Convert ALL the Nephites!
Alma begins preaching to the hodgepodge collective of righteous peoples (who suspiciously all happen to be descended from people who weren't cursed with a dark skin). He teaches repentance and tells the people of Limhi that they were delivered from bondage by God (even though this is the first we're hearing of it). And then this totally unrealistic thing happens:
And it came to pass that after Alma had taught the people many things, and had made an end of speaking to them, that king Limhi was desirous that he might be baptized; and all his people were desirous that they might be baptized also.All his people? All of them? Really? Nobody wanted to be a rebel? Nobody was sick of getting dicked around by an increasingly fickle and petulant god? Nobody said, "You know what, I'd like to think about this for a few days before I rush into a rash decision"?
People don't act en masse like that, Joseph. Sure, most people may tend to follow the crowd or go with the flow, but ALL of ANY large group of people RARELY agree on ANYTHING.
Church and State
Do a doubletake on verse 19:
And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church.Whoa...why exactly does the head of state get to give the prophet of God permission to do anything? And it's more than a little strange that Alma is just going along with this considering his recent soapbox speech about how the people should "not esteem one flesh above another" and "trust no man to be a king."
And what power does Mosiah have to give Alma the power to ordain priests and teachers? Alma just organized a church in his own town two chapters ago, which apparently he's allowed to do ever since he gave himself the authority to do stuff. But now, all of a sudden, he needs Mosiah to grant him the power to ordain people to the church heirarchy?
Just the Way Tommy Monson Does It
Therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches; every church having their priests and their teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma.What happened to personal revelation? Shouldn't the different officers and leaders of the church receive revelation from God concerning their stewardships? Why does it all come to them from Alma? That seems pretty suspicious, although I have to admit it's in keeping with the way the current church is run. Everything comes from Monson and the rest of the Big 15, because God doesn't actually talk to the Mormon church—probably because he has nothing to do with it. Which is why all big decisions in the church come from the top, instead of from personal revelation to the appropriate level of leadership like it's supposed to.