Alma 5:56 - 5:62
Alma 5:56 And finally, all ye that will persist in your wickedness, I say unto you that these are they who shall be hewn down and cast into the fire except they speedily repent.
If any of Alma’s listeners will continue to do the wrong things, we will suffer the fate of trees cut down and burned. However if they will repent and not wait until it is too late, they might have a chance of being saved.
Alma 5:57 And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names of my people;
So to the righteous among the people of Zarahemla, they need to avoid the wicked life styles of the unrighteous. They need to follow the advice of the Jesus and not view any of their stuff with envy or covet their way of life. In time, if these wicked people will not change their ways, their names will be removed from church records and they will no longer be part of the congregations of the righteous. This will fulfill prophecy which states that the wicked will not be a part of the reward of the righteous.
I envision this being the tendency of people to gravitate to others who feel and act with the same motivation in life. I don’t want to associate with criminals or even think of how I can take advantage of another person. I like being with church going people and working with them doing good things. Evil folks will naturally gravitate towards those who of like mind because they will have common thinking. People, it seems to me, want to be untied with other people and they will pick those with whom they feel most comfortable with. This just seems human nature.
Alma 5:58 For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. And now, my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled.
The righteous’ names will be recorded in the books that list those fit for living in heaven. They will be given complete access to all the heaven has to offer in the way of life style and association with our Heavenly Father and all those who want to be there. Alma asks why do people want to fight against this? It is silly, but it will happen just as the scriptures say, regardless of those who try to disprove or made fun of the whole concept.
Alma 5:59 For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? And behold, if a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? Yea, and at the last, if he can, he will destroy him.
The concept is simple. God’s actions toward us is just like a sheep herder that looks after his flock and try to keep out wolves and other creatures that would harm them.
Alma 5:60 And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.
The good shepherd is now calling to all of us to come to Him. If you will follow His council and do as He suggests, you will become part of those who will find a better and more interesting life style than the wick will inherit. Stay away from the wolves, for you might yourselves overcome by their incising life styles if you let them in among you.
This certainly goes along with the admonition of church leaders to stay away from bad movies and only let good things in one own home.
Alma 5:61 And now I, Alma, do command you in the language of him who hath commanded me, that ye observe to do the words which I have spoken unto you.
Alma now commands his listeners to do as he has been commanded to say to them by the Spirit of the Lord.
Alma 5:62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.
Alma is speaking by way of commandment to the members of the church in Zarahemla. To the non-members, Alma is inviting them to come an investigate the gospel and be baptized into the church so they might also inherit the eternal life style he has been speaking of.
It is interesting, Alma or the Lord for that matter, is commanding the church members to repent but not the non-members. I assume they may not be aware of the ramifications of church membership in that leaders can command them to do certain things. They are not really subject to church leadership direction concerning their life styles. I think what is going on is that the membership will be judge by a much higher standard than non-members simply because they know better whereas non-members may not be completely aware of what they are missing.