Alma 4:11 - Alma 4:15
Alma 4:11 And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.
In the nine year, Alma observed with alarm the members of the church who were now even more wicked than the people around them begin to lead the non-members into even more wickedness. Destruction would not be too far away.
Alma 4:12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
What Alma observed was great INEQUALITY among the people. Those with wealth were showing off their wealth by their dress. In addition, they were turning their backs on the poor, the naked and hungry. They would not help them in their needs. Thus wealth was in the hands of a few while the rest were in poverty.
This is very interesting to me. The first sentence of this verse could have said that there was great iniquity among the people, but it said inequality. In other words, instead of those with wealth helping those who were in need, they kept their wealth in their own hands and would not be generous with those who had little or no wealth. This is a grievous sin to the Lord. Those with the ability to accumulate wealth have an obligation to either share with those who do not have such capabilities or at least help them to do so with training or putting them to work. The Book of Mormon is interesting in this way to me. The Lord wants us to all have what we need and even things we would like. Certain people seem to have the golden touch and wealth comes to them easily. They should, as part of their obligation to the rest of us, help us to do the same. When we have what we need to live, then the extras should be spread around to everyone. This is not to say it is a handout, but that a man who is less talented should have what he needs and even what he would like to have as long as he is trying his best. Again a man wages are what he needs and wants regardless of what he can do or is able to do. The garbage man should have the same wealth as the CEO of a large company. This is not to be done by taxation. It should be freely given by the rich to the poor by putting them to work. In fact, in my experience, it is hard to think of how to keep people busy when there seems nothing that needs done.
Alma 4:13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
However, there were still folks that were trying to help the poor and the needy. They often times were in need themselves. They were the ones who were looking forward to relief with the coming of the Messiah.
Alma 4:14 Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.
They were looking forward to when the test of mortality would be over and they would inherit the eternal life as spoken of in the scriptures and by the prophets. They were looking forward to the resurrection when they needs of the body would not take up so much of their time and efforts.
Alma 4:15 And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble followers of God, and the persecutions which were heaped upon them by the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him.
Anyway the condition of the people was of great sorrow to Alma. The persecutions and the problems of the people brought him down to a deep sorrow. However, the spirit of the Lord was not letting him down and a plan as to what to do was forming in his mind.