brethren were in at Zarahemla.

Alma 7:4–5

This is a welcome contrast to the state of the people in Zarahemla.

But blessed be the name of God, that he hath given me to know, yea, hath given unto me the exceedingly great joy of knowing that they are established again in the way of his righteousness. And I trust, according to the Spirit of God which is in me, that I shall also have joy over you; nevertheless I do not desire that my joy over you should come by the cause of so much afflictions and sorrow which I have had for the brethren at Zarahemla, for behold, my joy cometh over them after wading through much affliction and sorrow.

Alma 7:6

Alma trusts that the idolatry and wickedness which was in Zarahemla is not present in Gideon.

But behold,

I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief
as were your brethren;

I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts;

Yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches
and the vain things of the world;

Yea, I trust that you do not worship idols,
but that ye do worship the true and living God,
and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins,
with an everlasting faith,
which is to come.